“Mis-named Handpicked Hotel. The Brandshatch Place, hotel & spa”
Please find below, a copy of a letter that I have sent to the above-named hotel after a one-night stay.
I hope that your readers may find it useful when considering this hotel.
Mr & Mrs Cross
1 Bombay Street
Date: 26th April 2012
My husband and I were so looking forward to are staying at the Handpicked Hotel, “THE BRANDSHATCH PLACE HOTEL & SPA” on the 21st - 22nd April 2012.
We received the confirmation of booking within a few days, specifying a 3pm check-in and 11am check-out with dining arrangements to be made at reception on arrival, although on Friday evening at 8pm we received a call informing us that dinner would be at 8.30pm which was acceptable
On arrival at 3pm we were told the room was not ready, they would find us when it was and where to find the bar .We told the receptionist she would find us outside.
We then proceeded to the bar, which was extremely busy due to a function in another room, [a baby naming] and found only one person serving. Whilst we waited to be served, the barman was asked by a guest, from said function room, for some serviettes and he stopped what he was doing to go and tell someone before we were eventually served two Bacardi and cokes, one extremely small bottle of coke actually, which came to a whopping £9.65p. This was not only for the pleasure of waiting for a drink but to be charged top prices and also having to wait for the room to be ready we were not pleased to say the least. Not a very good first impression I must say.
So we then proceeded with our expensive drinks in hand outside to await being called for our room, did I mention we were paying for this treatment. Sadly this did not happen, unbelievable wouldn’t you say. So after 25-30 minutes we returned to reception where the same lady who greeted us and took our credit card details, asked us, once again, if she could help us. Shockingly, it was obvious she had forgotten who we were, on a good point the room was ready at last. She escorted us to room 38, which was deemed to be a junior suite and inviting us to make use of the available facilities, pool, etc., which we promptly did.
We made our way down to the spa where we signed in and were given towels and told to follow the signs to the pool, which we did where we entered the changing rooms, changed into swim suits, only to find that no-one had thought to mention about the £1 coin which was required for the lockers. Ok, so we take our belongings with us to leave by the pool that was irritating for us. We get into the pool only to get quickly out again upon seeing how dirty the water was – cloudy, lots of hair floating around but the rat droppings on the side of the pool was just too much.
We then found the steam room, etc., by asking another of your guests as we were not told. We had a sauna and steam, then into the Jacuzzi where we found, once the jets stopped, the water appeared dirty as well.
I returned to the ladies changing room and it then hits me just how disorganised this “alleged” spa is. Let me say if I were to be given a gift to visit that spa I would be insulted. The dirty towels were piled high, I mean up to my head and I am 5-10. The shower had hair all over the floor, dirty tiles, discarded paper on toilet floor. I really was not impressed.
I use a Greenwich leisure centre every day and have to say they outdo the “spa” by at least 110% on cleanliness.
Moving on, we returned to our room after taking a drink in the sports bar of which the service there, surprisingly, excellent. We had planned to watch TV and change for dinner. Alas, this was not to be as the TV was not working, I called reception to inform them of the problem and they asked if I would like someone to sort the problem out, [well of course I would, why was I calling]. Five minutes later a member of staff came. Well, someone from the bar staff arrived to sort the problem out, in vain as it turned out. While he attempted this he asked how we were enjoying our stay. I replied how disappointed we were, outlining the problems. He, in return, said how sorry he was on behalf of the hotel and he would go directly to the spa and speak to the manager and would like to offer a complimentary drink.
Being people who observe etiquette we went down to dinner at 8:10 pm, dressed as is befitting for your 2 AA rosette dining room, only to find there was no dress code, jeans and trainers are the norm. However, we received our complimentary drinks while being told we will not have to wait long. Unfortunately this was not the case. 9pm arrived with no sign of a table. Another of your guests requested hors-d’ oeuvres, which we also received. Remember, our reservation was for 8:30pm .There is no sign of the maitre d’. 9.15pm arrives while we are still waiting. During this time nobody apologised, placated or pacified us. One would have expected more.
9.30pm we were seated and still no apology, excuses, or maitre d’, but as it turned out the chef was the redeeming feature, the food was excellent.
We retired to bed at this stage. I will point out that the designation as a junior suite I found quite dismal and untrue. A small window with not much natural light, a bulb out in the ceiling light. The room was dusty, the shower door had black mould, none of the tap fittings were even polished.
This may all seem trivial but to a paying guest it is important.
In the morning, we had an excellent breakfast and we then returned to our room to check-out. Really, we cannot wait to leave all this behind us. Reception called saying the duty manager would like to talk to us. Though it was the duty manager of the spa he was concerned about our complaints even though he was not involved with the running of the hotel itself he sympathised with our complaints and took notes. At no time did the General manger appear.
To sum up, this was not an experience I would like to repeat. It felt like the staff were doing us a favour and we were in the way. In a welcome letter from the manager, Andrew Oxby, it stated “Whilst you are here we would like you to treat our hotel as home from home. Our aim is to provide you with a peaceful, relaxing, and memorable stay”
Well, it was memorable. I didn’t think places like this existed any more, we travel extensively throughout the world and have never had such an experience and paid £326.00 for the pleasure. It goes without saying we will not be visiting any of these so called “Handpicked Hotels” again. I suggest whoever picked this particular one should try washing their hands.
As I wrote on the comment card, “Very, Very, Very, Disappointed”. I hope you acknowledge this letter as we have received no response from hotel replying to the comment card.
Look at somewhere else!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC