Let's start with the positives of my stay during the Bournemouth Air Festival. The reception staff were fantastic. Very chatty and happy, and extremely helpful during an exceptionally busy time in the hotel. A real credit to them.
My room was also nice. Large, well appointed and very comfortable after working long days on my feet.
Needing to stay an additional night (Sunday 1st September) I secured a different room at a very reasonable rate; another tick for the reception and reservation staff. I checked out of my original room on Sunday morning, and, as my new room wasn't ready yet, I checked my bag in to reception, saying I'd collect it when I returned from work that evening.
Returning to the hotel after a very hot, very long day, I asked the receptionist for my key and bag only to be told "Don't worry, your friend took your bag."
As my bag contained all of my clean clothes, toiletries, spare cash and house keys I was more than a little panicked and annoyed.
To cut a long story very short, my bag had been given away to one of the RAF display teams staying at the hotel and was now on its way to an airbase in North Yorkshire. I only discovered this by having a chance conversation with a member of the display team who had remained back at the hotel, as the hotel's CCTV was useless and showed nothing.
Relieved to have found my bag we made arrangements for its return and I went to see if I could get some toiletries from reception. Deodorant yes, toothbrush and toothpaste, sadly, no, as the receptionist didn't have a key to the toothbrush drawer. He apologised and asked if I'd mind collecting one in the morning.
The morning arrived and, putting on the same clothes I'd worn for the best part of 20 hours the day before, I headed off to reception for said toothbrush.
Unfortunately, the "gentleman" behind the desk told me he'd just sold the last one but I could go to the nearby garage and buy one. This really cheesed me off. Relaying the previous day's sorry episode, I asked if he would send a member of staff to the garage to procure me a toothbrush, seeing as how it was their fault I was in this situation.
In a tone of voice reminiscent of a moody teenager the "gentleman" said "I'm not sending anyone anywhere. I just told you where you can buy one" and off he walked.
What made this even worse was that I since discovered that this "gentleman" was Daniel Marsh, the general manager!
On receipt of my bag almost two weeks after being given away by the hotel staff I wrote a letter (not an email, an actual letter) to Mr Marsh asking for his response to the whole shoddy affair, particularly his disgraceful approach to customer service. I asked him, by way of atonement, to consider making a donation to the RAF Benevolent Fund, seeing as how the RAF had to pay for his staff's mistake. How did Mr Marsh respond? By ignoring my letter, that's how. Not a dickie bird, so I wrote to James Gordon, seeing as how he regularly comments on TripAdvisor, for his response. Two months later I'm still waiting for any acknowledgement of my two letters.
If you read this Mr Gordon, I have given up hope of the RAF receiving anything for their troubles, or me for mine. Just know that you and Mr Marsh are the worst possible advertisement for your hotel. The pair of you are an absolute disgrace.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This superb privately owned AA 3 Star Bournemouth hotel boasts 109 en-suite rooms and deluxe suites. It is ideally situated in the heart of Bournemouth's East Cliff, only a short walk from the busy town centre where you can find the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), the Pavilion Theatre, family friendly pubs and restaurants that cater for all tastes. We are a few minutes walk away from Bournemouth's Blue Flag award winning, golden, sandy beaches and Bournemouth Pier. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Queens Hotel Bournemouth