In summary, I will not return to this hotel for the following reasons.
1. I felt vulnerable for my family after a 5am fire alarm went off and no reasonable risk assessments or procedures where carried out or followed through during or after the event.
2. I believe the welfare and safety of my family is of no concern to the hotel.
3. I have concerns that staff couldn't deal with the incident properly.
4. I feel undervalued as a customer.
5. The room i stayed in was poorly maintained, the rest of the hotel is tired.
We stayed at this hotel Wednesday to Friday last week. A visit to Peppa Pig World was the reason for our booking. We are regular users of the Macdonald chain, in Scotland particularly, so despite the stay being more expensive than other hotels locally we remained 'loyal to the brand'. I expected with Macdonald Hotels that my family would be cared for like we had many times before during our stays nationally.
Robert checked us in, he was extremely friendly to our son who remembered his name for the two nights we stayed. Well done and thank you Robert, that was a very nice start to our stay.
Our son is two years old. We had booked a triple room.
The window in our room didn't fit its aperture, so there was a gap around it that let cold air in constantly, the window stay (lock) was loose and ineffective, and the radiator in the room didn't work. We decided to have son in our bed to ensure he was kept warm during the night.
The fire alarm went off at 4:45am. No one checked to ensure we where safe, i.e. room 314 was empty and we where accounted for. The roll call was started then abandoned when the fire service pulled up at reception and we where all stood outside in very cold temperatures without any explanation or consideration for ours and everyone else's welfare. We where not told it was safe to return inside or not, at any point. We where just left to file back in gradually like sheep.
I was informed by a couple who also had their two year old daughter with them and where visiting Peppa Pig World, that the room close to them was the reason the alarm went off, triggered by smoking in the room. The smell of the cigarette gave them cause to believe it wasn't just tobacco they where smoking due to the pungent smell. I am disappointed to believe this is true, but have no reason to doubt the people who told me.
Im a worldy wise person. I am able to take care of my family in most events after looking after others in emergency situations as a job and don't complain as a rule, however, I was disturbed by the information I had been given, the lack of communication after a serious incident by the hotel and the clear lack of after care. It made me feel vulnerable, that we where in danger at the hotel because of others, and feel undervalued as a customer and guests of the hotel that our health, welfare and safety had not been given a first or even a second thought during our stay. I could have complained but decided to accept these things happen and wait for a 'note under the door' to offer reassurance. That would have been the minimum I would have expected.
When I checked out I casually asked what was the cause of the fire alarm and evacuation of the building on Wednesday night. I was told firmly 'it was for a reason, but I will not tell you what for' by a french accented receptionist. I didn't reply. It was further disappointment by the manner of her retort, the lack of diplomacy and no offer of an apology.
So. Shall I book a room at this hotel again when it appears to allow controlled drugs to be consumed in its rooms, give no regard to its customers welfare after the apparent use of cigarettes set the fire alarm off and being outside in the freezing conditions in middle of the night for approx 45 minutes, who didn't show an ounce of welfare consideration, during and after such an event?
No, I seriously and honestly couldn't risk it. My family are to precious to remain that loyal.
The lack of skill and the inability to follow basic safety procedures in taking a roll call of guests after a fire evacuation is a major concern. Communication with guests during and after such an event was poor and discouraging. When I attempted to obtain some reassurance that I had been safe in the event and during our stay by asking a reasonable question at reception, I was further dismissed and without an apology for the inconvenience to my family for the event.
The pool was nice,breakfast was good and the staff serving that where very pleasant and courteous.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa is one of the finest ----four-star hotels in Southampton. Set in acres of beautiful countryside, our hotel offers the best of breathtaking scenery and fine facilities. With direct access to Southampton airport, Eastleigh, Portsmouth and the M3, our hotel is a popular choice for family holidays, business and weddings. And if you are setting sail at the nearby port, then we're an ideal stopover destination before your exciting holiday begins. When the business or adventure of the day is done, unwind in our swimming pool or gym or thrash it out on our tennis or squash courts. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Macdonald Botley Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club Hotel Botley
- Macdonald Botley Park Hotel, Golf And Country Club
- Macdonald Botley Park Hotel Country
- Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton Hampshire