I have stayed at the Tempest Arms on many occasions, on business, over the last 5 years and had always been impressed, until my last visit. I had noticed, over time, some cost cutting measures, such as a change to and reduction of toiletries in the bathrooms but resolved to bring my own. The food had always been great and the staff friendly so a change in toiletries was a small price to pay.
After a break of a couple of months, I recently stayed on two occasions and what a disappointment. The larger bedrooms have been refurbished recently and look very nice. However, as part of the refurbishment, one of the two wall mounted heaters has been removed from each room. Both times I checked in to the hotel where on very cold days. On getting to my room, on both occasions, it was very cold and, because of only one heater, took all evening to warm up. The bathroom in room 20 was like an ice box for my entire stay. I did use the gas fire but found that it made the room smell, and was of little use at 3am. When I decided to warm up with a hot drink in my room I found no tea bags, just coffee and no biscuits or flapjack. The toiletries had also been further parred down, no shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, just a wall mounted hand soap and hand cream near the sink, nothing in the shower and, as the liquid soap is wall mounted, could not be taken in to the shower.
As a lone traveller on business, the Tempest used to keep a selection of magazines near receiption, these were good to read over a drink and dinner, this time more cost cutting, they had been replaced with cheap (free) local magazines.
The dining room was also a disappointment on my last visit. May be there is a new chef? I had two meals, the first a steak, which I asked to be cooked rare, it came well done and the pepper sauce was forgotten. The second dish, sea bass with prawns, rice and curry sauce used to be a particular favourite, always nicely presented on an oval plate. This time, on a small round plate, there was a 'mountain' of rice in the middle, curry sauce all around so it looked like a rice 'island' the fish was plonked on the top and the prawns clung to the top - it looked reall amateur and the fish was totally overcooked.
Another nightmare awaited at breakfast, I asked for soft boiled eggs, they arrived raw and had to be sent back. Inevitably, the replacements were hard. Even the tea was a disappointment, a large pot with only one tea bag. When I asked for a second tea bag it arrived when the tea was cold!
Those visiting the Tempest for the first time may not notice the problems I encountered, but, as a long standing guest I have found the changes very disappointing and will be looking for somewhere else to stay when next visiting the area.
Go in the summer
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
29 April 2012
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Please let me just clarify a few items on your in-depth review. We are not COST CUTTING in any way what so ever!
We have never had three heaters in all the rooms, room 20 is a Junior suite all Junior suites have just one heater always have had. With the addition of the real flame fire the rooms can feel like and oven in no time! Why 'O' why would we endeavour to take heaters out of rooms to make a lone heater work longer and harder? It is a difficult to judge the weather out side and we have never left heaters on when rooms are empty, it really is instant heating.
The bathroom has a towel style holder come radiator and should have been on during your stay. If it wasn't the switch may have been turned off to the door on entering.
As regards to the range of bathing products, we now us a company called bathhouse based in Cumbria (UK) not a 'French' company I am sure you would much prefer we use a local company. The bottles are refillable and changed on a regular basis each shower has an all over body, hair and conditioner in one. Each hand basin now as in addition to a soap - Hand wash and Hand lotion. Plus a triple milled hand soap.
Each suite with a traditional bath has lemon grass and Thyme bath salts. This ensures that wastage is kept to a minimum and our guests can use as much or as little as they like. No more mini bottles hence a more 'green' way.
As regards to complimentary tea and flap jacks, chocolates and sweets they are still given along with complimentary cakes and cookies on reception there for our guests to help themselves. If your room had none on arrival, I would have preferred to have known then and we would have rectified this mistake straight away..
We offer over 50 publications a month at any given time at a cost of £3 approx for each magazine we have actually doubled this order in the last year. Unfortunately our customers are perhaps forgetting to hand them back for our other guests to enjoy.
I will of course pass on your comments to our Head Chef who has been with us 10 years he will most certainly look into pointers raised.
I do hope that being a very regular and valuable customer to us that we will be able to rectify all areas mentioned in the hope that we can restore your faith in the Tempest Arms again please inform our team during your stay should you have any further observations they really are important to us.
Thank you for your most favourable comments about our refurbishments, we are constantly updating and improving we have re carpeted all suites and rooms, replaced soft furnishings, cushion, quilts and pillows, towels bedding and more! All club rooms have had the bathrooms completely updated and all rooms decorated.
I do hope that you visit us again soon and hopefully decide not to choose that of another Inn
With all best wishes Martin and Veronica.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC