I'm sad to say that I would not recommend this place to friends or book this hotel again. I'm sad to write this review because this hotel could be so great and has so much potential. The worst thing about this hotel is the service. Before we booked this hotel, we'd noted that some negative reviews about the service but very positive reviews about the food., so we booked it anyway on the basis of the food, the rooms and the deal on offer at the time.
Part of the deal included mince pies and mulled wine on arrival. When we arrived, we had to walk into the bar and the small reception desk was tacked on to the end of the bar - not greatly obvious. We told the bar staff we had a booking and they fetched a member of staff to serve us. We checked in to our room which was really lovely (with a large bed, beautiful bathroom and ample storage), and headed back downstairs for a drink. The staff were not aware of this offer between 2nd Dec - 21st March and suggested that the offer may have ended. I mentioned that it was until the 21st March as I recalled the lady mentioning it over the phone and thinking it was odd but nice to still eat mince pies after Christmas, and the staff told me that he could not 'hand-make' the mince pies for me or 'heat up' any mulled wine because it had to be specially done by the chef and the chef had gone home that afternoon. I asked if he could possibly offer something else such as covering our drinks or something as we would probably not feel like having mince pies and mulled wine just before a 3-course dinner, and he told me he would check with the manager when they came back but that he didn't know when they'd be back. I thanked the staff and we bought some drinks and settled down on the comfy sofas in front of the bar. We didn't stay long in the bar because at this point, my husband was quite angry at the way the staff had treated me.
Whilst relaxing in the room, I read through the hotel literature and noted that there should be a flask of milk in the room for the tea and coffee which was absent - although it mentioned asking the staff if we wanted 'more', I was slightly apprehensive about asking them for anything, so decided to just have one after dinner.
We went down to dinner for the evening but overheard some guests talking about gas problems before we got to the bar. On arrival at the bar, the staff offered us a glass of champagne each without apology, to replace the missing mince pies and mulled wine. They then told us that there was no gas to the hotel that evening so they had a 'limited' menu. We overheard a number of guests saying they would go elsewhere to eat but our dinner was included in the deal so we had no choice but to dine in. We mix-and-matched a couple of items off the set and a la carte menu, as most things were crossed off. The meal was quite good but nothing 'exceptional' (I don't know if it would have been different if they had gas) and I was a little sad for not being able to try the 'full' menu on this special occasion.
After a hot drink and shower, we settled down to sleep but the room was swelteringly hot. We couldn't open the windows and the heating only seemed to come on at one setting. Although it was lovely, the 'heated' bathroom only contributed to the unbearable temperature in the room. My husband finally went downstairs to ask the staff at 02.00hrs in the morning if they could do anything about the suffocating temperature and they said that it was 'funny' (strange) because another guest had already gone down to complain about the heating earlier. They told my husband that there was nothing they could do because they didn't know how the heating system worked. My husband came back to the room in a foul mood but whilst he was gone, I managed to open the high windows about 30cms to get some form of air into the room. Needless to say, we woke up exhausted, dehydrated and 'on the wrong side of the bed' the next morning. We did however, have a lovely breakfast with lots of food and fresh bread (the gas was fixed before breakfast started).
Whilst I meandered back to the room, my husband filed a complaint with who I can only assume was the 'Duty Manager', as it wasn't Steve the Hotel Manager or his wife. During the complaint, the 'Duty Manager' took into account the comments made by her staff to me regarding the mince pies and mulled wine on arrival and agreed that it was inappropriate, saying that she would talk to her staff. We packed our bags and went back down to 'reception' to check-out, and very surprisingly the 'Duty Manager' THEN apologised for our less-than-satisfactory stay and offered to cover our drinks and refund us £30 of the room fee which we accepted with shocked thanks.
The next day we realised that we left a charger in the room so contacted the hotel, and they informed us they would e-mail us the cost of postage that day. We didn't receive any e-mails and so chased the hotel a week later. They told us that the total cost of a jiffy bag plus postage was £3.05 and after taking payment over the phone, put the item in the post to us.
Overall our experience of this hotel and its' staff has been terrible and only ONE member of staff (older experienced barman) in the entire team seemed to genuinely enjoy and take pride in his work. I felt bad that my husband felt disappointed, guilty and sad that this 'romantic weekend treat' that he'd carefully planned and researched, turned out so badly but in the end we put it down to an 'adventure' that we would definitely not come back to or recommend it to any of our friends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Crown in Woodbridge offers all that is great about escaping to the country, with all that is good about staying in a wonderful market town. With old fashioned inn keeping in a modern setting, we boast ten magnificent boutique bedrooms, a bustling bar and a real Suffolk food experience. Situated at the end of the thoroughfare in the heart Woodbridge, we are ideally situated for all of the great things that the town, surrounding countryside and Suffolk coast have to offer. If your passion is walking, sailing, horse riding or you simply have a love of good food and drink, you will find it all at The Crown and nearby area. We are open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Head chef Luke Bailey showcases all that is great about Suffolk's local produce, reflected in our food offering that includes a mix of rustic and refined dishes, with simple, high-quality ingredients coming alive on the plate. Our bustling cocktail bar serves everything from local beers and ciders to the latest trend cocktails. We also have an extensive and well-balanced wine list that appeals to all tastes and preferences, reflecting our passion for high-quality wine. Long or short, sharp or smooth, there is sure to be a drink to suit your mood. The upstairs of our historic building has been transformed into luxurious yet affordable bedroom retreats, created by award-winning London based designers, Bentheim. With goose-down pillows, crisp cotton bed linen and underfloor heating with high-quality toiletries and personal touches to match, staying at The Crown is a enchantingly relaxing and satisfying experience. With a laidback and often thriving atmosphere, where traditional meets modern and rural meets cosmopolitan, you are sure to have a unique and highly memorable experience, whatever the occasion. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Crown At Woodbridge Hotel Woodbridge
- Crown Hotel Woodbridge
- The Crown At Woodbridge Suffolk