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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you very much for taking some of your valuable time to share your thoughts regarding your recent experience at The College Hotel. We are sorry to read your experience was not to your satisfaction.
The College Hotel, a teaching hotel establishedin order to improve the education of the young students in of hospitality and tourism educations and to bring new talent to the hospitality industry. Since the opening of The College Hotel, 80 students from several schools in The Netherlands are trained in practical tasks in a real life situation and are schooled in all aspects of the hospitality industry. The students work under the supervision of a team of experienced teachers and hotel professionals.
We have checked with all departments concerning your comments. During this day it was very busy and therefore the service we provided was not the top service we normally want to provide to our guests. We are aware of this.
I am sorry to read that the Afternoon Tea you had was not to your satisfaction. Our Afternoon tea is always being served in 2 different courses. The first course are the sandwiches and secondly the sweet items. We should have informed you about that in advance, and I am sorry we did not do that. I am sorry as well to read that you disliked the taste of the items. Tastes are very personal and is difficult to anticipate on the guests needs. I have forwarded your comments concerning the taste to our Executive Chef in order to see what can be done on the presentation and taste of the products.
Your comments have been discussed in our management team in order to find solution for the lack of service you have experienced at your last visit. We will do our utmost best to upgrade our service product as of now. Our management members are taking care of good scheduling so we always have management staff on duty.
In closing, I would like to thank you to share your thoughts. These kind of feedback is very valuable for us to find critical points in our organisation and to find solutions to improve our services and products.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do for you and we hope, despites of this experience, to welcome you in our hotel again soon.
With warm regards,
Manager The College Hotel
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.