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“Disappointing twice!”

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Slepe Hall Hotel & Restaurant
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in St Ives
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 March 2014

We booked for 8 people (several quite elderly) for New Years Eve. It was advertised as a buffet with eatting times of 8 or 9 pm. We choose 8 as our elderly parents eat early and our children were going into town afterwards.

To summarise:

kept waiting for half an hour at the bar as the bar staff were unable to take the money for a bottle of wine. Staff told me that they had the two least experienced staff on the bar which does not make a good first impression.

The starter was served your table and then they started calling tables to visit the buffet. We were sitting right next to the buffet but they called tables from the far end of the hall first- mainly couples and small parties. We didn't get to the buffet until about 9.30 by which time we have watched people leaving with their plates piled high but we didn't have the choice of lamb as this had run out and apparently the beef are too rare for most people and by this time we were being served the food to you and my husband ended up with 1 slice of beef, two potatoes and a few vegetables for £60! The next and last table to us fared even worse as they served them what looked like scraps of ham from the kitchen! They did serve everybody a glass of Proseco at midnight which hadn't been included in the cost.

I emailed the hotel in early January regarding our disappointment with the evening. After not getting a reply within a week I emailed again stating that I was waiting for their response before posting on Tripadviser. Interestingly enough this got a response.

The manager left a message on my answerphone stating that he had been trying to contact me (he hadn't!) and he would call me back in a few days time. When I eventually spoke to him he was full of excuses and an apology 'the chefs last day, his idea to do the buffet, just got the hotel and re-training staff etc etc etc'. He offered us a complimentary 3 course meal for 8 which we decided to give them another chance.

I emailed him towards the end of January with a date in March for 8 people (in fact the weekend of my daughters 21st birthday). He emailed me back starting he wasn't sure he could do that date.......... eventually he emailed me back and said that the date was available.

The week before I emailed to confirm the reservation. No response. On turning up at the hotel on time, the receptionist told us they didn't have a booking in our name and after saying the reservation was made with the manager, the assistant manager? asked us to take a seat in the bar. This was embarrassing to say the least in front of our guests.

We sat in the bar and were handed menus and a waitress came to take our order. My mother who was sat in the middle of the group gave her order and as I wanted the same thing I said make that two of those. The waitress replied that she wouldn't remember who'd order what so could we please start at one end of the table and work around! I can't remember exactly how long we waited in the bar but I'm sure we didn't sit down to eat until after 2.00pm. The meal itself was ok and the service was ok (not brilliant considering we were returning disgruntled customers). On paying for our drinks the assistant manager again apologised for New Years Eve.

I can't put my finger on what's wrong with this hotel/restaurant. Staff training is definitely an issue - a lot of the staff seem to be very young and therefore cheap? - may be they are understaffed? and that's why timings are an issue? I don't know but I wouldn't go along unless a long wait and mediocre food doesn't detract from your enjoyment.

The surroundings are nice but the service and food don't live up to the décor!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank arich64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JPW232, General Manager at Slepe Hall Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2014

Thank you for your valued feedback following your recent visit to the hotel.

We did discuss the issues with New Year's Eve previously, and as explained, it was our first New Year's Eve at the hotel and we had tried a buffet upon recommendation from our Head Chef, who did indeed leave on New Year's Eve last year. As I confirmed to you in January, we have already taken decisions to change the way New Year's Eve 2014 will be and we will be serving a plated meal to each guest ensuring the portion size is as it should be and that there is no risk of people not being able to enjoy their dish of choice.

The buffet was welcomed and enjoyed by many, however I appreciate your comments that as a family with elderly guests, that you hadn't enjoyed the experience as much as you had wished.

My hesitation over whether we could accommodate you on your return visit was because I was aware that I would be away from the hotel at the time you wished to come due to a period of paternity leave, and I was further aware that the hotel was busy on the day you had selected with some other larger bookings in the restaurant. When your email came through to my private email address a week before you came, I was actually away from the hotel on my leave.

I did only agree to this date for you as it was your daughters 21st birthday and didn't want you to feel that I was being awkward by saying that you couldn't come. You had previously said that as a family it is difficult for you to all get together and finding another date for you all to come may have been difficult.
Bookings generally go through the hotel main email, however I understand that this was being dealt with by me personally hence you contacting me directly. I can only apologise for the booking not being made into the diary correctly.

Looking at your email, I notice that you had indeed booked for 1.30pm, and our standard practice is to offer people to take a drink in the bar area whilst looking at a menu before their meal. We are generally not in the practice of rushing people over a family lunch, particularly a celebration lunch.

All of our meals are cooked to order and there would normally be a small wait from time of ordering to being sat at the table for your meal. Generally from the time everybody gathers, gets drinks, makes decisions and then the food is prepared, this could take about 30 minutes on what was a busy service and I am sorry that you feel this was exceptional.

On reflection I shouldn't have taken your booking for lunch that day as we were already very busy, but as I say I didn't want to appear awkward to you as you had commented on how difficult getting together was.

Having spoken with the assistant manager she advises me that when asked if you had enjoyed your meal, she tells me that you said how lovely it had been, this some what differs from the now "ok" lunch, and that you continued to leave a staff gratuity of £25 Somewhat bemused?

I am sorry that we failed to meet your expectations on this return visit.

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202 - 208 of 260 reviews

Reviewed 27 February 2014

I use your hotel frequently for both the restaurant and the hotel. Always receive excellent service plus you are always able to accommodate where possible even at last at the last minute.

Would definitely use you again and again.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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Thank MathewSetchell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JPW232, General Manager at Slepe Hall Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2014

Thanks for the kind words regarding you regular use of the hotel.

I am pleased that you continue to return for a variety of occasions and look forward to welcoming you back many more times in the coming weeks and months

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

When we checked in at 9 pm our room was cold despite the heating being on, the room was dirty.
Next morning after experiencing noisy children in the corridor until midnight we experienced a hardly warm cooked breakfast in a cold conservatory.

Room Tip: not able to
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank D H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JPW232, General Manager at Slepe Hall Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2014

Thank you for your recent review following your stay with us last weekend.

I am disappointed to hear that the room was cold when you arrived, the hotel heating was certainly switched on, however the individual radiator thermostat had been switch down quite low. I have spoken with my housekeeper who advises me that she had checked all rooms before arrival. Perhaps you could contact me personally to let me have some more detailed feedback in order that we may rectify any issues moving forward.

The hotel did have a lot of children staying over the weekend with families attending family parties at the hotel. I had asked the parents on several occasions to ask their children to keep the noise levels down and apologise on their behalf that they had not done this.

We do cook all of our Breakfasts to order so am concerned that you say the breakfast was hardly warm. We would certainly have corrected this for you had you mentioned it on the morning.

Once again apologies.

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Reviewed 23 February 2014 via mobile

I went here Saturday after a busy day at work was looking forward to a sit down meal at 7, service took forever, there is no communication between waitresses, our starters came at 8 and was luke warm, let that one slide when everyone else got there main I didn't, like many people I was having a beef burger and they said there had been a mix up, by the time my main arrived everyone else had finished, they said it was on the house but by 9pm I had pretty much gone off the idea of good, beef burger was a little hard going, chips were quite dry and salty, all in all I was a little disappointed.

Stayed: February 2014
Thank Amybum1993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JPW232, General Manager at Slepe Hall Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2014

Thank you for your comments following your visit to the restaurant on Saturday evening.

I am sorry for the mix up and confusion with your order and therefore the delay in getting the extra dish to you. We do normally ask larger parties like yours to pre order the meals in advance to ensure there is sufficient stock availability of all dishes and I do recall that we had asked your party to do this however you have had a preference not to.

I have spoken with the restaurant team from Saturday evening, who were taken short on the evening in question as the manager had to rush off to deal with a family issue (Children in hospital). The supervisor did say that there had been a mix up with the order which had left the order short by one burger. Obviously as we make and cook everything to order this took some time to arrange for the new burger to be prepared.

Please rest assured that this is not our normal practice and that the team were under additional pressure. I have tried to contact you directly to offer my apologies.

I hope that you will give us another chance to prove that this was a one off and would be pleased to welcome you to the hotel and restaurant again soon.

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Reviewed 26 January 2014

Had a wonderful meal last night in the Ramsey's brasserie , this was the first time I have eaten here and it certainly won't be the last! The service was excellent, staff were attentive and pleasant ,would highly recommend eating here,

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank welshyCambridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2014

Stayed here many times when working locally. The rooms are modern, very clean and furnished to a high standard. Flat screen TV's in all rooms, modern and well equipped. Staff always very helpful and friendly. Excellent breakfast cooked to order and a pleasant bar with plenty of choice. A must for business or pleasure. Plenty of parking onsite. A short walk into St Ives where there are bars, restaurants shops etc.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2014

We have been using Slepe hall over recent weeks to provide training and development to our senior team. Stuart and his reception team have given us exceptional customer service. Anything we need or ask for has been accomodated. The hotel has been used by the team traveling to St Ives to stay in and we have been looked after very well. Food has been provided to us at a high standard, we eat in the hotel every day and have had no cause for any complaint.

We have been using the facilities for over two months often Daily for weeks at a time, the level of service during this time has remained very good. If we have had to ask for any changes to rooms or food options this has been responded to immediately.

i would recommend this venue for corporate functions and for use as a training facility. it offers large rooms and a range of equipment.

Thank you for looking after us all so well

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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3  Thank matthew c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Slepe Hall Hotel & Restaurant

Address: Ramsey Road, St Ives PE27 5RB, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cambridgeshire > St Ives
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in St Ives
Price Range: £82 - £134 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
New ownership from December 2012 has seen this beautiful building tastefully restored to its former grandeur with extensive refurbishment to the Restaurant, Bar and Reception areas. Boasting 16 individually designed en-suite bedrooms with Jacuzzi baths and usual amenities such as tea and coffee facilities, free wi-fi and TV and telephone. The all new "Ramsey's Brasserie" the hotel boasts, offers the business or pleasure traveler an extensive range of quality food and drink with friendly professional service and accommodation. For business meetings and functions there are two conference and event suites available and the premises are licensed for civil wedding / partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions catering for small or large numbers with individually tailored packages, along with a great venue for events and parties. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Slepe Hall Hotel And Restaurant
Slepe Hall Hotel & Restaurant St Ives, Cambridgeshire

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