We stayed here with our group of 12-20 year olds in July. We have been travelling with this group for 20 years, and have never had a moment’s conflict with any hotel proprietor until this trip. We were horrified as a catalogue of events contrived to make this an extremely concerning stay.
The most alarming incident was when the owner entered the room of four 16-year old boys in the middle of the night, with neither their consent nor the knowledge of a member of our staff, and proceeded to accuse one boy of smoking in the room. He then threw the boy outside the hotel and told him he’d be sleeping on the streets that night. Only when the frightened boy refused did the owner come to my room in the annexe and try to leave him in there!
Another member of staff and I attempted to take the boy back to his room in the main building but the owner refused to let us into the building. Interestingly he tried to do everything in his power to prevent me from going to the boy’s room to find evidence of the supposed smoking, but when I did manage to get in, it was clear he was mistaken. He didn’t want to listen to anything I had to say though, and still refused to let the boy back in. It was only when I offered to call the police for their assessment of the situation, that he very tellingly backed down immediately.
We also had concerns for the integrity of the staff – whilst we were all out for the day someone entered one of the children’s rooms and tampered with their valuables which had been shut away in a drawer – when we returned the valuables had been strewn around the room, and someone had attempted to gain access to an iPod, which had resorted to a 3-hour lock-out (placing the incident at a time when the whole group was 10 miles away giving a concert in Maastricht).
The hotel owner allows children to consume their own drinks on the premises, but only in the outside seating area (this is a few tables and chairs on the pavement outside the hotel’s door, next to the road) or in their rooms – not in the bar. We had no problem with this, and the children willingly complied, but he objected (to the point of snatching bottles off the children and throwing them in the bin) to anyone even being in possession of a bottle of water in the bar area – even if they weren’t drinking it and were consuming drinks bought from his bar instead, or were just standing inside the door sheltering from the sun whilst waiting for our coach to pick us up after breakfast!
We grew so weary of him ranting at our staff about his “profits from the bar being damaged” that after a couple of nights we avoided further misunderstandings by taking the children into town for the evening instead (where the drinks were cheaper and the atmosphere much more lively). Upon returning he threw a tantrum and removed the chairs and tables from outside the hotel, saying “No business, no tables!” For the remainder of the stay the chairs, tables and pool table were no longer available. Clearly paying for 4 nights’ accommodation is not sufficient to be allowed to use the hotel’s limited facilities!
The children in our group are by no means fussy eaters, but they struggled with the saltiness of the food and the poor quality of the breakfasts. They also struggled with the water arrangements – rather than putting water jugs on the tables, the hotel makes the children get water from a machine. However, they frequently refused to open up this machine until half way through the meal, and then objected to the children queuing at it, and on one evening when they failed to put out enough glasses and some of the children helped themselves to identical glasses from a neighbouring machine, the owner hurled abuse at them! I can only presume all this is to try to maximise profits from drinks bought in desperation from the bar……..
These are just a few of the problems we encountered, but serve to highlight the kind of experience we had. I am reluctant to get personal in my reviews, and usually try to make allowances for bad service, but can only conclude that the owner of this hotel is a bully. He frightened and upset the children, and alarmed and angered the staff, and as such I cannot stress strongly enough that this is a totally inappropriate environment for young people.
As for the hotel itself, the rooms are acceptable to poor (and that is bearing in mind that this is a 2 star hotel). We have stayed in many European hostels and 2 star hotels (a lot of them cheaper than this hotel) so we do have a frame of reference. The children’s rooms are extremely cramped, and although the adults are given the better rooms, I was not impressed by the cleanliness of mine. Furthermore, when I had to return to my room shortly after checking out, I was interested to see that although the bedding had been clean, the now stripped mattresses were dirty and stained. One of the children’s rooms even had bare wires protruding from the wall – a picture had been hung over it to attempt to hide it! The only positive thing I can say about this hotel is its proximity to the centre of Valkenburg.
It is with amusement that I have read the reactions of some reviewers to the comments that some of our group left here on Tripadvisor. I am always wary of reviews that personally attack previous contributors, as I feel it leaves the author/motive behind the review somewhat suspect……
In short, if you are a group leader and are offered this hotel by your tour company, I strongly advise you to request alternative accommodation. Given that the hotel owner has denied all these incidents to our tour company, I suspect that they will continue to use this establishment, which is why I have written this review in the hope of giving people a much-needed insight into the unsuitability of this hotel for groups of any kind.
I would be happy to provide further details – please contact me through Tripadvisor if you would like further information.
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