We decided to book for one night at the hotel as it was clise to a wedding we were attending in a nearby village. The reception area is small and on arrival only one person was on duty so with 2 other couples in the queue already it took approx. 10 mins or so to check in. Check in was then quick pleasant and efficient and our room was a deluxe double (Cassandra) overlooking the front of the hotel. The room was well appointed, a good size with a couple of occasional chairs to sit and relax. The bed was comfortable albeit a little soft. The bathroom was a good size with a bath and shower, although the shower was poor - for such nice bathrooms the shower needs improving.
It became apparent not long in to our stay that we hadn't been left enough towels (just one bath and one hand towell and these were in the wardrobe) so we tried to phone reception and housekeeping to get more. After 4 attempts to contact someone we decided to go to reception to request them. One hour and 15 minutes later they still hadn't arrived. A further 3 attempts were made to call down and chase it up but again no answer. It was left to us again to go to reception personally and ask for them. Whilst there I went to the bar to ask for two tall glasses and a bucket of ice, however the bar was empty of staff and no one appeared so these were requested from the reception staff. Within 10 minutes we had our towels but despite requesting tall glasses we were delivered two wine glasses. Again we explained what we wanted and the receptionist went in search of two glasses.
Before getting ready to go out in the evening we decided to have sandwiches from room service. The selection was good and priced reasonably. The phone on this occasion was answered promptly and the order taken and repeated back. Despite this they still managed to get the order wrong. Granted not by a lot (white bread instead of brown) but it was still wrong and added to what was now becoming a list of failings that the staff were creating. For a 4* property it is hard to understand why it was difficult to get some "basics" right.
Prior to leaving the hotel in the evening to go for our evening out we decided to have a drink in the bar. After 5 minutes of sitting and waiting for a member of bar staff to arrive (which they didn't) we went in search of someone to ask for a drink. The was a wedding taking place in the hotel and we can only assume that the hotel had made the decision to dedicate the majority of staff to the wedding and leave the hotel running on skeleton staff. If this were the case then why are the rates for a night still at a premium and why weren't we told of this at check-in so our expectations were set accordingly.
The hotel is in a good location, rooms are above average but the service needs considerable improvement if they want to justify the "price tag" for the one night stay. Difficult to recommend the property based on the service received but as rooms and location go it's good.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built in the 1880s as a private home for Thomas Pain, it subsequently enjoyed a rich and colourful history, with owners and visitors including the rich and famous. Today it is a 72 bedroom, 4 star hotel surrounded by woodlands and seven acres of private grounds. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Audleys Wood Basingstoke
- Audleys Wood Hotel Basingstoke, Hampshire