17/01/2019 Ken S, Northwich, United Kingdom
My wife and I had planned a quiet night away as a precursor for an up-coming spinal decompression operation at the end of this month so when a good offer from MyHotelbreak.com for Samlesbury Hotel in ... more
My wife and I had planned a quiet night away as a precursor for an up-coming spinal decompression operation at the end of this month so when a good offer from MyHotelbreak.com for Samlesbury Hotel in Preston popped in, we took advantage of the DB&B offer at the hotel.
It’s a place we had stayed at several times before so we knew what to expect – or so we thought.
On arrival at 4pm, it was obvious from the reception area that the hotel was undergoing some major rebuilding/refurb work and this was confirmed when the corridor of our allocated room (114) had several adjoining bedrooms being renovated. It was surprising rather than an inconvenience but it was obvious that our room hadn’t yet been done as we noticed the full length mirror front of our wardrobe was seriously cracked at the bottom. As it was a H&S issue, it didn’t bother us but we mentioned this to reception on our way through to dinner. They said they were already aware of it.
When entering the dining room, the place was completely empty with no staff in attendance to seat us. As I’m fairly immobile at the moment and walk with a stick, I cannot stand for long, so we sat ourselves down after waiting for a good five minutes. Other guests came wandering in and just stood waiting. Eventually, someone from the bar told us we would have to move to the bar/foyer area as the restaurant we were seated in was set for breakfast. Being near the front door, it was cold which another couple complained about but apparently, this was the only area open for dining guests.
Eventually, the menu arrived but it was basically just a bar menu with restricted choices. After ordering olives and bread as a starter and tortellini as a main, we were told that both were unavailable. As there were only 3 other diners, how was this possible for such basic items? It’s not as though there could have been a run on the kitchen. Our wine order (two glasses of fizz because after all, it was supposed to be a special night) also went with the caveat of “I’ll have to see if we have that.”
Finally, after asking what was on the menu rather than what wasn’t, we settled on fish and chips. Wow, some kind of special night this was turning out to be. It got no better as my wife’s starter (Thai fishcake) arrived and found it was still cold in the middle. This was sent back. The pate ordered by another pair of diners was also complained about whilst still commenting on the cold.
Then, suddenly, three men walked past us all and went straight through to the main restaurant where they were instantly served. We had just about had enough by this point and returned to our room to pack as we saw no point in staying for breakfast - just in case eggs and bacon were “unavailable” or perhaps it was only served in the car park - as anything appears possible here. We complained (which is very unusual for us as we are a generation that just gets on with it) and the young duty manager waived our food bill but still charged us £53 for the room - but frankly, it was worth it just to leave.
If you are considering visiting this Lancashire’s version of Fawlty Towers, I suggest you leave it until it has got its act together as they obviously cannot cope now. I’m very surprised at a 4-star Best Western Plus Hotel (more like a BW minus to me) at apparently condoning the goings on at Samlesbury and I’m equally surprised at the intermediaries peddling their “exclusive” packages for not checking them out first. Is it too much to ask that customers should at least be made aware of the disruption in advance.
I felt really sorry for the unsupported poor young staff as they are left trying to cope and defend the indefensible whilst the general manager (who was apparently in his office) just left it to the young duty manager to cope.
We wouldn’t return to Samlesbury again under any circumstances. No doubt, the platitudes will follow but for us it is a case of “never, ever again” so don’t even bother. less
Hotel_Mgr_Samles, Guest Relations Manager at Samlesbury Hotel, responded to this review
Dear Ken S
Thank you for the review - we would like to take this opportunity to give our feedback on the version of events.
The Samlesbury Hotel is undergoing some major changes to make great improvements here under new ownership. As per your comments we are undergoing some refurbishment work starting with Reception and moving onto the bedrooms. The Restaurant and bar will follow that along with meeting and function rooms and this Hotel will, we are certain, become one of the best in the area. We are encountering some teething problems which we are gradually ironing out.
However, it can be misleading to guests when they book a dinner bed and breakfast rate through a 3rd party as to what the expectation is against the offering. We don't guarantee that it will be the Restaurant, and due to making changes on recent days it is closed but we have a great alternative in place. In any Restaurant you would be expected to wait to be seated or ask at the bar and regardless of how many diners or guests you think we have in, the operation is our responsibility rather than such negative comments which are factually incorrect and personal to the teams capabilities. Whist we were very sorry for the issue with the starter and did apologise - you were fully reimbursed with the whole meal, and provided also with drinks. A decision made by the 30 year old experienced Duty Manager, who also offered to move you to another bedroom, with an upgrade and take all the luggage for you. You declined this and requested we do not also charge you for the room, due to the mirror which you have just previously said did not bother you, but also that if we weren't prepared to offer it we would receive a negative review in return.
Again, we are sorry if we fell short on some minor aspects of your stay, but are quite saddened to read some of the magnified comments. We do hope that you will return in the coming yest when most of the works are complete to see what a difference it has made.
Samlesbury Hotel Team