This is a two part review. The original review is below and this is an update. Comments by my colleague are under " Dross of the Highest Order" which is probably on page two of all the reviews from Feb 2010. I must point out in reply to some of the comments I have read, that gaffer tape on the carpet truly did exist, this is not some random dig at a hotel in Harrogate written by someone with nothing better to do. Rather a reaction to be asked to pay in advance for a shabby ( sometimes dirty ) uncared for hotel, whose standards are pretty low. I certainly do not live in a palace, but do expect the owners to exercise a level of care above that of a hostel. They know its run down, and it is probably being used as a " cash cow" on the coach party circuit, until one day it gets the refurb it truly deserves until that time your stay could be pleasant or awful depending on your room and the staff at the time.
The upside to all this is that I got a refund. This is my first full refund from any hotel in over 20 years. The letter I received from Shearings denied the hotel was dirty ( their choice and what else would you expect ) then made a number of excuses about refurbishment, and tactfully avoided being drawn into making comments about the gaffer tape, hole in the bathroom floor covered with lino, the collapsed and perished shower rail, threadbare furniture, untuned TV, and demand for money on arrival.
I would say they knew these areas of comment to be true and quite sensibly as they are running a business, refused to comment. The "unclean" comments clearly triggered a raw nerve, and maybe it was only my experience which I can sum up as "grubby".
I expect that if you have booked up front, then read these reviews you are going to be on the defensive, especially if your partner reads the reviews and is now worried that a pleasant break is going to be marred by a down at heel hotel. At least you have been warned and if you do the following you may escape the worst:
a) Ask to see the room before checking in. There are old rooms and refurb rooms
b) Look around the room and check for the draughty windows, and if you find a hole in the floor underneath line on the left hand side of the toilet, then congratulations you have my old room. If you find a collapsed shower curtain and threadbare carpets and easy chair, you have thefirst room I rejected
c) Take a deep breath and if you smell "shake and vac" or see a plug in air freshenor, ask yourself why this is.
d) Be honest does the picture on the web really match what you are seeing?
e) If the refurb is still taking place ask for a discount, it never hurts to ask, then use the discount to supplement your break.
f) The refurb rooms have nicer bedding and new look mattresses. If you get one of these half your potential problems are solved. If you are looking around a run down room, threadbare with all the look and feel of a hotel room last painted when Callaghan was Prime Minsiter, then " chin up" Harrogate is a nice place to be.
Please remember I probably paid double the rate that Shearings charge for coach parties and as such it represented very poor value for money. If you are fortunate enough to pay £40 a night for a double and not £80 plus, then we can all put up with the odd eccentricity for one night, can't we? This is a £40-50 double room kind of hotel, which charges £80 for passing trade, and that is the problem. Over charging and under delivering.
My original review is below. Have a look at "Dross of the highest order" review. I think it's better written than mine, though perhaps a tad harsher.
"This was a business trip with 3 colleagues all with their own rooms. I kind of knew something was amiss when a colleague called me, telling me he had to pay cash up front as he arrived.
I arrived an hour later and ordered sandwiches from room service. Only this room service means " collect from reception", okay I can live with that. Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese and Chive. What arrived? Smoked Salmon looking a bit ropey! I was told " no cream cheese so you got extra salmon". The sandwich looked like one of those mean motorway service affairs where you get all the filling at the front so I am still wondering where my "extra salmon" really was. Maybe just a plain old standard salmon with an over hyped description, rather like the hotel really.
Right back to the hotel, which from a cursory glance was looking rough, down at heel and generally run down. Okay some hotel groups run out of funds, but dirty as well? There appeared to be no pride in the hotels appearance, with great big chunks of paint missing, not just the odd scuff mark.
I went to my room ( 122 or 125 as I remember ) and found the following:
- two seats with the arm trim hanging off
- damp patches on the ceiling
- peeling wallpaper
- torn curtain tie backs
- a shower rail at a 30 degree angle with perished (!) rubbers holding it up
- a bathroom with tatty warped doors
- ropey looking carpet
At this point I went back to reception and asked for another room maybe an upgrade, which I would cheerfully pay for. I was told " we don't do upgrades". Odd as their brochure says they do.
I got a "refurbed" room.which was room 120 (?) This turned out to be a little better. The room had a plug in air freshener which is never a good sign. The throw on the bed smelled like it had been soaked in "shake and vac" rather than cleaned.
The bathroom was rough, and my favourite part was the bathroom floor by the toilet. The floor covering had been placed over an 18" by 5" hole. I am not kidding, someone had thought it acceptable to cover up a hole with lino and just leave it there. By pressing with my foot, I could hear the crunch of broken floor boards!
The TV was completely out of tune and never managed to retune properly, out of sync with the hotel guide on screen. Some of the clothes hangers were broken, and the window was draughty. The bed was comfortable and it did look like a new mattress had been fitted recently.
On the first morning I found the tray with the "extra salmon" sandwiches had been left outside the door all night, and then got a good daytime look at the paintwork of the corridors leading to the downstairs reception. The paintwork was chipped, and dirty, clearly no one had any pride in the building.
One of my colleagues endured the two days, one came up on the second night from Sutton Coldfield. After our evening out with customers, he got back in his car and drove through the night home, rather than stay in such a run down room. I believe the "gaffer tape" stuck across the carpet had indicated a standard of accommodation that he would not accept.
I am all for value for money, but at £80 a double per night, this hotel is very over priced and under delivers. When you have to pay upfront for two days stay at reception, then its time to check out quickly. We had another colleague at a hotel around the corner and the chap at reception commented that they get quite a few guests checking out of the St George and checking in with them.
I could be mildly tolerant if this was just a run down hotel with cheap rates, trying its best, but in reality its a run down hotel that has ceased to care about its presentation to the public, relying on its location and coach parties with an older clientele.
I wondered why the coach parties of retired pensioners put up with such a run down hotel, unless it was very cheap. I really hope that when i retire, rather than sitting in reception singing along to 1950's hits, I team up with other retired poeple and protest about the shabby rooms!! "
Remember one letter/email to Shearings and you stand a good chance of getting a refund, if your complaint is genuine. If you had a good time at the St George you are fortunate, but please don't then write a cliched tirade against people who do complain based on some ill thought out premise that we are all wriddled with hypochrasy about our standards away and at home, or or social climbing aspiration to be in a 6 or 7 star hotel! Some of us just wanted a clean, pleasant hotel at a reasonable price with no bad bits that a little bit of care would solve very quickly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the most famous hotels in Harrogate, the St. George is a magnificent Edwardian property situated in the heart of this historic spa town. Its location, adjacent to the Harrogate International Centre’s Exhibition Halls and the Royal Hall, makes it ideal for both leisure and business travellers. The Royal Baths, with the newly refurbished Turkish baths and a range of elegant restaurants, are situated immediately opposite the hotel. As well as the delights of Harrogate, the hotel makes an ideal base for those wishing to visit Leeds, York or the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Alternatively, visit the famous Betty’s Tea Rooms, and for those who like to shop, enjoy the exclusive small boutiques and various antique shops situated in the Montpellier quarter. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Saint George Harrogate
- Hotel Saint George
- St George Hotel Harrogate
- The St George Hotel Harrogate, Yorkshire