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Reviews (2,124)
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Reviewed 8 September 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed at this hotel for a night and were very disappointed. We had booked the trip away to take time out from work and to relax in what we thought would be a nice hotel with luxurious facilities. However, this was unfortunately not the case. We were kept waiting to check in, with no staff in sight and although the female front of house manager was professional on her eventual arrival, she was far from genuine. This was a concurrant theme throughout as other than the lady on the spa reception, none of the staff had any redeming qualities and lacked anything even resembaling warmth or personability. The building itself was very plain and dated not something you'd expect from a 4* hotel. There was also a strong smell if sewage at several points inside the building. The pool area was not dissimilar to a local leisure centre and the lack of jacuzzi was very disappointing, especially as from 3-6 is 'childrens time' so any guests arriving and wondering down to the pool for a relax are met with circumstances less than condusive to this. The restaurant was totally without atmosphere with downlighting on full and a very strange table layout/room shape that was nothing short of a members lounge in a golf club-which was what the hotel is essentially. The bar and restaurant were full of middle aged male golfers, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere for a young couple who were looking to spend a pleasant evening away. Instead of enjoying a drink in the bar after our meal, we were forced to return to our room. This blow would have been softened had the room itself been a bit special-which it wasn't. I have stayed in hotels for a fraction of the price with rooms of the same standard. All in all a thoroughly unpleasant experience.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank HotelReview83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2011

I am really surprised to have read some of the other comments on here regarding Macdonald Portal Hotel as my experience was throughly enjoyable. Myself and my friend paid for the 'Girls Night In' spa package.
The hotel is modern, clean and well staffed. We stayed in a twin room which provided us with everything we may have required during our stay. Staff are friendly and helpful.
If i was pushed to make a negative comment the only one that would come to mind is that the bar was understaffed. We had to go to reception in order to get served. But, this by no means had an effect on the rest of our stay.
Facilities are excellent and I will certainly be going back!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank 55Woody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2011

My husband and I have just returned from a 2 night golf break at the Portal. Whilst there we experienced a number of disappointments which marred my birthday golf break.
Firstly - At check in the receptionist took the usual swipe of a credit card in case we wished to charge anything to the room, got a HUGE shock at check out....... we had charged a couple of items to the room so knew we would have a bill, however when my husband came to pay it he was informed there would be an additional £2 card charge - this was never mentioned when the card was asked for at check in, and a total disgrace when customers are not informed there will be this charge when their card is actually requested at check in. It was waived when my husband quite firmly objected to the charge. Though he shouldn't have had to object, it just shouldn't have been asked for, in the first place.
Secondly - We had booked and played a round of golf on each of the Premier and Championship courses. Neither are Premier or Championship in quality. They have been poorly and badly neglected. In fact the length of the grass on the fairways of the Championship course led one to believe they hadn't been cut in weeks. The state of the greens was appalling, they had burnt areas and areas with no discernable grass surface. Champions woukld definately not be playing on them the state they were in.
Thirdly - The hotel was very obviously running on low occupancy levels (probalbly economic climate), however this didn' excuse the low levels of staffing numbers. The staff levels were at such a low level, that on our first evening when we requested a bottle of wine on room service the barmaid staffing the bar doubled up as room service waiter, as well as delivery maid for ice when we requested some for the room. Who staffed the bar in her absence is anyones guess as she was definately the only member of staff on the bar that evening as we saw her trying to multi-task all these roles later when we went down to the bar area. At breakfast you couldn't go down thirsty as you could wait up to 15minutes to get your pot of tea or coffee on your table, though it wasn't the staffs fault as they are so so stretched and should not be expected to provide the level of service expected from this class of hotel when so obviously understaffed.
Front line staff should not be discouraged by this review as it is not their fault that management obviously are trying to run the hotel and golf courses on as tight a budget as possible, and staff should not have to try and deliver a level of service in these conditions.
Furhtermore we went to this hotel to stay and play golf as my husband had stayed here and played around 18months ago. He had found the hotel and courses in excellent condition then and could not believe the absolute deterioration in both. On this last experience we won't be returning. There are to many other places in better condition and maintained to a better standard.

Room Tip: Request/book feature room if possible as worth the extra
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Barbara F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2011

Staff always seem unhappy and the service isn't great. This hotel could be so good but is let down by the small things that really count to guest like getting a cuppa as soon as you sit down for breaky. It just happens at other hotels. Not at the Portal. They have a weird service method that needs serious consideration, business guest need out quick in the morning but are forced to wait sometimes up to 10-15 mins for a cuppa! Sound like a small gripe but if you stay here weekly it starts to become a real pain.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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Thank tools99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2011

Booked a ladies golfing trip after seeing advert in lady golfer. Hotel and staff were fantastic.Facilities excellant. Everything we asked of them was done for us even making suggestions to make our stay more enjoyable. Golf courses were in good nick but golf on first day took 5 hours very slow. One critcism the price of drinks in the lounge bar were ridiculous they could be halved and they wouls still make a profit.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Denise5944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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