I visited this hotel for afternoon tea as part of a birthday treat which included entry to Kew Gardens. I booked tea by email and waited four days (and sent a reminder) before I had a response. I was sent my ticket for the gardens and confirmation of the booking by email.
Kew is a 50 minute walk from the Hotel so the two are not really suitable to be done together unless you drive; public transport between the two is not at all quick or easy.
We went to the gardens first and left in good time to get to the hotel on time. When we arrived, a member of staff showed us to the bar and took our order for tea or coffee. While we were waiting he asked to see the voucher that we were given at the garden. We were not given a voucher and nowhere in the correspondence from the hotel, did it say we would need one. I showed him the emailed ticket and emailed booking that I had received from the hotel and he copied down the voucher code.
Our tea arrived and was delicious but perhaps refills of tea and coffee could have been offered. Nevertheless, we were enjoying the experience. About half way through the meal, my son called to wish me happy birthday and while I was speaking to him, there was a discussion going on between two members of staff nearby. The man who had earlier taken my voucher code, then came over to my partner and asked to see proof that we had been to Kew Gardens. He asked if we still had our entry tickets. I knew that they were in my handbag so I ended my phone call and found them. I asked what the problem was and he said we should have been given a voucher at the gardens and unless we could prove we had been there, we would have to pay for the tea. He said he would have to contact the gardens and get them to email him to confirm we had visited.
He went away and returned 15 minutes later to say that it was all OK because the hotel had emailed me a voucher and booked me in by email. This was the email and voucher that I had shown him when I arrived!
By this time my tea had been spoiled. I had been made to feel as if I was trying to defraud the hotel and had my lovely birthday afternoon was marred.
I am still at a loss as to what the problem was but whatever it was, it should have been handled very differently. It was extremely rude to interrupt our tea (twice); the waiter should have left the discussion to the end. There are definitely some training needs in this hotel which is a shame because the surroundings were pleasant and the food was delicious.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Please accept my sincere apologies that the booking and redemption policy was not explained to you correctly. Some vouchers/tickets are issued by the hotel and some via third party sites. For the third party sites we have to retain the original voucher to be able to claim the money. The procedure should be that regardless of whether you book via the hotel or third party site you are issued with a voucher. When you come for your afternoon tea you are then requested to hand the voucher in and the food and beverage team are briefed to ask all guests for a voucher. Had this been explained to you correctly at the booking stage you would not have encountered the problems that you did. I have spoken with the reception manager to ensure that all of the team are retrained in the correct procedures to follow. I was pleased that you did enjoyed the surrounding and afternoon tea.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.