So, back to the Holiday Inn Bolton for another few nights...
I was given a much better room this time (some slightly peeling wallpaper but otherwise quite agreeable), although my preference for a smoking room couldn't be honoured. This one actually had the advertised trouser press and in-room safe - the joys of business travel never cease to amaze me. I also managed to grab the last decent-sized parking space, which was a bit of a bonus.
Overall the stay was better than my previous visit but I had a most extraordinary exchange with the front desk when I tried to extend my stay from two nights to three nights, having established that there was no way I could get my work done in two days. In summary:
The front desk told me that there was no availablilty for the extra night and suggested I "leave it" for now and should ask if there were any cancellations when I checked out in the morning. At this stage I would have expected confirmation that, if a cancellation had occurred, I would have been on a list to take advantage of it but this was clearly beyond the bounds of what passes for customer service at this hotel.
Out of interest I called home to see what the HI website had to say about availability and it was immediately obvious that a variety of rooms were available to book. I returned to the front desk with this information and was told that I would be unwise to book through the HI website because the rooms might actually be unavailable. The fact that both I and the hotel would have had a serious problem on our hands had I driven 250 miles the previous evening with a confirmed booking, only to find the hotel full, didn't really seem to sink in with the receptionist who, again, suggested that I just wait for a cancellation.
When I suggested that I would pack my bag and head for the (not much more expensive) De Vere if I couldn't resolve matters in the next fifteen minutes I finally got to the bottom of the matter.
It would seem that while HI and the property each have a booking system, only HI really knows when rooms are available. Bizarrely the hotel does not.
Having established this it was, perhaps, too much to expect that the front desk would add an extra night to my stay. Instead, I was given a card with the central reservations number on it and told that I should call the number on the card to extend my stay. After a brief conversation with a very helpful member of staff at central reservations my stay was extended by a further night. The experience would have been so much better, however, if the front desk had taken care of this for me.
In short, two simple pieces of training are needed here:
1) If a guest wants to extend their stay and pay for the privilege don't treat the request as if it's an inconvenience; and
2) Never, ever, ever, undermine the confidence of your paying customers in the on-line booking system.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Holiday Inn Bolton Centre is within easy reach of the M6, M61, M62 and M60 motorway networks making us ideally situated for both business and leisure. A large hotel boasting 132 bedrooms including 7 Executive bedrooms all with individually controlled air-conditioning. For conferences and events, Holiday Inn Bolton Centre can accommodate upto 340 delegates. We will ensure your conference, function or event runs like clockwork. Our superb facilities include wireless internet access. So for a successful conference in Bolton , look no further. We also boast the perfect venue for civil ceremonies and weddings in Bolton with our very beautiful Cloisters suite, a converted church and hidden jewel of the North West. And for a place to dine, the stylish Lounge Bar and Restaurant offers cuisine to suit all. Our leisure club, includes an indoor swimming pool, sauna, and gym. Local attractions include The Reebok Stadium, home to Bolton Wanderers, Old Trafford, home of Manchester United and City of Manchester Stadium, home of Manchester City FC the Trafford Centre, is close by aswell as other places of interest such as The Lowry Centre, Bury, Blackburn, Horwich, Chorley, Manchester, Oldham, Heywood, Rochdale and Darwen. In accordance with English law this hotel is non-smoking throughout. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Bolton Centre Hotel Bolton
- Bolton Holiday Inn