I booked a double room for myself and my wife for a weekend away in early November. I arrived at the hotel and was very pleasantly surprised at the greeting and how welcome we were made to feel. As you walk through the hotel the staff are extremely courteous stopping and holding doors etc. The hotel room was superb and very clean and I can honestly say that there was nothing that they could have done to improve our stay..... HOWEVER Brown's restaurant (the one within the hotel) is awful. It seems the most dis organised and badly run operation I have ever been to. Our experience in there ruined our relaxing weekend away. I recommend eating somewhere else as the service is below any acceptable standard. It has really tarnished my opinion of the hotel that I will not be returning.
My eating experience in Brown's
Breakfast 1 - very nice, very pleasant service - no problem at all a very enjoyable experience, (despite ordering vegetarian sausages and the waitress ordering a ham and cheese (instead of the cheese and mushroom) omelette. However the mistake was realised before it was delivered to us, meaning a slightly delay breakfast as a new one was made but the way it was dealt with was brilliant and the service was spot on.
Afternoon lunch / tea
When we returned to the hotel about 4pm in the afternoon our room had not been made up and my wife needed to catch up on some urgent work. We had planned to work in our room for an hour or so but this was interrupted by a gentleman who had come to make the room up. He apologised and offered to come back and explained it had not been done because the hotel was very busy. It was not a problem and we went into Brown's restaurant bar where it was quite to work. We asked the waitress for 2 drinks and also the password for WIFI of their conference suite as the password for the main MERE hotel was not working on my mac. She said she did not know what it was, but she would find out. 20 minutes later, she had not replied, so I decided to go to reception to book in for an evening meal (despite there only being 1 starter and 1 main that were vegetarian) and to ask for the password. However I passed the waitress standing at the entrance to the restaurant so ask her if I could book in and she took the booking, I then asked if she had any luck in getting the password. To which she replied the conference manager had not got back to her, but she would go and ask him again and let me know. Again I thanked her and returned to my wife where we were both working. She never returned with the password but instead stood behind the bar and spent the next 30 min moaning, in our earshot, about how hard she was being worked and how appalling it was she had to work 4 extra hours because someone had not turned up and that she had been told she could not go home. We were there for about an hour and a half and were never asked if we wanted another drink or our empty glasses removed. In the end we had had enough of listening to the constant moaning from staff behind the bar, so left and went back to our room.
Absolute disaster - total incompetence - orders taken wrong - inappropriate comments, food missed off - missing cutlery - poor dishes.
We already knew that we would not be having a starter as the only veg. starter was goats cheese which my wife dislikes, so we had planned for a main and a sweet. We placed our drinks order (with the same waitress that had been so poor in the afternoon, as mentioned above) which included a bottle of sparkling water. When they arrived a bottle of still water arrived, which we corrected and a bottle of sparkling water was brought) The same waitress then took our food order, I had steak ( which was very well cooked and very nice) and my wife ordered the vegetarian pasta dish and a portion of the hand cut chips. When my steak arrived I had to ask for a steak knife, this took 5 minutes ( no exaggeration) to arrive with what seemed to be the manager running from room to room looking in different cupboard for a steak knife. During this time obviously the food was sat in front of me going cold. However the worst experience by far was my wife's meal. Her main course was 4 small pieces of pasta "stuffed" in a very watery cheese sauce with some rocket on the side. In no way could anyone consider it a meal- it was the worst thing I, or my wife have ever been served in any restaurant. The chips that were ordered, did not turn up so I had to ask the same manager where they were. He ran off, came back 5 minutes later and put them on the corner of the table without any further comment. My wife tried a chip to find it rock hard in side and not cooked; I broke open the rest and found them all the same. It was obvious the order had been forgotten and they had just been rushed to get them out to us. No apology as offered for them being late or anything.
We were never asked if anything was Ok with our meal so when the younger waiter came across to clear our plates, I told him that I was not happy at all with my wife's meal or the chips which were left and I showed him how un cooked they were. He apologised and went to speak to the manager.
The waitress then came to clear the glasses and made a comment along the lines of sorry about the chips - I am so absent minded. Bearing in mind she had failed to return twice with a wi-fi password, messed up our drinks order and then forgotten our food order as well, yes she is absent minded.
The manager came and apologised and said he would take money off our bill, and said we would not be charged for our deserts. Credit where credit is due the deserts were very nice. We left the restaurant and given the 4 pieces of pasta my wife had eaten she went and ordered the only other vegetarian item that was on offer by the hotel, and by room service - a cheese sandwich.
Breakfast next morning
We turned up and had to wait for 15 minutes before we could sit down. When we were sat down we sat for 10 minutes before I turned to a waitress and asked for coffee and some toast. I then went up to the breakfast servery area, half of the containers of food were empty, no hash brown's, no tomatoes and no black pudding and no mushrooms. At least 3 other couples that were there were complaining about the lack of available food. My wife ordered an omelette and while she was waiting decided to get a pastry. However unlike the previous day when there was a wide selection or muffins and other such pastries there were just pain au chocolates. I asked a young waitress if there were any of the blueberry muffins available and to my astonishment she said "I do not know". I said, "is there any chance you could have a look" and she replied no I am clearing this table. I sat down at which point a more mature waitress came over and I asked her the same question and she very kindly went away and came back with one.
As I checked out of the hotel, I was asked if I had enjoyed my stay, and I said not really to be honest, and to my surprise the lady on reception just carried on and processed my card payment for £380ish. I was absolutely fuming but I just wanted to forget about my experiences in the hotel and go home. There were a large number of people around reception so did not feel comfortable making a scene.Since I have returned home, I still cannot believe how shocking our weekend was and the fact I have paid £380 for such poor service and an awful experience.
To cut a long story short - Hotel I would give 5* to, everything was perfect the guy who holds the front doors open, the guys who do the rooms, everyone was great (well apart from the final receptionist), however as an overall experience - IT WAS DREADFUL!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank You very much for choosing The Mere for your recent break, and for taking the time to provide us with in-depth feedback on your experience. I am pleased to hear some elements of your stay matched your expectations.
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I can assure you however that your experience in Browns is certainly not to our usually high standards and I am keen to discuss this with you further, I would appreciate it if you could call or e-mail me directly, email@example.com
I know my colleague Steven has been trying to contact you, but you keep missing each other.
Once again thank-you for your feedback and many apologies.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.