Stayed for 3 nights with my family. We had a lovely time and would like to return but my main problem was with the room. I emailed the hotel a couple of weeks before we stayed to request a quiet room. I did not receive a reply, and should have chased this up.We were initially allocated room 135, and when checking us in the receptionist told me it was above the kitchen and we would hear the fan but not after about 10.30pm. She said she would see if there was "a better room" but unfortunately there was not.She also said it overlooked the car park - not great but I did not mind if it was quiet and pleasant.When we went upto this room, I was nearly in was nearly in tears - it was the worst room I have ever been given in a hotel. DO NOT ACCEPT ROOM 135. It was a generous size but had a very small window which was sealed closed and there was a very high chimney directly outside it,very close to the glass, I think from the kitchen, which blocked out all the light. It was very dark, gloomy, noisy with the kitchen fan, and hot even although there was an air conditioning unit which had been placed just above the bed and blew cold air onto your face when you sat or lay on the bed. I complained to the front of house manager, Sona, a lovely lady who tried to find us an alternative room. There were a couple of others vacant which were also dark and gloomy and would have to have a z-bed put into it for my daughter (my pet hate in a hotel - children do not sleep on z-beds at home so why should they be expected to when on holiday?). Eventually we were allocated a much better room, large and airy with a view overlooking the lovely courtyard. What we did not know at this point was that we were over the function room and the hotel had a wedding on for 2 nights of our 3 night stay.
Weddings are obviously big business for this hotel and very profitable for them. I was also told that they host a lot of stag and hen parties and weekends are nearly always noisy. Sona told me that the hotel does not hide the fact the they do weddings, but I still did not expect to be in a room over the function room with a disco going on until 1am for 2 nights of my stay, drunken men arguing aggressively outside in the courtyard and wedding guests banging on all the doors along the corridor at 2am on the way back to their rooms. If the hotel do not want to receive complaints about this, maybe they should organise family rooms away from the wedding(after all, weddings are booked months if not years in advance) and advise guests when booking that a wedding will be held for 2 out of their 3 night stay.
Other issued were the heat in the rooms and the high car parking charges. Many reviews mention the same 3 problems - hot bedrooms, high car parking charges and noise from weddings. The reviews receive an apology but it seems that nothing is done to actually deal with these problems. This is a very old building with small windows in the old part, which the hotel can do nothing about, but I cannot understand why there are huge thick quilts, 13.5 tog in the middle of August.
There are lots of positives about this hotel, and it is such a shame that the few negatives mentioned by so many reviewers are not dealt with. The staff are fantastic, very friendly and helpful, especially the breakfast staff. Our waitress Victoria and the gentleman who welcomed everyone for breakfast and remembered our tea and coffee order after the first day were excellent. The public rooms and courtyard are beautiful. The breakfast was fabulous, plentiful and an amazing choice, even the nice touch of a glass of bucks fizz. Our bedroom was spotlessly clean, lots of white fluffy towels, tea, coffee and lovely biscuits and gorgeous bath products. The hotel is in an excellent location, opposite the railway station and near the bus stop to take the Sightseeing open top bus tour. It is a very historic and interesting hotel, my son is very interested in history and would have loved a handout at reception or even in the room telling us about the history of it, but we could not find any such information.
We will definately return, but as was suggested to us, I would email first and discuss which room would be quiet and check if there was a function on. less