Fawlty Towers – July 2019

‘Bad decision! Walking across an unmade-up carpark, entering the building through a grubby side door, I hung around at reception until someone arrived who could work a computer. Ì was sent, unhelped, to a cheerless room (broken tiles and radiator control in the bathroom, the filthy carpet and dud light bulb in the bedroom). Ì was told (as was the guest who signed in behind me) that – although I’d booked into the award-winning restaurant – I’d be the only person eating there, so I agreed to eat in the bar. A 30-minute wait for very ordinary fish and chips.’

‘Staff friendly and food excellent, but disappointingly disjointed. Was it a training establishment for a wider group of hotels, or did they just have a lot of new staff?. It appeared that everything a member of staff did had to be checked with someone. A dog bed was provided for £20, by far the most that we paid during our two-week holiday.’

‘This is a largish run-of-the-mill hotel. There was no panache or “wow” factor. It is drab, not for lack of paint but for the fact that it is uniform dark grey. Most of the young staff were friendly but seemed unfocused, and the place seemed to be running on autopilot. The wall-to-wall round the clock muzak did nothing to improve matters.’

‘At dinner a curious system seemed to operate. Meals were brought from the kitchen (some distance away) and placed on a serving table and left there, uncovered, until a member of the waiting staff took them to the diners. I watched some dishes wait up to three minutes. Accordingly, the main course arrived at table less than hot. By contrast I saw breakfasts being delivered straight to the diner. So my bacon and eggs were hot but rump of lamb the night before only tepid. And the orange juice was not freshly squeezed.’