My husband and I have just returned from a weekend away at this hotel, celebrating our wedding anniversary, leaving our 3 children with my parents. We'd paid £157.50 for 2 nights dinner bed and breakfast for both nights through hotels.com and thought we'd got a great deal. I wanted the pool and time to chill, hubby wanted a nearby golf course. Sorted.
The hotel is set back off a main road and very quiet - look out for the rabbits at night time! The restaurant food is wonderful and would highly recommend eating there. Breakfast consisted of just about everything you could wish for ranging from croissants to full English breakfast all served piping hot and brought to your table. Saturday morning the restaurant was quiet but Sunday morning was carnage! There had been a wedding reception the night before and everyone seemed to come down for breakfast at the same time. The staff worked very hard at getting everyone seated and served as quickly as possible. With us paying for DB&B for both nights we thought we'd be given a set menu at dinner but were pleasantly surprised! We were given an allowance of £25 EACH per night (food only - no drinks) and for that could get a really nice 3 course meal. We had duck salad starters, followed by rump steak then toffee and banana crumble to give you an example. Food was absolutely delicious. Rooms were equipped with iron/board, trouser press, tea/coffee, heater and hairdryer. The hotel had a bar and facilities for conferences.
Where do I start? Check in was very quick and painless, and were soon given the key to our room - room 4. As soon as we opened the door, we noticed the room was dark, dingy, tiny, very dated, had threadbare carpet, and the bathroom was disgusting with tiles missing off the wall and silicone around the bath and shower which was black with mould. I immediately turned on my heels and went back to reception. We asked for a different room but was told the hotel was fully booked. After a couple of minutes we were informed we could change our room to room 21. (Sorry to the person/s who got our room!) After feeling like a rabbit, going up and down stairs and along several corridors we eventually found our room which seemed to be at the very back. The flooring in the corridors in some areas is uneven and there is a part outside room 14 which dips greatly, someone unsteady on their feet could stumble here. Initially, the new room looked slightly better, a little bit bigger (not much) but much brighter. Knowing the hotel was fully booked and the fact we were tired after our journey, we reluctantly knew we'd have to make do. We unpacked and went to the pool. The pool was pretty cold, small but adequate and straight away noticed a line of scum on the tiles around the pool, and also green moss on the INSIDE of the windows which looked like they hadn't been cleaned for months. The pool showers were dirty and had black mould around the silicone. The gym was in 2 parts and very small but adequate. Sauna was great.
Upon returning to our room we then noticed how cold it was. Although it had a couple of radiators, they were switched off with no way of switching them on, but we found a floor heater in the wardrobe and the room soon warmed up. There were extra blankets (the itchy type) in the drawers which we used in the night, as the quilt on the bed was thin. The wooden window frames had seen better days and the windows didn't shut properly, causing a draught. Whilst taking off my shoes I noticed a toenail looking at me on the floor. Nice. The water pressure is great in the room and the bath took barely 5 mins to fill, but once in the bath we then noticed how black and mouldy the silicone sealer was around the bath, shower, and bath panel. It should have been removed and resealed, but someone in their wisdom had just gone over it and was absolutely caked on in places. Someone was obviously on commission. We also noticed the shower head was plastic, soap dish ceramic, grab rails chrome, and bathroom door handle brass. Bit of a mishmash! The shower at some point had been replaced and different tiles put back on, that were a "near enough" match but were bigger and a different colour! The cast iron bath had a golf ball sized chunk of enamel missing, and guess what it was covered up with? Silicone sealant! The edge of the patch was very sharp and we had to place the bath mat over it. The bath taps were covered in black gunk and also desperately needed de-scaling!, Absolutely disgusting. We pointed this out to the cleaner the following morning, but after spending half an hour just on the bathroom, she came out exhausted and said the silicone needed completely replacing, but mentioned she'd done her best cleaning it and it DID look slightly better. Lighting in the room is poor, the dressing table light was useless and we had to try and de-mist the bathroom mirror which was much better. Lesson. Put on your make-up BEFORE you have a bath/shower!! We had a job finding the ironing board which was at the side of the wardrobe in the (dark) corner and had to take a picture off the wall to get it out! Later that night when we went back to our room, we immediately noticed a dull humming noise from outside which turned out to be some kind of large extractor chimney which was on 24/7. Not particularly noticeable during the day, but very noticeable when its out side your room at night when you're trying to get to sleep! The bed was rock hard, sloped to one side, and were woken up at 7.30am by a delivery. There was a fire escape door in our room and the "landing" outside was full of fag ends. All rooms are non-smoking.
We'd read all the reviews before booking and most said the hotel was great, one reviewer "complained" their room was that big that it needed a much bigger TV to be able to see it!!. I think this depends on which part of the hotel you were placed, and we were just unlucky. One couple we got talking to said their room had a little garden attached to it! The rooms, especially the bathrooms need TOTAL refurbishment.
This was supposed to have been a nice romantic break for the two of us as we haven't had a weekend away in 5 years, but have to say we were really really disappointed. The hotel inspector would have a field day. Pictures tell 1000 words and I'm gutted I didnt take my camera.
We are aware the hotel management read these reviews, and would be re-asurred if steps were made to ensure no-one else ends up as disappointed as we were. If they would like to contact us, we wouldn't hesitate at accepting a refund or an free invite back once rooms were refurbished! You have our details.........
Would we go again? Not unless there was a total refurb of the rooms, especially the grotty bathrooms. However, ending on a positive note, if we were in the area, we wouldn't hesitate at eating at the restaurant. Compliments to the chef!
N.B Sorry for waffling on, but due to the nature of my job, I'm VERY observant!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An elegantly restored country house, the traditional style creates a delightful and tranquil environment echoed in the peaceful gardens and patio areas. There are 50 en suite rooms and guest facilities including an indoor swimming pool, sauna and gym. Dine in our restaurant with its original fireplaces and views across the gardens or recharge your batteries in the Lounge Bar. Whatever your requirements, our experienced staff will be on hand to discuss your needs throughout your stay. Our personal attention to those little extra details, along with the courtesy of our staff, will leave you confident that your stay will be an enjoyable and memorable one. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Stone House Hotel Staffordshire