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“Defiantly not a 4 star experience.”

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Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure & Spa
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Monaghan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 August 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights midweek on 19-22 August. As a treat for a 50th birthday we were really looking forward to some 4 star treatment in The Hillgrove. 4 star it is NOT!!
We checked in easily, though I was a bit put out by being asked to pay upfront (a new one on me!).

We headed to our room and of course the first thing I always do is check out the bed.
Well, it was a very worn, uncomfortable bed that was sunk in the middle. The room was just a bog standard room and quite small, defiantly not a 4 star hotel room.
We were going to ask to be moved but thought we're only adjoining one other room and if we moved we might get noisy neighbours.

We headed to the bar and had a light snack and some local craft beer. The staff were friendly and prompt with their service and the food was ok for bar food.
As it was our first night there we decided to eat in the restaurant of the hotel. There was a set menu, not a la carte as is normal for a hotel so we had no choice but to go with that.
The meal we had in this restaurant was awful slop. I have no other words for it.

We had a starter of garlic mushrooms with salad. They were nasty frozen breaded mushrooms. I know this because I used to run a restaurant. I know the difference between fresh and frozen produce. The salad was bare, just a few lettuce leaves. No dressing or extra garnish like tomato or onion etc.

For the mains we both had steak, both of us asked for rare both of us got well done. I sent mine back and got a replacement steak.......again very well done.
I was getting really annoyed at this stage. The garlic potatoes we ordered were disgusting. They had been sitting on a hot plate for God knows how long and had that burnt oily taste off them. The veg had been sitting in a steamer and were soggy, pale and tasteless. The onion rings were defiantly frozen and no doubt the management will reply and tell you all their food is fresh, it is NOT. Again having run a restaurant I know this.

When our waitress was taking our plates away I asked her to ask the chef would he eat what had just been served to us. She was apologetic and said she would tell the manager. No apologies from the chef.

We ate a dessert that was in line with everything else we ate. In fact we only ate the steak because honestly everything else was inedible.

The manager never came near us and when we went to pay we were left standing at the desk for a good ten minutes. Seriously guys? A four star hotel, really?
When the manager finally arrived he pressed buttons on his till for another ten minutes and never made eye contact with us. We still ended up having to pay over €50 for our meal. In doing that the hotel lost all our money which we would have spent in the bar on bar food, because I was raging at having to pay for that awful awful food. The bar food was ok. Instead we went to town every evening after that and had our meals there.

On our last night I accidentally spilt a glass of water on our bed. I put my hands up, it WAS my fault. When I rang reception they said they would send up house keeping. She stripped the bed with my help and she signalled that we should flip the mattress. Again I had to help. The mattress was wet through and she was going to put a sheet on it with a towel on the wet patch.
I said I didn't want to sleep on a wet mattress and she said I had to call reception and sort it out myself.
I rang reception and was told I'd be rung back. 20 mins later I headed to reception and was told there was NO spare mattress in the hotel!!!! NONE!!!
Now, this hotel is full of kids, and kids sometimes wet the bed as kids do. So my question is if one of those kids wet the bed are there no spare mattresses in the hotel? Are people lying on urine stained beds?

A mattress was eventually found. The manager said they found ONE in the storeroom. I was very grateful that our mattress was replaced, and I HAD spilt water on it, BUT, I had to fight to get a spare mattress. Definitely not how any other 4 star hotel I have ever been to has treated me....the guest.

This is a heaven for couples with kids, stay away if you're looking for 4 star treatment.
I have read that €250,000 has been spent on this hotel in the last while.
That's a drop in the ocean for a hotel. It certainly hasn't been spent on the rooms or on a chef that cares about what he/she cooks.
It has probably been spent on the foyer where upon arrival you're hit with all manner of quirky furniture and works of art.

This hotel is full of kids and parents love it because they can kick back in the bar and have a few drinks while the kids are at kid clubs or in the swimming pool ( we were advised at reception and at the pool that we should only go to the pool after 7 when the kids were gone. Considering last orders in the restaurant were at 8, it made it impossible to enjoy this facility).

I am a musician now and we stay in so so many hotels. This is defiantly NOT what we expect from a four star hotel and management is NOT trained in 4 star treatment of its guests.
The facade in the foyer is not what this hotels about.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Hatterdon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelOwnerMonaghan, Director of Sales at Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 1 September 2014

Dear Hatterdon

I am very disappointed to read your review regarding your recent stay at the Hillgrove Hotel 4 Star, however, I realise that without feedback we cannot strive to improve. To go through your comments: It is not that we ask you to pay upfront but we do suggest that if you want to charge food, drink or spa treatments to your room that you supply your credit card to do this, this is typical of many hotels across the world.

I am very sorry that the food in the restaurant was not to your liking and I will certainly address this with the chef. Your comments about our mushrooms being frozen are incorrect. Our mushrooms are sourced from a very reputable local supplier. I am very sorry that the steaks were not cooked as you had requested and that you felt the vegetables were overcooked. Again this is something I will take up with the chef.

Your experience regarding the mattress in your room is very disappointing. New mattresses are continually being ordered so it was unfortunate that on this occasion we did not have any spare. The hotel has invested close to 1 Million Euros over the past 3 years in many different areas of the hotel and this investment is on-going.
Your are certainly correct in stating that the hotel is family friendly, however, as one recent comment on tripadvisor states “All in all definitely would return. The hotel has the perfect balance of catering for families and also adults looking a romantic treat. (_ana_K994 reviewed 3 days ago)
I am just sorry that we did not live up to your expectations. We would certainly love the opportunity of redeeming ourselves. Should you wish to return to the hotel please contact me directly and I will arrange an upgrade to a suite (subject to availability).
Kind regards
Sharon McMahon
Sales & Marketing

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820 - 826 of 1,491 reviews

Reviewed 29 August 2014 via mobile

This is a go to a hotel weekend with the kids great price very family friendly love the pool staff are great food is very good in the bar and the restaurant we have been a few times and highly recommend it with the family. Not to much in the town so enjoy the hotel and theme nights

Stayed: August 2014
Thank johnadlowes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2014

We stayed in this hotel for 2 nights in August. We booked due to the family friendly nature that the hotel was advertised as. First impressions are striking and the kids loved the look of the outside of the hotel with its big pink chair and water fountain. I had requested a room in the new wing and it was very comfortable, modern, lots of light and quiet as it overlooked the car park at the back. The bathroom was lovely, very clean and even had a separate shower!
For the kids, there was a kids club - which they loved and a playground outside. The games room however wasn't that much of a hit as it was full of machines which required money, such as the pool table etc the only things that didn't were a few nursery toys scattered around.
We ate in both the bar and restaurant and the food was tasty - not outstanding. But service very friendly.
But the highlight of the hotel has to be the spa, which has a lovely thermal suite and a highly tempting menu of treatments! We will definitely return without the kids to make full use of what the spa has to offer!
The pool was also a big hit as it had several shallow areas for the kids and still enough for the adults to have a decent swim.
All in all definitely would return. The hotel has the perfect balance of catering for families and also adults looking a romantic treat.
Cant wait to go back!

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the new wing, as the rooms are more modern. They also have some lovely views over...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank S_ana_K994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2014 via mobile

While in Monaghan, I popped into The Hillgrove with my 9month old for some lunch. From the moment we arrived we were very well treated by our server Kiely who was so friendly and chatted to my little girl and made us feel very welcome. Food was fabulous, a great bar menu with lots of choice and it tasted great. My little girl enjoyed her lunch too and watched the servers everytime they walked past to get a smile of them. Will definitely be back to the Hillgrove next time I'm in Monaghan for food as the atmosphere and food was top class.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
1  Thank weekenddee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2014

We stayed for 2 nights with 3 children aged 4,6 and 9. Staff are very friendly and helpful. Kids club was great as it gave us a chance of a bit of peace and the fact that you can see via web cam in the bar what they were up to was an added bonus.
Would def stay again.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank mazf281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2014 via mobile

After checking in after a long trip, i was presently surprised about the ease and friendliness of check in. The room read spacious and very clean.
I went down to the bat for a quick bite to eat and that's where the disappointment started.
The deep fried mushrooms came out of the freezer, the little nasty once, served on a garlic mayo and your usual easy clean bitter frisee and radicchio...... without any dressing! This all could be forgiven for € 5.50. However the icing on the cake was the burger for €13.95. I just wonder when the Head Chef or Manager last tried this tragedy.
I ordered the burger without bun, but with cheese, bacon and a fried egg. The burger came of course with the bun and was burnt crisp and dry. And to throw more insult to this dinner the gratin potatoes where raw.
By the way, i did eat my burger as the place was very busy and i was hungry. Would i eat there again whilst staying there. .NO! Not paying €16.95 for a medioca burger.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
4  Thank Oliver M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelOwnerMonaghan, Director of Sales at Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2014

Dear Oliver M
I am very disappointed to read your review, however, I realise that without knowing our downfalls we cannot strive to improve. I just wanted to let you know that our mushrooms are not frozen but are fresh and sourced very locally so I am sorry if they were not to your taste. I am also disappointed that you did not enjoy your meal and had you made these comments to our staff on the night we would have been able to offer you an alternative dish as we strive to ensure customer satisfaction.
I want to thank you for your lovely comments about your room and check in experience.
I do hope that your recent experience will not deter you from trying Knuttel Bistro again.
Kind regards
Sharon Mcmahon
Sales & Marketing

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2014

Efficient and friendly staff at check in. Rooms large and bright including shower & Bath.
Dinner & breakfast very good and I was impressed by dining room manager. Leisure suite
Including pool excellent. Less than 10 min walk down to town & 5€ taxi fare back. Would definitely stay again.


Jimmy P.
D.16

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank james p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelOwnerMonaghan, Director of Sales at Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2014

Dear JimmyP Dublin16
Many thanks for your recent review and your recommendation that you would stay again. This itself is testament to the excellent time you had recently. I will certainly pass on your comment to our Restaurant Manager. Delighted also that you enjoyed the 4 Star facilities of our leisure suite and dining experience.
Kind regards
Sharon McMahon
Sales & Marketing

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 Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure & Spa

Address: Old Armagh Road, Monaghan, Ireland
Region: Ireland > County Monaghan > Monaghan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Monaghan
Price Range: £86 - £194 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 'Majestically Magical' 4 Star Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure & Spa is the ideal location for fabulous break away. Less than an hour's drive from Belfast and Dublin the Hotel boasts 87 beautifully decorated bedrooms, including Suites with Jacuzzis. Enjoy their fabulous Leisure Club with Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Steam Room, Sauna, Gym & Outdoor Hot Tub. You will love their luxurious Lir Spa & Wellness Centre and Hair at Hillgrove Hair Salon. The Hotel also has a superb Restaurant, Bistro, Bars, Banqueting Suites & Conference Centre. Specialising in Girlie Breaks, Murder Mysteries, Spa Packages and Family Breaks. 7 hours Free Kids Club every weekend and daily during school holidays. Bouncy Castle, Games Room, Play Areas & Outdoor Playground. Walking distance from Monaghan Town. The Hillgrove Hotel has been Awarded as the Number One Family Hotel in Ireland, Ulster's Best Wedding Venue, is Tripadvisor's Number 1 Hotel in Monaghan and in Top 25 Hotels in Ireland. Indulge and Enjoy! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure Hotel Monaghan
Hillgrove Hotel, Leisure And Spa
Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan

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