I’ve just watched the episode of Ruth Watson Means Business that I took part in and thought I’d write a little something about the experience.
First of all, I’ve lost weight since filming so it was weird to see myself and my posture was appalling (sorry Grandma). It was also very hot and windy by the sea so I am shiny and my hair was a right state at times (do your worst online trolls, I don’t care :-P).
Right now that’s out of the way…..
I was asked to review the Hotel Celebrity by RDF who made the programme. I didn’t hate it. The hotel was cheap, very cheap and you do get what you pay for. My room was small and dated but clean and the breakfast (which was included) was more than good enough given the price of the stay. The theme of the hotel is a bit odd, almost funny! I’ve stayed at Bed and Breakfasts before now, that have been a clear reflection of the tastes and humour of the owners, this was similar but on a much larger scale. Sherlock Holmes is spoken about as though he were a real person and stories about the ghosts that apparently haunt the building are available…..right next to your bedroom.
As you might have gathered from the final chat, there were some issues with booking. As I was booking as part of a review I rang the hotel rather than booking online as it would give me the chance to comment on the process. I spent ten minutes trying to find out how much my room would cost. I paid a deposit but was still no wiser! When I arrived, my welcome was polite but I wouldn’t describe it as friendly.
The ideal solution of course, would have been to close the Hotel, update every room in the hotel and spend £1000s; not really an option. But issues with booking, conflicting information and customer service could be resolved for free.
On my return, my room was larger, but in worse condition than the first. I didn’t complain, as the bed was fine and at that low price, I’m hardly going to ask to be moved because I don’t like the carpet?? The welcome was much better! The staff were warm and chatty and even helped me find a fan when I told them that my room was uncomfortably hot. I was impressed.
Later I witnessed a row between the owner and a customer regarding confusing advertising, it was interesting to see how this played out. The food in the restaurant was fantastic and great value for money and once again, the staff were amazing.
When I returned a third time, it was to discuss the reviews with the owner and manager. I was so nervous. We waited outside in the midday sun for an hour before hand which just made it worse!! I felt bad that I was coming into this person’s home and business and basically telling them what they were doing wrong, it felt rude and unkind, but I knew it was constructive.
I won’t tell you everything that happened during the chat but sufficed to say you only saw a fraction of it! There were tears (not from me) and the debate got quite heated. I was surprised that the programme didn’t include what was said about the customer service. Thanks to the lovely staff I had a great time on my second visit, spending the evening laughing with them and other customers. The staff were the reason why, when asked, I said I would come back!
I can’t get over how angry I look during the final chat. I’m sure I look like I’m angry about random, unlinked gripes!! I’m sorry to say this but I think the editing of that last part was horrendous. My points didn’t make sense because most of them were responses to things that had been said to me, that weren’t aired. The owner was defensive at times and essentially called me a liar after hearing my description of the booking phone-call. Bear in mind that unlike Ruth Watson, the reviewers were not paid for their input, which for me amounted to six days and three separate trips from Lancashire down to Bournemouth! I think my frustration was understandable, but thanks to the editing, even my Dad couldn’t work out what I was really talking about! I also think that the comments about customer service should’ve been included as it would have illustrated a really positive change in the hotel and showing the tears and more of the heated debate would have made for a much more interesting programme.
If you didn’t catch it, Ruth Watson Means Business episode 5 is available by clicking here
I hope you like the show anyway and I do recommend the Hotel. It’s cheap, quirky, it’s close to the beach and it’s great value for money, but if you want a decent room, ring up and ask for one 🙂