Cold showers, rip off electricity charge and don’t dare check out late!
Let me start by saying that I believe QHotels (previously De Vere) operates some of the best hotels in the UK. However, my experience with Cameron House ‘luxury’ lodges left me feeling cold and ripped off.
If you decide to chance your arm and book a lodge be prepared for the following:
Cold showers. The lodge shower was only just warm enough to stand under for a few minutes and had about as much pressure as a bottle of flat pop. We ended up using the local leisure facility instead.
Rip off additional electric charges. An additional charge for electricity (there’s no gas so everything’s electric) is far in excess of the national average per kilowatt hour with no way to find out how much you’ve used until a bill is shoved under the door just before you leave. You also get charged for the street lighting outside!
£45 fine if you check out after 10am, £90 if you leave it more than 61 minutes (they state in bold type that no requests for a late check out – anything after 10am – will be accepted).
Welcome instructions that have been photocopied to death. This may seem a bit picky but I’ve come to expect so much more of De Vere over the years, The documentation informing new guests of local sights and information on the lodge has been photocopied and re-photocopied more than a very poor secondary school textbook! Come on De Vere, decent paper and a colour printer hardly costs the earth. I also thought it was a little mean that they only highlighted their own restaurants, with no mention of those in the local town of Balloach only a short walk away.
My partner did attempt to contact De Vere regarding our stay but their reply only stated that they would look into making the additional electricity charge more prominent on their website.
On the flip side, Cameron House Hotel is everything that’s good about De Vere with their attention to detail, leisure facilities and warm welcome beyond anything I’ve experienced in other hotel chains.
A real pity then about their ‘luxury lodges‘. On checking out the lady billing my card didn’t even bother to ask if we’d had a nice stay or ‘was everything ok?’ (probably because of the mad rush with people trying to check out before 10 am and avoid the £45 fine).
So, take my advice; forget the lodges, book a room in the hotel instead and enjoy free hot showers and no additional electricity bills or fines for checking out a few minutes late. What’s more, you’ll get a great breakfast without having to pay them for the electricity to cook it or heat the room where you eat it.