Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Highfield Hotel - Idle, Bradford


Two sides to the same hotel. Is it bad or is it great? That depends on which type of guest party you're with....
A weekend trip up to the Haworth 40s weekend with Diamond Holidays called for an overnight stop. For 28 people and their coach driver.

The party ranged in age from early 20s to mid 70s and comprised couples, birthday groups of friends and a mother and son duo.

So quite a range.
We'd checked out the the Highfield Hotel beforehand so we knew it had American sized rooms, a well rated restaurant, a gym for hotel guests and a swimming pool. It is also only 8 miles away from our final destination of Haworth.
Not bad for a coach trip weekend we thought.

On arrival we were greeted by two young girls who appeared to have no experience of working on a hotel reception. We all had to fill in a form including our car number plate? So a slow process. Then it was up to the huge rooms for an hour before dinner in the hotel restaurant rather than the well rated one. Rooms are massive. American sized. And you could easily imagine a large American spinning around just because the space is there. Coffee and tea tray with 3 Bourbon biscuits, shower gel, shampoo, bubble bath, soap, body lotion all provided in a bathroom with shower and bath. 
 Large alcove with table and mirror, double bed, wardrobe and a flat screen tv on the wall opposite the bed. Binoculars needed.
This time there were 4 inexperienced youngsters. They told us this was their first shift. It may well have been the hotel's first coach booking as well. Service was with a smile, they tried their best but they were on a loser from the start. Beef and carrots arrived. 5 minutes later potatoes arrived. Another 5 mins and peas. Another 5 and gravy. In Yorkshire and no Yorkshire pudding. 5 minutes and mustard. That equated to one person with a meal. The routine was repeated.
Pudding meant a waiter holding one plate walking the width of the room to ask at every table until the owner if the plate was found.
The following morning we were told by one youngster that not only was it the first shift but it was a 14 hour one as well.
Breakfast was, for the coach party, a fry up and an excellent one too.
The buffet bar, we were told, was for 'hotel guests'. Or not us. Coffee and tea however were in the breakfast buffet area. Go figure.
Overall as a coach venue this didn't work well. But. And its a big but...
If I travel to Yorkshire again (and I do regularly) this is a great place to stay. The room rate including self service breakfast bar is £55 for a 'king' sized room.
Breakfast bar covers porridge, fruit, yoghurts, cereal, muffins, toast, French pastries, juice, coffee, tea and I may well have missed some things. There's also the pool and gym and it's own car park. Conveniently located for the jewel that is the World Heritage Location at Saltaire Village, Shipley, Bradfrod itself and Bronte country it's a great spot for touring.
Hopefully the staff there this weekend will stay on and progress, they certainly were keen enough and smart enough. The hotel seems to have accepted a contract it wasn't ready for but it has the ingredients ready to make the grade. Possibly if coach companies didn't barter them down to nothing we'd all end up better off.
Worth a visit.

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