Hotel and training centre, Melksham, Wiltshire
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Night Porter and reception - 24 hours a day?

We're a "small hotel" and we don't have a member of staff on reception / service 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. We are available (on call) at the press of a button while you're staying with us, and will be with you within a few minutes if you need us. It would only be practical for us to go the extra mile if we were considerably larger, and charged considerably more - and that is just not the market we serve.

Actually, I think our service level / advertising is about right on this - as it's worked very well for four years, and we've only just had our first issue. But every customer is important, and I have checked back in review.

The AA guide to hotel rating would place us as a smaller hotel; here are extracts from their detailed paperwork:

* "Smaller hotels [have] a maximum of 20 bedrooms. They will be personally run by the proprietor and are likely to have limited function basis."

* Extra at four star: "A member of staff - possibly the night porter - on-duty and able to perform reception duties [24 hours a day] ...". Note that it's acceptable for a call bell to be have to used during the night to reach this person, even at a four star hotel.

As one should (and would want to), I have discussed the matter with the guests concerned, and looked to understand how they came to think there would be a member of staff available to help them at all times. And I am satisfied that the information we provide is correct; the quality of our rooms and web site, and experience of hotels in different countries where the mix of standards differ, may well have lead to an incorrect assumption of near-instant (and wide awake staff member) service levels.

The following hotels are within 12 miles of us, and offer 4 star hotel rating - so should provide the service that future potential guests in this category are looking for :
* Macdonald Bath Spa, from 147 pounds per night (breakfast extra).
* Barcelo Combe Grove Manor, from 166 to 266 pounds per night.
* Manor House Hotel, from 180 pounds per night.
* Bowood Hotel, advertised "from 180 pounds per night" but quoting 250 at present.

It's interesting to note that you'll pay at least 57 pounds per night per twin / double room more than our top 90 pound rate for the lowest rate room at the cheapest of these for your bed - and that's before you add breakfast (which we include) and perhaps other costs which we include too (internet, lots of TV channels, soft drinks ...). And to be fair, these hotels may provide many other extras within that extra 57 pounds or more.

The following hotels are also well known local establishments but fall below the 24 x 7 manned reception standard according to their rating (but check with them - they may be above standard in an area that's critical to you):
* Woolley Grange, Shaw Country Hotel, Angel (Chippenham), Beechfield, Leigh Park - two or three star.
* Pear Tree (Whitley) - "Guest Accommodation" rather than hotel, so limited services.
* Conigre Farm, King's Arms - "Guest Accom" and I'm unsure of their ratings

We want our guests to be happy - so we do not seek bookings from people who require services that we cannot offer. I am providing the list above, and going to suggest that for their next stay in the area, our guests consider staying at one of the four hotel listed, which say they are staffed and run to meet their needs; they should check that they're goig to get what they need direct with the hotel as they book.

I am happy with the level of service we provide. We rank highly, it's very rare for a customer to be unhappy with what we provide, and a very great deal of our business is returning guests and recommendations - customers who arrive not knowing us leave as our ambassadors, even if they won't have the need to travel to our area again in the future.

P.S. - we don't have a "last checkin time" - we offer accommodation for business travelers and we will cheerfully show you to your room and help you settle down in the middle of the night if that's when you arrive. And we'll help with any other matters that arise too. But you may have had to wait for five minutes if you hadn't given us an estimated arrival time, or if you're already checked in and call us for further help

I'm revisiting this page, late December 2010, as I revise our site to cover new prices forced on most businesses by the upcoming rise in VAT, As from January 2010, our rates will be £85.00 single and £95.00 double. As I write it's unclear whether other hotels increase prices to reflect the extra VAT, absorb the difference from their profit (!), or take the opportunity to make a larger price increase than just the VAT change.
(written 2010-07-20, updated 2010-12-26)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter for individual articles
M400 - Well House Manor - The Hospitality Business
  [4613] Our best hotel customers help us ... to help them ... be our best customers. - (2016-01-04)
  [4603] Happy New Year. Our customers are our ambassadors - (2016-01-01)
  [4543] Saturday morning at Well House Manor - (2015-10-17)
  [4521] Should we get an AA or Visit Wiltshire hotel assessment? - (2015-10-09)
  [4321] Are administration / review charges on hotel guests acceptable? - (2014-11-20)
  [4232] Not wanted here - hotel guests who will not be happy - (2013-12-30)
  [4202] Excellent Railfuture conference, but some setup lessons - (2013-11-03)
  [4051] On reading a new hotel review - (2013-03-24)
  [4033] Official Star ratings for hotels - still worth having? - (2013-03-07)
  [3988] Three cheers for the staff at Well House Manor - (2013-01-24)
  [3909] Every Customer Counts - (2012-11-01)
  [3838] Guest review - Well House Manor, Melksham - (2012-08-14)
  [3832] A busy day at Well House Manor - so come in and make it even busier! - (2012-08-10)
  [3743] Sunday - no longer a day of rest - (2012-05-28)
  [3660] A Pivotal Incident - learning how to welcome your guests - (2012-03-18)
  [3309] Tipping Policy - Well House Manor - (2011-05-29)
  [3164] Brown - or Mrs Sally Brown, accountant from Whitstable? - (2011-02-10)
  [3147] Hotel star ratings - towards a better system of review - (2011-01-25)
  [2936] The service that customers should receive - (2010-08-27)
  [2724] Escapee Grandparents welcome - Henfield and Melksham - (2010-04-15)
  [2593] Food and drink launch - (2010-01-21)
  [2303] Turning potential customers away - (2009-07-24)
  [2283] Everyone is in the customer relations business - (2009-07-12)
  [2007] Launch of Melksham Food and Drink Festival - (2009-01-24)
  [1877] Guests doing a bunk? - (2008-11-09)
  [1792] All the pieces fall into place - hotel and courses - (2008-09-10)
  [1622] An extra step - victory from defeat - (2008-04-25)
  [1548] Hotelympia - show report - the lighter side - (2008-02-21)
  [1445] Looking after you Christmas Customer Crowds - (2007-11-26)
  [1422] Wiltshire - speaker / after dinner talker offer - (2007-11-05)
  [1421] Castle Lodge Hotel, Ely, Cambridgeshire - (2007-11-04)
  [1284] An update on the West Wilts show ... - (2007-07-30)
  [1248] How NOT to oversell a hotel - (2007-06-27)
  [1180] Conjugation - (2007-05-08)
  [1161] A contrast in room rates and facilities - (2007-04-25)
  [1122] Hotel - online feedback forms compared - (2007-03-30)
  [1108] Express service - (2007-03-14)
  [1084] Writing terms and conditions for conferences and other events - (2007-02-17)
  [1048] Getting rid of people - hotel techniques - (2007-01-21)
  [1046] Bounce, bounce, bounce - (2007-01-20)
  [1002] Meet the neighbours - (2006-12-20)
  [988] You should think you're first in a hotel room - (2006-12-15)
  [922] Staying at your own hotel - (2006-11-12)
  [884] Drive time - (2006-10-02)
  [774] Bed and Breakfast, or Hotel? - (2006-06-22)

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Program for reliability and efficiency - do not duplicate, but rather share and re-use
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Getting in touch - Please allow me to see you when you are online
Some other Articles
Melksham Oak - photos of the new community school
Seeing Wiltshire - from a Melksham base
Tailoring of courses to meet customers needs - how it works
Getting in touch - Please allow me to see you when you are online
Night Porter and reception - 24 hours a day?
Program for reliability and efficiency - do not duplicate, but rather share and re-use
Further more advanced Perl examples
Different perl examples - some corners I rarely explore
A long day in Melksham ...
Unpacking a Perl string into a list
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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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