Michaela Merz

The night at Kempinski hotel

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I am not one of those people who have seen a large number of 5 star hotels in this world but I have a clear picture that these 5 stars should represent exalted hospitality and luxury. The wishes should be read from the guest’s eyes.

Many years ago, when I was preparing for the tax expert exam, our class teach whom we all admired very much found that our knowledge in the field of self-employed people and tax law is poor and that we need an intensive course. He suggested a prolonged weekend with intense learning. Costs: CHF 70 for two overnight stays, bus trip and meals. Place unknown. Because of the price I mentally prepared for a stable at a farm. We would not have put it past our teacher that he lets us sleep in the straw.

All the better was the surprise when our bus stopped on Friday evening in the canton of Lucerne in front of the 5 star hotel Burgenstock. I felt miserable the entire weekend because I had brought my oldest and shabbiest clothes and shoes, expecting a very cheap accommodation. I really stood out next to the ladies with expensive jewellery and fur. We could not take champagne for breakfast, as we needed clear heads and there was not thinking of swimming in the elegant pool with its view into the valley, as our strict timetable did not allow it. After the starter class on Friday evening, which lasted until 11pm, we started on Saturday at 8 o’clock in the morning with class, which went with short breaks until 11 o’clock in the evening. On Sunday the same again, just that we finished at 5pm. How our teacher managed to hold the entire class by himself is still a miracle to me until today.

Now I received a stay at the Kempinski hotel as a gift. This time my suitcase looked different with regard to the content. But a cordial reception I imagine different. Or is it written across my head that I don’t pay the stay myself? The room was huge with a fantastic view and all possible gadgets, including starry sky over the bathtub.
Great, I will have a bath. I plugged the bathtub and started filling it with water. After a quarter of an hour the bathtub was full and I tested whether I took too much hot water. But the water was freezing!! I must have gotten it wrong when I turned on the water. I tried the very hot water but from all taps there was only cold water. I know this problem from cheap hotels but here?

I searched for a telephone in order to call the reception. I quickly found it but no instruction on what number to dial to reach the reception. I searched the room but found nothing. So only the prehistoric option remained and I went down to the reception. I asked the young lady whether there is warm water and with what trick one can charm it to come.

Her look was almost deadly. She said that the hotel is on a mountain and it thus takes a while for the warm water to come up. One has to be patient for five minutes. But I did not dare to tell her that even after 15 minutes there was only cold water in the bathtub. I then went to the sauna and that was great!! Just the delegation of strange men in front of the huge windows of the female sauna with direct view into the sauna I found slightly irritating.

At the breakfast buffet carrot and freshly pressed orange juice had ran out. No tragedy, happens regularly at my own home, but here? For that price? And after breakfast I went with my youngest one to the fitness room where we were evicted by a French speaking cleaning man. Since he did not speak any other language and I still do not speak any French, a discussion with him was hardly possible.

I felt very unwelcome. Like a not invited guest. I felt as bad as back then at Burgenstock but this time it was not my own fault. Despite thick carpets, expensive paintings and starry sky in the bathroom, I just wished to leave this hotel as fast as possible and to go somewhere where I feel welcome as a guest.

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