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“after care was better - terrible expensive stay and terrible expensive meal”

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Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel
Ranked #16 of 39 Hotels in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 January 2012

This review would have been a ONE Star review (Terrible), had it not been for the hotel's Customer Services Mgr (Magdelena) phoning me up yesterday (early January 2012) and working very hard to try and win back some of my goodwill

As soon as TripAdvisor puts this hotel's top restaurant (Palm Court) onto the system - a ONE Star review for the restaurant will follow.... (a truly terrible experience of chronic over-salting and poor customer service - the only recommendation for the restaurant is if you are trying to speed the demise of one who is hypertensive.... )

Please note: this review is for a very expensive suite (c.£200/night) in a very grand hotel - if you pay premium prices, then it is reasonable to expect premium service....

Was having to travel for work on Boxing Day, so thought I would book myself into a nicer hotel as a treat in lieu of the interruption to my xmas holidays. I am a smoker, and though historically I would stay at the other Bristol Marriott hotel - Bristol Marriott City Centre - it has apparently got rid of all it's smoking rooms so I was stuck with the Royal instead. I nearly booked at the local Holiday Inn (which still has a fair few smoking rooms) - now wish I had.....

Note: I was a Marriott Platinum member (100+ nights/year) for years - so had some residual Marriott loyalty when I made the hotel booking (fool that I am....)

Booking process was really annoying as you get diverted to the Marriott Call Centre where they have no real information or local knowledge about the individual hotel - eg as the hotel now only has four smoking rooms, what are they like - are they the tiny little corner rooms, or spacious kings, etc, etc

I arrived at the hotel and managed to get a disabled space in their underground car park (Marriott - PLEASE NOTE THIS - quite a few of the disabled spaces were occupied by cars/vans that DID NOT HAVE BLUE BADGES - the hotel should do more to better manage their own car park)

At check-in, it was obvious that the hotel was very empty, and got offered an upgrade to a suite at a discounted price (though still v expensive) - this upgrade offer and discussion was reminiscent of haggling at a street market or buying a second-hand car...

Teh check-in guy did not know which local restaurants were open (it was Boxing Day)

The suite (1427 - the only smoking suite in the hotel) was spacious and clean, with large bathroom, large bedroom (bigger than king size bed, huge hanging space) and sizeable bathroom (great bath, wide and deep) - see attached photos. BTW - the suite is the furthest away from the lifts (elevators) you can get - be ready for a trek!

This hotel was originally built for a different hotel chain, so it does not have the usual Marriott amenities of an ice machine by the lifts....

Called Room Service (Marriott "At Your Service") to get some ice - left the phone on speaker, and gave up after 3 minutes of the call having not been answered

Five minutes later, called Room Service AGAIN - again left the phone on speaker, and GAVE UP AFTER 3 MINUTES OF THE CALL HAVING NOT BEEN ANSWERED

Note: the hotel seemed virtually empty with no functions going on, I cannot work out why there would have been no staff to answer the phone

Switched on the TV, so I could lounge on the sofa whilst waiting for my restaurant booking.....

The sofa is VERY UNCOMFORATBLE. This sofa (see photos) is very high (my 5ft6 friend's legs could not reach the ground), very hard (impossible to lounge on), and very deep (I could not sit on the sofa with my back straight and supported, as the depth of the sofa is greater than the length of my thighs - I am 6ft, so go figure!)

Went and ate supper in the hotel's best restaurant - an horrendous experience to be detailed in another review

Had a fantastic night's sleep - the bed was very comfortable and huge, the room was quiet

Ablutions were brill - a truly excellent bathroom with a spacious bath and a powerful shower

Room Service Breakfast...... Aaagh - TERRIBLE (these room service breakfasts are c.£20/person when you add in tray charge, etc - so you would expect them to be up to the usual Marriott standard....)

The breakfast arrived on time - eg, as expected.
There was no marmelade - when I queried this with the Room Service chap he told me that there was marmelade, I showed him the apricot jam and the honey (but still no marmelade!), and then he grudgingly went and got some...
Only one knife! Am I meant to wash my own cutlery between eating my cooked breakfast, and spreading my toast & marmelade?
The "medium" boiled eggs were so hard boiled you could have used them for mortal combat.
No pastries - the Room Service Breakfast Menu clearly states that you get pastries with your breakfast (this is not a box you have to tick - you should get these automatically).
I didn't call the Room Service guy back about the pastries, as I was so fed up with the disturbances (geting the marmelade, etc) and general poor service.

Unfortunately the breakfast was part of the package, so I couldn't refuse to pay this part of the bill (as it was tacked onto my room rate).

Check-Out:
Generally very good,
Best customer service of the whole stay (though having said that, there was a fair bit of leeway!),
Lady at chek-out immediately apologised for the terrible restaurant experience,
And took £3 ($5) off my bill - as this was the tray charge for the terrible breakfast!! I think a larger deduction would have been more apt.

When I got home I filled out the online Guest Satsfaction Survey that Marriott had emailed to me - this is what triggered Magdelana to telephone me a week later

Summary:
next time I will try the Holiday Inn (which is MUCH cheaper)
Beware!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled on business
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3  Thank AlexRJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,777 - 1,783 of 2,172 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2012

Was a bit dubious after reading a few reviews on here, with the refurbished rooms etc. However was very pleasantly surprised and must of got one of these refurbished rooms. First of all once entering the Marriott it was all very grand and immaculate the reception and lounge/drawing room area were all impeccable and took your breath a little ! After checking in and proceeding to our room, we found it to be very spacious and to a very fine standard (stayed in many 4* Hotels), bed was very comfy and the windows kept all the noise out ! The breakfast was great and you could tell the meats and eggs were all free range was very tasty a large choice of hams cheeses and salmon was also available. There was also a choice in which way you wanted your eggs done and nothing was too much trouble ! Overall a great stay, only slightly ruined by a cocky receptionist on leaving who really showed no interest and couldnt even gather a smile ! However i will be returning great job !

Room Tip: Check the Marriott website as they do last minute special offers !
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank TheFoodie1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2012

Thanks to work I've tried just about all the hotels in the middle of Bristol now.

This has the best rooms and best check-in/out. Breakfast is very good. The location would be the most attractive too if not for the tent city outside the cathedral for the "protest". Having tried all the rest this will be my first choice from now on.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled on business
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Thank LoogaGuzzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

stayed for just one night in december, had a lovely spacious room on the first floor, food was excellent, staff excellent, one young man in the dining room in particular whose name escapes me. Would recommend this hotel.

Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank TonyMor54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2012

We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the room at this hotel. However, the leisure club had it drawbacks. The swimming pool was cold and full of noisy kids. These weren't all residents at the hotel since I saw some of them leaving with their parents from the car park immediately after attending the pool.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank GeorginaandRichard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2012

We booked for the New Year's Eve ball and stayed over for breakfast. Apart from some confusion with the booking, everything about this hotel exceeded our expectation, from the cream tea on the afternoon that we arrived, through the New Year’s Eve 'ball' to the superb breakfast on New Year's Day. Service is particularly attentive, from Reception right through, although we had some difficulty with Housekeeping in recognising that we had a 3rd occupant in our room who needed towels, a cup to drink out of, water etc. This is a common problem for a family of three but responses were reasonable. The tea service in the afternoon was good, if a little short-staffed. Our waitress, who was charming and helpful, was run ragged, and really struggled to keep on top of things - she appeared to be working alone. The tea and scones were memorable in their flavour, freshness and presentation. The dinner was also very impressive - excellent quality, well presented and at the right temperature. The dining room was very well managed by a very efficient maitre d'. Food came out quite quickly and it would have been preferable to have the courses slightly better spaced over the evening, but managing a full function room is a challenge and delays can be disastrous. Two full starters seemed vaguely excessive, but both were delicious. The music was fun if in no way resembling a ball - certainly not to my taste but everyone enjoyed it immensely from what we could see and we had a great evening. Dance floor was a little restricted, but not at all serious. The truffles failed to materialise with the coffee, but by then, no one really cared! After a good night's sleep in a very comfortably, tastefully decorated family room with 2 double beds and a very clean and sumptuously appointed bathroom, we headed down to breakfast. What a feast! How the staff could still be helpful and professional after the previous late night really beats me, but they were excellent. My daughter’s hot chocolate got lost, but when it arrived with a little prompting, she assured me that it was really good. We managed to work our way through the full spread in spite of the previous evening's superb offerings, and checked out feeling very satisfied in spite of our over-indulgence. Having attended a workshop at the BMR previously where the lunch was abysmal, I was delighted at the entire experience - we all enjoyed ourselves immensely and we look forward to coming back.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Peter E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2012

Decided on a hassle free Christmas and so booked a suite to cater for visiting family over 3 days. The event organiser, Michelle Stephens was brilliant, arranging many requested extras for the suite, making it a very memorable occasion. The suite was large with lovely views and a substantial bedroom and bathroom. We were greeted with mulled wine and mince pies on arrival, and were able to access the suite early. We enjoyed afternoon tea in one of the lounges and then retired to the suite. Breakfast was excellent everyday with masses of choice. Our only disappointment was frozen brussell sprouts on Christmas day, and relative to the cost expected fresh. The staff were brilliant and catered for our every whim.

However, the three day break was very memorable and well worth the cost. This was our first experience of being away over Christmas and proved to be an excellent tonic.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Wiglets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel

Address: College Green, Bristol BS1 5TA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Bristol
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Bristol
#6 Romantic Hotel in Bristol
#7 Business Hotel in Bristol
#10 Luxury Hotel in Bristol
#12 Family Hotel in Bristol
Price Range: £72 - £203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 242
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With a fabulous location next to Bristol Cathedral and the historic waterfront, the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel offers ideal accommodations for enjoying England's southwestern charm. From the moment you arrive, our Victorian-style hotel captivates you with polished marble, warm mahogany and gleaming brass. Spacious rooms offer comfortable furnishings, 24-hour room service, and large work areas with high-speed Internet. For an event, choose our ballroom for 260 guests or a smaller meeting room for intimate gatherings. Enjoy an afternoon tea or cocktail at the Club Bar after your stroll from Bristol's historic sites. For dinner and Sunday lunch, the newly refurbished Walters Restaurant, offering locally sourced regional flavours from the South West. Visit our Roman-style leisure club for the perfect retreat - enjoy a refreshing swim, soothing sauna or invigorating workout. When looking for a luxury hotel in southern England, choose the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel for its friendly staff and modern amenities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Bristol
Bristol Marriott

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