Well, on the whole the Easter weekend at the five star Ballantyne hotel was a success, especially for Delilah and friend, Sofia. That said , five star service is not what it used to be.

We actually booked out “Parkview” room months in advance and prepaid to be a better rate as Marriot club members.. However, upon arrival around 4:30 PM Saturday, our room was not ready so we were told there would be a short wait and we should wait in the bar. There was no unsweetened tea at the complementary beverage station by the check-in so Nancee asks the bar tender if it was possible to get a cup of coffee. Standing in front of a fancy espresso machine he tells her the coffee is old.

So we are there carrying all of our luggage bags including my 3-price suit, looking to all the world like squatters. We deposited our granddaughter, Delilah in the pool with our friends and Sofias parents while we waited so at least she was well into her Funtime holiday as we wine up waiting for 2 hours.

We were told, here are your keys, sorry and oh by the way we didn’t have your room on Parkside so we will be putting you on “Balcony” side. As it turned out, we really enjoyed the balcony so no harm there but the point is that we booked before our friends and our room was t held. We were also denied late checkout where our friends were accommodated with that. All we’re ever told was there was nothing they could do about it. No, compensation or points offer. Nada.

We had Indian food for dinner at one of our favorite places, Blue Taj and that was great as expected. Summer had come over to swim with Delilah and they went back to the pool instead of going to dinner. We brought them Indian takeout which Delilah wholeheartedly gorged down.


Nancee and I went down for our pool time and Summer and Delilah soon joined. There were some people down there but it still managed to be fun.

Summer laid down with Delilah who was a bit overstimulated until she went to sleep which didn’t take too long. Summer slipped out and went back home at that point and the rest of us crashed out.

After an awesome nights sleep Nancee got up around 6 am. The alarm woke Delilah who sat straight up and said, “Where’s Summer,” before flopping back into apparent deep sleep. I rolled over and slept on until 8.

Delilah and Nancee went to deliver Sofias Easter basket to their room while I showered and got into my suit.

So the whole point of staying the night before was to have the girls at the 9:30 Easter Egg hunt. We were down over an hour early and there was no one present at the signup table. so, we went outside to the green garden and park area. The girls played while we waited. The Easter Bunny and crew didn’t step outside to drop the eggs and get ready until 9:20 and as we were walking back to the spot they startled the hunt a full 4 minutes early. As you can imagine the eggs were picked up by the time the girls got there. So other nice kids shared their eggs but it really was an upsetting kind of bust for having been out there so early.

We did get some nice photos despite this. Our seating for the mega Easter brunch was at 10:00 and the doors opened precisely at 10. The food and service was actually great and this was the only part of our stay that felt 5 star. The girls did well and everyone seemed well pleased.

Nancee managed to throw me some curve balls but nothing worth mentioning. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.

Afterwords, Nancee and I ran upstairs so I could change while Delilah went out to the park with Sofias family. I got out of my monkey suit and after resting my back for five minutes we headed outside.

The weather was 75 C with a pleasant breeze and we lingered until 2:30 while the kids played in the park and at the tables. I began to feel happy that we’d created another epic Easter weekend for Delilah.

I shot something like 25 minutes of video which may be viewed here.

We’ve stayed at the Ballantyne Hotel and one other 5 star hotel a few times. The prices are so high you just expect a higher level of service. Both places have declined, largely in the attitude of the staff when they fail. When you go and drop a thousand dollars on a fancy weekend, the last thing you want to hear is, “There’s nothing I can do about it.”

Next year I think it’ll Biltmore Estate or something else. I think the best of the experiences at the Ballantyne hotel are behind us. First world problems I know. We still had a great time and especially Delilah and Sofia.

Delilah will be five years old the next time Easter rolls around. It’ll be time to focus on the real reason for the holiday.

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