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“Disappointing.”

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Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Lymington
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 30 December 2012

On arrival at the hotel we booked in via reception which is situated in the main manor house building. It's at this point you are informed that the hotel rooms are situated in Motel like out buildings, don't get me wrong this is more than likely explained on the hotels website but it isn't how the hotel is portrade in pictures etc. You are given a small map to help you find your rooms, although a torch and a compass would also be helpful (especially if it's dark and raining as it was on our arrival). The rooms where a disappointment, we had booked a suit and although it was very clean and spacious it was quite dated and starting to show it's age. The electric wall heater in the bedroom didn't work but after a call to reception and an hours wait for a member of maintanence we were given a tempory upright electric heater. I would sum up the rooms as being functional but far from luxurious.
For a our evening meal we decided to eat at the Waterford restaurant as the Steak club looked more like a social club. To be honest I wish we had driven to a local restaurant as the food in the Waterford was poor to say the least. My wife's starter was average and my starter which was a winter broth was floating in grease. For our main course we both had the Ribeye steak which as it was served our waitress apologised for the poor quality of meat, but was politely told that there was not point sending it back because that was all they had. Deserts again a disappointment. Although the bar was well stocked.
Breakfast was mediocre although the deep-fried blackpudding which was still bubbling with fat and almost a liquid, and the watery runny scrambled egg where both inedible.
All the staff that we encountered we very friendly and professional, just a shame that they're sinking ship of a hotel let them down.
We booked this stay as a short romantic getaway for my wife's birthday, but left feeling very disappointed, tired and hungry.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Solexuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmelmers, General Manager at Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 March 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review left on the trip advisor website. I was sorry to read your feedback and I can assure you that this is not the standards we would like to portray.
Please accept my apologies for the breakdown of your heater and although it was remedied at some point I have asked the team to move our guest to a different room if this would happen again.
Regarding the entire food experience I have personally discussed your feedback with our Head Chef and although he was not aware of the complaint he has retrained his entire team on these particular items. Our black pudding is Stornoway black pudding of the highest quality and I can assure you that we do not deep fry it as it has to be grilled or would decompose in the fryer, we will monitor the quality of it to ensure of no further guest disappointment.
Regarding our rooms situated away from the Manor House reception , as you rightly mention it is indicated on our website, we are about to review our lighting and signage to improve guest’s direction to their room.
I can assure you that this are isolated incidents and not the usual standards we are renowned for.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you were visiting the New Forest and prepared to give us another chance at restoring your faith in our establishment.

Yours sincerely,


Jean-Marc Poumel
Resort General Manager

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1,256 - 1,262 of 1,571 reviews

Reviewed 29 December 2012

The main reason for leaving this negative review is due to the combination of a terrible experience and the very disappointing way in which it was handled by the general manager.

If you do not want to be bored with the details then trust me when I say....DO NOT GO TO THIS HOTEL. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE! SAVE YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT.

Please also note that I am not usually a complainer and it is the pure disappointment and the desire to have justice that has lead me to leave this review.

I booked a stay here on the 13/12/2012 for my Girlfriends Birthday. I read the positive reviews on here but how wrong I was to go here. I will bullet point all the issues to make it easier to read, but please read past these as the response from the general manager makes the whole experience even worse.

1. I was 100% NOT told that at the time of booking that the hotel restaurant was closed. On arrival we were told we would be eating in the Steak Club. This place is attached to the leisure facilities and is more like a social club than a restaurant. It has a bad ambiance and there was workmen using an angle grinder to cut reinforced steel outside during the meal. The heating had failed and the waitress couldn't find a portable heater for us so we had to wear our coats for the duration of the meal. This was handled badly with very little understanding or apology. There was aslo a TV on and leisure staff walking in and out at will. This is totally not acceptable as it was not relaxing at all. There is a serving hatch where you can see the chef and into the kitchen and the smell of food fills the restaurant area. They had to get butter bought over from the hotel which took 5 mins and the red wine was freezing cold.

2. They are trying to say that the afternoon tea was given to us as compensation, but I paid extra at the time of booking.

3. I had to go to reception to get someone to serve us as we had been waiting in the bar area for 10 minutes without being served or even seeing a member of staff.

4. Our hotel room was FREEZING COLD when we entered, so we put the tiny electric heater on. I was expecting it to heat up the room by the time we had returned, and it hadn't (5 Hrs later). Both myself and my partner were generally fed-up with the hotel by then and had given up on the whole experience. These rooms may look nice but they are not great. The window leaked a huge pool of water. The bathroom was freezing cold and the shower spurts water out in waves. The bed is 2 singles pushed together and the TV only gets 4 badly tuned channels.

5. The Spa was being renovated (we were informed of this).

6. At the time of booking the prices on the web were different than they are now. It was asking £15 per person for afternoon tea and £30 per head for the evening meal. Once at the hotel afternoon tea was advertised for £9.95 per head and we were only given £27.95 to spend in the restaurant. Please note that a fillet steak is £27 and a sirloin is £21. It's therefore tough to get a three course meal for £27.95 (which they tried to charge £30 for)!!


Rather than listening to constructive feedback from myself the general manager actually argued my points via a letter, basically saying the following:

I was informed of the closure of the restaurant (which I wasn't). Their words of response were "As I explained in my letter it is part of our reservation script to inform our guest of any of our outlets closure and Danica our Reservationist was adamant that she informed you of it. I am sorry if this was not the case".

I was told the heaters in the room are adequate (which they are not). I do not often moan about being cold. I actually like a cool room to sleep in, not a freezing room.

I was told that they don't remember me asking to have my afternoon tea served (Implying that I am a liar. This would be a strange thing to make up). The reply wrongly states the following: "Please accept my apologies for the misinterpretation of your introduction to Danica as you were introduced to Danica at the reception desk, however your afternoon tea had already been served by then and Antony our Reception Manager had no recollection of your demand for service. (WRONG - I went to find her as we had been waiting so long to be served, I asked if they would mind serving us I did not demand anything).

They said I must have been confused about the online pricing (nice to have it implied that I made the mistake, not them).

They just said "I fully appreciate that your dinner in the Scottish Steak Club was spoiled by the noise and our air conditioning unit failure" (That's it!! Thanks for appreciating this that makes me feel so much better).


When I complained I expected them to acknowledge my points not argue them. I was given an offer of complimentary Dinner for 2 with bedroom upgrade to one of our feature rooms. Why would I want this after I said I thought the hotel was terrible? I would have to drive 2 hrs 30 mins each way just to confirm to myself that the hotel is BAD!

Should the GM have not tried to talk his way out of this and actually acknowledge my points then I would not be complaining. The simple fact that they did not listen and then tried to imply I was at fault it why I am leaving this very long review.

PLEASE MAKE THIS HOTEL LISTEN AND BY NOT BOOKING TO GO THERE. HOPEFULLY THEY WILL NOT BE SO ARROGANT IN THE FUTURE!

Room Tip: Get them to put the heater on at least 6 hours before you arrive if it's a cold day. Even better...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Gary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmelmers, General Manager at Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 March 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review placed on the trip advisor website.
I was sorry to read your review and your refusal to accept our offer, which I thought was reasonable and fair.
I can assure you that I personally took your comments onboard hence the reason why I was prepared to invite you back for dinner.
To our eyes despite the quality of the food it was a downfall on our usually high standards and we would have been delighted to restore your faith in our Scottish Steak Club.
As I explained in my letter, we encourage guest to post constructive feedback on the trip advisor website and we would rather be judged on a positive experience however despite your threat of a negative review, we could not honor your demand of full refund as we felt that it was not justified.

As our previous correspondence we never advertised or charged the prices you mentioned as these prices have not been changed on our website since April 2012 when they were increased to the current prices. I explained in my letter that other hotels on our website have different pricing and you may have selected the wrong hotel option at some stage, I cannot see any other explanation to this confusion as we would have had records of these changes.

Regarding the room being cold, again, if you had let us known during your stay we would have brought an additional heater to your room, may I point out that we had 17 other bedrooms occupied that night and we had one request for an additional heater and no other complaint.

You did not pay additional money for the afternoon tea. I personally checked your bill and you only pay the basic offer rate, however you were, as a gesture of good will given afternoon tea instead of the “Bubbly and canapés” included in your package.
Regarding the rest of your feedback I can only base my reply on the result of our investigation and team statements, please accept my apologies if these were not entirely accurate however I have been working with these team members for few years now and I never had any reason to doubt their honesty and integrity.
Again I am sorry to read that we could not meet your expectations on this occasion and I hope that you will reconsider our offer. If you were visiting the New Forest you would be prepared to give us another chance to restore your faith in our establishment.

Yours sincerely,


Jean-Marc Poumel
Resort General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2012

had a work christmas party here and was not dissaponted as recamended it to my work as always enjoy the times i go there.
just to say was not let down the food and service was amazing could not fault a thing.
we will be back again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank GRAY123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmelmers, General Manager at Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 March 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your great comments left on the Trip Advisor Website, we were delighted to read that you really enjoyed your Christmas party at Elmers Court. I have feedback your comments with our team and they thank you for your kind words. We look forward to welcoming you back at Elmers Court in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely,

Jean-Marc Poumel
Resort General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2012

We wait all year for our work Christmas night out. Choose what we thought would be a nice place to go, however we were very disappointed.
The venue cost £27 per head, for a three course meal and dance. The theme was James Bond.
Off I go In my glad rags. Looking forward to the evening with my colleagues.
Drink in entry, ask if there was a soft drink, I was informed no, I would have to purchase from the bar.
Sat down for the meal, (Vegetarian). Started parsnip soup which was cold. Main course mushroom risotto. ( As usual ) there were two mushrooms and the risotto was stodgy. Sweet, I chose ginger basket with fruit. The ginger basket was solid, lucky I did not break any teeth.
No complimentary wine. The crackers had rubbish gimmicks.
We were then asked to go into the lounge so that the tables could be cleared ready for dancing. There was an option of tea/coffee and minced pies.
We were given a £50 voucher to play on the roulette and black jack tables.
Once all was set up we then returned the dance floor.
A disco was set up, however throughout the night t he same music was being played, the sort of music that would be played in a young night club.
When we complained to the Dj, we were informed that he has been a DJ for a long time and knows what music to play, he commented that there were people on the dance floor. I explained that there was no other option.
The age group dancing was the younger generation.
There was a mixed age group, however the older generation were not catered for.
Considering the price of the venue, without drinks it was very disappointing. I would not recommend Elma Court.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank teressa20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmelmers, General Manager at Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 March 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback left on the Tripadvisor website. I am sorry if we could not meet your expectations on the evening of your Christmas party. Although I feel that we offer great value for money and the feedback we had on the night from the other parties were second to none, I have feedback your comments to the DJ company which commented that a mix of age groups were present on the dance floor most of the night. I have discussed your comment regarding the food and again we had nothing but praise on all of our Christmas parties food all throughout December.
Regarding complimentary wine I do not understand your expectations as this was not included in the package you selected.

Yours sincerely,

Jean-Marc Poumel
Resort General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2012

We stayed as a family one weekend and for 8 of us, we booked 2 of the apartments by the waterfront, slightly away from the main hotel.
The main building is very impressive, however some of the other outbuildings aren't the prettiest from the outside. The apartments we stayed in had 2 double bedrooms, 1 full bathroom and another separate toilet, a small kitchen, a good size lounge area with a large dining table. It was absolutely ideal for a weekend away.
I was impressed with the bedroom sizes, the beds were very comfortable and the towels provided were soft and a decent size. The kitchen had a good size oven and a dishwasher, which came in very handy.
There were only a couple of downsides for me, the heating in the bathroom was virtually none existent, so it was quite chilly in the mornings, plus for 4 of us in one apartment, only one small shower gel was provided. We did notice that as a few of the other reviewers have commented, some of the bedrooms near the main building lacked privacy and we were glad we weren't staying there.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Travellover6128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2012

Booked a dinner, bed and breakfast spa break as a birthday treat for my husband. Selected and booked spa treatment time in advance and on the Sunday evening had the spa area nearly to ourselves. In addition to a seasonal outdoor pool there is a purpose built building housing the gym, spa treatment rooms, decent if shallow pool, large steam room and sauna. The decor is well designed and clean if looking a little tired. A full breakfast with great choices was served in the lounge bar area of the building. We had dinner in the beautiful manor house dining room and the quality and service was faultless. The chalet style rooms are spacious with good attention to detail and comfort. I was slightly disappointed with the lack of view over the Solent although in better weather we could have enjoyed the beautiful grounds and glorious location. If we were staying longer than our one night great value break then this would be a lovely place to stay and enjoy a day trip to the Isle of Wight, some time in the New Forest or enjoy the seaside.

Room Tip: Bare in mind that the rooms are separate from the main house where the evening meals are served and...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank debbythesea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmelmers, General Manager at Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 March 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your positive review on the Tripadvisor website. I look forward to your return in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely,

Jean-Marc Poumel
Resort General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2012

Stayed overnight in one of the timeshare apartments and couldnt fault the accomadation or the facilites, staff were also friendly and polite. The only down side was some sandwiches we ordered, which were overpriced and the bread was so stale it made them barely edible and put us off having a proper meal in the restaurant. I had wanted to complain but my partner reminded me we were there to relax and not complain about things, so l let the matter go although l strongly feel little things like this can let a place down lots.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kay L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gmelmers, General Manager at Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 March 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your positive review on the Tripadvisor website. I look forward to your return in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely,

Jean-Marc Poumel
Resort General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort

Address: South Baddesley Road, New Forest, Lymington SO41 5ZB, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > New Forest > Lymington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 Hotels in Lymington
Price Range: £85 - £351 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the stunning Solent Coast, this New Forest hotel is only 15 minutes' walk from the nearby town of Lymington. Set in a manor house dating from 1820 and surrounded by 23 acres of private grounds, the Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort is the ideal venue for a weekend break or a romantic wedding in the Hampshire countryside. Swim in the indoor or seasonal outdoor pool, book in for a spa treatment, dine in the elegant Waterford Restaurant or simply relax in the spacious accommodation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel And Resort
Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel Lymington
Macdonald Elmers Court Lymington
Elmers Court
Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort Lymington, New Forest

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