10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Not impressed, donât be fooled by the pictures on the web site. The staff, to be fair, are very friendly but thatâs probably normal Cornish friendliness. We had to ask twice for towels, the bathroom is very poorly finished and the bath decidedly dangerous for taking a shower as it is very slippery and no hand hold. We were not supplied with a bath mat for the floor, there was nowhere to hang the bath towels, and disconcertingly a damp patch on the ceiling. Bathrobes in the wardrobe a pleasant surprise, but one had the tie belt missing. There was no phone in the room, which meant we had to go to reception each time once to request towels again and once for a clean glass. There was nowhere to sit in the bedroom except the bed (with only one pillow each) and a stool for the diminutive dressing table. We mentioned this and were offered a chair, which did not materialise. There was not much of the Â£6 million refurbishment that was spent on accessories with its cheap supermarket kettle, supermarket bedside lamps and mugs from a famous Swedish store. The street is extremely noisy all night, as well as the door banging inside. Breakfast was shambolic, which put us off wanting to dine at the hotel in the evening. We were impressed on returning from breakfast, to find that our room had been done, with a bath mat, but the cups had not been replaced/cleaned nor the small bin emptied and the new towels were damp. We came here with Groupon , but certainly would have been very upset if we had paid full price, this is not a luxury hotel it is very basic. Note for the management: please do not use the excuse that you have only just opened and staff are new, if you were not ready you shouldnât have opened and if the staff arenât up to standard they should be supervised. This excuse does not make our stay any more pleasant. If you would like more details of our dissatisfaction, I would be happy to supply them. The last straw was finding that our car was blocked in the car park and we were not able to make a quick getaway!"
- Travel date: 27th July 2011
Disappointing experience for food...
"On the evening of the 24th July, my partner and I along with her parents visited The Strand for the first time since completion of its six million pound refurbishment. It is clear that The Strand Hotel markets itself as an up-market establishment, so we had high expectations of both the quality of food and customer service. However, both of which proved to be sadly lacking. We all live locally in Bude, and are aware of the two sides to the restaurant, one a Chicago Town pizza restaurant and the other serving a menu consisting mainly of gastro style pub food. Rewind two days then, when we telephoned and arranged for a booking on the Sunday night at 7.30pm. This was dealt with accordingly but for some reason the person we spoke too failed to take note of our name. Upon arrival on Sunday evening, it was evident from the outside that the pizza side of the restaurant was closed. So we walked in and found that we were allocated a table in the other side, for which no booking was made, however the pizza menu was still available and so no real worries. However, my father in law had quite been looking forward to the cannelloni, only to be informed that was off the menu tonight. Also, when ordering drinks the hotel had completely sold out of Fosters lager. I must be honest here Iâve never eaten anywhere where the beer has been sold out. Iâve had to wait for the barrel to be changed, fair enough, but to run out completely sounds like bad organisation and planning to me. As he couldnât have the cannelloni, we asked to see the other menu to see if anything else on there he would like. To our amazement however, that menu is unavailable on Sundays as the chef does not work that day. At no point had that been mentioned to us previously, I personally would have considered it wise when booking our table to make customers aware of this for Sunday dining. We ordered drinks which arrived promptly, although it is clear the staff are poorly trained and vastly inexperienced to run such an establishment. Once we had ordered our food, it took a good 45 minutes to arrive, during which time the waiter and waitresses came over to our table twice and asked us if we had ordered food. That could only mean to us that the meal was lost or delayed, considering the restaurant was half full at best we felt that reflected poorly on the organisation within the kitchen. One the meal itself did arrive, the quality was very poor. For me I canât understand why the hotel has established itself with food from a name like Chicago Town, which at best is cheap and cheerful and can be brought in supermarkets. It doesnât endear itself to the rest of the hotel which to be fair is decorated and done out very nice. I had a poor lasagne, my partner had the pizza and it could easily have been something youâve chucked in the microwave for 10 minutes. It was not worth the prices paid (although itâs not really that expensive) and the ambience within the restaurant is quiet and very subdued. Some background music is badly needed to lighten the atmosphere. To be honest, we couldnât wait to leave. I really didnât know what to expect from Chicago Town and now I know we certainly wonât be back. Perhaps the hotels own menu with proper cooked food from the chef is better, but as we couldnât have any of it I cannot pass comment. I also cannot pass comment on the rooms, as we leave locally in Bude there is no reason for us to stay at the hotel. (However they do look very nice from photos) However, my overall opinion would be that the hotel currently doesnât know what type of place it really wants to be, or the type of cliental it wants to attract. For example, they have a fantastic sun terrace on the roof of the second floor but for some inexplicable reason you cannot drink up there. It would be an absolute no brainer in the summer for people to flock here, enjoy a beer and soak up the view. Instead theyâve converted the top floor into a very expensive but pointless penthouse (therefore rendering the terrace below useless) and made the terrace a members only feature. (from Â£20 a month by the way, for which at the time of writing you get very little for) Seems like a real waste to me of something very special. Also, the layout of the restaurant/bar could be better, I stand to be corrected here but it appears that the wall between the function room and the bar cannot be sealed off, therefore rendering it pointless for functions. Why would you have youâre wedding here if the room cannot be sealed? Youâre not going to want the average Joe jumping in on your wedding party just because the room is not private. The toilets are in this function area too, and for some reason immediately after opening the door to the gents there are two steps down which will catch you by surprise. That really should be levelled out, Iâd imagine after a few drinks I can see a few trips and falls happening here potentially resulting in broken bones. Finally, the whole hotel seems very hot. On our particular visit it was raining and the sky was very dull, it hadnât been a hot day, but the restaurant was boiling. Numerous ceiling fans have been fitted in the function area but none in the restaurant that I could see. Having spent six million quid putting this hotel right and fitting fans that circulate hot air, couldnât air conditioning have been fitted instead? Overall, we were left very disappointed by The Strand and wonât be back in a hurry. It seems the hotel has much more wrong with it than it does right with it. The Strand would be wise to take a step back and re-evaluate itself, pronto. Lose the awful Chicago Town association and the penthouse; open the terrace so people can enjoy a drink and revamp the menu to decent home made pub food. Itâs a real mismatch at the moment and will probably earn a negative reputation amongst the locals in Bude. Time for a re-thinkâ¦"
- Travel date: 25th July 2011
lovely weekend stay
"We booked a weekend stay through Groupon and were really impressed with all the staff and the level of service provided. The room was clean and fresh and the breakfast was first class well done. Only one thing I would suggest would be to offer more service on the terrace, menus and snacks that could be purcased all day . Would recommend to anyone thank you"
- Travel date: 24th July 2011
"We stayed one night on a groupon offer on 16 July. I would definitely recommend this hotel. The rooms are nicely presented, well furnished, spacious and clean. There is not much more to say because that is all you want from a room. You will not get generic faceless corporate hospitality here. The owners are staff are friendly, attentive and genuinely want you to enjoy your stay. they are nice people with personality. We ate in the restaurant (not the pizza side) and enjoyed an excellent meal. The room is well decorated with comfortable booths and a nice atmosphere. I had a lovely line caught seabass served on a bed of samphire and my wife had a seafood paella , both following tiger prawn starters. We had traditional english desserts. The wine list is excellent value for money and we did enjoy a couple of bottles.The food was well cooked and presented, made with local ingredients and delicious. We do eat out a lot and this meal was well above the average standard we experience. Yes you can tell it is a newly open restaurant because the staff were clearly learning the ropes. In practice this basically meant that you did not have one person serving you all of your meal. This did not detract from our enjoyment of our meal and all the staff were friendly and courteous. While we were staying away as a couple, we do have young children and like to eat out with them, and it was nice to see that families with kids were made very welcome and extra effort was made for them. Any family that has regularly eaten out with their children will realise what a bonus this is. Cooked breakfast was good, excellent bacon and sausages and all the normal choices. We had a good stay and hope you do to."
- Travel date: 21st July 2011
Amazing, loved it.
"Right from the start of booking this hotel, the customer service has been superb. The hotel has newly opened and has been executed to such a high standard, everything screams quality. I adore the soaps and lotions in the bathroom, better than I've used in some 5* hotels. The view from our room was spectacular, showing just how beautiful Bude is. We ate both nights in the restaurant and loved it both times. There was a live group on the second night which were outstanding. All the staff from breakfast to dinner are so pleasant and friendly they really can't do enough. The food at dinner was amazing, I can highly recommend the fish. Really good value for money. The restaurant can easily stand on it's own merits even without being part of this lovely hotel. The owner and management are clearly present which is the reason why this hotel runs so well, you can tell professionalism and care for their customers is their priority. I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough. We are definitely coming back in fact I'd move in permanently if I could. Myself and my husband loved it!!"
- Travel date: 19th July 2011
excellent rooms, excellent food
"The Strand Hotel is newly refurbished. The room I stayed in was spacious, clean, bed very comfortable, and ensuite bathroom lovely. I ate in the restaurant and was very happy with the standard of the food, and the service. The staff are young, but very polite and willing to please. There is free wi-fi at the hotel which I think is essential, especially as I was on a business trip. The view from the 3rd floor balcony, the "club" was superb - I watched the sun setting over the bay. I would recommend this for business or holiday stays."
- Travel date: 17th July 2011
"highest standards of comfort and service" - I think not
"Last night we had the misfortune to stop at The Strand bistro for dinner. The Strand has recently re-opened following a substantial refurbishment, and the decor of the bistro looked quite inviting. Specials were indicated on a board outside - locally caught fish - and there a few couples within so we thought we would give it a try. We were shown to a table in the window, given a couple of menus and ordered drinks. Despite the bar being only eight feet away, it took over five minutes for the drinks to arrive. Some ten minutes passed before the waitress returned to find out wehat we would like to order; it was then she discovered that we had been given the "lunch-time" menue instead of the evening one, so we had to reappraise our choice. Having ordered from the now correct menu, the waitress left - leaving behind the menus. For the next quarter of an hour, the area in front of us took on the appearance of a Benny Hill sketch - people came through the front door, went to the bar then disappeared through one of two adjacent doors with glasses of beer, only to reappear minutes later and exit the front door again. After fifteen minutes I caught sight of 'our' waitress, she came over and I asked her to remove the menus and perhaps provide us with some cutlery for the forthcoming meal (The couple behind me had had to ask for cutlery AFTER their meal had been delivered!). After another quarter of an hour she came over again and apologised for the delay in the provision of our food, indicating that it would be with us in a couple of minutes. Bear in mind there were only another six potential diners in there, and we had only seen two actually served with food. Our food finally turned up twenty minutes later - a sum total of fifty minutes from ordering! My wife's fish, which she said was good, was served with "seasonal vegetables" which consisted of boiled potatoes, carrots and chips???? The chips (seasonal?) were very greasy. My pepperoni pizza was also extremely greasy and appeared bought in, most of it I could not eat. The waitress came to check whether or not everything was alright about two minutes before we had finished. The whole operation appears very amateurish despite its claim "a revolutionary concept in hospitality ". If you are going to charge professional restaurant prices, you should offer your customers a professional service. I asked the waitress to convey my disappointment to whoever was in charge but received no feedback or apology. When endeavouring to pay the bill, it transpired that they do not have the facilities to take credit cards, and that you should leave your card details on some sort of form - I think not. Fortunately I had sufficient cash; but it seems odd that they have been open for approximately a month and this facility has not been actioned. Pretty indicative of the level of management organisation I would say."
- Travel date: 15th July 2011
Opening night 18th June.
"I would just like to put i want to the opening night on the 18th June and you should see the place it looks amazing. It make Bude look so much better as its the first place you come to when entering Bude. Not sure how the other 2 people have commented on the The Strand as it has not been a hotel for at lest 8 years and in 2009 it was a disco/night club. Big thumbs up to the guys Involved well done :) There are some updated pics of the hotel on there website www.strandhotelbude.co.uk. Thanks Jonathan"
- Travel date: 9th July 2011
hotel from hell!!!!
"we stopped here for a week the food was that awful we ate out!! never again the worst place we have ever stopped in!!! something out of a horror film"
- Travel date: 7th April 2010
This is the worst hotel we have ever stayed in
"This place is abysmal - dont believe their web-site which makes it look nice They say they have parking but they dont - we had to park the other side of the town. We booked for 3 nights - no-one cleaned the rooms or replenished Tea / Coffee, there was no storage apart from a clothes rail high up by the ceiling with flimsy bendy coat hangers. The service was rubbish Worst of all - we had to put up with the sound of the night club blaring until 3am - there is no sound insulation and it sounds like you are in the night cub We could not put up with it and said we were moving - they would not refund the money we had payed up front 2 days previously - more fool us for booking via lastminute.com!! I can only share our experience and hopefully avoid you having such an awful break at this dismal place"
- Travel date: 22nd September 2009