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“Very uncomfortable”
Review of Shap Wells Hotel

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Shap Wells Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Shap
Cockermouth, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
329 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Very uncomfortable”
Reviewed 7 May 2014 via mobile

If I'm on a business trip the most important aspect of any hotel is that I can get a good nights sleep after a good meal, wake up refreshed and after a good breakfast feel ready to meet the day, head on and focused.
Well, now I know that I'll not be staying at this hotel again.
Reception was dull and dark and very basic, the room 109 was up and down stairs and corridors and looked out over a vast expanse of flat roof with the beautiful moors away in the distance.
Dinner was OK, if rather over cooked (Steak and Ale pie) the restaurant Manager obviously did his best to make the experience as enjoyable as
possible! Then off to bed, this was just about the most uncomfortable that I had tried to sleep on in many years and defeated my best efforts until exhaustion beat the discomfort at 0130.
I was awake again at 0530 after struggling to stay asleep since about 0500.
I went down for breakfast at 0730 and it was a rather greasy buffet which you had to fetch yourself though it was served for you in measured portions.
The best part of my visit was checking out.

Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
julian p, Guest Relations Manager at Shap Wells Hotel, responded to this review, 8 May 2014
I was sorry to read you felt your stay was very uncomfortable and you have stated you will not be staying again.
I will of course share the content of your review with the rest of the Team and try and identify why you had an uncomfortable stay.
Thank you for taking the time to put your comments on this site.

Regards

Guest Relations Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We booked this hotel at the last minute on a busy weekend, as many hotels were booked up, and we assumed that being a chain hotel it'd at least meet the basic required standards. We've never stayed at a BestWestern before, but we imagined it couldn't be so different to the Hiltons, Holiday Inns, Sheratons and Radissons with which we were more familiar. It seems in hindsight that we couldn't have been more wrong.

A party of three of us arrived quite late on a Saturday night, and we were taken up to our two rooms. We unpacked our stuff, and then I went into the toilet. I was about to sit down when I noticed a stain on the loo seat. Closer inspection revealed this to be faeces. It was also splattered round the inside of the loo. See attached photos if you really have the stomach. However, it is understandable that occasionally housekeeping may miss something, so if this was the only problem, I almost certainly wouldn't be writing this review.

As you would expect, I called the front desk, and the man on duty duly came up to inspect that my claims were true, and he then informed us that we'd be moved to a different room, with £10 taken off our bill per night. (All good so far!) After an experience like this, I was expecting to be moved to the best room in the hotel, but instead we were transferred to a small dark, dirty (see the other attached photos) room that stank of a combination of (1) years of accumulated cigarette smoke, (2) damp and (3) the rather nasty glade plug-in they were using to poorly mask the stench. However, by this point it was very late, and we were very tired, so we resolved to put up with it. So we opened the window in order to try to air the room enough that we could sleep.

After a while, the room started to get cold, though the stench showed no signs of moving, so we closed the window again, and turned the heating up to max. However, it seems that there heating is on a timer, so the heating didn't in fact come on until the morning, by which point it was rather too late. As a result, we were left shivering in the uncomfortable beds. Normally we throw covers and blankets off hotel beds (as these are rarely cleaned), and just use the duvet. However, this hotel didn't even provide duvets, only blankets and covers, all of which could be smelled even above the stink of the room. It was then really hard for both my wife and I to sleep, feeling as we did like we were sleeping in dirty rags in the outdoors. To add insult to injury, at one point in the night I discovered a large beetle on my pillow. Our difficulties in sleeping were compounded by the fact that the floors were very thin, so we were woken every time someone moved upstairs.

In the end, we snatched a few hours of sleep, and I got up hoping to revive myself with a nice warm shower. Unfortunately, the shower did not have a thermostatic valve, unlike most modern showers, so the temperature was continuously oscillating between scalding heat and freezing cold. (The bathroom was also not particularly clean, again see the attached photos.)

My wife had been quite upset by the state of the room, so she was adamant that we would cut short our planned two night stay after this night. So I trundled down to reception and settled the bill, mentioning our displeasure. The receptionist said that the manager would like to talk to me if I was unhappy, so we then waited for the manager to materialise. If I had never spoken to the manager, it is really quite unlikely I ever would have got round to posting this review. (I've taken photos of bad hotels in the past, but a combination of laziness and forgetfulness has usually prevented it getting any further.) However, the manager was so spectacularly rude on top of everything, that I really have no choice but to complain here.

I report my conversation with the manager as I remember it here:

Manager: "So I understand you want to talk to me?" [I didn't particularly...]
Me: "Umm, well, we were a bit unhappy with the poo on the toilet seat."
Manager: "Apologies for that. But I understand you were moved rooms, and you were given £10 off the rate."
Me: "We were also not happy with the cleanliness of the next room though."
Me [somewhat stupidly]: "I took some photos which will probably end up on tripadvisor." [I really just wanted to show him the photos, and the "probably" was meant to suggest that if the matter was resolved satisfactorily (e.g. with a decent apology, and an acknowledgement of the problems etc.) then they wouldn't.]
Manager [flustered]: "Why would you take photos? What benefit does it do you to take photos? What kind of person takes photos of hotel rooms?"
Me [meekly]: "Well, it's for the good of the community. To inform others."
Manager [now shouting]: "This was a simple human error from housekeeping. I apologised. What good does it do you or me to put them on -swearword- tripadvisor."
[I get up to walk away.]
Manager [screaming]: "Go on, write a review on tripadvisor then. We have good reviews 4 out of 5! See what difference it makes."

So, here I am, following the managers kind advice and writing a review on tripadvisor. Given that at every step along the way when they had an option to fix the problem at least well enough that I'd be too lazy to write this review, they chose to make it worse, I'm not sure what choice I had. I will never be staying in a BestWestern again. I suggest you don't either.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank seaephpea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
julian p, Guest Relations Manager at Shap Wells Hotel, responded to this review, 7 May 2014
I was very disappointed to read about your experience during your visit to the Hotel and your subsequent meeting with the Manager on the Sunday morning.
I understand that at that meeting you pulled out your phone and you advised the Manager that you had taken photographs of the Toilet and other photographs of the Bathroom and you were going to post them on Tripadvisor so other people could be made aware of the standard of Hygiene at the Hotel.
In your review you stated that you would not have posted a review but you changed your mind after meeting with the Manager this is slightly different to what you actually said to the Manager..
The Hotel receives many positive reviews I am sure people reading your comments will make their own judgement on the Hotel and certainly the positive comments out weigh the negative feedback posted on this site.
There is a score of 4/5 for the Hotel on Tripadvisor with points accumulated from previous reviews we believe this a true reflection on the Hotel and the experience we provide.to our guests.
I am sorry we did not meet your expectations on your stay with us.

Regards

Guest Relations Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We stayed at this hotel Saturday night with GB tours. It was out in the wilds but impressive. The reception lady, who was German I think, was a little curt in manner but tried her best to be helpful. The manager was very helpful especially when we missed our dinner call and he had this situation sorted out in five minutes. The serving people were excellent and extremelly affable. All this and the red squirrels within a five minute walk next morning.

We would heartily recommend this art deco hotel and its beautiful adjacent scenery.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jinnes7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
julian p, Guest Relations Manager at Shap Wells Hotel, responded to this review, 7 May 2014
Thank you for your review after your overnight stay with GB Tours. I was very pleased to read you found your stay " Most Enjoyable " we have received some negative comments from other guests staying over the Bank Holiday weekend so it was refreshing to read that the Hotel provided you with a good experience.
Once again thank you for your excellent feedback.

Regards

Guest Relations Manager..
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albany, New York
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

I got here courtesy of Go Ahead tours. When we checked in the manager was horrible to a few people in our group. And no, they weren't Americans- they were from Canada. He was disrespectful to 2 of the women and when one of their family members asked why - he became downright nasty. The woman that checked me in had an attitude and I hadn't even said anything to her. She was telling me how to get to my room and made a snide remark about how "they con side the 2nd floor as the first floor and they know American's don't see it that way but that is the way it is"...Wow. I managed to find my room after walking down several halls to get there ( the directions she gave me said one turn and I'm there, it was several turns) The floor boards seemed to sway as I walked down the halls. I turned on the heat and went downstairs to give it time to warm up. Oh by the way my room? My first thought was..Hobbit room. It was that tiny.
I walked around outside, realized we were no where near anyplace else. I then went to dinner. It was ok. The group and I realized everyone else in the hotel seemed to be over 80 years old. Which was fine, I talked to a few people who seemed surprise to see anyone younger around. But they were nice people. I got back to my room and the heat hadn't come on. I called the front desk and she said they forgot to flick the switch. I waited 2 hours -still no heat- called again-she came up and turned it up full blast and told me if I still didn't get heat there was an extra blanket. They had no other rooms or heaters..It was freezing! We complained to our guide that we wanted out of the place and he spoke to the tour company and they said we were stuck basically for the second night. Oh yes..how could I forget--the toilets had to be pumped like you were pumping a keg to get them to flush...8, 9, 10 times. I would never stay in this place again! I can't believe this is a Best Western hotel.

Room Tip: Don't bother
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank penneyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
julian p, Guest Relations Manager at Shap Wells Hotel, responded to this review, 6 May 2014
Thank you for taking the the time to put a review on this site ...... It is now the month of May 2014 and your visit was in March 2014 we have already responded to a similar type of review which was like yours very negative about your 2 Night Stay at the Hotel.
We had other Groups staying at the time and they had no issues it appears that your Tour Operator chose the wrong type of Hotel for you.

Regards

Guest Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Netley, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Yes, there was one. A no eye deer boggling at me with an empty eye at the top of the stairs on the second floor and I'm afraid it is an omen for your stay. The atmosphere of the drive up to the hotel sets the scene for the horror that awaits you at the Shap Wells 'Best' Western. The hotel can best be described as a combination of three well known dramas, it sports the décor and ambience of The Shining, the staff from Fawlty Towers and the scene from the film Genevieve where Alan and Wendy stay at the hotel in Brighton. If you are not familiar with these films I suggest you watch them before you stay here to prepare yourself, if nothing else at least you will be able to then laugh at the comedy moments...it is either that or cry.

Upon arriving at the hotel we had to park in a field as the car park was full, we were only staying a night but had large suitcases from our week away so we had a fair way to drag them, then balance with them across a cattle grid as someone had parked in front of the gate. At reception we stood, and waited whilst observing the three staff who pretended not notice us for a good five minutes. When we were eventually acknowledged we asked a very young looking man in a suit what time dinner was served until "9.30 but we are fully booked at 8.45 you can eat at 8.30 but you'll have to be quick". We asked if they had space at 8pm (15 mins away), "we are fully booked at 8.45 but you can have a table at 8". This was repeated a few more times. Needless to say we were still in the restaurant at 8.45 and it was empty - I suspect it was because they wanted to close the restaurant early but there was no need to lie!

We lugged our large cases up to the second floor (the lift was broken) and found ourselves in a dismal, dated and dirty room. The bed sheet were one of the only clean things thank goodness! We headed down to dinner and waited to be seated as advised by the sign and again were ignored, this time for 10 minutes. The other diners watched us with amusement. I suspect the aged Manuel may have been hard of hearing as he ignored us when we called out to him. Eventually we were seated and given the set menu (the only available) so my requirements for a small meal was scuppered. The large function in the room next door was booming away whilst we ate an enormous three course meal of poor quality. Doilies are the order of the day and three pieces of poor quality bread (for two people) were served to us followed by defrosted starter, a tasteless gammon steak, and a lemon meringue pie that had been defrosted after a decade in the freezer. Thank god we had a soup spoon and fish knife available on the table!

The party boomed on with people shouting and running up and down the corridors most of the night. My husband and I were in the middle of a long drive back home so had hoped for a restful night. I decided to watch "Escape from Alcatraz" (apt) on the telly to dampen the noise of the party but a sign came up at midnight to say the telly would be powering down. Alcatraz disappeared and the telly went dead, unfortunately the party continued for another 20 minutes, followed by drunken guests running and giggling loudly in the corridors.

At breakfast we were greeted with "good morning" and were shown to a table where the female member of staff pointed at the cooked buffet "cooked breakfast there" then the cereal bar "cereal there, someone will come with your tea or coffee". As you can guess, they didn't so we tried Manuel again with no success and gave up and got our greasy cooked breakfast. Eventually we found someone to ask for tea.

When we were due to leave "horay!" my husband asked me what I was going to say when they asked me on checking out, had I enjoyed my stay? I said that I would simply say, no not really and then explain why. After bidding farewell to the no eye deer at the top of the stairs, lugging our heavy suitcases downstairs, and breathing a sigh of relief we checked out and I waited... But they didn't ask! I wasn't entirely surprised as I suspect they get a lot of grief. So Tripadvisor was my only feedback option. £85 is a joke! The line between laughing and crying at this one was at it's thinnest. At least my husband and I have our own Genevieve moment to look back and laugh about for the next 40 years!

Don't do it people! Save yourselves!

(Wish I'd taken a photo of that deer - if anyone else sees it please take one and put it on here!)

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gingerbreading
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
julian p, Guest Relations Manager at Shap Wells Hotel, responded to this review, 7 May 2014
Thank you for review.
When our future guests visit the Hotel and then take the time to write a review I am sure their experience will not have been as you wrote a horror awaiting.
This site gives people the opportunity to put their experiences of an establishment either good or bad and these reviews can then be viewed by other prospective visitors. Thankfully the Hotel is given an opportunity to respond to such reviews.I was very surprised to read the content of such an extensive review and even more surprised you didnt wish to speak to a Manager on your departure with so many alleged issues you had during your stay.
The Hotel receives very many complimentary reviews hence a rating of 4/5 which certainly does not put us in the category " No eye deer ".
We take all feedback very seriously and I will of course share the content of your review with the Team.

Regards

Guest Relations Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ennis, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

A surprisingly lovely place a few minutes off the M6. Excellent walks and a great Lake District base. Really good breakfast but our room was too warm and this couldn't be fixed. Fine gardens with the waters running through. It's a really beautiful part of England and the hotel offers all sorts of special attractions - see it on the web.

Room Tip: Drive a mile or so away before you begin your walk
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RovingMike123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
julian p, Guest Relations Manager at Shap Wells Hotel, responded to this review, 6 May 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review .
I was pleased to read your very positive comments I hope we have the opportunity to see you again at the Hotel in the near future.

Regards

Guest Relations 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 Shap Wells Hotel

Property: Shap Wells Hotel
Address: | between the A6 and B6261, Shap CA10 3QU, England (Formerly Best Western Shap Wells Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Eden District > Shap
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Shap
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Shap Wells Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 98
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Superbreak UK, Hotels.com, Evoline ltd, Cancelon, HotelQuickly and LateRooms so you can book your Shap Wells Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Best Western Penrith
Penrith Best Western
Shap Wells Hotel Cumbria

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