Hotel and training centre, Melksham, Wiltshire

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Our email: • Phone: 01144 1225 708225

For 2023 (and 2024 ...) - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Arrival and Departure experiences - another hotel

Running a hotel for our trainees (and other business customers) on one hand, and staying in hotels regularly while away on business on the other hand gives me a rare chance to see closely what goes on from both sides, in depth. And it's a great chance to learn for our own hotel - to take the best ideas and use them as appropriate on one hand, and to take the worst experiences and say "why did that happen" and make sure it doesn't happen to our customers.

Some notes from the last two nights, spent at the Holiday Inn at Histon, near Cambridge. And I'm going to highlight the arrival and departure experiences.

Arrival. After a LONG day, I didn't want to have to wait in line behind 20 tourists checking in, each of whom had their passports being photocopied. Yet their money is good income for the hotel too, who are left with something of a conundrum as to how to handle the situation. I'll simply record an "open verdict" on what should have been done, and note that it's a situation that will not occur with us, in consideration of our small size.

However ... when I get to the front of the line, my checking form is showing a room rate 19 pounds per night higher than the room rate I selected on line, and I'm asked to provide a credit card and enter my pin to authorise a figure 50% highere again. We get it sorted - apparently the room rate is 38 pounds more for the first night that the second but it's just the first night shown.

Part of the arrival experience is finding my way to the room and getting on line; I seemed to have the longest walk in the hotel (and poorly signed), and found I had a smoking room. Hmm - I know I had, as a late booking, only been able to express a preference for non, but a "sorry couldn't do" would have been nice from the checkin clerk. Online easily enough, but the 15 pounds a day just a few minutes after trying to push my room rate up by 20 made me feel that profit must come before customers here. The well laid out welcome tray, the thankfully large work desk, and the power points above the desk didn't completely clear the feeling, and the fact that I had to negotiate 4 buttons on my TV remote to find the free TV, when I could have been watching adult movies in just two click, confirmed my view.

Departure. "I think I should try their breakfast" I thought to myself on my last morning - advertised as a great way to start the day in my room but with no mention of price, I kinda guessed it might not be cheap. It was 13.75. Buffet, but excellent buffet; multiple citrus fruit, wide, wide range of traditional breakfast, and a note to ask for smoked haddock, kippers or porridge. Although we can't match in range, we DO match in quality and indeed we exceed. No real juice - no FRESH croissants and bread, and one of the precut grapefurit bowls was going slighly rancid. It re-iterated for me the ingredient QUALITY that we go for, and how important it is for it to be fresh.

I was dreading checkout - that long line of people patiently waiting to pay as I had come in for breakfast, so I was attacted by the "checkout over breakfast" offer on which I took the hotel up. My initial enquiry of the hostess as to whether I could re-access my room having checked out lead to an answer that I couldn't understand as she struggled with English, but in a few minutes one of the front of house team turned up with my bill, assured me I could get back in, and completed the procedure. Fast, painless, recommended. As they don't seem to have a hands-free credit card machine, my card had to be taken around the back and a chit to sign was produced.

I think we could do the same. For sure, if a guest asks for us to check them out while they're at breakfast we're already set up so that we could do so. Perhaps it's something we should make a bigger deal of?
(written 2007-05-26, updated 2007-05-29)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter for individual articles
M401 - Well House Manor - Seeing how others do it
  [17] Differing tastes - (2004-08-17)
  [514] Crazy Day-sies - (2005-12-02)
  [619] If its Sunday, it must be the Norland - (2006-02-23)
  [693] The on line booking experience - (2006-04-21)
  [699] Extremes costs of getting on line - (2006-04-25)
  [714] Room for Octopuses - (2006-05-08)
  [736] New Tape Librarian - (2006-05-28)
  [966] CSL, KISS and RTFM - (2006-12-05)
  [1011] Well House Manor and Beechfield House, Hotels, Melksham - (2006-12-29)
  [1026] The Wheatsheaf 2, The Bell 0 - (2007-01-09)
  [1091] The Psyche is all wrong. - (2007-02-24)
  [1287] Work and play at Well House Manor - Football and Shell Shortcuts - (2007-08-02)
  [1301] Plastic or China - (2007-08-12)
  [1333] Kasteel Elsloo - Michelin rated hotel. - (2007-09-05)
  [1347] Wireless Internet Access at hotels - an update and some pitfalls - (2007-09-12)
  [1354] Match the Bedroom to the Hotel - (2007-09-17)
  [1356] Crystal Ball - How long do I need to be online? - (2007-09-18)
  [1374] Maidenhead Coffee Challenge - (2007-10-02)
  [1406] Away or home - which do I prefer? - (2007-10-25)
  [1413] The little gestures that can really count - (2007-10-27)
  [1454] From Sunday to Monday, from Melksham to the Balkans - (2007-12-03)
  [1458] The wrong way to put up prices - (2007-12-05)
  [1525] Just one thing let the service down - but that is my memory - (2008-01-31)
  [1547] New bathing idea for hotels from Hotelympia - (2008-02-20)
  [1597] Comparing hotels - as a guest and from the proprietors view - (2008-04-01)
  [1672] The Composting Cone Challenge - (2008-06-10)
  [1758] Lindors Hotel, near St. Briavels, Wye Valley - (2008-08-18)
  [1915] Quietly putting prices up - (2008-12-02)
  [2007] Launch of Melksham Food and Drink Festival - (2009-01-24)
  [2105] Hire Car, from Atlanta Airport - (2009-03-27)
  [2127] Call in the professionals! - (2009-04-12)
  [2308] A new place in pictures - (2009-07-28)
  [2311] Floor to ceiling - (2009-07-30)
  [2413] Sanity checking the price, and selling up to increase income - (2009-09-21)
  [2441] Not your cup of tea? - (2009-10-08)
  [2502] Monday night, Tuesday night - (2009-11-13)
  [2885] Twenty Questions - (2010-07-24)
  [2911] Feeding the Grockles - (2010-08-09)
  [3054] Longhope Hotel - (2010-11-16)
  [3333] Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way - (2011-06-25)
  [3368] Well House Manor hotel, Melksham - recommended to you by our customers - (2011-07-23)
  [3754] Eyes Wide Open - (2012-06-06)
  [3776] Some traps it's so easy to fall into in designing your web site - (2012-06-23)
  [3794] Should hotel staff sit on the toilet in the customer bedrooms? - (2012-07-02)
  [3900] The Xxxxx Guest House in Xxxxxxxxxxx - my stay reviewed - (2012-10-20)
  [3963] National TV - Melksham - 9th January 2013, Pre-alert. - (2012-12-27)
  [3970] Comparing four VERY different places to stay - (2013-01-11)
  [3975] Being an amateur hotel inspector helps me run a professional hotel - (2013-01-14)
  [4058] The highs and lows of customer service - Cheltenham - (2013-04-03)
  [4081] Pushing down the advertised price, pushing up the total price charged. - (2013-05-08)
  [4091] A reminder of why we opened Well House Manor for our customers - (2013-05-17)
  [4093] More things to make sure that we do NOT do ... - (2013-05-18)
  [4109] What might you find at a tiny bed and breakfast? - (2013-06-03)
  [4177] Setting and publishing your hours to suit your customer base - (2013-09-18)
  [4245] It always happens to me when I'm in Borehamwood! - (2014-03-06)
  [4255] Making a personal gain from a more expensive business hotel stay - (2014-04-02)
  [4321] Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable? - (2014-11-20)
  [4348] Taking my life in my hands in Swansea - (2014-12-11)
  [4373] A long and disappointing evening - (2014-12-30)
  [4443] Seventh stay away this year - and it's still only February! - (2015-02-25)

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Spot the difference
Previous and next
Horse's mouth home
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Where and When - can you place the picture?
Some other Articles
Where did the Bank Holiday go?
Meet other local businesses in Melksham
Simple but effective use of mod_rewrite (Apache httpd)
Where and When - can you place the picture?
Arrival and Departure experiences - another hotel
Spot the difference
A Fresh horse
Returning multiple values from a function (Perl, PHP, Python)
No switch in Python
Training information - England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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