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“A Great Nights Stay!”
Review of Forest Hotel

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Forest Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Dorridge
London
1 review
“A Great Nights Stay!”
Reviewed 27 April 2012

Found this hotel on late rooms, I have found a gem!
Rooms clean, comfortable with a great boutique feeling, and the restaurant is amazing, possibly the best meal I have had in a long time.........

Room Tip: Great if you're travelling from London on the Marlebone Line
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ally T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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148 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
154 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2012

This was our second visit, the first being in January 2011. I booked a twin room direct with the hotel 4 months in advance and was quoted a room rate of £130 including continental breakfast. A week before our stay, colleagues reserved a twin room for the same night via booking.com for only £80 incl. breakfast. I phoned the hotel to dispute our rate, and was immediately offered a reduction of £50 to match the booking.com rate. A cautionary tale here to check the best rate! This hotel is good value at ££80 for two people but possibly not at the full rate of £130.
There is a large, well lit car park. On arrival the reception desk was not manned, and it took several minutes for a member of the bar staff to come to our aid. We were given a double room (a really lovely room) but had booked a twin .... we were moved quickly to a twin room (number 6). Apart from a cobweb over the showerhead the room and bathroom were very clean and cosy. We only had one bath towel, and it took two phone calls to the duty manager before the second one eventually arrived (some 45 mins later). We were surprised that the bathroom did not have a shaver point; unusual these days.
The rooms facing the front are directly in front of the railway station and in the early mornings this section of road is a hub for coaches and buses, so fairly noisy.
The hotel restaurant has an AA Two Rosette award, and deserves this. The food is extremely good, as it was on our previous visit last year. The turbot was well worth it's £17.50 price tag, and my huband really enjoyed his steak and kidney pie from the cheaper, Classics menu (around £8). The vegetable selection is a little limited, and I unwisely chose the tomato and rocket salad, which was almost indedible, being unripe, and smothered in unnecessary cheese. Our delicious dinner was marred, however, by an industrious waitress who decided that whilst the restaurant was quiet (only we and one other table of 6) to disinfect the surrounding tables and chairs. Now, if this had been "McDonalds" or "Burger King" this would be considered normal, but in a restaurant worthy of its food awards, with diners paying in excess of £40 a head?! I think not! Poor training and poor management to blame here, clearly.
Breakfast lacked attention to detail. I noticed that the four mini packs of Kellogs Special K Cereals were all out of date (a recurring issue here I now see having subsequently read previous reviews, a problem the hotel unbelievably cannot rectify it would seem). Deciding to play it safe I opted for the fresh fruit and yoghut, which were delicious. We ordered tea, coffee and toast which arrived swiftly. Meanwhile my husband quickly devoured the last two mini croissants from the buffet table. I asked for more (it was only 8am) and some more marmalade as the pot on the buffet table was empty. After 5 minutes of waiting for the marmalade, with our toast now stone cold, it arrived, with a sheepish waitress pleading that they were sorry for the delay but they had "lost it". Rather farcical. I asked for more toast, as ours was cold. Meanwhile another waitress appeared and apologised for no more croissants because, as she said, "I stole them earlier". The farce was complete and it was all we could do to stifle our giggles. She had meant to be light hearted, but it was, nonetheless, highly unprofessional.
Overall, this hotel does have a certain charm to it. It seems to be very understaffed, perhaps the few staff they do have are doing too many jobs. The end result is that what is a good hotel could so easily, with better management, be a first class little boutique hotel, with amazing food. Despite my negative comments here, we will be staying here again because overall it does provide excellent value for money. I will always be on the lookout for out of date cereal packets, and I won't have high expectations for service, but I know I would struggle to pay £40 a night, per person so close to the NEC. Grotty little tired B&B's charge substantially more with none of this hotel's charm. I find myself forgiving them for the "Faulty Towers" moments because all the staff were so charming and polite. It wasn't their fault they had been so appaulingly directed by management.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jarfie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tracy P, Owner at Forest Hotel, responded to this review, 7 February 2012
Many thanks for thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive account of your last visit. I am pleased that you will consider staying with us again despite some service issues that we need to address.

With respect to the room rate though, may I clarify that any internet agency booking rate will only ever be on a room only basis which means that the apparent difference in rates quoted would not have been as large as it appeared.

Regardless of that I do appreciate your constructive comments and please be assured that we will work hard to improve the areas of service where we fell short on this ocassion.

I look forward to welcoming you back to The Forest in the future
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 22 January 2012

I booked this hotel for myself and my boyfriend to stay at as my cousin was having his Engagement Party in one of the event rooms. When we entered the reception we weren't exactly greeted. The gentleman said 'yes' whilst just sitting starring at us as if we shouldn't of been there. Not a hello or how was your journey, the desk was pretty much empty all the time, and if you needed someone then there was a number to ring which diverted to the bar. After the gentleman realized we weren't happy with our welcome and I had mentioned that I also work in a 4* hotel he did then cheer up and was very polite and helpful I believe his name was Anthony. When I had checked in the extra bed wasn't set up and 3 of the lights didn't work. I went to reception and asked for this to be sorted. After half an hour one of the bar staff had to come and do this (obviously no housekeeping or maintenance). On check out I then had to wait 20mins for someone to then pay my bill which doesn't really seem right if they are trying to run a business. (turns out he had gone to the bank - to which I'm totally lost as to how and why this can happen when it was in fact check out time). The hotel is a nice hotel but maybe they are a bit short staffed or need some customer service training to make people feel welcome. The positives were nice room, a big walk in kind of wardrobe which was spacious, and a very comfortable bed. Overall for what it was booked for it was an ok stay but keep the staff at reception and in the correct departments.

Room Tip: Don't book if you expect a Good Service or for a longer duration.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Phiz01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tracy P, Owner at Forest Hotel, responded to this review, 7 February 2012
Thank you for your comments following your recent stay with us. I am sorry that you felt that you did not receive good service on this ocassion as we try very hard to offer a friendly, personal level of service that is reflective of our smaller scale, privately owned operation.

With only 12 rooms we do not have 24hr housekeepers or reception staff available but I am sorry if that meant that you had to wait longer than you would have wished to receive attention either in your room or at the front desk.

Please be assured that your comments will be discussed at our next management meeting with the whole team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2012

We stayed here for a weekend visiting friends and had an excellent stay.

The hotel is conveniently located just across the road from the train station. Our room was nice and large and very confortable. Free wifi. Small point was the bathroom was a little too dark for the wife and her makeup, it needed a little light around the mirror.

We had dinner in the restaurant and the food was excellent. Good service. Prices including wine were quite reasonable.

Breakfast in the morning was equally good.

No major complaints at all.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SL1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tracy P, Owner at Forest Hotel, responded to this review, 7 February 2012
I was very pleased to hear that you enjoyed your recent stay and in particular your meal here at The Forest. Thank you for taking the time to make your comments and I hope that we may see you again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
131 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 November 2011

This was booked because we were attending a wedding reception at the hotel. There were a lot of good points. The room was large enough, with a decent separate bathroom. Breakfast was OK, if not special. Reception was not often attended, so we couldn't get issues fixed quickly enough. A lack of towels took some sorting out. The main issue was a show-stopper. The noise in the room from the fans in the main restaurant/bar toilets downstairs was extremely loud, preventing any sleep until they were switched off at night, and from when they were switched on in the morning. Cleaners started at 6 a.m. Despite raising the issue with hotel management this recurred on the second night, evening and morning. On remonstrating with reception we were given a discount, but this did not make up for the lack of sleep. The wedding organisation was excellent. Shame about the noise.

Room Tip: Don't stay on the first floor.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank iacamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
159 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2011

The websire photographer deserves an award. The rooms are small, clean and nicely decorated, but with cheap beds, and single glazing on the non-shutting windows. I got back to my room at 11am and quickly realised I would get no sleep until they had finished clearing up th bar below. Fair enough. But i was horrified to be awoken at 6am but 30 minutes of scraping chairs and tables. I complained to the manager who shrugged and said he'd mention it to the cleaners. Like that helps me. OK, so it's a room above a pub, but theycharge a jaw-dropping £97.50 for a single room, so you might expect to be able to get a decent night's sleep.
I can't recommend this place for value or caring about the customer's experience, I'm afraid.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tripper43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Droitwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2011

We would recommend this venue to anyone. Amanda is an excellent wedding co-ordinator and always helped us throughout the process and she was also highly attentive to our guests' needs on the day.

The Olive Room is an ideal size for a small-medium wedding and looks great.

We had numerous compliments about the outstanding quality of the food and, despite us running a little behind schedule, the staff were accommodating to ensure the whole dining experience was relaxed. The rooms are comfortable and well sized.

Our huge thanks go to Amanda and her team for making our special day so memorable.

Room Tip: rooms above the kitchen are noisy
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MikeHorton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Forest Hotel

Property: Forest Hotel
Address: 25 Station Approach, Dorridge, Solihull B93 8JA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > West Midlands > Solihull > Dorridge
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Dorridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Forest Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
12 bedroomed privately owned boutique hotel with a restaurant listed in Good Food Guide and Michelin serving modern european food in relaxed surroundings. Buzzy bar with an interesting wine list and 3 real ales. Great position for NEC and Birmingham International Airport, opposite Dorridge station with direct links to London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street. ... more   less 
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