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Eurofurence 25 "Fractures in Time" - Estrel Hotel Berlin, August 14-18, 2019Follow eurofurence on Twitter

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Author Topic: Cocktails at the bar  (Read 13921 times)

Hurga

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Cocktails at the bar
« on: 26.08.2014, 18:02:37 »

Hi all!

I really had a blast at Eurofurence again, but there's one thing which bugs me, and that's the cocktails. Not the pricing, mind you, but the quality. I had a Black Ice on the first day, and it tasted mostly like Cassis with water. Two others told me the same thing, so I raised the issue with Nightfox, and he later told me it has been addressed.

At the last day, I had a Jehova, and it wasn't very tasty either. It could have been me - I think I wasn't really sober anymore - but again, I didn't hear a lot of good things about the other cocktails from the furs at my table (except about one non-alcoholic one, go figure).

My question is: What did you think of the drinks? I'm interested to find out if there's a trend so that it needs to be addressed again with the hotel, or if my experiences have been just a bit of bad luck. - And I also missed the black beer (Köstritzer) from the Maritim...
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Runo

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #1 on: 26.08.2014, 18:15:05 »

I concur. Had a Black Ice after the PPS - tasted like fruit juice. Tried again with a Bloody Mary on Sunday - that tasted like just tomato juice and lemon. In a 2dl glass. For 10 Euros. No decoration, no spices, no alcohol, I didn't even get tabasco or sth similar with it until I explicitly asked.

Naah, Cocktails are really something the Estrel should improve upon.
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DarkFoxDK

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #2 on: 26.08.2014, 18:37:36 »

Agreed. Had a spooge special on the first night, was quite disappointing, had another one of the other days, with the same result. It seemed like most the bar staff were used to just pouring beers, and not mixing drinks.
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Sinea

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #3 on: 26.08.2014, 18:55:26 »

same here, had a spooge and it just taste like juice, same with the Estrel Drive!

I am totally disappointed!
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Cheetah

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #4 on: 26.08.2014, 19:03:20 »

Some rules for hotel feedback:

If you get a drink you don't like, demand a new drink RIGHT AWAY. If they don't give you one, go to the front desk with your drink, and complain to the shift manager. It's a four star hotel, you pay four-star prices, you have a right to four-star quality drinks. Retro-Actively complaining about incidents is understandable ... but unless you tell us the exact time and the name of the waiter, there is nothing we can do, and there is nothing the hotel management can do days after the fact. They have no interest in unhappy customers, but if they can't find the culprit, it's worthless.

Take your complaint to hotel@estrel.com ... if you still have the receipt for your drink, please look up the exact drink, time and day and let them know by email to hotel@estrel.com

Don't complain to us, please! We wholeheartedly agree with you, this is not acceptable. But we can't do anything for you days after the fact.
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Cheetah

Token

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #5 on: 26.08.2014, 19:20:40 »

I did not complain to the staff, as they actually looked like they were trying to do things right (and as the first EF there, they were overworked… they never believe us when we tell them: Stock up. xD). So the cocktails I tried were not exceptionally bad (what would make me complain)… just… not very good. After my second, I stopped getting any more the whole convention because they were simply too pricey.

But yes, I understand you Cheetah, if this is the same next year, I will have a little chat with the bar-people. :-)

Best wishes,
Token
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Jumpy

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #6 on: 26.08.2014, 19:24:43 »

Cheetah, I don't know. It's not about getting money back or anything, this is about improving in the future. Why shouldn't Nightfox be able to mention this area could use improvements?

I've heard from many guests that the cocktails were a low point of the Estrel bar / restaurant offering due to rather large variations in quality.

I do not like to start trouble while drinking with friends, so I mostly stuck to beer and soft drinks after a while, and only took an Estrel Drive if I was really in the mood for a cocktail. There's 100 EUR or so that the Estrel lost from me alone over the course of the convention, compared to what I spent at the Maritim last year for drinks. Same again for my partner.
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Nimrais

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #7 on: 26.08.2014, 19:40:28 »

My experience was so-so ... the Piano Bar served some really good cocktails - but these were the 10-11€ cocktails from the regular menu. The bartenders even made cocktails that were not on the menu when we asked :) The convention cocktails at the other bar were not that good. I've ordered a few, but there was barely any alcohol in it and they mostly tasted like juice with ice (the Jehove for example). They weren't that bad, but could be better for the price.

If you get a really bad cocktail it's of course better to talk to the bartenders right away, but most of the cocktails were simply "okay-ish" and not bad enough. I agree with Jumpy, someone could collect the feedback and maybe mention it to the hotel.
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nobs

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #8 on: 26.08.2014, 20:14:45 »

I totally agree with Jumpy.

I saw several people complaining at the bar about cocktails over the entire con. That kept me from ordering a single one.

It is totally out of question (at least for me) to argue with the waiter while hanging around with friends and having fun. So when the Estrel wants to serve me drinks they have to improve.  It is not only a question of the quality of the drinks when talking about "four star" and the prices. There should also be an implicit understanding that there should not be a reason for complains in the first place. The general service of the hotel and the restaurants did fulfill this (my) expectation. The bar did not.

About the prices itself: Maybe they should let do their controlling some math. Those prices might be correct when you expect some business men having their single drink a night. But asking 7€ / 0,2l for some generic wine (equivalent pricing for beer) keeps me from partying there.
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Hurga

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #9 on: 26.08.2014, 20:44:31 »

I agree with Jumpy as well. I won't go and complain about a cocktail, which is a matter of taste and which I don't consider myself an expert on, as long as it isn't outright awful. Especially not when I'm half-drunk already and want to have fun with friends instead.

I can just say that if the quality of the cocktails doesn't improve (and it doesn't take magic to improve the quality) I'll go and get my booze elsewhere next time. And if I do that anyway, it'll include the beer. That would be a loss of 150 EUR for the hotel, if I remember the numbers from the Maritim correctly. And I think this is going to add up, if I get the other voices right.
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Schakaline

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #10 on: 26.08.2014, 21:04:26 »

I only used the Atrium Bar and only had a single Blackice on the Monday night (which was okay-ish, but nothing to get excited about), but the quantity of woodruff syrup in the Berliner Weisse increased during the length of the con.

Generally from what random attendees have told me, the Piano Bar seems to have been the better one of the two, with friendlier waitstaff and better drinks.
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Suran

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #11 on: 26.08.2014, 21:08:49 »

The convention cocktails at the other bar were not that good. I've ordered a few, but there was barely any alcohol in it and they mostly tasted like juice with ice (the Jehove for example).

Then I guess mine had your missing alcohol.
2 white russian with barely some cream in all that vodka.
Even after ordering the second one with extra cream.
(It should have about just as much milk and cream as it has kalhua and vodka.)
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Jumpy

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #12 on: 26.08.2014, 21:09:07 »

Generally from what random attendees have told me, the Piano Bar seems to have been the better one of the two, with friendlier waitstaff and better drinks.

Or maybe they weren't quite so hammered by the onslaught of attendees trying to buy drinks :)
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Cheetah

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #13 on: 26.08.2014, 23:50:25 »

Cheetah, I don't know. It's not about getting money back or anything, this is about improving in the future. Why shouldn't Nightfox be able to mention this area could use improvements?

We did mention it during our debriefing, and what I said here is exactly what they told us - they said, it's absolutely NOT their policy to intentionally water down drinks, and if that happens, they need to know when it happened, or they can't even begin to investigate what went wrong, and why.

Quote
I've heard from many guests that the cocktails were a low point of the Estrel bar / restaurant offering due to rather large variations in quality.

Yup, me too. Unfortunately, if we tell them "we heard from many guests", that's not enough information for them to work with to be useful. They said, they usually get only very few complaints, and that at Eurofurence, they got even less than they usually do - so they were pretty surprised we brought this topic up. They thought they were doing exceptionally well. Thus my suggestion, give more direct feedback, this is way more valuable than us going "someone heard a friend say, that a lot of other people had bad drinks ..."

Quote
I do not like to start trouble while drinking with friends, so I mostly stuck to beer and soft drinks after a while, and only took an Estrel Drive if I was really in the mood for a cocktail. There's 100 EUR or so that the Estrel lost from me alone over the course of the convention, compared to what I spent at the Maritim last year for drinks. Same again for my partner.

We told them in very clear words, that our attendees expect premium drinks for premium prices, and that they'd better make sure that's the case. Not much more we can do without evidence.
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Cheetah

Hurga

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Re: Cocktails at the bar
« Reply #14 on: 27.08.2014, 00:55:00 »

Well, I don't have evidence, and I didn't even have evidence back then - maybe the cocktails are ok at the Estrel, but they were so much better than average at the Maritim? Should we have a couple of people vote on the taste? Whom?

In the end, it'll be just the free market economy: If people feel the quality is not ok, they won't buy.
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