Stayed at the Birchover in Darley for a wedding in March. When we arrived we phoned a number to get someone to meet us and show us to our room, there was no reception area for guests to be greeted. On entering, the building was quite depressing however when we got to our room this was ok. We very quickly realised that we were staying in self catering apartments rather then a hotel as there were no facilities that you would expect to find in a hotel - this was disappointing. When booking we paid £30 for a 'full english breakfast' and we were surprised to find that what this meant was that someone go shopping for breakfast items for us which we would have to cook ourselves. We found the marketing - hotel with full english breakfast - very misleading as the Birchover is an apartment block and nothing more. On the whole the experience was very disappointing and the manager (Carl Bridge) did not take our criticism well. The only defence is that we booked through 'bookings.com' and that maybe it was this website which had not understood what the Birchover had to offer. However the manager felt that the website gave an accurate description of what was on offer. Furthermore he offered to refund the £30 for the breakfast, it is no surprise that this has not happened.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
22 May 2012
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It is relevant to say that, although this was posted online 7 days ago, I did not read this review until last night (Sunday 20th May).
Firstly, I want to offer you my sincere, personal apologies. I did state that I would refund your £30 and, after reading this review, I checked our records and realised I had not done so. I have personally just refunded the money onto your card.
I am, however, also disappointed - naturally, I understand that you feel let down that the money was not refunded after I promised it would be, but a direct call or email would have elicited an equally quick response.
For the benefit of other guests considering staying with us, I wanted to answer your other points raised in this public forum, which as you'll know will be a reflection of the emails we shared after your stay with us in April (it took me a while to find them as you said the wedding you attended was in March).
1. You state there was no-one to show you to your room. This is because you arrived much earlier than the earliest 3pm check in time. I immediately arranged for a member of housekeeping to show you to an apartment. During our email discussion in the week prior to your arrival, you stated that you would arrive after 10pm and asked for us to place the key in our key safe. Because you arrived over 8 hours earlier, your Standard apartment was not ready and so we gave you a free upgrade to a Superior apartment (unusually and luckily, we were not full on that date - if you look on Booking.com or any other website, you'll see we are full until early July now, so I am pleased we were able to offer that free upgrade for you)
2. You state that there was no reception area for guests to be greeted. As above, you arrived before 2pm and so Reception was not open. It is open from 2pm to 10pm six days a week and has a comfortable area for guests to relax with a (free) coffee, peruse our free DVD, book and magazine library or make a selection from our wines, meals and chocolates - all from local suppliers
3. I do not feel that I responded badly to your comments. Once I was made aware of your dissatisfaction that you would have to cook the breakfast in your apartment, I spoke to Sami on Reception and used the exact phrase "please go overboard" on the breakfast items we bought for you. Not only did Sami do so, of her own volition, she then laid the table for you so that you had a lovely breakfast setting for the morning
4. Not only did we lose the £30 spent on breakfast items, we lost the opportunity to sell your Superior apartment that day due to your early arrival and will still pay Booking.com commission on the breakfast items. We do all of this happily, because we want every guest to have a good experience with us and for the experience to match their expectations
5. Following our email discussion on 10th April after your departure, you stated "this is a fair outcome" after I explained all of the above. I have referred to our email conversation before responding to all of these points and they reflect what we shared on that date
I think it is only fair that you should bring any problems to the attention of Trip Advisor users considering staying at a hotel. Given that you received a free upgrade, a free early check in, a free breakfast for two persons after Sami had gone to such trouble to respond to your feedback, and then you stated that "this is a fair outcome", such a negative review is unwarranted and unfair. That you chose not to use or experience the Reception does not mean that it, or our Reception staff, do not exist. To give that impression is somewhat disingenous.
As I say, I am sincerely sorry for not processing the refund - this was a genuine oversight and error, which I have immediately rectified.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC