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“Thank God for Steve”

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Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Tarporley
GreenLeadersSilver level
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Thank God for Steve”
Reviewed 15 August 2014

Let me start off with the positives. My wife and fifteen year old daughter went here for a few days break in the second week of August and on the whole we enjoyed the experience. Most of the staff were polite and friendly. The reception staff were particularly helpful and down to earth and the housekeeping staff always bade us good morning and did a good job on our room.

The golf course looks big and magnificient if you play golf and the hotel is sited reasonably close to Cheshire Oaks shopping centre which is out of this world and a dream for shopaholics like my wife and daughter. Chester is not too far away either ( park on Tesco and buy ten pounds worths of shopping to get two hours free parking).

The hotel beds were very comfortable and parking was good - right next to our room in our case. Breakfast was included in our deal and I have to say it was sensational. In fact, I would say it was a cordon bleu breakfast. The bacon seemed to be scented it was that good. Same with the black pudding which crumbled it was that delicate. It was all cooked to order - the only buffet part of the breakfast being the cold part which offered a wide variety of choice. Even the fruit juice was top class - freshly squeezed orange juice; non of your dilute from the supermarket carton.

Negatives - well, there weren't many. We were given free introductory tea with scones and a chocolate drink for my daughter. The tea arrived first, then thirty minutes later the chocolate drink arrived and then thirty minutes after that the scones arrived. All tasted delicious, of course, with clotted cream and jam for the scones. But, by the time the latter arrived we needed another cup of tea and we would have had to buy it. At nearly £5 a cup we weren't interested. Nor were we interested in their hefty dinner prices - although I have no doubt they would have been cordon bleu meals. The free tea and scones was a nice gesture though-just badly co-ordinated.

Now, I've said that most of the staff were very good - which they were. However, down in the spa reception I think they need a little exceptional customer service care training. We went down the first night to book some spa treatment for my wife and daughter - after all that's what we had come to the hotel and spa centre for.

Let me call the guy who didn't greet us at the desk 'Fred'. 'Fred' told us that there were no appointments available for beauty treatments - nails etc, for any of the days we were there. Fine, we were disappointed but we accept that. Things like that happen. However, Fred were you in the least bit sorry that this had happened? Did you manage to curl the other side of your lip to make it into a smile? Did you make us feel we were the most important people in the world? Why not, Fred? Because these are the sort of things that we will chalk up with other bad experience and balance them with good experiences at Macdonalds and decide whether we will come back to the hotel again.

Well, maybe Fred was just having an off day. Well, the next day we arrive and ask if we need a pound or a lock for the locker? 'No', he informs us 'you just key 4 numbers in twice'. No smile, no inquiry as to how we are enjoying our holiday - are we just invisible?

Anyway we all enjoy the wide range of heat rooms, infra red, sauna, two types of steam room and an ice room. The swimming pool is okay for a short swim.

The following day we return and Fred isn't on duty but someone I'll call 'Bert' is. We sign in , collect our towels and smile at one of the female staff. But Bert asks how old our daughter is. She is fifteen and nine months. Bert says she has to be sixteen at this particular time of day and that he's sorry but he has to set the barrier somewhere. He says we can go in and our daughter can sit at the pool side and watch. We decline.

I then get to see the Leisure Manager whose real name I'll give because he was excellent.He was called Steve. He realized my daughter was as near as damn it sixteen and would behave in a way that would not disrupt the peace of the adults. He said my daughter could use all the pool and sauna facilities etc. You see Fred and Bert, Steve knows about customer care and he wants us to come back to the hotel in the future. He also wants us to tell our friends about the hotel in a positive way because it is on a friend's recommendation that we came to the Macdonalds hotel in the first place.

So, on balance then because of our good experiences and because of Steve we will becoming back to the Macdonalds hotel in Tarpoley and can sincerely recommend it to others.

Room Tip: Choose 135 or similar. It's at the end of a cooridor near a fire escape which you can go out of...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ian j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (188)
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English first
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 13 August 2014

I visited this hotel for a weekend spa break, there were 7 of us in total and we all enjoyed every minute of our stay! Keeping 7 women happy is a big ask of anybody but Manager Greg and all the staff at the hotel managed it! Nothing was too much trouble and we were all very well looked after! The treatments were lovely, the rooms were very nice and the grounds were beautiful.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Sally C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

stayed two nights and played two and a half rounds of golf, two different courses, both fabulous.
This hotel is a must stay if you enjoy very high quality ethically sourced fresh food. Both evening we had truly great meals.
The staff were always attentive and helpful, the spa is very good with massage and facials good standard and price. our room was good too. The hotel grounds are lovely.
Whole stay very good, don't let the exterior of the hotel deceive (plain brick appearance)
would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jt T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
43 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Visited the portal last weekend for a gorup golf stay and was very impressed with all aspects of the hotel. Staff were friendly and efficient, breakfast was cooked to order and served quickly despite a busy dining room, rooms were modern, spacious and spotlessly clean. Bar lacks a bit of atmosphere to be honest and the prices for food and drinks was on the high side (£15 for a club sandwich, no chips!). The spa is ultra modern and very well appointed and wasn't too busy when we were in. Large-ish pool and plenty of steam and sauna options. No jacuzzi which was a shame. Golf was excellent. Two well maintained and challenging 18 hole courses but the real plus point were the staff. We travelled by train so had no car and the Premier course is about two miles from the hotel - not a problem as the Golf Manager offered to run us there and back in his car. Much better experience than we had expected given some other reviews we had read. ps free wifi although mobile phone signal is terrible in the area.

Room Tip: Lower ground floors have no view and no mobile signal.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GWS8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blackburn, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Where to start . Well from the very start of my arrival here it all went down hill , first of all there was 13 of us in our party we were all booked in for my friends hen night we thought we would have a nice relaxing one instead of those rowdy Blackpool ones everyone seems to have these days so that was the reason for staying somewhere like this enjoy and still get the atmosphere with that bit extra. Not so from checking in we were told our rooms were not ready and we could wait down in the spa lounge until they were even had to lug all our overnite bags with us too and mind you we had to go down three sets of stairs to get to the spa area, so off we go trekking down all 13 of us luggage in tow , got to the locker rooms after being given our robes and slippers to get changed the lockers were ok but we had to stuff all our bags into them which I only just managed and then wondered how long it would have to be in there as my clothes would get creased not good ..
Then on changing went to see what the pool was like quite small not good looked in need of upgrading , there were a few rooms for steam and aroma steam and so on but very tiny not more than 4 could fit in reasonably . Ok had a swim went into a couple of rooms then had to sit next to pool and wait for 4 hours before my treatments were ready meanwhile still not got into my prebooked room so had to keep going up and down to reception as no one came to tell us anything about anything had to figure it out ourselves .. Eventually we did manage to get our rooms sorted but on doing so was told we would have to pay upfront for them which to be honest I have never had to do in anywhere else I have stayed . So one of my friends and I trekked back down to the spa locker room to retrieve our purses to pay on doing so my friend opened up her purse to find her money had been stolen someone had managed to open her locker and taken it . So back upto reception we go her telling them what had happened them totally disregarding what had happened and saying it had never happened before , while she was very upset and frantic looking all over for this money nobody from the hotel seemed the slightest bit bothered about it I couldn't believe they way they treated her ... And saying it had not happened before yet one of the staff told me it had happened twice before and there had been a car also stolen from there the week before totally don't understand how and why no one seemed interested in anything and u were made to feel unimportant and like u were checking in for a flight not a luxury stay staff def need retraining in customer service and I will never go to another McDonald's hotel ever again !!!!!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Liz J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014 via mobile

Stayed mid week with two friends. Had two great rounds of golf most of the staff were lovely, there was a Scottish restaurant manager who was rather cutting but fairly efficient. The only downside was the food, it took a long time to come and the portions were very small. They seemed to be very understaffed in the restaurant.

Would go back though.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chapterknight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wirral, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Having read a few of the earlier reviews of this hotel I felt I should redress the situation.
I had booked for my partner and I to stay one night DBB on 24th July. Upon arrival we were
so pleased with the location, facilities and friendly welcome that we decided to do it twice! and
were able to book our room for 25th also. OK so the rooms are not air-conditioned - we are
having unprecedented weather at present.......... the public areas are and are very spacious.
We had Exec Room and it was most comfortable and spacious with excellent bedding and
bathroom facilities. We dined both evenings on the terrace of the restaurant and had two
lovely meals, efficiently served by friendly staff (I mention Isabel, Stephen and Hannah in
particular). Breakfasts were very good and once again we were remembered by name and
served well. I compliment the General Manager, Rocio, for her 'hands-on' approach and
Gaynor on Reception for her helpful manner and friendly approach. We will definitely
return even though we do not play golf or worry about spa facilities. The general ambiance and relaxing atmosphere won us over.

Room Tip: We enjoyed Room 316 albeit with windows open due to the warm weather there was some noise from the...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeanette S
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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