Don't Judge a Hotel by it's Grandeur
26 March 2014
Beautiful surroundings on first glance, but hubby and I went for a stroll in the grounds, it appears behind every shrub/tree they've dumped all manner of stuff including old parquet flooring, builders rubble, remains of bonfire with empty beer cans etc! They may think it's out of sight but why then advertise their acres of grounds, do they really not think their guests will explore?!
The staff on the reception desk were very helpful and friendly. Although the bar staff and waiting staff are extremely young and inexperienced/new. We asked to book dinner for 8pm but were told it was fully booked, no problem, we booked for 8:30pm instead. We arrived down at 8:20pm and ordered drinks from the bar and were seated just five minutes later. At 9:05pm a young waiter wafted a dish in my nose saying "Mackerel madam" We explained we hadn't ordered yet so off he went in search of the customer who had ordered! (Their were only 6 other tables of diners in the restaurant so highly doubt they were fully booked at 8pm especially as a whole row of tables were set for breakfast!) Another five minutes went by before another very young waitress bent right into our table saying "Is everything alright for you?" We had finished our drinks by this point and hubby explained that we hadn't ordered yet or even been given a menu. She just said "Oh, I thought my colleague had done that!" She hurried off found a menu saying to me very condescendingly "Do you need help reading the menu?"! I walk with a stick, this doesn't't affect my eyesight or make me stupid. We ordered finally at 9:20pm, 55 minutes after being seated.
I ordered crab risotto for starter which was far too liquid/squidgy even for risotto and I could barely taste any crab, it came with a garnish of I don't know what it was but extremely overpowering flavour which was still in the back of my mouth even after my main meal of lamb shank on pureed potato and one limp piece of kale! My pudding tasted divine, plum and hazelnut crumble but the presentation was a little odd, the crumble was in a ramekin on a wooden board with a scoop of ice cream served straight onto the wood which I wouldn't have thought particularly hygienic! Each time the young waitress brought our food to us it was literally plonked on the table with the words "There ya go"!!
As we were eating our desserts we were asked to sign the bill as they needed to cash up, we then didn't feel comfortable in asking for coffee or liqueurs after our meal and felt uncomfortable as though we were in the way and preventing them from going home.
During the time we were in the dining room we had both put our mobile phones on to charge in our room and then placed them next to the bed to be used as our alarm for the morning, after waking at 8:45am to no alarm we checked our phones, they were both dead! So put them straight on to charge again until 11am when we vacated the room, again they died before we got into the car! Since our stay we are both experiencing problems with our phones holding charge. A coincidence or odd electrics we don't know.
We arrived down to breakfast at 9:30am, there were no sausages or baked beans left and the only egg option was scrambled. I made do with a bowl of Alpen, a slice of toast and an apple. The yogurts were warm to the touch.
This hotel has so much potential and the rooms were clean, spacious and nicely decorated. Unfortunately let down by inexperienced waiting staff and food.
It was nice to gateway for a weekend the location was ideal for visiting family in Hemel Hempstead but don't think we'd visit this hotel again.
The gift idea was fantastic and very thoughtful of my brother and sister in law for buying it as a 40th birthday treat for me.
Response from Buyagift
, Customer Services, 29 Feb 2016
Thanks for your feedback. We really appreciate your feedback as it helps us to improve on the experiences that we currently provide.
I'm really sorry to hear that the hotels grounds weren't up to standard and nor was the service you received during dinner. I am very sorry that you felt as though you had to rush through your evening, this certainly shouldn't have been the case.
I will ensure that the hotel has been made aware of your above comments in hope that they can make future improvements.
I've spoken to the hotel in regards to the issues that you encountered with your mobile phones and the hotel have advised that the keycard which is used to open your door, is also used to power the room. When the room has been vacated and the keycard has been removed from the powering panel, the electricity is turned off. Once you are back in the room and place your keycard back in the panel, the electricity will switch on and you'll then be able to charge your phones. If you had received two cards, an opt