Restau­rant’s ‘real life Fawlty Tow­ers mo­ment’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Mixed Fortunes For Luxury Hotel - By Ai­dan Barlow

A cus­tomer told of a “Fawlty Tow­ers mo­ment” at a lux­ury ho­tel af­ter wait­ing staff bumped into each other and spilled cof­fee over a cus­tomer.

A review re­lat­ing the in­ci­dent, at four-star rated East­well Manor near Ash­ford, ap­peared on travel web­site Trip Ad­vi­sor.

The ho­tel was taken over by Champ­neys in Oc­to­ber last year and is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a £10 mil­lion trans­for­ma­tion.

Coun­cil­lors ap­proved the ho­tel’s ex­pan­sion plans at a plan­ning com­mit­tee meet­ing on Wed­nes­day last week while work to re­fur­bish the manor is due to be­gin soon.

But the com­pany has faced some neg­a­tive re­views on­line, with one guest liken­ing the ser­vice to that of the much-loved 1970s sit­com Fawlty Tow­ers, which starred John Cleese as hap­less ho­tel owner Basil Fawlty.

User Frank D claimed he had to wait for 20 min­utes be­fore a drinks order was taken in the bar and a fur­ther hour and 40 min­utes be­fore a starter and main course was served in the restau­rant.

The review states: “I asked to speak with the head waiter, who was apolo­getic and po­lite. Un­for­tu­nately, as he turned away from us, a waiter had just moved be­hind him.

“A real life Fawlty Tow­ers mo­ment then oc­curred. As the head waiter turned, he and the waiter col­lided and a pot of cof­fee was spilt over the back of a lady on an ad­ja­cent ta­ble. Ev­ery­one in the restau­rant was hor­ri­fied.”

Champ­neys group gen­eral man­ager Wil­liam Simmonds said: “We take on board all cus­tomer feed­back in order to en­able us to con­tin­u­ally im­prove and of­fer a bestin-class ser­vice for our guests.

“Ser­vice stan­dards and cus­tomer care are at the very heart of what Champ­neys rep­re­sents. We are in­vest­ing in staff and all cur­rent and fu­ture mem­bers of our teams are in the process of at­tend­ing a guest care course.

“Since the pur­chase we have slowly be­gun to in­cor­po­rate the iconic Champ­neys brand, re­main­ing sym­pa­thetic to loyal guests who have cher­ished the ho­tel for many years.

“Ren­o­va­tions started ear­lier this year with a com­plete re­fur­bish­ment of the spa and fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties, with ho­tel, restau­rant, bar and lounge area ren­o­va­tions due to be­gin later this month and com­plete in Septem­ber.

“We are in­vest­ing more than £10 mil­lion on the up­dates and im­prove­ments of East­well Manor to re­store the build­ing to its for­mer glory and bring the stan­dard up to that which the Champ­neys brand is fa­mous for.”

One Tri­pAd­vi­sor re­viewer com­pared East­well Manor to Fawlty Tow­ers

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