Never having visited Carlisle and the border region in any depth we were looking forward to this two night break - must have been because I invited the mother-in-law along!
Booked two rooms (family and twin) and duly arrived at 14:30. So what happens when the hotel has no apparent record of your booking and has no rooms available because it is the aforementioned bank holiday? We had a hard copy record of the reservation via Booking.com and were a bit taken aback when the manager advised us to look for another hotel. At the same time a mislaid email to the hotel with our reservation appeared.
By now an hour had passed, with the mother in law flagging by now. Complimentary drinks perhaps? Not until we asked. Any sign of this being resolved? Not a bit of it.
Another hour passes and it would seem there are no other rooms in any other Carlisle hotel this particular evening, although a family room has appeared at the Cumbria Park. Now, I'm a pretty relaxed kind of chap but the prospect of the night on the floor while wife and her mum share a bed while our 12 year old has the single is not what I had in mind when booking this.
'We're okay for tomorrow' states the duty manager Grrrr.
Two hours in now and an alternative appears, there is a de-commissioned room in the hotel available, the bath isn't usable but the toilet and sink are okay and the bed is fine. So with no other options we take it.
Now, in fairness the hotel didn't charge us for the night, but we lost our afternoon and early evening which is a pretty big chunk on a 48 hour break. We did not get a complimentary meal although we did request one. 'You've got a free night' was the duty manager's response.
The following day we did mange to get our correct rooms..
Please note we acknowledge the efforts the staff put in to help us out, but this really is a rudimentary error for any hotel to make, and of course while not ruining the weekend it did come close to and what you can't buy back is the time we lost sorting this out.
We did have plenty of time to study the reception area though and there is a plaque on the wall stating the Cumbria Park was fully refurbished and opened by the mayor of Carlisle in....1990. It shows.
The decor is dated but in many areas of the hotel it gives it a bit of a retro feel, it's certainly not anodyne like some of the chains, but in the room we ended up in (120) it did feel tired. Brand new flat screen TV though!
Top marks for the quality of the food, outstanding evening meal at a competitive price too. Breakfast was excellent as well.
Carlisle on a Saturday night is an interesting experience...lots of police out and about should tell you all you need to know.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC