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“Lunch at portal”

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Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Tarporley
GreenLeadersSilver level
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Lunch at portal”
Reviewed 27 October 2012

We had to wait for 15 minutes to get served a drink at the bar,and we ordered a bacon sandwich with chips and when it eventually arrived it was cold and the chips were lukewarm after a half hour wait?
It seems as though the staff don't care at all about the customers and they aren't interested in providing any service to the clients

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nigel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (188)
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 October 2012

We stayed as part of a hen party on a spa package.
The package was excellent for everything it included and everyone was very happy with it.

Upon arriving and having lunch in the bar some of the women unaware of the time, ran over their spa appointment slots, this resulted in being fetched by the spa manager who frankly was a little abrupt and rude.
Seems to not have very good customer service and should have a better attitude despite whether feeling frustrated with customers.

However the girls in the spa were lovely, helpful and very friendly and the treatments and facilities were exceptional.

The rooms were clean, spacious, and of a very high standard. Lovely big bathroom with shower and a bath too. Nice tv, mini bar fridge, tea and coffee and much more good features.

The restaurant was also very good and the food was excellent. The only thing i would say is drinks are very expensive but it is to be expected in these type of hotels.

The staff later on in the bar were lovely, very friendly and professional, and the customer service from them was excellent. Always had smiles and were telling us lots about the hotel and telling us what is good to have a look at.

Breakfast was a good selection and the food (once we got it) was good. There seemed to be a bit of bad organisation though and a bit of waiting around. The staff were particulary slow with tea and coffee which should be served immediately at a table. They forgot a few times when asked for things like toast or extra cups/cutlery.
On the whole it was fine.

Overall it was an excellent stay, i would definately go again and it is well worth going.
Grounds are stunning, very good spa, lovely rooms and facilities, excellent food and great staff, particulary in the bar and on reception who were very helpful and efficient.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank yecats25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
spain
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 19 October 2012

We have recently returned from a weekend break to the Portal Golf & Spa in Tarporley.

We found the check in service good when we arrived and the lady on the desk was very polite and helpful. Our room was very nice, comfortable and clean. Breakfast we felt on the whole was OK but the service could be better. Apart from breakfast, we ate out so cannot comment about the dinner service although we overheard some people complaining.

We played both the 18 hole golf courses and had to say they were excellent as was the Spa.

In the bar area during night caps, one poor guy "J" the bar supervisor, was running around in order to provide a service, which he has been trained to provide - obviously very consciencious. Through difficulties (as he did not appear to have many staff with him on a busy night) he maintained his humour and professionalism and made us and by the looks of it, other people in the bar feel very welcome, so we have no complaints in that area other than to say that the price of drinks are on the expensive side.

Having read the reviews prior to our stay I am prone to agree with the comments. However... I feel the situations described were purely brought about, by the obvious lack of staff in all areas, which to be fair is not the fault of the current staff and they should not be judged for something they cannot control.

Surely this is a management issue and the people placing critiques on Trip Advisor should address their problems directly to the bosses of the hotel perhaps.

Other than that, the place is in a lovely setting, alittle bit overpriced I would say especially in the bar but perhaps these prices are set by Macdonald Group and are the same in all their hotels.

If the current issues can be resolved, the Portals Golf and Spa is well worth a visit for any Golfer.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sunkissed6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2012

First off, even though this is going to be a bad review, I'd like to say what a shame - considering the beautiful location, great rooms and professionalism from the spa staff.
Unfortunately the rest of our experience was just 1 great big joke. It was so pathetic me and my friend found it too hilarious to bother complaining (not that the staff would know what to do with a complaint - though I'm sure they get more complaints than customers).
The restaurant was terrible - it took some young waiter 10 minutes to find out if they serve J2O, then another 10 mins to find out what flavours they had. We then were served another tables dinner - only finding this out when I questioned the plate of beef in front of me wasn't the chicken I ordered. Even then I was told "Yes that's the chicken". So my friend ate her meal alone, along with the couple next to us, and then when she was eating her dessert my meal finally came! This seemed nothing to us at the time, a simple misunderstanding we casually brushed off.
The next morning we were first in to be served and an hour later had still not received our breakfast or coffee - though all the other residents that came down after us were served no problem. Having a spa treatment booked we cancelled the breakfast (there was still no sign of it), and we did so politely. Later on we were advised by another resident (that witnessed our treatment of the night before and this mornings breakfast) that all the waiters were standing round the restaurant in front of lots of customers calling us and completely slagging us off!
It's not possible to put in all what happened during our stay, but another evening meal and another breakfast found us receiving similar treatment. On our last morning we both sat back and observed the other residents. EVERY table we watched were moaning/complaining and generally seemed completely hacked off with these so called staff - trained to Basils highest standards.

Room Tip: We just chose a standard room, no extra cost and both of our rooms were fantastic. Lovely big room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AnnaleeseJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2012

Stayed here Sunday September 30th for one night as part of a group of twelve golfers.

We played the Championship course on the Sunday, it wasn't bad, but to be fair it wasn't anything special.

Had a few drinks afterwards in the bar while watching the Ryder Cup, drinks are, in my opinion, very very expensive.

Check in was fine, all twelve of us descended on reception at the same time and the lone girl handled us all at once and quite quickly. The room was fine. Very clean, spacious and contained everything needed.
We didn't eat dinner in the hotel so can't comment (we went into the local village for a Chinese). We had more (expensive) drinks afterwards in the bar.

Breakfast. I ordered coffee and toast which took around 25 minutes and two reminders to come. Breakfast arrived about 15 minutes after that. Far too long to wait, and some of my friends had ordered before me and were still waiting when mine arrived. What's the deal with putting 12 baked beans in a little ceramic pot? And when I asked for brown sauce I got a spoonful put on my plate by the waitress?

We played the Premier course on Monday. I can't rate this course highly enough, I loved every hole. This is the superior course of the two by far.

In summary: breakfast and the price of drinks were a let down, I would have given the hotel somewhere between a Poor and Average rating... but the golf drags it back up to a Very Good, the Premier course really is worth a visit.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank P4ULH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Lancs
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2012

There were three of us ladies who met up for a little spa break. Arriving at the hotel at 12.15, it took approximately 30 mins for the nice chap on the front desk to inform us that our rooms wouldn't be ready until sometime in the afternoon, which in itself was ok, but everything seemed so confused as there were many other people waiting at the desk too.

We went through to the bar for a bite of lunch. We stood at the bar with our wine and food order for twenty minutes before a member of staff came and took our order, the bar was unattended all this time. The poor guy looked rushed off his feet when he arrived and its glaringly obvious that this hotel has some serious staffing issues as has been reported in earlier reviews. Sadly, the food wasn't good.

The spa treatment, using beautiful Decleor products felt rushed and impersonal, seemingly catering for mass market, hen night type parties, the whole spa area was very noisy. It's possible that we were just unlucky as there were a few large parties present.

The rooms are large and very well appointed, the bathroom has to be one of the nicest I've had in a hotel. The beds and pillows are also very comfortable.

The restaurant for dinner was very busy and the food was excellent. I started with caesar salad (which was huge and very tasty), followed by Lamb, red cabbage and mash, also very good. I have to say that the service was good at dinner. I can sadly, only echo previous reviews regarding breakfast. Orange juice was empty, no croissants and lots of people milling about looking for re-fills. The cooked breakfast was just "ok".

Checking out was again very busy at the desk and again, a 3% credit card charge! It seems that this hotel could have so much going for it, but the lack of staff and not getting the basics right means that most people will only visit once and never return.

Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank dnntltbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
west midlands
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 October 2012

I was taken to this hotel for an overnight spa break as a special birthday treat - there were 5 of us in our party. I have to say that the hotel itself was lovely and in beautiful surroundings. Our room was spacious and well equipped and the spa facilities were acceptable. On arrival one of our rooms was not made available until after 3pm, with no apology. However, for an establishment of this standard the service was absolutely disgraceful! We waited over 50 minutes for our evening main meal to be served and our party was one of the first to be seated so I would have expected less of a wait. The following morning breakfast was a joke. Table not laid correctly, asked to order breakfast without seeing a menu; ommitting to bring gluten free toast so had to repeatedly ask for it; cereal and fruit sections empty so had to ask for them to be refilled; had to ask for orange juice urn to be refilled and then when it was ( after a wait of over 5 minutes) the urn was blocked so juice would not come out so I had to manually collect the juice from inside the urn. No-one around to assist. The fault lies totally with management. The service would have been good if there had have been enough staff to cope with the volume of guests. Too few waiters doing their best to keep everyone happy, running around trying to take orders, clean tables and serve food all at the same time. Too many "suited" managers strutting around,full of their own importance,giving orders instead of rolling up their sleeves and helping out - then blaming their staff when customers complained. As others have said, checkout was a laugh - I think it took us over half an hour - we shouldn't have had to ask for someone to come and help out on the check out desk! Needless to say we didn't pay the £3 fee for using our credit card! So, to sum it up, bring in more staff to cope with meal times and get management to organise correctly and help out when needed! Such a shame that I cannot recommend this otherwise lovely hotel.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank masscara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa

Property: Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa
Address: Cobblers Cross Lane, Tarporley CW6 0DJ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cheshire > Tarporley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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 #3 of 4 Hotels in Tarporley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 85
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set within the heart of the Cheshire Countryside yet within easy access from the main motorways and towns, The Macdonald Portal Hotel,Golf and Spa is the perfect base to explore Cheshire and its many attractions and places of interest. Whether you are visiting for a pampering experience in the luxurious Spa, a round of golf on one of the two challenging golf courses or indeed a gourmet break enjoying the finest foods in 2 AA Rosette Ranulf Restaurant, Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf & Spa has something to offer for the entire family. Portal is also the home of the first Lee Westwood Golf School in the UK and offers a combination of three golf courses and an onsite golf academy. The conference and banqueting facilities have hosted many a prestigious event and both the Castle and Waterstone Suites offer the most wonderful venue for the perfect wedding celebration. A venue for all occasions, the hotel offers 85 sumptuous bedrooms, a state of the art Health, Fitness and Beauty Spa which includes an 18 meter swimming pool, advanced Technogym equipment and a thermal suite with rock sauna, aroma steam bath, ice room and salt infusion sauna. Why not dine in our fine restaurant with its 2 AA rosettes and views across the Cheshire plains. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf Hotel Tarporley
Macdonald Portal Tarporley
Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf And Spa Tarporley, Cheshire

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