Rated 4,5 out of 5 by 295
Rated 5,0 out of 5,0 by kinz very good hotel
hotel stay was very good and staff were attentive.
23. Februar 2015
Rated 4,0 out of 5,0 by johnny b goode Great night's sleep
Well maintained hotel with reasonable facilities. Rooms clean
23. Februar 2015
Rated 1,0 out of 5,0 by Partist Very poor customer service
I have stayed at very many Holiday Inns, previously, and have always had a good stay with outstanding customer service. On the rare occasions when problems have arisen, these have always been promptly and efficiently corrected. Sadly, this is not the case at Holiday Inn Norwich City with the result that my longest Holiday Inn stay to date was also my most stressful and problem filled.
I booked in March for a stay in August, taking advantage of an early saver rate in doing so (not least by pre-paying for my stay in advance). As with all my previous bookings, I booked a rate inclusive of breakfast. However, upon check-in, I was told that this was not the case and that I would have to purchase breakfast. I was also told that there would be a nightly charge to park, which hadn't been clear on the website, unless I could find a space in the hotel's own, small car park in front of the building. Unusually, in my previous experience of the brand, the receptionist was surly and didn't seem to be customer focussed.
I had requested a reduced rate upgrade to a suite, given the length of my stay, and was fortunate enough to receive this upgrade at reception. My room was large, with bedroom and lounge areas and extras such as bottled water, biscuits and Kit-Kats included in the price. Each room also has individual air-con, of which, more later.
The location of the hotel is good, being 10 minutes' walk from the station, a short drive from the ring road, and 25 minutes' walk from the city centre. Whilst I was staying, two football matches took place at the adjacent stadium. However, although the character of the hotel changed for the Saturday afternoon match, I couldn't hear any noise from the match in the hotel (in spite of having been able to hear announcements and crowd noise from some distance away whilst walking back to the hotel).
On my first night, I was awoken in the middle of the night with a very hot room. Brief investigation showed that the bedroom air-con had reset itself to 23C instead of the set temperature. Once I had changed it back, I tried to get back to sleep. I mentioned this to the receptionist in the morning, who said that an engineer would call. I happened to be in the room when he came in the afternoon. He said that he couldn't find a fault, but suspected that the control unit had lost contact with the server in the night (it is apparently centrally connected using the network) and then reset to the default setting, full temperature. He also noted that the air-con in the two rooms of my suite were set at the same temperature, yet were producing very different temperature outcomes, albeit saying that nothing could be done about this. He said that all we could do would be to hope that the fault didn't arise.
As it turns out, the fault didn't arise again, but the temperature in the lounge area did turn out to be a problem. When the sun was shining in that room, or in the evenings, the room was, at times, uncomfortably warm. The air-con unit was clearly not cooling the room and was noticeably warmer to the touch than the unit in the bedroom even when set to the same temperature. However, although this continued throughout the week, there was nothing that could be done about it (a box of Maltesers and two bottles of local ale being left by way of apology). It did rather negate the point of paying for a suite as the extra room was, much of the time, all but unusable.
As an IHG Rewards Club member, I was entitled to free "high speed" internet. However, this was intermittent in operation, with my needing to use my iPad as a mobile wifi hotspot, at times, as I couldn't get a connection to my laptop (perhaps because my room was at the extreme end of one of the hotel's corridors). However, I was assured by the General Manager that the internet was working, and that it was operating at full speed (1-2MBps). My 3G connection in my room was 10MBps - so much for high speed internet!
Having been told about the parking charges upon arrival, I was fortunate enough to be able to park in front of the hotel on all but two nights of my stay. However, at the weekend, I noted that I hadn't been told that, in fact, parking in front of the hotel also allowed parking on the pavement, double yellow lines, in disabled spaces when not a blue badge holder, and in non-marked spaces. If I had been told this on check-in, I would have been able to park without charge on every night of my stay.
I did eat breakfast in the hotel on most mornings of my stay. I was a little surprised to find such a restricted hot range. For example, fried eggs had to be ordered, meaning that there is no guarantee that they will arrive when you want them to do so. Also, although cooked to order, they weren't cooked as requested! Black pudding, a staple in most other Holiday Inns of my experience, was also notable by its absence. On two mornings, I ate in the café of a nearby supermarket, with my breakfast on those two mornings being very filling and being less than the cost of one breakfast in the hotel.
All of this notwithstanding, my major gripe with the hotel is the lack of customer care and customer service. Several receptionists were surly or had poor product knowledge (eg you are told to ask at reception about the arrangements for swimming at the nearby leisure centre; the receptionist concerned had no idea, and took about 10 minutes to find some of the information requested). Staff often seemed to prefer to talk to each rather than to serve customers (eg at breakfast). A manager came to my room to check on the number of robes in the room. As there were no robes in the room upon arrival (something that housekeeping should have already known), there were none in the room halfway through my stay, either! Complaints were sometimes met with suggestions that I was either lying of mistaken (words such as "seems", for example). Contacting the Customer Care department via the website or Twitter brings no help, as this is referred to the same manager who is showing such poor customer service in the first place. Incidentally, the same customer care response told me that the manager had attempted to contact me several times, thus far to no avail. In fact, this consisted of one telephone call (voicemail left), a subsequent email (response received by me, followed by an exchange of emails). Hardly "attempting to make contact to no avail".
The final straw was check-out where I was charged, as expected for my room upgrade, for the two nights of car parking (in spite of the above comments), for the breakfasts, but also for two nights of my stay, in spite of the whole cost of the stay having been pre-paid in March. To be fair to the hotel, they have said that this will be refunded to my card, and have given me a small number of bonus points, but it is symptomatic of the poor customer service and sloppy management.
This experience has slightly tarnished my previously entirely positive experience of the Holiday Inn brand. I will stay in Holiday Inn hotels in the future; needless to say, I will never return to this hotel, again.
My expectations are no more exacting than most customers and I am slightly more reticent to complain than many. I review on a regular basis, both on this site and elsewhere and the majority of my reviews are positive. I hope that this review will be read in that context.
22. Februar 2015