Where, oh where does one start?
Well, inadequate parking for a start, and finally checked in after the two girls on the front desk tried to cope with the 27 guests queuing that I counted.
Ah well, let’s get dressed and treat ourselves to some champers, as it’s Christmas after all; or so we thought. The main bar was manic, so the duty manageress asked us to go into the one near the dinner setting. The barman wasn’t ready and there followed a tense exchange of words between them, after she tried to grab his attention to us as champagne-buying customers. Her eyes were clearly ringing pound signs, his were looking to the heavens.
The listed Laurent Perrier Rose was “not available – in fact, it shouldn’t be on there anymore”, so I guess that was a dropped line, so we had to accept the ‘house’ label at £39 a bottle. I knew this was not going to be good.
So, a semi-chilled bottle was unceremoniously plonked on the bar – why take it out on us? – so I had to ask for an ice bucket. We got a wine cooler with ice in the bottom, so absolutely no way was that going to chill it properly. I had to ask the barman if he wouldn’t mind opening it too, which he finally did.
Of course, glasses also had to be asked for – and two flutes (of differing sizes) were offered. Both barman and I looked at between each other, the bottle and the glasses like a scene from a spaghetti western until I gave up and told him that I presumed I would have to pour it too, or else my wife and I might be waiting until Christmas 2014 to get any sort of drink.
And yes, you could put distilled vinegar through a Sodastream and get a better result than this stuff – Champagne, my backside!
The so-called James Bond themed Christmas Party was laughable. The decorations must have used all of the, what, 20 quid decorations budget? The only significant detail being an ice sculpture of the 007 logo for people to pour their vodka shots through. How classy! A poster of Daniel Craig and a few fold-out silhouette-style Bond-women does not a Bond Evening make.
So, on to the dinner...
Well, my soup was clearly yesterday’s leftover veg blended and peppered to within an inch of its life, as it certainly wasn’t butternut. Oh, and the lack of soup spoons meant having to use my dessert spoon, which wasn’t replaced.... as was the lack of butter knives which meant that the main course knife was unceremoniously dumped back on the table to be reused again. My wife’s salmon pate ‘thing’ was served with two small crackers about the size of Ritz, so it had to be spooned on about an inch think, and the side salad of rocket was as limp as tissue paper.
Main course – allegedly a traditional Christmas dinner – was one slice of tepid turkey on a bed of almost liquid stuffing.... just how can you make stuffing so badly as to be a pool on the plate? How?! How is that achievable?!!!!!
Vegetable side dishes were hit and miss. Sprouts were well overcooked, and the ‘roast’ potatoes were nearly blackened in most cases, but soggy skinned where they were cooked in trays of oil, and not roasted properly. Carrots were okay...when we finally got them. We had three tables and all of us seemed to get different timings.
No accompaniments – my request for “any cranberry sauce” was met with derision.
The pre-ordered table wine didn’t arrive until after we were finishing the main courses, and that was only after we had to complain. It was not worth waiting for. The White, Red and Rose were dreadful, even for house wine. I photographed the labels on my phone and looked them up the next day. They are just about the cheapest wholesale wine you can buy from the main wholesalers in the Bournemouth area.
Dessert? A slice of sort of sugar-meringue roulade, that was clearly from the Makro frozen food department.
In all, Makro, or a similar cash and carry, clearly did some good business that day on the food, as it most certainly was not freshly prepared, and for the cost involved, it was a total rip off.
Coffee was poured unceremoniously into the dirty cup –I asked for another – then got so much milk poured into it, it was cooled down too much. My request to have a decent cup of coffee poured was met with incredulous looks from the, mostly European, staff. Need I say more.
Own-branded equivalents of Eliz Shaw mint crisps were saucered onto the table as if to attempt to conjure up some golden flourish to the meal.
So what “casino night” delights did we have to enjoy after? The advertised “casino night” was hopefully going to redeem the event.
Two, yes two(!), casino tables set up, each having no more than eight player slots available. A roulette table and a Blackjack table, with the roulette table backing onto the bar, so one side was effectively out of play. And these TWO tables supposed to serve what must have been nearly 200 people.
And that finished at 11, so by the time that ‘dinner’ had been thrown into our lives, we had about an hour of ‘fun’. Fun? Oh yes, what larks Pip!
Onto some post-dinner drinks then... more of the only champagne in the house, or some shots? Well, a nice glass of cognac perhaps? Nope... cheaper brandy lines only (seriously?) at 4 quid a shot ? served in a dessert wine glass? Ah well, the joke has gone past the point of caring now.
The less said about the room, the better.
Breakfast the next day? Surely you cannot get breakfast wrong in a hotel in one of Britain’s top seaside resorts? Oh yes you can!
Reconstituted powdered orange juice (seriously?) – why don’t you just serve orange squash next time and at least give the guests some semblance of orange flavour.
No brown bread available for toast, catering pack defrosted croissants – I know because I see them in Makro’s freezers – and cheap catering baked beans. Dreadful and, frankly, embarrassing.
All in all, a complete joke and someone at the Queen’s Hotel had a very good laugh on Sunday morning knowing that he/she has charged a shedload for rooms and dinners that were a complete travesty to the hospitality industry.
No, I will never again set foot in the Queen’s Hotel, and will certainly never take any corporate business there, or advise any friends or colleagues to use this venue.
BTW, the only reason you are getting one star, is because TripAdvisor won’t let me enter zero.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This superb privately owned AA 3 Star Bournemouth hotel boasts 109 en-suite rooms and deluxe suites. It is ideally situated in the heart of Bournemouth's East Cliff, only a short walk from the busy town centre where you can find the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), the Pavilion Theatre, family friendly pubs and restaurants that cater for all tastes. We are a few minutes walk away from Bournemouth's Blue Flag award winning, golden, sandy beaches and Bournemouth Pier. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Queens Hotel Bournemouth