I first sent an email (text below) to Customer Services, at Strathmore Hotels, on 5 June 2014 and heard nothing. I sent a reminder on 19 June and still heard nothing. People considering The Royal Hotel may wish to read below.
On Tuesday 3 June, I stayed at the Royal Hotel, Oban at the end of a short cycling tour of the Highlands and I am writing to inform you of my extreme disappointment at the experience. I should like to inform you of the following points.
Firstly, the room (320) was probably the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in. It measured approximately 10’ x 10’ and was very poorly ventilated. The curtain could not be fully closed because of the location of the TV and the blinds were broken. The window opened only a few inches and that was on to a very small, dark shaft above a yard/storage area. Fortunately, I do not suffer from claustrophobia! The room was dark and shabby; in truth, it needed a good clean as it smelled very damp and musty. Actually, this last point is true of much of the entire establishment.
The en-suite shower room looked as if it was the product of a botched DIY project with mildew in the shower cubicle and the waterproof membrane coming away from the wall. In fairness, the shower itself worked reasonably well. However, the WC did not flush efficiently.
The TV in the room did not work properly. After I alerted your receptionist to this, a young man arrived to show me how to make it work. This was a rather complex procedure but eventually I got the hang of it. However, of the 14 channels which the literature in the room informed me were available, only 11 proved to be so. The literature also advised that radio reception was available via the TV; this was not the case. Moreover, the screen was of a dimension that did not permit normal on-screen information to be visible, so it was not immediately apparent which channel received which programme. The TV set itself was so old (my guess is about 25 years) that it was surprising it worked at all.
The advertising stated that free wi-fi was available. This was only partly true insofar as it was available in a corner of the bar, a corner of the bar closely populated by others attempting to access their emails etc. against a background of a Scottish Musical Trio performing for those guests not attempting to use their Ipads etc.
All of the above might be excused if the establishment in question was a cheap Bed & Breakfast establishment. However, the Royal Hotel boasts three stars and for the above, I was charged the sum of £58.50: the second most expensive room rate of my entire trip. The most expensive was a newly refurbished hotel in Fort William which provided a clean, airy double bedroom with a window which opened fully, a new multi-channel flat screen TV/radio and w-fi throughout. All of that cost a further £1.50.
In contrast to the above, it is only fair to inform you that the staff in the hotel were all friendly and welcoming, and a very good breakfast was provided.
I should also tell you that I have never written a letter such as this before and I have stayed in Scottish hotels on, literally, hundreds of occasions. My night in The Royal was, without doubt the worst value I have ever experienced in Scotland - or beyond.
I should be most grateful for your comments at your earliest convenience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Royal Hotel is located in the heart of Oban town on the western coast of Scotland. Enjoy the very best of Scottish hospitality at this 3-star hotel that first opened its doors in 1895. Rooms at this hotel feature television, tea/coffee makers, large windows and high ceilings, private bathrooms, complimentary toiletries, hairdryers, and climate control. The traditional decor is complemented by the tartan furnishings. There is Free WiFi in public areas, in Superior Rooms, or in all rooms if you book direct with the hotel. Porter, luggage storage and tours/ticket assistance services are provided and there is a very small car park to the rear of the hotel. The hotel’s 170-seater restaurant serves a great selection of Scottish cuisine that you can savour for breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner. Relax in the bar and/or lounge over drinks and Scottish malts in the company of friends beside the open fire. Close to Royal Hotel are a handful of attractions including the iconic McCaig’s Tower, Oban Distillery, Glencruitten Golf Course, the House at Dunollie, and the Glorious Gardens of Argyll. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Hotel Oban, Scotland