Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Accommodations Review: Zero George (Charleston, SC)

After my conference in Atlanta (November 2015), my husband and I flew to Charleston for a little getaway. We had been wanting to visit for a while, and since Atlanta was such a short flight away, it seemed like a perfect idea!

We stayed at Zero George Street (TripAdvisorWebsiteYelp), which is a very charming, luxe (and pricey) hotel. The property is gorgeous and the rooms are very nice.

I really enjoyed their continental breakfast. I meant to take pictures, but didn't get around to it. I didn't find any specifics about it online ahead of time, so here's a list of what we had at our breakfasts:
  • Biscuits from Callie's Hot Little Biscuits (regular, cinnamon, ham and cheese)
  • Bread
  • Quiche
  • Boiled eggs
  • Fruit salad (all-berries, or mixed)
  • Smoked salmon or prosciutto on little toasts
  • Yogurt
  • Juices, coffee, cereals

Pros and Cons after the pics!

Chef Vinson's kitchen. When I asked if I could take a picture, he said "Sure... but this isn't how I usually like it to look..." and he did a massive tidy-up and then went away. Hah! :)

I really enjoyed my stay here, but I do need to get two things off my chest:

1) Customer Service: When we arrived, a young woman was working at the desk and at the same time, a man wandered in from the back to greet us. Since we arrived before check-in time, the woman offered to hold our bags so we could come back later. At the same time, the man asked us if we needed any help with restaurant reservations for our stay in Charleston. He said he could help us secure reservations at any restaurant, even if they were booked (except for FIG), and to just let him know if we needed any help. He also asked if we had made reservations for their restaurant, which we did for that evening (Sunday). He responded that that was too bad, because their executive chef was off that day, so there was no tasting menu (which we wanted to get). They are closed on Monday, so he suggested we swap our reservation to Tuesday, and he could reschedule our Tuesday meal to that night instead. Some other guests came in, and he left, while I checked my dinner reservations for Tuesday. I had made reservations for Husk on Tuesday, so it seemed like it would be a bit difficult to reschedule that for same-day, but given the man's assurances that he could pull some strings, we decided to ask them to help with that.

At that point, the woman was finished storing our baggage. I asked her if she could help us revise our reservations, and she began to make the Tuesday reservation for us at their restaurant. I asked her if she would re-schedule our Husk reservation based on the man's suggestion, and she just stared at me blankly, as if she hadn't heard the entire conversation that had happened (perhaps she wasn't paying attention, which is fine, because we were not talking directly to her). When I said that the man had said he could get reservations anywhere, she said something like "Well, uh, he could try." This was a little off-putting, but the next thing she said was really screwed-up, in my opinion. She began to badmouth Husk, saying that prior guests have been so disappointed with it, including a guest who had connections in the restaurant industry and was given star treatment there and tasted the entire menu, but didn't think anything there was memorable. I honestly felt extremely deflated, and that this was a supremely unprofessional thing for her to say. It also felt like a teenager was telling me about some "fancy" person's opinion. I was honestly very irritated at that point. I did not want to cancel my Tuesday reservation at Husk without having something secured for that evening, so I said I had to think about what I wanted to do, and we left to grab lunch.

As we walked to lunch, we figured out a way to reschedule our reservations (changing Husk to a lunch reservation), and I made all the changes myself on my phone (including dinner reservations on Tuesday at the hotel's restaurant). The entire time, though, I felt like that young woman was very ill-suited to be working in the hospitality industry.

When we returned a few hours later to check-in, another woman was working (much more professional), and we did not see the young man until breakfast the next day (after I had sorted everything out myself). I think, overall, I was annoyed that there was this false-pretense (maybe just lip-service?) of them wanting to help. I also did not see anywhere on their website stating that the Tasting Menu is not available on Sundays, which would have avoided this entire situation (maybe I missed it, or the site is just not user friendly).

2) The Malin and Goetz cilantro hair conditioner in the shower is impossible to pump out (it squirts a TINY bit at a time), and comes out looking like curled milk. The first time I washed my hair, I pumped for about 3 minutes, saw the chunks, and thought maybe it was just the way it was, and used it. When I got out of the shower and started blow-drying my hair, huge white chunks of the conditioner were still stuck in my hair, so I had to get back in the shower to shampoo it off. I decided to just skip conditioner and not bother the front desk (I wanted to avoid interacting with the young woman from earlier!), but then when we came back later that day, the bulb in the right lamp in the bathroom had gone out as well, so I called front desk about these two issues. They replaced the bulb by the next time we came back, but the conditioner was still the same. I read reviews online for this product, and there were no other mentions about the curdled appearance, so I really have no idea what was going on. I didn't bother the front desk again, because I was tired of feeling irritated.

  • Beautiful property
  • Beautifully decorated rooms
  • Nice continental breakfast
  • Malin and Goetz toiletries (although, they are full size so you can't really take any home)
  • Free snacks and drinks in the minibar
  • Turndown service with more snacks

  • Hard to use thermostat
  • Unprofessional attitude from one woman at the front desk
  • The curdled conditioner
  • Website does not clearly state that tasting menu is unavailable on Sundays

Bottom Line: Despite the huge rant above, I would still highly recommend staying here. I would perhaps suggest avoid interacting with the younger (more inexperienced?) staff, and possibly bringing your own hair conditioner (hah!).

No comments:

Post a Comment