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caroline_edinburgh Aug 24th, 2007 07:14 AM

darmal, was this the 'Scottish Highlands, Islands & Cities' 14 day tour ? If so, according to the Trafalgar website you should have been staying at a specific hotel, the Caledonian in Oban. Or have they changed the schedule since you went ? If not, presumably you should have grounds to claim a refund - there doesn't seem to be anything about substituting other hotels.

Holly_uncasdewar Aug 24th, 2007 07:39 AM

To MelJ: AMEN !

caroline_edinburgh Aug 24th, 2007 07:45 AM

And thanks for reminding me to post a Tripadvisor review about the horrible Scottish hotel I stayed in a few months ago :-)

GSteed Aug 24th, 2007 08:15 AM

A Ha! Was this tour bought because of the price?
Anna and I were in a hotel in Częstochowa and encountered many of this same problems. We laughed at each other and went out to enjoy the city.

fnarf999 Aug 24th, 2007 08:54 AM

I especially loved the Tripadvisor report where the owner shipped all the adults out to other B&Bs because of overbooking, but found a way to let all the young girl students stay -- in his personal quarters! Hey, ladies, you can use my bathroom!

It's also very comforting to read about any business establishment where the manager likes to scream abuse at his staff in front of the customers. So professional.

Honestly, I've seen every episode of Fawlty Towers so many times, it's time for some new ones. Please, if you do go, take some surreptitious video!

audere_est_facere Aug 24th, 2007 08:57 AM

It does make you want to go doesn't it?

321go Aug 24th, 2007 09:16 AM

farnf999, I especially liked the review that said it smelled like something out of a graveyard. :D

fnarf999 Aug 24th, 2007 09:19 AM

The one positive comment says the new owner "has a Ph.D degree which tells us that he is highly educated". Which is, uh, undeniably true. But my worst nightmare is staying in a hotel where I am made aware of the owner's educational attainments rather than, say, the whereabouts of the bathroom mirror.

The young waitress whose "belly bulges out too far" and the barmaid with the bleeding finger sound lovely too. Apparently the staff are all Polish girls who are forced to live in a falling-down trailer on the premises!

Who can argue with a place where the manager sacks all his staff and then announces "a blind man could cook the full Scottish."

Another: "Unsere Enttäuschung war grenzenlos!"

"[...] the bar has been completely wrecked with cheap laminate flooring, poor quality furniture and even kitchen worktop as a bar surface."

Apparently there's a peacock. And "plans to build a drying room". Comedy gold!

Is John Cleese still alive? No, we need a Scotsman. Who is the leading angry Scots comedian these days? Surely Ricky Gervais knows somebody.

audere_est_facere Aug 24th, 2007 09:23 AM

It sounds like its being run by Rab C Nesbit.

321go Aug 24th, 2007 09:24 AM

farnf999, yes I just read that one, too. The reviews make hysterically funny reading - as long as you haven't actually been a guest there I suppose. Have you gotten to the review titled "And then the staff walked out" which tells about how the guest had to ask for toilet paper?

Yep. Definitely a sitcom in the making.

Christina Aug 24th, 2007 09:28 AM

I think sometimes when people have a really bad experience, they may do a little googling and run across websites with forums or complaint sections, that's all. Maybe Fodors would even show up if you googling on that hotel name, who knows.

I find it odd also, but more when it is an ad than a complaint. This complaint is pretty detailed, so I'm not sure what some are suggesting -- that is just fabricated by someone out to get this hotel?

I also think the real complaint is with Trafalgars, not the hotel (which is what it is, maybe it's cheap). That is a wellknown tour group and that certainly does not sound like proper accommodations by any type of pricing structure. I have taken two tours and had no complaints at all about the hotels, they were very good, and I was quite happy. This was a company priced a little lower than Trafalgars, probably (and they gave hotel names -- but could switch if necessary, I know that all do that). I researched the hotels named and found out their level and location.

So if this hotel was presented as 3-4*, this is a real complaint. It sounds like a 1* and I don't think Trafalgars does that (if they do have a real cheapo package and named the hotel, then I don't think complaints are in order). But the complaint is for Trafalgars, mostly. I sure would have complained if I'd gotten a hotel that sounds like that on the tour I took, and it was a budget tour.

audere_est_facere Aug 25th, 2007 01:39 AM

The stars are based in things like en-suite bathrooms and tellies in the rooms.

A place can get the stars and then be taken over by Basil Fawlty - they will still have the stars as they stil have the indoor khazis etc.

flanneruk Aug 25th, 2007 02:42 AM

If you read all the Trip Advisor reports, then google the hotel, you'll see it really may not be entirely Trafalgar's fault.

The TA reports were OK in 2006, when the hotel was run by people who had experience in the hotel industry. It was then bought around year end - by someone who actually signals his doctorate: not an obvious indication of hotel experience, but frequently a good sign of obnoxiousness. Incidentally, for around £400,000 and it's got 26 bedrooms. You can hardly get a rabbit hutch for that where I live.

Then the reviews get grisly - and there's some evidence the previous owners might have messed up reservations. So what should Trafalgar do? Review reservations every time a hotel changes hands? Reroute the whole tour? Metro Oban's not exactly stuffed with hotels.

True, after a while you'd have thought reports would have filtered back, and darmal ought to suing the bejaysus out of Trafalgar if he'd been dumped into the place recently. But on this occasion, I must confess to a bit of sympathy for Trafalgar.

Wven if, by referring to "the beautiful city of Oban" they're clearly using the same ignoramus to write their copy (and using equally untravelled subeditors) as Fodors uses to write about London.

Padraig Aug 25th, 2007 03:11 AM

flanneruk wrote "...darmal ought to suing the bejaysus out of Trafalgar if he'd been dumped into the place recently. But on this occasion, I must confess to a bit of sympathy for Trafalgar."

darmal's complaint is, however, against Trafalgar because they are the ones with whom he or she contracted. True, Trafalgar might have been caught out by the changes in the hotel but they, in turn, can sue the hotel.

sheila Aug 26th, 2007 06:56 AM

Well, it's 3 days later and s/he hasn't been back, but I would urge you to take the warning to heart.

I have known the exterior of the Stewart Hotel for many decades and have never been moved to stop. I find I'm not shocked by the fact it has no web site.

llamalady Aug 26th, 2007 10:02 AM

Since the thread following this one is
about the 'albergo di purgatorio' -
I'm thinkin' the Stewart must be the
'hotel in Hell'!

Wekiva Aug 28th, 2007 10:59 AM


I guess you could now call this a "hit and run" thread.

fnarf999 Aug 28th, 2007 11:04 AM

More of a "stand over and pummel" thread, I'd say.

ShelliDawn Aug 29th, 2007 03:25 PM

Who is the leading angry Scots comedian these days?

I'm not an expert in Scottish comedians, but I'm thinking Billy Connolly might be a good choice.

lennyba Aug 29th, 2007 04:02 PM

Not an angry comedian, but I can totally see Craig Ferguson in that role.

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