“ Wishaw, near Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B76 9PR. Tel: 01675 470033, Fax: 01675 470256. „
The Belfry Hotel I have recieved A letter to say that they are offering me a free night in an upgraded room with breakfast as way of appology for the poor standards I had been unfortunate enough to experience. So a result!! Imagine the scenario if you will. You have just got engaged and as a treat for your significant other you decide to book into a luxury hotel. A nice treat for us both you might think..... Well you might be wrong. I had heard so many nice things about The Belfry, which is a 4 star De Vere hotel. Lots of people had told me how fantastic it was to stay there, a nice romantic and relaxing break I thought. So with that in mind I requested a brochure. Now as hotels go The Belfry is far from cheap at £200 for 1 night in a double room, it’s rather a luxury. You can get breaks at a slightly cheaper price if it’s over the weekend or your stay for a few nights but even then it will never be able to call itself cheap. A few days after I had requested it the brochure arrived, just looking at the pictures got me in a romantic frenzy. It claims to have “an International reputation for warm and friendly service and that special something….an aura, a feeling of mystique, and a unique atmosphere created through magical moments evoking spine tingling memories shared by millions across the world”. Ooooohhhhhhh I hear you all saying, it sounds fantastic. So bearing that in mind and looking at the fantastic facilities including, swimming pool, sauna, spa, steam room, gym and many others, I decided to have a blow-out and book. After all you only get engaged once (hopefully) and it would be something very special to remind us. The journey there was very pleasant, its only 45 minutes away from Nottingham Situated to the North of Birmingham in a place called Wishaw. When we arrived it all looked very nice, loads of Jaguars and Rolls Royce’s in the car
park. Very classy I thought. We checked in. I was not too happy to be told we had been place in a smoking room; I never like to stay in the smoking rooms, as they never tend to be as nice as the others. When we reached our room and opened the door, I have to say I was very disappointed. It was very small and the bathroom was tiny. However the size of the room was not the only problem, the net curtains we dirty and had cigarette burns at the bottom. The wall paper surrounding the bathroom door and on the adjoining wall was peeling off, the decorative border was peeling off, there was a greasy stain on the headboard and to top that, the sink in the bathroom was full of hair, someone had obviously shaved in the sink and it had be missed by house keeping. I was very unhappy so I went to reception to complain. They lady who greeted me was very polite, I advised her of the situation with my room. She spoke with a manager and said that they would call me when they had found an alternative room. They called and we returned to reception to pick up the new room key. We were moved to room 449 in Trevino building. The room was a little bigger and generally cleaner. However with the hotel being four star rated and recommended by so many people, I would not have expected to find the furniture in such a poor state. We had booked a double room and were now in a twin room, the wardrobe had huge half-meter long, deep scratches in it, which exposed the original colour of the wood. The TV cabinet was chipped and scratched. The units and desk area have watermarks and ring marks where cups had been left. Now all this had been enough on its own to ruin my weekend, I was very disappointed and embarrassed. I had brought my partner away for an engagement present; this should have been something to fondly remember. But it didn’t stop there, I had chosen The Belfry because I had heard about the excellent leisure facilities available, and
upon checking in I had asked if I needed to book in to use the facilities. I was informed that it wouldn’t be necessary and we could use the facilities when we pleased. So at 4.00pm we went to the leisure club, the doors were closed and a sign had been placed on them saying that the club was at health and safety capacity all facilities were full please try later. We returned at 5.00pm, then at 5.30pm it was still the same. We decided to go for our diner, as we had been pre-booked in the Atrium restaurant. After diner we returned to our room, changed and eventually gained access to the pool at 9.30pm. One of the spa’s was being cleaned so we couldn’t use that either. This is not the kind of hassle I would expect to encounter at a four star hotel, one that prides itself on its excellent facilities and service. Later we went down to The Belfry bar for a drink. I had thought to myself that nothing else could possibly go wrong. The staff that were serving on the bar were very unprofessional, as an example I will state one incident, one member of staff shouts down the bar he has a call for Tom! Tom picks up the phone and proceeds to talk with his “mate”. At one point tom says “how much did they win by six Fu**ing nil, that’s crazy”. That is not the kind of thing you expect to hear in the bar of a hotel. The brochure talked of special moments. Well I did have one special moment that was when I was pulling out the car park and heading home. I have to say I was heartbroken, what should have been a special weekend for us, something that should have left us with spine tingling memories, just left me disappointed upset and embarrassed. When I checked out the lady then informed me that both the areas of the hotel I had stayed in were due to be refurbished, well that did little to make me feel better. I would definitely not recommend this to anyone else, working for the travel secti
on of a regional newspaper has taught me what quality is available within the hotel industry and I am afraid to say that my experience at The Belfry had little to do with quality. I was very disappointed. Needless to say I have posted my letter of complaint today, I just wonder what they will have to say for themselves? The one thing I will say for The Belfry is that the food was nice. After all the carry on I had expected to have a plate of slop pushed in front of me. We had stayed on a Diner, Bed and breakfast basis. Both meals were very nice, they had a good range to chose from, so if you do have the urge to visit the home on English golf (not my reason for visiting, I must say) then take it from me and just stop for a spot of lunch, but mind the prices it cost over £11.00 for 2 Tia Maria coffees….. Ouch!! Butlins here I come.