In May 2012, my friends and I arranged a university reunion in Lichfield and independently booked rooms at the Cathedral Lodge Hotel for Saturday 8th September 2012. All seemed fine until two days before when we were contacted by the hotel to inform us that there was a problem with the rooms. The solution offered was to put us in the local Holiday Inn Express. The HI Express rooms would be £67 but the hotel would pay £7 to make up the extra cost.
At such short notice we didn't have much alternative but to accept, especially as this meant one of the group would have lost the cost of a rail ticket. I was last to be contacted but queried the suitability of the HI Express which I didn't believe to be equivalent to a 3 star hotel, particularly as the breakfast would not be full English (hot items = sausage, scrambled egg and baked beans only). I spoke to the receptionist who came back saying that was all that could be offered. I was not satisfied and felt that we should be offered better but wished to discuss it with the manager. I was then told the manager was unavailable. Not a problem, I gave my office telephone number and asked to be contacted the following day. The phone rang again a few minutes later and it was the "unavailable" manager.
What followed was a rant. He said he had done all that was required. I had no right to ask for anything more. He was contributing £7 for each guest. I tried to explain my position but each time he interrupted me, but when I asked if I could finish what I wanted to say I was told "Don't speak to me like a schoolboy!". I tried several times to state my case but each time I was interrrupted and the rant continued. The phone call ended with the manager cutting me off. At no time did I raise my voice, at no time did I use bad language. Left perplexed and not knowing what would happen next I had to phone back. I spoke to receptionist and she confirmed that I would have a room at the HI Express. I saw no point in trying to have any further discussion with the manager.
One thing I did find out later was that the hotel was contributing £15 towards the cost of taxis into and out of Lichfield. I was not told this at the time of the phone call by the receptionist or the hotel manager. However, for five people this would mean two taxis at a cost of £7.50 for a one way journey only. A return journey was the minimum but we had planned to go into Lichfield twice during our stay. The hotel was more than 2 miles out of Lichfield so it was not practical to walk. Overall we lost out on the deal and got a hotel of a lesser standard. Although the hotel may have lost money, we lost a lot more. I did find out that another booking had been moved to the HI Express so it wasn't that the hotel had moved our full group unnecessarily. I we hadn't moved another five bookings would have had to move.
Another thing to consider is that had we chosen to book the HI Express in May when we booked the Cathedral Lodge, we would have got a cheaper rate than the Cathedral Lodge was charging us. Possibly £47 a night.
Make your mind up whether this is a hotel you would wish to stay in. I have kept this report factual and honest telling you exactly what happened to me and my friends.
Perhaps the manager could have explained the difficulty of his situation. Perhaps we could have reached a better solution. Perhaps he truly could have done no more. I don't know but I never found out because it was a one way very aggressive phone call. However, I did not expect to have been treated in this manner by a hotel manager who should have more respect his customers. Or perhaps he didn't consider me to be a customer as I would not be staying in his hotel? I don't know.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
An unfortunate situation that luckily doesn’t happen very often. We had two problems on the one day, work schedules often change and we have to accommodate guests that are unexpectedly staying longer than anticipated & also as discussed with yourself and the receptionist we had plumbing problems which meant we had to close off a couple of our rooms. This regrettably, means having to make tough decisions towards valid customers still to arrive and on this occasion we felt that we had no option but to approach a group booking. I appreciate the inconvenience caused to anyone that had made a reservation, four months previous into a hotel, looking forward to their stay to be told of this unfortunate occurrence.
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We therefore did not take this decision without regret and remorse and felt that a group booking reuniting in Lichfield would be less disruptive than individual bookings and possibly lone travelers.
We go through every option first, not to disappoint future valuable guests and see if an alternative arrangement can be agreed. We appreciate that travel arrangements had possibly been made, which means that another date at a reduced price would not suffice and also the option of using twin rooms may not be suitable to everyone. The last resort is having to loose any booking.
I do understand the frustration this may of caused and therefore contributed the extra money towards any costs occurred. The taxi firm quoted us prices for a Five seater taxi to transport you all as a group in and out of Lichfield should you have being willing to let us book it for you, as explained in one of the initial telephone conversations from my reception manager. My unavailability was genuine as I contacted you on return from the airport as soon as the opportunity arose. I am sorry that you still felt angry with my response but the option of paying for all of your rooms at the other hotel was not a genuine solution for both parties involved.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.