My sister and I travelled up from London for two nights at the Tankerville Arms, which we'd bought via a group-buying site. The photos of the rooms were nice, but when we got there, we were put in an attic room that was draughty and infested with mosquitoes. We didn't plan to spend much time in the room, so after swatting as many as we could, we went out. That evening, we discovered the TV didn't work so a member of staff came up to take a look. After a while she gave some exccuse about having to change the digi box every fortnight, but didn't offer any kind of solution. What with this, the draughts and the mosquito problem, we asked to move rooms, if there was one available and it wasn't too much trouble. We were given two separate rooms on the floor below with all the other guests, which were much better (though various things in the rooms were broken, such as the main light, lack of hot water in tap etc).
The following morning, we were utterly bewildered when we were repeatedly ignored by the catering staff in the dining room. We kept trying to catch the waitresses' eyes so we could order, thinking they were just busy and hadn't noticed us come in, but after fifteen minutes, it was pretty clear they were more interested in serving the tables of local men. The muesli I planned to have wasn't available, so I said I'd have toast instead (could have had a cooked breakfast, but didn't). I was given two pieces of cold, hard toast that tasked like cardboard and my sister had to wait another fifteen minutes for her breakfast. The waitresses treated us as though we were a hindrance rather than valued customers, which isn't what I'd expect as a paying customer.
After breakfast (which took almost an hour in the end), we had to hurry off to catch a bus, but did ask the woman who sorted out our room change whether our rooms were required for that night and said if so, we'd be happy to move. We said we had a bus to catch, but the woman said she'd finish clearing up and then go and ask. On our way out, we looked in at reception but, as usual, there was nobody there. We assumed they didn't need us to move and that they'd phone if any action was needed.
After a lovely day in Alnwick, we got back about 8pm and, not seeing any staff or having had a phone call, went up to our rooms. I was horrified when I let myself into my room and found that my stuff had been removed and a man's possessions there instead. Thankfully he wasn't in the room, so I locked it back up again and went down to reception. When we finally found a member of staff, we were told our stuff had been moved to another room. When I asked why nobody had thought to phone me, the manager apologised, but that was all. I hated the thought of someone handling all my possessions, but tried to enjoy the rest of the evening rather than let it bother me.
We got to our new room and found only two channels on the TV worked and two out of three of the bathroom lights were broken, but we'd almost come to expect it by now. Breakfast the following morning was much the same as the day before and involved my having to shout my breakfast order to the waitress as she walked away. I was also annoyed that we'd got up at 8am on a Sunday because breakfast was only till 9am only to see a couple stroll in at 9.25am and order without any problem.
When we came to check out, I was tempted to keep quiet (being English, I don't like complaining and hate confrontation), but when asked how my stay was, I said it wasn't great. The staff member went to fetch the manager who we heard saying in a loud voice that we'd been told we'd have to move rooms in advance (even though it was she who apologised the night before when we told her we hadn't been told!!). When she came to "apologise" for our less than comfortable stay, she exuded passive-aggression and clearly wasn't sorry at all. She offered us a bottle of wine (at 10.30am when we were about to travel back to London), but nothing else.
I'm not sure whether it was because we're under-60, southerners or because we bought the offer via a group-buying site (and thus didn't pay the full rates), but we were treated really badly and I would not recommend this B&B to anyone.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled by the Cheviot Hills in the quaint town of Wooler, this family-run former Coaching Inn offers a welcoming ambiance with cosy log fires, seasonal cuisine, stunning scenery, free Wi-Fi and parking. Originally built in the 17th Century by the Earl of Tankerville, it has a long history of providing comfort and warmth to travellers wishing to explore the beauty of the Northumbrian countryside. To this day, the hotel has retained this traditional spirit of hospitality and has garnered a fantastic reputation for its friendly and helpful service. Central to this is the cultivation of a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere supported by some wonderful views, lovely gardens and a sense of charm and style that effortlessly evokes the captivating allure of its vibrant past. The Hotel offers 17 en-suite bedrooms and, as benefits a building of this age, each one is wonderfully unique and full of individual character. Tastefully decorated in a style reflective of the wider property, what these rooms do share is a commitment to providing a high standard of comfort and a peaceful night's sleep. Every room also features complimentary Wi-Fi access, freeview TV, hairdryer, direct-dial telephone and tea and coffee making facilities as well as some fantastic views of the gardens and the surrounding countryside. There are room types to suit all kinds of traveller, including single, classic and superior double or twin options. What's more there is also a separate 2-bedroom Garden House in the grounds. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tankerville Arms Hotel Wooler Northumberland