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darmal Aug 23rd, 2007 08:06 AM

Avoid The Stewart Hotel, Scotland
Our itinerary said we were to stay 2 nights in "the beautiful city of Oban", but instead, we were put in a disgusting hotel 30+ minutes drive from Oban, called The Stewart Hotel. The problems are far too numerous to list here, but just a few: no heat, no hot water, the light in the bathroom was a bare bulb hanging on an electrical wire, no mirrors (my husband put in his contacts using my lipstick mirror!), no clock, radio or TV (although they were listed in the brochure), the slider to the deck was broken, construction dust was everywhere, no porters, bar prices were extremely high and varied according to who served .. . I could continue, but I'm sure you get the message.

It was abundantly clear that no one from Trafalgar had visited the hotel, OR, if they did and accepted it as suitable accommodations for passengers, then it makes a lie out of the statement on their web site: "A good night's sleep and a comfortable place to relax are invaluable when on vacation. All Trafalgar Hotels are carefully selected so you'll enjoy comfortable rooms and quality amenities. "

Padraig Aug 23rd, 2007 08:24 AM

I am constantly surprised by the phenomenon of people whose first post to a travel forum an "avoid x" message.

Pinchme_iam_dreaming Aug 23rd, 2007 08:36 AM

Have you contacted Trafalgar to explain your experiance or are you trying to get results here?

jewela Aug 23rd, 2007 09:15 AM

Looks like it's under new management....and the new owners are not doing a very good job.
Always check Trip Advisor.....they will usually have the scoop.

janisj Aug 23rd, 2007 10:21 AM

yet another hit and run first post.

(How on earth would tripadvisor be of help? - darmal has a complaint <u>with Trafalgar Tours</u>. TA isn't much help if the tour company chooses the hotel . . . . )

suze Aug 23rd, 2007 10:30 AM

People on the forum would pay more attention to your complaint, if you weren't brand new here, and this is the very first thing you have to say to us.

That's why lots of people don't go on organized tours, because of lousy hotels included.

Next time, plan your own trip and avoid the disappointment.

nytraveler Aug 23rd, 2007 10:30 AM

I would ask for a partial refund from Trafalgar.

Did you complain at the time? Take names? Take any photos? All would help strengthen your case.

If that doesn't work try Conde Nast Traveler ombudsman - they often get results.

Wekiva Aug 23rd, 2007 10:45 AM

&quot;yet another hit and run first post.&quot;

Isn't it a bit early to dub this a &quot;hit and run&quot; post seeing that the OP posted only a few hour ago?

Some can't post and check for replies at I'm doing...doh! :)

janisj Aug 23rd, 2007 10:58 AM

It IS the first post. darmal registered to post this.

Now IF she had taken the time to tell us about their trip - or ANYTHING at all other than this, we might not be so skeptical.

Wekiva Aug 23rd, 2007 11:11 AM

Fine...I'll agree with the &quot;HIT&quot; part...just not the &quot;RUN&quot; part yet.

janisj Aug 23rd, 2007 11:14 AM

fair enough . . . .

flanneruk Aug 23rd, 2007 12:04 PM

Why so sceptical?

We all occasionally encounter rotten goods or services. I'm sure all of us feel pretty strongly tempted to proclaim the rottenness of the good or service from every real (and cyber-) rooftop on the planet.

Not always the most productive way of going about things. But very often the first thing that comes into our heads.

It's certainly true that darmal ought to be moaning about the pillocks who booked him or her in. But that's no reason for doubting his or her bonae fides. I've stayed in enough McFawlty Towers in Scotland to find it pretty easy to believe The Stewart's a dump.

I'd strongly recommend a motto for all of us:

By all means correct other posters. But, unless there's really good evidence to the contrary (like those &quot;I've just discovered this wonderful hotel in Tuvalu&quot; posts from someone with an email address ending in .tv), assume good will. Though not necessarily sanity, accuracy or familiarity with the English language.

caroline_edinburgh Aug 24th, 2007 03:15 AM

As others have said, you need to resaech where you're going first, even if - or especially if - you are trusting someone else to choose it.

Anyway, treating this as possibly useful advice... Scotland is an actual country you know, not that small and I dare say there is more than one Stewart Hotel - which one do you mean ? the one in Appin ?

If it's any consolation, Oban is not a city and I certainly don't regard it as beautiful - I'd say Appin is nicer. Sorry the hotel wasn't nice, though.

hetismij Aug 24th, 2007 03:26 AM

I would guess from the Trip Advisor reports that it is indeed the one in Appin. It sounds from those report as if Basil Fawlty is alive and well and owns the Stewart Hotel, Appin.

audere_est_facere Aug 24th, 2007 03:50 AM

The Trip Advisor page is worth reading for it's comedy value alone:

Looks like the OP's problem was not unique!

MelJ Aug 24th, 2007 04:20 AM

I have a hard time understanding why it is considered bad form to post a complaint here, when posting for the first time. Perhaps darmal told a friend about the hotel and the friend recommended posting it on here to warn people. Perhaps several of the Trafalgar travelers talked about the problem and named various places to vent and warn others. Why do some people see negative posts as suspect? And why be so mean and proprietory (about this forum) in responding?

This isn't called &quot;Fodor's Happy Posts only Until the Regulars Here Get to Know and Trust You&quot; Forum.

Geez, I've been posting on here for about 8 years and I'm just fed up with people telling newbies how to post, how to title their post and checking all new names to see if they have ever posted before, then &quot;outing&quot; them as new and, therefore (for some reason), not to be trusted. There's no logic in that line of thinking. It only serves to make new contributors feel bad and keeps others from posting negative (and possibly helpful) information.

Padraig Aug 24th, 2007 05:25 AM

MelJ, I think much of your ire (if that is what it is) is misplaced.

A number of regulars advise newcomers on how to post, and particularly on how to title their post, so as to have the best chance of getting useful responses. That is good rather than bad. Yet when I first joined this forum a few months ago I was not &quot;outed&quot; or told how to post; perhaps that is because I have years of experience in online forums, and know my way around. Some people seem to need guidance, and others do not.

I presume my response to darmal's post was one of those that you find objectionable.
- First, I would point out that it was a general remark made in conversational mode, and not any kind of attack on darmal.
- Second, people here are influenced in their decisions by what they read here, even though relatively few of us know one another personally. I would generally give more weight to the opinions of regulars about whose tastes I have had the opportunity to make some judgement. Is there anything wrong with that?
- Third, it sometimes happens (not very obviously on this forum, I admit) that a negative comment is posted by a competitor rather than by a bona fide customer. One needs to be alert to the possibility that the motive for *any* post might not be fair-minded and honest.

Anyway, I see nothing wrong in our discussing the workings of this forum. That's what you have been doing, isn't it?

nanabee Aug 24th, 2007 05:53 AM

According to Trip Advisor's reviews 11 out of 15 reviewers rated the hotel as awful or very bad. Sounds like the poster has a legitimate complaint.
I think this poster was trying to warn others so they can avoid the problems they encountered

rogerdodger Aug 24th, 2007 06:56 AM

Thanks for the heads up. Sounds just really bad. Surprised that a well know travel company wouldn't refund part of the cost of the trip. Have you and others expressed your thoughts?

Bloom Aug 24th, 2007 07:13 AM

Well said, MelJ.


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