Quality Hotel? I don’t think so.

Just back from an overnight meeting of the Information and Communication Board where a group of geeks or wannabe geeks get together to discuss how best to communicate within our Church. At the last meeting some bright spark suggested we hold this residential at a nice hotel rather than the usual churchy retreaty places we normally use. His reckoning was that nice pleasant surroundings would be more conducive to the creative process. We agreed.

So yesterday we arrived at the Quality Hotel in Perth. That’s the QUALITY HOTEL in Perth, beside the Station if you are in any doubt, and part of Choice Hotels Europe with 3 stars, allegedly. Now, they say ‘Quality’ but I think after  24 hours of the worst service I have ever encountered in a hotel, it ought to be called ‘Fawlty Towers’ or simply the Worst Hotel ever.

And just in case you think I am being picky, here is my list of misdemeanors:

1. Arrive at 9.45am for a 10.30am start and try to book in. Told our rooms will not be available until 2.30pm. This had not been communicated with us. Receptionist is uninterested.

2. Find conference room is dirty, falking paint, peeling paper, used flip chart, dirty table cloth, stained chairs, filthy windows, curtains not hung properly, stained tea and coffee signs. We complain and ask for it to be hoovered. Receptionist is uninterested. A young lad comes to ‘have a look’ and replaces one tablecloth. He never returns.

3. Coffee does not arrive at 10.30am as ordered. We have to chase it up. Tea and coffee arrives in 2 stained flasks with a jug of milk. No hot water, decaff coffee or fruit teas. Told the jug might be decaff anyway. It wasn’t.

4. Lunch was booked for 1pm. Little food left and all cold. (Hot buffet supposedly)  Food was canteen standard and not hotel standard. Waiter clears away plates before everyone is finished. His shirt is not tucked in to his trousers.

5. Book into room. No TV remote in 2 rooms, no hairdrier, flaking paint on bathroom window sill. One of us had no pillow cases and were told there were none left. One had an open plug on their kettle (the top was missing).

6. Afternoon coffee does not arrive again. After half an hour we have to go and order it.

7. Dinner had been booked for 6.30pm but when we arrived there was nobody in dining room. Told they don’t start serving until 7pm. When we complain they argue back. Finally served and meal takes over 2 hours. Standard not high.

8. Back to conference room which has never been cleaned all day. Dirty cups piled up. Complain again to staff who argue back, say its not their fault or simply change the subject.

9. The overall decor of the hotel is shabby and uncared for. Paint is peeling everywhere, brass not cleaned, toilet bin overflowing, wallpaper torn in places. Carpets are stained and nothing looks clean.

10. Next day the manager comes to speak to one of us. Doesn’t accept criticism. Says she is having to train new staff and its not their fault.

11. Morning coffee doesn’t arrive as arranged again (3rd time) and we have to go and ask for it.

12. Book lunch for 12.15pm and are told once we are seated that they don’t serve until 12.30pm. Many waiters take care of us and are unctious. The leeks are burnt.

13. Manager says she oversaw our lunch being served because we had complained so much and it was perfect. It wasn’t.

If I read in the papers tomorrow that this hotel had gone into receivership I would not be surprised. If I read that some people had got salmonella I would not be surprised. In our church when we serve food we have to use a food thermometer and record the temperature that food is served.  Clearly this law does not apply to the Quality Hotel, Perth.

And you know, the chap who suggested we go to a hotel for this overnighter didn’t come after all. He was on holiday and got the dates mixed up.

A short evaluation form was filled in at the desk, but just in case it doesn’t get to the very top I have brought my Evaluation Form home and will send it to Head Office tomorrow.

There, rant over. And just in case you think it was just us being ‘precious’ we know that another group who were there for a conference were just as unhappy. They ran out of food completely for their lunch.

I think what got to us most, was their attitude of not caring. Never did we hear sorry.  Poor communication was the order of the day which made our discussions on communication in the Church even more pertinent. Lessons to be learned.

16 thoughts on “Quality Hotel? I don’t think so.

  1. Enough material here to write a book (or an episode of a TV programme – (Basil lives on…))

    No decaf, shirt tail hinging oot, but burning of the leeks – that would have got you the jail a wee while ago!!!

    Regards (and belated ‘appy birthday from the clan Cleghorn).


  2. Pingback: Quality Hotel in Perth

  3. Karl, the burning of the leeks was just the icing on the cake, so to speak! It was the way they were presented as if they had finally got the service right – and indeed said so. ‘There is nothing wrong with this meal,’ the manager proudly said, as we gazed upon the blackened leeks.

    But as a Communication Board we learned a lot about how not to welcome people in the church. As Kelvin says, we want to thrive and to want to return. The Quality Hotel could learn a few lessons from us, eh?

  4. Ruth – I had the misfortune to go into this hotel last year with a friend for a pot of coffee, we thought it would be nicer than the station buffet.
    Nothing was right, we sent back the coffee twice, and gave up on the third, appalling, lot of coffee…..only consolation was we weren’t charged….

  5. Mother – how this place has indeed gone downhill fast. Like me you will probably recall the glory days when it was of such a high standard that the Scottish Conservative Party Annual Conference was based there – Mrs Thatcher and all. I was there at a Ceilidh last year and it was grim – cheap, but grim.

  6. I can’t help but think that the main lesson to be had here is that something calling itself “Quality” will provide quality in the same way that pretty much every country with “Democratic Republic” in its name will provide free and fair elections. This should have been a massive warning to whoever picked the venue in the first place. 😉

  7. I once stayed at a hotel in London recommended in the Good Hotel Guide: it was very scruffy, and I suspect traded – if not actually as a brothel – as a place letting rooms by the hour!

    The next year (never one to be prejudiced by a single mistake) I stayed in another recommended hotel in Suffolk. Well, Lord Norwich (the person whose recommendation featured in the guide) may have had a four poster bed and excellent service, but Miss and Mrs. Turner from Cleethorpes found their twin room lacking in comfort and amenities as well as being left to carry their own luggage. Moreover there was a disco cum barbecue lasting late into the night in the courtyard below. After this I gave up on the Good Hotel Guide.

    I have since taken my holidays in self catering cottages, all of which have been very good or excellent. Conference hotels have been just the opposite – I recall one in Cambridge where the prawn cocktail, the roast chicken, the white wine and the coffee were all served at the same temperature, and another in Llandudno . . . well, the less said the better.

  8. David, I thought it had once been worthy of your high standards, but sadly no longer.

    And yes, calling it the Quality Hotel did make me a little suspicious right from the start. I should have trusted my instincts. The person who booked it is now suitably shame faced.

  9. There is something to be said about the saying “you get what you pay for”… my stay in a Quality Hotel was cheap and that sums it up.
    although. i did stay in a convent guest house when visiting dear Bennadette on the way to lourdes, i told them i was a vegetarian and the meal at dinner time was a plate of cold peas as they thought it meant all i wanted was a vegtable…
    there is no customer care anymore, no ministry of hospitality BRING BACK THE BENEDICTINES thats what i say.

  10. Pingback: www.bishopdavid.net » Quality and Mercy

  11. Ruth,

    Surely you would have realized that anywhere that has to call itself the “Quality” hotel is wanting in some way. It’s like blokes who drive around in big Mercedes Benz 😉

  12. I don’t want to discount your horrible experience for one moment – I’d have been fizzing.

    But on the ‘three fingers pointing back’ principle, what if we were to invite the said surly staff to our churches and invite them to fill in an evaluation form?

    How much peeling paint and cold coffee stains (or the equivalent in terms of welcome) would they encounter, I wonder? Or perhaps it is not wise to encourage church-goers to think like consumers? What if we renamed ourselves ‘The Scottish Welcoming Church?’

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