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A Disappointing Stay
Ravensdene Lodge Hotel (Gateshead)
Member Name: bluejules
Ravensdene Lodge Hotel (Gateshead)
Advantages: see review
Disadvantages: see review
The Ravensdene Lodge hotel is located in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear abour 5 minutes from Newcastle and the metro centre. My cousin had her 21st birthday party at this hotel earlier this month. As my dad was setting up a screen to take photos of the guests and as we live about a half hour drive away, we decided we would stay overnight. My dad made the reservation over the phone and as we were attending a function there we got the room at a discounted price.
We went to the hotel a couple of weeks before the party to see where my dad would be able to set up for the photos. The manager told us that we would be able to use the conservatory as it wasn't booked out. He said the only thing that would prevent us using this room was if someone booked a funeral. He told us that there was a wedding booked in for the next day but that wouldn't prevent us using the room on the Friday night. He was really pleasant and friendly with us and he was also very helpful. My dad phoned 2 days before the party to check the room was still available and the manager informed us that it was and there would be no problem with us using it...
== Checking in ==
The party started at 7pm so we arrived at the hotel at around 5pm so we could have a meal and set up ready for the photos. We went to the reception desk to check in and the receptionist was really friendly. She gave us the key to the room and we each had to fill in a form (with our name and address). She gave us directions to the room and told us the times that breakfast was served. We asked if we could get something to eat then and she told us that food was served until 9pm.
We noticed the conservatory was set up for a wedding and there would be no room to take photos so we asked about this and the receptionist got the manager (who we'd spoken to originally). We asked him about taking photos and he told us that the room was set up for the wedding the next day and we could use it but not move anything around. There was physically no room for photos without moving tables and my dad pointed this out. The manager then got quite impolite and told us there was plenty room on the dance floor (there wasn't). The receptionist (who is also a photographer) said that the Harvey Suite would be ideal but the manager said he'd offered it to us already and we had refused. This was not the case. My dad said he'd like to look at it but the manager said that there were chairs all over the room and it was too untidy to use. The receptionist said she didn't mind moving them around for us, but the manager walked away and said he would do it himself. The Harvey Suite turned out to be a perfect location, but the manager was not the helpful, friendly man we had spoken to a couple of weeks earlier.
== Room ==
Having located where we would be taking the photos, we took the suitcase to our room. The room was on the first floor and didn't take long to get to from the reception. On entering the room, I was quite impressed; it was quite a large room, with two double beds, a bed settee, desk, TV, wardrobe and good sized bathroom. There was also tea and coffee making facilities. The room looked out onto the car park.
The beds looked like they would be comfortable (although they looked smaller than a double) but just sitting on them soon changed our minds. None of us had a good night's sleep, the beds were hard and the pillows flat. That said, the room was clean, well lit and warm and the furnishings were quite nice.
== The Lounge Bar ==
Before the party we went to The Lounge Bar to have something eat. We asked for a menu and found a table near the window. The first thing I noticed was that the tables were too low for the height of the chairs and I wasn't looking forward to having to eat at the strange height but decided as it was only for one meal it wouldn't be too bad. We each chose what we wanted and my dad went to place the order at the bar (where the manager serving). My dad asked if he could put the food onto our room bill and the manager laughed and said that this wasn't possible at a weekend! My dad asked for a curry and the manager laughed and said 'you'll be lucky!' he then asked for something else and again the manager said 'you'll be lucky, we haven't got that either!' My dad was not impressed with the manager's attitude and he politely asked what was available. The manager gave a very short list of food and my dad chose what he wanted. There wasn't much available despite there being quite a wide selection on the menu, we found this to be rather disappointing on a Friday tea time.
The food came quickly and was nothing special but it was edible. I was right in thinking that the table height was too low for eating a meal at. If I had gone here just for the food I would have been majorly disappointed but as I was hungry and we just wanted to get something to eat quickly before getting ready for the party, it wasn't too bad.
== The Party ==
We went to our room to get dressed and headed down to the room ready for taking the photos. Once we had taken all the photos we headed into the function room with the rest of the guests for the party. The function room was a nice size and the buffet was to be set up in the room leading off from the main room.
The tables were placed too close together in the function room which made it difficult to get in and out. The bar offered a large range of drinks but was rather expensive.
When the buffet was brought out we were extremely disappointed and my auntie was so upset she cried. There were 2 long tables for the food and the plates and bowls that were presented barely covered them. I think had everything been put onto one table it would only just have filled it. They catered for 120 and only 70 people turned up and there was only just enough food. They paid £1000 for the food and for the money it was terrible what was provided. The presentation and quality of the food was poor and there were food items that they had been promised that were not provided. My auntie asked to speak to the manager and he spoke to her briefly but said she should come back the next day when she was sober and it would be talked about properly.
The next day... my auntie returned to the hotel to speak to the manager but he wasn't there. She managed to meet with him eventually and he told her if she had a complaint she should put it in writing. She asked for the name of the owners and he refused to tell her, saying if she addressed the letter to him, he would pass it on. As you can imagine this is not an ideal situation. My auntie has written a letter and as we've still not been able to find out who the owner is we'll just have to see what happens. My auntie has other cause of complaint as when she went in to pay the 4th instalment of payment for the function room the manager said that she hadn't paid anything yet and he would need to see her receipt. She got the bus home to get it and when she returned to the hotel the manager told her he had found proof that she'd paid just after she left!
We all enjoyed the actual party apart from the fact that the manger was not helpful and the food was not nice.
== Breakfast ==
Apart from the actual party, I think the breakfast was the most enjoyable part of my stay (although it wasn't anything particular special). There was a small selection of cereals and a choice of tea and coffee. We were asked if we wanted a cooked breakfast and my dad and I said yes. There was no choice of items but the plate of breakfast we were served was presented well and had the usual items found on an English breakfast. The breakfast was well cooked and tasted nice. Unfortunately, we had to eat it at the low tables where we ate our meal the night before.
== Checking out ==
The receptionist was friendly and the checking out process was straightforward and stress free. The bill was correct and we paid it on our credit card.
== Other Information ==
55 Consett Road,
The photos on the website are a true representation of the hotel and after viewing these I was looking forward to the party and our stay. We were disappointed as despite, it looking good; the management really do let it down.
The website states that rooms start at £40 per night, but I imagine this will vary with time of year and availability. I believe we paid around £70 for the three of us in one room, including breakfast on a Friday night in October. This was the discounted rate for attending a function there. My sister said when she looked on the website for a room that night it was going to be £90 which is why they decided against staying. Reservations needed to be made over the phone for the discounted rate.
== Advantages ==
* receptionists were friendly
* cooked breakfast was nice
* room was clean
== Disadvantages ==
* manager's attitude
* Uncomfortable beds
* Lack of food available from the menu
* Buffet at party was terrible
* Not being able to put food onto room bill at weekends
* Drinks were expensive
== Conclusion ==
Overall, we were not impressed with this hotel and it isn't somewhere I would particularly choose to return to. We did enjoy the party but the whole experience could have been so much more positive. The venue had potential to be excellent but it didn't live up to expectations. We were disappointed in the change of attitude from the manager, not just with us but with my auntie too, and also his lack of co-operation following her complaint. If I ever get invited to another party here, I think I will make my home afterwards rather than stay here. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Gateshead, I wouldn't recommend this as your first choice for hotel, mainly due to the beds being uncomfortable and the manager's attitude. I don't often write a negative review, but aside from the positive comments I have mentioned, I am unable to do anything else about this hotel.
Thanks for reading! x
Summary: Not recommended
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