Entering the Hotel was pleasant to the eye. My first impression was good. This changed however when I tried to check in and noted on the arrival card that the rate displayed was much less than what I had already paid for my accomodation. I queried this with the receptionist, to which she replied that there is a higher rate for paying through an agent and they charge commission. Why then would you disclose to the guest the cheaper rate that you actually would charge?
Although the room was basic, it was clean and perfectly adequate for our needs. After a long journey, we made the decision to eat in the Hotel restaurant, as the menu looked nice and we thought that we would enjoy a meal there before going out for the evening. How wrong we were!!
On arrival in the restaurant, it was empty, no other diners at this time. We asked if we could have a table to which the waitress replied "do you have a booking?" and then promptly disappeared. The manager then showed us to a table, gave us food menus, however we weren't informed of the daily specials or offered a drinks menu. We asked for a drinks list and this was provided. 15 minutes later, no-one had come near our table to take an order, so my friend eventually went to the bar to get the drinks. She had to bring the drinks herself, and open the bottle of wine, as there was no offer of doing this for us. The glasses given for the prosecco were covered in fingerprints and were filthy! By this time, I had to go and find a waitress to come and take our order. We asked what the roast special was, "I don't know" was the reply and she walked away! She asked another staff member, but he didn't know either, so went away to find out. This further delayed our order being taken and resulted in us having been in the restaurant for around 30 minutes without any order being taken. The starters arrived "Haggis, Neeps & Tatties croquettes" and "Chicken Liver Pate" Well, when they were placed on the table, the three of us looked at each other and laughed. The Pate looked as brown as a beef stock cube and was as flaky and crumbly as one too. The croquette looked like a McCain frozen one, with no sign of haggis or neeps in them! As we had waited so long by now and were so hungry, we ate the croquettes, but couldn't bring ourselves to finish the pate as it was so awful.
We had to call the waitress back to the table, as there was no sign of her approching to clear these away, so we asked at this point to speak to the manager. We then waited for her, and when appeared, she apologised for the delay as she had been away dealing with a leak in the Hotel, and the waitress on duty was only a trainee. I explained the issues to the manager as well as apologising for doing so, as I don't like to complain, but as the experience so far had been truly awful, I felt compelled to say something. We informed her that we wanted to cancel the main courses as we had been put off the meal. She tried to persuade us to stay, and said she would sort something with our final bill. We declined this offer, however she was persistant that we remain in the restaurant. She disappeared, we were left sitting not knowing what was happening, so we finished our drinks at the table, when she reappeared with the bill. We were presented with a bill for £10 for the two starters, even although we had complained about how offputting they were! We were told because we has eaten some of the starters, we had to pay for them, to which I was appauled. By now, the three of us were furious, having stated our unhappiness at the starters, she still expected us to pay for them! She said that she would have to further investigate the issue as she hadn't been present during the service of these. I refused to accept this bill, and after several minutes of discussion she suddenly changed her attitude and told us there would be nothing to pay. As part of this discussion, we asked for the general manager's details, to which she hurriedly gave half of an email address verbally.
Overall, we feel badly let down by the service we received, and this really spoiled what was suposed to be a nice get together for my friends and I. We don't expect to hear anything back from this manager, as our overall impression of her is that she wasn't really interested in customer satisfaction, and perhaps shouldn't be left in charge of the Hotel if she isn't willing to listen to her guests! On a happier note, we did encounter one member of staff who was more than willing to assist the guests-Ken, the Night Porter. Well done Ken!
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