We arrived at the hotel at about 12:45 pm - a bit early for check-in but we thought it might be worth taking a chance. Apparently we were wrong, as we were told straight away to come back at 2pm, though they did offer to look after our bag for us. Now perhaps this was perfectly reasonable as all the rooms may well have been busy, but I would suggest that for the sake of customer service they could make a show of *checking* (or even just *pretending* to check!) that there were no free rooms before telling us. The end result would be the same, but the effect on the customer is quite different!
The room itself was fine, the staff were friendly, the decor interesting, the location was perfect (as we were going to the Banksy exhibition which is practically opposite the hotel); in fact on the card they asked us to fill in I could find nothing in their list that warranted anything other than high marks. However, I had one of the worst night's sleep that I can remember as the room (No 5) was so ridiculously HOT - my wife and I both slept without any sheets or blankets and with a window open (which consequently let in a fair amount of noise) and we were still boiling. The temperature outside was only about 15C, but inside the room it must have been twice that. We mentioned this to the reception staff the next morning and they were very apologetic and seemed surprised to hear it. I can't understand why it would have been different for us than it was for anybody else, so that was a bit of a mystery.
Other minor gripes - I wish hotels would stop putting those tiny mini-bar fridges in rooms that you can't use yourself. We had a couple of bottles of water that we would have liked to refrigerate, but we couldn't put them in the fridge without moving something that was already in there - and doing this would have triggered the automatic billing system (which would charge us £1.50 for a can of Coke!), so we didn't do it.
Also, when we checked in the receptionist asked us to sign a form and indicate which newspaper we liked to read. Maybe I'm naive, but I was slightly surprised to then be charged for the newspaper when checking out.
My wife, who is American, thinks this country has a long way to go in understanding customer service. The way the whole thing should have happened was that when we arrived early, the receptionist should have said "let me see if any rooms are available for you", gone away, come back and said "I'm terribly sorry but they are all busy at the moment, could you come back at 2pm?". End result: exactly the same, but we would at least have felt like they'd tried. The hotel should have charged us £1 extra for the room and given us the newspaper free. End result: exactly the same, but we would have felt like like the hotel was looking after us. After we complained about our terrible night's sleep, the hotel should have offered us a bottle of wine or something as compensation. End result: the hotel would be £4 or so down on the deal, but I would be recommending the hotel to everyone instead of writing this review. A few tiny things that really don't take much effort can make a big difference in the customer's perceptions and English hotels seem to be slow at getting this message.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in an elegant Georgian square in Bristol city centre, the Berkeley Square Hotel is the ideal place for your stay in Bristol. As Bristol's first art hotel, it oozes boutique charm and offers comfortable accommodation and first class service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Berkeley Square Bristol
- Hotel Berkeley Square