I stayed over in the studio room at Park Hotel on Friday the 11th April. I was getting married at a nearby hotel the next day and did not live locally, and unfortunately my wedding venue hotel did not have a room available the night before my wedding. After searching on the internet for nearby hotels and looking at all the positive reviews, I decided to book in at the Park Hotel. I opted for the studio room as there was 3 of us-my mum, my bridesmaid and me- and the website described this would be ideal for 3 adults or a family, also from the pictures of the living area I believed this would provide the most space for us all to get ready on the big day. I contacted the hotel staff to request a late check out as the usual check-out time was 11am and my wedding car would not be picking me up until after 12. I was told this was no problem and was put down for a late check -out.
About a week before the wedding I had another look at the hotel website and noted that it said on Saturdays breakfast isn’t served until 9am, and also that they don’t serve dinner on Friday evenings. I rang the hotel to explain that it was my wedding and that my hairdresser would be arriving by 830 the Saturday morning, so I asked if it would be possible to have an earlier breakfast. I felt the woman who answered my call was quite cold and abrupt in her response, saying something like “oh, they’re coming then are they” (as if this was an inconvenience) and then said that they could probably do an earlier breakfast of 8am but that I would have to ask when I got there. The tone of her voice sounded a little impatient like she just wanted me off the phone, and therefore I decided I would not bother asking her about the possibility of dining at the hotel on the Friday evening, instead we booked in for a meal elsewhere in the area. After reading so many of the reviews about how friendly, helpful and accommodating the hotel staff were, I must admit I felt taken aback by her indifferent attitude, I have never before experienced such unfriendliness from hotel staff towards one of their guests. Looking back now I should have taken this as a warning and cancelled my booking. However I had already made all my plans with my wedding suppliers etc and felt it was too late to change hotels. Also I remember thinking that this was just one person and one phonecall and was sure that face-to-face the rest of the experience would be different.
When we arrived that Friday afternoon we were greeted by a lovely, very welcoming lady who helped us carry all my wedding attire, dress etc to our room. We were relieved to find that her attitude was completely different to the lady I spoke to one the phone; when we explained about our timings the next morning she did not hesitate to offer to make us an earlier breakfast in the morning, which we very gratefully accepted.
Unfortunately we had not realised that the studio room was at the top of a very narrow flight of stairs (there was no lift), and at this point I did start to wonder how I would get down the stairs in my wedding dress the next day. When we got to our studio room it was very clean and nicely furnished, the rooms looked a bit smaller than what they did on the website but we thought them sufficient. That is until we went into the bathroom. The toilet and shower were in a room which was located between the sitting room and the bedroom. This meant that in order to get in and out of the bedroom we risked walking into someone on the toilet! We have never before seen such a bizarrely designed layout of ensuite bathroom, and we have stayed in lots of hotels. Luckily the 3 of us were comfortable enough with each other to laugh this off and it was the source of amusement between us all night! However had we been on a business trip with colleagues or something this bathroom set up would have caused a problem. I’m surprised that I have not seen this issue mentioned on previous reviews.
Shortly after we put our stuff in our room I met one of the owners of the hotel (think her name was Nicola) so I could pay up, it had been agreed that I could pay on arrival rather than checkout to make it easier. I double checked with her that I could have a late check out and asked how much extra it would be to check out at 12. She kindly said it would cost nothing extra and told me that I did not need to worry or rush checking out at all. So far, so good.
We then went out for some dinner which we thoroughly enjoyed, on return to the hotel we found it strange that there were no staff manning the reception at night (it was not much later than 10pm), luckily though we had the code for the door on our key so we could get back in!
The beds were very comfortable, however we did find the rooms were a little cold.
The next morning we woke early so we could fit in our showers etc, to find that we had only been provided with one towel between the 3 of us! Not a great start to my day. Again, there was no staff downstairs to ask for more towels, it was after 7am. We decided we had to start the showers regardless so my bridesmaid went first, she said the water was absolutely freezing cold but if she turned it up only slightly it went boiling hot. She went back downstairs to report this issue and about the lack of towels and luckily the lady who greeted us the day before was there. She was very apologetic about the towels and seemed embarrassed, but said there was a shower downstairs with better pressure we could use as all the downstairs rooms were empty.
Due to the shower fiasco we were running a bit late for our breakfast, but we all our enjoyed our food, I couldn’t eat much because of my nerves but what I did tasted lovely and the others were more than happy with theirs. I started to relax a bit more and thought that we had got the bad stuff (ie shower) out of the way. I was wrong.
We decided that it was more practical for me to get into my dress in the dining room downstairs, this was not ideal however we managed it and my photographer started taking pictures of me stood at the bottom of the stairs. Whilst he was doing this, the owner (Nicola?) walked past me and him down the stairs with a tray of hot drinks, she accidentally stood on my veil as she did so. My hairdresser asked her very politely to watch out as she just stood on my veil, to which Nicola replied something like “It’s either that or I pour hot coffee all over her”. At the time I was too preoccupied to know exactly what happened next, but I have since learned that the hairdresser told her straight how rude that was to speak to me like that. I do recall my photographer shaking his head in disbelief and muttering that all she had to do was wait until he had taken his picture then we could have moved out of her way! I do appreciate that I was not the only guest at the hotel and didn’t expect special treatment just because it was my wedding day, however I think I was still entitled to be treated with the courtesy and respect that every guest deserves.
Sometime between 11 and 12 whilst we were all frantically trying to get ready and packed up etc (bear in mind I had been assured of a 12pm check out!), Nicola started asking for the room key back stating she had a family coming in to the studio room. All my attendants started looking for the key but it soon seemed clear that my bridesmaid had accidentally picked up the key with her belongings, and she had now left with our driver towards the wedding venue. I could hear Nicola saying to her little girl that she did not know what to do with this family as the room wasn’t ready, which made me believe that the family was already here-how strange when I had been told that check-in was from 2pm only?! She also said that if the key wasn’t found she would have to go out and get a new one cut. Luckily my chauffeur was fantastic and he went back to get the key off my bridesmaid and returned it to Nicola. But as we were leaving he commented that he had never heard of a hotel that didn’t have spares for their room keys, he was appalled by her general attitude and the undue stress I was put under on my wedding day.
Don’t get me wrong-it wasn’t all bad, she did help me into the bathroom in my wedding dress which was embarrassing for both of us but I was grateful to her at the time for doing this. I apologised to her a lot for causing her so much hassle, but now I really regret apologising because at the end of the day I was a paying guest who should not have been made to feel an inconvenience for being there. Also I had been reassured of a late check out, which clearly was not going to be an option with the arrival of this family before 12 . It was mentioned that I would have been better off booking a room downstairs, however as I pointed out to her when I initially booked the room (and this was months in advance) I did tell the person on the phone that it was my wedding and there had been no suggestion that the studio would be unsuitable. I know the studio had been my choice and I got it wrong but I would have welcomed a helpful suggestion of an alternative room on booking if it had made the experience more pleasant.
I was amazed when Nicola told me that not only have they had brides stay over at their hotel before, but that they are thinking of using the hotel to actually host weddings! God help the poor bride who has to get ready here, that’s all I can say!
In general, I think this place is lovely as a B&B standard for business purposes if you just want somewhere quiet and clean to rest your head for the night and have a decent breakfast, but on a personal level I feel it is totally unsuitable for leisure/social stays particularly for bridal parties; mainly because the hospitality that had been mentioned on previous reviews was seriously lacking during our stay. The lack of availability of staff at certain times, and indeed the shocking attitude from some of the staff lets the hotel down and really needs addressing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Park Hotel is 3 Star AA Edwardian Manor House built in 1903.We are the only 3 star hotel that is independently owned and run in Preston, as as such, we feel that we can offer a better, and more personal service for your stay,The Edwardian Mansion house dates back to 1903, and retains its wonderful period features. The main house has a bar and dining room, and six traditional double rooms, a studio apartment for a family, and our two new superior rooms,An annex at the rear of the property adds another 10 single and twin rooms which have been finished in more modern style,We can accommodate functions and business conferences, and our location in the lovely Ashton area of Preston offers fresh air and large open parks, whilst only 5 minutes drive from Preston town centre,So whether it be business or pleasure for your visit to Preston, we're sure that your stay at The Park Hotel in Preston will be enjoyable, and memorable, We have 19 beautifully designed rooms, Lounge bar with a wide choice of drinks,Sun Terrace to enjoy drinks,Intimate restaurant with 22 seats, Free private car-park with CCTV, Free WIFI throughout the hotel so for the discerning guests who dare to stay away from the characterless chain hotels with their uniform rooms and sterile service, we present the charming and unique Park Hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Park Hotel Preston
- The Park Hotel Preston, Lancashire