Harrogate Hotels, (the dirty laundry)

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ploughboy, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    We've decided it'd be nice to stay as a team at Emley for the finals weekend, so even tho it's only 1hrs drive away we'd have a look at some hotel prices etc etc

    I've been back from Harrogate 30 mins! There's not a spare room in the place, every large hotel is the same, "we've got 200 rooms pre booked sir" " i can give you a contact number for them" " is it the brass band thing?"

    So we are forced to use the middle man? Will his prices be inflated? will we get what we want (just one night)? will i ever learn to spell? for these answers stay tuned! But thus far, i'm not impressed!
  2. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Must be a lot of bands who fancy their chances then! I can't imagine that every band that qualified from the Yorkshire area will be staying the weekend (it is only up the road for most of us)
    It might be worth you checking on every Monday after the remaining area to see if there are any cancellations, there may be some over-confident bands who may not fancy a trip up after all if they don't go through!
  3. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    It's not the bands who've pre-booked Roy..................................
  4. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Wasn't there an advert on 4barsrest last year for hotel accommodation for the areas through an agent?

    Clearly the agents will be aware of the demand for rooms based on the known dates and they may well have pre-booked capacity in anticipation of the qualifying bands needing the rooms.
  5. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    I suspect that it is a company called Hotel Link who have prebooked the rooms - Gary's 'middle man' - so that bands have to pay a premium and can't negotiate rates with the hotels. They seem to do this irrespective of where the finals are held: certainly Torquay was all prebooked last time we did the finals, as was Cardiff several years earlier. So it seems you have to cough up and pay Hotel Link or stay further afield in Leeds or York for example.

  6. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    God I am naiive :eek:

    Yet another example of rip off Britain, lets face it bands who have to travel have no choice.
    I know St Keverne stayed in Selby for the finals last year so I suppose other bands will have to do the same.
  7. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    I've got a spare room...?

  8. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Last year, I think loads of bands didn't book through this company (probably because they were too expensive) and made their own arrangements. We stayed in Leeds (and had a great hotel :clap:) but because of this the middleman hadn't sold any rooms and was phoning round a few weeks before offering deals! You might be able to get a bargain nearer the time.....
  9. Aaron

    Aaron Member

    I would be very suprised if every band through to the finals would want to stay, but then again im sure there will be many bands like ours who will want to make a weekend of it, simply because its a big achievement getting there in the first place, & also because its not something you do every year...we dont anyway!!

    But yes i agree with Roy, its just terrible that prices are automatically put through the roof cos a load of brass bands are decending on the place...i mean, do they think we are animals or something?? we dont drink excessively or cause embarrassment to ourselves :0)
  10. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Well I'm sure the hotels would provide rubber sheets and extra toilet roll if you ask nicely ;)
  11. Aaron

    Aaron Member

    Hee Hee & they'd have to make sure to give a ground floor room...to remove the possibility of redecorating the stairs carpet with 10 pints of fosters & a kebab!
  12. Charmed

    Charmed Active Member

    I know that you have to pay an added 'fee' when you book through firms such as Hotelink. And its not great that you have the choice taken away from you. However, having been responsible for booking the band's accommodation the last three years for the finals, I must say, Hotelink do take a lot of stress and pressure off of the person responsible for the accommadation.

    They sort out all your requirements, even rehearsal facilities if necessary. I found it much easier to let Hotelink take care of everything. I dont know how much extra they charge, when we went to Dundee I think it was an extra £6 per person (not sure exactly). This can add up to quite a lot if the bands paying for the players, however, it's not such a massive increase if band members are paying themselves, as is always the case with us, due to NO FUNDS!
  13. madsaz

    madsaz Member

    depends on how many rooms you want...... according to active hotels (who I always use when booking conferences) there are 12 double or twin rooms available at the best western cedar court (approx £90 night per room) http://www.activehotels.com/servlet/bookingservletxml/summary.do

    4 double/twins at the Swallow St George....
    10 doubles and 10 twin rooms at the Crown Hotel

    Assuming that you arrive Friday and leave Sunday. The prices are usually fairly reasonable on here.
  14. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    I believe Philip Morris is the man behind Hotel Link and it is something I cant abide. The rooms are booked before bands know if they have qualified or not and Hotel Link (who I dont believe do much other than this little scheme each year) make a packet!!

    We managed to find a hotel that hadn't been completed when Hotel Link were prebooking everything last year and saved a fortune. And it was more local than any other in town :D I say leave it as late as possible and wait for Hotel Link to realise they are going to loose out big time.
  15. Tromgod

    Tromgod Member

    I can recommend the Cedar Court as Lanner stayed there for the 2004 finals. Nice hotel.:tup
  16. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    I do believe that it is not only hotel link who have block booked, Music on the Move have also booked, as they are offering complete packages including travel, one night or two night stops ( I think qualifying bands will receive promotional literature with their invitation to compete). There is also another large conference on all weekend, making it doubly difficult to book rooms.
  17. For the bands travelling further to Harrogate, it might be worth noting that you can register on the Travel Lodge website and proceed with a group booking. I had a look for Harrogate, which is of course full, but there were loads of rooms available in North Leeds, which is only a short drive... Rooms for two were £51 so about £1000 / night for a band and a few supporters...

    To be worth Emley having a hotel it really needs to be in Harrogate! Otherwise you may as well share Taxis back to the Green Dragon!

    I notice some of the online hotel booking agencies have rooms cheaper than Ploughboy was quoted in person this afternoon. And for single night bookings - most want you to stay for two when there's an event on. Typical of the hotel industry I guess...

    *EDIT - Apparently we can't lend out our bandroom - a condition in our building's deeds prohibits its use by anyone but us!*
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2006
  18. Souter

    Souter Member

    We (Selkirk) booked independently last year. We booked a Best Western in Harrogate but the hotel found they didn't have enough rooms to accomodate us so they booked us into the Majestic at no extra cost. I can thoroughly recommend the Majestic as it is right behind the conference centre albeit a little pricey for drinks! (£6.25 for a vodka and mixer).
    The added bonus was that after we heard the draw we all had time to go and relax in the leisure centre before ambling round to the contest.
  19. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    The best hotels are probably the Majestic and the Old Swan. St George (Swallow) is also pretty good and just as close to the HIC. Cedar Court is very nice but on the outskirts of town. Other big ones are the Du Vin, Yorkshire, Crown, Hart and there are probably others I've forgotten. There's also a new Travel Lodge in the town centre very close to Wetherspoons...

  20. BandTaxi

    BandTaxi Active Member

    No - much earlier than that! We got a letter with the application forms for the Areas which starts:

    7th November, 2005
    Dear Band Secretary,

    Re: Travel Arrangements - Championship & Lower Section Finals

    The letter also very kindly tells you that you can secure a centrally based hotel with a £500 fully refundable deposit.

    Talk about forward planning!! Surprisingly, we didn't send off our "fully refundable deposit" of £500, preferring to keep our money earning interest for ourselves instead! So no chance(even if we needed it) of a central hotel for us then, as no doubt every other band in the country sent off their deposits the moment they got the letter!?!?

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