The Village Where Nightmares Occur – A review of The Village Hotel

I spend a lot of my time in hotels and have for many years. From luxury 5 star hotel getaways, to backpacker hotels with dorm rooms, I’ve experienced them all.

Unfortunately my most recent stay at The Village Hotel in Walsall, was probably one of the most disappointing.

Before I continue, I must point out that I stay in the West Midlands a lot while delivering training, with 90% of my stays being at Premier Inn’s, which apart from my recent bad encounter with one of the restaurant staff, I have to say have always been pleasant, with rooms that are clean and pretty well appointed. From a cost perspective, The Village was pretty similar, if not more expensive, with many nights a month in advance costing around £160 a night!

On checking in, the auto check-in machines in took a £1 preauthorisation from my credit card and then decided to crash and refuse to continue the book in, thankfully there was someone on the reception area (which is not always the case), who was very helpful and finalised my check in.

When I got to my room I was somewhat disappointed, Bland and unwelcoming, the bed looked as though someone had got out of it that morning and left it in that state, and the carpet, designed to continue the patten up the wall, was covered in stains, which I decided not to investigate further.

I unpacked, as I always do, but it was when I entered the bathroom that my stomach sunk.

The mould literally falling from the shower head made my stomach turn, I’m a bit of a clean freak, but I have huge tolerance for marks caused by moulds especially as I have lived in tropical counties, where mould grows quickly and can stain sealant etc very easily. But this wasn’t staining, this was growing, thick mould that literally fell off when touched, raising huge questions about standard cleaning protocols.

Floor tiles were also a bit of a sight, with massive gaps and urgent maintain equipment required.

I didn’t want to make a fuss, but had to report the shower, as there was no way I would stand under that. I mentioned it to the person on the reception area who asked if I would like to move or have it fixed.

I was happy for someone to fix it while I went and enjoyed a meal and glass of wine and so that’s what was communicated.

Not sure why they wanted me to unscrew the shower screen and put in the bath?

The concept of enjoying a meal was quickly extinguished, first I was told I couldn’t add the meal to my room, despite having room credit already on the booking, this meant I had to go back to reception for someone to ‘Open’ the room account, annoying as they had taken a preauthorisation of my credit card already.

On return to the bar area where I had to order, the server then loudly reconfirmed my room number and surname, in a busy bar and with lots of people also waiting to order. Whilst this wasn’t a major issue for me personally, it did remind me of numerous comments I had heard from single females feeling very uncomfortable about having their room number called out in a crowded bar area.

When my meal arrived 30 mins later, my heart sunk once more. I eat salmon a fair bit, most weeks as standard, but I had never seen or felt salmon skin that was so rubbery and unappealing. I peeled it off and ate the flesh underneath, which while edible, was dry and not pleasant, as if it had been microwaved. The ‘Mash’ that it was served with, also seemed like it had been taken out a pot and microwaved, and all for the price of £20.

On arrival back to the room after eating, the shower head had been cleaned, which at least meant I could go to sleep knowing I could have a shower in the morning.

Unexplained additions to the bill

Overnight I had a bill slipped under my door, which left me confused. My £20 Salmon, a £6 glass of wine and then THREE soft drink bills at £6 a go, which definitely weren’t mine.

I questioned the bill on my way to breakfast, to which I was told they would take a look at it, but I would need to speak to someone later in the day.

I went to breakfast, but actually decided against eating anything. Scrambled eggs looked like rubber, swimming in a sea of water and potato’s looked so dry, I would have trouble chewing them, so I decided to skip that along with the machine coffee and popped to Sainsbury’s to purchase some yoghurts instead.

On arrival back that evening, I managed to speak to the manager, who was very helpful and listened to my concerns. My query uncovered that the £18 extra charges were actually a single £6 bill that had been posted to my room 3 times as well as the correct bill once, which is very concerning, how many other times are they charging bills to multiple rooms and maybe not picked up?

Pasta Sauce left a lot to be desired

For my second meal I stayed away from the salmon and opted for a Chilli Pasta with Chicken. this was as bland as non chlorinated water – I think the chilli element may have been the addition of chilli flakes after it was served, which I foolishly declined.

In fact the only meal that was ‘edible’ was a sirloin steak, which I had on night 3 and cost £28, I say edible, because it was cooked ok, but was the cheapest cut of steak I had ever eaten and not what I would expect for the price.

I stayed at this same hotel around 18 months ago and was disappointed, I thought I would give it another go and instead of improving, it got worse. This has undoubted put me off The Village Hotel chain and whilst I would be happy to return to Premier Inn for my next stay, I may just try out a different alternative in the area real soon – watch this space!


A Blog dedicated to Food and Travel, both in the UK and Overseas

Recommended Articles

1 Comment

  1. I had a similarly annoying and grubby experience in Llandudno.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: