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“Bitterly disappointed - an appalling experience with no attempt made at service recovery”

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Marmadukes Town House Hotel
Ranked #14 of 47 Hotels in York
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 February 2009

Myself, my husband and our wedding party stayed at Marmadukes for 2 nights in Dec 2008.

To detail all the problems we had would take too long but here's the condensed version:

- No understanding of disability access / wheelchair user's needs
- Special catering requirements were ignored
- Poorly trained staff with bad attitudes
- Room not serviced on wedding day so we came back to an unmade bed, wet towels and dirty crockery on our wedding night
- Additional items had been put on our final bill which had actually been paid for in cash
- Flea bites

We mentioned all these problems to the hotel staff as and when they occurred but they never once apologised or tried to recover the situation.

I would never post a scathing review about an establishment without first giving them the chance to apologise and perhaps go to some effort to prove that the mistakes made were not representative of the experience of most guests. I wrote a three page letter to the owner of Marmadukes detailing our experience and eventually received a three paragraph reply from a member of his staff thanking me for bringing it to their attention.

In true Marmadukes style there was no real apology, no offer of compensation and no attempt to recover the situation - I can't help feeling that they really don't care if you complain or if they massively fail their customers and if this is the case, we consumers have no comeback other than to share our dismal experiences with others.

Yes - it's a beautiful hotel, yes - it's in a good location but the most basic things are just not right. Clean rooms, helpful and polite staff, correct bills, disabled access should all be a given - the most budget of hotel chains are getting this right but Marmadukes just aren't and they won't even listen to you when you tell them you expect more for your money.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank Frostytrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,561 - 1,567 of 1,635 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2009

Having read some negative reviews on the website, we were more than dubious when we booked this hotel. However I have to say from the moment we got there until the moment we left we had a wonderful time.
Arriving early, our room was not ready, but the friendly receptionist suggested we took a stroll and left our car in their carpark, which we did. Our room was more than adequate, and the first thing I noticed was the abundance of milk on the hospitality tray, a refreshing change from only 2 or 3 that are normally left. The selection of different teas was also a pleasant surprise. Our room was nicely decorated, with tasteful antique fittings. We had booked ourselves into a restaurant within the City Walls called Harvilles, this was also owned by the hotel. Although within walking distance, the receptionist offered to book a taxi, and as it was cold we took her up on the offer. The taxi arrived bang on the required time of 7.45, and the hotel very kindly offered to cover the costs.
Harvilles was another wonderful experience. The service and food out of this world, we both agreed it was the best steak we had ever eaten, even beating our favourite restaurant, The Beef Bar in Monte Carlo.
Breakfast was another delight. the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs the best I have ever had.
We have stayed in many 4 & 5 star hotels all over the world, and this hotel competed with most of them.
Thank you for a lovely weekend.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DizeeP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2009

We loved the location of Marmadukes - just a short stroll to the Minster and all the bars and restaurants. Our room was small but very well decorated and cosy. There was no shower but a lovely free standing bath instead - although no bubble bath was provided which I found surprising and disappointing. There was also no soap which was odd for a 4 star hotel - we had to use a tiny pot of shower gel for both of us to shower and use as soap as well.
The lounge and restaurant area was very atmospheric although we chose to eat in town. Breakfast was slightly chaotic and only a "light continental breakfast" was included in the price of the room - ie cereal and toast. Essentially I have stayed in better upmarket B&Bs in terms of room and breakfast - however this was priced as a 4 star hotel and I must admit I was expecting more for the price. It was lovely to stay somewhere so unique but I did feel that some of the smaller detail lets the place down

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bubbachumps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2008

We stayed at Marmaduke's for one night on 30th November 2008. Beautiful hotel, room gorgeous with antique furniture but the latest TV and DVD player. Bathroom as big as the bedroom with a traditional cast iron, huge, deep bath on legs which was great to soak in. Bed itself may have been a bit smaller than I would have liked but I'm a big bloke!

Staff were exceptionally friendly, helpful and kind, nothing was too much trouble. They were genuinely interested in us as customers and people.

Marmaduke the cat himself was a bit aloof at first but soon warmed to us!

We booked through Late Rooms for a very reasonable ratebut the staff said they would have discounted it if we had booked direct with the hotel which we will do next time.

We will be going back to Marmaduke's in the new year and may try the loft suite which the staff showed us round and which is fantastic.

I can't help but wonder if at least one of the reviewers below stayed in a different hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Berwickers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2008

The list of things that didn't work was only matched by the foolishness with which the services were provided. For example, the bathtub didn't drain so we asked for a plunger. The non-English speaking staff provided a stopper!! The television didn't work-- the staff said it was weather-- don't they have cable-- weather??

The breakfast was a cocophony of comedies: The cereal was served without spoons-- you have no idea what a challenge forks can be in this context. The coffee was served without cups and the cups (eventually provided, on demand) were provided without saucers.

Things would be better if the staff understood English, but there is no excuse for leaving the holes in the wall where the previous TV was. They do have wood putty in England, don't they?

Finally, the hot and cold water did not mix in the sink so you either got scalded or didn't get hot water. And the bathtub was far from clean as well.

As I said in the title, disappointing. Good we only stayed one night.

Stayed: November 2008
1  Thank robertbalter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2008

Stayed here for a family 40th. Even with a special rate it was very expensive. Management and staff were very poor: messed up our pre-arranged pre-dinner drinks and canapés, messed up room bookings, put birthday flowers in the wrong room, gave the birthday girl a vastly inferior room to some of the other guests and and and.

Rooms were nice but chintzy. Bathrooms olde-worlde victoriana though new but mine was narrrow and poky! And what's the point of a wall-mounted flat screen TV that you can't angle to watch in bed?

Wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled solo
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1  Thank theoriginalsid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2008

Very confortable accommodation as you would expect at this price. However.... service around food is diabolical. We turned up on a Sunday and read through the menu in our room for the chop house which looked very good. Also, we saw that there was a bar menu which we thought we could get for our 10 year old who was staying in a room next to ours.

When we got downstairs we were told that there were only sandwiches available from the bar so we ordered one for our daughter and a bottle of wine for us. We were then told that the full menu was not available in the restaurant and instead shown a very limited blackboard menu instead. Very disappointing. When I checked out I was asked whether everything was fine, I recounted this story.. at which point the receptionist slapped her head and said 'would it surprise you to know that none of the staff that day actually works for us!! It was our managers birthday so we all headed out to celebrate and got agency staff in to run the hotel, I had heard that the chef decided to continue with the lunch menu in the evening'!!!! Well that's OK then.

As for breakfast, another reviewer got it right... the continental is very basic not at all up to standard. I ordered Kippers one morning and what turned up was clearly 'boil in the bag' kippers. Never has an hotel attempted to serve me that before. When I pointed this out the waitress went off to the kitchen and came back to tell me the chef says they are proper kippers... but, she added, 'we used to have kippers with their heads on. Ha, ha... no idea, Basil Fawlty would have been proud.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank Funguspunt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marmadukes Town House Hotel

Address: 4-5 St. Peters Grove, York YO30 6AQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > York
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in York
#12 Romantic Hotel in York
Price Range: £50 - £194 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Marmadukes Town House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in a tranquil, residential street, Marmadukes Town House Hotel offers free Wi-Fi, characterful rooms and is just a 10-minute walk from York Minster and the Theatre Royal. All 21 en-suite bedrooms have been individually decorated with antique furniture and feature both tea/coffee making facilities and an en-suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries. The Park Restaurant has been awarded three AA Rosettes and serves a tasting menu. Guests can relax in the residents lounges or the private, walled garden to the rear of the property. Marmadukes Town House Hotel is just a 10-minute stroll from the historic city centre and picturesque Shambles shopping area. York Railway Station can be reached in a 20-minute walk. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marmadukes York
Marmadukes Hotel York

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