Fines Bayliwick Hotel / Wedding reception
Please see details below of a letter I sent to the Manager of the Hotel and as yet had no response and I wish to make a formal complaint
Fynes Baliwick Hotel
Re :10 May 2008
We write to formally make a complaint regarding the level service we experienced at our wedding reception on 10th May 2008. The points in question are as follows:
On arrival at the Hotel we were informed that there was a problem with the cake in as much that it had ‘melted’ and was put in the fridge. We had small chocolate hearts in the favor boxes NONE of which had melted ! The cake was resurrected for a couple of photographs but looked appalling. After a lengthy and heated discussion by our Best Man we were told that the cake had actually been knocked over. Why wasn’t Jeni (our cakemaker) telephoned to come back and repair the damage?
Jeni had left the Hotel at 1.00pm and left the cake in situ and perfectly fine, we arrived at the Hotel at 2.15pm to be told the cake had melted. We have spoken with Jeni and she assures us that in her expert opinion the cake would not/could not have melted.
Denise did, on the Friday, mention to you that she was not pleased with the cake being behind the table, none of the guests could see it and it was not in a good position, she had discussed with you about having it in the hall by the stairs or in the corner of the conservatory where it could be seen. The damage to the cake is totally the fault of the hotel and we will be looking for compensation.
Denise asked you to have the cake cut in approximately 45 pieces. You only used the 7” square top layer leaving the bottom layer in the fridge, obviously not big enough as most of the guests didn’t get a slice and those that did have mentioned how small the slices were. Why did you not use all the cake or the bottom layer that was a considerably bit larger ?
All guests should have been greeted with Bucks Fizz with squash for the children, half the guests including US did not get anything to drink – the half that did have told us that the amount of ‘fizz’ in the orange was exceedingly nominal if not just lemonade.
We were then told that the buffet layout had been put in the same room as the guests instead of the conference room, this was not as we discussed. We were told that both the conservatory and the conference room would be available for our use for as long as we wanted. NONE of the guests were told they could use the conference room, in fact it had already been laid for breakfast for the following day.
The access for the wheelchair was non-existent, no ramps or even a clear pathway around the hotel and when the guest arrived at the table the wheelchair would not fit and the space was too small, hence he had to be lifted out of the wheelchair by people he did not know and be put on an ordinary chair, causing him some great distress and embarrassment.
After our discussion with you on the Friday prior to the wedding day you confirmed that after the speeches etc the tables would be cleared and the food re laid out, this never happened. The buffet was cleared away and did not return back to the conservatory. We also discussed the wines for the tables, the Rose was still not on one of the tables and we had to ask for this. During the speech we asked for champagne for the toasts, again we had to ask for this holding up the celebrations !
The day was quite warm as you will recall yet there was not one jug of water on any of the tables and again our Best Man had to ask for a jug of ice for each of the tables so people could cool their drinks down. Surely this should be normal practice to have jugs of tap water on each table?
Whilst on the subject of drinks – when we first came to you to book your hotel for our reception I bought up the subject of the small catering bottles of spirits/soft drinks and you assured us you would be using the normal standard size bottles ie 75cl and liters etc. Could you please explain to us why people ordering a glass of cola were having 3 small tins poured into a glass costing £5.00 whilst if having as a mixer the cola was being poured from a large bottle ? Small bottles of water being charged at £2.50 each ! and where were the soft drinks for the children that we had asked for? A whiskey and cola was charged at £8.50. We do understand that drinks in hotels are usually more expensive but as we had already paid a huge sum of money to you we would have thought that the prices should be a little less.
About 5pm the guests were almost forcibly evicted from the conservatory because you needed to clean up and put the tables away (again) leaving the guests only the garden to sit/walk in.
With regard to the staff on the day, one of the elderly guests asked where a waitress where the toilets were – the answer was ‘I don’t know’. Another guest asked to use the hotel room we had booked and paid for on the ground floor so she could change her baby's nappy, she was not allowed the key and had to wait to have it opened for her after being told their was no room to use. After using the room it was again locked. The second time she needed to use the room it took so long in finding anyone to unlock she gave up and had to change the baby in the conservatory. Also when Denise asked if she could have the key to check nothing had been left in this room on the Sunday morning, she wasn’t given the key, you actually went and checked yourself and we had to take your word that it was clear – was the room let to someone else we wonder?
The waitresses – what exactly did they do on the day? The only people that they served were Denise’s parents (once). The waitress was given a list of food from the menu that was required only to bring back everything wrongly, in the end Denise’s mother helped herself! They didn’t serve at the buffet tables, only the cook from the kitchen dishing the salmon and beef and at the end of the day we know why.
The buffet food was lovely, cooked perfectly and arranged nicely and we do thank you for that. However, what we want to know is where did all the food that was left over go? There was at least a whole salmon that went missing along with other foods and I’m sure a lot of the Roast Beef. As already stated the food should have been cleared away, tidied up and returned out to the buffet tables, this did not happen.
Denise actually went to the kitchen around 10.00pm and asked for a plate of food as she was hungry, a selection of bits plus some beef and salmon. There were two members of staff in the kitchen, the young lady who said she would bring the food to the room and a man. All fine so far ! however the girl came to the room and said that she didn’t know how to cut the salmon as it was still whole, Denise replied ‘ that’s ok it’s my salmon just cut a slice off’ eventually we got the food.
On the Sunday when we inquired about the left over food, which we were going to take with us on our long 12 hour trip we were told that it had been given to the staff! How dare you, that is theft, we paid for that food it was ours and gave no permission for it to be given away, who in fact had the food as it was still in the hotel at 10.00pm the night before ? and the conversation we had about the food was around 9.00am the following morning.
On the Sunday we were again presented with yet another bill. We accept the charge for the extra bottles of wine but NOT the charge for the waitresses. At NO point in the past 7 months was a Service Charge or a charge for the waitresses ever discussed or mentioned and to present this the morning after our wedding is scandalous and totally unacceptable.
We had mentioned to you about flowers and balloons arriving on the Saturday morning, both were left in our bedroom, even though you had acknowledged that the balloons were for the table decorations for the buffet food tables in the conference room. We had to physically go and get the balloons that were by now in such a tangle that we were unable to part them and so had to leave them in a heap in the corner of the room.
The other point we want to raise is connected with our Best Man and his wife who were staying at the hotel. When we originally looked around the hotel and booked the four poster room for ourselves we discussed having the Best Man in the other ground floor four poster room. You informed us that as they were part of the wedding package they would only be charged £65. When they got to the hotel they had been packed away on the 2nd floor at the back of the hotel in probably the smallest room – why? They also had to pay full price – why? If we had known you were going to do this we would have given them the room on the ground floor that we had paid full use for and never got to see the inside of or even the key!
You omitted to mention to us when booking your hotel that a refurbishment of the conservatory would be undertaken 6 weeks before the wedding – causing great distress to Denise. You assured us that all would be well for the big day. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to you to let any guests know that they couldn’t have meals in the evening! Mr & Mrs Dobson quizzed you about this and eventually you served them with Spaghetti Bolognaise for a cost of £20 each on the Friday night.
Knowing full well who they were and what time the wedding was, you didn’t serve breakfast until gone 9.00am the Saturday morning making them late and having to hurry to the Grooms house in Camberley again causing distress not only to them but also to the Groom.
When Jeni (Cakes/flowers) arrived at your hotel around 11am on the Saturday she mentioned that the smell of new paint was overpowering and indeed actually passed the decorator going out when she was on the way in! Maybe this is how the cake was knocked over, opening the double doors to let fresh air in?