I got married on the 24th January at the Old Blacksmith’s and had 10 rooms for two nights including the Rose room.
I would like to start by discussing the ‘Rose Suite’, on the telephone I had been told it was recently renovated. To me it just looked tired, there were marks on the carpet and the four posted bed had paint chips missing. The bathroom was hidden in a cupboard which I was not impressed about when I was desperate to pass urine. The bathroom doors did not closed easily from the inside as they did not have a handle, just because I married my husband it does not mean I want him to watch me open my bowels! The bed left a lot to be desired, I would have been more comfortable sleeping on the couch as the mattress was hard and the quilt rustled loudly (simply irritating when you are sharing with your 17 month old). The room had a fancy coffee machine (in my little boys reach), kettle, tea caddy full of various teas/coffees/hot chocolate and six cups and sauces. Unfortunately there was no spoon but luckily for me I had a weaning spoon. The shape of the bath was stupid and made it difficult for me to lie on my front to soak my armpits ready for shaving. When I wanted the shower head only to work I wound up getting soggy from the overhead shower, some instructions would have been useful. On the balcony were other fun things that attracted my infant’s attention including a box of screws, exposed electrical wires and sharp edges from the lights that were possibly being installed. I know this room is not designed to be child friendly but I feel it lacks common sense to have dangerous items so low down.
In the restaurant I was surprised to find no dishes specifically catered to the appetites of children, my 7 year old nephew got a fish finger sandwich with eight fish fingers! The food was expensive but nice. However some of my guests complained they had ordered some cocktails on an offer but because they did not order two of the same it was not honoured. When I requested a high chair it did not have all the components required to strap my child in so he managed to get himself onto all fours on the food trey! I asked for another highchair and this one had a nice cut in the plastic which meant my infant had fun pulling stuffing out and trying to decide if it should go in his mouth. At breakfast time it was not uncommon to see dirty tables left for over half an hour and getting additional cutlery proved problematic again.
I have only ever stayed in cheaper hotel chains so I was extremely shocked when I was asked for £50 from my card. Another guest explained it is not actually taken from my account unless needed. Reception staff did not explain this correctly to any of my guests and my in-laws were subsequently too scared to drink the tea and coffee in case their card got charged. I wish I had been informed of this prior to arriving at the hotel so I could explain it to be people. This started my visit on the wrong foot because we arrived the day before my January pay day and I did not have £50. The reception staff irritated me further when I asked them for a travel cot on the first and asked “how long will it take” I was told they were doing it now. I did offer to take the cot up so I could have it in the room as I needed it but this was declined by reception staff. An hour later my 17 month old was asleep on the bed so I cancelled it. The next night I knew I really wanted the cot bed, it took four hours and three requests to get it, with the most frustrating thing being told it was coming now.
Meeting the wedding planner left an awful lot to be desired. She read out very basic information and did not wait to talk to the groom. She also did not warn me that I would be receiving a phone call 15 minutes before the wedding to ensure I would be on my way. As it happened I was on time and the Old Blacksmith’s shop was five minutes’ walk away, in heels. I wish she could have said useful information like “Your photographers name is …” I would have also liked it if she had told me what my main meal was going to be as it will always be remember as rice with mystery veg.
The main reason I am so upset is because of the wedding reception. I had no idea where I was meant to be going as the wedding planner didn’t see fit to physically show me where it was. I saw two other brides in the lobby. When the main meals came out I was presented with chicken, I do not eat meat. I had booked two vegetarian meals and they did come out but it is part of the wedding experience having your meals first. The bride in the room next door had a band, and her band was set up next to the wall of our room, so in addition to our music we also got the base from next door. It was so loud we turned our music off in the end. We were offered the room next door, so I went to check it out. I discovered this room was almost as noisy as they shared bar space. So I opted not to switch. But why should I have to swap rooms on my wedding day? Surely a member of staff should have simply said “you cannot set your band up there because we have another wedding next door”. The wedding I am discussing had a hog roast in the lobby and the smell was extremely strong. As mentioned before I do not eat meat, somebody else’s hog roast is NOT what I want to smell or see on my wedding day! I complained about the noise to a member of staff stating it is not good enough the music was so loud and I shouldn’t be expected to move rooms on my wedding day, she was very apologetic but did not do anything and did not escalate the matter further.
One of my guests sustained a head injury and needed to go to hospital. Reception were helpful phoning 999 and giving me the correct address. I was told I needed to fill out an incident form, not asked if I could. An incident form did not arrive to be completed. The look of disgust I got when I asked for a sick bucked was actually quite comical (side effects of large volumes of alcohol- every unit sold by the hotel and head injuries is often vomiting). Some drunken idiot from the loud wedding kept pestering us, big fun. Back in the hotel room I wanted to plug my mobile phone in close to the bed as the member of my wedding party was admitted to hospital, there is not a plug close to the bed.
The noise in the hotel was generally unacceptable, the people in the room above us kept running up and down the stairs on the first night. On the second night there were children playing ‘knock a door run’. Why do members of staff not think it is within their role to approach other guests and tell them to make less noise? I did not book an 18-30 holiday and so I do not think I should simply have to accept it as a fact. The staff may have been a bit laxadaisy on my wedding day, they did however have the chance to make four Facebook statuses that day.
Finally onto Spoilt at Smith’s or as I will now be calling it, Spoilt by Smith’s. The file and polish was poor, the nails were not filed into a shape of any kind and the one coat of nail polish was different colours on different nails and there was some gloopy clump on one nail. My hair was bad, I wish I had said something at the time because it looked bad on the day and worse in pictures. I am specifically saying I do not like the method of hair curling using hair straighteners.
There were many nice things like two working televisions, two bottles of champagne and a cute teddy bear. Ultimately I would have sooner had somebody to advocate for my wedding instead of having a “what will be will be” attitude to the weddings. I know that Smith’s probably have over a thousand weddings a year but that was my ‘special’ day and I will not be getting another. I am very upset and though some of these things may seem minor I spent a lot of money and expected more. I would like to add that this review was not written maliciously, I am really upset about my wedding.
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- Also Known As:
- Classic Hotel Gretna Green
- Gretna Green Classic Hotel
- Smiths At Gretna Green Hotel Scotland