We have stayed in some amazing hotels, not always the most expensive or grandest but .......
.....made amazing by the staff at the hotels. Their attitudes and helpfulness and friendliness made perhaps not the most picture perfect hotels fantastic.
This cannot be said about our experience at Aston Hall Hotel. In any way at all!
We were in Yorkshire for a function which lasted all day and by the time we checked into the hotel, it was 8.30 p.m. Before we had finished saying hello at reception we were informed last orders for evening meal had to be in the kitchen by 9.15 p.m. So before we had seen the room, we were rushed through to the bar area whereupon our entrance the barman was loudly stating orders had to be in by 9.15 p.m.! We quickly looked at the menus, deciding to eat in the restaurant rather than the bar and ordered our starters and main courses. I asked should we order our desserts as well but we were assured that was not necessary.
So we finally get to our room, which was pleasant enough, freshened up and went down to dinner before 9.10 p.m.
Firstly there were only two other tables of two so not very busy and secondly we were greeted by someone who I believe to be the hotel manage but do not know for sure as he did not introduce himself to us. He asked if we wanted a drink which we did indeed but no wine menu was forthcoming and inthe end we had to try to find a waitress we could ask for the wine menu from. To say there appeared to be a skeleton staff is a major understatement!
So starters was delivered, very nice food. Wine was finally ordered. So we waited and waited for our main courses. Given the fact we had pre-ordered our meals, you would assume they would be pretty quick in coming out but no, we had to wait a long time. When the mains did arrive, the food was very nice. We finished those and again waited for the plates to be cleared. We waited for some time. Finally the table was cleared and we assumed, as I had already asked and been told in fact, dessert would be offered. But no, no dessert menu was offered, no waitress or manager to be seen anywhere. Finally we stop a waitress who is far more concerned with laying the tables for breakfast than paying any attention to us whatsoever, if we could order dessert. 'Oh I think the chef has gone home!' was the reply to our request. Fantastic! A chef that goes home even though there are diners in the restaurant?! That is acceptable? I do not think so in any shape or form. Where is the manager then? Surely this lack of customer service starts from the top? So the waitress returns,yes indeed the chef has gone home, she can offer us a bowl of ice cream but that's it as she doesn't know the new menu! That's probably why the chef needs to be present then isn't it?! Very very poor service.
So we dare to ask for coffee stating we will take it inthe bar as the urgency to set up for breakfast is obviously far more important than serving customers in the restaurant!
In the bar we see the manager having a cosy chat with a lady who we later find out is his daughter so that's clearly his main priority rather than his guests. The coffee making took two waitresses to try to work out the coffee machine whilst chatting about shot glasses and measurements of drink. The newer waitress obviously had not been trained to a sufficient standard so had to seek advice from the other waitress whilst trying to make our coffees! Luckily we were the only customers in the bar as I dread to think how long it would have taken had there been anyone else there.
Seriously not a good experience at all. We felt like we were in the way and a burden. Nothing was said or done to make us feel valued or welcome.
So the nights sleep was ok apart from the room being lit by the exterior floodlights all night long.
Breakfast. Well breakfast was a whole new trauma. It's a small self service buffet. Standard fayre. Cereal, fruit, small so,e toon of pastries and croissants. Nothing special. On entering the breakfast room, we noted the manager was 'busy' chatting to his daughter, and her family.
We were briskly offered tea, coffee, toast and what did we want from the cooked menu. Quickly reading the menu, we ordered porridge for 2 and a cooked breakfast for my husband and small cooked breakfast for me. 'Oh no, you cannot have that. It's one thing per person' we were told very rudely. Then the waiter proceeded to read out the cooked options which wax very nice of him but fortunately both my husband and myself are able to read! I explained that I have special dietary needs and cannot eat cereals or pastries so porridge is the only thing I can have with a cooked vegetarian option. Nothing was said. He just flounced off leaving us unsure whether we were going to get our breakfast or not. We did get tea and coffee and toast which my husband can eat and reported that it was cold.
Meanwhile, the manager is chatting with the same table as when we entered and seems oblivious to all other guests. Along with the lack of decent service in his breakfast room.
We are given porridge which was scorchingly hot, unbearably so. Obviously zapped in the microwave for far too long!
We were given our cooked options but unfortunately my husband was not able to eat much of his and mine was pretty cold. We did request more tea and as everything else, this took an age, being in the first instance forgotten and then taking a long time before finally being delivered to our table.
We return to our room to pack last bits and pieces and my husband receives a telephone call. As he is taking the call, there are loud knocks on our door despite the 'do not disturb' sign being displayed, asking if the cleaners can come in. Actually no they cannot come in as it was just past 10 a.m and check out is by 11 a.m! This is not acceptable. If there is a 'do not disturb' sign then generally it means just that! If it was 11.30 a.m and the sign was on the door and we were still in the room, then to knock is acceptable. Otherwise, it is not!
We leave the room and go to check-out. As soon as my husband reaches the reception desk, the receptionist is on the walkie-talkie shouting out to the cleaner: 'room ....... is leaving!' HOW DAMN RUDE! Who does that? We were checking out before 11 a.m and we were treated like that?! Not cceptable! In any way, shape or form. Clearly we were just a nuisance and our money and business was not required!
This hotel clearly caters for weddings and functions. I would suggest weddings is it's main concern and if you are a couple or family (unless you are known to the manager of course!) your business is seen as a incumberance and is not really worthwhile to the staff to bother with. We absolutely did not get the feeling of being valued customers in any shape or form. Obviously had we been there to book a wedding, we maybe would have been treated with rather more respect but as we were not, then hey ho who cares?!
It is such a shame as the exterior of the hotel is lovely and the food in the restaurant in the evening we actually did manage to get, was very nice. The interior of the hotel is dated and a melody of beige. Our bedroom was brown and beige and very much in need of updating especially in the bathroom. The beige tiles were not nice! The 'art' in the room, restaurant and main hotel is terrible and should be replaced. It looks cheap and tacky. The hotel could be superb in the right hands, as the building itself has huge potential and could be a breathtaking venue for weddings and functions. As it stands, it's passable but no more. The fact that it is obviously a hotel that caters so strongly for weddings at the expense of other clients is a great shame. The atmosphere and service are suffering greatly due to this. It's been a long, long time since we have experience such rudeness and complete lack of customer service.
We will not be returning and certainly will not recommend this hotel to anyone. less