“ Downs Road, Newcastle, Co. Down. tel = 028-437 23681 „
The Slieve Donard hotel in Ulster lived up to all my expectations as far as quality was concerned. Rooms were kept spick and span, food was brilliant, staff were very friendly (it's Ireland after all!) There was good music in the bar at night, and even a concert by the lengendary Daniel O' Donnell. According to my dad, the golf course is great - one of the best in the world. They had excellent gym and spa facilities. Everything you would expect from a 4* hotel. Except for one thing. They couldn't get a bloody thing right! When we arrived at the hotel, they told us that to get to our room we would need to climb a couple of steps. Being in a wheelchair, a couple of steps might as well be a couple of thousand! So we had to wait for half an hour while our new room was prepared. In the room, there was no electricity. Well, there was. But they didn't tell us about sticking the card in the wall socket. We can't all be Einstein! After we discovered the wall socket and got a bit of light, we quickly found that there were no towels or soap in the bathroom. Pretty important for having a bath if you ask me. After the towels and soap were delivered to the wrong room, a few doors down, and we realised this error, my dad was able to have a bath and we could go down to dinner. I ordered off the kiddies' menu! 'Pasta spirals in Tomato Sauce and Honey Bear Ice Cream' I asked the waiter. 'Has the ice cream got honey or syrup on it?'. 'Yes, it has,' said the waiter. Okay - that was fine. What did I get? Mushroom ravioli (Changed to the correct order, with apologies) and plain vanilla ice cream with a tiny blackberry in the middle. We ate in the bar the next night! The rest of our stay was fine, and the mistakes gave us all a good laugh ('it could only happen in Ireland!') and some good memories. There IS a Fawlty Towers. Conclusion: We are more good natured than most abou
t these kinds of things, but if the hotel is run like this on a regular basis, they are risking their reputation. Good, friendly hotels with a few hiccups here and there are acceptable. But many people would get extremely annoyed at the above mistakes.