Trip Advisor is a wonderful site. Allowing people to write their honest reviews permits others to make a truly informed view about whether or not they should stay at that particular hotel. I recently did this. As a result I chose to book my dad into this hotel - the reviews suggested it would be okay though I noted that the rooms could be cold. As a result I made a special trip to visit the hotel in advance (and in person) to enquire whether it would be possible to ensure that the room could be warm on my dad's arrival (he's been seriously unwell recently and has a severely compromised immune system as a result). I posted a review in which I expressed 'disappointment' after the visit because the room had been cold. Now, everyone makes mistakes. I accept that. When I made my initial review I expected that the hotel's response would be along the lines of, "sorry, communication problem somewhere. We always strive to do our best etc". This would have been the expected response to a review that was honest and certainly not egregious nor vicious. I had no agenda - it was just an honest appraisal of how things were from my perspective. However, the hotel chose the more dangerous path. Rather than quickly putting the matter to bed with a 'we'll try harder' type response, the manager (Gordon, can I call you Gordon? Only I note you only use your forename when responding to positive reviews. I feel we are having a good chat now though, so I'll risk a little familiarity), Gordon, chose the riskier step that involves a response that makes the customer out to be a little needy or half witted, that way people might take the review with a pinch of salt. I have withdrawn that review and now submit a version which, in light of the response, more accurately reflects my overall experience. So let's try again. I am not Mariah Carey. I did not ask for the walls repainted or that the bath be run for me by nymphs. I simply made a personal request that the room be warm in advance of my day's arrival (because other reviews had pointed out that it could be cold) and when this wasn't the case I expressed disappointment - not outrage or astonishment, not a request for a refund or questions in Parliament, just disappointment. Does that sound reasonable? Gordon responded (in print) with the knowledge that the heating was turned right down as part of their 'green' policy. It was turned 'down to 2' (I'm guessing that in Spinal Tap's room it went lower than this but that's another story). And do you know what, I respect that. It's good to know that some places put their social conscience before what might otherwise be perceived as cost cutting. But, Gordon, why didn't you tell me when I made my visit in advance that the room, to quote you, "would be cool to say the least"? Surely, if a request is made for a room to be warm and you are not going to honour that because your environmental concerns are eating away at your conscience you could simply have told me. Anyway, that aside, you chose to question why my dad didn't complain. Well, he didn't know that I had been there in advance to ensure it would be comfortable. He only discovered that later the same day when I took him out. I asked about the room and he said it was cold. Well, you can imagine I was a little 'disappointed'. You further questioned why he had neither bothered to 'trail down' from the first floor or used the phone to tell you. Well, despite your implication of ineptitude Gordon, he was able to work the heating for himself - he didn't need assistance. My problem was not that the room remained cold throughout the stay, but that it was, by your own admission, "cool to say the least" on arrival despite our earlier conversation. You will be pleased though, to note that he shares your social conscience and turned the heating back down on leaving, in contrast to your implication that he had sat in the cold room, unwilling to allow you the opportunity to put it right.
This is a trivial issue in the grand scheme of things but, Gordon, I really didn't expect you to react to an honest review so brusquely and without a hint of apology for what I accept was a small error, but, nevertheless, an error. However, after reading your response I looked at your other replies to customers who had given less than glowing reviews. Guess what, like me, they were all to blame for their own problems too! I think that a hotel's response to reviews speaks volumes - as much as the reviews themselves. Ultra defensive responses that seek to deflect blame anywhere provided it is not the hotel gives a very loud and clear message about customer service skills. Yes, Gordon, you can no doubt point to many positive reviews. Indeed, my own review said the hotel itself was fine. The true test though is how you handle or respond to problems. I would urge those thinking of staying here not to just read the positive reviews - the hotel is fine - but check out Gordon's responses to criticism. He doesn't like it at all. By all means stay here, just make sure you don't have a problem.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
As stated this is the second review on this matter. As the reviewer lives locally i would have thought the best way would be for him to call at the hotel and discuss face to face the problems he feels were there. But as he has decided to go public the only way i can respond is in this way.
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If you are not worn out after reading this marathon review of approximately 850 words I will restate most of what i said in my first response.
Point Number 1 - The heater in the room was set at number 2 which is back ground heat, it does go to number 4 for full heat.
The heater takes about 15 - 20 minutes to reach full heat. I personally visited on the guests departure and the control had not been touched in other words still on number 2 and i could tell by the coolness of the room it had not been operated on a higher heat setting that morning.
Point Number 2 - I did not use the term ( bother to trail down) those are not my words but i did point out there is telephones in all rooms on which you can contact reception to discuss any problems.
Point Number 3 - We DO get glowing reviews on trip advisor and are currently rated at 23 out of 100 of the Leeds Hotels and we also display a certificate of excellence given to us by trip advisor.
Point Number 4 - The reviewer states it was only a small error in his review but goes on for 78 lines, Glad he didn't think it was a major problem.
Point Number 5 - We do no cost cut but try to avoid waste, we offer to our guests the following extras on request: pillows, portable electric heaters (if you've just arrived from a warm climate), extra blankets, extra tea/coffee and complimentary biscuits ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS ASK.
Point Number 6 - I do not know what is meant by the reviewer as a more 'dangerous path' and 'taking risky steps' maybe the reviewer will let me know what is meant?
Finally i have no idea what is meant by 'spinal taps room' but im sure someone will tell me in due course, I am glad you are not Mariah Carey as we have recently decorated and re-carpeted the bedrooms and it would be and it would be a pain in the back side to do it all again.
It goes without saying we try our best to fulfil guest expectations, but sadly on this occasion we did not.
Gordon Jowett (Managing Director and Owner) If I had a middle name maybe it would be Basil.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.