The end of an era? No more free hotel boat rides?

For the last three years, I (and my parents) rode all the free boat shuttles to the four and five star hotels. It was amazing – you could just go across to the Peninsula if too lazy to wait for our own private boat, or on a 20-minutes ride to the Anantara down the river for a mini-vacation from the big city, or a quick hop to Asiatique for some shopping and dining.

I used to zoom from the Hilton to the Mandarin Orient, by River City or down to the Ramada (with free water served on the boat) or the Chatrium for an evening of fine dining on the patio for an affordable price.

Peninsula water taxi
Peninsula water taxi

Today, on a whim, I got on the Peninsula boat for a quick stop at the ValuMax grocery store or popping in to the dentist’s office to set up an appointment. As the boat was pulling away from the pier, I sat quietly across a buff Asian guy, enjoying the view, listening to a podcast interview of a musician, when one of the “sailors” came up to me and asked for the room number. I told him that I was going to the restaurant meeting someone for dinner (I am chronologically challenged – I do occasionally dine there). He went back to the front and I thought this is it – smiling at the well-built guy on the other side.

Then they returned to the pier. WHAT? Well, there were more passengers to pic up…and the manager came on board and ventured up to me. He asked me about the room number again, then for the name of the restaurant that, I explained, was the one next to the river (who knows the name of that?) and he kind of hovered around me. As I know, Thai people don’t like any sort of argument, misunderstanding or disturbance of harmony, I decided to help him out.

From the Peninsula Hotel website
From the Peninsula Hotel website

I said: is it a problem that I meet someone for dinner at your restaurant? He mentioned that they wanted to get the room information from the persons using the boat. OK, what can you do? Orders are orders?

I got up, hopped off the boat and walked over to the ferry. It really didn’t make much of a difference to me. But what does this mean? Has this anything to do with the recent events here in town? Or was I just not nicely enough dressed for a five star hotel? Or plain and simple, is the level of service going down?

Chatrium terrasse
Chatrium terrasse
Mandarin Oriental water taxi
Mandarin Oriental water taxi
Anantara boat taxi
Anantara boat taxi
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