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“It used to be so much better”

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Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa
Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in Newbury
Windsor, UK
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“It used to be so much better”
Reviewed 2 August 2009

We have been long term fans of this hotel, even back to a year ago it was a hidden gem, a fantastically good value location for a relaxing break, brilliant spa, lovely rooms and great service. Something has changed.

Our recent visit was a catalogue of bad service and the hotel has definitely suffered from a reduction in staff training, or a change in management. We actually really enjoyed ourselves as it became funny... but for the record our highlights included:

1. Three changes of room on arrival, due to lack of "executive room" benefits. One had no wifi reception, one was promised as "with a view" and had a view of... a hilll ...
2. Best customer service excuses ever:
Why is the view you promised us non existent? "well, it says on my PC that there is a view". Would you like to come and see it for your self "no, I'm far too busy here".
Where are our (advertised as benefit of executive package) robes & slippers? "They are here, in reception, could you come and get them"
3. No TV remote.
4. No bulb in the desk lamp
5. Tea pot and cups not cleaned when room was serviced.
6. Thanking reception for replacing our TV remote, being asked by the guy behind the desk. "you don't have a Nokia charger, do you I'm out of juice"? Surely it should work the other way round!

The night we had dinner was absolutely excruciating, it included main courses that arrived within 2 minutes of the starters, an incredibly overcooked piece of pork which could not be cut with the knife... being told that it could not be overcooked because "we cook everything to order". To be fair, the main course was replaced with a perfectly serviceable fish casserole but we ate in relay! Next to us, a pair of ladies sent back their starter four (yes... four) times, and one of their main course once.

It's not all bad, though. The spa is still lovely, the pool is gorgeous, the steam room and sauna are as good as you will find in any hotel anywhere. The gym is excellent. The rooms are still very nice but not quite as clean as they used to be. And if you want a laugh, order the "guinness and chocolate mousse" in the restaurant, it will give you anecdotes for years to come.

If you are fussy on service, I'd give this place a miss for a while. It's gone from being a 4 star hotel with 5 star service and facilities to a 4 star hotel with 5 star facilities and 3 star service.!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gadgetgizzard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Berkshire
1 review
Reviewed 27 July 2009

Our daughter got married at Donnington Valley Golf Club and I have to say that from start to finish the day went without a hitch. This is solely down to the organisational skills of a lovely young lady by the name of Berny who looked after us from the moment we first met her, several months ago now. She immediately put us at ease and obviously knows that attention to detail is a must when organising a wedding. Nothing was too much trouble. The club itself is set in lovely grounds and the food was superb! All in all a fantastic day.

Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank JohnB54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jmacg
1 review
Reviewed 20 July 2009

Went to Donnington last weekend for a one night 'weekend break' with my girlfriend. On first impressions this is a nice place - room was very nice (we had and execuctive room) and surroundings good. On arrival we had lunch in the bar - v.tasty BLT and a risotto (although rather expensive @ £10 for a BLT and chips!).

However it all went downhill after this. We were told our room wouldnt be ready until 3pm (which to me seemed quite late). After this we went to the spa and the jacuzzi wasnt working..a bit annoying. We went for dinner which was included in the price - service was good however the food was average and tasteless. I then proceeded to spend the whole night up 'being ill' due to food poisoning. During my 'illness' I went to run some cold water to cool myself off etc...our taps only ran HOT water. I then couldnt eat breakfast the next day. When I complained they offered no refund or partial discount...finally when we left our Taxi (which they ordered) turned up 10 mins late...although these complaints may seem small (some even trivial) , they added up to me being pretty dissapointed.

Our only other experience of going to a Spa is Ragdale Hall, which was exceptional. ...there is no comparison between the two. A few tweaks and this could have been a pleasant weekend. To me a 4* hotel isnt just a nice place - it comes with a level of service to back this up...Donnington did not provide this.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jmacgeee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2009

I would recommend this hotel and spa to anyone.
Okay here are my pros and cons.
pro's:-
Hotel was clean,
Room was lovely
Shower was lovely
Lots of car parking
Swimming pool, sauna, steam room and aroma room good.
English breakfast was nice and the Head Waiter and waitress were friendly. we left some food on our plates and the head waiter asked if everything was okay, we said yes as we had just put too much food on our plates. He wanted to know so that if there was something wrong improvements could be made. but I would not fault the breakfast room and staff.

CON's
We arrived just after 3pm on Sunday, at reception one lady was on the phone and one man was just working away at his computer in front of us, he didn't say boo to us. Just kept on doing whatever he was doing. I found this rude as he could clearly see we had come to check in and that his colleague was busy but did he say hellow did say please hold on and as soon as his colleague came off the phone she would check us in - no he blatantly ignored us.

So then she finally came off the phone after what felt like 15 mins of standing there but was only about 10 minutes, checked us in, gave us 3 room cards to enter our room and on our way we went up. We got to our room and all 3 cards did not work, so I went back to reception where she apologised and programmed our room cards, so along I went back to our room and they still didn't work! So one my friends saw a cleaner on our room and she tried our cards and they still didn't work but she used her key and let us in to our room.

So I called reception to request 3 new room cards and explained the situation and she said okay i wll send someone up with new cards. We waited and we waited and after ten minutes I called again and again explained our situation and the chap on the phone said okay I am sending someone up and finally someone did come up with 3 working room cards.

I don't find the reception staff friendly at all. Oh and once we got to the pool area we say a sign that the jacuzzie was out of order so I asked the reception and asked when it woudl be repaired by and she said it has not been working for the last 4 days and I thought to myself - well thanks for letting us know! And she said it may get fixed on Monday (the day we leave) - great. And low and behold just as we were leaving at 4pm on Monday it was working as the workman had been in on Monday to fix it.

But they didn't even give us money off, a free meal nothing to apologise for the jacuzzie not working.

This is a good hotel don't get me wrong but just a few little cons there. Is a very clean hotel and I would recommend this. Hopefully when you go the jacuzzie will be working.

Ush

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ubhari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2009

Stayed at the Donnington in a Executive Suite as the Vineyard (sister hotel) was fully booked, ready for a board meeting on Monday morning.
Very bad service in the bar - waited nearly an hour for a tasteless spaghetti carbonara (£12.50) and 20 minutes for my glass of wine (which cost £11.50!).
We also weren't the only ones complaining about the service.
Poorly finished bedroom with squeeky wardrobe door, chipped shower basin and broken bathroow sink tap which meant the water went everywhere but in the basin whenever you brushed your teeth/washed your hands.... resorted to the bath mixed tap in the end.
Saving grace, the bed was extremely comfortable and the breakfast well cooked - shame about the burnt toast.

Would not recommend to a friend and would have complained had it not been on the company dime.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank perfectmuse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2009

Went to Donnington a couple of weeks ago for a weekend break with my husband. We stayed in one of the suites which was pretty reasonably priced. Room was clean and comfortable with a decent bed. Room wise only criticism was that the wardrobe door was broken and there was no way to turn off the heated towel rail in the bathroom which meant it was like a sauna in there! Only other issue with room was that we were supposed to have a DVD playerwhich was not there when we arrived - to be fair though this was resolved within 15 minutes of a call to reception. Pool facilities are excellent - if you are staying at the hotel they will provide you with a robe and slippers to use in the pool area (you need to ask at reception) - comfy loungers, not too busy, fab jacuzzi - you can also order food and drink from the pool side, although you did need to approach the staff as oppose to them coming to you - we had little success with the 'service flags'. Breakfast was a little on the ropey side - food was fine but service left quite a bit to be desired - no butter on the table, had to ask for toast twice - why is it that hotels seem to find service at breakfast such a challenge? The Americans seem to manage ok! Key word of advice - don't be sucked in by the £27 per head dinner offer - this is for a very limited menu only called the 'market menu', if you want to choose from the full menu they charge expensive supplements. We didn't like the menu or being mislead ,so actually cancelled the evening meal and went to a lovely pub in Hungerford instead (forget the name, sorry! - possibly Swan Hotel). All in all though a great weekend break - one or two minor issues as i've said but nothing that spoilt things.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lovetochillout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2009

I booked a surprise trip for my mother who turned 50, when we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff who explained what to expect from our stay . We were given directions to our room. Our room was nice and spacious, also very clean , we all loved the marble bathrooms.The spa was nice but the receptionist wasnt very pleasant , she made us all feel unwelcome. We chose the massage chair as one of our treatments, the chair was really good however it was located in the reception of the Spa , aS you can imagine you could not really relax with so much going on around you , you are sat in the chair right next to the nail bar and opposite is a great big mirror facing a 2nd nailbar , Whilst we were trying to relax there was a customer having their nail done and a new member of staff getting shown around ....
The resturant was ok , but again the staff wasnt very helpful ,we didnt enjoy our evening meal , however the breakfast was really nice.
Overall our stay was ok , and my mom had a fantastic birthday .

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank afromii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa

Property: Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa
Address: Oxford Road - Donnington | Berkshire, Newbury RG14 3AG, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Berkshire > Newbury
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Newbury
#2 Romantic Hotel in Newbury
#2 Luxury Hotel in Newbury
#3 Business Hotel in Newbury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded by glorious hills and stunning parkland, Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa is a natural blend of charm and elegance with uncompromising quality and countryside views. Home to 111 bedrooms, Donnington Valley is a privately owned 4-star country hotel in the heart of Berkshire with a state of the art spa and 18 hole golf course. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Donnington Valley Newbury
Donnington Valley Hotel Newbury
Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa Newbury, Berkshire

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