We stayed for one night's evening meal, bed and breakfast.
Ample car parking in front and behind the hotel and there is no charge for it, in fact the car park in front comes up right under the windows to the ground floor rooms, including the bridal suite.
The service at booking in was slow as there was no one on the desk and even though staff saw that we were waiting no one came to attend to us until we had to get a member of staff and she was quick to inform us that reception was not her usual job!
Once we were booked in we were shown our room. We were staying at this hotel for the night as my partner won a competition with the prize being a night in the Bridal Suite with dinner, bed and breakfast with Prosecco thrown in (not literally, I hasten to add!).
The Bridal Suite at The Croft is at the end of a corridor on the ground floor of the building and comprises of two ground floor rooms and a room upstairs that can be partitioned into two rooms or kept as one room. The upstairs room has a door to the hallway on the first floor so, if you do stay in the Bridal Suite remember to lock the upstairs door as well as the ground floor door.
The reason why the Bridal Suite is so extensive is because the lower rooms are the bedroom and a large bathroom with a large whirlpool bath, a shower, wash basin and toilet. It was has a metal circular stairway, in one corner of the room, leading up to the upper story.
The upper room has a small lounge area at the front and the top of the circular stairs. There is also an area at the back for the bride to get ready and that includes a sink, the kind usually found in beauty parlours for washing hair, two hairdressers chairs and an area for a small nail bar. There is also another toilet and handwash basin in an adjoining room. Everything, I would imagine, a bride would require to get ready for her big day.
All the furniture and equipment seemed of very good quality and the room seemed ideal but .......
The idea of a bride coming down the narrow, circular metal stairs in her dress is interesting as she would struggle if it had a long trail or was of the 'meringue' variety, as there would be a very good chance that it would get caught, and, with the treads on the steps having a design in them that meant there were gaps then she could catch her heel and may fall!
One final point about the stairs. I have included a photo showing that there is a good possibility of someone hitting their head on the edge of the circular treads. I acknowledge that some of the bottom of the uprights to the handrail have rubber on them but it is still a dangerous hazard. There is little room when moving between the staircase and the end of the bed and TV unit in order to try to avoid a head injury.
So, there is a possibility of the bride arriving at the wedding ceremony with a bandaged head from hitting it against the stairs, a badly torn dress from catching it on the tight stairs, one heel missing from her shoes having caught it in the tread and she may have to use a crutch due to a leg injury having fallen down the stairs following catching her heel.
The other serious flaw in the Bridal Suite centred on the bathroom. As I have said it had a lovely large whirlpool bath that must have cost a few bob. However, as I have said before the Bridal Suite is on the ground floor and the car park and public access comes right up to the other side of the large single glazed window just three foot from the side of the bath. Don't worry you say, surely the window has frosted glass? Sorry, no, and to compound the issue the window is so large it needs two blinds to cover the area but these two blinds don't quite touch each other in the middle and so there is a lovely little gap all the way down the window. Anyone wish to use a bath or the shower and be on full public show? In an effort to 'seal' this gap, a few short strips of 'gaffer' tape had been used but they were showing signs of age and their adhesiveness was starting to wane. I have included a few photos of this issue as well.
We brought these issues to the attention of the manager and he immediately found us another room next door, a little down the corridor, that he says is also used by wedding parties. That's handy, we thought, the married couple can have the in-laws in the next room on their wedding night! The room we were moved to was nicely appointed but also had the issue of a large single glazed window on the ground floor with the public having access right up to it.
When we pointed out the issue with the window blinds in the bathroom of the Bridal Suite he said he and his girlfriend had used the bath a few days prior and they had no issues with it.
Both rooms that we saw on the ground floor were nicely appointed and decorated but why not change the single glazed window into a double glazed version in order to save on the heating and to cut down on the the noise traffic outside? Also, if it was possible the size of the windows need to be reduced as they are very large, however, I do understand that the planners might not grant the necessary permission if the building is listed.
The issue of the blind needs serious attention and the management should try to install some type of barrier to prevent the public being able to encroach right up to the outside of the window - residents needs to feel some privacy.
As for the issue with the circular stairs well that is a bigger issue that needs sorting as it is just a poor design in my opinion.
The rest of the stay was enjoyable. The evening meal we had was very good, freshly cooked, hot and delicious as was the following day's breakfast.
I would like to give credit to the chap that was serving at the bar and served us the evening meal as he did a good job and seemed one of the few staff available at the time. Unfortunately, I did not catch his name but he had a particular badge on his lapel.
The setting of the hotel is very nice as it is very close to the Tees and the area is charming and well worth lingering a while. All in all the hotel is very nice as long as you don't stay in the Bridal Suite! less
nathanl794, General Manager at Best Western Plus The Croft Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel I am very glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay overall, All the quirks you have mentioned in our bridal suite have been taken into consideration when constructing it in the way we did and many issues are unable to happen due to the operational way in which we run our day and the bride leaves the bedroom (via the upstairs). I hope we can welcome you back to the hotel in the future!
Nathan & The Team