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“Good food abysmal service”

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The Elephant at Pangbourne
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Pangbourne
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 November 2013

There is an attractive Indian theme with a huge elephant in the foyer. The food at The Elephant is very good indeed. An imaginative selection of dishes made with good fresh food. However, the service is usually very bad indeed. If you have a bar meal, the barmaid is likely to vanish so you can't ask for anything. Often cutlery is not supplied leaving the guests to go hunting through the dining room
I stayed in the hotel with my husband and dog and it was utterly frightful. It was the middle of Winter and the radiator did not work. There was a howling draft coming in under the one inch gap under the door. The sharp broken piece on the chair scrapped my leg and laddered my stockings. The room was filthy with a stained carpet. I wrote to list my complaints but never received a reply!

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2  Thank Dordie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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247 - 253 of 375 reviews

Reviewed 28 October 2013

I could unfortunately only stay one night and arrived at 7pm and left by 8am the following morning but in that time I experienced fantastic service from all staff, an amazingly comfortable room with beautiful surrounds and some of the nicest food I've had in a long time.

A real gem of a hotel.

What's more, when I had breakfast, the kitchen offered to make me a bacon sandwich for my journey as they knew I had to leave early. Outstanding service and I'll be back without a shadow of a doubt - next time though, with more free time to really enjoy the hotel and surrounding area. Heartily recommended.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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Thank m0nkey123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter S, Manager at The Elephant at Pangbourne, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Thank you for such a glowing review, i will be sure to pass these kind comments on to the staff who will be delighted they made your stay enjoyable. We hope to see you again in the near future. Kind regards Peter

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Reviewed 26 October 2013

Stayed one night with my sister. A really "different " hotel. The rooms are "themed" - ours was very Raj - a very comfortable room looking onto the lovely gardens to the rear - very quiet . Everything we could want in the room. The breakfast was good - anything you could want. The staff very friendly and helpful. A good location in Pangbourne to explore the area. Would definitely return.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Janie000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter S, Manager at The Elephant at Pangbourne, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Thanks for leaving your feedback, I'm really pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay & we all look forward to welcoming you back in the near future. Kind regards
Peter

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Reviewed 19 October 2013

Great little self-confessed "quirky" hotel. Late evening check-in was a pleasant, efficient, no fuss experience; bar and restaurant staff were friendly and helpful; bar food was well presented, tasty and great value; 1930's themed room was comfortable with a very very comfortable bed/linen; nice bathroom, good working shower (quite often overlooked in smaller hotels and pub inns). All in all, I awoke the next morning feeling good, ready to face the working day. And then, checkout...

Receptionist: "Computer's down. You can leave your credit card details and I'll do your bill later, ok?".
Me: "How much? I'd like to pay you now if I may" (I had had a recent bad experience with an open ended credit card transaction elsewhere)
Receptionist: "Sir, as I said, computer's down. I don't know. Leave your credit card details and I'll do your bill later"

I informed her that the room rate was fixed and known (I had booked through an online booking site, and filled in a form at check-in which contained b&b room rate details), and I had had a bar meal booked to the room (price was on the menu - I had paid cash for drinks). They appear not to run a signed chit system to support billing for meals etc which might have helped in this situation. I asked for a price so that I could at least pay before I left - I was happy to have the receipt forwarded by email later.

It was at this point that I was accused of being "rude" for not understanding her problem. She went off in a huff to find a bar menu. On her return I offered an apology for appearing to be rude to her, indicating that was not my intention.

Receptionist: "Well, yes sir, you were very rude. You can see that I have a problem with my system. That's not my fault, you know. I would have thought you might be more understanding" etc etc.

Hmm. Despite the attitude, she came up with a figure, I paid and left. It took three chases to receive a receipt by email four days later.
I had thus far enjoyed my stay and had intended to book in for four days for the following week, but after that experience, I elected not to. I guess that's £500+ (and good feedback) this hotel just doesn't need.

Perhaps I missed the point and this is a feature of a "quirky" hotel - I don't think so though.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Brian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter S, Operations Manager at The Elephant at Pangbourne, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience & for your time on the telephone earlier. As discussed I would like to apologise for the poor service you experienced during check out and would like to reiterate that this is not our usual standard and is something I will look into further. I was really pleased that you enjoyed the rest of your stay and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

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Reviewed 16 October 2013

We had a small room but it was adequate for our needs It had a very comfortable bed so sleep quality was good We had dinner in the bar on the 2nd evening It was well cooked and presented The staff were attentive and polite especially the Spanish waitress at breakfast

Room Tip: We have stayed here before and the 1st time had a bigger room Ask when booking. Room 11 had an extra...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank vwcamperLakeDistrict
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2013

From the moment you enter the building you are made welcome , had room 1 - NO Noise - nice view over the gardens ( but up some steps to the room if you are bad on your legs) Superb comfortable bed - I could have slept a week in it. The Restaurant was so accommodating - two of our party arrived as the were taking last orders and the staff all played down any problems it caused them. a GREAT wine selection. Basically - not to be missed.

Room Tip: There is so littlke traffic it really does not matter but I like a garden view.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank BrandlerGalleries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2013 via mobile

The hotel is nice, quite well positioned, but to expensive considering that near is possible to go in a bed and breakfast.
We had to stop over there because we didn't booked anything in advance, otherwise I declined.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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2  Thank Martino_Rugby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter S, Operations Manager at The Elephant at Pangbourne, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2013

Thanks for your review; I'm glad you found our hotel nice & well positioned although I'm sorry you felt we were expensive. Keep your eye out for our special offers on the website and hopefully see you again soon.

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Additional Information about The Elephant at Pangbourne

Address: 3 Church Road, Pangbourne RG8 7AR, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Berkshire > Pangbourne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Pangbourne
Price Range: £75 - £140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Elephant at Pangbourne 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Elephant offers its guests an experience of quirky luxury and a warm welcome, whether staying overnight, dining in the restaurant, or having a relaxed drink in the bar. All 22 bedrooms are individual and furnished with handcrafted furniture, rich ornamental rugs and opulent fabrics. The bar, known as Babar, has a bistro feel, serving simple but excellent British produce, while the restaurant offers beautifully cooked unpretentious food in elegant surroundings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Elephant At Pangbourne Hotel Pangbourne
The Elephant Hotel Pangbourne
The Elephant Pangbourne
The Elephant At Pangbourne Berkshire

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