My boyfriend and I booked a two night stay with a living social voucher. Reading previous reviews I knew the hotel was in a remote location and rang them to check there was a mobile phone signal there, as due to personal circumstances it was essential that we could be reached by phone at all times. I was told phone reception was generally poor but Vodafone was pretty much ok. As we had 4 phone networks available (including vodafone) between us we thought we would manage. We arrived late evening and found there was zero reception on all the 4 networks at the hotel. Due to the lack of a "plan B" at the hotel (room phones don't accept incoming calls and the reception is not manned between 11pm and 7.45am, even the wifi doesn't reach the hotel rooms) we were unable to complete our stay and were forced to check out after one night, causing us to feel stressed and have a sleepless night due to being unreachable. The lack of a phone signal is of course not the hotels fault and may benefit some guests who just want to "switch off" but a "plan B" should be available for others. On speaking to some of the locals in the pub they told us the Vodafone mast had been down in the area for at least a month. Had I have known that I would not have stayed there this weekend, knowing we were reliant on a phone signal.
When we arrived we wanted a hot meal but were disappointed to be told only sandwiches were available if we didn't want the 4 course meal. We had to trek out again to the local pub where we got a decently priced "pub grub" meal at the Cumberland pub. The potholes in the drive of the hotel are pretty bad.
Our room door lock was warped making entry very difficult. The room was generally nicely decorated and had a lovely view. There were some marks on the carpet, being very light in colour. The bed was huge but we didn't like all the layers of sheets and blankets, would've preferred a duvet. But that is personal choice.
The lounge area with an open fire was cosy. The clock had stopped on the mantelpiece. This may have been deliberate? But it just added to our feelings of being cut off and slightly disoriented.
We went back to our room about midnight and found that the bathroom light didn't work. Fortunately there was a light on the mirror else I'm not sure what we would have done at that hour. The shower pressure was poor and the shower gel (which was a shampoo and gel all in one) was poor quality considering the hotel tries to set out a "luxury" image.
We found the room very cold overnight until the heating came on about 6am.
The breakfast was very nice with a huge choice of food and served by polite staff. We were due to have the 7 course meal in the evening but as I said we had to check out due to the phone signal problems. All in all it was a mixed experience. Sure, it is a nice hotel in a lovely remote area where you can relax and unwind. But I would say there needs to be a few improvements and more attention to detail to make the experience one to remember.
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- Also Known As:
- Lovelady Shield Country Hotel
- Lovelady Shield Country Alston