Having parked dutifully in the spare overflow car park (noticing that the MacDonald’s Compleat Angler management parking spaces are much closer to the hotel!) I carry my own bags to reception, where I wait for the one receptionist to check in 3 other guests (strange that the other check in desk is empty)…
When I do get to check in some 10 minutes later, the check in lady asked me if I wanted to charge drinks to my room (well, of course!) and she says OK, we will debit £100 extra from your debit card…. I guess by now you are now understanding that I am not getting a warm fluffy feeling from my stay…..I ask what time is Sunday breakfast…10 am is the (somewhat stern) reply…. I never understand why hotels don’t get that some people like a lazy Sunday morning which at home means I don’t tend to sit down until 10.30 or 11 am… but hey ho….
Anyway, check in completes (amazed that my forms are not yet ready for signature when I arrive) I then stumble upstairs with my own bags (no one around to offer to carry or indeed to show me to my room), only to find I went up the wrong stairs, back downstairs and up another set of stairs to eventually find my room…. Air conditioning doesn’t work, but not that bothered as I want a drink by now, so I skip downstairs to the lovely garden where there are several of my (somewhat annoyed as well) friends. I sit down, take in the beautiful view, relax, and ask one of the waiters if I could please have a drink. “The bar is inside sir and we don’t serve drinks outside”….well now there’s a surprise. A hotel with an idyllic location and beautiful garden, but no drinks served on the lawn, despite there being 30 or 40 guests there…. Not wanting to delay further, I wander inside to the bar… which is manned by 1 barman…. I wait behind the other queing guests (I guess 10 minutes but by now I may be prone to exaggeration), ask for a glass of Pimms, and am presented with a chit to sign before my drink is poured….. I wander outside and relax….
During the course of the evening, I had the idiotic idea that I might want another drink or two and each time I had to queue at the bar, indeed once I had to potter off to reception to ask if it would be possible to get some service as the bar was deserted (save for us annoying guests who were looking to drink…..).
I was sad not to dine there as the food looked delicious, but I was at a friend’s dinner….
On return from my friends dinner I found the bar to be in full swing, swing of course meaning queuing, and boy did we queue…interestingly there were 2 young lads doing their best to cope at around 10.30 pm, but not one sign of anyone managing, so no point in me making my point to someone in coontrol then….
Eventually, suitably drunk, I totter off to bed, cleverly remembering to take the right staircase this time, despite my few (could have been more but took too long to get served) drinks…
Room and bed clean (but interestingly bed not turned down as me, in my stupid world of value, had imagined it might) and brush my teeth, just like my parents taught me, open the window (AC still not functioning or maybe I’m stupid and can’t work out the controls) and drop off into a deep sleep…..ahhhhhhh
Until around 4 am when I am woken by shouting in the courtyard, not of a guest, or a stray member of public, but a member of staff, screaming at some poor (I have no idea where they got their drinks from because it cannot have been the bar) and presumably slightly tipsy guests “WILL YOU PLEASE KEEP QUIET THERE ARE PEOPLE TRYING TO SLEEP!” well, not me anymore, but never mind, I was in the Army and have the ability to go straight back to sleep… I have some weird dream about a member of your staff gently tapping on an offending guest door and whispering, “please can you keep it down a bit as you may disturb other guests”…
I wake up like a lamb and spring out of bed at 9.40, shower quickly (nice soap by the way) and run downstairs to catch breakfast. I sit on the terrace and take in the beautiful morning… at 9.50, I’m getting a little worried about your deadline, so I ask the 4th member of staff if I could please get some breakfast (yes, the other 3 ignored me) and he very kindly takes my order. Foolishly, I wanted a café latte with my breakfast, which caused quite some consternation as there is some rather tepid stwed coffee on the buffet, which was quickly allayed when I said I would pay for it on my pre charged credit card which had been debited the day before…Phew, managed to get my (quite delicious) kippers and eggs… finish breakfast and wander back to the garden as I am (I hate to admit) a smoker and fancy a quick puff with my second café latte of the day (takes a bit of caffeine to get me going on a Sunday so early). Damn, my lighter has run out so go and ask the bar for some matches. Duoh, silly me, I know I am a social pariah by smoking, but really sir, you don’t think we would be so foolish as to support your disgusting habit by stocking matches do you?….Pffft….. My apologies (and sorry, but a wandering member of public kindly gave me a light!)… Sit with my friends, one of whom is scowling as he has just been told to get his own ice from the (once again unmanned) bar inside as the (lovely looking and apparently fully staffed) outside bar doesn’t serve until after midday and the other who is complaining as he had been shouted at by a member of staff at 4am… (I think we touched on that already)
Anyway, now time is rushing by and its 10.45 and I know that I have to check out by 11 (which is about as early as Mrs Minging’s excellent boarding house in Eastbourne, but by now, I’m kind of getting that the Compleat Angler isn’t there for my enjoyment) so I bound up to my room, pop my key card in and……
And pop my key card in….
And pop my key card in…
Nothing except a red flashing light….
Rush downstairs (now worrying that I may be charged a late checkout fee) and only one check out girl and no one else around. Hopping from foot to foot like a child desperate for the loo, eventually I get to her at 10.55 and explain my key card isn’t working “well sir we stop all the cards working at 11 am as that is check out time”, look at my (quite expensive and very reliable radio controlled) watch, show her the time and suggest that a solution might be for someone to just let me get my bags, rather than bollock me for being 5 minutes early and let me get the hell out of this place…. (I shouldn’t, but will, mention the scene that goes through my head from that great movie with Michael Douglas “falling Down” where he is denied breakfast at 11.34 am- in case you haven’t ever seen it, do please watch here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eREiQhBDIk and won’t mention the similarities between the burger joint and MacDonald’s- think about the link…and the name of your chain…)
Anyway, I do apologise for taking up your time, but I just thought I’d tell you my thoughts…
Oh and in case you think I am just a whingeing person, do pelase also have a look at my review of the Gran Melia Victoria that I stayed in last weekend (for less than £100) http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187463-d228620-Reviews-Gran_Melia_Victoria-Palma_de_Mallorca_Majorca_Balearic_Islands.html (where incidentally teh check in lady told me that breakfast was up until 12.00 midday (imagine my joy!))
Oh just a final point… I was delighted not to be charged for an extra room, your booking team rang me in the week prior to my stay to ask me about the “2” rooms I had booked (I know I am a little overweight, but I’m not that big…) but was surprised to see an “optional service charge” as an individual entry on my bill, I will admit I had a little giggle to myself
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Named after Izaak Walton's famous book on angling, the beautiful four-red star Macdonald Compleat Angler is idyllically located on the banks of the River Thames. The hotel is just a short walk from the Georgian town of Marlow, 10 minutes drive from the M4 and just over an hour away from Central London by train. Beautiful both inside and out, enjoy mouthwatering meals from the recently refurbished, three AA rosette-awarded Riverside Restaurant overlooking Marlow Weir or delicious afternoon tea on the terrace. Alternatively, dine in Sindhu by Michelin-starred Indian Chef, Atul Kochhar. For meetings, strategy days or conferences, our meeting facilities are ideal and our 2 brand new SMART board technology board rooms perfect for inspiring great ideas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Macdonald Compleat Angler Marlow
- Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel Marlow