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“SHAMBLES ON BOXING DAY”

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The Saracens Head Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Great Dunmow
Great Dunmow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“SHAMBLES ON BOXING DAY”
Reviewed January 7, 2013

Appalling customer service by the Co-owners, one of them shouted at the top of her voice at me in the middle of the restaurant when I complained. I have had an apology but have been told that as far as they are concerned they are not taking matters further and for their part the matter is now closed. Clearly both owners were stressed and couldn't cope with the situation. The booking was made in September and I had mentioned that my elderly parents of 93 and 85 years respectively would be coming, both of who find it difficult to walk so easy access would be necessary. I was told we would have a long table at the front of the restaurant in front of the windows. I had no idea that there was an upstairs at this stage. On arrival we were told we would be upstairs. This is when I complained and the owner shouted at me. Having finally agreed to go upstairs, as I felt I had no other choice with a party of 12 of us, we then had to wait over one hour for our starters to arrive even though we had pre ordered our meals in advance. As my elderly parents can't sit in upright chairs for too long at a table, we asked for some comfortable chairs to be available. A male member of staff brought a chair upstairs and slammed it down looking very annoyed. When I got upstairs, the waitress was still laying the table. The service was extremely slow due to lack of staff and the whole meal took 4 hours. Never have I received such dreadful customer service, especially by a Co-owner of an establishment. The food we had was ok although with the roast dinner on offer, there was only one type of vegetable, surely with a roast dinner there should have at least been two different vegetables. I would just like to say that the waitress we had worked really hard and looked after us. The Saracens Head, I'm sure will be delighted to hear that we will never go there again and I would urge others to try a different restaurant when visiting Great Dunmow.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 82Joanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cozypubs1, Owner at The Saracens Head Hotel, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to review our establishment.
I understand you have also been in email correspondence with my partners.
Again we apologise for mixing up your booking we did many times on the day.
Sometimes we get it wrong and systems have been changed to ensure this doesn't happen again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Great Dunmow, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We had a meal on New Year's Eve, and wasn't vey impressed by the service or food quality. We paid £70 per head, plus drinks on top of course, so it wasn't cheap, and we expected a little more. We asked four times for a jug of water, three times for wine, it seemed that the staff were a little confused, with no apparent system. The food was ok, though the pigeon was very rare, and the lamb was tough, and we felt insulted that 20% was added to our large bill for service, we declined to pay it. The party after was good, but we feel having been a few times to the Saracens, if they want to charge the prices, they need to up their game in what and how they deliver.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cozypubs1, Owner at The Saracens Head Hotel, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review TSHH.
I am sorry you felt the food was not perfect on the night.
We tried very hard to ensure that everyone had a great time.
We are very sorry that you were charged 20% service as this was not the % that was agreed.
Please except my sincere apologies for this mistake.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sutton Coldfield, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Two night stay over New Year, we dined in the restaurant on the Sunday and enjoyed a superb roast dinner with all the trimmings at lunch and some sharing plates on the evening which again were very well presented and very tasty. The hotel bar is full of locals and has a really pleasant ambience. We attended the New Years Eve Party, ticket price for a 4 course dinner and a welcome glass of champagne was £70.00 per head, with the most fantastic entertainment and in our opinion excellent value for money. If you're looking for a hotel in a lovely village close to Stanstead Airport, I would highly recommend it as the staff were attentative and the rooms which have been recently refurbished are extremely comfortable. I was given a tour of the recently opened Fitness centre adjoining the property which is very well equipped, especially if you are local and are looking to shed some pounds following the Xmas festivities !

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lucy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

I am not a local to the Saracens head, and never will be but after hearing mixed reviews from friends I thought it would be worth a look. It so happened to be 'party night' which really was a party for not just customers but the staff and owners too. As the bar got busier it was apparent the staff could not cope with the volume of customers but that aside I had a few issues with the service. Firstly one of the barman scoffed a handful of what I believe were nuts into his mouth before taking my order and then had his hand on the rim of the glass as he passed me my drink. Complete lack of hygiene awareness. Secondly when I returned later I decided to have a glass of wine. It was served to me in a warm glass, which made it unbearable to drink. On suggestion that some ice may 'help' I agreed and passed to the glass back, in which the barman thought it would be acceptable to use his fingers to drop the ice cubes in... I can only guess that he assumed I couldn't see him or he hasn't been trained in any sort of hygiene whatsoever! I left the wine but proceeded to watch the surprisingly good entertainment. During the performance my friend pointed out one of the owners who seemed to be leaping around like he was in a festival!? I waited for him to finish his 'dancing' to go and confront him about the poor bar service but he seemed to be sweating, pie eyed and unable to concentrate on anything I was saying. It was quite obvious that he was more than just drunk so I decide to make no comments at the time. The place itself seems nicely done and the clientele is reasonable so I was utterly disappointed to find they have 'messed on their own doorstep' in my view anyway.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank Kev33215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cozypubs1, Owner at The Saracens Head Hotel, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to review our hotel/bar.

We are sorry that you experienced the bad service on New Years Eve.

We were exceptionally busy but we will go through the staff training again.

One of the owners, after doing a gruelling Christmas period and an 18 hour shift that day did decide to clock off and finally have a bit of fun.

Regards

Tim.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jarrow
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Stayed 3 nights over Christmas and had a very good time. Room, in the annex, was comfortable and had everything you need. Bar was busy, but it was Christmas, and restaurant was excellent. Well worth a visit.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PaulJarrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cozypubs1, Owner at The Saracens Head Hotel, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you very much for your kind comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Home Counties UK
Level 6 Contributor
259 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2012

The Saracens Head has been at the centre of community life in Great Dunmow, of Dunmow Flitch fame, for centuries. It has recently been refurbished and very well done too. The old world charm is still there but with a modern stylish touch. Comfortable and enjoyable.
We all know that the pre-Christmas period is the busiest that restaurants experience so we venture forth with fingers crossed. Sadly for me when visiting the restaurant for a traditional
turkey dinner last Friday evening the kitchen must have been under the most severe pressure
of all. I say this because whilst my starter was an excellent soup, and whilst the turkey itself was delicious, sadly the accompanying batter pudding (with turkey?) was
dry, 'tough' and tasteless. Now I know that vegetables should not be over cooked, but there is a difference between a light steaming, or blanching, and food that is hard on the fork let alone in the mouth. So there we have it. The courteous and friendly staff were concerned at my
dilemma. My pudding was as delightful as the soup, but unsurprisingly, I remained hungry
after completing the three courses. A discreet request for some cheese and biscuits quickly brought forth a delicious selection of both and my appetite was quelled. Perhaps this is bound to happen at this time of year for a variety of reasons. But ignoring the possibility of staff sickness,
what was obvious was that there were at least four very large parties of diners in the Hotel that evening. Was this too much for the resources of the kitchen? I do not know. I do know however, that as the cost of eating out has risen tremendously over recent years, that restaurants that fail to provide nothing less that excellent food will struggle to compete with
those that do.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Colin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Altrincham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2012

My wife and I were put up in this hotel [developers] while awaiting building work completion. It was a real gem of a visit. The staff were warm and very friendly.
Sitting by the log fire drinking Guinness was a perfect start to some great eating in the Hotel that week.
Recommend : Anything but especially the roast beef [sunday] or the burger [I was full].
All the staff had a smile and it was a joy to see, well done for making this a 5 star experience

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank michael957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cozypubs1, Owner at The Saracens Head Hotel, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Thank you very much for your very kind comments.
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 The Saracens Head Hotel

Property: The Saracens Head Hotel
Address: High Street, Great Dunmow CM6 1AG, England (Formerly Saracens Head Hotel Great Dunmow)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Great Dunmow
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Great Dunmow
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Saracens Head Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This grade II listed building once a traditional coaching inn, set in the historical market town of Great Dunmow, has been fully restored and re-furbished back to a beautiful bar, restaurant and hotel. Find us just off the A120 – we’re about 6 miles from both and only 12 minutes from Stansted Airport. Our menus are thoughtfully created and changed with each season.Free WIFI to all guests and visitors. Enjoy superb food prepared using the freshest local ingredients, with timeless classics and innovative specials. Everything is cooked to order using as much local produce as our head chef can buy, and served in stylish, relaxed and modern surroundings. Our Sunday roast is fast becoming legendary and is served all day. Join us any time for great food and drink and warm, friendly service.We have 31 en-suite rooms each with room service, free wifi and a delicious breakfast served in the morning. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Saracens Head Hotel Great Dunmow, Essex

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