I should have been prepared from the hotel's responses to the negative reviews on Tripadvisor that this hotel deals well when things go right but goes on the attack if you have a problem.
Firstly let me say that the Metropole does get quite a few things right, the rooms are spotless, well decorated and have nice amenities. The pool and spa area is clean and tidy finished to a high standard with a decent sized (and not too busy) pool. the breakfast was good with nice vegetarian options.
It's worth pointing out that there is no air conditioning in the rooms and although it says in the welcome book that fans are available the one brought to us was about 10cm high and barely qualified as a desk fan. the person bringing its exact words were "I'm sorry it's a bit pitiful" - I do appreciate that we're in the middle of an unusual heat wave, but a £10 floor fan for every room wouldn't be too bad an investment, the room was stiflingly hot and we didn't sleep well despite a comfy bed.
Where the hotel falls down is in dealing with customers. For example, on arrival we were asked if we wanted a newspaper for an extra charge. We said, no thanks but on arrival in the room there was a note on the table saying "welcome to the executive room, please call reception to order a free newspaper" we did so and were told that we had booked an executive room not an 'executive package' (whatever that is) and that there will still be a charge despite it saying in the room it was free. When you pay £140 for a room having someone quibble over a £1 newspaper just seems a bit petty and penny-pinching.
On leaving we discovered we had overpaid by £14 as we had paid a deposit in advance and the remainder via vouchers. This COULD have been very easily sorted out as, in the end, the hotel gave us £14 of the deposit we paid to them rather than returning one of our £10 vouchers as they had already validated them.
However to get to the point of them returning the £14.. oh.. my.. god.. We have to REALLY fight with the receptionist and then duty manager to get the £14 back and it was completely unnecessary. The guy was going red in the face and telling us it was 'diabolical' that we should expect to get money back. I can think of dozens of ways that they could have dealt with this situation and we would have left the hotel happy and probably have come back - For example the hotel do their own vouchers - if they had said "look we can't refund your vouchers or the money you've already paid to us, but here's the same amount in hotel vouchers and why not have a coffee in the bar on us" we would have finished our stay happy and come back to stay with them another time (and definitely spent more than £14). But the last thing you want after a stay where you are supposed to be relaxing is someone trying to start a verbal fight with you; a little bit of training in how to deal with a conflict would go a long way here. We left with the impression that it was more about making sure that they held onto every possible penny they could rather than starting on the basis of the customer being right and trying to attract future custom.
We would never go back and I really can't recommend the Metropole to anyone as I'm sure if everything goes right with your stay then it's a great hotel, but just read the aggressive responses to people that have complained on Tripadvisor to get a flavour of how they deal with customer issues - I assumed the people on here in a previous review that were told to "stay or go" were exaggerating or being unfair but now I see what they mean. Take a chance if you like but woe betide you if anything goes wrong with your stay… you have been warned.
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- Also Known As:
- Metropole Hotel Llandrindod Wells, Wales - Powys