A bad day and a good day

Two days, one with a somewhat disappointing experience and, one with an unexpected, positive experience.

Yasuragi, the Japanese Spa in Stockholm, seemed like the perfect place to escape the cold and dull weather, to relax and regain some energy. We had booked an afternoon stay, including massage and a Japanese dinner, and had received an e-mail message confirming our bookings. But when we arrived, the receptionist could not find the booking for our treatments, became confused over who had booked what and when, who should pay what and how much, and seemed overall not really the right person at the right place. The first encounter with Yasuragi was thus a bit of a disappointment, but we thought: “mistakes can happen, maybe the receptionist had a bad day”. The next negative experience was the scarcity of lockers to store our clothes (after some search we finally found empty ones), and the unavailability of baskets in which we could carry around our towels (also those were found after some searching), and the fact that hardly any activities were scheduled for the afternoon. This did however not matter too much, because we had our own scheduled treatments and we also wanted to make full use of all the different saunas and warm water pools. Finally at 7:30 pm and extremely hungry we arrived at the restaurant, but we had not been booked or could not be found in the computer system … luckily we got a place anyway. It took however time until the staff showed us the menu, and ages until we could finally order our food. The food when it finally arrived was delicious, but my patience had been really stressed, despite having relaxed for several hours! I would for example also have appreciated to get a water glass and to have it filled without being reminded several time, or to have a spoon and fork to eat the desert … it felt as if the service staff had no idea of how to treat customers and how to make them feel welcome. The visit disappointed me and I am not so sure that I will pay Yasuragi another visit in the near future.

Then came my unexpected and positive experience – dinner at the recently opened Restaurant Gotland in Stockholm. The restaurant specializes on local and traditional food products with a focus on the island of Gotland. We received a warm welcome and a very nice introduction to the restaurant and its concept by the friendly staff. My company and I had a lot to talk with each other and were not aware of the fact that the food took quite some time to be served. We were however reminded by the waiter who excused himself and promised to compensate us for the long waiting by offering us a desert for free. Such a treat does not happen too often, but is a good way to not loose customers. The food was excellent and was beautifully arranged like a piece of art. I am sure I will be back again. Check the place out if you feel like experiencing good food and a friendly atmosphere, but be aware that it is not cheap …

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