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“Too cramped and too cool”

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The Montpellier Chapter Hotel
Ranked #19 of 23 Hotels in Cheltenham
Reviewed 16 October 2012

We had a standard double room for just one night. The lobby was empty on arrival, nobody to greet us or carry our bags. Someone appeared and told us our room wasn't ready so off we went to look round Cheltenham. Tip: If they are wearing Converse trainers then they are staff. On arriving back we were told the restaurant was full for dinner unless we wanted to eat at 6pm. Eventually we were sent to our room which was unacceptably tiny and were told there was nothing larger. The bathroom door opened but not fully as it touched the end of the bed.....that gives you an idea of floor space. It was awkward to get into the wardrobe as the bed was so close to it. The bed is close to the door of the room so you hear everyone walking past in the corridor.
The bed was comfortable and we slept well but had to open a window as the room was stuffy. Breakfast was very good, no complaints other than walking past a tray of cooked eggs waiting to be re-heated. This all sounds very negative but I have stayed in enough hotels to know that a warm welcome and a decent sized room goes a long way and for me, this had neither. It aches with coolness and as a result will appeal to some and not others.

Room Tip: Ask for a larger room well in advance.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank supm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 October 2012

Have taken a few business partners here when they have been over in the UK and the food is very good. I would recomend the steaks and save food for the deserts.
I would like to see the portion sizes slighter larger to warrent the cost of the meals but apart from that a very enjoyable evening.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Graham D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2012

Checked in for two nights (only stayed one, but more on that later) on my first business visit to delightful Cheltenham. On arrival there was no sign of anyone to greet me or take my bags so I hauled them up the steps and into the lobby...no sign of anyone there either or of any reception desk. Then I realised how cool this place was trying to be, as the reception consisted of a laptop pod in the lobby...a curious concept which is unlikely to catch on...(It becomes chaotic when a large number of guests are attempting to check in or out)...I guess there's a reason for a reception desk after all...but then here its more important to be cool! After check-in at the pod, still no offer to assist with luggage so I found my own room...It was a deluxe, so big enough and everything worked ok...although the cool lighting controls were a challenge at first. I went in search of a room service menu only to discover that is what the I-pod secured to the desk must be for...I wonder how many calls they get to explain this!...Found a "sample menu" on the I-pod which was of little use...but very cool I guess. Took a look in the complimentary mini-bar to discover a solitary bar of chocolate, water, beer and juice...possibly the saddest min-bar I've ever seen. Maybe it had not been replenished, but I suspect that was all it was meant to contain.

Went to the bar and ordered a hamburger from the bar menu. The "burger" duly arrived and after lifting the bun, I discovered there was no burger present...just lettuce and tomato. initially I thought was this must be something uber cool...a hamburger with no burger...hmm...But then I realised it must just be a cool mistake and my plate was whisked away and returned a few minutes later with the complete burger present. While I was waiting I glanced at the menu and was shocked to see that it would have cost me £2 to order some nuts at the bar. Never seen such a greedy approach to running a bar before and as it turned out this was a warning sign of things to come.

I woke the next morning to a change of business plans and a need to return to London prematurely that same day. At 9am I promptly informed the "laptop confusion pod lobby reception" that I would need to check out early. I was asked to wait. After about 5 minutes of waiting while the young man checked someone else out and made a call, I was informed that I would be charged for both nights. I pointed out that they were not a remote country house hotel and that this policy was unprofessional and greedy...I guess the £2 nuts in the bar were the warning sign.

The Manager (i assume he was, but hard to tell with the cool non-uniform), informed me that they were not the only hotel in town with such a policy, as if that justified it. It was a little like a naughty school boy saying that other boys did it, so why shouldn't he. I suggested as they were the new kid on the block they could set a better example, but there was no point arguing with this rigid policy. This was the first day of a major literary festival in Cheltenham and the room could probably have been re-sold, but that argument also seemed to fall on deaf ears. There was not even the suggestion that I would be refunded for the second night, provided they could re-sell the room...That would be the response you would expect from a hotel with serious pedigree, but the Montpellier Chapter is just too cool for school!

As it turns out, due to my premature return to London, I will need to go back to Cheltenham again next week and will probably end up staying at least another week or more, so the mean-spirited policy has cost this property a significant amount more in the long run. They appear to be a business hotel who want to discourage business guests who may need to change their plans as I did.

I checked out and took my bags back to the car. Once again, with no offer to help. I certainly will not be back!

A simple gesture to accommodate my change of circumstances or offer the refund on the condition that they could sell the room would have made all the difference. I would have been prepared to overlook the excessive adolescent attempts at coolness, but I will not forgive outright corporate greed.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled on business
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4  Thank arrowby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2012

We stayed at this hotel last weekend. The standard rooms are small - one side of the bed is pushed up immediately next to a wall. On the opposite side of the wall there is a narrow corridor with a desk at one end and a seat at the other. The room was dark and the lighting was insufficient. There was no mains lighting in the corridor area. In addition, despite putting the heating on the lowest setting, the room was overwhelmingly warm. All that being said, the room was comfortable, nicely furnished and was very clean
The the staff were pleasant, efficient and helpful.
We ate in the restaurant on the second evening. The food was first class if a little expensive. If we lived in the area we would definitely visit the restaurant for special occasions.
We would stay at this hotel again if we were to return to Cheltenham, although we would look at booking one of the larger rooms - subject to price. The hotel has its own parking, subject to availability and is situated close to nice bars and restaurants.

Room Tip: Pay more to avoid the small standard room.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KimPreston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2012

There are plenty of good things about the hotel- great location, lovely old building, friendly staff, and generally very comfortable. However, I think that they have just gone overboard in trying to be modern and trendy- who needs a wine list on an iPad? The lighting controls in the room were ridiculously complicated and we couldn't see what the iPod in the room added to anything.

We had a standard room, which was not enormous but was fine, though the bathroom was incredibly small and cramped. It felt rather overpriced for what we got, especially since breakfast was not included in the price.

The restaurant had a good atmosphere and the cold buffet was good. The hot food was very disappointing though as much of it was reheated and not freshly cooked. In particular, the eggs were pre-cooked and then reheated just before serving, and the result was not a success. Most cafes can manage to cook fresh eggs even in a busy kitchen so I don't really understand why the hotel restaurant took this approach.

We had good outings to Gloucester Cathedral and to Sudeley Castle though, both of which I'd highly recommend.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Je142
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2012

This really is a fabulous hotel and restaurant situated in a great location for the Montpellier District and Cheltenham town centre .
We had previously seen a review of this hotel in the Times/Sunday Times and had made a note of it for future reference. We eventually stayed here last weekend and wow were we impressed .

We arrived on Friday evening and after booking in at the minimilistic reception process we were shown to our feature room on the second floor , what a lovely very large room overlooking the front of the hotel , the quality of the furniture and fittings as well as the art was second to none.

We had booked a table in the hotels restaurant for that evening before we arrived ( a good tip) and were sat in a lovely dining room which has a theatre kitchen so you can see the food being cooked , the food was superb and reasonably priced for such a quality establishment .
Breakfast next morning was also very good and again good value .

The Montpellier district of Cheltenham is just around the corner and had some lovely "one off " shops, cafes and bars .

The hotel itself has recently being refurbished to a modern very high standard , ipods in the room provide music and all the information required during your stay , the wine lists in the restaurant are via an ipad . Some people might be put off by all the hotel / restaurant staff wearing Converse pumps but we felt it added to the youthfulness and charm of what really is a superb hotel .

The staff are all very helpful and one guy in particular (we think he might have been the Guest Relations Manager ) always referred to us by name which was a nice touch and he was also very keen to understand how we had enjoyed our stay .

A superb weekend !

Room Tip: Its well worth an extra few pounds to upgrade to a feature room complete with large stand alone bath...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Malcolm R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2012

Great hotel, really modern, quirky and original. They have tried to vere away from the standard in every aspect. You get free access to a local swimming pool too. There's a small amount of parking space, but there are roads nearby where you can park for free

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank J G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Montpellier Chapter Hotel

Address: Bayshill Road | Montpellier, Cheltenham GL50 3AS, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Cheltenham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Cheltenham
Price Range: £73 - £190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Montpellier Chapter Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This brand-new, luxury hotel offers chic and stylish rooms featuring iPods and Nespresso coffee machines within Cheltenham’s fashionable Montpellier district.With artistic touches and contemporary design, all rooms at The Montpellier Chapter offer luxurious Egyptian cotton bed linen and complimentary minibars. Free Wi-Fi is available to all guests, while some rooms provide modern, open-plan bathrooms, computers, or an iPod Touch, which can connect directly to the TV.The Montpellier Chapter features a restaurant with open kitchen and open hearth oven. Guests can enjoy fine dining within, or venture into the garden room, terrace, or landscaped courtyard.Cheltenham town centre and Cheltenham Spa Rail Station are just 15 minutes’ walk from The Montpellier Chapter. Cheltenham’s famous racecourse is a 10-minute drive away, while Cheltenham’s spa history can be found at the 19th-century Pittville Pump Room and gardens, less than 10 minutes’ drive away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alias Hotel Cheltenham

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