I would not recommend Highden to anyone after the shocking service we received on my wedding day. To the woman who was not kind enough to introduce herself, let me offer you some advice.
When greeting someone, saying hello is normally the way to go. Not storming towards them, standing in front of their photographer and acting in an aggressive way. We paid hundreds of dollars to get photos taken at the Highden on April 20. We called the night before to confirm our attendance. We gave you credit card details for payment. We called you when we were in the car on our way there.
Instead of a warm greeting, you called me a disorganised and rude bride, humiliating me in front of my bridal party. We had just arrived (A little late to be expected on a wedding day), the cars had just been parked, and as the weather was about to turn we thought we would take a quick photo while we were in the driveway before coming inside. Not one photo had been taken before the woman who only described herself as the owner came storming in. She spoke condescendingly to my uncle, one of the drivers of the cars before storming toward me and standing in my personal space. Lady, if you have forgotten who I am – I was the one in the big white dress, the bride, someone who was meant to be having the happiest day of her life.
You demanded that I check in RIGHT AWAY, and despite my polite request that we take one quick photo before heading inside you insisted that you had urgent things to do and that I had to go NOW. I picked up my dress and started heading inside to which you said “Well, no need for that attitude, you can take your photo if it means that much.” Actually, yes it did mean that much to me. It was my wedding day, and before that moment things were going perfect. You continued to try and argue with us despite saying that we could take a photo. It was confusing, you made such a point about having so much to do, yet it seemed all you wanted to do was to make us feel unwelcome, inferior and insignificant.
Never in my life have I been met with such arrogance, rudeness, disrespect and condescension. What confuses me more is that my husband ran to the car, got his wallet to pay you and yet you were standing around, continuing to annoy my drivers despite your insistence that we hurry because you were so busy.
My husband has worked for years in customer service and was gobsmacked as to how we, paying customers, were treated.
We paid the full amount for two hours, despite not having access to the whole building and left quickly as we felt unwelcome and didn’t appreciate the cold looks and terrible attitude directed our way.
My husband was part of a bridal party two years ago and enjoyed the service at the Highden. What has happened? You have lost great staff and our support. As we are a young couple, we have many engaged friends and will be advising that they stay well away from you.
We expect an apology, not only to myself and Steven. But also to our wedding party for the way we were treated. Refunding our money would also be a nice gesture, but most of all, we want to ensure that no-one else will be made to feel the way we did on our special day.
We had a great wedding day, it’s a shame you tried to taint it. Luckily our large number of guests made the day incredible and cheered us up after hearing about the experience we received from you.
I write this in the hopes that you will learn from our feedback. Your attitude did change once we had paid you, but we should never have been treated the way we were in the first place. We are people, not money bags and didn’t appreciate the disdainful and patronizing service we initially received.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on 36 acres of manicured parkland and formal rose gardens, Highden Manor Estate is registered as a Category 1 historic landmark property by The New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Built in 1896 as a country home for a Wellington Member of Parliament, The Right Honourable Walter Woods Johnston and his wife Celia, this is now a Hotel & Venue in the Manawatu countryside, just 15 minutes drive from the city of Palmerston North. Restored to its original grandeur, the Manor welcomes guests for overnight stays, conferences, weddings, private functions, retreats, and offers the perfect venue for a multitude of special occasions. Ask about the "Exclusive Use" options for your occasion, or hire the public rooms and garden and create your own event. A truly private retreat property, Highden is "An Experience" not to be missed. ... more less
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