Lovely hotel, shame about the wedding planning team.
My husband and I visited this hotel as wedding guests (I was a bridesmaid) I'll go through the good points first... (The bad points are all related to the planning and organisational skills of the wedding planner)
**the room that we stayed in was on the ground floor beside the fountain. Not noisey considering there was a wedding, very clean and fresh. It was a particularly humid day and so we could have done with air conditioning or a fan in the room.
**We didn't have breakfast as this was an extra at £10pp which I thought was quite expensive, and we were leaving particularly very early in the morning anyway but I believe it was very good quality.
**drinks were reasonably priced, we had a tab which made things a lot easier and quicker when buying drinks.
**reception staff and bar staff were lovely and friendly and very helpful.
**rooms were very spacious, as was the bed too!
Now for the disappointing bits:
**my friend booked the wedding a year in advance, unfortunately just 1 week before her wedding, she was found out that another wedding had also been booked for the same day, and that certain scheduled events within her day would clash with the other wedding party! She then had to have certain things altered and changed in order to avoid the other wedding party - remember, this is just ONE week before her wedding!
**the wedding planner did not ask to take all necessary room decorations etc that the bride had bought herself and in the end the mother of the bride was having to put these up in the main room after the ceremony. In my opinion, none of the wedding party should have to do any organising during the actual wedding day!
**the bride and bridesmaids were in the bridal suite ready and waiting to be told to go downstairs for the ceremony. We waited and waited until in the end the father of the groom had to contact a member of the party and ask them to get hold of somebody to come and tell us!
** we then all realised that the flowers STILL hadn't been brought up by this point! The Maid of honour had to go to reception and ask to contact somebody to bring the flowers up to the room, during which there were a number of staff (not reception staff!) muttering to each other "where are the flowers? Who's got them" - this wasn't very helpful when the bride was already running a little behind schedule(through no fault of her own).
** after the ceremony, during the photographs on the grounds of the property. A small number of wedding guests (about 10-12 people, if that!) stayed within the bar area, during which, the waitresses started to go round with the canapés. By the time the wedding guests that were outside had returned to the bar area, there had already been about 3 out of the 5 trays of canapés sent round! (The trays came out too soon, not at the time scheduled by the bride and groom)
** later on, before the main room was ready, the mother of the bride checked on the room, only to find that the wedding cake hD been loved from the place that the bride had chosen, and moved to the back of the room 'out of the way'. It became apparent that this was carried on a table by a couple of members of staff... Luckily for them they didn't drop or nudge the cake!
I'm sure the bride will at some point leave her review on here of the events running up to the wedding. But my personal opinion would be that if you want a stress free wedding, and you want it to be organised smoothly with your best interests at heart, don't book with Smokies.
I would definitely stay here again as a guest, I couldn't fault the bar staff, reception staff, food, drinks etc they were excellent. I just definitely wouldn't recommend to book a wedding here.
Such a shame but the wedding planning team let the hotel down and unfortunately the negative points outweigh the positives on this occasion.