We booked this hotel on the basis of other great reviews, and if ratings were down to visual impressions only, the Holiday Inn would be getting 5 stars from us. Everything about the place is slick, stylish, modern and ultra clean. However, from the moment we started checking-in, things went rapidly downhill. Our room bill was prepaid, so when the receptionist asked for our credit card to take a prepayment of £50 for 'extras' during our stay when we had hardly set foot across the lobby, we were made to feel like criminals. Even when we explained we were staying only one night, would be out for dinner and therefore unlikely to be using any of the hotel's other services, we were told it was simply company policy and that the monies would be credited back to our account on check out. Not the sort of trusting, friendly welcome you'd expect from a TripAdvisor 2012 Winner.
We then asked about WIFI services, as we needed to check in our flights. The cost - a hefty £3.50 per hour in the ' Business Centre', which in reality is a desk with 2 computers, no printer, no working side lights, and is situatued in the lobby of the conference centre which that evening was being used as the reception for a party of around 200 black tie diners. It was a surreal moment as we tried to decipher our passport details in the dark, read Mr O'Leary's lastest masterpieces in obfuscation to make sure we weren't in for some nasty surprises at 5am check-in at the Ryanair desk whilst waiters literally poured Bucks Fizz into glasses all around and over us to the sounds of Michael Buble!
Having shuffled as anonymously as possible in jeans and puffa jackets through a swathe of sequins and bow ties, we made our way to the rooms. Cheerful, bright, great use of space, and nice touches like irons in the wardrobes,. But, there isn't a single light bright enough see your face, let alone to put make up on. Travelling down in the lift with a group of other women, it was the sole topic of conversation. Note to the manager - it's not good when your guests have to ask complete strangers if their face looks OK, or put their faith in the car's courtesy lights to make sure the eyeshadow on one eye looks the same as the other.
And finally, the beds - sleep after all being the raison d'etre for staying somewhere in the first place. How can a brand new hotel have beds with a dip in the middle so great that one of you feels like you've slept in a cocoon whilst the other spends the night shipwrecked, clinging to the sides for fear of rolling down or out?
At check out, tired and bleary eyed, we were asked if we would rather pay the WIFI charge by cash or credit card. Strange - we thought we'd already been docked £50 from the credit card to cover such extras. Still, we opted to pay cash as we suggested in the first place. And are are still waiting for the £50 to be credited back to our account..........
Despite it's good points, the lack of trust displayed by the hotel towards its guests and aim to exploit them through high prices (forgot to also mention the interesting prices on the drinks menu and £15 per person extra for breakfast) meant that we just couldn't wait to get away. Good value for money this may appear to be, but we would happily pay a bit more to stay somewhere where the staff are genuinely friendly and welcoming, we're treated with respect and where we can actually get a good night's sleep!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for choosing our hotel for your recent stay.
I apologsie that you found the lighting in the room inadequate for your requirements. I am somewhat perplexed by this comment as in addition to the main light above the bed, there are two bedrside lamps, 2 bedside led reading lights, 3 overhead lights by the desk , lighting around the artwork by the tv , a ceiling light in the entrance lobby and a light by the wardrobe . I can only surmise that perhaps you did not turn all the lighting on which is controlled from both sides of the bed.
I apologise that the bed was not entirely to your satisfaction.l Your comments regarding your bed dipping in the middle have been passed to Hypnos who have supplied all our beds and which have always been highly praised.
The requirement for guests to provide a pre authorisation of £ 50 on arrival is not a new one but from a hotelier's standpoint, essential to ensure that the hotel is able to charge for any extras consumed where guests leave without coming to the reception on departure or where they have insufficient funds to pay for extras on departure.
I also recommend that if you are intending to have breakfast, you always book this at time of your original reservation as it is always cheaper to do so than on the day of departure. We charge £ 10 for full English breakfast if pre booked and we also offer value for money continental breakfast or selection of light breakfast offerings from £ 5.95 for Bacon & Egg in a Breakfast Bap or Three Egg Omelette with Has Browns for £ 5.25
We are most appreciative to you for your recognition of the exceptional quality of our hotel and hope to be of service to you again soon
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.