There was a time when vast monolithic hotels like the Cairn and the Majestic, both in Harrogate, were seen as the luxury end of accommodation when visiting this Yorkshire Spa town. Sadly, time has gone past and the offering for the 21st Century needs to be different. Equally sad, is the fact that neither of these hotels have adapted to the new era and are stuck way back in time.
I stayed at the Cairn, whilst attending a conference at the Majestic just over the road. Rather than comment on how dire the Majestic was, I will just paint you a picture of my stay at the Cairn.
After receiving the key to my very expensive room, I got the lift 2 floors and stepped into a vast corridor, with partition doors of old wood and glass, covered in chipped paint and scuff marks. The sign on the lift stated that a refurbishment of these areas was about to take place and non too soon. Shabby, at the very least, with threadbare carpets and holes hacked out of some doors.
On entering the room, it had that musty smell of "age", along with cheap wooden cabinets, soft spongy beds and very tatty curtains. Never mind the public areas I thought, these rooms need a fix over too!!. The bathroom was very olde worlde, with taps that weren't fixed properly (they would spin in their fixings) and hot water that took an age to get there, though clunking, rattling pipes. The windows were single glazed with fairly thin glass, that were covered in condensation by the morning. Mind you, at least I had windows. On looking out at other rooms, some panes had been replaced by chipboard panels which could be seen to be sopping wet through. I'll give you that the place wasn't dirty............but it is in dire need of extensive upgrading. All this for OVER £110 a night!! Scandalous.
I went down to the bar to find the place taken over by pensioners entering the restaurant, prior to the evenings tea dance entertainment (I kid you not). After a quick pint, an evening meal in Harrogate was decided upon. My best decision of the day.
When I returned to the Cairn, the last few revellers were heading to bed (it was 11pm!!) and the tea dance band were packing up. So it was nightcap and bed for me.
The night was a mix of clunking pipes, chugging lift and coughing from the aging neighbours I had just inherited. In the morning, breakfast was a dire affair, with a cooked offering in tin tureens being kept marginally warm. Toast had to be made via the conveyor toaster, which had a queue of OAP's trying to work out the procedure. Then there were bowls of cereals open to the coughs and splutters of every passing guest!!
The tea was OK though!!
I endured this place for 2 nights, parted with £262 of Her Majesties English Pounds and vowed never to return again.
I can't say anything really pleased me. No staff members stood out as really wanting to help, or enjoying their job to be fair. I can only imagine that those that give this place a higher score, are the elderly clientele that this hotel seems to target, for coach tours and tea dances. However, I wonder how many of them have to stump up £262 for a 2 night B & B stay. I have since stopped the Corporate Booking Dept making my travel arrangements.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This grand, Victorian hotel boasts private gardens, a gym, and classical decor. Its traditionally furnished rooms feature private bathrooms, while Harrogate’s centre is 5 minutes’ walk away. Each room at The Cairn includes a TV, along with 24-hour room service and tea/coffee-making facilities. Some rooms offer luxurious bathrobes, wine, and chocolates. Free parking is also available as well as Free WiFi in public areas, in Superior Rooms, or in all rooms if you book direct with the hotel. The Windsor Restaurant serves a locally sourced traditional menu, with a carvery and an extensive wine list. With its classic pillars and arches, guests can relax with a drink in the bar and lounge area. Both The Royal Pump Room Museums and Betty’s Tea Rooms are a 10-minute walk away. Harrogate Theatre and Harrogate Rail Station are 15 minutes away on foot. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cairn Hotel Harrogate, Yorkshire