Lars’ Principle (or: Avillion Port Dickson Lost the Plot)

The Peter Principle describes how “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”.  I’d like to use this opportunity to announce the Lars Principle, which describes how in Malaysia every hotel and/or restaurant keep increasing the price until there’s absolutely no value for money left.

The latest example of this is Avillion in Port Dickson.  Avillion have always been expensive.  In fact it has always been damn expensive, however – in my opinion – it has got two things going for it:

  • The rooms are awfully pretty
  • The “adults only” pool

The service have never been all that great and the food is absolutely not spectacular in any way, but those two things sort of made the place worth a visit anyway.  However, now they have raised the price to RM 600++ per night (and that was on a damn Sunday – absurd).  I guess 600 per night would be ok if everything about the place was fantastic, but seriously – it is NOT and in that light the price is truly absurd.

I arrived a bit early on Sunday Oct. 30, 2011, so the room was not ready.  Since I did arrive at 11 that wasn’t really surprising and I don’t blame them for that.  I just went to the pool to wait there.  However, arriving at the pool, things really went south.  The pool attendant more or less ignored us completely, and when asked about towels his response was: “towels out – no towels – half an hour”.  I am sorry – 600 ringgit per night and they are out of towels.  Around 12 I went to see if my room was ready and it was.  While at the reception, I did tell the girl in the reception that it was kind of absurd that they didn’t have towels and she promised to take care of it.  She also promised to fix the TV in the room (which was not working).

At 1pm, towels still hadn’t arrived at the pool, so I decided to give the manager a call and raise some pulses a bit.  The manager promised to take care of it immediately.  Well, I don’t know what was/is her definition of immediately, but the towels finally arrived at 3pm – JUST as it started to rain big time.  In other words – the few hours of sunlight there was, we couldn’t really use the pool as there was no towels.

When the rain started, we went to have some lunch.  While having lunch I asked the guy who appeared to be the manager at the Crow’s Nest if there was anywhere I could watch the Formula 1 race in the late afternoon.  He promised to check it out and came back a while later and said that it was not possible since they did not have Star Sports channel anywhere.

After lunch, leaving the Crow’s Nest restaurant, I went pass Avillion’s karaoke bar, and on a sudden impulse I went in and asked the girl in there if they could show Star Sports since I wanted to watch the Formula 1.  The girl said that she would see what she could do and call me when she knew more.  Half an hour later she called and confirmed that of course she could show me the Formula 1.

At 5pm I went to the Karaoke bar and watched the Formula 1.  I did have a chat with the girl working there, and it turns out she was a student and she had only been there for 2 weeks.  Now – let me repeat that – she was a student and had only worked in Avillion for 2 weeks.  In my opinion she was the ONLY person I came across that actually behaved as she worked in an exclusive and expensive resort.  She obviously went above and beyond what is generally expected of staff there and honestly – it is not her that should be a student – she should be the teacher educating the rest of the staff there.  I sincerely hope they pay her well, because she is the only staff they got that actually go out of her way to make the guests feel welcome.

The conclusion is quite obvious though.  Avillion – or rather the owners of Avillion – look at the place as a cash cow.  They try to cash in on the fact that they are seen as the best resort in the area, but in reality they just want your money – they are (with the exception of the before mentioned student) doing absolutely nothing to make guests feel welcome or to justify their absurd pricing.  Needless to say I will try very very hard to find alternative places (and for that price I can actually fly up to Thailand and find one there).