The hotel where I stayed last month in Thailand was very nice and up to my standards! It was located in a secluded, non-tourist area and was eco-friendly in some respects. There were plenty of trees and shade and it was just like I was staying in the woods. I could constantly hear birds singing and the rasping sound of cicadas. It may sound like I had a wonderful summer holiday in an exotic place and it would certainly have been, had it not been for the incessant ‘plugging’ of the staff at the hotel.
I began to notice on the third breakfast that there was something odd about the way our butler behaved towards us. For the first couple of days, I pretended to ignore her constant selling schemes. My first impression was that it was part of her job to provide us with eveything we needed, including giving us ideas about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. As a matter of fact, we went nowhere whatsoever, and just lounged around in our villa during our entire stay. Later, I realised that our butler seemed to be aware of everything we did. Everytime we went to have a meal at the restaurant, whether in the morning for breakfast or at dinner, she would appear and offer us something to do or somewhere to go as part of the hotel’s apparent strategy of extracting as much money out of the guests as possible. Whenever the butler tried to get me to do something, I politely declined and came up with a white lie – something that I hated to do, but I had to.
It was even more irritating when the waiters also tried to get me to spend money on things I did not want. Again, I just declined and came up with some stupid excuse such as I did not want to travel to anywhere too far as we were allergic to the heat; it would cause us sunstroke. Then, it came home to me when one waiter told me that she had read the short list of things we had booked to do. We felt like we were being observed. I promised myself that they would not get much from us and they did not. It was so ridiculous that they expected us to spend money on things we did not want, since we had already paid a huge amount of money for the holiday in advance. As a person who loves to be left in peace, I found this incessant selling an extreme nuisance. I just wanted to be left alone.
I do not mean to be too hard on the hotel. Nevertheless I have never come across anywhere as unashamedly over-commercialised as this place. I just did not want to be indirectly harrassed to do things I really did not want to. That’s all.