I stayed here with my wife for a relaxing one-night break away from the kids, booked as an offer through the Waitrose magazine. The outside appearance of the hotel is nothing special, but no matter because the inside is recently refurbished in tasteful, plush decor and is fresh and welcoming. The check-in experience was very positive - the receptionist knew the offer we had booked and gave us all the information we needed to use the hotel and leisure club. The deal was dinner, B&B and we had to book a place in the restaurant at check-in - best book a table in good time as we had the choice of 18:45 or 21:00! We went for the latter.
Our double room was clean, tidy, well-presented and nicely furnished and despite being a 'standard' hotel room in terms of size and layout, was a nice environment to relax in.
The health club was, again, clean and presentable, with a large changing, locker and showering room, a decent leisure pool (not one for serious exercise) with jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and poolside loungers.
Our deal included tapas in the bar - we were told this was served from 17:30 - 19:30 so we headed for the bar as early as possible. Here it appeared there were lots of staff moving about a lot but managing to achieve very little. It took 5 minutes before anyone was available to take an order for a drink and the tapas. The tapas was not actually ready to serve until 18:00, but it was very nice when it did finally arrive.
We later headed for the restaurant and, once again, had to wait for someone to spot us and take us to a table. Service of food and drinks was fine and the food itself was very good.
At breakfast the next day we arrived around 09:30 and were shown to a table. A fire alarm then started, which the staff and diners all appeared to ignore. Eventually 2 or 3 staff moved through the restaurant asking that we evacuate, which we did. However it seems we were in the minority as, after a 5 minute wait, we returned to our table to see most diners had simply stayed where they were; not a great situation and one where the staff should have taken more control. We finally made it to the hot breakfast buffet to be greeted by numerous empty or mostly empty dishes, no plates, no cutlery etc. The staff simply could not keep up with demand and, worst of all, the kitchen had run out of sausages! The buffet area was simply too small to cater for a busy breakfast service. It also took some perseverance by my wife to actually order hot drinks, and then we had to ask again - this appeared to be a theme for the restaurant as we saw several other tables having to ask and ask again for drinks and other requests. My wife summed it up very well - the staff all looked like rabbits in the headlights; using another animal analogy, I likened the staff to headless chickens.
Despite the above though, I did enjoy my stay. If I had been there under different circumstances (for example on business) I might have found it tiresome and frustrating but as I was there to relax and unwind, it was all merely amusing observation.
I really wanted to like this hotel and, on the face of it, there's a lot to like. The bar and restaurant areas could really do with an overhaul in terms of efficiency and customer service though (to be clear, at no time was any member of staff anything other than courteous).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hallmark Hotel Gloucester is perfectly located for explorers or business meetings, just 5 minutes drive away from the M5 and a short taxi journey from Gloucester train station. Within walking distance of Gloucester Golf Club and Gloucester ski and snowboard centre. The hotel has 95 bedrooms including 6 family rooms. Why not enjoy a delicious meal in the brasserie or relax within the bar and lounge. Unwind in the health club with a swimming pool, children’s pool, squash court and beauty treatment area. If you are here for business, we have meeting rooms for up to 200 delegates. The hotel also has a Civil Ceremony licence and a versatile wedding suite for up to 200 guests. Plenty of onsite parking and free Wi-Fi awaits. Plus, BT Sport is now available in the bar/lounge area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Gloucester Hotel Country
- Gloucester Ramada
- Hallmark Hotel Gloucester Gloucestershire