Dinner, bed and breakfast at the Fairmont was an anniversary present. On the approach to the hotel, the grounds looked splendid in the incredible warm sunshine of 25 March, with manicured lawns, the daffodils in full bloom, set beside the blue and sparkling North Sea.
Staff were immediately on hand to assist with parking, whisk the luggage away and to escort us to our spacious room. The mood was set for a perfect anniversary.
We had pre-booked a table for 8.30 at The Squires restaurant, advertised by the hotel as 'brasserie style.' In fact it could not be more different from a French brasserie which is informal, serves honest food and where the service is prompt. Here, our starters were taking so long to arrive that the waitress came over to apologise. After an hour and twenty minutes, we had only had one course and the bottle of wine was already half drunk, the there was another long wait for the main course. The quality of the food was memorably awful. My husband's starter was a frugal salad, but it WAS edible. I ordered cauliflower and grain mustard soup, which the menu said came with a crêpe. The soup looked thick, gloopy and unappetising and it was indeed everything it looked. The unpleasant mustard taste completely overwhelmed the cauliflower (if there was any cauliflower?) The crêpe never appeared, unless the clump of tagliatelle strands in the middle are what the Fairmont calls a ' crêpe' . When the waitress came to clear away the largely untouched soup, and asked if it had been ok, I was anxious at this point to maintain our pleasant mood, so I just said 'It is very filling.'
An age later the main courses arrived. My husband was looking forward to his sea bass. He was served three little bits of slightly overcooked sea-bass, and the rest of the plate was filled by 9 olives and a 6 small strips of red pepper. It was at least edible, if very inadequate. My 'Squires' Burger was round, like a rubber ball, with some congealed and hardened cheese stuck on the top of it. The burger was dry, overcooked and NOT edible. When the waitress came to clear we had to tell her this time. She offered to take the price of the wine, £21, off the bill and said she would bring our desserts upstairs to our room. As we had been sitting in there for over two hours and it was after ten-thirty, by then we were only too pleased to get out of the dining room.
Our desert and cheese duly appeared in the bedroom. Sitting there, in our lovely thick white Fairmont robes, having our cheese and biscuits and enjoying some wine, we should have been in a state of bliss, but the unsatisfactory meal and the lateness of the hour had taken the edge off.
The wine DID in fact appear on the bill which we found outside our door next morning. I am sure however that was just an oversight, and we could have challenged it, but that would have meant , for the sake of £21, joining the queue to check out instead of using the express check-out, and we just been queuing for 15 minutes to be seated at breakfast. So we drove away from that lovely spot by the sea, wondering what we should say when asked if we enjoyed our present? But for that meal, I would have had nothing but praise. Sadly, the dreadful food and the long wait between courses is the main memory we shall take away.
(PS They charge for WIFI, £6 for an hour or £18 for a day. Ridiculous, given the price of the rooms. )
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
16 April 2012
Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for taking the time to share your feedback. It was very disappointing to hear that your most recent visit to Fairmont St. Andrews was not an enjoyable one.
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We were concerned to learn of the issues you encountered during your dining experience in the Squire restaurant; it is most unfortunate that we failed to meet your expectations. We have followed these matters up with the team to prevent these service shortcomings from recurring in the future. We work diligently to ensure our service is of the highest standard and your feedback is most helpful as we look to continuously upgrade our service. We are sorry that we let you down on this occasion.
Please could you contact me, Gail Davidson on 01334 837001, or by
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org at your convenience to discuss this matter? Our goal is to ensure we deliver a very high level of service and attention to detail as this is what we are known for.
We were also concerned to learn you found Wi-fi Internet connection was too expensive, as our rates are comparable in size to other competitive hotels. However, visitors can sign up to the Fairmont Presidents Club. It provides various complimentary benefits, including internet usage. We are currently liaising with our Corporate Office to review internet charges. Hopefully these matters will be resolved in the very near future.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Fairmont St. Andrews in the near future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC