We recently went to Somerset for a 4 night Priority Club Reward Night stay at the Holiday Inn Taunton, in an Executive Room. On checking in at the hotel on arrival we were notified that we had been allocated a Smoking Room, despite on my confirmation it stated “Non Smoking Priority Club Award Night”. This was a cause for concern as we have two young children, and my husband is asthmatic. The gentleman on reception was surprised that a smoking room had been allocated, and as they had no non smoking rooms available he offered us accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express which was on the other side of the road. He called the Holiday Inn Express and confirmed availability for the 4 nights of our stay.
I was a little disappointed at this as we had stayed in Holiday Inn Express at Kettering the previous evening, and although the facilities were adequate, we had reserved an executive room with a bath, and a few extras for our stay at Taunton.
I went up to the room with the duty manager as I was keen to stay so that we could utilize the on site facilities, swimming pool, restaurant and full breakfast menu. Having been up to the room as soon as you went through the door in to the smoking corridor the smell was overpowering, and I knew that there was no way my husband would be able to stay in the room, or that I would wish to expose my children to the fumes.
When I went back down to reception, I accepted that we should go to the Holiday Inn Express, and asked them to call and confirm our arrival. After a few minutes the gentleman on reception informed us that the room was now only available for 1 night and that the remaining three nights were booked whilst I was looking at the smoking room. It was then offered that if we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express for one night and returned to them the following evening they would either have changed us to a non smoking room, or had the original room fogged and the smoke smell removed. I said that we would not be happy in a smoking room even if this was done as there would still be smoking in the corridor, which could make my husband unwell.
We then went to the Holiday Inn Express where we were greeted by a very helpful receptionist who apologized for the problems we had experienced, before showing us to our room. We were given a corner room which was spacious and airy and twice the size of our executive room in the previous hotel.
Having settled in to the room, (although it was not worth unpacking as we would have to move again tomorrow) I went to the reception and was speaking to the receptionist and she asked if we were staying for the 4 nights or just 1. I was a little surprised at her question having just been told by the other hotel that they were now full. She advised me that this was not the case and that the room we were in was available for the 4 nights. I was annoyed at the fact that we has been blatantly mislead. I then called back to the Holiday Inn and spoke to the gentleman on reception and advised him that despite being told that they were full they did have a room available, and that if they were not able to find another room, we would stay in the Holiday Inn Express. I was at this point told that it was against company policy for our stay to be transferred, and that we shouldn’t have been moved to the Express. He told me that as a gesture of goodwill we could stay there that evening and return to them where “they were going to move rooms to get us a non smoking room”. At this point we agreed that we would return after a day out tomorrow to our original hotel on the condition that we would have a non smoking room. I informed the lady on reception that we would only need the room for one night. She confirmed that she had spoken to them and they had informed her that they had a non smoking family room for the remainder of our stay.
After a busy day out we returned to check in at the holiday Inn with a view to swimming before our evening meal. On arrival the receptionist that I had spoken to on the phone the following evening, asked if we had received a telephone call from them today, which I had not. He then handed us over to the operations manager who said that they were not able to move us to a different room and that the room had been fogged and aired. At this point my heart sank. I just wanted to be able to relax and unwind on my holiday. We went up to the room, and although to be fair the room was much fresher, the smell of smoke was still very apparent.
The operations manager came up to the room to discuss the situation further. We informed him that we were still not happy to stay in the room, at which point he said they had no other option available. We asked if we would be able to return to the express or to another hotel nearby, and he said it was unlikely as we were using our points rather than paying for our stay. After pleading with him to see what else we could do, he said he would see if he could transfer our stay to another hotel. We sat in reception with 2 tired children and all out luggage for close to an hour. Whilst we were waiting in reception with our bags in the middle of a wedding reception, the mother of the groom spoke to us, as we were obviously out of place in their group, she was also unhappy and reeled of a list of complaints regarding the hotel.
We kept asking for updates and we were told they had not found an alternative but were still trying. We were again told that the Express Hotel across the road was full. He then came back to say that he had managed to find a hotel that would take us in Plymouth, (1.5 hours away). This was not suitable as we had booked tickets to visit attractions near Taunton. Having been mislead about the availability of the Express the previous night I took my daughter and walked across to the hotel and they still had vacancies which they did.
He then went away, and came back to confirm that we were now able to go to the Express for the remainder of our stay.
Relieved that we could finally unpack, we checked in only to be told that the booking was only for one night, at which point I could have cried. The thought of going through this fiasco every day was awful. While still standing at Reception a booking then came through for the remaining 3 nights, we were very relieved.
We went to our room, and were dismayed to find that we had now been downgraded to a smaller room with one bed and a sofa bed. I went straight back to reception, and they were great. I explained the situation, and that we were in a corner room the previous night, and we had returned on the assumption that we would be in the same room type. She apologized, and gave us a new corner room, which we accepted.
We were treated like second rate customers because we were there on reward nights.
I appreciate that we used points to pay for our stay, but these were accrued over multiple stays, and considerable money spent within the Holiday Inn Group.
We have always stay in Holiday Inns and have always found the facilities and service to be excellent, and have never had cause to complain before, but our holiday was spoiled as a result of dreadful customer service, both at the hotel, and upon making a complaint when we returned home, and I would be reluctant to use them again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Holiday Inn Taunton in Somerset is ideally located for both business and leisure guests, conveniently located at J25 off the M5, on the edge of Taunton near the Somerset County Cricket Ground. Taunton, nestling on the banks of the river Tone, is the gateway to Devon and half way house to Cornwall. Bridgwater, Wellington and other parts of Somerset are all within easy reach. Nearby attractions are Dartmoor and Exmoor with 14 areas of natural beauty and over 600 miles of dramatic coastline. The Holiday Inn Taunton has a Spirit club with indoor 15 metre swimming pool, sauna, solarium and fully equipped gym.This Somerset Hotel has 99 air conditioned bedrooms including wheelchair accessible rooms and 24 hour room service. Our large lounge area, which serves a wide selection of food and beverages, is ideal for informal meetings or just relaxing. (Under 12s Stay & Eat Free) With 12 conference rooms that can accommodate from 2 - 280 delegates in purpose built air conditioned rooms with high speed internet access suitable for meetings, training, presentations, banquets, weddings, reunions & parties. We also have external team build areas. Holiday Inn Taunton has ample free parking and is suitable for coaches. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Taunton m5, Jct. 25 Hotel Taunton
- Taunton Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Taunton M5, Jct. 25 Somerset