Experience of a hard working stressed out Urban Executive

Sharing an experience of my friend with Mahindra Zest Holidays. Please note I am not the author of this post. Reproducing the mail from my friend, Biju who is based in Chennai.
I got trapped in this during a phase of my life when I had spent eight months in a project completion under tight schedule and long working hours. Already I was over burdened by my family’s request that I am not taking them on any holiday / vacation trip. Then came a gentleman Mr. Jaikumar V representing Mahindra Holidays and Resort Ltd and said Mahindra Zest has an offer “a short break holiday for the hard working but stressed young metropolitans. Their research showed Holiday – goers prefer short, unplanned time outs that help them de-stress and recharge. This pattern is most typical of the urban working executive.” I thought what they are saying is exactly matching my need and this looks decent proposal. It was only after a year that I fully realized what ever offered was quite opposite to actual experience. In short the experience has only added to my stress and recharged negative feelings for the company.

Core Features of Zest based on which this was sold to me:
Quick planning: Zest is geared up to plan a getaway at short notice for those who may feel the need to holiday on an impulse. A Zest holiday is taken not according to busy schedules, but to satisfy a need to take a break ‘right now’. “Actual situation is that if you call Zest reservation booking center you will not get any resort in short notice. Forget about your impulse holidays. Instead if you call as a paying guest you will definitely get reservations at the same resort, as a member you are taken for granted. Once you are a member your needs are not the priority of Mahindra Zest any more.”
Short breaks:A Zest holiday would provide short and quick escapes. “My experience -As a working executive the shortest breaks are the weekend and Mahindra Zest gives you option of enjoying weekends only once in a year. So the six days offered is not useful to me for multiple short breaks.”
Quick access:  To cater to a quick break, Zest resorts will be strategically located in natural surroundings, yet easily accessible from chief Indian metros. “My experience –I am yet to hear after being member of Zest for almost 18 months any addition of new resorts or facility. I have shifted from Chennai and find all the sweet talk of new resorts coming in other parts of country remains in paper”
Offer: Easily accessible from metro cities, Zest gives you six nights every year, for ten years thus allowing a member to take multiple breaks a year. For every principal metro, Zest will offer a bouquet of resort destinations. All the mentioned offers have conditions in small letters and once you are a members your case is lost, you do not have any say.”
Key experience offerings as mentioned by Mahindra Zest
Zest is a great opportunity for young metropolitans to head out of the city and catch up with life. Zest resort’s service design caters to a variety of needs – rest and relaxation, family bonding and quality time for couples, socialising and networking, and outdoors activities. Exclusive resort activities include ‘Zest Flair Badges’ that involve varied activities such as wine tasting, connecting with the local community (fishing with the local community, local gourmet crawls), salsa dancing and treks, biking, and camping for the more adventurous.
Zest resorts will be professionally designed, using natural, eco-friendly material. Minimalist but superbly coordinated spacious rooms would be designed and can accommodate two adults and two young children with ease.
As the ideal short break holiday option for young urbanites, one of the critical promises of the Zest resorts would be that it would be child-friendly. Zest resorts will offer carefully selected amenities and activities for children, facilitating quality time for couples with young children.
Key experience during my three days stay at their Pondichery facility between 5th Mar to 7th Mar, 2010.
On account of taking membership I was offered 3 nights bonus holiday. I opted for their Pondicherry facility.
The experience was conveyed by my wife to Mahindra as a feedback “With great hopes of celebrating birthday of my husband at your resort, we had planned to take the holiday now. But I regret to inform you that we got a very lukewarm response on our arrival there. We never received the welcome drink. Water was dripping from seepage of wash room ceiling. Dead lizard remains with red ants on our front doorstep since arrival to checkout. We were allotted room number 157. What more? Inspite of ordering for a birthday cake on arrival (5th), we never got the cake. What lackadaisical attitude? And you are asking for a feedback?
I’ll think twice, thrice before next holiday with Zest!  My children are the most disappointed ones. Are you going to comfort and console with them? For them, pappa’s birthday cake never came at the resort.
Hope you address my grievance to my satisfaction with appropriate compensation for the emotional trauma we had gone through.”
Zest resort offers carefully selected amenities and activities for children which are either not working or not useable. Like at Pondichery they had bicycles but with flat tyres and bicycles locked but keys not available. The indoor games were too less as compared to guests and some of the games not available for playing. Not to talk about expensive food with no service that you have to pay for, as there is no other options available in near vicinity. Catamaran/ boat services are mentioned in brochure but not available at Pondicherry.
Biju George
DGM, Idea