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“Beautiful location, shabby rooms”
Review of Dunston Hall

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Dunston Hall
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, shabby rooms”
Reviewed 10 April 2012

I've given this a 2 rating, though it's really somewhere between a 2 and a 3. Basically, the location is beautiful, the grounds, facilities and golf course deserve a 5; the public areas of the hotel are nicely done, even though they were wallpapering whle we were there so that gets a 4; the staff were okay, tried their best (all except the girl who handled our checkout) so that's a 3; but the rooms, well - a 2 at best and that's probably generous.

Much of what we found echo the thoughts of 'welltravelledNorfolk' - we were there around the same time, we had also booked two nights on their 2 for 1 offer and we stayed in the same room, though asked to be moved due to the state of the bed!

The rooms are tired, they have been poorly appointed using cheap end materials that simply cannot and have not stood up to the wear and tear of being a hotel. The inner doors are the cheapest four-panel doors you find in DIY stores, they close badly and ours had the handle falling off; the panelling around the bath and in the bathroom looks bad and damaged, when you look at it, you can see it's routed MDF made to look like wood which, once wet, has blown in places; the bed, well, I can't believe that a four-star hotel has beds like this - we have never had such a terrible bed in all the places we have stayed around the world!

The king size bed was two single style beds fastened together, so two separate matresses, which is hardly the same thing. The divan bases were so worn out, that when you lay on the bed, you sink further and further into the mattress as neither it or the base had any support. After 10 minutes of laying on it the first night, my husband had to call reception and ask for a different room as he knew he would not be able to move in the morning if he slept on that! We moved to another room down the hall and really, the bed was no better and he ended up sleeping on the floor! When we asked in the morning if all the beds were like that, we were told they were and the best they could do was put boards on the bed (between the mattress and the base) to see if that helped! It did help enough for us to sleep the next night but we had seriously considered going home as getting some decent sleep is part of a relaxing few days away! I cannot believe that all of their beds are of this poor quality!

If I had paid full price for this room (around £169 according to their website and from other reviews), I would have been extremely disappointed and would have felt very ripped off. I know we got a cheap deal but surely they are not putting people from that deal into poor rooms on purpose? There must be many people like us who are going there for the first time, who don't know that there are cheap/poor quality rooms and so would judge the whole place on this experience? If Dunstan Hall continues to rent out these poor rooms while claiming to be 4-star, then people are going to continue to voice their disappointment on sites such as this. Word of mouth marketing is stronger than ever these days and I'm surprised they are happy to take this risk.

I would check whether the rooms had been refurbished and new beds put in there before booking a room - especially if they want to put you in 426 or 427 as those are the two very poor rooms we have experience of.

Room Tip: Don't accept rooms 426 or 427 unless they can guarantee the rooms (especially the beds) have bee...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank zandrjh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGOpsMgr, Manager at Dunston Hall, responded to this review, 17 April 2012
Many thanks for reviewing the hotel I was disapointed to hear about the issues with your rooms. I have passed on the feedback to the housekeeping team to ensure that they take action to prevent a repeat of what you experienced. We have also plans this year to refurbish the bedblock that you stayed in which will of course remove some of the issues that you mention.
Once gain many thansk for your feedback
David
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Guildford
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

I stayed here as my cousin had her wedding reception at Dunstan Hall on the 7th April. I checked into room 411 at around 3pm and there was an awful rumbling noise that we thought was coming from the aircon unit outside and hoped that it would stop later in the evening. I was shocked as to how dated the room was and how much they were charging. Overall the wedding reception was lovely, however on returning to our room at about 12.30am the rumbling noise had got worse, there was just no way we were ever going to be able to sleep. I went to reception to complain, the noise was rumbling all the way to reception, the guy I spoke to was very nice but said there were no other rooms available and that he would see if maintenance could do anything to stop the noise, but it should stop in a few hours! I waited for about 20mins and then went back to reception who said they would see if they could find me another room. After about 10mins they found room 405 was available and we moved into there. On first walk in the room was just as awful as the last but at least it was quiet-ish! The fan in the bathroom seemed to say on for about an hour after turning the light off and the bed just sank, every time I moved and I could feel the springs. In the morning the room was so hot I opened the window to discover the window opened onto a function room! The window was disgusting with dried sweetcorn lodged in it, had to close the window quickly as there were people in the function room who could easily see into our room. The bathroom was grim as well, the entire room and the hotel in general is so tired, dated and just dirty. I can’t believe the price I paid for this room £149 including breakfast which I didn’t bother with as the food looked as if it had been sat out for hours. I was so tired on checkout and didn’t want to complain in front of my relatives that seemed to have enjoyed their stay and the overall wedding. I think I finally feel off to sleep at about 2.30am, so after a bad night’s sleep I was dreading the 3hr drive home. I will be writing De Vere to complain, I travel a lot with work and regularly pay the £120 mark for hotels 1000 times better than this horrible dated place. If you want to time warp to the 70’s this is the place for you, if not you would be better off staying in a Premier Inn, cheaper and you know what to expect for your money!

Room Tip: do not stay in rooms 411 or 405
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Selina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGOpsMgr, Manager at Dunston Hall, responded to this review, 17 April 2012
Hi Selina,
Many thanks for reviewing the hotel I was disapointed to hear that you had not enjoyed your stay with us. Please accept my apologies for this. I have passed on your feedback to the relevant teams so they can address the points that you raise. I would like an opportunity to discuss your feedback from Trip advisor and from Facebook. I am available at the hotel daily on 01508470444 or can be emailed at david.graham@devere-hotels.com.
Once again many thanks for your feedback and I look forward to speaking to you in due course.
Many thanks
David
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Stoke Holy Cross hotels

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
98 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2012 via mobile

We were staying at Dunstan Hall as our friends were getting married there. I booked a room with a four poster bed as a treat. I tried to book an early check in through the De Vere central reservations and they would not confirm that we would be allowed into the room before 1500, the wedding was starting at 1445. I finally got to speak to someone at Dunstan Hall to be told that they could not confirm we could check in early. We arrived at 1100 and had to wait for an hour and a half for the room to be ready, not a problem as we had some lunch. We went to the brasserie and was told that hey did not start serving until 1200 but food was ail able in the bar, we went to the bar and was told that food was not available until 1200! In the brochure you can get food all day!
When we got to our room it seemed lovely with great views over the golf course. Unfortunately the lino in the bathroom was splitting and cracked and the loo seat would not stay up, a pain if you wee standing up!!
We went to the wedding and had a great time but when we got back to our room at about 0100 there was water streaming in through the ceiling. We called reception and the duty manager came up and after some encouragement, moved us to another room, we had to carry all our kit!. This was a cheap room and the only one available, not a problem really until we came to check out and pay, they charged us the full amount!! After we complained we were given an £59 discount, well this brought the price down to a price that was the norm for the reduced standard room anyway.
Very disappointing standards of customer service from a hotel chain that should know better.

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank RichK-T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGOpsMgr, Manager at Dunston Hall, responded to this review, 17 April 2012
Many thanks for reviewing the hotel. I was disapointed ot read that you had experienced issues during your stay. Please allow me to apologise for this. I would be happy to discuss the issues in more depth should you wish to do so, I am available at the hotel daily on 01508470444 or can be emailed on david.graham@devere-hotels.com. Once again mant thanks for your review.
David.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sussex
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

Reception left my wife with the dog, 2 suitcases and her shopping bags to find her own way to the room. Ordered a paper, never arrived. Dinner tasted of nothing. Staff didnt know what drinks they sell. Large crack in bedroom wall. All for £169 for 1 night, excluding dinner, bargain! Suggestion, Train your staff, including the chef.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ToffeeBoy321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kerrymg
Level Contributor
85 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

Well this time we actually stayed here....long story but when we travelled there in Oct 2011 we got there (after 4 hrs travelling) to be told "sorry we're full"....we have booked you down the road at Holiday Inn. Needless to say we were fuming and even more gutted to see that it looked like they were full because Swansea City players were staying there (the reason we were staying was to go see the Swans!!). After the excitement of seeeing Ash and Nathan we were gutted to have to move but with the promise of a special return "complimentary" we went on our way. So we arrived back and am pleased to say the hotel and staff lived up to expectations. Room lovely - cosy and snug and had the 2 best nights sleep ever!!! Food was ok (possibly expected better but was good) however the spa treatment I had in the lilac room - hot stone massage was SUBLIME. Go enjoy and see for yourself.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kerrymg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norfolk
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2012

We booked 2 nights here on their 2 for 1 sale. Having stayed here before on a number of occasions in the past we took the negative comments we had read with a pinch of salt.
The check in was ok, a little muddled about what room we were to be put in but overall not too bad. We were given the key to room 426 and made our way. On arrival at the room, we found it to be pretty disgusting. The tiles around the bath/shower has grout that had black mould growing on it as well as having some missing. The sealant around the bath was also mouldy. The toilet didn't flush properly and the water ran for ages and after using the basin, the water gurgled for a good 5/10 mins. There was also evidence that the door had not been cleaned properly.
We contacted reception and asked to be moved but was told that there was only one other room available, across the hall, which we took a look in and to be honest, it was no better, so we stayed where we are.
When it came to sleeping the bed was THE WORST WE HAVE EVER SLEPT IN and we have stayed in lots of other hotels at lower star ratings.. It seemed to be be 2 single mattresses together on a king size base and it was the most worn out bed ever. No support whatsover and 'sunk' in the middle of each side.
The room itself was very dated with damage to the door frames and didn't seem to be clean with no room service menu, stationary and pens that we have had when staying here in the past.
The breakfast itself was ok, although the service left a lot to be desired. We asked our server on the 2nd morning if she could bring us some toast (which the server the day before had kindly done) and she 'huffed' really loudly as she walked away. We understood that we could help ourself to toast but there was at least 4 members of staff doing nothing so was clearly not busy and as in all other 4 star hotels we have stayed, the toast is brought to the table, we did not think our request was out of order.

Overall we were very disappointed as when we have been here before we have not had any problems. We know we got a very cheap deal to stay here but that does not mean we should have less than 4star accommodation which this clearly was not. It is a real shame as the actual building and ground are lovely.
Come on Dunston, why are you renting out rooms that are clearly not the 4 star you claim to be? If the rooms are waiting to be refurbished, do not let them otherwise you will risk loosing returning visitors.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Suzanne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGOpsMgr, Manager at Dunston Hall, responded to this review, 17 April 2012
Many thanks for reviewing the hotel. It was disapointeing to read thay you had been unable to sleep because of the quality of the bed. Please allow me to apologise for this, I have asked my housekeepign team to review this room and the issues you outline. I know that we are looking to refurbish the rooms in that part of the hotel later in the year. I do hope that you will return to the hotel and give us an opportunity to restore your faith in the product.
Once again many thanks for your review.
Best regards
David
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essex
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2012

We booked a winter promotion and stayed for 4 nights in a king suite. The room was ideal for us with a bedroom with children's bed then a connecting door to the lounge so once our toddler was sleeping soundly we could sit and watch tv without disturbing him. We enjoyed having the full breakfast each day, and thought the staff were very friendly in the restaurant . We went swimming each day and also enjoyed the crazy golf. Can highly recommend a day out to Dinosaur World which was good value for money.

Would definitely go back to the hotel again and would hope to book the same lovely room there which provided an ideal base for our holiday.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yummymum507
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DGOpsMgr, Manager at Dunston Hall, responded to this review, 10 April 2012
Many thanks for taking the time to review the hotel. I was pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. I know many of our guests with children go to the Dinosaur Park when they visit and they always have a great time. The Dinosaur Park did just invest £3M on their park which I know has made a huge difference to their visitor numbers. I do hope that you will come back to the hotel in the near future.
Best regards
David
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dunston Hall

Property: Dunston Hall
Address: Main Road, Stoke Holy Cross, Norwich NR14 8PQ, England (Formerly De Vere Dunston Hall)
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > Norwich > Stoke Holy Cross
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Stoke Holy Cross
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Dunston Hall 4*
Number of rooms: 169
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Also Known As:
Dunston Hall De Vere Hotel Norwich
De Vere Dunston Hall Norwich
Dunston Hall Norwich
Dunston Hall Hotel
De Vere Dunston Hall Hotel

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