We attended my cousins wedding yesterday. Overall we had a fab day, but this was because we let many things 'slide' as nobody wanted to upset the day. From the moment we arrived and went to reception to check in, i felt like the receptionist was not happy and very defensive when we tried to iron out minor errors with the bookings. Nobodys fault, and we just wanted to check in, but she obviously felt the need to act in this way. I felt like they were not happy to have us there. Not welcoming at all but i ignored it as we were so looking forward to having a lovely day.
I have extensive experience of workiing in an environment where customer service is the most important part of the business so i am aware that i expect high standards. For this reason, i don't always complain, as long as i have a smile and i feel welcome, i'm happy enough. Also, in my experience, if a receptionist is defensive about small things that you just need addressing, it's usually because they have a lot of complaints!
The rooms were average but very clean and what you would expect from a sports facility, but not what you would expect from a hotel. The plastic cups had been used before and turned upside down to be used again - they had mouth marks around the rims - yuk! The biggest problem was that many of the bedrooms were 'freezing' cold, my 8 year old son woke at 2.30am upset because he was so cold, even though i had put extra clothing on him. I had to use bath towels and a coat as makeshift blankets on his bed. There is no way of contacting reception from your room and i had no mobile phone signal. I didn't want to leave him/take him out in the night to find someone who could help with extra bedding.
We spoke to reception staff in the morning who said that athletes had checked out the same morning and not mentioned being cold. They also said if it had been cold, the buildings thermostat would have kicked in... Completely defensive and unapproachable... Doesn't change the fact that we were freezing to the point i was shivering under the duvet. More than half of our party that stayed over had the same problem. I spoke to 2 people who said there room was ok but they are used to sleeping with windows open regardless of the weather. The beds were very hard which i personally don't mind but my children complained anout theirs being lumpy and hard.
To recap, the positives are the food which was very enjoyable. The grounds are amazing and very well kept. On a negative note, I certainly got the feeling that maybe they are great at hosing athletic/sports teams but in my opinion, the staff do not have the right attitude to deal with a wedding party. The only time i did feel warmth from any of the staff was at breakfast from the kitchen staff - they were lovely.
I think the message here is they are a sports centre. A wedding is such a special, personal day that has been planned and looked forward to for so long, not to mention saved up for! I would not recommend lilleshall as a wedding venue until the staff have been 'rebriefed' and extensively retrained to work in an industry that is very different to hosting sporting events.
Lilleshall, you have the facilities to be a fantastic place and setting for very special days, your hosting staff are letting you down......
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lilleshall was originally built in 1831 as the hunting lodge and family retreat of the Duke of Sutherland. It first became a National Sports Centre in 1951 and was opened by the then Princess Elizabeth II with the original plaque still in place in the entrance to the main hall. It was Lilleshall's connection with Association Football that brought the Centre to the attention of the nation. The England team trained for two weeks at Lilleshall prior to their success in the World Cup of 1966. In 1967, Sir Alfred Ramsey returned to the Centre to unveil a plaque to commemorate his team's stay and endorse the view that Lilleshall could justly claim some credit for England's famous victory. In 1984 The Football Association's School of Excellence was established welcoming young talent such as Michael Owen, Jamie Carragher, Sol Campbell and Joe Cole to name but a few. Today Lilleshall is an elite training centre for some of the country's leading sportsmen and women and regularly welcomes use by numerous sports bodies. With its unique and rich heritage and commitment to providing a World Class Experience, Lilleshall is a certainly a place where you can wake up and feel inspired. Lilleshall is situated among the spectacular and secluded surroundings of the Shropshire countryside within 134 hectares of English Heritage Grade II listed grounds. The main house (Lilleshall Hall) overlooks the beautiful Capability Brown inspired gardens. As well as a range of world class facilities available for use (bookable in advance), the Centre has two walking routes. The 2.5 mile Discovery Trail will provide you with the chance to discover some of Lilleshall's many gems including the Italian Water Garden, the Pet Cemetery and the World Class Sports Facilities. The 6 mile Adventure Fitness Trail enables you to discover these gems but also provides you with the chance to test your fitness, taking you through the woodland belts alongside the estate's 2 mile sweeping drive to the golden gates (an exact replica of those at Buckingham Palace), before returning (a steady climb all the way!) to explore the heart of the estate. Work is also underway on a nature trail which is due to be open in the Summer. Visitors can reserve rooms in one of three purpose built accommodation blocks, a short walk from reception, the dining room and bar. (Sorry no rooms available in the main house). Room facilities include tea & coffee making, digital HD television, hairdryers and free WIFI along with ample free parking. There is a cafe bar open from 7:30 - 23:00 where you can enjoy hot and cold food and drinks. Beyond the site, Lilleshall is well placed for many local attractions including Weston Park, Ironbridge Gorge and Museums, Hoo Farm, Telford Town Park and Wonderland, The Wrekin, RAF Museum Cosford, Telford Ski Centre and Telford International Centre. The historic market town of Newport, where you will find many independent shops, pubs and restaurants, is approximately 4 miles away. Telford, with its many tourist attractions, shopping centre, cafes, bars, restaurants and cinemas, is within a 15 minute drive. The towns of Stafford, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury are all within a 25 minute drive. Room prices start from just £38.50. Check in is from 1.30pm Monday - Saturday and 5.30pm on Sunday. ... more less
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