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#5050 - 01/24/03 08:05 PM Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
DanielleD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 3
Loc: Arkansas
Hello, my name is Danielle and I am a 19 year old college student that just got back from Spain a week ago. I spent two and a half weeks there traveling around for pleasure; one and a half weeks of that time was spent in Madrid. I traveled with two friends. This is a warning against the hostel we almost stayed in, Hostal Playa, which seemed to be a good value for the money and a good location (only a block off Puerta del Sol). However, it was a nightmare.
My friends and I arrived in Spain at 9 a.m., exhausted. I had the flu and a 103 temperature. We arrived at Hostal Playa hoping to get our room and some time to rest. We arrived and a large, extremely rude woman greeted us. She asked our name, and after shuffling through her papers for all of 3 seconds, informed us we had no reservations. We thought that quite strange since we had an email telling us our reservation had been confirmed (we made the reservations online through the website). So we asked her what the email meant, then. For literally a half hour, she YELLED at us, telling us we had no reservation, that the credit card number was incorrect, and that we could not stay there. She never bothered to check any more papers for our reservation or even bother to be polite to us—she simply kept yelling these silly excuses that were completely irrational as to why we did not have a room there. Finally we couldn’t put up with it anymore and left, 3 teenagers in a strange country without anywhere to stay. As we were leaving, can you guess what she did? She laughed at our being frustrated and upset! She was a complete witch.
We were lucky enough to find a hostal with very friendly and laid back people at Hostal Fuente Sol. Unfortunatley, though, that was not our last encounter with Hostal Playa. Despite the fact that the Hostal Hag yelled at us for a half hour telling us the credit card number had been correct, she somehow was able to charge my friends’ credit card for a night. Isn’t that interesting. So not only was she rude, but also a thief. And the charge wasn’t even from Hostal Playa, but from Hostal Cruz Sol, a place we had never even been to or heard of, but that was owned by the same person as Hostal Playa. So we had to go to Visa to dispute the charge, and still don’t know if we’ll get our money back. What a nightmare. If you’re planning on visiting Madrid, I’m sure there are many good hostals, but avoid Hostal Playa and Cruz Sol at any cost. I even saw one of their rooms and it was NOT like it looked on the website. It was really small and trashy. Thank you for reading, I really hope this is helpful to some people.

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#5051 - 01/24/03 09:13 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
eek Hi DanielleD. Welcome to our message board.

So sorry to hear of your experience. While I'm not defending them - I can't since I wasn't there - but only trying to be objective....

Was this entire "exchange" done in English? Spanish? If Spanish, do you or someone in your group understand Spanish?

You said she swore the credit card number was incorrect on your reservation. Did you show her the credit card itself to compare it to that on the reservation?

You said she was rude (sounds like she was REALLY rude) and yelling. Coming from Arkansas, our great southern region in the USA, I imagine people in New York City might seem rude and loud too. Maybe I'm wrong. But really, in general, people in Spain SEEM loud and rude to many "Americans" while to another Spaniard they might seem completely normal. Many many Spaniards raise their voices and even appear to be argumentative or aggressive (by "American" standards, that is) when they're really not..

You arrived in Spain at 9:00am but what time did you arrive at Hostal Playa? Almost never will hostels allow you to go to your room before, say, 1:00pm because they haven't been cleaned yet. They'll usually allow you to drop your luggage there but ask you to return after 1pm.

I hope you can get your money back from the credit card company. It's my guess that when they were doing their paperwork for reservations they found yours and since you didn't stay there or "officially" cancel more than 24 hours in advance, they charged your charge card. That person "doing the books" probably wasn't the same woman whom gave you your "Nightmare In Madrid". It's my guess that they were full and/or overbooked - this happens sometimes - and this was her way of "telling" you that there was no room at the inn. rolleyes Not the most diplomatic or polite thing to do in this kind of SERVICE business where reputation means everything.

Regarding the room you saw, which you say was "small and trashy", was probably a typical sized room. MOST hostel rooms are what we "Americans" would consider small (and the bathrooms too), even smaller than a Motel6 room (budget hotel chain in the USA). The room probably WAS "trashy" because you arrived in the morning, either the guests were still "checked in" and had their stuff lying around and/or the room hadn't yet been cleaned since, it seems to mean, all room-cleaning takes place somewhere between 10:00am and 1:00pm so maybe you saw sheets on the floor and chairs pushed away from the desk or things like this. I've "toured" MANY a hostel room -- even rooms which were "rented" but empty at the time -- and it's amazing to me how people can "live" in this way with their junk strewn about, KNOWING the cleaning person has to work around all that stuff.

Again, while it may sound I'm defening them, I'm not. I wasn't there. But I've heard many many stories like the one you're telling us now and knowing Spain as well (not VERY VERY well, mind you) and having visited & toured probably 100 hostels in Spain. Comparing what I know about Spaniard to what I know of the pampered "American" psyche, which is generally operating on an unrealistically high-and-demanding level, I can see or guess what might reasons/explanations for unpleasant situations or misunderstandings.

This reminds me of the "American" who went to a $20/night hostel and wrote me an angry email degrading them because no one carried their suitcase up the 2 flights of stairs to their room. And also the other "American" who complained because the waiter never came back ("never" probably equals 20 minutes) after serving the meal and forced the patron to actually SHOUT across the room to get the waiter's attention. Imagine the horror and shame being forced upon the patron by having to raise his voice! eek

Spain is definitely different from our own culture and customs. THANK GOD! This is why I tell everyone who asks, 'Keep an open mind, don't expect "them" to be like you, don't expect to have access to all the things you're used to having, don't expect it to be the USA but in Spanish.' Most people don't get this point. They can't hear it. They think that since they are Spain's "guest", spending their hard-earned money, that the world should be their oyster and that oyster had better have a pearl in it too, served on a silver platter with clean, white gloves worn by an ever-bothersome waiter.

Man! HOW DID I GET ON THIS LONG-WINDED.... rolleyes Sorry about that.

Once again, I have no doubt that the woman claimed NOT to have your reservation. No telling why what happened did happen. You had a bad experience. I'd like to think it was an isolated incident. Maybe not. But if not, word will spread fast and you can be sure they'll be hurting for clients in the near future. Most all hostel owners/managers/clerks have been very very friendly. But once in a while, you get one which never smiles, seems to be bothered by your presence (remember, I'm "judging" the clerk on what I'm used to in the USA -- all sappy smiling sweet and offering to lick your shoes if they have dog-dirt on them). Hey, I consider myself an unusually friendly and respectful person upon meeting new people but I don't suger-coat things or be anything more than "authentic" either.

You know, I think I'll end this right here. Sorry you had a bad experience with Hostal Playa, DanielleD. Glad to know the place you eventually chose was pleasant and that this didn't jade your impression of Madrid or Spain.

The more we travel the more our minds become open. As we learn more about other cultures, we also learn more about ourselves and our own culture. Travel and the world becomes smaller. We can then begin to appreciate the differences in customs, culture, people, and politics. Travel with no preconceived notions about how things should be. This last part can be difficult with all the hype in the tourism world because MONEY is involved.

OKAY! ENOUGH ALREADY!! Have a good weekend, Danielle, D. Hope you return to Spain someday soon.

Saludos, MadridMan smile
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#5052 - 01/25/03 01:54 AM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Shawn Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/28/00
Posts: 313
Loc: mentally - Spain, Physically -...
Danielle,

I'm sorry to hear of you troubles with the hostal. I have never had any problems traveling around Spain, perhaps I was just lucky, but more likely you were just sadly unlucky. I hope your bad experience dosen't deter you from visiting this enchanted land.

MadridMan,

I believe you have just set the modern word-count record with your last post. wink I used to type similar efforts when I was a young university student. As a matter of fact, I think I smelled cheap flat beer and cold pizza sauce while I was digesting your tome. Although, I hope I am mistaken and that your "great American novel" is not the result of Meisterbrau and Dominos, but instead the inspiration came from a nice bottle of Ribera del Duero acompanied by a suculent plate of lechazo. laugh laugh

Remember, friends don't let friends drink and post!!! :p

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#5053 - 01/25/03 08:29 AM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Hahaha.. Shawn, somtimes such "novels" ARE a result of Meisterbrau and Dominos but not this time. smile It was a 1.5 liter of water, actually. I NEW there was something in the water here in Columbus, Ohio!!!

I just got a flash of "The Ugly American Traveler" (NOT referring to DanielleD above, though) and felt compelled to "word-up" (the textual version of "speak-up" -- I just "MADE-that-up").

Saludos, MadridMan
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#5054 - 01/25/03 10:35 AM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
sel Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 459
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
Obviously an effort to keep warm in this deep freeze!! laugh
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sel

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#5055 - 01/25/03 04:39 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
DanielleD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 3
Loc: Arkansas
Dear MadridMan,
I understand in your reply you were trying to be helpful, and so I thank you; however, you really did nothing more than play off the ‘spoiled American traveler’ stereotype at my expense. I understand many Americans are unreasonable in their actions during their stays in other countries, and this is embarrassing, I agree; however, I am nothing like this, and was hoping only to provide a service to fellow travelers that hope to have a pleasant experience in their stay in Madrid. It seems I was unclear in my previous post: hopefully this will help clear up some discrepancies.

Yes, all the interactions in the hostal and everywhere else were spoken in very clear Spanish, and with the utmost politeness. This same feeling was returned to me in most places I went. You may think Americans are so much different than Europeans, but I beg to differ. I really don’t feel selfish in expecting the decency I use when talking to others returned to me, and have learned from my travels that politeness and civility is something you can find everywhere, as is rudeness. I didn’t find your stereotype of Madrilenos as rude people to be true at all. I found the employee at Hostal Playa to be incredibly bad mannered, and I really don’t think just saying “oh, well she’s Spanish” is a good excuse, as I feel it is an unfair judgment.

Additionally, I don’t feel my commenting on their hostal rooms as small and dirty to be a ‘spoiled American’ comment in the least. On their web page, Hostal Playa advertises their rooms with a picture showing a spacious, clean room with a balcony and full bathroom. However, the room I saw was small, darkly lit from a tiny window, had dirty floors and no bathroom. I felt this was false advertisement and accordingly warned against the cleanliness of their rooms in my original post. Again, I don’t feel selfish in my expectations of a room: I don’t care how large the room is--I simply want a clean bed to crash in at the end of the day. We arrived at the hostal after lunch, which I would imagine was plenty of time to clean the rooms. Also, the one I saw was unoccupied (but I am assuming reserved).
I’m sorry my letter reminded you of such embarrassing letters such as the person who wanted an employee to carry their suitcases or the person who yelled at the waiter, because I am nothing like that. I wasn’t expecting a pearl, nor did I expect everyone to bow down to me because I was spending my ‘hard earned money.’ Like most Americans who travel I was there to see the sights and experience the culture with an open mind. I think your ‘American psyche’ is just a little too used to stereotyping Americans as the bad guys.

I also found your comment about my living in Arkansas to also be in poor taste, and again, stereotypical. I am attending school here but am actually from New Jersey, and so am quite used to loud, speedy talkers. However, there is a difference between speaking loudly and speaking rudely, and I am not stupid—I can tell the difference. I am quite sure that your being from the bustling metropolis of Columbus, Ohio much better prepared you for the city ways of Madrid than I was being from Arkansas.

I loved Spain, and hope to go back very soon. However, I will do more research about hostels and make my reservations by telephone, so as to be more confident in my reservation (because an email saying “Your Reservation has been confirmed” apparently is insufficient) and so as to avoid another incident such as that. Running a hostal IS a business where service is key, and this woman was rude, I don’t care what excuses are made for her. Especially in comparison to the other three hostals I stayed at in Madrid and Sevilla, Hostal Playa had an incredibly rude employee and had falsely advertised their rooms. This was my original point—I’m sorry you felt the need to express your ignorant views of me and the majority of the “closed” minds of American travelers in your reply. Please be more aware in the future of your views of Americans vs. Spaniards, as you obviously in your mind have greatly demonized one and exalted the other, when you yourself said that we must keep open minds and not expect anything.

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#5056 - 01/25/03 05:05 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Quote:
I’m sorry you felt the need to express your ignorant views of me and the majority of the “closed” minds of American travelers in your reply. Please be more aware in the future of your views of Americans vs. Spaniards, as you obviously in your mind have greatly demonized one and exalted the other, when you yourself said that we must keep open minds and not expect anything.
And I'm sorry you chose to label my views as ignorant. frown Your opinions and points of view are heard and accepted, DanielleB. I'm not one to debate nor trade time-wasting barbs so I won't start now for readers' entertainment. Thanks again for sharing and hopefully you'll also tell us about the other parts of your Spain experience.

Saludos, MadridMan smile
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#5057 - 01/25/03 07:11 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Mongo Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Not wanting to enter the fray, wink I will say that I stayed there a year or so ago and I would not go back.

The rooms could have been top notch, with nice bathrooms, in room safe, TV's and an elevator.The maintainence was sub-par. My Pta. del Sol side window would not close, was cracked and the shutters didn't work, which made sleeping in late difficult. The advertised TV channels weren't available (I like to have CNN). The room that was confimed wasn't what I got.

I am long since used to the mostly indifferent service in Europe, but the staff there bordered on aggressive. I saw a similar incident with 2 women who had reservations and were turned away. Most hostals would try to get you placed somewhere else.

My current favorite, Hostal Adriano, is about the same price and far superior(sin ascensor!). In addition, the staff is execeptional.

One hint-I always carry a printed copy of the e-mail confirmation.

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#5058 - 01/25/03 07:19 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
No fray here, Mongo. Thanks very much for your feedback of Hostal Playa AND Hostal Adriano. smile

Saludos, MadridMan
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#5059 - 01/25/03 07:28 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Roe Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 176
Loc: california
About the charge on your credit card. Don´t worry.

One time I tried to buy an airline ticket from an online travel agency in Spain ($700). I never got an email confirmation and saw that my account in the US didn´t have enough money to cover the ticket(my bank just allowed me to overdraft my accoutn and charge me a fat fee). I figured that it didn´t go through and just went and took cash out of my Spanish bank and bought a regular ticket at a travel agent. The ticket I bought online arrived the next day. I tried calling the online ticket seller and they said that they couldn´t do anything. So next I called my credit card (Visa) and told them that I wanted to contest the charge. After mailing a few forms back and forth, I got the money returned.

I was suprised that they returned the money. It does show that the credit card companies will help you in the case of a erroneous charge. Just call and tell them that you didn´t stay there and that you don´t agree with that charge.

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#5060 - 01/27/03 12:54 AM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
DanielleD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 3
Loc: Arkansas
Dear Roe,
Thank you for the peace of mind about the credit card! I haven't yet heard back from Visa, and even if the request is turned down it wasn't too much money lost, more like principle. But thanks for your message, it made me feel better.
Thank you also, Mongo! While I'm not glad to hear of their agressive employees and that other people have been treated in the same manner we were, I am glad to be backed up a little and to know we weren't the recieving end of some isolated incident or bad joke or something.
Thanks to both Roe and Mongo for sharing their helpful experiences!
smile Danielle

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#5061 - 01/27/03 08:59 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Carole Chiaro Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 378
Loc: Danville, CA USA
You're right, Danielle. There's no excuse for rudeness, especially in a service-oriented industry. (But any rudeness.--read that period--infuriates me.)

I think that MadridMan intended to be helpful in his reply but it sounds like the place was a dump, staffed by a "bruja," and there's no defending that either. You're lucky that she didn't honor your reservation!!

And you will have no trouble with the credit card company. They are totally understanding in these situations. I would not want to see Hostal La Playa (or whoever they claim to be) get away with that charge. It is the principle here.

Spain IS a wonderful place but like everywhere, including Columbus, OH and Danville, CA, you can encounter someone who is less than kind/sympathetic/honest/etc. Fortunately, it did not jade your experience.

Thank you for your input. We all benefit by comments such as yours.

--CC

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#5062 - 01/28/03 04:01 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Antonio Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/07/00
Posts: 1252
Loc: Madrid (Spain)
[NOTE: I don't like to make comments on other hostels but I want to clarify some of the explanations Madridman has given.]

Unless they clearly stated that they would charge you in advance, I don't understand why they knew the credit card number was incorrect. How could they know it without actually trying to charge you?.

I asked my bank manager about he told me you have to ask your bank to refund that money. Then, Visa will request Hostal Cruz Sol to prove that the charge was authorised by you. As you didn't sign anything and you didn't even stayed at Cruz Sol, they shouldn't be able to keep the charge.

Quote:
Almost never will hostels allow you to go to your room before, say, 1:00pm because they haven't been cleaned yet. They'll usually allow you to drop your luggage there but ask you to return after 1pm.
Well, if the previous customers check out before, we clean the room and make the beds so that they can enter the room as soon as possible. I would never show an untidy room to a customer. Unless it is already clean and ready I tell them to wait.

Quote:
It's my guess that they were full and/or overbooked - this happens sometimes - and this was her way of "telling" you that there was no room at the inn. Not the most diplomatic or polite thing to do in this kind of SERVICE business where reputation means everything.
As it was their fault, they should have tried to find you a place somewhere else. At least, this is what most hostels do. For us it's a lot easier to find a room since we know many places.
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#5063 - 01/28/03 11:41 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
lamar Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/14/00
Posts: 16
Loc: hillside, il usa
hi everybody!!!
sorry MM... you've really missed the boat on this one!! big time!!
First of all, let me tell you that i am american, born and raised, my father and grandparents are spaniards (mom is cuban) and my husband is a madrileno. i have many relatives still there and have spent nearly every summer of my existence in spain. also, my first language was spanish as that's what we speak at home, so i am completely fluent in both spanish and english. so, as you can see, i truly know spain and the spaniards VERY well, not just as a tourist. by the way, i've had my husband read this thread and he is in complete agreement with what i'm about to say.
there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for rudeness,ever, be it in spain, usa or china. what DanielleD experienced at Hostal Playa was inexcusable, boorish behavior, it doesn't matter what time she arrived or what language she spoke!! not to mention poor business practice, for God's sake!!
however, you keep talking about the " pampered american psyche" and how "spain is different" as if it were okay to expect less than civil behavior AND put up with it!! Absolutely not!!! i would much rather have a "sappy, smiling, sweet" clerk instead of a mean, grumpy one. let me give you an example of an incident that happened to me at a madrid hotel. on September 11, 2001, my 3 yo. daughter and i had the misfortune to be on an Iberia flight bound for
chicago from madrid. 5 hours into the flight, we were informed of 3 terrorist attacks in NYC and Wash.D.C. (thankfully, we were spared the scary specifics) and were returned to madrid. at Barajas, we were met by a representative of the US embassy who gave us all the horrific details and arranged for bus and hotel accomodations. upon arrival at the hotel, i asked the porter to please help me with my 2 suitcases, so i could carry my sleeping baby in one arm and try to put her in the stroller as well. he didn't seem too happy, but when he saw how heavy my bags were, he went ballistic,(must have been all that manchego cheese!) yelling and cursing and than he simply walked away and left me there trying to drag the bags,baby, etc.!! thank god for the 4 young college boys from texas who came to my rescue without me having to ask.
now, was i supposed to simply accept his behavior because Spain is different, or because i don't have an open mind or because i have a pampered american psyche??? NO, it was his job!!! i immediateley complained to the front desk and they apologized profusely, but the best part was the next day when the porter himself apologized for his behavior. he had obviously been reprimanded and i got to watch him grovel.
you know, my husband's family loves to visit us in chicago and they shop till they drop. they LOVE the attention they receive from the sales clerks and the fact that they don't have to worry about dirty looks and sullen stares if they decide not to buy something after trying on 10 items, and they love not waiting at the register while the clerks are chatting. they are the first ones to say that cusomer service in Spain is virtually non-existent, so does that mean that they have pampered spanish psyches, that they don't have open minds??
one more thing, POLITE spanish society would NEVER shout across a room to get the waiter's attention. My husband was mortified when he read that!!! Save the shouting for the bars, mesones, tascas, etc. NEVER do so in a proper restaurant bacause you will definitely be identified as "un guiri".
Yes, Spain is different from our culture and that's part of her "encanto" and why we love her dearly, however we must not be blinded by our passion and justify or accept unacceptable behavior.
i think i'll end it here. MM, you've done a great job with this site, keep up the good work!!

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#5064 - 01/29/03 02:06 AM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Mongo Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
I can't understand why a business interested in making money and word of mouth would not follow up a wrong account number with an e-mail. I'm guessing a dud number is more likely a mistake than an attempt at fraud. It would make sense to check it out.

I am always surprised at tourist businesses that treat people as a one-off profit center. I love the look on peoples faces when they see me in their place for the second, third and fourth times! They know each time they see me, the spending begins!

Note to Antonio-
I have used the online system that some of the Madrid hostals (including Playa) provide for making reservations and it does warn that reservations will be cancelled if the number isn't valid. I know that the credit card machine we have in the place I work has a function for pre-authorizing charges. Whether they used that I don't know. I always confirm with a follow up e-mail to avoid this.

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#5065 - 01/30/03 11:27 AM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
ERT Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/02
Posts: 51
I certainly believe that the recepcionist in Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA is not a Spaniard but a Southamerican mestizo immigrant. I can hardly believe that a Spaniard yelled at you in bad manners or laughed at you in your frustation.

I really believe that many standards (in restaurants, hotels, hostals, ...) are lowering due to the immigrants that are occuping jobs in those areas. I personally have had some problems with some Southamerican waiters in some bars. They don't have the proper manners to do these kind of jobs but as the immigrants are willing to accept less salary than the Spaniards used to have the owners of the bars, hostels, restaurants prefer to contrat immigrants to Spaniards. I think this massive immigration in Spain and in specially in Madrid is going to cost us many problems, many more than what We really think. Just 3 or 4 years ago there weren't almost any immigrants. And in just 3 years We have like 600.000, 700.000 just in Madrid (like 15% of the total Madrid population). Many people from Madrid are upset about this issue but they don't want to say it in public.

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#5066 - 01/30/03 02:17 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
nevado Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/00
Posts: 620
Are you for real, ERT?

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#5067 - 01/30/03 04:08 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
replay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/00
Posts: 87
Loc: Madrid
Hello members,

This topic sounds to me a lot.

I was one week in Lisbon some months ago, apart from having a nice days in that lovely city, I could get a reservation in a good and cheap hotel, only 34,91 € / night including breakfast.

The reservation was made using meliaviajes.com, the web system informed me the next : "The reservation could not be done" . Bad I said, so I decided to reserve using the telephone of meliaviajes.com , finally I get a single room.

But once I was in the hotel I got very surprised because the hotel had three reservations of mine (yeah, all the web reservations were done without confirmation) and I had to cancel them.

My surprise came when I returned back to Madrid, I saw a 34,91 € charge in my Mastercard, so I inmediatly made a claim to meliaviajes.com and the Lisbon hotel, with no success. So I tried to talk with my bank, I gave to my bank the documents that demonstrates I payed the room in cash.

No problem, after two months the money was back in my credit card. Without your sign or electronic permission, nobody can charge your credit card.

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#5068 - 01/30/03 08:33 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
miche_dup1 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 181
I know of a case, where a South American engineer went to Madrid and found a job as a mechanic. Having proved himself by improving the company's turnover, the Spanish boss didn't know what he could do to keep this innovative, hard working and trustworthy employee sweet, indeed, he considered his new employee as the bee's knees. So he gave him a large salary, apartment, (so he could bring his wife, sons and grandson over), living costs and vehicle to use as he so wished.
I hope someone is around to do the Heimlich manoeuvre on ERT. rolleyes

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#5069 - 02/01/03 02:38 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Booklady Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 1680
Loc: U.S.A.
ERT writes:
Quote:
I certainly believe that the recepcionist in Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA is not a Spaniard but a Southamerican mestizo immigrant. I can hardly believe that a Spaniard yelled at you in bad manners or laughed at you in your frustation.
ERT:

You are joking with us, right? frown

Or, do you personally know this large woman that was rude to DanielleD and her friends? Were you there? eek

If not, don't you think that this is a little implausible and far fetched? In what rational factors do you base your belief that the woman is as you described?

Granted I would agree that on the whole, Spaniards are generally polite people. They are a wonderful, and patient people. But even polite people have some bad days, when they are rude, and perhaps vent their distress, like most people in the planet? I personnally witnessed two ladies who worked at the Suecia being rude to each other, and these ladies were both white Madrileñas.

Do you think that race determines whether a person is rude or not? I have seen a lot of mean, rude, and bad white people, take Fidel Castro for example (his family is from El Ferrol, Spain btw)!

Do you think that national status determines whether a person is rude or not? Aren't there rude people in the other continents?

confused
_________________________
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
--St. Augustine (354-430)

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#5070 - 02/02/03 02:44 AM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Mongo Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Being the only other person on this thread to have actually stayed at Hostal Playa, I am very reluctant to admit that there were "cultural" (not racial) differences involved in what I saw and what I experienced. Different cultures have different standards. The French are indifferent and the Czechs are almost comatose. Madrileños have always been warm to me. Whatever the origins of the personnel (I have no idea), it was not good service compared to what I have have received in several dozen stays over almost 30 years traveling to Madrid.

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#5071 - 02/02/03 11:42 AM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Cornelio Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/01
Posts: 105
Loc: Dublin, CA
Hi DanielleD

You are relatively new to this board but there is one thing you will eventually realize about it. There are numerous Madrid apologists on this board who can't stand to read something negative about their precious city. I must say that this board has been very useful to me personally and I enjoy reading numerous post from knowledgeable Madrid travelers. However, if there is one criticism I have it is this: negative comments about Madrid seem to be swept under the rug and ignored as an aberration. In fact, when someone posts something negative, there is an immediate assumption that the incident is the fault of the poster because there is this belief that Madrid is so perfect. Well, in a perfect world, there would be no rudeness in Madrid or anywhere else for that matter.

Anyway, I appreciate you candor and I hope that this does not stop you from continuing to read and contribute to this board. More power to you!

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#5072 - 02/02/03 02:02 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
ERT Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/02
Posts: 51
Well, you can say whatever you want to say. You can call HOSTAL PLAYA (915213844) and you will realize that both of the recepcionist are Southamericans (there is a man and I have also heard a woman and both of them have southamerican accent). Please call them if you don't believe it.

I don't want to put down southamericans but We have had a massive immigration in Madrid in the last 2 or 3 years and MANY southamericans are working as waitress, recepcionist in many restaurants, bars, hostels, hotels, quiting the jobs that Spaniards could have been doing and lowering the standards of the service. If the immigrants are willing to accept less salaries than the Spaniards, then the owners of the bar, hostels, restaurants prefer to choose an immigrant to do the job that a Spaniard used to do. In 10, 15 years tourism in Spain will be much less because the service will be much worst because most jobs will be occuped by immigrants.

I say this because I have also had not good treatment in hostels, or restaurants by Southamerican staff, bad treatment that I've never had in my life with Spanish staff in restaurants, bars or hostels. The problem is that they come from a different culture and import also their different behaviours.

And yes I'm against massive immigration, even it is legal. We madrileños have suffered many problems due to massive immigration one of them is much higher insecurity (Colombians killed 48 colombians in Madrid in the year 2001, almost 50% of all the murders in Madrid) and stealing in chalets, houses, has increased incredibly. Roberies in the streets with knives (moroccoans are the specialists in this), roberies to ancient Spaniards when they have just come out from the bank to get their pension paid (peruans, ecuatorians are colombians are specialist in this), rapes, and many other things are the benefits of Multiculturalism...

I just want to point out what many Spaniards say in private and don't want to say it in public because it will look like if you are racist or xenofobic, but the truth is the truth, and I wanted to share my version of this issue.

Many of you are Americans, so you can check who are the ones that comit most of the crimes, robberies and violent attacks in the US, and it is not precisely the white americans.

Accepting a minimum immigration is not a problem (for example 100.000 or 200.000 in Madrid) but accepting a massive immigration (700.000 immigrants in Madrid in just 3 years) is a huge problem that many don't want to see.

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#5073 - 02/02/03 04:41 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
barry Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/01
Posts: 349
Loc: sóller, mallorca, spain
ERT. I'm not South American, but may I join all those from that continent in being rude to you? You deserve it.

PS I don't usually get this angry, not even in the ETA, Iraq debates

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#5074 - 02/02/03 04:50 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
miche_dup1 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 181
Everyone at times experiences unfortunate incidents such as Daniella's, and though it's hard to shake oneself out of the bad feelings felt at that time, more often than not travelling offers great rewards and many happy memories.

I travel and have to do it the most economic way possible and that means cheap but reasonable hostels, food and low travelling costs. As a student I learnt very quickly that saving money means you get only what you pay for...and sometimes not even that, as Daniella has reported.
You can't let a horrible experience spoil things for you.
Hostel to me means a clean bed a place to shower and store your things. I don't want or expect any frills if i've decided not to pay for it and if a tv comes with it well ok. Not to mention the obvious - manners.

Treating others the way you would like to be treated goes a long way and is especially rewarding in a country like Spain.
I would say to anyone like ERT who ALWAYS experiences rudeness from people be they Spanish, Latin American,....is that there must be something in your own conduct, manner and general being that invokes repulsion and a desire to be as far away as possible from you.
ERT,..te falta un punto o que? your hatred, or whatever you choose to call it, towards Latin Americans obviously shows- you get what you give i'm afraid.
As for 'standards' being lowered...what the hell are you on about? Are you saying that Spanish hostel owners have low standards? Go to a five star Hotel or a magnificent Parador, I'm sure you'll receive the same reception, better still, stay at home!!

This is a perfect opportunity to show that Spain is not a perfect place, who said it was? No one and no where is perfect. With all it's imperfections i luurrve Spain- que viva Espana!!

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#5075 - 02/02/03 05:37 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
ERT Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/02
Posts: 51
Ok. This is like a turistic website for people that like Spain so I won't go much deeper in this issue. Being not political correct doesn't make my arguments less true.

barry if you say I deserve it, SAY it also to DanielleD because I didn't do anything to the Southamerican staff as DanielleD didn't also do anything wrong to the Southamerican staff. I hope when a group of Moroccoans or Southamericans show a 10 cms knife to steal you in the street, someone say to you that you deserved it.
I hadn't say that I ALWAYS (thank you for your imagination miche!) experienced rudeness from people from Southamerica. I have just said that the only bad manners that I have had in restaurants or hostels have been from Southamerican staff, and as you can see in this post I'm not the only one. And BTW I don't hate LatinAMericans, I have some argentinian friends and from what they also tell me, they realize that some Southamerican nationalities in Spain are causing much conflict (for those that lived permanently in Spain in 1996 or 1997, you will realize that things now are not what they used to be when there were almost no immigrants at all in Madrid and that many people are upset about this massive immigration).

It is always the same thing. Whenever this issue comes to debat, and there are some people that don't say what is suppossed to be politically correct, there are always other people that start to put down the other accusing him of not being politically correct (ie, almost like calling him a Le Pen).

And I have come to this issue because MANY Spaniards have experience BAD situations with Latinamericans. Oh sorry...I'm not suppose to say these things... I will shut up.

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#5076 - 02/02/03 06:58 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
mecky Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/01
Posts: 91
Loc: US
ERT
I have read very much with interest your comments and opinions. Regardless if I like or ot like what you say, we have become a society where it is not really nice to be passionete about what we believe in unless it is politicially correct. Whenever I travel to Madrid-Zaragoza etc. etc. I am always escorted by my friends. And yes I hear a lot of what is being spoken among the locals. Madrid certainly has its problems just like any other city has. I for one appreciate you're sharing you're toughts on this form.

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#5077 - 02/03/03 11:40 AM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Carole Chiaro Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 378
Loc: Danville, CA USA
I guess we must have been "lucky" because the nicest Colombian gal (treated like family) worked in a hostal restaurant where we stayed. Was that an aberration?

If you want to talk about surly service, I have not-so-fond memories of the staff in the paradores. Admittedly, that was some time ago. Hopefully, things have changed.

Yes, Madrid, too, must learn to accept a foreign influx. I think we're talking about a socio-economic element rather than national origin.

But rudeness--again, we see it too often. AND I'm especially amazed at how frequently it is targeted at young people. (In my estimation, young adult males get the worst of it.) My sons are respectful and I anticipate that they be treated with respect. I get steamed when they are treated rudely or suspiciously.

ERT--don't come to California!! Your ethnic/racial stereotypes would not be welcome here. --CC

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#5078 - 02/03/03 12:25 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
nevado Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/00
Posts: 620
You know, I was going to comment on the lack of service at the Paradors but I had hesitated because it was an isolated incident. I had a really rough time at the one in Alarcón (I saw your other post, Carole) but they were circumstances beyond the scope of most stays (I was married there and we had a dispute over a charge). The director was so rude (beyond belief, the day after my wedding!) and the entire Parador system was of no help. I still recommend Alarcón because it is a fantastic place and everyone but two employees were top notch.

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#5079 - 02/03/03 04:34 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
Marianpo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 32
Loc: Florida, U.S.A.
This has certainly become a hot topic, mostly because of ERT's rantings.

Let's get real. Rude behavior is never excusable and Hostal Playa deserves to be blacklisted until it cleans up its act. I have found that every shop, hotel, business entity of any type, has a prevailing "culture" - which usually filters from the top down - that dictates what is tolerable. Hostal Playa's management seems to need a wake-up call.

On the other hand, racism and national stereotyping are, like all other generalizations, inaccurate as well as cruel. Even if, just for the sake of argument, 60 percent of Latin Americans were rude, absurd as that sounds to anyone who has actually traveled through the continent, that would still leave millions of people who were unfairly categorized.

Close to home, I have met a number of Spaniards prone to envy, and not one Dominican with that propensity. However, I would be foolish to expect most Spaniards to be envious, and much less to expect any particular Spaniard to harbor that trait. It's just bad science.

Would you like me to think and act toward you with the a priori conviction that you are an envious person, ERT?
_________________________
Marian

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#5080 - 02/06/03 07:20 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
plumepoppy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/12/02
Posts: 96
Loc: canada
This topic has certainly been quite an interesting roller-coaster ride! Over my past 25 years of traveling (yep, that age bracket!), I've met some pretty miserable innkeepers, but they've been few and far between, and miserable people do not belong to any one category as has been suggested by someone on this thread. It's too bad it happened to a young woman in Madrid but there's a lesson in it: these things happen when you're traveling and learning to handle them is of the essence. That's what DanielleD did by sharing her experience on this board and getting such interesting feedback!

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#5081 - 02/20/03 02:29 PM Re: Warning: Madrid's HOSTAL PLAYA
ChrisR Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 231
Loc: D.C.
Just a comment on the ERT's assertion that the "rudeness" comes from "South Americans." I have traveled extensively from Argentina to Mexico and have dealt with Latin American immigrants in the U.S. From all of my experiences, none of the Latin American cultures could be characterized by "rudeness" in the service industries. Indeed, I have received some of the best service in the world in Latin America, and frequently in lower priced establishments.

In addition ERT, many of the people you classify as "immigrants" by their accents are actually Spanish citizens returning to the Spain of their parents and grandparents. Spain is just now having to deal with what other immigrant receiving countries have been used to for years, how do you assimilate an net inflow of people and maintain the national identity and quality of life that has drawn the immigrants in the first place? Until recently Spain was a sending country of emigrants, so ERT, what do you think longer term settlers of other countries thought of your countrymen when they were the new arrivals off the boat?

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