Ive stayed in this hotel on many many occasions, it really is a beautiful building, in a reasonably good location near to the museums and the RAI conference centre. On this occasion, however, I visited the hotel for afternoon tea on Christmas day and decided not to stay here but stay at the Conservatorium hotel instead, which was a smart move.
So let me explain why I have rated my very recent experience 1 out of 5.
I booked afternoon tea (booking made directly with the hotel in October with credit card guarantee) for my partner and I to arrive at 3pm to 3:15pm. I arrived at 3:15pm and spoke to the lady who was stood behind the desk by the doorway. She showed us into the bar area and advised us to choose a seat! No table or seating had been reserved for us even though I had made a reservation 2 months in advance and the bar was busy. Luckily there was one table left with 2 seats. A good 15 minutes passed without any acknowledgement from the staff to take drinks orders so I had to go over to the bar where 3 members of staff were chatting and order some drinks and explain that I was here for afternoon tea also.
10 minutes or so later our drinks arrived as well as the tea but no milk or sugar. I asked for this and it arrived about 10 minutes later.
Next up were the sandwiches which seemed to take an awfully long time and were very uninteresting. Ham, cheese, tuna with red onion and smoked salmon, all different sized quarters and all with the same salad on them. A pack from M&S would look more appetizing. At this point we were starving as it was gone 4:15pm so we polished them off and waited for the scones and cakes. I found it rather strange that it didn't all arrive at the same time, however, we were assured that they would be brought out soon. 30 minutes later at least I headed over to the bar and asked if the cakes were going to be served and I was told they were coming. They arrived and some were okay, some were tasteless. All in all a very disappointing experience.
We paid the 85euro bill for 2 afternoon teas and 1 drink each and left with the opinion that it is very unlikely we would return to the hotel, for food, drinks or to stay.
Service is laughable, continually disappointing and rather embarrassing. There is no management present, no kind of organisation for the simplest of tasks or finesse to speak of.
Whilst we were in the bar several people left as they didn't get any service which is a shame when special plans had been made for Christmas day, the hotel accepted bookings and couldn't deliver.
I have raised service issues before with the hotel and I get the same response which is 'the staff are in training' or 'the staff are students who are learning the trade'. This is all fair enough, I accept that even though I believe there has been a significant decline in the service from past visits...but if that if the case then the hotel need to price their product accordingly. As of now it is overpriced and lacking in many many ways. It's disappointing because this really could be a fantastic hotel.
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