We spent three nights at the hotel, with 5 colleagues, whilst attending the Kent Co Show. At first glance, the facility appeared very modern and impressive with a warm welcome at Reception.
The room, accessed with a card key, appeared very hi-tech and impressive with various light settings, electronic window blinds, air conditioning, a large comfortable bed, large tv and a modern glass-walled bathroom with an excellent shower. Unfortunately, the air conditioning was belting out hot air and the room felt like a greenhouse.The receptionist gave us a second card key and advised us to leave it in the slot in the room to allow the room to cool down. When we returned at midnight the heat was still unbearable. A very helpful member of the night reception staff was called to fix it but he agreed that the room heat was oppressive and moved us to another room.
Two other points about the room.The blinds came down automatically when we entered the room and it took us ages to figure out that they only opened via a discreet switch at the side of the bed. A notice pointing this out, or advice on check in, would have been helpful. Also, the fabulously modern glass walls of the bathroom, although opaque, did not, in our view, provide sufficient privacy.
The dining experience was very disappointing. Each morning we were politely welcomed to breakfast at the entrance desk and asked for our room numbers but, within a minute of entry, we were almost 'interrogated' about our room numbers again near the self service....on two mornings running....by an abrupt, short blond haired woman who has clearly been trained in airport security! Why do that?
Bar meals on our first night were distinctly below average with, amongst other things, wet Scampi and soggy chips. The main restaurant, on the second evening was even worse. A colleague and I ordered potato and leek soup and had to send them back as they were uneatable and positively vile.....how can 'any' chef ruin a simple soup? On the third night we arrived back hungry and tired but we were advised that there would be a delay in the dining room as they were busy catering for a coach load of foreign tourists .... so it was back to the bar meals again! Absolutely ridiculous.
On the positive side, I have to say that the reception staff were welcoming and charming and one waiter, John, impressed us all as he went out of his way at the bar and restaurant to attend to our needs, promptly resolve our dining issues and all with warmth, humour and a high degree of professionalism.
This is such an impressive hotel with fresh modern facilities and young staff who are obviously keen to impress but someone clearly needs to review the whole dining experience as well as how guests can better access the technology. If this was done, we would certainly consider a return visit.
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Sittingbourne Kent