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Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa
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Reviews (2,100)
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All reviewsgolf courseice roomgolf breakrelaxation roomcream tealovely hotelgreat golfplay golfpro shopround of golflounge barset menubar pricescheshire countrysiderestaurant staffrelaxing breakcourse meal
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1,758 - 1,763 of 2,100 reviews
Reviewed 1 May 2013

Just awful! Paid a lot of money for us both to have a spa day with lunch.

Receptionist very unhelpful, had to ask her for robes, she didn't tell us when and where lunch would be and didn't even check that we were booked in! We have booked a day there and spent less than 2 hours there.

Cold thermal showers with a smell of urine, nobody showed us around even though we told them we had never been before.

Would not recommend this place at all - was more like a council run pool with a tiny sauna and they charge a small fortune!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank LJD82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2013

Spacious rooms and great views over golf course and hills. Didnt use facilities and spent most of time working but enjoyed the stay wishing I was on the adjacent golf course. Got a good deal on price - food average but everything else fine except having to pay for wi-fi - a bit outdated policy

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled on business
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Thank pb56422
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2013

We chose this hotel purely on location and local area knowledge for a weekend spa break. This time I booked through lastminute.com as they offer a cancellation policy whereby booking direct with the hotel none is offered. I booked it at least a month in advance and immediately contacted the hotel to pre book our treatments and dinner as advised on my booking confirmation, and having stayed here previously I knew how important it is to pre book anything! However contacting the hotel is easier said than done...the 0845 number lets you choose the department you want...I choose the spa only to be greeted with a voicemail saying the mail box if full please try later. I tried later, it went to voice mail and said a member of the team would respond as soon as possible. I did not get a returned call, I eventually got through and spoke to a real person in the spa only to be told that the spa is very busy that day but they could squeeze us in...didn't convey much confidence in us receiving a relaxing treatment if we were going to be squeezed in. We had the same problem booking dinner...left several messages on the voicemail, emailed and then eventually spoke to a real person who again said the restaurant is fully booked, they could only give us a table at 9pm, when I questioned why they are still offering spa packages with treatments and dinner when they are obviously full she told me I would have to take that up with central reservations. The general manager was quite alarmed to hear that I had left messages on the restaurant voice mail - as she said "they do not have any answering machine facilities" I get the impression that what ever you challenge them with they are always in the right and will never admit to doing wrong.
Our spa break date eventually arrived and I must say it all ran smoothly despite the booking hiccups. We arrived slightly earlier than our check in time but this was not a problem our room was ready, reception staff were attentive and friendly (more so than on a previous visit), however I did make a point of stating what spa package we had booked as it included a cream tea and a glass of fizz, if I had not of asked we would not have got the voucher to exchange at the bar!
Our spa treatment was booked for later that evening and it was very nice, we chose not to visit the swimming pool as on a previous break we were very disappointed to find that childrens hours were 3-6pm sat evening and 9-11am sunday morning (prime time in my opinion for any one on a weekend spa break). Our last visit the pool was over run with gym members and their children, a warning would have been nice so that we could have planned around those times. Having spoke to the manager his attitude was "we are a hotel not a spa"!! The spa facilities are very nice and there is a lovely relaxation room with loungers, blankets and dimmed lighting where you can chill after or before treatments however it is no where big enough for the amount of spa guests-has about 10 chairs and management could do with some signs enforcing the "relaxation" aspect of the room - a hen party overtook the room, ruining the ambience by being very loud and inconsiderate. Dinner was what you would expect from a hotel, nicely presented and tasty and over priced.However as expected because we were booked in at 9pm, a lot of the menu was unavailable and were not even told until we came to order, this could have been pointed out when we were seated with the menus. Service was slow, drinks took along time to arrive, we had to ask for dessert but I really do not think its the waiters fault-they really do their best but there simply is not enough staff.
Bedrooms are pleasant, well equipped and adequate, a bit more sound proofing would be useful as we were woken several times by large groups coming back from the bar up until 4am!
Overall it was a nice hotel, nice area, and a nice time was had. don't go expecting spa standards as it is Quote spa manager "a hotel with spa facilities"

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank wadey97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2013

We booked in advance for a 2 night B&B stay with dinner on first night. This was for a special occasion.It is the worst ever hotel stay that I have encountered and we do travel regularly. This hotel has a total lack of trained staff and customer service is Zero!!! We stayed on 16th March for 2 nights.I have been trying to make a complaint since this date but the manager has not replied to us despite numerous calls and discussions with Customer service dept. This is why I am now seeking legal advice and writing this review to avoid other people wasting their time and money by booking this hotel!!!!!!! We were advised in advance that we could book a table upon check in and that if we did not want the 3 course set menu then we could spend £25 off the A La Carte menu.Upon check in we were advised that this was not the case and that customer bookings made centrally were wrong we were told that we would have to pay expensive supplements to eat off the main menu.Also the restaurant was almost fully booked with numerous non residents dining so we were offered 6.30pm or 9.30pm!!! We had a discussion with Duty manager who eventually agreed to waiver the supplements but then when we received the bill the supplements were on it. Also we waited over 40 mins for starters, The wine was merely opened and left, no tasting or pouring and at almost £40 a bottle I would expect more!! The food itself was gorgeous but pity about the horrendous service!! In the bar there were numerous empty tables covered in empty glasses and 2 bar staff doing nothing!! You have to go to the bar there is no table service yet they charge £8.50 for a glass of house wine served in a dirty glass!!! At breakfast we again waited over 30 mins for even a cup of tea and when our breakfast arrived it was cold. The waitress said that she would take it back to the kitchen but then walked off without it and failed to return. We ended up going to a cafe and buying breakfast out!! We spent a lot of money on a very poor quality trip. There was no service and the average age of the staff was about 18!! We have received better service at a premier inn!!! The rooms were lovely and well appointed and the cleaning staff efficient. The duty manager did end up giving us our wine free however we had numerous complaints and our anniversary was ruined with having to constantly ask where our food/drinks were and then asking for problems to be resolved and now we find that trying to lodge a formal complaint through head office is almost impossible. I have contacted them numerous times and been advised that the hotel manager will contact me however after over 5 weeks I have heard nothing and this is why I am writing a review. I am now going through the legal chanels as my money was taken upfrontand I would like a refund so that I can go and re- celebrate my anniversary in a hotel with good customer service!!! This is the worst service I have ever experienced and I would avoid staying at this over priced hotel where you will be served by teenagers who have no desire to impress. If a mystery shopper was to stay at this hotel I can imagine how dreadful the report would be, Customer care zero!!!!!!!!!!!!! Most expensive bar ever almost £5 for a coke and £8.50 for a glass of house wine.

Room Tip: Please avoid this hotel at all costs!!!
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cheryl b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2013

Booked a spa package for a Saturday night, arrived on the Saturday afternoon and ordered sandwiches which took ages to arrive and were stale. They were very expensive too and not worth the money at all.
One of our rooms was right next to the bar so there was constant noise especially when the wedding function finished. The bathroom smelt of sewage too. Not pleasant.
The fire alarm was set off at 1am so the hotel had to be evacuated.
Terrible nights sleep so not exactly the relaxing weekend we expected.
However the facilities and spa treatments were lovely. Would go back to the spa again but would not stay at the hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank 6972travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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