My wife and me attended the LMS 50th Anniversary Dinner and Dance in the Everglades Hotel on Saturday 15th October 2012. On entering the reception area we were greeted by waiters asking if we would like a glass of champagne. I asked if my wife and me could have a soft drink as we did not drink alcohol. We were told.....no it was champagne or nothing.....so I asked for a manager. This managerial person came and said that it was a champagne reception only, to which I replied.....you must surely have a soft drink available for non-alcohol drinkers. He said....no! I said....I want some sort of soft drink now please....to which he replied.....apple juice? I said....that would be fine....and he went and fetched some bottles of apple juice and poured some into 2 champagne goblets for my wife and me.
About 20 minutes later we were called into the main ballroom for the meal and as we were passing from the reception area to the ballroom, I noticed about 20 carafes of iced water sitting on the bar bench. When we sat down at our table a waiter approached and asked if we would like red or white wine. We said no thank you but could you bring us some water please. The waiter said they don't serve the water until they start serving the meal!!! I said my wife and me and a few other non-drinkers at our table would like a glass of water now but the waiter persisted saying she could not serve water until the meal was being served. There was a manager standing at the main ballroom entrance so I approached him and asked could we have a carafe of water for our table now please and he said it was hotel policy that water was not served until they started serving the meal. At this point I was beginning to lose the will to live and raising my voice slightly said I would like some water and want it now!!! He said that if I raised my voice to him again he would have me removed from the premises. I said it would take a bigger man than him to remove me from anywhere and then I went back out through the main door into the bar area with the intention of lifting one of the water carafes for our table when I noticed the manager who had served me the apple juice standing with another manager at the end of the bar. I approached him and asked him could I take a carafe of water to our dinner table. He said no that they would serve the water when the meal was being served. I really raised my voice now and said very politely and distinctly can we please have some water at our table NOW. He didn't answer me so I said....do you want me to buy your tap water? He then took one of the carafes of water and gestured me back to my table where he followed me in and filling 4 glasses with iced water, promptly turned on his heel carrying the half empty carafe of water and back out through the ballroom doors.
About 5-8 minutes later we received our caesar salad - basic, then leek and potato soup - too salty, then our main course of a daube of beef with mash and season vegetables - the potatoes were tastless, the beef that overcooked we found it very difficult to cut, followed by a trio of sweets, one profiterole - 1 inch in diameter, one piece of lemon meringue - one inch cubed, one piece of mint chocolate - about one inch cubed and some fresh cream with a small chocolate stick on top!!!!! Our tickets cost us 40 pounds per person......complete rip-off. Through the whole meal....not one waiter approached our table with more water.....pathetic.
I attended a function in the Everglades about 15 years ago and swore then I would not be back as it was so poor. I have vowed now never to return to this hotel again as their customer care has not got any better......in my eyes worse!!!!!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The magnificent Everglades Hotel is situated on the banks of the River Foyle with superb views across Derry city to the Donegal Hills, and is the ideal base from which to discover the 17th-century walled city of Derry. This impressive modern and friendly hotel, with a golf course right next door, is only a short drive from the beautiful beaches and rugged hills of County Donegal or the breathtaking Sperrin Mountains. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Everglades Hotel Derry, Northern Ireland