Extremely disappointed bride - wedding experience ruined by appalling service - AVOID
I stayed here recently with my bridesmaids the night before my wedding as I was having my ceremony at the chateau in the morning.
On my arrival at the hotel, the Wedding Coordinator, Nikki, greeted me by mistake thinking I was with another couple. On check in at reception, the receptionist did not check that I had prepaid for the room and charged me the higher deposit fee of £100. It was only when I pointed out that I had prepaid that it was cancelled and charged me the correct deposit fee of £50.
When we arrived at the room, it stank of smoke. This is not acceptable as all the apartment rooms are non-smoking. I had to go to reception to complain and a cleaner had to be sent.
We went for an early dinner at the restaurant around 6pm. I asked the waitress at the desk that I would like a table for 4 outside. To which she huffed, put her head on the desk then looked at the other waitress before responding with “We’re busy”. It was evident from the restaurant and terraces outside were not very busy as only 4 tables were occupied inside and 4 outside. The waitress continued to extremely rude to us in her manner and tone, asking “well what do you want to eat?” before we had even been provided with a menu or sat down at table. When we requested to sit outside, she tried to put us on the first table she saw, when we requested a table with a parasol as it was really sunny, she just rolled her eyes at us. When it came to ordering food, she was not helpful at all in describing the portion sizes to assist in in deciding what to have. The waitress didn’t have a name tag but she was an older lady (mid 40s) short with mousy blonde hair.
I had to shout in order to get the attention of a waiter to order our drinks. When we requested a drinks menu, we were told by the waiter that they don’t have a drinks menu, but they do everything. I asked for an espresso martini and the waiter responded with “we don’t do cocktails.”
At no point during our meal did someone come to ask how it was. Our plates were not cleared once we had finished our food. We had to ask for our table to be cleared and for a dessert menu. Neither of those things happened. After waiting for over half an hour, we had enough and just left.
We went to reception and complained. I stated this is not the service I expect to receive, especially given that I would be having my wedding here the next day. The receptionist said she will feedback to the restaurant and inform the duty manager who will get back to me regarding any compensation. I told the receptionist I what room I was staying in. I did not receive a phone call or update regarding my complaint that evening.
On the day of my wedding, I phoned reception at 8 am to confirm the time for breakfast to be served in the room. The receptionist was not aware that breakfast would be served at the room. Even though I had specified with the Wedding Coordinator at the requirements meeting we had 4 weeks prior to the wedding that I wanted 4 full English breakfasts to be served in the room for 9am. I stated that I want breakfast to be served in the apartment. In addition, I requested an update regarding the complaint I had made the night before. The receptionist told me that I would get a call back regarding breakfast and the complaint.
I did not get a call back and my bridesmaid had to call reception at 9am, only to be told that breakfast must be pre-ordered. We had not been sent any breakfast because they didn’t know what we wanted, although no one told us that we had to pre-order and there were no menus in the room for us to pre-order from. Breakfast arrived 40 minutes late. This had a knock-on effect with us getting ready and resulted in me being late to the ceremony.
When I arrived at the reception, already stressed out from being late. I was greeted by Steven, the duty manager, who informed me that I would be coming in through the restaurant entrance. At that point it was pretty clear that the room had been set up incorrectly. I made it very clear to Steven that was NOT what I had wanted or agreed to. I was extremely distressed at this point with everything that has happened since I arrived at the venue and it was visible to everyone around me. Steven managed to rearrange the room quickly and I was able to enter in the correct entrance and the ceremony could begin. Fortunately, the ceremony itself went smoothly. However, the wrong song was played as we left the room following the ceremony, which was extremely annoying as the song had a lot of significance to us.
Although we were slightly late coming back from our photoshoot, which was due to the ceremony starting late, which was due to breakfast not being served on time, the afternoon tea was not served. The service was extremely slow with drinks being bought out one at a time. The coffee was also weak and bland. This again meant we could not start eating until all the guest had been served further delaying us.
My bridemaids had to leave the afternoon tea early to sort out the complaint and compensation from restaurant the night before. It was not completely resolved by the time we needed to leave to go to the next venue to check in and go to our wedding reception, again this caused further distress as it made us late and had a further knock on effect for the rest of the day. The bill I received stated the late check out fee had been waived and a discount of 50% off on the room due to bad service but the meal remained on the bill. I have not received any contact regarding the refund owed.
Then 2 days after the wedding, I receive an email from the Wedding Coordinator acknowledging there was an error with the layout of the room but no apology because it was rectified. Also requested that I share my wedding photos so they can use it for their website and social media.
I expected a lot more from Chateau Impney given the number of weddings they do and they can cater for weddings of 1000 guests. Yet it is beyond me how they cannot deliver on simple requirements for an intimate wedding with 11 people and serve afternoon tea. I would not recommend the hotel, restaurant or their wedding services to anyone. Despite the beauty of the venue, it is a 3* hotel for reason, that reason being the level of service they provide.