I was initially upon booking our stay a bit cautious as to the glowing praise of this venue,as it all seemed a "bit too perfect to be true",but decided to press ahead with booking as it was a one-off occasion and needed to be in North Yorkshire.The welcome was pleasant and efficient and staff very polite and helpful,although I cannot help but feel there are a whole raft of staff "stood around wanting something to do",e.g there are only so many people checking in with a few bags per hour or day,but the reception area seemed awash with staff,two on the desk,one at a computer desk/business area opposite,one waiting to porter ones bags,etc etc -for a very small reception it can seem a tad crowded and as if too many staff are wanting to help.The rooms were very pleasantly decorated and we were escorted there and shown how to use the touch-pad lighting/air con and heating switches and told that everything on the left hand side of the minibar was chargeable but the tea/coffee/milk pots and other miscellany was inclusive.The evening meal was pretty average and slightly on the small side-although it was made up for by being on a quite varied choice of dishes.Service was quite fast and efficient and polite enough,but once again there seemed to be a mass of staff around with not a great deal to do,and there can be the rather uncomfortable feeling of the patrons of "are we holding this lot up,by talking/taking our time over each course/eating slowly so it digests,etc etc".
After this it was off for a comfortable nights sleep,the beds were way too soft,I personally like a bed like a concrete block,I can't do with a mattress that lifts at the top and bottom when it takes ones centre-of-gravity on the old back or torso hits the sackin the middle.After taking an Oxazepam and finally nodding after 4am,I managed some rest.I would have thought that with a hotel advertised as a spa-that a swimming pool would have been a standard feature,but was told when I rang reception that there is no pool,there is an outdoor one that at this time of year is likely frozen solid,so out of bounds and the spa is a few rooms of "putting hot stones on backs" "wafting incense" and other indian head massage based hogwash,rather than a decent swimming pool in warmth.So no early swim on offer we decided to head for the breakfast room,in a bright airy conservatory.I was not greatly impressed by the offerings,there was something unidentifiable that looked like cream in a huge jug but had a slightly yellow colour,nobody knew what it was and it was not labelled,but I later was told it was supposed to be a smoothie.I didn't like the way it was exposed to air,in an open topped jug in a room that was styflingly warm.Surely it'd be better to have sealed bottles of a wonderful range of innocent smoothies both for hygeine purposes as its sealed and to prevent waste,as nobody touched this unidentified jug of coloured cream,so I imagine that hit the drains after breakfast.The same could be said of all the fruit juice jugs,open glass jugs,exposed to the air,not jugs with lids and indeed both our cranberry juice and apple juice had tiny particles of fibres in it from it landing in open top jugs.The Yorkshire Breakfast sounded great,and being in Yorkshire what a hearty feast I expected to set one up for the day,what a let down that was,One-yes One- tiny mushroom,a piece of cremated black pudding and some daft-idea of a copper miniature pan with baked beans placed on the edge of the plate that didn't serve much purpose nor much nutrition,and scrambled egg that had the consistency of yellow washing powder in water,all crumbly tiny bits.As we had a long day ahead,thank goodness I'd took a bag into the dining room as we packed it with yogurt and croissants to fill up on for later.Again there was an over-presence of staff seemingly with not much to do apart from bring a teapot and toast or to ask if everything was "alright",the only problem with this token enquiry is that typically British we just tolerate poor service and grin inanely and say yes wonderful so as not to make a scene.I feel I ought to tear a leaf out of the late Michael Winner's book and as he says "Don't just sit there,if its lousy-say its lousy-Don't just say Oh lovely lovely then moan about it afterwards" but thats precisely what people did do-a couple opposite referred to the fact the woman did not want any meat on her plate e.g sausage/bacon/black pudding but there seemed to be no commonsense about whoever dished it up to maybe increase the beans or mushrooms instead,so she ended up with one mushroom and the silly mini-copper pan of beans.How on earth could you call a Yorkshire breakfast with no meat content the equivalent of 8 baked beans and a mushroom,its ridiculous.All in all the stay was average,although I cannot understand the raptures people put on this website for this venue.Its overpriced,over-rated,over-staffed and going by the meals over-cooked and under-measure.I have had fantastically better meals at other hotels and far more comfortable beds and on a much lower budget-e.g one hotel chain is currently doing winter breaks for two people with 3 course dinner,bed and breakfast and includes a bottle of wine with the meal for £55,I think if that was even breathed at Rudding Park the mere thought of it it would have the staff aghast and the Earth spin off its axis and collide with the Sun!!!! But realistically I think the hotel needs to realise "less is more" e.g lower the rates,improve the meals,a few less over-present staff in standby mode and I might be tempted to come back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 13, 2013
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Thank you for staying with us and for taking the time to write such a lengthy review following your experience. We are sorry that even prior to booking your stay, you felt cautious but we can assure you that all our reviews are a reflection of what our guests experience when they stay with us.
Your review has left us all speechless to be honest. For us to provide the service we aspire to, we need to have fully trained, eager to please amazing service providers. On the day of your arrival we had 90 guests arriving, 90 guests leaving, a restaurant service for over 400 covers, a wedding, a private dinner, events in our Conference and Banqueting department, a cinema booking, an appointment diary full of Spa treatments, (the list goes on). I have to admit in my 25 years in the Hospitality Industry, I have never received a comment saying that there are too many staff!
Our beds are very well received by our guests, especially the comfort of the mattresses; these are Mattison beds and are of the highest standard available. We would have preferred it if you had told us during your stay your preference for a harder mattress rather than sharing it with the general public as we would have happily placed a mattress topper on the bed for you, this could have easily been done at any time during your night’s stay with us.
Your comments regarding the Spa we feel are childish and demeaning to what many of our guests feel is an amazing experience.
Our breakfast has a huge variety of daily freshly prepared items; we find it hard to believe that there wasn’t something to suit you from such a vast array of local fresh produce. I am surprised however that although you were not greatly impressed by the offering you did take some items away with you for later. Our Yorkshire breakfast is a particular favourite of all our guests, cooked to order with pride and we would never send anything from our kitchen that is burnt, we char grill our meat to add a delicious flavour. I am sorry that you did not enjoy any of it.
Your reference to Michael Winner, we find hypocritical as you have totally contradicted yourself by not letting us know of your disappointment throughout your stay. You have instead decided to publicly berate us for doing exactly what we do best.
We believe that the Trip Advisor community will be as speechless as we are with your very long winded review. They can look at your review and then read over 1689 review before yours and decide for themselves. Please just read the one before! Personally I know that the majority of our guests experience fantastic service from a fantastic team that love what they do each and every day.
Thank you for your expertise and recommendations in managing hotels, I am certain that you have vast experience in this field but unfortunately did not have the courtesy to share it with me personally.
Once again thank you for your review.
With kind regards
Nuno César de Sá
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.