After years on the road, I recently decided to give Best Western a last chance. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have anything MAJOR against it as a chain, it’s just that, by bitter experience, the “Best” has proved to be more of a misnomer than a correctly applied hotel description.
A bit like “Quality” Inns, or “Comfort” Hotels.
But I was swayed by previous Tripadvisor reviews, and booked a night at the Best Western Plus New House Country Hotel, which weighed in at no 3 out of 81 hotels in Cardiff, and, even more usefully, was only 4 miles on AA Routeplanner from our destination for a 9 start next day.
Talking of which, how bizarre that a hotel’s postcode is not only NOT recognised correctly by SAT NAV or AA Routeplanner, but takes the busy hotel booker to a totally different hotel. One wonders how many times the manager of Manor Parc Hotel has watched bemused travellers arrive outside their gaff, as SATNAV announces “You have reached your destination”, only to beat a hasty retreat, when, scanning FURTHER down the list of arrival instructions from New House, to find that the postcode right at the top of the confirmation page, is, in fact incorrect! (All credit to New House for knowing it’s an issue, as we were enjoying a drink in the bar, the receptionist was letting everyone know about the glitch, but surely it’s worth a call to google, an email to AA Routeplanner, or a stern letter to TOMTOM?)
Staff were personable, professional and helpful. Dinner was served promptly, breakfast arrived in our room spot on time (we had an early away, it helps to have this option – offered helpfully on check in when we mentioned we’d not make the set brekkie time.)
And dinner, as I’d expected from a popular wedding venue was excellent. Really good food. The view from the bar and our room was magnificent, it’s a truly spectacular venue, or it COULD be.
And here’s where the ‘Best’ misnomer creeps in, AGAIN.
1. The mattresses REALLY need replacing – it’s a lack of care, of attention to the very important issue to a traveller, - a good night’s sleep and it is a mistake Premier Inn NEVER makes. In 12 years on the road, we have never had a poor night’s sleep in a Prem Inn because the mattress is old. It’s one of the major reasons I abandoned booking “Best” Westerns. Ours was, tired, to say the least.
2. Everywhere you look you see this lack of care reflected. Scruffy carpets. Water ingress stains on wallpaper and ceilings. Outdated bathrooms.
It’s as if they just don’t have the money to keep these places in tip top condition, OR, which is more likely, I think, that they make their money very nicely from weddings and conferences, and that works very well, thanks very much, especially when it comes to boosting review ratings on Tripadvisor. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing desperately WRONG with it, but there’s so much you want desperately to be right about it. And, at £140 a night B and B, I could have two nights in a Prem Inn, where you do get what you pay for. less