The De Vere hotel in Southampton is probably the best hotel for some distance around, so when I saw an offer from the De Vere group of a special rate of £19 per night in some of their hotels I thought it would be the ideal way of treating my wife and I to a night away, especially as she has been under some strain recently health-wise and could do with a little TLC.
I booked a night at the De Vere at Sunningdale near Ascot so that we could have a relaxing evening meal without worrying about driving home, and the next day we could maybe visit Windsor. The hotel looked great, with images on their web site showing a neo-Georgian mansion (their words) with very comfortable bedrooms and Georgian lounges and modern dining facilities.
Imagine my surprise when on arrival I found that we were not staying in a neo-Georgian mansion, but in an accommodation block which is part of the National School of Government and is due to close it two weeks time. The school is run by De Vere and sits in the grounds of the mansion, and is as big as you would expect any college campus to be, with a considerable walk from the accommodation to the college dining room where we could have eaten from a pretty basic menu.
Our room was of the standard you would expect of a college accommodation block, with basic furniture (only one chair) and with tiles lifting from the bathroom floor and left lying around (see photo below). There was with an ageing television with only 4 channels and an inoperable remote control.
On complaint it was agreed that we had been mislead by the offer and our money was refunded. Luckily we were close enough to home to simply drive home again and spend the night in our own beds. In my opinion the offer was certainly too good to be true, and was misleading. Be careful, as the saying goes ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch’ or, in my case, a cheap hotel room.