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“Shocking service, but one redeeming member of staff.....”

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Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Chatham
Reviewed July 9, 2013

The hotel and room was pretty much as advertised, but if i'm honest over-priced, but a necessity as the location was ideal for a local business trip.

I went to the hotel restaurant for my evening meal on the saturday, to be made to wait in excess of 45 minutes, with chaotic, disorganised staff doing seemingly very little to actually deliver food, when my undercooked, overpriced (and i suspect boil in the bag) meal turned up, my pork was undercooked, greasy and slimy, the man serving, simply shrugged his shoulders and told me "thats how it comes" when I questioned it.

Including drinks, I went to bed, £30 lighter, and feeling rather unhappy. I awoke next day and opted to skip breakfast as I looked into the restaurant to see food baking under lights, far too much like a service station for my liking. I returned for lunch, mainly due to lack of knowledge of an alternative location, and went for the roast dinner carvery. To my surprise, the meat was well portioned and well cooked, but upon cutting into my vegetables, there seemed to be more crunch than expected, and upon biting into my carrots, this was definitely the case, stone cold and i suspect shown hot water, but not actually immersed in it.

I attempted to summon the young man who had served me, but was unable to catch his eye, but an extremely courteous young lady called Kim, listened to my concerns (the first time I felt that someone had in 2 days!) and disappeared into the kitchen, emerging with a fresh batch of vegetables, that were actually cooked.

It seems so trivial, but it was the first time I felt like any member of staff paid an ounce of attention, let alone demonstrated an ability to perform their job.

When I finished my meal, I left a tip, implicitly stating it was for her, for her help, I just hope she actually got it. Why the rest of the disinterested staff can't offer the same level of decency is beyond me, customers deserve better, and that lady deserves to be part of a better team.

I will in-future seek alternative accommodation I feel!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel. I am extremely sorry for the poor dining experience you had at the hotel. This is certainly not our usual standard of service and I have taken your comments on board, and retraining will be taking place where necessary.
It was however great to see your comments about Kim, I am sorry that you did not feel all of the staff were as great as her, and I will certainly make sure that she is aware of your great comments

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427 - 433 of 680 reviews

Reviewed July 7, 2013

Usually stay in Holiday Inns and always found them to be ok until staying at Rochester. Never been in such a small bedroom and far too hot. Bathroom was rather shabby - mouldy looking rubber bath mat and doer looked if it had been kicked. Breakfast was ok but had to ask on four occasions for hot food trays to be refilled, butter,clean glasses. Also milk jug was on a saucer with previous occupants dirty teaspoons on both days. Tables were left with dirty plates on both days we were there and had to move our own as they never seemed to have time to clear them. Not enough staff to cope . Very disappointed and would not recommend this particular hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank gareth_lowham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham, responded to this reviewResponded July 9, 2013

I am so sorry that we did not live up to your Holiday Inn Expectations. It is not usual for guest to experience the issues that you did. Please feel free to contact my operations manager directly at the hotel who will be happy to discuss these issues with you further.

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Reviewed July 3, 2013

We stayed here in July 2013. Contrary to other recent reviews we found the service excellent and very friendly. The room was clean and comfortable. We especially enjoyed the pool - a welcome retreat from the hot weather.

We had diner for four in the restaurant. The menu was a little restricted but the food was good 'hotel average', nothing exceptional. The price, perhaps, was a little high.

Overall, if you need somewhere comfortable and 'mid range' in the Chatham area, then this is just right.

Room Tip: Face the airport, not the road - it's quieter.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
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Thank ConsultantIreland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham, responded to this reviewResponded July 9, 2013

I'm so glad that you found the service excellent and friendly, and the room so clean and comfortable. It was also great to see you made good use of our excellent health club facilities.
The restaurant food and prices are comparable with other hotels in the area.

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Reviewed July 3, 2013

I could not get in my normal hotel about 200 meters up the road-so ended up booking this one
On arrival my room was most unsuitable unclean and dowdy
They changed the room for me- but they were not happy to do so
When I went to the bar for a meal I noticed a gathering with the GM and sales lady for priority guests- of which I am gold
I gave a business card and was told I would be contacted to change to this hotel for my 30 nights a year. To date no one has contacted me
Nonetheless I tried it again-one stay is not a fair judgement
The second time I booked and specified in the booking- near reception please- they put me miles away-no phone signal and no internet- so a room change again
My last visit-yet again- near reception please-I ended up in a room again a long distance from reception- telly not working and radiator on full and adjuster fixed permanently in the open position- rang reception but after 30 mins of waiting I went down- case in hand and now the real rudeness of the reception staff surfaced- you would think I had committed a major crime-even though they acknowledged that the booking stated "near reception"
At this point other guests were checking in and those of the priority club were offered vouchers for the bar.
I questioned whilst waiting for my alternative room why I had not been offered the same at my check in and told "sorry did not think of offering"-its clear regulars get their own priority!
Eventually got another room-after waiting in reception for 20 minutes
In the meantime I had explained all my concerns to the operations manager about all 3 visits including the broken promises of/not being contacted
Asked to speak to the GM but was told he was busy and would ring me
He must still be busy for the last 2 weeks!
If you like bad customer service- waiting at the bar for ages in a line of 10 or more persons-leaving guests standing in reception for 20 mins if they complain-reception staff that could not care and senior management who seem to accept no responsiblity for the staffs actions then please stop here
I gave it one point for the bar food serving staff- because when you eventually get served at the bar and order food- the food serving staff could not be better
I think this hotel benefits from guests on company expense accounts and there seems plenty of them- so who cares.
But when you are self employed and stay over 150 nights a year in hotels-then I demand a level fo service that I pay for!
If not then there is plenty of competition

Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
1  Thank GSPS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham, responded to this reviewResponded July 15, 2013

Thank you for reviewing the hotel. We have taken your comments on board.

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Reviewed July 2, 2013

We stayed here in June 2013. The room was adequate, but service left a lot to be desired. One evening we chose to eat in the restaurant with friends, and we waited an hour for food to arrive. We had inquired twice before it finally arrived without an apology.

We had a family room, and every day we had to ask for extra towels, since they only left enough for two people each time. We also had to ask for sheets for the pull out bed, and late at night had to wait 30 minutes for these to arrive. When we eventually went to the front desk (a LONG walk) to find out where they were, we were told that there was only one person working, and that we had to wait until the night porter had done his security checks. Meanwhile we had two very tired kids waiting to go to sleep!

Not a good hotel for people with mobility issues, Several staircases to deal with, including one just inside the front door before you get to reception.

We would have made use of the pool, but every time we looked, it was very busy, so we did not try it. It's quite a small pool.

Room Tip: some rooms have a long walk and stairs... if this is an issue, ask for a room closer to reception.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank caroleDunwoody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham, responded to this reviewResponded July 9, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel. My sincere apologies for all the shortcomings that you experienced during your stay. Retraining will be taking place for staff where necessary , to avoid these issues from happening again.

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Reviewed June 30, 2013

The first thing that strikes you is the steps down to reception and the drab staff uniform.
Reception staff are blase. Rooms are fine except there seems to be a lot of cost cutting going on, mean amounts of tea and coffee making items and bathroom toiletries. Bath foam is also shower gel according to room cleaning staff.
Dining room is reminiscent of a works canteen and well air conditioned making it cold to sit and eat, no doubt for staff benefit and them having to wear those heavy drab uniforms. Breakfast was standard fare with not much extra choice in the fruit / cereals section. Layout was uninviting.
We stayed for three nights and had to point out to the duty manager on the last morning the debris under one of the servery counters which could be seen from the dining side and had been there since we arrived. There was also spillage on the cool counter cover which had not been wiped up, also since we arrived and again pointed out.
The only redeeming aspect of our visit was the academy centre managed by Peter.
He very kindly provided us with a private room for a meeting along with copying facilities.
The fact that you have to pay exorbitant rates for WiFi access is this day and age says how far behind this hotel group is.
They must rely on business travelers charging to their company accounts in order to get away with these rates. £5/hour, £28/day.
Would return as a last resort

Room Tip: Ask for at back room away from lifts and staff room. Noisy road, noisy lifts and staff room.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank golliwogMojacarSpain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel. I am so sorry for the poor issues you experienced during your stay. Your comments have been noted and retraining will be provided for staff where necessary.
I was however pleased to see how great you found Peter, and how he accommodated all of your business needs so well.
As from July 1st WiFi will be free for our elite priority club members.
I do hope that you will reconsider staying with us when returning to visit your family in Chatham.

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Reviewed June 27, 2013

A real shame, there didn't seem to be a friendly feel to this hotel on this occasion, the staff seemed under pressure, it took a very long time to be spoken to for seating in the restaurant, service very slow but polite and apologetic, main before starter, but the real let down as small cafe style paper napkins at dinner, not normally expected from Holiday Inn especially at the restaurant prices, a bad decision to remove the linen in my view. Room very noisy. Sorry but not one for a future visit.

Room Tip: Don't go for a twin.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Mike1333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel. I am so sorry that we seem to have let you down on this occasion. I am so sorry that you felt the way you did about your visit, and you felt it unfriendly. This is definitely not normally like the Holiday Inn Rochester and I will be looking into your comments further. Retraining will be being provided for the staff where necessary.

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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham

Address: Maidstone Road, Chatham ME5 9SF, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Chatham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Chatham
Price Range: $72 - $125 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham 3*
Number of rooms: 149
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to The Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham hotel. This modern, well equipped hotel contains fully air-conditioned bedrooms all with high speed internet access. With our mix of Double, Twin & Family Rooms (Kids Stay & Eat Free) and fuly equipped Spirit Health & Fitness Centre with Pool, the hotel is the ideal location for both business & leisure travellers.The Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham hotel is ideally located for key attractions including Leeds Castle, Historic Dockyard Chatham, Rochester Cathedral, Dickens World & Brands Hatch Race Circuit. Access to the Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham hotel is easy via both the M2 & M20, or by train to Rochester station, making the hotel a central base for touring Kent or a convenient stop-off en-route to Folkestone and Dover.For Conference & Events, the hotel has fantastic facilities for all types of Meetings, Functions & Ceremonies within the Academy Conference Centre. Click here for more info. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham Hotel Chatham
Holiday Inn Chatham
Chatham Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Rochester-Chatham Kent, UK

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