Date of Trip: October 2008
Hotels on the Globus “Bonnie Scotland” Tour GG1005 from October 5-12, 2008
The majority of the hotels on the Globus Bonnie Scotland Tour GG 1005 were awful.
Specifically, the Novotel Glasgow Centre presented us with a room containing only one bath towel and two plastic glasses, one of which was cracked open down the side. The part of town in which this hotel is located has only one area of even remote tourist interest – a dingy, dimly-lit pedestrian mall with chewing gum stuck all over the surface interlock.
The Dunollie in Broadford, Isle of Skye, is a dirty, dilapidated misery of a hotel. Our room #225 had a filthy brown stain in the toilet bowl, only one bedside lamp that worked and a musty smell in the bathroom. The dining room serving staff were surly, ill-mannered and rigid about opening times. It is completely unacceptable for a male staff member to scream, “only soup or salad, not both!” to tour members at the buffet, especially since the food itself at the Dunollie was a tasteless mass of boiled bits of undistinguishable matter. Finally, in contravention of fire regulations, the front door was locked overnight and could not be opened from either the inside or outside. Globus needs to visit other Scottish islands on this tour or, schedule a visit to Skye during daylight hours with overnight accommodation at a better hotel on the mainland.
In the Globus tour booklet delivered to each tour participant, the map indicated an overnight stay in Kingussie while we actually stayed in the Columba in Inverness. Why the disconnect between map and itinerary? Again, this hotel stank of mould and mildew. The hall floors are unstable and the boards under the carpets flex down with the slightest weight. Our room #154 did not have a luggage rack and staff at first said they did not have any racks then finally found only one luggage rack for two people with two pieces of luggage. Right beside the shabby Columba stands the much better Palace Hotel and just across the bridge is the new Ramada Hotel. Why then did Globus stick our tour group in this crappy Columba hotel?
The Ramada Mount Royal in Edinburgh is not equipped to handle tour groups. It has only two small elevators which are completely unavailable when large groups are arriving or departing. Not everyone can walk up six flights of stairs. Our room #663 is a room for one person into which the hotel assigns two persons. Other participants on our tour had the same complaint. There is no place for luggage except on top of the desk and over the arms of a chair. There is no dresser. And, to make matters worse, one of the mattresses had two coiled springs sticking out of the cover on the side. Also, once again, the bathroom shower curtain reeked of a musty, mildew smell. When are these bathrooms ever cleaned and sanitized? Why did Globus not use the Thistle Hotel a short distance away or the Radisson SAS Old Town for this tour? As for the ‘Scottish Evening’ optional excursion held at the Thistle, it was a total financial rip-off. The performers were mediocre, the food was bland and we were packed into a line of tables like students at a school lunchroom. No way was this worth £49 each. The Irish show at the Burlington in Dublin, Ireland was much better quality.
We have booked over ten Globus and Cosmos tours and this Bonnie Scotland GG1005 had the worst lodgings of any previous tour. The accommodations were an ongoing disappointment – well below the standard we had come to expect with Globus. We were shunted into seedy hotels for which Globus paid lower rates while still charging tour participants for higher rate hotels.
Even with the recent (and probably continuing) reduction in tourist travel and Globus agents’ actions of canceling tours (this tour was the third date change for one man on this trip) plus cramming more groups onto one bus, these cost-cutting measures in choosing low class, low standards hotels while maintaining overall tour price levels is a false economy and a self-defeating method of trying to cut operating costs. Most consumers will look elsewhere for value travel that includes quality hotels. After the Globus Bonnie Scotland GG1005, we certainly will.
And whoever on the Globus staff selected these hotels should be fired for gross incompetence. They have demonstrated a complete lack of understanding about what constitutes acceptable accommodations to modern tour consumers. I am not interested in hostels and flop houses when I travel. Neither are other regular Globus customers. Globus tours are not inexpensive holidays and we paid a considerable amount of money to enjoy comfortable, restful accommodation at the end of each day. Only the Dundee Hilton and the Glasgow Radisson SAS near the end of the tour provided this.
But hey, no explanation from Globus why so many of the hotels they selected for their Bonnie Scotland Tour GG1005 were so dreadful when much better accommodation options were readily available nearby for the same amount of money. He who says nothing loses customers to the competition.