The niggles started when we arrived and were given our room key with the words "it probably won't work but try it anyway and if it doesn't, come back down and we will see what we can do". Needless to say the key did not work but the housekeeper at least let us into the room to drop off our luggage before the long trek back down to reception. We then had to wait 20minutes for someone to bring us a replacement key.
We booked our dinner table for 7.15 and arrived promptly and stood waiting in the corridor for about 5 minutes before someone saw us and showed us to a table. Service was very slow but very quick when it came to signing for the drinks.
The following morning we again waited for what felt like an age to be seated for breakfast. Service was OK and again very slow. I ordered the waffles to be told the waffle machine was broken.
We went out for the day and upon our return decided to have our inclusive afternoon tea. We ordered and sat down and waited, and waited-should be special we thought-wrong. Our afternoon tea, which is charged at £11 per person, eventually arrived. We were each given the equivalent of one round of sandwiches, cut into fingers, a slice of cake (type unknown possibly date and walnut) and a scone filled with cream and jam all on one plate, along with a pot of tea and a pot of coffee.
We went back to our room to find that the glasses we had used the night before had been removed and not replaced. We had booked a table for dinner for 7pm. Again we arrived promptly and waited to be seated. We both decided to skip a starter and go straight for a main and then dessert. We placed our order and were told that as we were skipping starter there would be a delay in getting our mains!!! When it eventually arrived the meal was not as good as the previous evenings and my husband said his was quiet oily. We were asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu to which we said yes. Ten minutes later the waitress came to take our order only to realise that she had not given us the menus. Orders eventually given and another long wait ensued. Desserts came 25 minutes later and a thick skin had developed on my husbands' custard, so how long had it been sat waiting to be served. So an hour and a half after arriving we finally left.
This morning as I stood in the bathroom about to get into the shower, the bath mat that was there yesterday had gone. I was not going to ring down to reception to ask for one as I was ready to get in.
We arrived for breakfast at 9 to find a queue of 10 waiting to be seated. Someone finally spotted us and realised there were not enough tables in the dining room so put us all into an adjoining room. Although the room was set up for breakfast things were missing, some were missing milk jugs, some were missing menus etc. And we all waited. Orders finally got placed and drinks arrived. And then a waiter appeared and tried to take every ones order again. And we waited. A waitress bought toast for one table minus any butter etc. From where I was sitting I could see that the toast was burnt and very unappetising. The customers then went and got their own toast from the other dining room. No one else was offered toast and if anyone wanted any they got up and got it themselves. My breakfast arrived and the bowl was overflowing with thick lumpy porridge, which while quiet tasty was a chore to eat. One lady was overheard to tell a waiter that it was the worst breakfast she had ever been served.
On the plus side the hotel is in a lovely peaceful area and it is very relaxing. The rooms are large and very comfortable. One criticism of the rooms is the TVs-when in bed the TV cannot be seen as the beds are high and the TVs low. Maybe put the TVs on the desk or invest in some flatscreens on the wall. The bedroom doors are heavy and slam with a hefty bang which can be a shock in the night when asleep.
What should of been a pleasant break away was spoilt by these niggles. I am only glad that I hadn't paid full price and had taken advantage of a deal offered online. This hotel will never get more than a 3* rating while these issue are ongoing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautifully set in twenty acres of Northumberland countryside and overlooking the Derwent Valley, Derwent Manor offers the warmest of welcomes. With its country house ambiance, elegant decor and professional team, this is the ideal venue for business and leisure guests alike. Derwent Manor boasts 48 spacious en-suite bedrooms , doubles, double x doubles and suites many with stunning views over the Northumberland countryside. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Derwent Manor Hotel Allensford, Northumberland
- Best Western Northumberland
- Best Western Hotel Northumberland