I chose this hotel with a days notice, for my very deaf 91 year old Mum and I as it promised to be 'leafy', had a restaurant, seems well reviewed, was close enuf to the local hospice (1.75 miles) wher... more
I chose this hotel with a days notice, for my very deaf 91 year old Mum and I as it promised to be 'leafy', had a restaurant, seems well reviewed, was close enuf to the local hospice (1.75 miles) where very sadly my sister was, had enuf rooms for us to possibly extend our stay if need be, and could offer us two rooms next to each other. I wanted somewhere as comfortable as the Potters Heron in Ampfield where we would stay when my sister was less ill.
The restaurant was not open when we wanted our first evening meal. The next day it was but cold, as the radiator did not work...so everyone was in the bar area with the TV on (not good for my deaf Mum)....the restaurant radiator was repaired on the Monday of our visit. However it’s not the comfiest of places to dine...there was a bin on view complete with a black dustbin bag liner, on that first night in the restaurant there was radio music playing modern music rather loudly (what about a little jazz or something more suitable for an evening in a restaurant?), the dining room lacked atmosphere. I was promised upstairs rooms overlooking the garden and got rooms (nos 202 and 203) overlooking a local lane (which in the end was a blessing in disguise as the rooms overlooking the garden also overlooked the carpark which we were trying to avoid). I was told there would be a cafetière in our rooms and there was not...I being told they had been stolen (why weren't' they replaced). I was told our rooms and bed would be very big...they were not (the bed is 5' wide). My Mum had too little space to put her things in the bathroom....I had a shelf under the mirror which she did not; there was paint on the inside of the glass of my bathroom window...(why didn't the painter clean it off?); my TV remote was a replacement so I was unable to get the sub titles on (however unlike the Potters Heron Hotel we could get talking pictures which was a bonus for us); I had to ask for the remote for the air conditioning and when I got it from reception it only blew out cold air as the hotel had not turned on the heating...equally I had to ask for the radiators to be turned on and when they were, only one of the two in my room worked....and still the towel rail in the bathroom was off....the latter duly rectified on the Monday. There was no non slip mat in the bathroom, my mum realising when she was having a bath (apparently they get stolen so there is a note, not seen by my mum, saying you have to ask for them at reception); my mums bathroom lock fell off as soon as she arrived with no one to repair it until the week end was over....I later realised mine was not there so there was a hole where it used to be. The lock cards for our room annoyingly got un programmed on a daily basis...apparently they need to be kept a good distance from your mobile. I had a copy for Mums room for emergencies, but this too did not work on a daily basis. When I went down to reception at 2.50 am to get my spare reprogrammed there was no one there...I dinged the bell..no response. Five mins later I was there again to check we could leave the locked up building...still no one at reception...ended up phoning them. Someone then emerged so Mum and I could exit for the Hospice. I also think the bedroom doors are a fire risk...they don't close of their own volition....so I spent many a night there with what was effectively an open door, as did at least one of my friends that stayed in another room....I think 204.
However there was an iron in the room, an ironing board and a hair dryer...these had not been stolen...and neither had the kettle. There were also two framed black and white photo's hanging on the wall which I found tasteful. We could get a signal on our mobiles. The staff were lovely, the rooms pleasant enough altho not my idea of the large deluxe double (otherwise called an executive room) rooms we were promised....I did see an example of such a room on the ground floor, complete with cafetieres and size...but pillars which some may not like...(maybe hard to avoid when sleepily on the way to the bathroom). The food was well cooked, the home made soups good, with a menu that pleased my mums more traditional tastes...I was impressed by their efforts to accommodate my vegetarian/vegan leanings ..eg making a ploughman’s starter with a decent salad without the rocket leaves I don’t like adding the grapes I asked for; a very good vegetarian bangers and mash with fried onions and Yorkshire pudding; a pasta dish nearly as good as my mums..the strawberry icecream tasted very artificial, and it would have been nice to have a salted caramel to choose too, rather than the standard strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. They had combined the menue from the bar and restaurant ..(an example of this is attached), the breakfasts were good. The parking was good too. The bed comfy. I did miss the cafetière tho for my brewed coffee first thing in the morning.
This place strikes me as somewhere that the owner does not want to spend money on...(I think the Premier Inn would probably be better managed, with a more comfortable restaurant, but who wants to look out on dustbins)? I did not get what I was told I would get (a big room, overlooking garden, with a cafetière etc). Its a budget hotel...so maybe I expect too much..but describing a room I did not get is surely worthy of a reduction which I did ask for but did not get...on top of this both my Mum and I spent 16 days each in our respective rooms, and brought more custom to the hotel in the shape of two friends who took a room for three days in total?
Andover seems pretty short of leafy many roomed hotel options a short drive away from the hospice. We did extend our stay three times and they did fall over backwards to accommodate us...and keeping us in the same room. That I am very grateful for. Over the time I grew fond of the place....warts and all. less