The Hotel Inspectors Ruth Watson and Alex Polizzi would have a real challenge here. I cannot believe having read the reviews that this is the same place we stayed. They say that first impressions are everything. We arrived about 1745 to check in, but the reception was deserted..well apart from a model sitting on the sofa by the fireplace (see photo), and another couple of statues by the door. I noticed that on the website all the clutter has been removed for the photographs.The reception desk was extremely untidy with no organisation obvious. We rang the bell a few times over the next 15 minutes and more, and we wandered around checking the bar and the dining room, but there was no one responding. Eventually John, the proprietor came in with Louis the dog, and asked if no one was attending to us !!
Our room was passable .. there had been some attempts to cover some marks and cracks with a different colour of emulsion, or they had started to redecorate and had been interrupted. The shower was above the bath and was a good shower with good pressure but was let down by the shower curtain which tended to have a life of its own. No need for these awful curtains when you can buy a decent glass screen for under a £100 and can be fitted with reasonable level of diy skills and a drill in under an hour.
We were on a KGB deal which indicated that we would have a 3 course meal on the first night with starters up to the value of £4.50, mains up to £10.95 and desserts up to £4.50. From that information we would have expected to be on the a la carte menu and would be able to select from that and pay any additional amounts, but no, we were handed on check in a table d'hote menu with a limited choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts. I asked about upgrading and was told that 'this is how we do it', and that they had 200 people on the deal before us and I was the first to question it. However he did agree to upgrading. When we came down for dinner I asked if there was a wine list and was told to go behind the bar and choose what wine I wanted...there was no indication what the prices were. The wines I chose on the two nights we were there were both a reasonable £12.00 each.
I noticed from previous reviews that John refers to his team, but over the two nights we were there John attended to the reception, served breakfast, served food and drink in the bar, took dinner orders and served dinner, and the only time that we saw another person was when Louis puked on the breakfast carpet and John called on presumably his wife to clean it up.
Notes of drinks purchased and food orders are taken on scrap paper and you are not given a bill on check out. When we got home and tallied up what we reckoned we should have paid we believed that we had been overcharged by just over £15.00. We raised this with John by email but did not get a response.
The dinners were ok but not good enough that we would ever consider popping in for a meal when we were passing.
The breakfasts are continental and I would rate this the worst continental breakfast I have experienced. There are cereals and fruit and yoghurts and some cheese and meats. The first morning we were given a basket of toast and croissants, but on the second day we only got the toast... we presumed that they did not have croissants, but when we were finished we noticed that a couple who had just come in to the dining room had croissants and toast..weird.
I'm glad that we had not paid the full price as we would have been even more dissapointed.
Not a place that we will ever return to.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kirkconnel Hall Hotel has a highly visable location adjacent to junction 19 of the A74M on the edge of the country village of Ecclecfechan. It is only 10 miles north of Gretna and is well located in an area of south west Scotland popular for both short breaks, weddings, functions and business conferences. Originally home to the Arnott family Kirkconnel Hall dates as far back as the 15th century, providing the property with great historic interest. It was home to Napoleon's physician in the late 18th Century and although extended in the 1870's and again more recently, it retains much of its period charm. Aquired by its present owners Kirkconnel Hall is now a family owned and run business and we look forward to welcoming you and hope that you have an enjoyable stay with us. Kirkconnel Hall has 11 en-suite bedrooms which are decorated to a high standard, bar, lounge, restaurant and extensive and well planned conferencing facilities. Kirkconnel Hall has extensive gardens and grounds extending to approximately 3.75 acres. The hotel has ample car parking and to the rear, accomodating bus tours, there are areas of lawn, a children's play area and grounds which have a range of mature trees and shrubs. ... more less
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