I like to travel light for my holidays. As I am generally hiking in the mountains or riding roller coasters at theme parks I have never seen the sense in dragging a massive amount of luggage around and so I rarely holiday with many, if any, smart clothes. This is generally not a problem as most establishments in tourist destinations don’t seem to care about your appearance but occasionally you stumble across some narrow minded people who decide to look down on you from a very great height. When I enter a hotel or restaurant I think I have a right to expect some decent service as I spend my hard earned cash but some places simply aren’t that nice.
When reading the recent stories about Oprah Winfrey’s troubles in a boutique in Switzerland I was reminded of a trip I took to Las Vegas. Winfrey was told that she could not look at a handbag because she wouldn’t be able to afford it and I think the same thing might have happened to me. Obviously I am not a hugely rich superstar like Oprah but that is not the point. People should be served politely whoever they are.
On my holiday in Vegas things had been going very well and I was having a great time with my family until we decided to eat at a restaurant called Sfuzzi. On entering the restaurant I felt that the staff were looking down their noses at us from the start. They informed us that there would be a short wait for a table. We agreed to wait and went to the bar at which point the barman got hysterical and shouted “get away from the bar”. I asked what his problem was and he informed me that people under the age of 21 could not drink alcohol. That might have been true but to shout at us was a little extreme! I was also quite shocked as I was 32 at the time and my cousin was 34!
We finally got some drinks after showing our ID and then got totally ignored for 45 minutes. My cousin joked that we would probably be seated at the table in the corner behind a huge plant to hide us from the other guests and when we were called to our seats that is exactly what happened. We were handed menus and then ignored again for an absolute age whilst the waiters fussed obsequiously around the other tables. When we finally managed to attract the attention of a server he was very unhelpful at which point my rather fiery cousin snapped her menu shut, declared that she had had enough and walked out. Clearly my levis jeans and shoes had lowered the tone of the establishment! I made a point of paying the bar tab with my American Express platinum card and followed the others out of the door.
We were now starving and so headed back to our hotel, the Mirage, to eat in one of the restaurants there. We were greeted with an enthusiastic welcome and had a lovely evening with great service. After the meal we took a stroll around Vegas and I found myself admiring a rather pricey Rolex Watch in one of the boutiques. I cringed as the salesman walked towards me and hastily explained that I would not waste his time as I could not afford the watch. The charming man said he would be delighted to show me the timepiece anyway and commented that one day I might have a big win in the casino and wish to treat myself to something special.
Some places may have all the trappings of an upmarket establishment but have no class whatsoever. Others treat everyone with kindness and make even the most humble customer feel like royalty. It is just a case of finding out which is which. If I return to Vegas as a wealthy person I know who is going to get my money!
Article by Sally Stacey