Hotel and training centre, Melksham, Wiltshire
High quality accommodation for course delegates, business travellers and the leisure visitor too.

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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way

I really enjoy having people come and stay at Well House Manor - our mugs have said "Come as a Student, leave as a friend" for many years and that still holds for delegates. For hotel visitors, it's more "Come as a guest and leave as a friend" - we wish to welcome them, make them feel welcome, and provide something they wish to come back for. That's partly because we enjoy making people happy, and it's much more a practical thing too - we want repeat visitors, and we want people to go away as our ambassadors.

You would think that other hotels and hoteliers, and their teams, would be the same way, wouldn't you? Surprisingly, that's not always the case. This week I stayed at the Bonsyde House Hotel "in" Linlithgow, the Claremont Lodge Hotel in Alloa, and Smith's Guest House on Mayfield Road in Edinburgh. But the only one I would return to is the Claremont Lodge in Alloa, in spite of it being the smallest room, and very much the most in need of redecoration. I would go back there because the advertising was honest, and the staff welcoming - it makes such a huge difference to me, and I suspect to others.

Now - an admission - I went somewhat downmarket this week, and I booked late taking what I could get in one of the busiest weeks in Edinburgh, so I didn't expect the earth. Rather, I decided to have a learning experience from three interesting looking places with availabiity on LateRooms, with a view to noting the good, the bad and the plain ugly and relaying back the bad with a "make sure we NEVER do this", and the good with a "should we take up this idea"?

So - what did I learn?

That you can't believe what you're told on a website, even though the law now provides for Advertising Standards to apply, and the Advertising Standards Authority can take action.

Fair play to the Bonsyde House Hotel for changing their website from "3 minutes from the station" to "3 minutes DRIVE from the station" when I pointed out it was misleading. But that didn't save me a 30 minute walk at each end of the day, nor did it "magic" up a taxi which they suggested I catch, as there is no taxi rank at Linlithgow station! Yes, I liked the better room (which would, of course have cost them nothing to provide to me as it wasn't otherwise booked), but I lost a total of 2 hours, missed two breakfasts and got soaked. The lad on the bar, bless him, drove past me as I slogged my way up the hill in the pouring rain on the second night, and when I went down for a recuperatory pint he cheerfuly told me he'd done so, and said he would have offered me a lift had he known I was going to the hotel. But there was pointedly no offer of an earlier breakfast ...

Smith's Guest House states on LateRooms that their normal rate for the night I booked is 140 pounds, so I expected something rather good. The front garden looks rather pretty - in fact it won an award in 2004, proudly shown on a certificate that's displayed in the hallway. I had a good chance to admire the garden, as I had to ring the doorbell three times (with a good wait between each) before the owner appeared to let me in. The 140 pound figure is a lie, it turns out; the rack rate shown in the hotel is 40 pounds per person, and I had got a markdown from 40 to 35, not from 140 to 35. Yes, for 35 pounds in Edinburgh it wasn't too bad - you get what you pay for - but I resent the lie on LateRooms which is done to push them up the list, and hook unwary customers. Breakfast wasn't available until 08:00 (the time at which I had to leave), and the owner was clearly happy to have save himself the cost and trouble of providing. The whole atmosphere and strings of rules pasted up on signs dissuaded me from raising the website with the owner; I feel it would simply have given him great pleasure to realise that his little ruse had worked!

At 35 to 60 pounds a night, I'm happy to put up with little "amusements" such as the chandelier with three different types of bulbs, the "Feng Sui" approach with no flat desk or place to sit, and the paperthin wall with a toilet pump just behind it that ran several times during the night when the folks in the next room used their facilities. I can solve the "how to fill the kettle" riddle when it won't fit under the tap, and I can cut and butter a bread roll with the handle of a soup spoon when no knife is provided, and the staff have disappeared. But I certainly won't be going back to either of those two hotels that got me there under false pretences and turned out to be inappropriate.

Alloa? Yes - I (personally) am happy with the rather worn and cramped comfort; I didn't mind the little single room, and I appreciate the friendly banter of the staff and their clear pleasure to have guests.

Very large (upgraded) bedroom at the Bonsyde House Hotel. Pity I was misled to stay at an inappropriate location.


Claremont Lodge Hotel Alloa - the room is nothing to blog about, but the welcome was welcoming ;-)


Smith's Guest House - if this room's rack rate is £140.00, then I've got two head!

(written 2011-06-25, updated 2011-06-26)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn 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)
  [1205] Arrival and Departure experiences - another hotel - (2007-05-26)
  [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)
  [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)

G502 - Well House Consultants - Business Practice
  [15] 90 to 10 or 80 to 20 rule - (2004-08-15)
  [27] Sales technique - (2004-08-25)
  [68] Get the strategy worked out and the tactics just fall into place. - (2004-09-30)
  [77] Telephone systems - (2004-10-07)
  [88] Getting the right level of trainer - (2004-10-14)
  [95] Five red flags - (2004-10-21)
  [108] A typical morning - (2004-11-03)
  [121] Fair and Simple - (2004-11-17)
  [125] Staff theft - (2004-11-21)
  [129] Trawling our site to prevent student copying - (2004-11-24)
  [137] Certification schemes - (2004-12-02)
  [157] Automatic service upgrades - (2004-12-19)
  [180] Skunk works - (2005-01-17)
  [188] Pink elephant and appreciation - (2005-01-24)
  [200] Tips for the top - (2005-02-03)
  [211] Look after your staff and they'll look after you. AOL. - (2005-02-12)
  [217] Use of time - (2005-02-16)
  [226] Growing our systems - (2005-02-24)
  [297] A reminder that the customer is King - (2005-05-01)
  [321] Sales - the alternative close - (2005-05-23)
  [399] simplicity hides real size - (2005-07-31)
  [438] Fair system for travel and accommodation expenses - (2005-09-07)
  [457] Do the work and take the risk - a PHP contract to avoid - (2005-10-06)
  [467] Tell them three times - (2005-10-17)
  [487] On line course booking - credit card protection - (2005-11-06)
  [491] Being atypical is typical - (2005-11-10)
  [536] Cancellations and penalties - (2005-12-21)
  [626] Not just a pretty face to answer the phone. - (2006-02-26)
  [652] Morning Post - (2006-03-20)
  [664] Ruby course - oops - it's not happening - (2006-04-01)
  [766] Discounts and approved supplier lists - (2006-06-17)
  [808] Sales call - (2006-07-19)
  [849] Staff Meeting - (2006-08-30)
  [869] UNABLE TO ATTEND - (2006-09-16)
  [883] Age discrimination law - (2006-10-01)
  [906] A commitment we won't be making - (2006-10-27)
  [1057] Selling by phone and Skype - our policy - (2007-01-30)
  [1084] Writing terms and conditions for conferences and other events - (2007-02-17)
  [1133] B-2-B Networking, 20th April. Useful for YOUR business? - (2007-04-03)
  [1157] Speed Networking - a great evening and how we arranged it - (2007-04-21)
  [1165] Extended Credit request - train in June and be paid in September - (2007-04-27)
  [1243] Heavy duty hole punch - (2007-06-24)
  [1260] An inspirational business talk from one of our prospective MPs - (2007-07-06)
  [1263] 0800 043 8225 - a new phone number for Well House - (2007-07-10)
  [1319] Customer feedback - lifeblood of a business - (2007-08-25)
  [1342] Google, wwmdirectory, Freshwater, ATP - new scam? - (2007-09-09)
  [1373] New Month, New Quarter, New Laws - (2007-10-01)
  [1394] Business to Business Networking - North and West Wilts / Melksham - (2007-10-17)
  [1453] What makes our courses special? - (2007-12-02)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1626] Early May - a short chance to regroup and improve - (2008-05-01)
  [1713] Ways to accept credit cards - or not! - (2008-07-19)
  [1855] Volunteer v Employee - a skewed balance? (FSB) - (2008-10-25)
  [1913] Alastair Darling helps make paperwork and confusion - (2008-11-30)
  [2044] Please Trouble me - (2009-02-16)
  [2122] Commission Creep - (2009-04-08)
  [2126] Weeding out old phone numbers - (2009-04-11)
  [2161] Get it right ... if it goes wrong, it takes so much effort to sort out! - (2009-05-08)
  [2187] Are we IITT (Institute of IT Training) members? - (2009-05-17)
  [2190] How you are (re)presented at an exhibition - (2009-05-19)
  [2283] Everyone is in the customer relations business - (2009-07-12)
  [2331] Certification Revisted - Lua - (2009-08-09)
  [2465] Melksham Town - asleep or awake? - (2009-10-21)
  [2598] An excuse for making a sales call - (2010-01-26)
  [2788] Cost of Sales - (2010-06-01)
  [2821] Chancellor George Osborne inspires Perl Program - (2010-06-22)
  [2936] The service that customers should receive - (2010-08-27)
  [2966] Cheap Country Hotel in Melksham, Wiltshire? - (2010-09-21)
  [3073] Customer Service - the boundary - (2010-11-27)
  [3157] A new monopoly on the ferry to Northern Ireland - (2011-02-04)
  [3506] Cold call contacts - preference services and turning off spam sales approaches - (2011-11-03)
  [3613] Keeping Business Local. But is that realistic? - (2012-02-13)
  [3665] Will will smile? - (2012-03-22)
  [3750] Matching opening hours to when customers can come in and buy - (2012-06-04)
  [3755] Cruising on the Mersey Ferry? - (2012-06-07)
  [4107] Snog, Marry, Avoid - (2013-05-31)
  [4293] Certification - (2014-09-15)
  [4415] Buffet review - taking the price into account - (2015-02-05)
  [4520] No cold sales calls please - but delighted to hear from others! - (2015-09-29)


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DNA to Amino Acid - a sample Perl script
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or
Horse's mouth home
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A lesson from the sporran market?
Some other Articles
Home Grown Pigs, near Melksham Station
Efficient travel - from Melsksham to Edinburgh by Sleeper Train
Practical Extraction and Reporting
A lesson from the sporran market?
Honesty and a friendly welcome goes a long way
DNA to Amino Acid - a sample Perl script
Comparing Alloa and Melksham - stations and services
A lot of exercise this week
Perl from basics
Summer Sundays - days out by train from Swindon on the TransWilts
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - 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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