Staying here early August on a short break with DU Travel. On arrival found room was on ground floor - great. So started to unpack. Now we are very experienced travellers so why we didn't sort it there and then I will never know...the room was certainly cat swinging size but not a lot more.
We were keen to go and have a look at what was on offer in the lounge, so hurriedly unpacked. It was only later we discovered how impractical the room was. Twin beds, wardrobe, dressing table, bedside tables. That was it. There was hardly enough space to squeeze between the bottom of the beds and the front of the dressing table. The handles of the drawers bit into the legs each time we passed.
Worst of all - there were no chairs in the room. Absolutely no space whatsoever. If you wanted to read a paper you had to sit on the loo with the door open! We managed to work out a system of passing each other in the room in order that nobody would actually get stuck. No place to lay clothes, so I ended up laying mine along the top of a radiator under the window. My husband put the case between the two beds and laid his clothes along the top of that. The irony of the situation was - there was a luggage stand in the wardrobe!!! Ok - where was it to go - on top of one of the beds??
The shower was effective and water always hot. Problem was, no shelf or caddy to lay shower gel, shampoo or whatever. It had to go on the floor of the cabinet. But wait - screwed to the tiles was a holder for a glass/cup/mug (like that which would be fixed beside the washbasin). WHY? What useful purpose could this serve? If there had even been a plastic cup inside I could have at least put my shampoo bottle in it. I ended up going to a shop where all things cost only £1 and bought a little rack with suction cups to put our soap or whatever into it. I hope the hotel sees this as should there be any other rooms lacking shower fittings, you can buy them for next to nothing!
Now the highlight of the week was that at last we were meeting cyber friends we'd known for three years but had never actually met. I was so excited and looking forward to meeting them and it was just so lovely to be face to face with them at long last. We had booked a table in the Pizzeria restaurant and obviously we didn't go to the normal dining room for our usual buffet meal.
It was the most embarrassing fiasco ever. The very pleasant waiter hadn't much clue as to what he should be doing. He pointed to a table and asked if we would like to sit there? Doubt if any table was booked but I admit the restaurant was quiet where it had been full the night before. We got our drinks and placed our food orders. Then the waiter came back and said 'you ordered chicken. If you want that you will have to wait another 35 minutes'. What? I could have defrosted and cooked a breast of chicken in much less time than that. (Apparently, according to the other diners next day, chicken was actually on the standard buffet meal that night).
The entire meal was dire. The chicken was inedible - mu husband compared his chicken meal with that of another diner who also confessed he could barely eat it. Because we were entertaining guests we did not make a fuss but their meals were no better. The 'special home cooked burger' was like a cork mat according to my friend., We were so embarrassed. The other's pizza was said to be edible but being a gent he refrained from giving us the truth!! I had no complaints as I was having only a starter.
The bill was substantial - £81 - including drinks of course. I could go on.....next night I complained to the Duty Manager who said he'd have to speak to chef. He would contact me next night. He didn't so I went to the desk again. I think the only words I could use for the people who spoke to me were 'barely courteous' but no warmth or concern whatsoever. A woman appeared - the Duty Manager for that night, and hummed and hawed and eventually said - 'yes, yes, we are going to refund you with £9.50'. I couldn't believe what I heard. I expressed my feeling in no uncertain matter. I had already explained that this had been a special night and we had felt humiliation and embarrassment at the whole scenario.
I would not accept any offer of financial recompense and told them so, but surely at least they could give some kind of apology to our guests by way of, say, some flowers? I was told I would have to put this in writing, which I did before unpacking my case at home.
In the email I gave chapter and verse of the evening. Gave them my friend's name and address and with a little bit of suggestion, prodding and metaphorical probing, they sent a bouquet of flowers to my friend. She was very pleased - but there was no apology attached. Just a note that said 'with compliments' and the name of the hotel.
I received an email stating that this would be done - no apology whatsoever either to me - and that is the last I have heard from them. I don't know whether to let it rest here or to approach them again. The flowers were a cost to them - but an apology? Manners cost nothing.
Apart from what I have written here, the food was good - and we met a lot of interesting people. The layout of the lounge leaves a bit to be desired - smaller tables and more of them would have been a help as seats and tables were at a premium. There was another function-type room with tables and chairs and we thought one night we would go in there if we couldn't get a seat in the main lounge - plenty of empty seats. But when we went in, no matter what table we went to, we were told they were keeping all these seats for friend - bingo was coming on later! We ultimately asked if we could share a table in the main lounge which wasn't such a bad thing as we got chatting to people from other tours.
I feel this place let us down badly. As I said before, we are experienced travellers having been to USA and Europe, but it appears that coach trip people are a bit down market, although they are the bread-and-butter of most of these UK hotels. I am still so angry that I could say a lot more, but it just makes me depressed reliving it.
One final word - avoid room 56 unless you are travelling alone.
Don't choose 56!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your comments following your recent stay with us. On speaking to our duty manager you were offered a partial refund for your meal which was refused.
Report response as inappropriate
You stated that your only concern at the time was that your friend had been upset as you state in your email to me dated 9th August
“I always do my Trip Advisor report the day after we come home from wherever we stayed. I will delay doing this until I find out from you just how you can help me with this unfortunate situation we found ourselves in, last Tuesday. This is in no way to be construed as blackmail, I just would like my friend to be shown some kind of restitution for the fiasco we all experienced”
Following my investigation into this matter I did arrange for flowers to be sent to your friend as a gesture of goodwill.
I sent an email to you on the 14th August 2013 at 9.00 am, a copy of which is below and I do not understand why you would say that you have not received any apology from the hotel as this is simply not the case.
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 9:00 AM
Dear *** *******
Following your recent email I would like to offer my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused, all the matters discussed in your email will be looked into and dealt with accordingly.
A response will be sent to ********* as soon as these matters have been addressed.
Once again please accept our apologies.
We have lots of coach groups that stay with us and at no time are any of these groups treated as “down market” in fact lots of our groups return to stay with us time and time again.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.