Our room in the "new wing" smelt and the tv did not work, but these were but minor inconveniences compared to Sunday morning breakfast.
We arrived in the restaurant at 9.30. There was a sign telling us to wait to be shown to a table. We waited ... and waited. The only member of staff in sight was too busy laying and clearing tables even to look up. We then spotted an empty table - the only one - and sat down. There was a table on which orange juice, cereals, miIk and fruit had been set out - only the jugs and most of the food containers were empty. There was a queue of about 20 guests all lined up along virtually the whole length of the restaurant for their cooked breakfast, toast and hot drinks.
I found a second member of staff, a balding man in his late fifties, and asked him if it might be possible to have some milk and orange juice. "It's being seen to.", he told me. Ten minutes later, when nobody had refilled the jugs, I went up to him again. No apologies, just, "I've only got one pair of hands!". Later I saw him waive his hands in front of the face of another guest who had dared to ask for tomato ketchup, shouting "One pair! one pair!". This was the same member of staff who had refused to serve one of our party with a glass of water the night before, because he was in the middle of closing the bar.
It was about half an hour later, after the queue had reach reasonable proportions, that I decided to join it. What I saw was one poor girl behind the counter, almost in tears, struggling to serve all the waiting guests. When one of our party enquired why, they were told, "Half the staff have called in sick". It was not hard to see why!
I heard another guest ask to speak to the manager, only to be told by the receptionist that he was not available and to be given an e-mail address.
Perhaps I should have known what to expect, when we checked in and were asked to pay in advance the whole bill for our bed-and-breakfast - just to make sure that nobody walked out in disgust without paying, I later realised!
This is a poorly run hotel which appears to have little respect for its guests. It might look good value on paper - only £55 for b&b for a shared double room, which is probably why it is able to survive, but take my advice and go elsewhere, and pay a little more.
One last gripe! The hotel displays a Best Western sticker in the reception area, although it does not appear on the Best Western web site and no longer belongs to the Best Western Group. This must be fraudulent, were a member of the public is induced to book there under the belief that it is a Best Western. Best Western might also want to tell the present managers to remove the sticker, as it is certainly doing their company's reputation no favours!
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- Also Known As:
- Himley Country Dudley
- Himley Country Hotel Staffordshire