Spent 2 nights in August here and were not impressed, in fact my partner wanted to go elsewhere when he saw the state of the room. Real shame, as I had chosen this place based on the reviews of the location, and as we are not that fussy, I didn't think we'd mind the rooms being a bit substandard.
The bottom car park was full on arrival, so we parked in the top one and made our way down the steps to the entrance. Yes, the exterior is shabby, which was expected and not a problem. Receptionist was friendly enough and we made our way past the decorator stripping the wallpaper in the corridor to our room. This wasn't a problem initially, as we appreciate work needs to be done, but the smell of paint on the second day was overpowering. First impressions of the room - poky, with a window that didn't open due to a broken lock, and very dated (velour headboard, CRT TV, etc), with 2 single beds instead of the double I was under the impression I had booked. Returned to reception and asked for a double room, as that is what I had selected on booking, and was told most of the rooms were effectively 2 singles pushed together (which in such a small room meant there was only space for 1 bedside table). A room with a double bed was found for us, however, and we tried to make the most of it. It was hard to ignore the lack of cleaning though, the filthy facial wipe and cig butts were not appreciated, and the cobwebs on the balcony were really something else (felt like I was in a set from a horror movie!). Interestingly, when I checked out and was asked if everything was ok, I mentioned the cleanliness/cobweb issues, and was told the room should not have been dirty and the cobwebs were removed very regularly but it was impossible to avoid the odd one (see photos to appreciate that regular cobweb removal was a complete fallacy).
Onto sleep quality...the River Dee actually generates a lot of noise if you have the window open, a bit like white noise, which is ok when you get used to it. The room was so stuffy that it was necessary to open the window (thankfully the one in the second room worked), but that led to a strong smell from the cigarette smoke coming from neighbouring balconies. The fire alarm went off at about midnight, which may well be linked to all the smoking going on. The balconies are not private, and not very relaxing to sit on (I tried, but sat on a load of cobwebs in the chair and was smoked out by the folk next door). Your neighbours are able to see into your bedroom from their balcony. The mattress was uncomfortable, with every spring clearly felt.
There was adequate hot water for both of us to shower on one day, but not on the second day. The bathroom had been refurbished and was clean enough, although the ceiling was badly stained. Toiletries were obviously not up to much so ensure you bring your own.
Location - yes, it's pretty good, but even this failed to fully live up to expectations due to large amounts of rubbish left strewn about by the Horseshoe Falls.
Staff - one of the stronger points of this place, as they were all friendly and polite, and willing to help.
Breakfast - pretty good, and we appreciated the vegetarian sausages cooked especially for us. Fried eggs and a few other items were not replenished that often and ran out before breakfast closed, but staff seemed happy to oblige with requests for more.
Concluding...for £65 a night, this place is definitely not worth the money in its current state. If you're on a Groupon/internet deal for about £45 a night, that's a bit more like it. It is not acceptable to charge full price when guests receive substandard, dirty, poky, stuffy, dated rooms, whilst dealing with the ongoing restoration right under (and up, in terms of paint and cigarette fumes) your nose.
If you insist on staying here and want a room overlooking the river, be prepared for the loud noise...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
I am very open and receptive to criticism and feedback, as you will see from my other comments. I am regularly touched by the generosity of spirit and kindness of our guests, who make suggestions and give tips that will allow us to improve the hotel, as we have been doing since taking over in June. Some people will always be determined to place reviews to damage businesses that are working hard to improve and meet guests’ expectations. To respond to a couple of your points:
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The majority of our guests are happy with their room – you weren’t happy with two of them.
You comment on the dated décor, yet criticise the fact that we are redecorating.
‘The River Dee actually generates a lot of noise’. Who’d have guessed? Picking a hotel due its location, on the banks of a fast-flowing river, and then criticising it, is like being annoyed with the sun for being too sunny, the water in the bath for being too wet or the leaves on the trees for being too green.
You dispute the fact the cobwebs are cleaned regularly – they are. We are not liars.
Your comments on the balconies not being relaxing contradict everybody else’s opinions and comments on them. Also, smoking is prohibited on the balconies. Anybody smoking should have been reported. Regarding a wet wipe on the balcony, is there the off chance that it blew there from another room etc, and was not missed by our hardworking housekeeping staff? I think so.
You post a picture of an ‘uninviting balcony’ which features the world’s oldest working chain bridge in the background.
Why anybody would want to look in your room I have no idea.
Location of the hotel and the Horseshoe Falls ‘failed to live up to expectations’ – of course it did, I can’t think why it’s a World Heritage Site. Or why it’s recently be named as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty…
For any genuine issues during your stay – which I would always hope guests raise, in person, while at the hotel – I apologise. We aim to please all our guests, no matter their expectations or requirements. I hope that guests can appreciate that we are doing our utmost to take a hotel that spent 12 months in administration back to its former glory, and that will take a little time.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.