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“Perhaps I was lucky!”

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Holiday Inn Dumfries
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Dumfries
Brighouse, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Perhaps I was lucky!”
Reviewed 4 August 2014

No problems checking in, other than a brief misunderstanding as to whether breakfast was included - quickly rectified by the receptionist who was still familiarising herself with the new codes.

A pleasant, well-equipped room was tastefully decorated, with the photographs odf architectural details from the buildings around offering a change from the usual pictures. The wardrobe offered an iron, the desk drawer a hair-dryer, with the all-important hospitality tray in the top drawer of the chest (no biscuits though!) Wi-Fi was trouble-free.The website had not indicated opening times for service of food, so as I had an evening appointment I had brought sandwiches, but it transpires that I could have eaten at any time. Breakfast was slightly unfortunate: other guests were greeted and shown to a table, but I had arrived at a moment when no staff were on hand, so having served myself had to go in search of coffee. The hot breakfast buffet was fine, but had I not wanted that, the choice was less appealing. Fresh rolls, rather than merely sliced bread to toast, would have been welcome. There was a slight delay at check-out, as a transatlantic guest was having difficulty with his loyalty card, but the lady was pleasantly apologetic and the process was swift and efficient.

The main attraction of this hotel is its setting in the Crichton park, and though its garish turquoise cladding does not harmonise with the red sandstone of the nearby buildings, it does not dominate too much and the grounds are lovely. The town centre would be within walking distance, but there is a regular bus service (every 20 minutes during the day) tickets costing just £1.05 for a single.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Still_Artnock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tracey S, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dumfries, responded to this review, 22 October 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank You for taking the time to write your review!

We value all feedback from our guests in order to continually improve our service.

Kind Regards,

Tracey Sweeney
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (239)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Solihull
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2014

despite several telephone conversations and a personal visit to arrange accommodation for our family get together, the hotel still managed to overbook to such an extent that some of our family had to relocate. the service of the manager was nothing short of appalling. some rooms were not clean.
I cannot recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank George K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mel D, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dumfries, responded to this review, 6 August 2014
Good Evening George,


I have sent you a private message containing regarding your recent stay at the hotel, I do hope i have the opportunity to speak with you.

Kind Regards

Mel Darwell
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mystras, Greece
Level Contributor
87 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Seemingly I stayed here the same night as the previous contributor (RockArd) had hoped to and realise how lucky, or not I was to have my reservation honoured by this hotel.

Parking is difficult and the bays non generous as the hotel appears to be part of a college/business park campus and offers limited parking if you try to avoid other businesses bays(the signing is confusing). As the previous contributor pointed out most bays were taken up by two buses (one containing Greeks apparently, that was the white one) and a yellow bus from the UK.

You wander into what appears to be a splendid old building to find a small pokey reception area where there is about enough room to swing a cat and get the usual IHG diatribe. I was asked if I wanted loyalty points or a free drink, being a platinum member. I elected for the 500 loyalty points which I still have not received, elsewhere it is instantaneous.

The lift was out of order and having manhandled my suitcase and laptop up stairs and along corridor's I eventually got to my room which was relatively clean and whilst not large it was adequate. It had one of those windows that will only open an inch and seemed to be inhabited by a millenniums worth of cobwebs

Down stairs it is charmless with little or no relaxation area as the area is all but given over to the restaurant with a very pokey bar area with a bar little bigger than a bookcase offering little incentive to stay on the uncomfortable seats . The barman had about as much charm as a dead porcupine.

When I checked in I was asked which paper I wanted the following morning to which i requested my usual journal only to find nothing turn up the following morning, when I mentioned this at checkout I was greeted with "well most of the guests here are Dutch and Italian and so don't want a paper"

I too suspect I may have been charged twice for my room (once upon booking and my receipt shows a charge on checkout date as well. Unlike previous contributors i will not mess about waiting weeks for a refund I shall go straight to consumer protection for reimbursement! Hopefully this is not the case. Oh and by the way my one drink of Guinness cost £4.60

My main concern is the same reoccurring comments about this hotel which would appear to be rudderless,clueless and soulless.

Room Tip: I don't think it matters which room you get.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rusureitsme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Dumfries, responded to this review, 17 August 2014
Dear darlington1,

Thank you very much for your recent stay with us. Our hotel is very proud of its level of service, cleanliness and quality of product and for this reason your comments are very troubling and will certainly be looked into. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience it may have caused you. We’d like to obtain some additional details regarding your experience, so we have sent you a private message.

We look forward to your response and be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Zelyn N.
Case Manager
IHGCare
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ballater, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

I am just a regular sort of bloke and my reviews on this site are generally positive. The colour of the towels does not bother me. If they are not twisted into interesting animal shapes, that doesn't bother me either. My hotel room toilet brush usually remains unchecked. My 'Priority Club' membership with the 'Intercontinental Hotel' chain has been in place for some years. You book with InterContinental Hotels, they guarantee you the best rate and you collect points. It is a system that makes you feel warm, fuzzy and a bit special.


My home and work are in Aberdeenshire, but my family live in London. I am flying to the States from Heathrow very soon for a wedding. Exciting stuff! This left me with a dilemma, how to get from Aberdeenshire to London in the most relaxed fashion possible. I decided to drive.


My expedition to London would take place after a 12 hour shift at work on the 27th of July. It is a 550+ mile trip. Driving the whole way after such a long shift was unthinkable, a pit stop was in order. The first leg of my journey would end with an overnight stay at the 'Holiday Inn' in Dumfries. The hotel looked good, just what I was looking for. The booking was made on the 24th of July through the 'Priority Club' website and my booking was confirmed. 220 miles looked much more doable. I would arrive around 10pm and chill out, maybe pop out for a beer? A bag of chips perhaps? After a good sleep and some breakfast, suitably refreshed and relaxed the pilgrimage to London could continue. A rather excellent plan, very civilised.

I got a flyer from work and drove to the hotel without stopping. The lure of a beer and the smell of chips drove me on. I arrived about 9.45pm. Unfortunately, the car park was mobbed, except for a couple of spaces which were really tight and would have required an escape through the sun roof. Tricky getting your luggage out that way. I managed to squeeze into a disabled parking space temporarily and dragged my sizable assortment of luggage and personal belongings to Reception. I felt proportionately guilty about parking in a disabled bay, but I would move my car at the first opportunity. I noticed that there was a huge white coach parked over a number of car bays. It had either German or Belgium registration plates. This was to become relevant later on.

My errant parking made me snivel a bit in Reception, but I promised to move my vehicle after registration. The Hotel Receptionist informed me that this would not be a problem as the hotel had cancelled my booking and booked me in to a local B and B. Apparently, the hotel was overbooked. The receptionist was very sympathetic and apologetic. The Manager was of course unavailable. I explained that I been on the road for almost 4 hours, but it didn't matter my room had gone and I was screwed. Why didn't they give me a ring to let me know before I arrived? There was nothing to be done. My beer and a bag of chips were slipping away.

My belongings were suitably replaced in the back in my car and I drove to the B and B following the typed instructions that I was given. I admit that I got lost a couple of times.

When I arrived after 10pm the B and B was in darkness. There was a sizable car park with just one car in it. The place did not look as though it was open for business and if it was open, then it was not that popular. It was a bit creepy too. At this stage it started to rain, which was consistent with the way my evening was going. Some forky lightning would also have been appropriate.

There were large cigarette bins on each side of the front door. I have no argument with the owners of the B and B and do not intend to post the name of the concern. But, the area around the front door reeked of stale cigarette smoke and butts. My hotel/room key was wedged behind one of the bins. I opened the front door and went to have a look at my room. It was a large standard B and B room at best. I didn't think it was a hundred quids worth. It was about then that I wondered why I was making all this effort? If I wanted to book a B and B, I would have done it myself in the first place.

I locked the front door, posted the key in through the letter box and left.

I phoned Bookings and Reservations and spoke to an American lady. She was very sympathetic and apologetic. She told me that the set of circumstances that I had outlined were not possible once a booking has been confirmed. Apparently, there are safe guards built into the system. When she checked she said that these situation had come about because my booking had been cancelled by the hotel. Oh well that's alright then....

I later spoke to the restaurant manager at the Holiday Inn Dumfries. Her name was 'Jasmine'. Jasmine was very sympathetic and apologetic. She offered to book me a room at another Holiday Inn on my route. It was unworkable as the time was now approaching 11pm and I would have been arriving at the hotel in the early hours and leaving early. That kind of defeated the whole object of my stay. It also did not include beer and chips...

Piecing together what had happened from all the people that I had spoken to took some time. It was not an oversight or incompetence that caused this dilemma. It was profiteering. I had booked my room during the time of the Commonwealth Games. The hotel had the opportunity to take a large last minute booking, so they cancelled my reservation and gave my room to somebody else. This sort of treatment and price hiking has been a common practice for hotels during the games apparently. It is probably approved in their terms and conditions, although I have not checked yet.

I got the standard rehearsed hotel speak and twaddle from everybody that I spoke to involved with this hotel chain. They put their Customer Service, their honesty and integrity to one side and made some money at my expense. If I can adapt the old swan analogy, sympathetic and apologetic above the water line and not giving a toss underneath. The manager is still unavailable and despite my requests, she has not returned my calls. I could have booked elsewhere, but they never gave me the opportunity.

I put all thoughts of beer and chips to one side and I drove an extra 300+ miles extra that night, adding to the 220 miles that I had done getting to Dumfries. I slept in car parks and lay-bys . I arrived in London tired and beaten and to make it worse, all my family were still in bed. It was a truly dismal night. For those of you who are genuinely concerned, I got my beer and chips late on the following afternoon..

Room Tip: To get a room you need to pay a lot of money or book a lot of people...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank RockArd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mel D, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dumfries, responded to this review, 1 August 2014
Good Morning Theil,

Many thanks for taking time to speak with me early this week regarding the experience described.

As promised i have sent you a private message containing my contact details, should you every wish to return to hotel.

Kind Regards

Mel Darwell
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 July 2014

I have never written a trip advisor report before, but felt obliged to after a very poor experience. We stayed for one night to break up a car journey on our return to Aberdeen. I wanted my kids to experience a top quality food experience and we choose this hotel because of the Marco Pierre White restaurant. We assumed the food quality, presentation and service would have been second to none, but I'm afraid I can only say at best it is expensive pub grub! We were offered no rolls before our starter, but we instead told that the had forgotten to put some in the oven to warm. The £25 bottlle on wine was served by pulling the cork straight through the neck foil and so bits of foil were poord into our glasses. The £10 prawn cocktail was simply a handful of frozen prawns dropped on iceberg lettuce with a dollop of prawn cocktail sauce on top! The lamb main meal instead of being pink was incinerated! Throughout the night I had a complaint at almost each course of the meal and it totally spoilt our night! The staff were sympathetic and did give me a discount, but that isn't the point as our night and experience were ruined by the extremely poor quality of the food. I suggested I would contact Pierre Marco White but was told that the hotel simply pay him to have his name above the door and don't expect him to be interested in my experience.
On the hotel, the rooms are clean and spacious, but the A/C is useless and the fan is so weak it cannot move a feather consequently the rooms are unbearably hot and we barely slept at all that night as the weather was unusually warm! In the words of Mr White, would I eat here again, no. Would I stay here again, no. Are the food standards high enough to reflect a Marco Pierre White branding, absolutely not!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mel D, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dumfries, responded to this review, 3 August 2014
Good Afternoon,

Many thanks for taking time to write a review on your experience of the hotel & restaurant.

I am very sorry that you had a generally poor experience with us and your feedback is certainly not representative of the standard of service we wish to provide to our diners at Wheelers of St. James. The team & I are working hard on all aspects of our restaurant to provide the dining experience to ensure we exceed guest expectations.

We are currently having a new air conditioning chiller commissioned at the hotel, will resolves all the room temperature issues, unfortunately this is not a part that was available in the UK and we have had to wait for a delivery from France.

Kind Regards

Mel Darwell
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
132 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2014

This hotel is really good. Not an average holiday inn at all. The room we had was spacious clean and comfortable. The grounds are lovely and we enjoyed a great quality bar meal served by courteous and attentive staff ( wish I had remembered the young mans name but he was on duty the evening of Wednesday 24th July). Food quality was excellent. There was a problem however - during one of the hottest weeks on record the air conditioning wasn't working! Despite this affecting the quality of our sleep I cannot fault the staff and how they dealt with the problem. They bought extra fans and compensated us for the inconvenience. Very professional approach from all staff ? Air com due to be fixed tomorrow so with this glitch addressed any visitor should have a perfect stay

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Interested1328
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mel D, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dumfries, responded to this review, 25 July 2014
Many thanks for taking time to write a review on your recent stay at the hotel & award us 5 stars.

It lovely to hear that all the team members were very helpful & courteous during your stay & dealt with the air conditioning problem in a professional manner.

You will be delighted to know that the new system is now fully commissioned, i hope my team & I can welcome you back to the hotel soon & experience the changes we have made.

Kind Regards
Mel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014 via mobile

We stayed at the Holiday Inn, formerly the Aston Hotel for a weekend in June and we're very disappointed. The hotel was clean and the room was quite nice, although uncomfortably hot, but the main issue is that the staff are wholly incompetent.

We booked online and even though our reservation clearly stated we had already paid, our card was then charged again when we checked out. We noticed this on our bank statement and contacted the hotel, expecting them to quickly resolve their error, but they have failed to do so.

After a month, 6 calls and 3 emails I'm starting to think that the manager, who all the staff claim is dealing with this issue, doesn't actually exist!

The Aston still have my money, and with customer service as bad as I have ever received, it means we have paid an extortionate price to be treated appallingly.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Clark_Flash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mel D, General Manager at Holiday Inn Dumfries, responded to this review, 24 July 2014
Thank you for writing a review of your recent experience of the hotel. Exceeding guest expectations is one of the hotels top priorities. I can only apologies that we have fallen short of that on this occasion. I would love to regain your faith in our hotel and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your stay in further details. I have sent you a private message to obtain additional detail regarding your stay.

I look forward to your response soon.

Kind Regards,

Mel
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Dumfries

Property: Holiday Inn Dumfries
Address: Bankend Road, Dumfries DG1 4ZZ, Scotland (Formerly Aston Hotel Dumfries)
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Dumfries and Galloway > Dumfries
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Dumfries
#5 Romantic Hotel in Dumfries
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Dumfries 3*
Number of rooms: 71
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dumfries Aston
Aston Hotel Dumfries
Holiday Inn Dumfries Scotland

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