by Ron Pybus Published 01/04/2008
We were, according to the publicity, to be under the personal care of the owners - after all it was really a high-quality restaurant with eight bedrooms. We never met the owners during the two days of our stay. The staff's welcome was great as was the room, but then we were faced with the designer's ideas and the owner's ideas. The owners had decreed that tea and coffee would only be available in the room as part of room service - no facilities were available in the room. It was apparently 'policy' to provide guests with the best that could be offered and guests were not expected to have to make their own drinks - even at 3am or at any other time. No consideration was given to the fact that guests did not want room service staff entering the bedroom at that time in the morning! Comment after comment in the visitors' book made the same point and despite the hotel priding itself on meeting customer needs, no action had been taken.
Unfortunately it was not just the tea and coffee, but in the bathroom, the only mirror was too high for most females and also the nearest light was on the other side of the room, meaning that, for make-up or shaving, the light was not on your face, but on the back of your head. The mirror in the bedroom was at a similar height and was nowhere near the power supply for a hairdryer.
There was a wi-fi connection in the room but no table to work off, so you had to sit on a high bar-stool, nowhere near the power supply or rest the computer and yourself on the bed. All these points were clearly made in the visitors' book over several years, both before and after the rooms had had a revamp. There were many other examples of stupid design features but the next most annoying aspect was the breakfast. The evening meal was superb, but at breakfast, when I asked for muesli I was told that the only choice was items from the menu and they did not do any cereals. Reluctantly I consulted the menu and found poached eggs on toast with spinach, sardines and a sauce. I explained that I just wanted poached eggs on toast, only to be told that 'chef does not do such breakfasts'. When I pointed out that it was on the menu and that all I wanted was some items left off, the waiter, grudgingly went to check with chef.
He came back saying that as a special favour he would prepare this for me. When it arrived it was poached eggs on fried bread, not toast. Needless to say, I sent it back, and several minutes later out came the toast and the eggs.
In all, the experience was far from a relaxing holiday. It just goes to show that how you treat your customers and how you design your studio has a considerable effect on the image that you leave with your customers. I will neither go back nor recommend this hotel to anyone.
Very thought provoking as usual Ron! Re your studio revamp, George Dawber obviously thinks so too. He was so taken with the job that 1997 New Designer of the Year, Tina Kypriadis did on his own studio that he invited her to PTO to convert the rest of us!
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 267 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 16th March 2022