My mother likes this old hotel in Buxton so we decided to take her for lunch today.
On the positive side the food was very nice and the Chef was a very friendly man. He told us it was his first day. He was very accommodating and pleasant. It was just a shame about the rest.
The service was dismal. I have never written on trip advisor before but truly, this was terrible.
Firstly, we ordered our starters. All went OK. We sat for a while but were not offered any drinks. We asked if we could have a wine menu and order some drinks. 'Yes' we were told 'I'll bring a menu over'. Some of the starters arrived....still no drinks. We got up, crossed the room and asked the AM if we could order some drinks. We think it would have been looked upon more favourably if we had just bought out own bottles of pop.
The children's starter was advertised as vegetable sticks with dips (no dips). We asked if we could have the dips for the starter. 'Yes', we were told. 'What dips would you like?' 'Well the ones that come with the starter please'. 'OK' the girl told us 'I could get you some mayonnaise'. We thought that would be OK (though it seemed strange to advertise a product with dips if it doesn't actually have dips). Meanwhile....no drinks.
Some of our 11 people party were nearing the end of their starters so we asked if we could have the other starters. After some time (when the rest of the party had completed their starters) the rest of them arrived. No apology. We ate our starters (all delicious we must say).
Starters completed....we were getting a bit thirsty. The waitress bought us a wine menu and we ordered drinks.
We sat surrounded by our empty plates for a while (still quite thirsty). We made a decision to go up to the cavery and get our food. Our table was cleared and the drinks arrived (at last!).
The carvery was lovely and at this point we encountered the friendly Chef (nice to see a friendly face!).
Whilst eating our meals we looked around for a waitress to ask if they could bring the children's main meals to us. No joy so again one of us left the table and crossed the room to ask.
After we had eaten I suggested that we avoid pudding and move on but the children protested to no ice cream. Reluctantly, we ordered puddings and coffees.
My sister ordered a Machiato coffee (which should look like an espresso). We asked the lady (politely) if the drink she had bought over was a Machiato as it looked like a Latte. We were rebuffed with the comment 'I just press the button and thats what comes out'. Well, fair enough, but a small amount of customer service wouldn't go amiss. It's a great line but it's a good job a lot of other professions don't use it (I am thinking particularly the midwife profession).
In all seriousness though this really was an overall disaster in terms of service. I have been a waitress in my youth and am well aware of the pressures of a busy restaurant but this place wasn't even busy. There were a few tables with diners on but the staff seemed to have plenty of time to chat amongst them selves. There did seem to be just 1 girl waiting on the majority of people.
Never in our lives have we not left a tip as we are aware that most of the time the staff are doing their best but these staff did not seem to be stretching themselves to reach even 1 foot in front of them.
I am afraid we won't be frequenting the Palace again for lunch despite the lovely food and nice Chef.
I hope that this chain invests in it's staff a bit more to develop their skills.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Victorian Palace Hotel sits in 5 acres of landscaped gardens in the spa town of Buxton. Ideally located for visiting Buxton Opera House and exploring the Peak District National Park, Britain's first National Park and one of the country's most popular walking destinations, this hotel has an imposing facade and opulent interior to provide an unforgettable backdrop for any occasion. With 122 bedrooms, including 12 premium rooms, a Health & Leisure club with swimming pool, gym and beauty rooms, and a restaurant using local ingredients to prepare British and Continental cuisine, it's the perfect spot for a country town retreat. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palace Hotel Buxton
- Palace Buxton
- Buxton Hotel Palace
- Barcelo Buxton
- Hotel Palace Buxton
- The Palace Hotel Buxton, Derbyshire