Even John Cleese would be forced to repeatedly bang his head on the reception desk, admit defeat and take up drinking with the Major!
Please bear with this review; it may save you getting high blood pressure, having unnecessary arguments and throwing your money away. I did not want to be one of these people who spent ages doing long reviews, but this story has to be told, if not just to save someone else going through what we have. And by the way, this is the first review that I have ever been bothered to write, so that should tell you something!
Round 1. The only good things that I can say about this hotel are that it is very nice from the outside, it is in a lovely location, a couple of the staff are very nice and helpful and it has a very nice spa, but that is apparently owned and run by someone else.
I will keep this review as short as possible, but I have a lot of warnings for you the reader!
The wife and I wanted to stay somewhere nice with character in South Wales and saw this hotel in advertised in the Bespoke Hotel Guide. We then realised that it was also a Best Western Hotel and having stayed in a number of Best Western old country houses, thought that we were onto a winner. So we booked our 2 night stay for 7th June 2012.
We arrived Thursday about 2.30pm and our standard room was not quite ready, as check in was 3pm but were offered coffee and biscuits which was nice a touch, so far so good! Shortly after 3pm Room 15 was ready. First impressions of the room were that it was tired looking and in need of some serious updating, have stayed in worse, however that was a B&B not a 3/ 4 star hotel. The en suite was compact and unfortunately not very clean. The toilet bowel had reminders from the previous occupiers on the side and there were 2 dark hairs in the bath/shower. Accepting that mistakes are made we decided to overlook this unsightly discretion.
Part of the reason for choosing this hotel was that it had a Michelin Rosette and having checked the menu on line, we were suitably impressed. Do not allow yourself to be fooled by this. When the food finally arrived, the portions were small, the food bland and over priced, We had to wait almost 30 minutes for our main meal, watching people who had arrived after us get served first before finally being presented with a cold (hot) dish. We remained silent until it came to finding the small black shavings in the bottom of the Crème Brulee. A very nice waitress informed us that the shavings were vanilla, even though they tasted nothing like it. We decided to put the disappointing meal down to just ‘one of those things’ despite the fact that it was one of the worst meals we had eaten in any hotel that we had stayed in.
Friday morning we came down to breakfast and both ordered the hot Welsh Breakfast. I turned over a coffee cup and found it to be filthy with at least three ring marks inside. Breakfast arrived and as there were no sauces available on the table, asked a waitress, for some brown sauce, which she brought in a butter dish. Above the level of the brown sauce we could see a piece of butter that was blatantly obviously for anyone that cared to look and they would not have had to look that hard. I found this disturbing, but again chose not to make a fuss. However, one cannot ignore the fact that stuck to the spoon in the brown sauce was what appeared to be a ‘surgical steri-strip plaster’. I approached the waitress to show her our discovery. She was confused and at first didn’t quite grasp the severity of the situation but then realising that the ‘foreign body’ shouldn’t have been there, promptly apologised and returned with a ‘fresh’dish of sauce and ‘clean’ spoon. Obviously this affected our appetite and we abandoned breakfast.
I went to reception, tri-ringed cup in hand and asked to speak to the manager. A short while later the Hotel Manager appeared and I told him of the comedy of errors since we had arrived. To say that he was disinterested would be an understatement; he in fact started to get annoyed because I had the audacity to point out the hotel’s faults. Apart from saying sorry in an unsympathetic and detached way, at no point did he offer any form of compensation. Frustrated and not seeing the point of talking to him much further, as clearly he was only capable of quoting platitudes and apparent quotes from the bad hoteliers’ handbook, so I went back to our room.
As I was getting changed to go out, glancing at the carpet, I observed what appeared to be a toe nail in the middle of the floor. As my wife had painted pink toes nails and I had not cut any of mine, clearly we were not alone. As the room was about to be cleaned, we again said nothing, but I did take a photo of the offending nail….nice!
We left the hotel sometime after 1000hrs and returned at 1430hrs. Having been caught walking in the rain, we wanted to freshen up and shower. To our dismay, on entering the bathroom we found that the cups, saucers and glasses that we had left neatly stacked on the window sill next to the bed, had migrated to the bathroom sink. The paper contents of these items had been thrown into the bin in the main bedroom and the bin had been left in situ. The towels that we had left in the bath were still in the bath and between the bath and the toilet, what turned out to be grout scrapings had appeared on the floor. At this point we decided enough was enough and clearly all that was missing was Basil Fawlty and the Major and the scene would have been complete.
I spoke to the receptionist, who had been very helpful, and asked that she come to our room to see for herself the condition that it had been left in by house keeping. On seeing the state of the room, she could only be described as being both embarrassed and mortified. After apologising profusely, we returned to reception where she called the Sales Manager.
The Sales Manager couldn’t apologise enough for the poor quality of service and experience that we had endured and spent a considerable amount of time persuading me why we should come back to ‘Clearly Lacking Court’ and show us that this was just a one off experience and that standards are much higher, that they were currently short of cleaning staff….oh and please don’t comment on trip advisor. But against our better judgement, with the promise of a ‘complimentary stay in one of our front facing, dual aspect, deluxe rooms for two nights bed & breakfast and a complimentary 60 minute treatment of your choice for the both of you’… but mainly because it meant that we could see the lovely country side and eat at The Mews, an excellent restaurant in Tenby, we accepted.
Quoting a member of staff from the Lamphey Court Hotel “We pride ourselves on returning guests and strive to ensure that every stay here is enjoyable from the moment of check in to the moment of check out”…..
Round 2. So brave returning guests that we are, or is that stupid, returned to the Lamphey Court Hotel on Friday 3rd August 2012 having confirmed the details of our stay with the General Manager, as per an email received from the Sales Manager, detailing our stay.
We arrived about 2.30pm and again the room was not ready, but were offered coffee. The wife went off for her treatments, Note: do book before arrival or you may be disappointed and I waited for the room to be cleaned. 3.15pm after a few prompts, I was finally told that Room 26 had been cleaned. I went to the room and on putting my bags down, there in the middle of the floor was a toe nail…..ERRR HELLO do they keep these things in jars so that they can decorate the rooms with them!!? So I then checked the bathroom and sure enough there were long dark hairs in the bath, ‘déjà vu’ I hear you cry, but no not quite, the toilet was clean this time and even had blue stuff in it! So having been made to wait for 45 minutes for the room found it still was not clean, well at least they are consistent!
I headed straight for reception to speak to the manager. En route I spoke to the head cleaner and told her of my discovery. There was a conversation between cleaning staff and it came out that Room 26 had been hoovered on Thursday, oh right, so Friday is a bad day for it to be hoovered then!!?
The temporary Hotel Manager then came to the room to see for himself after I had explained my findings and that this was supposed to be a complementary stay to show us that our first fiasco was just a one off. But he didn’t even know that we were coming nor the reasons preceding our return stay, clearly, or they might have actually bothered to clean the room properly. Then, whilst listening to his apologises, it dawned on me that in fact we had been given the wrong room and this was not the all singing and dancing room that we had been promised. So all in all, an epic fail!!!
Room 26s bathroom, although not the same shocking standard as Room 15’s bathroom, obviously is never cleaned properly due to the amount of mould and lime scale that have built up over time. And clearly the way to get rid of mould, is to cover it up badly with silicon??!!
We only ate breakfast this time around, which was a buffet in the conservatory. Saturday morning it was luke warm and dried out, Sunday morning it was so cold we left it and just had cold croissants and coffee instead. To give credit the waitress did notice that we left our breakfast and when told why, offered to have something else made, but by now even a ‘Little Chef’ seemed a better proposition.
So that is our story and why you should not stay at this hotel, even when you are offered a free stay, because we won’t be….EVER!
It is worth noting that this hotel has had a few reviews of this nature since 2010 and in June during our stay, we spoke to another couple who had previously stayed at the Lamphey Court the year before and had commented on how standards had fallen across the board. For reasons unknown to us, all three hotel managers mentioned above during our June 2012 have all moved on.
I hope this helps with your deliberations and if you chose to ignore our warning, good luck!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC