Our stay at the Red Lion was a strange mixture of good and bad. It was not helped by the cold weather and icy winds; on our arrival there was no heating in the room and the bathroom window had been left open. We went to reception and the service was superb, as indeed it was throughout our stay. I was told that the heating was on a timer and after an apology it was changed. This was excellent considering the receptionist had just had to deal with an irate customer who had found there was no room left in the car park. We had been lucky in this respect, but on the following day we had to find a local pay and display. The website does state that the car park is small and spaces are on a “first come, first served” basis. It did seem to me that both these problems could easily have been avoided: if the temperature outside is only 6/7 degrees there should be heat in the rooms: there could be a simple arrangement between the hotel and the car park that one or two cars could use the park with a ticket issued by the hotel. The cost would probably be small – the good will and customer return immense.
The room was good, quite spacious and the bed very comfortable; décor was a little tired, but all the hotel was being painted whilst we were there. The only problem was the temperature of the water: the hot water from the taps and the shower was “lethal” (my wife’s description). There does, at the very least, need to be a warning about this, and the shower should have some control so that customers cannot be scalded. It was also not possible to sit on the toilet without being burnt by the radiator which was far too close.
The food for breakfasts and the evening meal in the main restaurant was very good. However, on more than one occasion the air conditioning unit was blowing out copious amounts of cold air round our necks. Again, there was no problem: when I asked, it was changed…. On the second evening we went to the Lamb and Ewe pub attached to the hotel; again the Main Bar area was cold, but the side area was fine. The tables had not been cleaned and the seats were covered in crumbs and food from recent customers. The food was all very greasy and the chops not very good quality meat. It was not a pleasant experience, but the service again was good. Two other customers we talked to had gone there as they thought they had to have 5 courses if they went to the Main Restaurant; indeed the menu does not make it clear that you can have as many as you would like. It seemed strange that the food was being brought from the same kitchen that gave us such good food on all other occasions.
With better management this could be an excellent hotel; there are good facilities and the service is excellent – the location is superb. However, people do not want to have to complain about food, parking, heating etc and apologies from staff are perhaps thought to be suitably disarming. Although we frequently use Best Western Hotels we shall not be returning to this one, and, if items such as the above are not put right, I think many others will feel the same. less