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.
- 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