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Reviews of Stewart Hotel, Appin

Best rates for a Local Hotel

Review by Klaus Banholzer on 8th September, 2009

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On August 25 we arrived at the Stewart Hotel in Appin where I had made a reservation for two nights the day before because a very friendly assistant in the hotel in Forres had given me the Stewart's address (obviously not knowing more about the hotel than what's to be found on the Internet which only sounds quite good. Checking in (and much to my surprise) the manager (proprietor?) wanted to have my signature under the credit card print in advance, but as I didn't have any reason to distrust him I gave it to him. He charged us 265.- pounds (!!) and therefore we expected a rather comfortable room as we had been offered in other hotels of the same price range. When he showed us into the room he explained about the wonderful view (correct!) and then left quickly. On closer inspection it turned out not only not to have the kingsize bed (which he had promised on the phone) but also to have only the tiniest of bathrooms with mold in the tub and a very dirty wash basin and toothbrush glasses the same. You can imagine that we were more than disappointed, but being well-meaning we were willing to give it a try. Going down to the so-called bar (rather simple and very cold) we asked about dinner and got the menu from which we chose tomato soup for starters and lamb for me and chicken for my wife. After waiting for close to an hour (several times the manager told us that it was now only a matter of minutes) we were led into the "dining room": cold again (my wife literally shivering and complaining),just plain wooden tables, no table cloth, nothing. My wife asked for tea but the very surly server meant that he was not sure whether this would be possible; but he at least said he would ask. He then came with a pot of hot water and several tea bags, all of them being green tea. When we said that this was no good because this doesn't agree with her, he said that they didn't have any other teas. However, shortly after that the manager came with a box of camomile tea bags which - reluctantly - we accepted. Meanwhile the atmosphere had gotten rather stiff and the server was anything but friendly (to say the least!!). Then came the soup: A watery liqid, slighty red only in colour with a few peas and carrot pieces obviously out of a can or a deep-frozen vegetable mix. But it was hot and therefore most welcome. The worst, though, was yet to come: I cannot describe the main courses we got, but it was simply uneatable and disgusting. One wonders what it was (certainly neither lamb nor chicken) and who had prepared such unbelievable "food". We just couldn't eat it and when the server noticed that he presented us - without any word - with the bill: I was simply shocked: 45.- pounds for such a disgrace - I couldn't believe my eyes. But still we didn't want to cause trouble (please remember that we also were at a disadvantage because of the language), so I signed it and we left. The following morning, breakfast was not much better, i.e. way below standard (when we asked about yoghurt we were told that they had just run out of it (there were just 3 more couples beside us). So we finally decided that this was enough. When I told the manager, however, that we wanted to cancel the second night, he very brusquely told me that there were no refunds and when I didn't want to accept this he just answered that I had a right to complain. When we came down with the luggage and were about to leave he came after me and told me that he would talk to the management about the problem and that I should give him my phone number and/or e-mail address, they would contact me. He asked me to "do nothing rash" until I heard from them. After giving him my e-mail we left, but not before talking to an elderly gentleman from Australia in front of the house who also explained that they had never experienced anything like that before. Needless to say that I haven't heard anything substantial from them until today, although I gave them another chance writing an e-mail 2 days after our return asking about their decision on the matter. I do honestly believe that something like this should not be possible and that the hotel is committing a kind of crime against hospitality, honesty, fairness and respect and I cannot imagine that they can go on with their practices someone should stop that kind of fraud and robbery. Don't believe a word of the Internet site of this place!!!

Date visited: Aug 25, 2009

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