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“Wish I'd read Trip Advisor before booking - GRIM!!!!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of BEST WESTERN The Watermill Hotel

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BEST WESTERN The Watermill Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   London Road | Bourne End, Hemel Hempstead HP1 2RJ, England   |  
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Ranked #9 of 11 Hotels in Hemel Hempstead
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Wish I'd read Trip Advisor before booking - GRIM!!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2010

Stayed at this hotel for one night, thank goodness it was only a night!

On the outside the hotel seemed okay and the reception area itself was fine. Although I should have been alerted by a guest asking to use the free internet connect on a computer located in a small cupboard by reception. The chap working behind the desk had to empty the room of balloons and a christmas tree to allow the guest access!

Check in was simple and easy no problems there. I have no strong opinions as to the friendliness of reception staff. I was allocated my room and told where to go. I duly went out of the reception and up the stairs to my room.

The stairway, was like a council car park stairway and I began to wonder where I was going, I can only describe the layout as 'motel' style. I found my room easily enough. Put the key in and entered. My very first impression was, okay it's not the Crown Plaza but hey as long as it's clean and comfortable. Not much to wish for I thought!

The outer door to the room didn't feel very secure at all and I had to put my shoulder to it to get it to lock. This door didn't seem to fit the frame and as the road outside is quite busy I was worried about excessive noise. I entered the main room, which had an inner door, which when shut, did seem to cut out the road noise.

That was about the only good point!

The room was quite small, along with the supposed 'double' bed. I'm not a large person but the bed was quite small. If you had booked this room as a couple you would struggle, especially as it was against the wall on one side!

The furnishing in the room was also very old and shabby, with chipped tops.

The view out of the window was probably nice, but I could not see as a tree had totally overgrown and was gently tapping the window in the wind! Great if you get easily spooked!

As well as the small 'double' bed I was shocked at the mold patch on the wall above the mirror, the cobwebs, with resident spiders and general shabby condition of the room and peeling wallpaper. (I stayed in room 203, and didn't visit any of the other rooms, so the mold and cobwebs may have been a special extra for me!)

I dropped something on the floor next to the bed and picked it up to see something lurking under the bed, a tub of hair gel with a layer of dust on from a previous guest! Well it could have been worse! Obviously the underside of the beds don't get a vacum very often.

From there I made my way into the bathroom. Things did not improve. The bath was yellow with age; there was cracked tiling and why would somebody put down a floor that looked dirty? There was an unmentionable stain on the floor next to the toilet, which obviously had not been cleaned up. The toilet roll holder was coming away from the wall and the soap dish on the wall by the shower had a layer of dirt tucked in the edges. The soap dispenser did not work, but after a bit of fiddling I got that sorted. The towels were old, worn and grey.

As others have mentioned the tap water was not suitable for drinking! I had my own bottled water with me so it was not a problem for me, but guests are expected to jump through a few hoops to get water, either buy it from the bar or a jug of water will be delivered to the room.

I did not get a good nights sleep, which is important to me. The walls are quite thin, and somebody had a TV on till quite late which driffted through the walls. The bed was not comfortable and the pillows even worse. There was no spare blanket, again you had to call reception if you wanted one and the spare pillows did not have a cover on them. Two days later I still have a sore back! Avoid if you suffer from back problems!

We ventured to the pub across the road for dinner so I am unable to comment on the quality of the evening meal. I did experience breakfast. There was the usual layout of cereal, youghurt, fruit juice and a cooked buffet option.

I braved the cooked option, which was only okay. The sausage I picked up, was of very cheap quality, so after cutting into it and not liking what I saw left it. The bacon was not too bad, the beans luke warm and the 'grilled' tomatoes were stil raw. The tea was served by a waiter who came round with a pot of tea and coffee pouring this out. You were not given a pot of tea or coffee. The orange juice was just nasty.

It was a shame as this could have been a nice little hotel and with some TLC and investment could compete with the large chains.

As it stands I would not recommend this hotel to people I disliked let alone my friends and colleagues!!

The only saving grace was I did not have to pay for this out of my own pocket!!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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224 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
28
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2010

Rude staff greeted us, we asked for a family room, when arrived bed was missing. Dont drink the water from the taps slightly worrying, bar staff chatted on thier mobile phones whilst serving. Our room was over a eveing disco til midnight, not very good with two children under the age of 7 - Our father in law arrived in his room to find soiled toilet and slept in bed! Everything dirty empty bottles of body shampoo in the bathroom. Breakfast had run out. The chocolates on the table where out of date and melted. I could go on for hours ....... Stay away!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2010

Far and away the worst hotel I've stayed at in recent years.
NO DRINKING WATER IN ANY OF THE ROOMS. No bottles of water provided either ("can be purchased from bar") only jugs delivered "on request", and in practice reception never answered the phone.
Hotel looks like a juvenile offenders institute from outside - chipboard doors facing straight onto outside.
Manager was surly right from the start, (the girls at the desk were great tho!) and once we started reporting problems became downright rude.
First room we checked into hadn't been cleaned. Moved to another room after complaining.
Bed felt like a zed-bed with a layer of carboard on top.
Breakfast was good, but staff just couldn't keep up with the numbers present.
Had to argue with staff to get the bar opened on the evening.
Even tried to charge us more than advertised rate as we checked out, although caved very quickly when we questioned it.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2010

I have stayed in many places around the world from Youth Hostels to 5 star hotels. I have never felt as unhappy or as unsafe as I did here.

The hotel is motel style with external accomodation blocks accessed via open air balconies and stair cases. As a single female traveller I was dismayed to be allocated a room in the block nearest to the car park with only a flimsy lock upon the door.

On my second night when I headed to bed I smelt a very strong odour of petrol/ gas on the staircase. I looked around and found an OPEN petrol carrier lying at the bottom of the stairs. I was v. suspicious as to why this was there at 1am so immediatly went to get a member of staff.

They dismissed my concerns totally, couldn't understand why I was worried and threw the container (still open) into the cleaners cupboard. I then contacted the manager who accused me of making the whole thing up, refused to check in the cupboard to verify if they petrol container was there and wouldn't ascend the staircase to smell the petrol.

He actually said, "I"m the manager, you are a guest, I don't have to do anything you tell me.".

I think his comment sums up this place rather nicely - run for the convenience of staff and sod the paying customer, we are mere inconveniences .

There were other issues too - it took 75 minutes to get an ironing board (so god knows how long you would wait for the promised drinking water mentioned elsewhere). The housekeeping staff threw my nightwear under the bed when making it so I had to grub around looking for it amongst the cobwebs, empty biscuit packets and other delightful detritus and rather bizarrely folded my coat and put it underneath my pillow!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericton, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2010

Spent two nights here and would not stay again. This is the first hotel I have stayed in that has a sign in the bathroom telling you not to drink the water. If you want drinking water you have to ring the hotel for them to bring a jug of water to your room. It was not clear if you can use the water to make tea or coffee so did not chance it. The rooms are tired and could really us a facelift. Actually they need to tear it down and start again. Everytime we flushed the toilet there was a terrible noise which we assume came from the pipes as the same thing happened when I ran a bath. There were cobwebs coming from the lights on the wall and we found a used razor in the bathtub when we checked into the room. Because of the situation with the water we had lots of empty water jugs in our room and they were not removed when the room was cleaned.

The staff here try to help but a lot of them struggle with understanding English.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2010

We had booked to stay at Watermill as it was an ideal location near our friends who lived near the area and from the pictures it looked like a nice place to go. Upon arrival (9pm) we were greeted by 2 receptionist staff, one who was foreign and spoke very little english and the other (manager) who checked us in. We were supposed to stay for 2 nights but to circumstances changed to one night and when asked of our surname for checking in, they lost our booking and the manager did a cr*p job finding our booking, actually took him 15 mins. Found it in the end and he made a whole load of faff that they were charging us for 2 nights (error on our part as we mis-read the small print that it was non-refundable by another tour operator online). We decided there and then to ring up the tour company and becos my mother did not have a printer at the time of booking the room, she wrote down the ref number on a pieice of paper which was shown to the manager upon checking in. We politely asked if we borrow/look at his copy of our booking to which he was holding in his hand but he refused to show us as it was their booking!! I asked why and he said it was not ours. I then made a point to say that our personal details were there and we only wanted to check the correct ref number and booking total. He raised his voice at me!! I was shocked. I told him I thought he was very unprofessional and he looked at me in disgust. After all that whole load of faff, the tour operator on the phone was closed so we asked if did have a room booked for that night. He never said so at the first place and heres us worrying they cancelled our booking. He should of reasurred us that was indeed a room reserved when he found our booking!

Unfortunately, there was wedding that night and loud music was pumping throughout the building we were staying at. Our room was musty, smelt of stale cigarette smoke, very 70/80s decor, needs updating. The bathroom...dont get me started, very dirty and grimy. Spare pillow on the cupboard had no cases on and it was already heavily stained...YUK. We had an adjourning room which meant there was a internal door between 2 rooms and at 1am, someone came in. It scared the life out of us! They realised they we were sleeping and banged the door shut - thanks for that....
Next morning, feeling subdued, I suggested that we head of to breakfast early before the mad morning wedding guests took over. Walked to the breakfast room, again another little english speaking waitress just pointed to us where we were to sit...good morning to you too...breakfast was good, probably the good thing abt the hotel, everything was freshly cooked.

We couldnt wait to get out of the hotel and upon checking out, the foreign receptionist was still stood at the same spot from the night before and not saying hello and the rude manager, not dressed smart for the days job was quite cold towards us and asked if we had spoken to the tour operator...i blatantly said ' Yes we did' and said no more.

Wont be staying there again and for £117 for 2 nights is too expensive given the service we receive and the smelly room.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

The watermill has a very nice location ! Nice terrace near to the water ! Chairs were however removed early in the evening.
We had a triple room, for 1 night, which was very warm, although outside it was not too hot. It was not aerated and there is no airco, no fridge.
Due to a wedding organised at the hotel, the restaurant was closed and the server suggested to have our dinner in the bar. We decided to go to the restaurant /pub just in front of the hotel. Food was very nice, very kind people and we had a very nice evening !
Early, the next morning, we could not take our breakfast in the breakfast room - NO tables were free anymore, in fact the hotel as much more rooms than tables. Again, we have been suggested to take our meal, breakfast now, in the bar.
At the check out we noticed that the bill is automatically converted from GBP into EUR. We requested to have it invoiced in GBP. Obviously this was not possible. Having a less affordable exchange rate for 1 night is not a desaster, but if you stay 1 week .....? !!
Even though we enjoyed our stay, for 1 night, we never had similar situations in other Best Westerns.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about BEST WESTERN The Watermill Hotel

Address: London Road | Bourne End, Hemel Hempstead HP1 2RJ, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > Hemel Hempstead
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 11 Hotels in Hemel Hempstead
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — BEST WESTERN The Watermill Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Best Western The Watermill Hotel, one of the finest modern Hotels in Hemel Hempstead is built around an old flour mill and offers excellent accommodations in Hemel Hempstead with a panoramic view of River Bulbourne threading through the property. Experience a serene, Old World retreat from bustling city life in this picturesque modern hotel. A convenient getaway venue with plenty of spacious free car parking. Watermill also offers wonderful amenities and hospitality for a relaxing stay, with convenient access to the area's tourist, industrial and commercial centres. Our hotel in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire include 71 tastefully appointed rooms, several with beautiful views of the lush green meadows and the River Bulbourne. A blend of refined luxury and and refreshing tranquility is sure to romance both leisure and business travelers alike. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Watermill
Hemel Hempstead Best Western
Best Western Hemel Hempstead

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