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“Not welcoming”

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Arden Park Guest House
Certificate of Excellence
Reading, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Not welcoming”
Reviewed 10 June 2014

Having read the positive reviews I was expecting a great stay.
I’d checked out the price of a one night stay for two rooms on a last minute online booking system. I rang the hotel and the manager said I should book direct with him rather than book through the intermediary. He asked what price I had been given online and said he would charge the same and asked if we had a car and the parking would be an additional £30 for 24 hours. Not knowing how much parking would be in Stratford I accepted that. I received an email confirming my booking and the total due for the two rooms had a price for each room which had now increased by a total of £30 indicating a higher price for the rooms and parking was not shown as a separate item.
We arrived and I rang the doorbell. The greeting wasn’t particularly friendly and I started to follow the manager into the hotel, and he said ‘stay there’. Not much of a welcoming greeting. I’m sure something like, ‘if you’d like to wait I’ll get the parking voucher for you’ would have been better. He didn’t introduce himself, from the other reviews I guess his name was Mark. We were advised that breakfast was between 08:30 and 09:30, well in fact he said no later than 09:15 as he finished at 09:30. He asked exactly when we’d be turning up for breakfast the following morning which did take me back a little, and I felt like I was imposing on him. The manager asked how many croissants we’d be wanting and we had to decide there and then the evening before so we settled on 3 for 4 of us. He also asked if I could pay in cash so I said ok, I’d have to withdraw the cash later.
We were shown to our rooms which were spacious enough and clean, no carpets, which made the room look a bit hard, and there was a little kitchenette type arrangement. I felt like I was going to sleep in the kitchen.. Our rooms were in an extension at the back. The double bed was extremely uncomfortable. It was rock hard. The quilt was very thin. I had a dreadful night’s sleep. The room had adjustable heating so it wasn’t cold but the bed was just not a cosy place to be. The other room we had was the same.
We turned up for breakfast at 8:45, 15 minutes later than we’d stated and I felt nervous about it, based on the firm way the manager had asked when we’d be turning up for breakfast as if a 45 minute window was not a restricted enough timeframe in which to appear. The 3 croissants arrived which were very good. We’d finished our breakfast when the manager then asked if we’d like any toast. It was really bad timing and I felt that the answer should be no otherwise we’d be putting him out. We said no. A water filter would also be good as the tea tasted of chemicals.

We checked out immediately after breakfast and the manager asked if I had the cash for him. When we returned to the car park I checked how much it costs to park there for 24 hours. The cost is actually £10 for 24 hours, and having read other reviews and Mark’s comments in return, there is reference to free parking if booked direct. We weren’t offered the 50% discount card for the attractions either as other reviewers had been, and he didn’t offer any information at all other than give us a map. I felt like the manager had taken a dislike to us as soon as we got there. I had booked this mini-trip as a treat for my sister and her daughter and although we still had a great time in Stratford I’d hoped to give her a better hotel experience than the one we received.

The place itself is actually spotless clean to the point of being sterile. There is no welcoming home from home atmosphere and I didn’t feel we were welcomed at all. I will be returning to Stratford but not to here.

Room Tip: rooms out the back are big but not comfortable.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FamilyGuy188
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
markkw, Owner at Arden Park Guest House, responded to this review, 14 June 2014
Dear FamilyGuy188

Thank you for your review.

It seems that there was a misunderstanding:

Laterooms prices for Arden Park never include breakfast or parking. When a guest rings us after seeing their prices, we will either give a lower price or, as in your case, an upgraded room. However, the optional breakfast at £5 per meal and parking at £5 per 24-hours would still be extra.

So, the £30 charge was for parking and 5 breakfasts. The total for your 2 rooms, including extras, was £160, which is £32 per person per night. If you feel that I misled you, then please email me and I will adjust your bill.


I am sorry that were unhappy with many other aspects of your stay, particularly the impression I gave you at breakfast.

Actually there is a 60-minute window for arriving for breakfast: 08:30-09:30. If a guest has booked breakfast, but has not arrived by 09:30, I will pop to their room to remind them. Also, we are happy for guests to eat and chat until 10:00.


Finally, regarding discount vouchers, at check-in I religiously distribute whichever ones I have for Warwick Castle and the 5 Shakespeare Houses.

I like to save our guests money especially when it costs me nothing, but I cannot distribute vouchers that I do not have.

At the beginning of the year, I had an ample supply of Houses vouchers, but they expired on 31st March. The vouchers, which are printed by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, for subsequent months were not issued to guest houses for most, if not all, of April. So, your stay on 16th April meant that you missed out on them.


Best regards


Mark
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
The Villages, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

Perfectly situated near the railway station and only a short walk to historic sites. Our room was comfortable, super-clean, and updated with a great modern bath. Unlike other reviewers, however, we did not find Mark to be particularly friendly or helpful; in fact, we could hardly find him at all. After reluctantly helping us up the stairs with one piece of luggage, we were quickly told how to use the wi-fi, when breakfast was available, to keep the tv volume low in the evening, and then he was gone. Maybe we caught him on a bad day, but we did not feel very welcome there. We spoke with another guest later in the day who also could not find him to ask a question. If it weren't for the excellent room and location, I would have rated this lower.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Julie32159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maldon Victoria
2 reviews
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We had a lovely couple of days in Stratford and the Arden Park Guest House was a perfect base for our exploration of Shakespeare's town. The guest house is very welcoming, has a lovely homely atmosphere, offers a brilliant breakfast....in short, a great place to stay. We can recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pilgrim1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RhylUK
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2014

Stayed here for 2 nights. Very good location. Plenty of parking spaces just across the road and Mark gave me free parking vouchers for 2 days on my arrival. I stayed in a room on the ground floor which was a studio room.The room was spacious and very clean.Very nice decor. Breakfast was really amazing. There are chinese , indian and turkish takeaways within walking distance. Mark also provides with discount vouchers for some attractions . I highly recommend this guest house and would love to stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SamuelBD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

This little gem of a B and B is not only close to all the sites, it's also only a few minutes walk from the train station, which has excellent links. You'll find a warm and friendly welcome from Mark (who is also a mine of information!) the communal rooms are very well kept, bright, airy and clean. A good selection of breakfast items, you won't go hungry! The rooms are beautifully decorated and kept and as someone else has said very clean. If you come by car there is space outside the Arden Park to park. I stayed for nine nights spread over two weeks and would not hesitate to book again.

Room Tip: All are excellent, but if your not kern on to flights of stairs ask for first floor accomadation
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 123clareyfairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Spent two nights here, very good location close to everything - only a 22 minute walk to the racecourse too! Very clean and nicely decorated guesthouse. Breakfast exactly as advertised, continental style, very good. We were able to park directly outside which was a bonus. Mark was very friendly and welcoming. Only minor "grumble" would be that the breakfast time is only an hour long and we were asked to state beforehand what time within that hour we would eat, slightly restricting. Otherwise, very nice place and would recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Caroline D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide Hills, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 March 2014

We booked this at the last minute when our previous booking fell through. Mark was very welcoming and gave us a lovely room with gorgeous decor and a very clean bathroom. We will stay here again when we visit next.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AussiesinEurope1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arden Park Guest House

Property: Arden Park Guest House
Address: 6 Arden Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6PA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Warwickshire > Stratford-upon-Avon
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 88 B&Bs / Inns in Stratford-upon-Avon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Arden Park Guest House 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
100% Non-Smoking, Family Run & Family Friendly, 4-star Guest Accommodation Character Town Centre Property, Close To Railway Station, Close To Shakespeare's Birthplace, 12 Minutes Stroll To Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Beautiful Decor, Guest Lounge, All Rooms En-suite, Single, Twin, Double, Triple And Family Rooms, Two Ground Floor Rooms For 2-3 Guests, Self-Catering Possible, Freeview LCD Televisions, Tea & Coffee Making Facilities, Hair Dryers, Ironing Facilities, Mobile Phone Hire, Money Savers Free Guest Computer For Internet Access, Free Wi-Fi Hotspot, Generous Cancellation Policy. Property Website Booking Options: Parking Permit - Full 24 Hours From Arrival, All You Can Eat Continental Buffet Breakfast, Secure On-Line Booking, Freephone Booking Number, Multi-Nights Discount (£5 or £10 per night), LASTMINUTE 10% Discount (This Sunday-Friday) ROOM ONLY 15% Discount (Any Booking) Make An Offer Facility ... more   less 
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