To Aer is Human...just don't pick on my shoes!

MissMalini , 15 Apr 2010
Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai
Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai
Neil, Junelia, MissMalini, Ash & Marcelus
Neil, Junelia, MissMalini, Ash & Marclelus

I have been meaning to tell you about this for days now but my monster week at work just grew another head! Anyhoo, as you may have gathered from all my tweets I practically spent my entire weekend at Aer, The Four Seasons – which I love because its breezy, bright and DJ Shaan spins some beautiful mixes, plus I recently discovered their salmon bruschetta and home grown chocolate ice cream which is unbelievably yummy. This is why, after Sammeer & Palak Sheth’s brunch on Sunday (when we wanted to keep on drinking cocktails) I suggested we hit up their sunset champagne happy hour. Thrilled, our party of 6 bopped our way over – MissMalini, my friend Neil, Ash Chandler, Junelia Aguiar and Marcellus Baptista (who is FYI a fellow journo and always at everything!) This is when our fantastic Sunday came to a screeching, pretentious, halt.

the sandals
the sandals

Apparently Aer has a policy on open footwear for men. Fair enough, but hello discretion? I took a picture of Ash’s sandals just for you to tell me what you think. I can barely see skin, can you? To his credit Ash didn’t kick up a fuss… But really? At 5:30 in the afternoon if you should decide to pop into the Four Seasons for a sunset drink at their rooftop open-air bar, which is at that point practically empty – should “the guy in charge” a.) make a judgment call that people obviously dressed up for a Page 3 Sunday brunch aren’t really looking shabby enough to turn away or b.) ask said crew to “step out of the elevator please, I cannot let you upstairs in those shoes” as if we were all in plastic flip flops. I mean look at us, I feel like we were fairly well turned out, but their man on point decided to get ballsy and go with option 2. Now in his defense these are probably rules set by higher authorities to prevent hotel guests from shuffling in at night, wearing nothing but boxers and furry bathroom slippers but I’d seriously recommend upper management put someone with an iota of customer service skill on the job. When I requested that he please page the manager he simply said, “oh we don’t do that here. You can call from your phone, but I cannot give you his number.” Yes, that makes perfect sense Dheeraj, thanks!

bad-customer-serviceSo eventually I call the PR lady I know (in hopes of some better “public relations”) and we finally get upstairs to that gorgeous sunset on a breezy afternoon. We’re just about getting over the whole episode and decide to shift tables so we can watch the sunset and are once again greeted with the kind of look that says, *oh, um THAT’S not going to happen, you didn’t make a reservation for a party of 15.* So mildly mystified about why this would be a problem at 5:30 in the evening, I’m starting to wonder *Am I just not able to see all the invisible people who are occupying the entirely empty sofas or did Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts somehow get to make the rules at this place? They want to see the view? Off with their heads!* Also since the last time I checked, Aer doesn’t actually take reservations (not officially anyway) how does one pull this off? Anyway, eventually they caved and we enjoyed our sunset and left, at one point a waiter even came over and mumbled the question “do you want a free shot or something?” which I’m guessing was their way of saying sorry? But I’m just going to go ahead and say this out loud anyway…

“People of the Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai. Whoever you are, that are making these rules, stop taking yourselves so seriously. Its a total buzz kill!”

P.S. Ash, this is SO going in your next stand up act isn’t it?!

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