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“Slightly disappointing service, and that was by the managers!”

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Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Droitwich
Reviewed October 1, 2013

I took visitors up to this hotel for coffee and sandwiches recently. we sat in the bar area and waited, and waited and waited! to be served. Bar tenders/waiting staff were no where to be seen. After a while I went to the bar and a waitress appeared from the larger room behind the bar. I asked if it was waiter service or did we need to order from the bar and was abruptly told it was waiter service. A few minutes later our order was taken. the food was lovely and tasty, no complaints there. But then we witnessed further customers arriving who waited and waited and waited! Also totally puzzled whether they had to stand at the bar or if a waiter would come to them. No chance of either though, as there were no staff to be found anywhere, however.....this is the reason for my trip advisor complaint.....numerous Bosses/Managers/men with clip boards and brief cases walked past us all from offices, and various corridors,etc. and totally ignored us all waiting. No eye contact, not even and acknowledgement that we were there or to apologise for the wait and an attempt to alert waiting staff. I realise the hotel is going through some referbishment but this is no excuse. St. Andrew's hotel is also going through major refurbishments but they continue to provide excellent customer service throughout. I suggest the Bosses, owners, managers of the Chateau get their finger out and scrub up thier act, otherwise customers won't return and will soon find other more "on the ball" venues to entertain guests such as St. Andrews which is just a few minutes down the road.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Monner66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben E, General Manager at Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2013

Dear Monner66,

Thank you for your review of your recent visit to Chateau Impney. I was very disappointed to read your comments regarding slow service when you visited the hotel but was pleased to read that you enjoyed your food. As you are aware, the hotel is undergoing a refurbishment programme at the moment and as such we have experienced some disruption to normal operations but we always strive to ensure that our levels of service surpass all expectations; a task in which we normally excel (as you can see from our array of extremely positive comments on service).

I also note your comments regarding St Andrews Hotel in Droitwich and whilst I fully appreciate your opinion I would gladly compare Chateau Impney to any of our local competitors, St Andrews included. I am confident that our service, product and customer care rank well above anything alternatively available.

Thank you again for your review.

Best regards,

Ben Elder

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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779 - 785 of 1,145 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2013

Rarely have I seen a hotel with such underdeveloped potential.
In middle Western England on the northern edge of the Cotswolds, it is quiet in its extensive grounds. Its long country drive is lined with fields of trees, horses and sheep, and then one sees an imposing French Chateau, built in the 19th century by the scion of a family wealthy from local salt mining. Drive past the fountains and rock gardens and parking is plentiful and adjacent. The keynote of the entrance vestibule, at this time under some renovation, is a portrait of the French wife for whom the scion built his chateau. She sits unconvincingly on horseback with a somewhat simpering expression. Elegant it all is, but rather faded and jaded. Chateau Impney badly needs association with a major International flag such as Hilton, or more appropriately Relais and Chateau. Until it does, it lacks the connections and standards required for its rooms to fetch what they should - more than double current levels. Today it is not for those who seek the clinical efficiency of a new hotel. But it IS a bargain for those who are prepared to accept the slightly Fawlty-Towers atmosphere to stay at a beautiful historical place that is excellently located. And boy, is it excellently located !
Walk down past the horses and sheep, along 5 minutes of highway and within 20 minutes total you are in Droitwich, a lovely little town that made its name as a salt spa and today is a collection of traditional high-street shops, pubs and restaurants and historic buildings. A nice place to wander. Get in your car and you are a bit over a mile from the main motorways that connect West England to the South and the North. It is also just a couple of miles from the major Midlands East-West connection. For local targets there are multiple other main roads. Choose your direction! South and within 30 minutes you are in Worcester with its imposing cathedral by the River Severn . A few minutes further is little Pershore with its delightful abbey. Less than 30 minutes more South take you to Tewkesbury, Evesham, Broadway and the prettiest parts of the Cotswolds. West 30 minutes is Malvern, the Malvern hills and/or Elgar’s home, and 30 minutes further the city and cathedral of Hereford. East 45 or so minutes is Stratford-on-Avon. North 30 minutes and you are in the Black Country, the unchallenged origin of the industrial revolution that forever changed Britain and later America. Under 30 minutes is the Black Country Living Museum. They created a complete little town of the early 20th century by preservation of some buildings and moving others brick-by-brick. You can go into houses, shops, a school, church, see an operating steam engine and take a harrowing trip into a 19th century coal mine. There is a trolley bus and the place even has the smell of coal and iron ore that I remember so well from my childhood. Historical, entertaining and educational. If you can extend to an hour or two of drive you can get to the heart of the Cotswolds, to Bath, to the dreaming spires of Oxford via Blenheim, (Churchill’s family home). You want castles? Chateau Impney is within half of an hour of some of the best, including Ludlow and Warwick. Though a defensive earth structure rather than a castle. my favorite is British Camp in Malvern. It was a last defense against the Romans and even nearly 2,000 years later you can walk up the hill and imagine battle. More lengthy day trips can include Stonehenge or even the lake district, Wordsworth country. The point is that ALL of these trips are from this one hotel. I was born and raised in Western England. Now living in America, I often am asked by those who have “done” London where next to go. In future, I will say “rent a car, book into the Chateau Impney for as many days as you can, s a tick pins in a map, buy a GPS and GO”. Yet all that the Chateau Impney website can muster is that they are situated in “the Midlands” and “the heart of England”, Neither of these are descriptive, appealing or even technically accurate in that Droitwich is in the West, not too far from the Welsh border.
But back to the hotel. It is a true chateau. Ground floor reception rooms are large. Today the only one of substance is the dining room, a large and a cold tone of ageing green and gold, but the entrance vestibule, stairs and intimate bar have warm traditional elegance We did not see the bedrooms in the main chateau. For a family get-together, we took one of the “apartments” , two minutes walk across the carpark. For some $200 a night we got two double bedrooms, two baths, sizeable living room and fully equipped kitchen. It was great value, but did come with the ghosts of Basil, Sybil and Manuel. Service is what I call not-so-much-professional-as-willing-and –accomplished-amateur; smartly dressed, polite and helpful but tackling with grace problems that should not have been allowed to occur. We had not been warned that the apartment was up 21 large steps of one of those spiral staircases that give some people (including one of ours) vertigo. No elevator. The apartment was clean but the refrigerator did not work. The sofa and seating in the living room were cheap and with low seats. With the sag of age(the furniture, not us! Well, maybe us as well), our butts were six inches from the floor. The duty manager could not have been nicer. He carried a replacement refrigerator up that spiral staircase (strong young man). We guessed that nothing could be done about the seating, but when we came back an hour later, there was a new and very comfortable suite of furniture. Just thinking about those 21 steps gave me a pain in the groin. They did emphasize that in the next few months they would upgrade, so I guess soon Basil and co may disappear.
We had a family dinner there, and it was excellent. Good choice well prepared and cost comparable with or even lower than the pub down the road. I believe they could justify a higher pricing. Breakfast is another matter. They charge nearly a tenner for a continental layout that lacks a full variety. Management has fallen into the trap of reacting to low volume by pricing high and limiting cost to the degree that people go elsewhere. But for another six or so you get a wonderful English “Full-Monty”. Not only that, but cooked to order, and that is SO much better than the hot-but-stale buffet approach.
So that’s it. I like to be constructive, so I have some specific suggestions for management:
1) I am sure you have tried, but you really must get associated with an international hotel flag. This will require upgrading the offering.
2) This should allow CONSIDERABLE increase in room rates.
3) Prepare ten to twenty day trip suggestions. Do it right. Identified tourist locations with maps, color photos. Tourist centers will be overjoyed to contribute. Even get a few “loaner” GPS units with targets loaded.
4) Support the above with strong descriptives of the hotel of the type I do here. Market the hotel as a center from which to cover all the must-sees of Western England. Then get the package out to American travel magazines, newspaper syndicates, agents etc. The point is the uniqueness of a central one time only unpack/repack location that has history, peace, charm and ease of access. Americans are screaming out for it.
5) Work on the food offerings. Continental must be much more welcoming and/or cheaper. I would make an offer to guests at time of check in that if they eat dinner in the restaurant, they get a complimentary continental breakfast. Once you have them sitting down, have staff trained to sell-the-sizzle by communicating the freshness of the ingredients and the “cooked to order” advantage. Dad and the teenagers will stump up for the English.
6) If there is anything in my descriptions you would like to adopt, be my guest. I have no further use for them.
That, for what it is worth, is my review.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank JohnWatsonOBE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

We have just had a lovely stay in this amazing hotel. We didn't know what to expect really (you can never tell from the photos). We had thought it might be too kitsch but it exceeded our expectations. It is a beautiful and extremely original building with an amazingly ornate facade. Our room in the Chateau had been refurbished, and it was fairly small but beautifully done. We had the best night's sleep for ages. Breakfast was great - plentiful and delicious. The hotel is in the full throes of a refurbishment, but this did not affect the quality of the facilities, service etc. We look forward to returning in the future.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Glaikit1s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben E, General Manager at Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre, responded to this reviewResponded October 1, 2013

Dear Glaikit1s,

Thank you for your recent review of your stay at Chateau Impney. I was delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you found the results of our refurbishment to your liking. We have made huge efforts to ensure the refurbishment of this amazing building has been completed sympathetically.

I was also very pleased to read that you found our breakfast both plentiful and delicious.

Thank you again for your review and I hope that we have the opportunity to welcome you back to Chateau Impney in the near future.

Best regards,

Ben Elder

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

Stayed for a night following the Birmingham v Swansea Capital 1 Cup game. The Hotel looks great from the road but in reality is a bit tired. It was probably a fantastic place and to be fair they are doing some refurb work which made getting to reception a bit of a trek. My room was in a separate annex. It was quiet, clean but small. The bed was too soft for me. Breakfast was in a huge ballroom which was ok but again looked tired. The breakfast itself was good. All the staff were friendly and attentive. After breakfast I had a coffee on the veranda and read the newspaper - lovely and quiet surrounded by fields of horses. It was fairly good value at £77 B&B but in its current state wouldn't use it for anything romantic until the refurb is finished.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a good bed if you don't like soft mattresses.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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Thank LouisX1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben E, General Manager at Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre, responded to this reviewResponded October 1, 2013

Dear Stuartdclarke,

Thank you for your recent review of your stay at Chateau Impney. I was glad to read that you enjoyed your stay and the amazing views from our fantastic terrace. I was also glad to note that you found our staff friendly and attentive.

In respect of your comments regarding the 'tired' areas of the hotel, I am glad to be able to say that the hotel is undergoing a significant refurbishment programme at the moment and we are confident of a truly outstanding product as the result.

Thank you again for your review and I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back to Chateau Impney in the near future.

Best regards,

Ben Elder

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2013

Went here to celebrate my sisters birthday. The Food was great, the staff were friendly and the grounds were spectacular. There are cheaper places to go but this made a nice change. Would visit again.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank Michael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben E, General Manager at Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 27, 2013

Dear Michael H,

Thank you for your recent review of Sunday lunch at Chateau Impney. I was very gratified to read your kind comments and I am delighted that you enjoyed your visit for your sisters birthday. I will be sure to pass your comments onto the team here who I know will also be delighted.

Thank you again for your review and I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back to Chateau Impney in the near future.

Best regards,

Ben Elder

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

I went to the Chateau with my Partner to celebrate our anniversary. We had planned to have afternoon tea in the afternoon and a romantic meal in the Chateau in the evening.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the Chateau, we were told we were not able to have afternoon tea as it had been cancelled due to a wedding. We had not been informed about this. We were also told that, due to the wedding, we would not be able to have an evening meal in the Chateau, or breakfast, or even enter the bar or use any of the facilities inside the Chateau. The only food available was a very limited selection of bar food. Again, we had not been aware of any of this prior to our arrival.

The room that we were given was very basic and was called a "courtyard room." It had no out-door windows or air conditioning and as a result it got extremely hot and I was unable to sleep. I had to get up in the middle of the night and go outside just to get some air. We were also disturbed all night by wedding guests coming back late to their rooms.

The breakfast the next day was not much better. There were no menus and the only option was a "Full English." The breakfast had been moved to a dingey room with no outside windows or view (where the dinner had been the previous night) and the staff were very unfriendly.

The worst it about the trip was that when I complained to the Manager, Neil D'Souza, he was very rude and the only thing that he was willing to do to meet my complaints was to offer me a discounted room for an additional stay. As I had had such an appalling stay the first time round, this was not something I would consider.

All in all the Chateau is not an experience that I would recommend to anybody.

Room Tip: Do not stay in the Courtroom rooms. No air-conditioning or outside windows, so they get very hot. Th...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Katherine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben E, General Manager at Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

Dear Katherine R,

Thank you for your recent review of your stay at Chateau Impney. I was disappointed to read your original complaint letter which was sent to the hotel and equally disappointed to note that you did not feel our various offers of recourse were sufficient.

Whilst I agree that it was a disappointment for you to be told that the main Chateau had been booked for a private function on the weekend of your stay, I remain confident that this information was communicated to you in advance of your stay as it was with all other guests scheduled to stay over that weekend. I would also point out that nowhere do we advertise our discounted Courtyard rooms, one of which you booked for your special occasion to be air conditioned.

In respect of your comments regarding the choice and quality of food available, I feel that it is necessary to point out that the menu you were provided when you considered dining in our newly refurbished Elizabethan Suite was exactly the same menu you would have been given had the dining room in the main house been available and I am disappointed by your characterisation of this recently refurbished function room as 'dingey'. As you were informed at the time of booking, the hotel is undergoing a major refurbishment at the moment and as such we have experienced some disruption to our normal services although our overall guest feedback on our temporary measures has been overwhelmingly positive.

Referring to your comment about Neil D'Souza, and whilst you are entitled to your opinion, I feel it is unfair to characterise him as rude. Neil made every effort to resolve the situation with you however this was made almost impossible by your issuance of a threat to 'make your concerns extremely vocal online and in any reviews you make of the Chateau' should you not be 'compensated for your disappointment'.

I am genuinely sorry that you did not enjoy your stay at Chateau Impney as you would have liked but I feel that my team did everything reasonable to attempt to resolve this issue with you. If you would like to return to the hotel at a later date, our offer of a discounted rate in a Chateau bedroom is still available and I would be pleased to welcome you back.

Thank you again for your review.

Best regards,

Ben Elder

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

Glorious afternoon tea served at this beautiful hotel. Stopped off during a long, wet drive home for a treat and it certainly was! Divine scones, cakes, sandwiches nicely served by a very attentive waiter. Well worth a visit

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank suert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ben E, General Manager at Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre, responded to this reviewResponded September 20, 2013

Dear suert,

Thank you for your recent review of your afternoon tea at Chateau Impney. I was very glad to read that we were able to provide a short respite during your long journey. Our afternoon tea has quickly become a local favourite and I am glad that you and your party enjoyed it too.

If you are ever passing again, we would be delighted to welcome you back for another afternoon tea to break up your journey.

Thank you again for your kind comments.

Best regards,

Ben Elder

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 Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre

Address: Bromsgrove Road, Droitwich WR9 0BN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Worcestershire > Droitwich
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Droitwich
Price Range: $76 - $114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre 3*
Number of rooms: 114
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Also Known As:
Chateau Impney Hotel Droitwich
Chateau Impney Droitwich

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