Four night DBB stay staring Saturday 17th November (2012) leaving Wednesday 21st November
This is our third stay at the ‘Grand’ and I want to start my review some positives. This is a fantastic Victorian building and the main public areas are wonderful. Walking down the main staircase is very ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ (Or ‘Downton’). I note a lot of reviews comment on the rooms here. Personally, our experience has not been too bad and yes we have had one of the windowless underground rooms and indeed even when we have had a window it has either looked out onto a wall or the steps at the back of the hotel! As stated above this is a Victorian building and if you want Premier Inn (or others) type cloned rooms don’t come here! The rooms are not perfect and the furniture is not ultra modern but does fit into the surroundings. Many rooms have good views (but we have always seemed to fail in getting one!) and bathrooms have Spa baths!
Unfortunately we have been very disappointed with our latest stay and feel we need to make our feelings known particularly to Britannia Hotels who own and run the Grand and two other hotels in Scarborough.
We arrived on Saturday and found our room was on the sixth floor under one of the turrets, small window but just outside it is an 8 foot brick balustrade (so you could see a bit of sky if you looked up!). Room and bathroom as expected generally clean.
Dinner Saturday evening. A complete nightmare! Was meant to be a Christmas dinner we queued down the stairs before entering a dining room in chaos, and a restaurant manager who had no idea of how to put things right! Note we have been before and we do know about the dining room but this was the worst we had ever seen. There was simply not enough staff to cope with the workload. Food was not being replenished and tables not being prepared. A shocking experience!
After dinner coffee and tea are served in the main bar (in flasks!). This might be ok for coffee but tea? And on this Saturday again lack of staff seemed to mean they were empty much of the time. The Grand has two bars the main large one and a small one near the Cabaret room. Note the Grand has a number of ‘drinks promotions’ (99p or Prepaid) but we were cash customers. Getting a drink throughout Saturday night was awful again queue was out the door for a good two hours (see picture). At one point there was only one bar person serving! Paying customers were meant to use the smaller bar but at one point no staff! Sorry if Britannia is going to have these drinks deals they need to staff it!
Sunday morning, breakfast! Oh my god! Huge queue all down the stairs. Finally got in and had to clear and lay our own table! Staff doing their best they could but just not enough of them! Spoke to Restaurant manager and rather than sympathy or an apology was told it was because we all came down for breakfast together on a Sunday! And I foolishly thought I was the customer and I was on Holiday! OK if it is a problem inform people beforehand (advertise) a traffic light system maybe saying when the busiest times are. But fact is the hotel is busy so busy times need staff responding to the need; we pay for this service!
Sunday dinner, calmer did queue again and had to wait for a table to be made up (by the manager!) better experience but still understaffed! Didn’t get any coffee though the flasks were empty again! There were similar problems in the bar for drinks deals although I did get served as a cash customer at other bar OK.
Monday breakfast, surprise surprise a huge queue perhaps we all come down for breakfast at the same time! Once in dining room see the reason why; only three or four staff and only two-thirds of dining room being used! Again food not being topped up and staff their trying best to clear space.
Monday dinner was the straw which broke the camel’s back. Huge amount of coach guests arrived today (the bread and butter of the hotel!) Dining rooms was clearly not coping as many grumbles but we were confronted with a bigger queue than ever. Wife complained to reception and one of the managers upgraded us to premier dining! Wow! No queue, no rush, hot food and nice service! If you are a cash customer pay the extra for this it is far less stressful! So thank you the manager who did this the rest of our meals were very good and we were well looked after!
Must note here also that we had not paid top price and indeed you can get some very good deals at this hotel often less than a B&B. But some people are paying top prices and whatever the price you expect basic good service and all I am talking about here is that!
Most hoteliers would give an arm and a leg to have ‘occupancy’ levels like the Grand and it is fantastic that the hotel and its owners can achieve this and I wish them well with this but after our recent experiences I have some questions for Britannia hotels.
I would strongly recommend the company (Britannia hotels) Chief Executive should go undercover and have a look at the service being provided and the moral of the staff who work hard to trying to do the work of multiple staff. Are staffing levels able to maintain a standard you require? Do the Company care about poor feedback? Do the Company want loyal, hard-working staff who feel valued and cared about?
As noted above the ‘bread and butter’ of the Grand are Coach parties and it is well known that tour companies do not pay ‘top-dollar’ for their accommodations. But if you are taking in hundreds of these guests each week you have to give them a reasonable level of service, don’t you? This weekend even some of these were not happy. What are you going to do if the operators pull out? Or will this not happen as the tour company is also part of the Hotel chain! Even so guests will stop coming!
The Grand is an iconic building and we believe that Britannia have a massive responsibility to ensure that it survives. This said with the poor service and lack of ‘care’ we are worried that this is not a responsibility that is being taken seriously. The main dining room is currently running with condensation and there is now considerable (black) mould on walls and window frames. This building needs some tender loving care. Yes this is a massive investment but the Company are making money at the Grand. Indeed some care and attention may mean prices could rise but not unless the problems are sorted out.
I noted that Britannia have also take on two other Hotels and a close look at both show the need for some work on the fabric. Is Britannia in for a quick buck and then going to dump these hotels as they fall down? I hope not!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the Town Centre, the Grand Scarborough Hotel takes pride of place overlooking the town's harbour and South Bay. One of the town's landmark features and instantly recognisable on the skyline. Our location is ideal in Scarborough from which to enjoy beautiful sandy beaches, promenade walks and all that Scarborough has to offer, all within a short stroll away. LIVE entertainment is available every night with our dazzling cabaret shows featuring professional dancers and entertainers dressed in stunning costumes. We offer free wifi with all of our public spaces, along with dedicated PC terminals (small charge) for customers who do not bring their own computer. We have a range of meeting rooms, conference space with break out area and our stunning Palm Court Ballroom with majestic views of the south bay for hire, including weddings (ceremony & function). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Scarborough Grand Hotel
- Grand Scarborough
- The Grand Hotel Scarborough