We went as a family with our disabled daughter to attend a conference which had been organised at the hotel. Our daughter has a rare condition and the conference was run by the organisation of the same name. We were advised that we would get a special rate as we were attending said conference. As we have the wheelchair I always call and speak to the hotel to check accessibility etc. The first time I called I got a lady who could barely speak English, my wife's 2nd language is English before I get accused of anything, but it was impossible to find out about rooms, rates or indeed any information. We were promised a call back. It never happened. As the days got closer to the conference I called again. This time I was told that the hotel had a lift and also an accessible family room for 2 adults, 2 kids and a toddler. At this time I requested a cot for the toddler.
Fast forward to us checking in. We checked in at 6pm. During this period my wife enquired about the restaurant and were told the bar and restaurant were closed to a private function.After some time they found our booking and their seemed to be some confusion. We put the wheelchair into the lift which has made appearances in some disaster and horror movies in the past. We were rattled and shook as we ascended and on entering the room it was spacious with a large bathroom. The bathroom floor was a mix of broken and uneven tiles and some not even attached. We then saw that there was one double and one single bed. No travel cot. We went to reception and asked about the sleeping arrangements. The lady on reception had no idea what she was doing so she got her supervisor or maybe it was the manager. He was too busy explaining to my wife that travel cots and family rooms had to be booked at the time of booking. At the same time I searched my emails for the original booking. When the found it on their system he confirmed in a smug manner that indeed we were in the correct room. I then found the booking and when Mr Smug looked at the booking on his system there was a note to say we needed a accessible family room. On discovering this he basically said it wasn't his fault as putting notes in the system was not the way to book it. We were offered the option of adding a room, which I inspected and it was too small for the cot and had steps into the bathroom (remember we had requested an accessible family room). We ended up getting a mattress on the floor and a travel cot. Once we all had a place to sleep and we unpacked I headed out with an 8yr in tow to find something for them to eat.
Early morning. We were told that breakfast finished at 9.30. It was a buffet style breakfast included in the price. My wife had gone down stairs to check what room the conference would be in and find out where breakfast was served...
Now remember the celebrity lift. Well right on cue it ceased to operate. We are now on the 2nd floor with a child in a wheelchair and 4 flights of stairs between us and breakfast and our conference. I ended up carrying my 15yr old daughter down the stairs while 3 guys from reception took her wheelchair.
Arriving for breakfast at 8.45 we were in plenty of time to get fed. When I went there were 4 fried eggs left and they looked a bit sorry for themselves. Most of the items were low in quantity and you could tell they had been there for a while. As more people arrived it was clear that they were not making any more food as other customers looked and were given menus to chose from instead.
Our conference was mainly successful despite the hotels efforts. We were advised to not pay the bill as we were there with the company and they were going to deal with it as we were not the only ones to have had issues. We told the reception this as we checked out and said we would not be paying the full amount due to all the issues we encountered. We even asked if Mr Smug was available but he was occupied. We gave them our phone numbers to discuss the matter further when he became available. We never heard anything until today when they sent us an outstanding invoice which was £156.18 over the original quote. When we enquired we were told that this was an outstanding amount from the bar. Now remember we were told as we checked in the bar and restaurant were closed for a private function?
After another call they have removed the bar bill and we are still working out the final outcome.
It proved very irresponsible to put a wheelchair user on the 2nd floor with one very unreliable lift. A lesson learned for us.
The hotel is located in a very central location and you can see signs of its original grandeur. Sadly it is in need of major surgery not paint over the cracks. I'm surprised Radison have lent their name to this hotel and it is a long way from any Radison I've ever stayed in.
They are understaffed and the staff we interacted with appeared to have limited training or experience.