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“No member of staff on site, bad waiting staff, menu out of date, at least I got a refund”

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Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough
Ranked #1 of 2 Southborough B&B and Inns
1 review
“No member of staff on site, bad waiting staff, menu out of date, at least I got a refund”
Reviewed September 10, 2013

Let me start this review by stating I 2009 I brought my husband to stay a few nights here. He loved it including the eggs benedict, and had fond memories of coming back.

This time around with our trip to the UK coming up, I made sure we had two nights' stay. I couldn't wait for a repeat performance. The comfy beds, the great food and atmosphere.

It started out well. The staff were very accommodating and the first morning when we went down for breakfast the food and service was excellent. From there it went down hill very rapidly. The next night/morning, we awoke to the sound of alarms going off. Thinking it was a fire alarm we shuffled outside, along with the other guests staying there. We all soon found out however, that this was no fire alarm. The fire alarm panel wasn't even switched on. We waited and waited, but no member of staff showed up. One of the other guests called the emergency number which was written on the side of the building but was just put through to voicemail. I suggested as we had no other choice but to call the police, who further questioned the guest for about 14 minutes as to why the alarm was going off, why was there no member of staff on the premises. Finally he was told that someone would be dispatched soon. Eventually a young man that lived down the road (I recognized him to be one of the bar tenders) arrived and apologized, turning off the alarm. Apparently it was a malfunction. He said in the morning something would be figured out. I told him that the police said they would be on their way, to which he replied that they had been able to contact him. The whole episode was 45 minutes to an hour. Some guests had to be let into their rooms because their keys were still inside.

In the morning, we came down for breakfast. Disgruntled about the previous night's events, we hoped a good breakfast would help lift our moods. Our waitress practically ignored us, and eventually my husband had to go up to the bar to order our breakfast. He ordered eggs Benedict, I ordered the poached eggs with salmon. He returned to our table stating that we couldn't have what we ordered. When I asked him why, he said they didn't do poached eggs with salmon as they haven't done that for three months (even though it was clearly on the menu) and that they had run out of muffins for poached eggs anyway and that was it. Understandably, I was irate at this point due to the previous night's events. I walked up to the waitress at the bar and asked her what substitutions we could have instead. I explained that my husband really wanted the eggs Benedict and couldn't believe that he was given a flat out no and not given any other alternative. She asked if we wanted the full English breakfast instead. I said no. We didn't want a large breakfast. She finally submitted to giving us poached eggs on buns after asking if this was 'OK' with chef. She then went on to say it would cost us extra. I said no it will not. I have already paid for our stay and breakfasts. I couldn't believe my ears! She conceded. We received no apology for the previous night's events or anything like that.

We went on to gather our belongings. At this point we were the last people to check out. The other guests had left as soon as they could, I reckoned, and I don't blame them. Upon making it back downstairs, we were met by the manager. He told us he was extremely sorry about the previous night's events and that we would be refunded one night's stay. My husband and I told him that there should be a member of staff there at all times, that we were shocked that there wasn't. He said there was usually but the lady had to go away on a family emergency. Which though these things may happen is not a valid excuse. There should have been someone there to replace her. He said that he would clear one of the rooms to stay there personally to man the premises. Which I personally feel should have happened as soon as the other member of staff went on 'family emergency', though later we discovered she was actually on holiday. He had stated that as soon as he had learned if the previous night's events that he had wanted to make sure he was there as soon as possible. But we didn't even know that there was someone there who cared to be honest as he was catching us upon checking out. He said he had no idea why the alarm had gone off and that he was investigating it right away. I also pointed out a design flaw with the security in the inn itself I had discovered earlier. Basically, you are supposed to swipe your key to open a security door that leads to the rooms. However this can be bypassed simply by pushing or lightly kicking the door. This, coupled with the fact that there was no one at all on site the night before is not good for safety at all. The fact that it's Southborough, a village that probably hasn't witnessed anything awful ever, shouldn't enter the equation. He said he would investigate immediately, that he had only taken over the place six months ago. The refund was a start, but as my husband rightly pointed out, we aren't sure that it has restored our faith in the place. Such a terrible shame, I used to love this place. So sad to see it go downhill like this. Will I stay there again? I really really don't know. Unless the security measures, menu, service of waiting staff is improved upon, I can't ever see myself staying there again. The bar tenders were exceptionally great, so at least they have a few things right, I suppose.

    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Birdofpassage5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innkeepers_Lodge_01, Public Relations Manager at Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough, responded to this review, October 10, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your visit to The Hand and Sceptre, Tunbridge Wells on our Trip Advisor page. We were disappointed to read that you were not satisfied, and we have replied to you personally about this.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

stayed here for a wedding nearby for 2 nights, rooms are a bit small but very clean with everything you need at hand i.e iron and board hair dryer tea coffee. Very pleasant staff and good food, although a little bit expensive for a chain hotel.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innkeepers_Lodge_01, Public Relations Manager at Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
Thank you for your recent review, It was good of you to take the time to leave your feedback following your visit to The Hand and Sceptre.
Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2013

All the staff were fantastic! I couldn't of asked for more.

Although check in was at a busy bar I felt that the staff managed to juggle both hotel guests and patrons.

The guy who checked us in gave us a lot of useful information and if we needed any help with our luggage which was nice although not needed.

Our room was very clean and decorated very classy.

Would defiantly stay here again.

Top marks

Room Tip: Great place
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank palace88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innkeepers_Lodge_01, Public Relations Manager at Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback. We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed your recent visit to Innkeeper’s Lodge.
Best regards
Innkeeper’s Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 16, 2013

The pillows were very very dirty and one was blood stained. We complained and a member
of staff went looking for replacements which could not be found. We were given other pillows
but they were still dirty - we covered them with towels. We would have gone elsewhere but
we was tired . We were given a refund but what we expected was certainly not here. We would
never ever go again and never recommend this place.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Mrs Dianne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innkeepers_Lodge_01, Public Relations Manager at Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback on Trip Advisor. We were very sorry to hear that you were disappointed in your recent visit to Innkeeper’s Lodge and we have replied to you personally about this.
Best regards
Innkeeper’s Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Southborough hotels

York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Check in was at the bar, someone had to be found to do this and had obviously been pulled from another task and was very distracted. Room was small, bathroom tiny. Badly broken window, long dead flies in secondary glazing, pink mouldy bloom on lower shower tiles, no plug in sink. Carpets needed a jolly good hoover with a decent machine. Breakfast very unorganised. Tea and coffee from a flask - really??? Poor quality bacon and black pudding. Whilst waiting for breakfast after ordering, we were asked to take anything we wanted from the breakfast display because "we want to clear it away now". We were not late for breakfast. My recommendation to hotel is to take a look at your website as customers view it. All décor is beautiful and well thought out but no-one is looking after anything. We all like a good value deal however, does this really mean that the cleanliness level drops too and quality of food? It doesn't break the bank to offer an honest hearty breakfast even on a budget. We wouldn't have minded that the room was fairly small but the bathroom was exceptionally tiny, both of which could have been mentioned at the time of booking. Would not recommend until housekeeping, maintenance and breakfast staff pull their socks up. Would strongly recommend an 'undercover boss' visit from someone at head office.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms on second floor, very small. If you are a light sleeper, busy noisy road at front.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Liz C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innkeepers_Lodge_01, Public Relations Manager at Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback on Trip Advisor. We were very sorry to hear that you were disappointed in your recent visit to Innkeeper’s Lodge and we have replied to you personally about this.
Best regards
Innkeeper’s Lodge Tunbridge Wells
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

The hotel was easier enough to find and offered a big car park. When we arrived it was very busy in the bar and from what I could see the bar staff had to serve and also do check-ins. We had already waited a while by the check-in sign but the guy at the bar hadn't even noticed us then a girl caught us by the eye and told him, there were people waiting to check-in. He came up to us and said ''are you here to check-in?'' I thought that would have been obvious that we were considering the suitcases with us but yes, we told him; were here to check-in. He said he would be a few minutes and went back to serve someone else on the bar. The payment went fine and he told us about breakfast times etc but did not mention anything about Wi-Fi. The other shock was only continental was included, a full English was another £7.95 on top! When we got to our room, the entrance was very narrow and the room wasn't the biggest in the world, you had a small space either side of the double bed and some by the front but the shuffle came to mind when getting past my partner. The bathroom was in good shape but didn't have a big enough bin. We unpacked and went down to the bar, we had hope to order but overheard people saying they had waited an hour and 20 minutes for there food, we weren't going to do that! I found the bed very hard and pillows went flat as soon as you put your head down, I think they need replacing.
Breakfast was nice although my partner had hoped to have a full English but we stuck with the breakfast on offer. There was a variety of choice which worked for me.
This hotel was good and not all bad but I would of liked to have been told what was around that you could go do, how far was it to walk to town etc all the questions that guests outside of the area don't know. I didn't know check-out times but found it in the information in our room which was 12 noon. Overall a average stay, not all bad but it wouldn't be my first choice again. I didn't think anyone really went out of their way to offer that amazing customer service!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank suzie_29_view
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innkeepers_Lodge_01, Public Relations Manager at Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback following your recent visit to Innkeeper’s Lodge.
Best regards
Innkeeper’s Lodge Tunbridge Wells
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
85 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

It should become obvious from reading previous reviews that the size of room varies. Unfortunately we were placed in one of the second floor rooms which are in the roof space. (If possible avoid Rooms 11-15). The rooms are small and in hot weather such as we have had recently very, very hot. The hotel is situated next to a busy road and to eliminate this, there is secondary glazing. However, because of the high temperatures it is essential to have the windows open and thus our stay was a very noisy one with constant traffic throughout the night and the clock on the nearby church chiming every quarter of an hour. At a generous estimate we might have had three hours sleep and woke up somewhat bad tempered which was exacerbated because the night away was supposed to be a birthday treat. We are still in dispute with the hotel about an overcharging matter. Having said this the hotel is well situated and the rooms very clean.

Room Tip: Try to avoid the rooms on the second floor which are quite small.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Visitor73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innkeepers_Lodge_01, Public Relations Manager at Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough, responded to this review, July 20, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback on Trip Advisor. We were very sorry to hear that you were disappointed in your recent visit to Innkeeper’s Lodge and we have replied to you personally about this.
Best regards
Innkeeper’s Lodge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough

Property: Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough
Address: London Road | The Hand & Sceptre, Southborough, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN4 0QB, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Royal Tunbridge Wells > Southborough
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Southborough
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled amongst some of the prettiest villages in Kent, Innkeeper's Lodge Southborough offers characterful yet convenient accommodation in the Royal Tunbridge Wells area.Dating back to 1728, this beautifully restored lodge is a lovely place to unwind - whether you're attending a conference at the Camden Centre or simply enjoying the best of what the Garden of England has to offer. Grab a seat on the pub's terrace and you might even catch a game of cricket on the picturesque Southborough green.Inside, you'll find both period charm and modern luxury aplenty. There are 14 comfy rooms a cosy, stylish pub serving fresh, seasonal food and top-drawer drinks.Southborough, a bustling little town with a 75-acre common, is a perfect base for exploring nearby attractions. There's Groombridge Place, a moated manor house with a secret garden, and museum devoted to the works of Sherlock Holmes creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. Equally worth exploring are the 125 acres of beautiful gardens around Hever Castle, or the English wines at Lamberhurst Vineyards. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Hand And Sceptre, Innkeeper`s Lodge
The Hand & Sceptre, Innkeeper`s Hotel Southborough
Innkeeper's Lodge Tunbridge Wells, Southborough Kent, England

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