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“Belligerent management who don’t care about customer service.”

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Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Lincoln
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 December 2013

I have never in all my years of travelling been spoken to in such a belligerent manner as I was by the management of this hotel!

I have been travelling for business and pleasure for 16 years and during 2013 I spent 72 nights in hotels away from home, which is a typical year for me. I am normally a simple guest and it is very rare that I have a problem or issue such that I need to bring it to the attention of the hotel but when I do then I expect as a guest to be treated in a respectful and polite manner and not as I was in this case.

The problem started during check-in, I had booked 2 rooms through the IHG.com website (of which I am a rewards elite gold member) and after booking we saw an offer of free parking if you book through their website. So we printed of the voucher and presented it during check-in. We were however told that this was only valid if it was booked via holiday inn express Lincoln website and not any 3rd party websites which they consider IHG to be.
Well I pointed out that HI-Express is part of the IHG group and as I booked through the IHG website, which is the mother company for the brand (although they are all somewhat franchises) then I consider this to be the same.

The woman checking me in was polite enough but couldn’t/wouldn’t resolve it and she referred it to the deputy manager the next day, well this is where the problems really started.
The deputy manager was aggressive and combative from the outset and refused to listen to my point of view which I put across politely and she stated very clearly that it was MY fault and that I was totally wrong and she just seemed to have her back up and was combative with me and refused to give me the free parking as per their offer. Her argument was that no IHG property offer free parking in this country (but I wasn’t asking about other IHG properties) and that because they have to pay 15% fee to IHG compared to if booked on the HI-Express Lincoln website then they won’t honour the free parking. Of course she didn’t take into consideration my status within the IHG rewards programme or the fact that if they were not an IHG member they would not have even got my business.

In the end it was not the cost of the parking, or the fact that we disagreed and I had to pay, but the aggressive, hostile, quarrelsome and belligerent attitude of the deputy manager that I found to be offensive and dam right rude.

As I said, in the 100’s of nights I have stayed in hotels I have never been spoken to in such a manner and to be honest the woman should be ashamed of herself and I am amazed that she progressed to such a level with such a poor attitude to customer service.

As for the hotel itself, it is OK, decent for the price. The room is OK size although the bed is small and it was a bit cold, and there were already many marks on the walls and some stains on the carpets. The location is good, easy to reach by car and just 5-8 min walk to St Mark’s shopping area with plenty of other shops and supermarkets close by, as is the university.
Be careful with the room however as if you are on the side of the car park then it is very quiet, but the other side is on the main road and it can be noisy. We also found that the air con/ heater had to be turned off because of the noise.

The breakfast however was very poor quality. The range was not the best, that I can handle but some of the food was very poor and the pitiable croissants did not look good at all, as if they had been out all night! I would rather pay 5 GBP more and have a decent breakfast or 5 GBP less and get my own!

I would be worried about this hotel long term as the rooms and some of the reception areas already have lots of wear and tear showing, and giving the other issues I experienced I believe that the hotel is in a ‘race to the bottom’ to offer cheap prices and hence they are not taking care of the property correctly and in a few years I believe that this will start to quickly deteriorate, and frankly given the attitude of the management then I don’t believe that they care about their customers.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jason S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSPENCERPHILLIPS, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2014

Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback here and with us directly.

We recently ran a promotion on free parking for which the stated terms and conditions stipulated booking on a specific website and I apologise that this caused confusion. Guest satisfaction is our number one priority so I apologise that you felt that your complaint wasn’t handled in the manner you expected and I hope that your experience will not prevent you from returning to Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre in future.

Thank you for your feedback regarding the quality of the rooms. You will be pleased to know that our maintenance teams work tirelessly on continuous improvement to assist us in maintaining high standards.

Finally, I would like to assure you once again that the satisfaction of our guests is fundamentally important to us and is a clear priority. We use all feedback, good and bad, to help develop our team and ensure that we continue to deliver a great experience for our guests.

Darren Spencer-Phillips
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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558 - 564 of 914 reviews

Reviewed 16 December 2013

Arrived back Saturday evening after our usual 1 night stay at this hotel at this time of the year.This is the third time we have stayed here at Christmas and we look forward to it every year.As usual, we were greeted by Robyn and ( Sorry can't remember his name) on reception, but had a great Christmas jumper on!!, whom were both very welcoming and let us go to our room despite being 2 hours early, which must say was very clean, warm and welcoming as always. Nothing is too much trouble for these two, and same goes for all the staff . Last year, we couldn't get in as circumstances meant us leaving it til the last minute to book, so we had to got to the other Holiday Inn. What a disappointment this was, as from the minute we arrived I knew that I would never return there. Staff not as helpful and friendly, rooms not as nice, and overall just not as good. Thankyou all at Holiday Inn Express Lincoln, and see you next Christmas, before if we can do so. Gary and Mandy Shaw

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mandy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

For £45 a night for two this is a great place to stay. It might not be in the best location in Lincoln but it's not far to walk to the centre. The room was clean, well furnished and warm. Only downside: watery orange juice.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank noelprivett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2013

Refused to honor the Free parking.
Carpet was badly stained
Black marks on wall
deputy manager and one receptionist quite rude
Very noisy with traffic could even hear it in the bathroom
Air con was also very noisy had to turn it off before going to bed so cold room.
Could not secure the door from the inside and some weird man was walking up and down the corridor.

Room Tip: ask for a room at the back of the hotel to avoid traffic noise (odd numbers)
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank JVerso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSPENCERPHILLIPS, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2013

Thank you for your review, I'm sorry we didn't live up to your expectations, our free parking offer was only for bookings though the hotels independent website, we have since removed the voucher as many people tried to use the voucher even though their booking didn't qualify as they had booked through travel agents etc.
Although all of our rooms are double glazed the noise from the road outside is subjective to personal preference and people who normally live in city locations will be more used to background noise than someone who lives in a rural location.
I am unsure of your comment regarding the bedroom door as all rooms have both a security lock and also a door chain for your security as well as electronic key locks to access the room.
Once again I'm sorry we did not live up to your expectations

Darren Spencer-Phillips
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2013

It does exactly what it says on the tin. Nice clean rooms, friendly staff, free internet and breakfast, a nice place to stay in Lincoln. The only thing I found different this time was, when checking in, I had to pay for the room in advance, but I was told I wouldn't receive a VAT invoice until I checked out, which seemed strange. Then I was told the car park fee was £5, but (get this) as a priority club platinum member, I had the choice to pay at the check-in or on my departure. Apparently, this is meant to be a perk of Platinum membership? You hath to pay for your room on arrival, but you don't have to pay for your car parking fee until you leave, apparently this choice is not given to nonmembers, who have to pay with their room rate. Can somebody please explain this to me, am I missing something? The last time I stayed here you received free car parking as a platinum member, I know we are living in times of austerity, but?

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Funlovinfella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2013

Arriving late evening the staff were very welcoming and efficient in the check in They sugested we get meals and drinks ordred before we went to our rooms so when we returned we could eat. this was greatly appreciated after a long drive on dark Fenland roads.
The rooms are neatly designed,clean, with very comfortable beds. Breakfast had plenty of choice.
The location is isolated from the city centre by a main road but it is short and reasonably price taxi ride away if you do not wish to walk 15 minutes along the old wharves which now house the modern university buildings.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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Thank bryanll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013

We have stayed here around 6 times now and previous visits have been very good - that's why we returned again. This is by far the worst. We made a last minute decision to go to Lincoln and were charged £103 for the one night - not the £39 as quoted by a previous reviewer.
Arriving at reception a small queue and then the receptionist asked me to complete a form even though I had already booked in using Holiday Inn's website. Asking for full payment of £108, to include the car park charge of £5, I mentioned that on previous visits we had been charged just £2.50 as we were priority club members (in fact on one occasion we were given free parking). He immediately became argumentative saying this does not happen. Let me assure you that it does (bank statements show this). Not wanting a row to start our break I paid and the usual Holiday Inn practice of not telling us about our rewards points.
So, given the electronic keys to room 620 which he wrote on our card and off we went to the 6th floor. Really excellent view of the cathedral from the 6th floor landing then tried the keys and of course they did not work. Another couple on this floor were having the same issue and not too happy either.
Returning to the queue in reception, this time a different receptionist, I said the keys did not work. For a moment she was confused but then it dawned. We were in room 602 (not 620) so she issued new cards.
The room was very clean and in good order with a great view across the city. It was cold though so we switched the air-conditioning unit on and set it at 21 degrees. We had a call from reception to say the rewards points had been sorted out. Quick shower and off into the city for a meal and a drink.
Returning to the room, the air-con was still on so we set it at 20 degrees as a cold night was forecast. It was! The heating is apparently, switched off at some point but the fan isn't so it keeps whirring and the room is made colder still! And we were cold and hardly slept at all.
The buffet breakfast was okay but we only had a drink and croissants so cannot comment on the hot food.
Checking out, we were asked if everything was okay so I said the room was cold. It was then explained that they can over-ride the system and supply a portable heater as well. A bit late! Pity they didn't tell us that on ARRIVAL!
To sum up: £103 for a nice clean room that was freezing cold.

Room Tip: Top floor (6) has good views and is much quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Iain W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DSPENCERPHILLIPS, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 7 December 2013

Thank you for your review, it is only by our guest’s feedback that we are able to improve what we do. Unfortunately Lincoln is a very busy city and our rates reflect demand in the area, our rates are discounted more heavily the further out bookings are made this may have been a reason for the rate being higher than you have paid previously.
Please let me apologise for the mix up with the room key and I’m glad it and the IHG rewards points were quickly rectified by the team.
I note your comments regarding your room not being as warm as you would have liked, you are correct that the heating/air-conditioning fan is constantly running to circulate the air however the heat is provided to keep the room at the level you set. You are able from the control in the room to set the level between 19 – 25 degrees and it is unfortunate that you didn’t let us know you had a problem during your stay as we would have done our best to rectify it straight away.
Once again thank you for your review.

Darren Spencer-Phillips
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre

Address: Brayford Enterprise Park Ruston Way | Ruston Way, Lincoln LN6 7DB, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Lincolnshire > Lincoln
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Lincoln
#5 Romantic Hotel in Lincoln
Price Range: £53 - £114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre 3*
Number of rooms: 119
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Choose the sleek Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre hotel for contemporary comfort in the heart of Lincoln's business district. It's a short trip from Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre to Lincolnshire Showground for your event or conference. Afterwards, you can catch up with colleagues over a drink or meal in our vibrant Lobby or dine out at the numerous restaurants on nearby Lincoln High Street. Or head back to your air-conditioned Guest room where free Wi-Fi allows you to work at your desk in peace and quiet. We're a 5-mile drive from Lincolnshire Showground, and 40 miles from East Midlands Airport. Drivers can relax as there's plenty of secure parking at our hotel. Invite colleagues to meet in our naturally lit meeting room. Or work via complimentary WiFi in the hotel's striking aubergine and cream toned public areas.Set just behind Lincoln High Street, the Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre puts brand-name shopping and trendy restaurants right on your doorstep. It's a pleasant 15-minute stroll to Lincoln University and the craft shops of the cobbled Cathedral Quarter. An enticing selection of bars makes buzzing Brayford waterfront a good choice for your night out. Kick-start your day with our complimentary continental breakfast with hot items. Spend evenings relaxing with friends over drinks in the Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre's stylish Great Room. Wi-Fi is free for guests who book directly with the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre Hotel Lincoln

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