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“A tale of sterotyping and predjuidce”

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Florence Guest House
Ranked #73 of 154 Whitby B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 March 2010

My partner and I decided to take an early break this year and decided as we loved Whitby so much, ( we briefly stayed there last year) that we would return for a few relaxing days holiday. So we searched the internet for somewhere to stay with en-suite and parking and central to Whitby, and came across rave reviews for the Florence guest house. So we arrived a little before lunch time, to be greeted with a very un warm welcome, more of a look of disgust!! When asked regards parking, was told to go to top of road and turn right at roundabout and park any where there was not double yellow lines. We got lucky and managed to squeeze our vechile in the last remaining space. (Carefully check Florence guest house website regards parking) When we returned back from the quarter mile or so walk back from parking, we were greeted by Janet (the landlady) to be told 'Oh I seem to have miss placed the key, I'll just go see if I can find it' Once found we were shown to our room (up some very narrow stairs) we had picked the top floor room as it sounded superb on the internet review top floor all to your self with en suite bathroom, stunning view over Pannet Park. What we got was an attic room, although clean, was very small and if you are over 6ft tall forget booking this room, the room infact was not en-suite you had to leave your room onto a small landing then enter the bathroom. The stunning view of Pannet Park out of the bedroom skylight window was blocked by a very large tree in the park, the view out of the bathroom skylight window over the last remaing spa in Whitby, was merely a view over the back yard and of some run down work shop buildings. That all said we were determined to try and enjoy our holiday, so we ventured into Whitby for a tour of the shops. Came back to the room to relax before going for a meal that night, we decided to go get a bath, to find there was no water. When my partner went down stairs to inform Janet, she explained how sorry she was and we could have a shower in one of the other rooms, there appeared to be no water in them either. But she offered my partner a bucket of water to flush the toilet out, Janet then came upstairs to hand us 1 blanket and to inform us she was going to have to turn the heating off as the boiler might blow up. To say we were not impressed. We decided to leave and go out for something to eat anyway, so headed down stairs for my partner to be greeted by Janet who then accussed him of smoking in the room, they exchanged a few heated words regards the situation we found our selves in. We then decided that with everything that had happened, the lack of en-suite, no parking, no water, no heating, room not as described, terrible view, that we would go down the road 100yds to the hotel (Bagdale Hall, they had water) which we stayed at last year as they have excellent service and are very welcoming and we booked into there. We came back to the Florence collected our stuff and proceeded to leave the Florence. When my partner reached the bottom of the stairs he was then accosted by Janets husband Alan. Alan in a rather threating manner told my partner that he had upset his wife and that he should not of done that, my partner said just leave it were leaving as we made booked in else where and we would like a refund to be told we were not getting one and that he was on CCTV and to go on have a 'pop' at him, Janet then apperared and told her husband to leave it, as a parting shot Alan said 'that room had better not be damaged' in which I informed Janet the room is fine the only thing is the cups are dirty as we have no water to wash them out. (We are hard working people but alternative looking ie tattoos and piercings and appereared to of been sterotyped upon arrival!!!)

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Alternativeperson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JanetWard, owner at Florence Guest House, responded to this reviewResponded 9 March 2010

I have been waiting for this review to appear it is a fairly typical reaction when a smoker is confronted about smoking in his room. It is almost like a child’s paddy having being caught out & feeling that he has lost face he then goes on to sulk and seeks revenge using the review as a weapon and a dummy to soothe his injured ego.

I will start with the most serious allegations first that I stereotype people and am prejudiced against people like this couple who are alternative looking(their description)and have tattoos and piercings. I find this statement laughable I wonder how long we would last in the hospitality trade if we were. We run a highly successful Guest House and have had a myriad of different people through our doors and their appearance has not played any part in the way we treat them only their behaviour. I also was until very recently secretary of the Whitby Hospitality Association hardly a situation given to bigots. I am also a highly regarded trained nurse of 32 years standing with an un blemished record and in that capacity have met and cared for every kind of person under the sun. It is our love of people that brought us to this profession and it is because we love variety that we stay in it. This couple describe themselves as alternative most of my friends are more alternative than they are and can they really think that the home of the Goth Festivals is not used to alternative appearances.

To address the specific complaints apparently “I greeted them with a look of disgust” sorry not true, they were welcomed warmly as all my guests are

They were fully aware of the parking situation, it states clearly on our website weekend parking only, my husband went into great detail when taking the booking over the phone & as I do with all my guests I tried really hard to direct them to the nearest free on road parking.

Yes I did misplace the keys I am only human I kept the couple waiting all of 30 seconds

The very narrow stairs are the original stairs and are the same all the way up, part of a large Victorian Terrace. I am told by my husband it is British Standard Width.

Nowhere on any web site or in any literature does it claim there are stunning views from that room, yes it is an attic room but it is part of the original house not a “made attic”, the couple were also fully aware that it was a room with a private bathroom not an en suite room and in fact my husband offered them our superior room with a discount which is en suite and they declined it insisting on having the top floor. The bathroom is one step away from the door of the bedroom.

They fail completely to mention that the water shortage was due to a large mains burst which I was unaware of until the guests made me aware of it, I immediately apologised checked to see if any of the showers were working for him to use and when it became apparent that there was no water at all I apologised and said I would let them know the situation as soon as I had rung Yorkshire Water. This I did and this was when I discovered he had been smoking in his room, I informed them that Yorkshire Water were looking into the matter, gave them a blanket(there already was one in the wardrobe) and apologised as I would have to switch of the boiler. I didn’t say anything at the time about the smoking as I felt really bad about the water situation. In all the water was off 1 hour (this can be verified by checking the Whitby Gazette for Friday 5th of March page 37 bottom left or on the Whitby Gazette website) and we didn’t offer him a bucket of water for the toilet we said we would bring one up and see to the toilet ourselves if the water was off a long time.

I updated the couple on the water situation as they left to go for a meal; at this time I also spoke to the gentleman about smoking in the room which he immediately admitted doing. I said they could stay if he agreed not to smoke in the room He then became very aggressive swearing and shouting saying that he had nothing else to do, I said if he was going to react like that they would have to leave immediately, he asked for a refund but I refused as the room would need deep cleaning and I would not be able to use it because he had smoked a lot. He then capitulated and said it was ok and they would leave the next morning and apologised for scaring me he said it was just his way.

Shortly after they returned & it became apparent they were leaving and I asked my husband to make sure they left the keys, he watched them out and said to the gentleman it would not have been a problem had he been more reasonable once again he became aggressive and confrontational which is when my husband pointed out the camera and when I threatened to call the police if they didn’t leave. The camera seemed to bring him to his senses

All in all this would have never happened had I allowed him to smoke in his room, however we have a responsibility to the majority of our guests who are non smokers, we also have a right not to be subjected to aggression and bad language when we challenge people when they break the rules. This gentleman was under no illusions about the non smoking status of the rooms as there are signs on the entrance door, notice board, information folders in the rooms and we inform guests during the booking process and on arrival

So to finish yes we are hard working people too we work 12-14hours a day, 7 days a week, 50 weeks a year, the difference between us though is not the lack of tattoos or piercings it is that we treat the truth, other people and their belongings with respect

Janet & Alan Ward @ the Florence Guest Ho

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94 - 100 of 101 reviews

Reviewed 10 February 2010

Stayed for 2 nights in room number 1, this room is on the ground floor facing the main road. The room was warm and clean the only downside was the shower did not work on the second day but credit to the owners as they offered us access to another shower in one of the other unoccupied rooms. The breakfast is first class, plenty to choose from and all cooked to order. Whitby town centre is only a 3 minute walk .Off road parking is only available at the weekend as the owner hires some spaces that is used midweek by a local business, mid week you have to park where you can, we parked on a side street about 200 yards away. All in all a great place to stay with friendly and helpful staff.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ann-and-Paul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2009

We only stayed for one night midweek. Parking can be a problem but after telephoning Guest house and asking for advice we were directed by proprieter Janet to a particular area and we did find a space a couple of streets away without having to search too hard.
I believe it is better at weekends though and August is the busiest month. We received a lovely welcome, the room was spotless and welcoming, lovely crisp white bedding and plenty of tea & coffee making facilities and toiletries. The breakfast was excellent !!! Probably the best we've had in a B&B ! My husband orderded everything and he certainly got it, it was delicious. I would recommend to a friend and will definitely stay again when i return to Whitby.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Meenaandvin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2009

Lovely clean rooms,minutes to centre,great breakfast.
Parking can be a problem but do not let that put you off staying.
Will definitley return.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank ferryhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2009

We spent this New Year at Whitby, stayed at the Florence for 4 nights. We was on the top floor with a private bathroom. We was warmly welcomed and showed to our room (top of lots and lots of stairs!). The room and bathroom were spotlessly clean and tastefully decorated, in natural colours. The carpet in the bedroom looked new too. There was a view from the skylight window to the park opposite.

Breakfast was fabulous, choose from a menu and simply delicious, we can honestly say this is the best breakfast we have ever had at a guest house. In addition we was asked if we wanted more filter coffee or tea. It was so nice I was looking forward to the breakfast each day! The only downside would be that there was no shower in the private bathroom, although the other rooms have en-suite showers. We had parked the car a short walk up the hill although private parking was offered.

The location of the guest house was excellent, a minute walk and you are in the center of Whitby, shops and pubs! We highly recommend this guest house.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank TrueStorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2008

Arrived quite late, had a bit of a problem finding guest house, no parking directly outside. Warmly welcomed by owner and giving good information regarding eating places in the area within walking distance.
Not many places open after 2100hrs.
The bedroom and the bathroom were large and immaculately clean and we had been warned we were at the top of the house, quite a climb.
The breakfast was really good, freshly cooked to order, and again the owner was helpful with advice. Would definetly stay again when in the area.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank jeannie459
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2008

We have just returned from a long Easter weekend at the Florence. The guest house is lovely and we have never experienced such friendly service before. We stayed in room 4 and we found this to be clean and comfortable, it had an en suite shower room. Janet and Alan own the Florence and they were incredibly friendly, happy to help with local exploration ideas. The breakfasts were to die for and I am sure that we have returned home a stone heavier! We were able to come and go as we pleased. The Florence is located very close to the centre and it is in walking distance.

A visit to the Abbey is a must, we had terrible winds the day we went but it just added to the atmosphere! Lots of nooks and hideaway shops to visit in Whitby. A wander at Robins Hoods Bay is relaxing and exploring Pickering is also fun. Lots of places to eat out, booking is a good idea. Loads of fresh fish! A visit to The Magpie or Greens is recommended.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Snowmouse19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Florence Guest House

Address: 4 Broomfield Terrace | Bagdale, Whitby YO21 1QP, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Scarborough District > Whitby
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #73 of 154 B&Bs / Inns in Whitby
Price Range: £78 - £94 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Florence Guest House 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Florence is a family run Guest House in the heart of the historic town of Whitby. We are centrally located within a short walk of almost all that Whitby has to offer. Our rooms are elegant, functional and provide the discerning traveller with all the essentials. Our breakfast is legendary and sourced locally for quality and freshness. Our welcome is warm & sincere. Come and let us make your Whitby experience special! ... more   less 
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