Calling a hotel situated in the middle of a busy city 'The Retreat' was a little odd and first impressions as we arrived was good. Spacious, bright, light and modern reception area, checking in was efficient and we were shown to the room. Again on first glance it was very modern and chic, but as we started to unpack there were a few concerns. The tap on the bathroom sink was loose and I was concerned that it may come away altogether. The flush system for the toilet was not finished properly and there were large gaps around the edges exposing the holes in the wall behind. The quality of workmanship in the bathroom was poor and looked amateurish and unprofessionally finished. There was no shower curtain or screen and when showering the water went over the sink and toilet. But the cracks in the tiling around the base of the shower were not sealed effectively and the water covered the floor completely and under the door to the bedroom, so we had to be very careful. As the evening went on the power went off more than 6 times in 3 hours for anything from 5 to 12 minutes, during which time no-one made any attempt to ensure the residents were OK. After a long journey getting to Agra we were in no state to argue about the quality of the room so we stayed in that room for the night. The bed was so comfortable and it was a quiet part of the hotel away from the busy road.
The following morning I felt that the quilt and some clothing felt damp and then the wall by the bed had a covering of dusty mould over it, and paint was pealing off the wall under the television. I noticed more poor workmanship on the flooring where edging had not been attached properly, the fixtures and fittings were not fitted correctly and on one piece of furniture the screws did not screw into the wall they were more for decoration. Debating whether or not to complain as we noticed on the way down to breakfast the walls along the corridor were also damp and evidence of repainting on some of the walls. It was clear that the hotel had a serious problem and to complain to change rooms may have only led to being placed in a room where it was noisy and maybe even more damp, so although we made the manager aware of our concerns we decided to stay in the room we had for one more night. The manager acknowledged the hotel had a problem stating that it was an architectural error and it is being dealt with. So before booking this hotel check that they have addressed all the decorative problems and that they have cleared the mould.
We don't usually have any problems with staff but we found the waiters to be invasive and would hold there hands out expectantly for tips. I didn't enjoy my stay at The Retreat and I would be reluctant to try it again, however, in fairness the manager is aware and he was confident that he would address the problems promptly.
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