Ah the Grovesnor; just a coincidence it shares the name with the hopeless establishment in Torquay featured on the TV show ‘The Hotel’? I think not.
Well, what a shambles and I’ve not even got to stay! We made what some may call, a special reservation for a two night stay, a ‘mini moon’, including our wedding night. We carefully chose the Grovesnor after looking on line and then taking a peek whilst visiting Shaftesbury.
I then heard through family that the hotel has changed hands, so, sensibly, went to visit over Christmas and met the manager in person. My booking had been lost, but he remade it, and we went on to discuss the room we’d be staying in.
Fast forward to this week, and we require another room for a guest. So we telephone, but wait! – the receptionist informs us that the hotel will be closed for refurbishment and our booking has been cancelled. Why hadn’t we been told? we ask – we receive a slippery response between: we have tried to call you/ email you, it’s not me doing it so I don’t know (oh the professionalism!), and we’re working our way through a list.
So I ask for the manager to call me. Can you imagine the message – we’ve got a bride who has just found out her two night wedding break has been cancelled and she hadn’t been informed – you’d tread carefully right? Oh no, not at the Grovesnor! The manger metaphorically got on his rubber boots to wade on in and stir it up. Did he call with apologies and a solution; an alternative room in a lovely hotel? Don’t be silly! (although he later informed me that they could of (should of) done that). No, he called with excuses and an increasingly patronising tone and skilfully managed to wind me up even more! So what’s the story now? They are working through a list to call people and let them know their reservations are cancelled. So I ask; as it’s a wedding booking, couldn’t they have called us as a priority – our invites have now gone out (ironically yesterday) and we’ve recommended all our guests stay in Shaftesbury as that’s where we thought we’d be? And here is the cherry on the icing of the Grovesnor experience “our booking is no more important than any other booking.” It was like a red flag to a bull. Surely any decent hotelier understands the logistics involved in a wedding and, well, that a wedding is a very special occasion. Of course all bookings are important, but surely you push that little bit extra for a wedding. A call would have taken 2 minutes.
I think of the TV show Claridges, and that amazing and gentle hotel manager, Thomas Kochs, whose ethos is that ‘Special occasions require special effort.’ Not so at the Grovesnor in Shaftesbury!!! The manager there knows better (!) I warn you brides; be careful with this place, it may look fancy but scratch the surface and they don’t hold pretty attitudes. I’d also warn customers generally, this place seems to be going through a lot of changes and in my experience bookings seem to get lost/ cancelled. I also wouldn’t recommend making a complaint; the manager isn’t competent in dealing with them and for me it wasn’t worth it as in all honesty he just upset me.
We’ve since booked a beautiful room at the Lamb at Hindon. The downside is that we’re away from our guests, who will be in Shaftesbury, but on the upside booking at The Lamb was a remarkably smooth process, they have been very accommodating to the fact that it is a special break and after my experience with the Grovesnor, I wouldn’t stay there if you paid me to.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to review The Grosvenor Hotel, Shaftesbury on this site.
We always welcome feedback in any form, especially constructive thoughts from which we can all learn.
As I mentioned during our call, this was never going to be an easy or enjoyable conversation for anyone and it certainly proved to be the case due to the obviously emotive subject.
When the staff were informed of the closure of the hotel for major refurbishment, we immediately thought of our guests and started calling them to inform of the process and offer suitable alternatives. As mentioned, this is a time consuming process and carried out in a chronological order so when your fiancée called we took the opportunity to inform him then. It is unfortunate that we had not reached your booking on the list by that time which Im sure added to the situation but as I mentioned, all our bookings are treated with the same respect and professionalism and certainly not because your booking is less important.
I do accept that this a far from perfect situation for your wedding and would like to genuinely add to my many apologies made during the call.
When responding to reviews I have always taken the view that more can achieved by contacting the guest personally and rectifying any issues, it certainly seems to help if there are many disputed elements of the review and it clears the air quite nicely also. There some occasions that this does represent the best course of action and some comments made during our call have led me to believe it might be better if I respond openly this time.
I am truly sorry that the decision has been made to close the hotel and it has affected your plans and even more sorry that we could not reach an amicable conclusion to our conversation, this was clearly not my intention when I called and I genuinely hope that your wedding day goes to plan and you and your fiancée enjoy the day and a long and happy lifer together.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.