Monday, January 14, 2008

2.8 rials for a bottle of water. The Chedi has lost it's mind.

I am working on a review of the restaurant at the chedi, but for today, I will share one major grievance with you. Bottled water.

Our recent visits the The restaurant in the Chedi Muscat, started off on the wrong foot with something as simple as water. They used to serve locally bottled Arwa or Tanuf, in big or small bottles, for a 200% mark up over the cost anywhere else. Fair enough, this is the Chedi.

Now, they sell 750 ml glass bottles of still water, imported from Scotland, for a whopping 2.8 rials, which is slightly more than Seven US dollars. It's just water. It's not particularly great water, but it's fancy, pretentious, expensive water that required many tonnes of fossil fuels to extract, bottle, and ship it here.

Additionally, they won't sell any other type of water, nothing local, nothing cheap, and our requests for a pitcher of tap water were initially refused. They have a good scheme here, knowing full well that tourists are terrified of drinking tap water, and so will pay the extortionate rates for bottled water.

The attitude from the staff was that the Chedi is too good to serve water from plastic bottles, or to offer filtered tap water. Thus, I was rather surprised to see that the complementary water inside the suite for which we had paid RO 350 per night ( 900 USD!!!) was Arwa, in plastic bottles. So it's ok to serve water in plastic bottles if you can't charge the guests an arm and a leg for it. It's a rip off, pure and simple, not to mention an absolute waste of resources.

If the chedi wanted to get serious about being an environmentally conscious hotel, they would serve filtered tap water, for 100bz a glass, with the money collected going to the Environmental society of Oman, or some other charity. They could offer the guests the option of buying the premium water, and quite a few would go for it, for the snob factor.

Kids, when you go to the Chedi, do me a favor and complain long and loud about the bottled water issue. demand tap water. I think if they get enough complaints, they might be willing to change the policy when their contract expires with the Scottish company next year. Maybe.

Tomorrow, a really Complete restaurant review by Me, a former hoity toity chef.


sythe said...

Oh I know - The Chedi is a total rip-off.

The Beach resturant that is there is very nice, except:

I went there in the first week it opened, and was shocked to find that there was nothing other than fish on offer. It never made any mention at all that this was a seafood resturant, just called "The Beach". So, during Ramadan, we drank water and I enjoyed a fairly nice meal, my wife picked at hers, because she doesnt eat fish!

The bill came and I was shocked, the water was OR3 a bottle as you've mentioned... It's a total scam, their food is overpriced and is NOT all that it's cracked up to be. I've dined at top resturants in New York, Toronto, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Dubai, Madrid and even Delhi and paid less money and had better food.

As Suburban puts it, kids, spend your money elsewhere!

Suburban said...

Hey Sythe,

the restaurants, and the water are a Total ripoff. I am soooo dissapointed with the new menu. It's appalling.

We went to the seafood restaurant a while back, and was equally unimpressed, though we will visit another coupe of times before I get off my ass to write a review.

Thanks again for the link to the Qataf girl case a few weeks ago.

sythe said...

When is your review of the Chedi resturant gonna be done? :P

Am interested to read your comments!

As another note.... I'm looking for a second car... 4x4 preferrably, for my wife. 5,000 is the budget... any suggestions? :)

Suburban said...


I'll have the review up soon, I need stone to fact check it because he was there for all the meals. It is not a very flattering review.

Second car... The place by the Zanzabar restaurant in Ghubra has two nice Shorty Defenders on the lot at the moment... But maybe one Land rover is enough?

A used Pajero or Prado would be the sensable choice. We have owned, and loved both. But who wants to be sensable?

I get a real boner for big American trucks.

My Top Pick: An older (pre 1992)Chevy or GMC Suburban wouldn't set you back more than 2,000 and is really safe, a blast to drive. Finding parts is tricky, so buy two.

You might be able to get a used Chevy Avalanche for about 5 K but certain cosmetic and interior spare parts take a long time to order. THey are really sexy trucks, hugely powerfull, well balanced, with heaps of room inside and out.

THere are a few older Dodge durango's out there that I have enjoyed driving a lot. The older ones (and maybe the newer) don't have a LSD or ACD, so gravel roads in 4 wheel drive are really fun, but you have to remember to take it out of 4WD on tarmac.

I have also really enjoyed driving the Toyota Fortuner, and the Nissan X-trail and Exterra. Fantastic cars.

I would avoid the Ford Exporer, Expedition, Etc.. Most of the ones I've run across have problems with the differentials later in life.

I will let you know if I find anything irrestable in my travels this week and next.

sythe said...

Hey, the Zanzabar resturant, is that the place just opposite the Shell, near the Porsche garage? I saw a modded up defender there, but I think a bit over the top for my tastes, and the price at 6200 is too much!

I test drove a 98 disco with my wife the other day, cos it only had 68,000 on the clock and we went to brake for a corner (the first corner on the test drive) and discovered that there were no brakes!!!

Can you give me some directions to these defenders?! I'd email but i dont know how to get your address :/



Suburban said...

Sythe, that is the place exactly. I can get the guys to come down on the cost for the defender if you are really interested.

I will get off my ass and email ya sometime soon. Promise.

And man, if you really love your wife, don't get her a Discovery. Friends don[t led friends drive discos.


sythe said...

I'm going to buy her a beatle, I've seen a nice one at Boss car's just off the highway.... red one... wonder if it'll still be there when i go tomorrow.

Oh, and by the way... I towed a Land Cruiser today!!! (In my Disco!)


BuJ said...

man, that's 28 dhs!!!! complete rip off swindling bastards!!!

mind you, a 30dhs bottle of water in dubai is now normal in some crappy places.. so it's no surprise the virus is spreading