We had stayed at The Torridon in 2010 and loved every minute of it. However, this time we just did not “get it”. Management seems to have lost its way. We felt the evening service in the bar and restaurant was generally poor. Over and above that, however, the experience was rendered unacceptable for us by the cocky, formulaic, banal wittering of numerous members of staff. The previous atmosphere, of a friendly family-owned hotel, was entirely absent. This led us to dine in the restaurant on only the first evening of our stay. We made other arrangements for the last two evenings.
An inappropriate tone of self-congratulation is reflected in the questionnaire in the bedroom, with its references to exclusive luxury and the personal touch. Examples of the matters on which the hotel seeks feedback are “...What exceeded your expectations at the Torridon?” and “Who went the extra mile for you?”
Down in the bar, things were different. The barman chatted to the one other couple present, then just walked out without acknowledging our arrival. It took too long for the menus and drinks to come, then for us to be invited through to the dining room. Then we sat at the table waiting for the food. We finally started to consume the food we had ordered about an hour and a quarter after we had first arrived in the bar. The staff made the same formulaic remarks when serving every dish and then again when collecting every plate.
And so it went on. Much later, one of these young characters asked if we would like coffee in the bar after our meal. We said we would. We duly went though, to find the bar deserted and no coffee. Apparently the barman had been waiting for us to come, before ringing for it. At that point, we said that the quality of the service was a matter for the manager.
Once in the mood for it, we noticed other things. They hoovered while the guests were having breakfast. The cupboard in our room was so worn that the chip-board was plainly visible. The window sill was rotten.
I should add in fairness that, the following day, Rohaise Rose-Bristow, one of the owners of the business, did contact us to find out what the problem had been. However, she explained that most of the customers give very favourable feedback. She said that the hotel actually intends to serve its fine dining menu over the course of “a couple of hours”. There is apparently a quicker three course option we could have asked for instead, of which I had not been aware. She offered us a complimentary meal in the restaurant the next night. However, there was no point in persisting: the hotel has gone down a certain road. When we were handed the bill, we found that the hotel had in fact decided that it would charge us in full for the meal and wine, as was of course its legal right and entitlement. We shall not be returning.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 24, 2012
We are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay and that you no longer get what we are about. We did want you to enjoy your return stay with us but despite our teams effort it just did not work for you. From the moment that we escorted you to your table that evening, admittedly 20 mins late, the stay was not going to be enjoyed. We tried to recover the situation and win you round but this was not to be. Your personal comments about the staff are in no way shared by the majority of our guests or the other reviewers here and we are confident that they offer a professional, friendly and engaging service, liked by most our guests. We have to admit that we can’t please all of the people all of the time….but we do try. Regards Dan & Rohaise
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.