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“Dissapointed”

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The Alexandra Hotel
Ranked #10 of 13 Hotels in Oban
Dudley, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Dissapointed”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2013

Our expectations were shattered on entering our PREMIER room the view through the window looked out over the kitchen extracting fans and,dustbins in other words awful the bathroom was so tiny that when washing your hands you banged your arm on the door oh and there was just one tiny wardrobe.Always ask for a sea view room.On the plus side the staff were very obliging and pleasant even though they had to work very hard..The meals a little bit basic but okay.The eleven hour journeys no fun at all.!!!

Room Tip: avoid rooms on the back of hotel
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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242 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (141)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Grimsby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
108 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2013

I did intend to make this my lengthiest review yet but reading past reviews (as I should have done before I went) most if not all of my points have been covered. I will therefore add my support to some of these points by listing positives and negatives as below:-
So I end on a positive note, I will begin with the..............

NEGATIVES

1) The coach trip was dreadful but I should have expected it really. Eleven hours to travel from Grimsby to Oban, via Hull, Beverley and York. Stop offs too frequent and too long.
2) The hotel was run like a five star 'boot camp', absolutely no flexibility in anything, meal times set in stone, if you miss them, you do without. If you are not in by 2345hrs. (which we invariably would have been anyway) you are locked out. We resented being TOLD when we had to be in at night, I passed this stage when I reached 18!
3) The anti-bacterial spray regime is thoroughly weird! All guests are treated like unclean lepers. My wife has very sensitive skin but staff insisted on this regime, squirting it at guests at every opportunity and chastising those seemingly reluctant, even at the risk of acrimony between host and guest. Despite having just washed my hands I was still expected to use the spray - AND BE SEEN TO USE IT- by management and staff. I am fully in support of these sprays being made freely available but to be treated like a child is totally unacceptable.
4) Far too many rules and regulations, our tour guide from Penrith launched into a tirade, from the bacterial sprays ( which must also be used on the coach too ) to what action to take if the the coach 'burst into flames'.
5) I feel HH are 'economic with the truth'. The entire holiday is geared for the elderly and that is not being disrespectful, I am fully aware I will get there myself one day but I am not quite ready for my zimmer frame or walking stick yet. Even down to the music from Penrith to Oban, we were treated to songs such as 'Goodnight Irene'.
6) There is a swimming pool which is seemingly unavailable for guests, which begs the question, who does use it?
7) Evening entertainment generally below average, with one exception, although I cannot personally comment on the comedian on the first night, I am led to believe he was good. See 'positives'.
8) Not enough information about what is going on around you. We had to amuse ourselves and did just that by catch the ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull and visiting Tobermory - beautiful!

POSITIVES

1) The reason I have scored The Alexandra and HH 'Very Good' is for the very reason that the elderly DO thoroughly enjoy themselves and it was nice to see.
2) I cannot accept criticism of the food, for the numbers involved I thought the food was excellent, always hot and varied. How can you do fresh toast for 150 people, impossible!
3) The staff, from what I saw were all made up of Eastern Europeans. They were amazing, very respectful, even down to the greetings line up at mealtimes. Very friendly and worked like slaves for what I witnessed as very long hours. Always with a smile on their faces, I would hope their remuneration reflects their magnificent efforts, they are a credit to the hotel.
4) The hotel was immaculately clean and fresh.
5) The entertainment on the last night, Angus and Stewart as 'Northstar' were excellent, singing well known Scottish folk songs among others.
6) Our driver from the hotel down to Penrith, known as 'Wee Paul' was a breath of fresh air, what a guy, he brought all ages together and the journey passed in no time. He played us all a CD of his which lasted around 1.5 hours, of a comedian, which suited all tastes and had most of us rocking in the aisles.
7) Overall, you cannot argue that this was not value for money.
8) Prices at the bar were very competitive, good, well kept beer and £9.90 for a bottle of wine, which you CAN purchase before your meal and take into the dining room with you.

In conclusion, would I go again. To this question I would have to answer 'no'. I am now fifty six years of age, I wouldn't even look at HH again until I am at least 70!

Room Tip: Seaviews are worth chasing. Plan your holiday upfront, despite the fact your are using HH transport...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jimbob3630
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2013

We have used Highland Heritage several times before but decided to try one of their other hotels.We booked in Dec for the following June. We asked for an upgrade to a seaview room and was told on two different occasions that this was reserved. Well we didnt get a seaview room we had a small room at the back of the hotel The breakfasts were good but dinner was poor. The trips were not as they used to be and as a platinum tour one day was optional (tour avaiable for payment) and the other no tour was available. It would seem that many corners have been cut to keep down costs. I have never heard so many people complain. On a positive side our coach driver John was very good and the young overworked staff were extremely nice. The only way to complain is to write to Mr Cleaver it seems despite our complaints to the hotel manager and phone calls by our concerned son to head office. No one has bothered to contact us. We want to go back to Oban but not with this company.

Room Tip: No point you wont get it People in wheelchairs put on upper floors
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Maggie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2013

As the Alexandra is a Highland Heritage property virtually every guest has arrived by their transport and I am therefore reviewing each aspect separately.
(1) The Hotel:-
We found the hotel to be immaculately clean, well furnished and very well located. Our room (42) was large with a good bathroom and excellent sea views. Only small niggle was that there are no clothes hooks anywhere which can make for an interesting time when showering and juggling with the lovely bath robe (provided).
Food was plain and uninteresting - e.g. reconstituted turkey slices. As far as I could see not one fried egg was ever served with a liquid yoke. It`s hard to make a mess of toast but they managed it every time (soggy). Still, I suppose that you could say that overall the food was adequate.
Like others I definitely did not like the regimented mealtime regime and the inflexible meal times.

(2) Travel arrangements:-
These can only be described as truly awful! I knew that we were in for a long day as Oban is a long way from Sheffield but the pick-up system made the whole experience unacceptable. We boarded at Sheffield at 7.25 am and finally started our journey at 10.30 am after the final pick-up in Leeds. Sheffield and Leeds are 30 miles apart and it had taken 3 hours to cover this distance! We arrived at the Alexandra at 7.25 pm - a journey of exactly 12 hours! Dinner was delayed until 8.00 pm which gave us a half-hour to wait for our luggage and get cleaned up.
The tours that we went on were very good for the most part except that the trip to Tarbert was fairly pointless. Special mention must be made of Linda, our driver/courier - she was excellent. She was very knowledgeable about the area and it`s history and she has a great sense of humour. Her comments about the sites and features that we passed were very interesting and entertaining. Her story about the happenings at the Zoo is not to be missed.
Would we go again? Definitely not as long as the current pick-up and transfer system is in force. If this was streamlined to cut a couple of hours off the overall traveling time then yes, we would go again.
I should just add that we would be prepared to pay a little more for better travel arrangements, better food and more flexibility at meal times.
P.S:- I should mention our appreciation of the young eastern european staff - they were very efficient and pleasant but they were worked too hard to allow them much interaction with the clientele.

Room Tip: As has been said by others - upgrade to a superior room with a sea view.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Bernard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2013

The hotel is in an excellent location, but very old fashioned. It is run with military precision which is ok if you like that sort of thing . There is an obsession with spraying your hands constantly with antibacterial spray, which almost made you feel bullied as you lined up to enter the restaurant. The food was like school dinners and needs to get into th 21st century. In this day and age people are used to higher standards. Probably this is why the tour is not too expensive. On a more positive note the staff were excellent and our bus driver called joe was brilliant he made the tours as he did his own commentary and was very knowledgable he spoke excellent English for a Slovakian. Entertainment at night was a bit bland with no variety could have had quizzes or bingo or a comedian. They also could have advertised in the rooms that you could have purchased a bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner, as you could not order wine at the table as the bar was closed during dinner!!! One of the highlights of the tour was the trip to see skippinish who were absolutley brilliant. All in all this tour gave us the chance to see the Scottish islands and even though the journey was so long we will never forget the magnificent scenery. would rather pay a bit more for better food and entertainment then it would be first class.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank sylvana186356
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halesowen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2013

John and Iris

The excellent organisation and quality staffing enabled us to have such a great time. Interesting views from the bedroom (room 2) windows were continually changing. Staff were always helpful and considerate. Choice and quality of food was adequate.

The significantly outstanding outing to Iona and the quiet peaceful awe inside the historic abbey were very special as were the impressive drives between the soaring mountains.

The final day with (a) it’s assured Scottish concert and especially the remarkable dancing of the two small girls and (b) the special evening meal (I was so surprised that my wife really enjoyed the haggis, tasting just like our local Black Country faggots) was special.

12 hours travelling to get there from the Midlands was the only drawback stopping from Stourbridge to pickup in Birmingham, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Carlisle and Glasgow Airport - but the coaches were comfortable and we returned home in 10 hours!

Thanks to Ian Cleaver and all his staff we had a memorable holiday.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank EJD84_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
100 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2013 via mobile

This is my second stay at this hotel and once again it didn't disappoint, Brian and his staff run the hotel faultlessly, it is spotlessly clean, the staff are hardworking and extremely courteous and friendly, the food is good and plentiful. The only complaint and the reason I didn't give it 5 stars this year was the journey there and back, both times we had a link coach which handed over to and from the Highland Heritage coach at Tebay truck stop in the Lake District which was pretty grim, the car park inevitably was full of lorries which we had to dodge and the cafe itself was pretty 3rd rate, certainly didn't feel like eating lunch there, last year we had a lunch stop at Gretna Green which although touristy does at least feel clean and safe. Plan to go back to the hotel next year and hoping the handover will have been improved

Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
9 Thank Jan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Alexandra Hotel

Property: The Alexandra Hotel
Address: Corran Esplanade, Oban PA34 5AA, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Argyll and Bute > Oban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 13 Hotels in Oban
Number of rooms: 79
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With return coach transport form your local pick up point, this hotel has been built on one of the finest locations in Scotland to take full advantage of the glories of Oban Bay, complete with outstanding views across to the Island of the Inner Hebrides. The site allows easy access to the town of Oban, and a superb walk along the coastal road to Ganavan beach. At the rear of the otel, there are seven Superior Rooms in the Alexandra Apartments, which are the largest in the company and suit those who come by car and need private parking. Free WIFI available in Quiet Room. Free WIFI available in Quiet Room. (Please note - our swimming pool is not in use currently). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alexandra Hotel Oban
The Alexandra Hotel Oban, Scotland

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