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“Almost ignored.”
Review of Randolph Hotel

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Randolph Hotel
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Southwold
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Over the last few years we have visited the Randolph Hotel several times for Sunday lunch and other special occasions and until last Sunday we have always been delighted with the experience, however our experience last Sunday has certainly made us reappraise our opinion.

The meal was a disaster from start to finish: I made a reservation by telephone and made a point of of saying that it was my wife's birthday: expecting that at the very least, this would be acknowledged upon arrival - instead the receptionist had managed to get our name wrong and only confirmed our reservation based upon the time required. We were not shown to a table, just told that our table was in the corner, not which corner. We went to the wrong table, only for the waitress to point to another and say " that's yours". After a considerable wait we were handed menus and ordered drinks, these also took some time to arrive. We both ordered roast beef which turned out to be extremely tough, we were not asked if the meal was satisfactory until the plates were collected; we then told the waitress of our concerns who, after reporting to the kitchen, said that the chef apologised and that he had received the same complaint from another table.
After a further long wait for menus, we ordered deserts - these took over 35 minutes to arrive, and my wife was given a soup spoon instead of a desert spoon. The beer that I had ordered with the desert never arrived at all.

In addition to the above, diners who had arrived some time after us were served well before us and in fact finished their main meal before we received our desert. When we eventually received our bill we were told that because the beef was not up to standard that our first drinks were "on the house". Upon checking the bill we found that we had been charged for a bitter shandy which had not been ordered or received.

We have in the past recommended the Randolph Hotel for the quality of their Sunday lunches to our friends but, based upon this experience, we would be very wary of doing so in the future.
Before writing this review I Emailed the proprietor of the Randolph, informing him of our dissatisfaction. He did not bother to reply

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank murphy11Lowestoft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DavidSmithRandolph, Owner at Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2013

Dear Murphy11LOWESTOFT

Thank you for your patience whilst I have been investigating fully your email of 10th October.

Having been at the helm of The Randolph for the last 9 years, we know only too well that we are only as good as our worst meal served. To hear on this occasion that not only was the meal poor but that the service was also a letdown, was incredibly disappointing. We make great efforts to ensure that we aim for 100% customer satisfaction in all areas, and it sounds like we failed in all areas on this occasion.

There is no excuse to not to be shown to your table and my apologies that your wife was not wished a Happy Birthday. Why there was such a delay in handing menus to you I have no idea and obviously you had been overlooked. Again my apologies for this lack of attention.

With regards to the Beef, this sadly had affected a few tables that lunchtime. I should point out that this was no fault of our Chefs, but of the joint of meat itself. Whilst Topside of Beef is a good tasting roasting joint, it is not consistent enough in terms of tenderness. With immediate effect we have now changed our purchasing regarding this and the Five Rib, Forerib of beef is proving very popular.

Regarding the diners who arrived after you or before you, such fluctuations can be caused by many issues, they may or may not have pre-ordered in advance? May or may not have chosen to have a starter course? And whilst this may have annoyed you on the day, I am sure that the lack of service to your table only compounded the effect it had on your visit.

I have also spoken to the Pastry Chef that day regarding your delay in receiving desserts, I am astounded to think that it actually took 35 minutes? Indeed for anything to leave our kitchens with such delay is hard to comprehend. Suffice to say that again please accept my apologies for any length of wait in receiving your pudding. The fact that it was served with a soup spoon is poor, embarrassing and obviously a mistake from a more junior member of staff. Your comments will help us ensure that such mistakes do not happen again in the future.

I am glad that my Assistant Manager tried to acknowledge the situation and give you complimentary drinks by way of apology, he was embarrassed to see that another guests’ drink had been charged incorrectly to your table after he had voided your drinks off.

I do hope you will be able to tell from my response, how important we take guests feedback. I never chose to ignore your email, so to say publicly that I “didn’t bother to reply” on ‘Tripadvisor’ I do deem to be unfair. Having been able to recommend us in the past for lunches, I would like to think that you would come back and enable us to show you that this was a one off, and give you confidence in our hospitality again. Suffice to say that readers of ‘Tripadvisor’ and other online review sites, will have to make their own judgement as to your comments and my subsequent response.

I do hope that you receive this email from me, I haven’t heard from you regarding my immediate response to your first email. So I will publish this as my management response to your comments.

I do hope to be welcome you and your Wife back to The Randolph soon

With best wishes

David

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221 - 227 of 348 reviews

Reviewed September 29, 2013

We were impressed by our stay at The Randolph. We received a warm welcome on arrival and allocated Room 10 which was clean light and airy, of a good size with well equipped ensuite bathroom. We had a nice meal in the bar (the menu could be described as limited but there were additional specials) and although the hotel was very busy due to a function, we had excellent service from the enthusiastic staff. Negatives....none really.... we had a quiet, undisturbed night followed by a very good breakfast and so will definitely return for another visit.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Stournavigator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DavidSmithRandolph, Owner at Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2013

Dear Stournavigator

Thank you so much for your terrific review of The Randolph and Room 10, we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and appreciate you taking the time to review us.

We hope to welcome you back to The Randolph again soon

Best wishes

David and Donna

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Reviewed September 26, 2013

We have stayed at the Randolph 4 times now and still love it as much as the first time we stayed. We are not strangers to Southwold, as my in-laws lived a few miles away and we always stayed with them. However when they died, we decided to stay at the Randolph as it had many memories of drinks and meals over the years. It is such a friendly hotel, the staff are lovely, David and Donna are excellent hosts. The rooms are comfortable, the food delicious, both breakfast and dinner. We are returning again very soon.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RelaxandStay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DavidSmithRandolph, Owner at Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2013

Dear Relax and Stay

Thank you so much for your lovely review of The Randolph, and your very kind words about my Wife and I. We have a terrific team that we are all proud of and we are pleased that this is reflected in the level of service that you received.

Best wishes and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon

David and Donna

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Reviewed September 9, 2013

1st class Breakfast. Light airy clean bedrooms, large en suite with good shower but otherwise very basically kitted out. Limited pub type bar menu. Really lacks a comfortable lounge to relax in after dinner with only one sofa in each bar. Bedroom overlooked access to car park and was very noisy with people shouting and car doors slamming, engines revving etc., also lot of noise filtering up from bars below.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank 275Lillian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DavidSmithRandolph, Owner at Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2013

Dear 275Lilian

Thank you for your lovely comments regarding The Randolph, I am sorry that we didn't have a lounge area for you to relax in, but we don't advertise we have one either! Your comments about cars revving and people shouting make it sound like this is Silverstone, more-so just customers leaving I guess? I am however delighted that there was a buzz in the hotel, not caused by faceless music, but by the normal interaction of customers enjoying our hospitality.

Best wishes

David

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Reviewed September 2, 2013

We were delighted with our welcome, our room, our breakfast, the staff and the situation of the hotel.

We were blown away by the evening meals and the interesting and interested bar staff.

Our two night stay in an executive room was made all the more enjoyable by the bar and restaurant staff.

I would recommend The Randolph.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Suzanne019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DavidSmithRandolph, Owner at Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2013

Dear Suzane019

Thank you so much for your lovely review, we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and we are pleased that you liked our executive double rooms.

best wishes

David and Donna

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Reviewed August 30, 2013

We stayed over at the Randolph as we were going on the brewery tour in Southwold and as a treat for my birthday.
The hotel was in a great location, a short 15 minute walk to Southwold. The food was beautiful in the evening and the breakfast was nice too.
The staff are wonderful, helpful, hardworking and make you feel valued as a customer and resident.
The rooms we had 12 and 8 were spacious, but the bathrooms let it down. In 8 the light switch almost fell off the ceiling every time you pulled it. In 12 there is no real shower, only a telephone style head at the end of the bath, which is very difficult when you want to wash your hair like I did and it is long like mine, it was a mission in itself. If it wasn't for the bathrooms, the overall rating would have been much better.

Room Tip: Check whether room has a shower or not, if you prefer showers like we do.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank SparklyPurple80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DavidSmithRandolph, Owner at Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2013

Dear SP80

Thank you for your lovely reviews on both the food in the restaurant and this one on the hotel side of our business. Rm 12 has no shower, which is why it is sold with bath en-suite only. We are hoping to be able to upgrade this bathroom in early 2014. The light fitting pull cord in room 8, that had become unscrewed has now been screwed and fixed, thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Best wishes

David

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Reviewed August 23, 2013

Took my sister her husband and my family. Meal for 6 just a shade over 100 quid excluding drinks. Very well cooked , presented and served.All round a great evening and meal in good surroundings. Well recommended to all

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank murraygellatly2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DavidSmithRandolph, Owner at Randolph Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2013

Dear MG

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to write such a lovely review on us here at The Randolph. Indeed the second such nice review this year from yourself.

We value customer feedback both good and bad, and are delighted that yours was so positive.

Best wishes

David and Donna

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Randolph Hotel

Address: 41 Wangford Road | Reydon, Southwold IP18 6PZ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Southwold
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Southwold
Price Range: $104 - $175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Randolph Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Randolph is a family run hotel in the village of Reydon near SOUTHWOLD. You will be assured of a relaxing stay in the Number One Hotel in the Southwold area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Randolph Hotel Southwold, Suffolk

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