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“Oh dear, what a shambles” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa

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Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Tarporley
GreenLeadersSilver level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Oh dear, what a shambles”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2014

First the good bits: a superb location with great views, an excellent gym and spa centre and possibly the best black pudding in the world (Macleod & Macleod of Stornoway). Sadly, this is offset by incompetence at all levels. We have visited twice in the past month and on both occasions the inability to deliver food in a timely manner has been extraordinary. The quality of food is also extremely variable, stale bread rolls can sit alongside a very agreeable breakfast. Dirty laundry was all over the corridors at 6pm on one day. Don't bother asking for a map of local walks to the village. The bedroom walls are thin so you will hear most of next doors conversation.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,815 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (181)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2014

We booked to stay for four nights. On booking our stay we were told we could check in at 2pm. When we arrived our rooms were not ready and we had to wait several hours.
Once in our rooms they were clean, tidy and big. The beds were very comfortable and large.
The next morning we had to wait over an hour for breakfast. The breakfast area was clearly not big enough for the amount of guests staying.
Our rooms had not been cleaned and house keeping did not arrive until 6pm.
On the second night the bed was not made properly - made up bed but duvet was not in a cover, it was simply lying on top of the bed.
The same house keeping problems continued throughout our stay. Black bin bag of rubbish was actually left outside our room for an afternoon.
The gym and pool were excellent and the golf facilities were also impressive.
This hotel could be so much better if they employed more staff.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LMorelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
anglesey
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2014

Having stayed in a few Macdonald hotels I felt quite safe booking this one for 2 nights for a chester races/ golf break. How wrong was I !!! It started off bad and got worse as the stay progressed. Firstly we had booked 4 rooms, different catagories- the receptionist put everyone in the wrong rooms... My son was meant to have had a suite but ended up in a classic double - my daughter was meant to have had a signature room and was in a classic. No apologies - and wasnt really sorted no products sent to room like night gowns, aromatherapy bottles for the bathrooms, water - nothing! we then went to bar to have a bar meal- Over an hour later still no food - told they had a wedding there so had to wait!!!! surely they would have known about the wedding in advance and enlisted more staff to cater for the hotel guests!!! Dinner in the main restaurant followed in the evening which again took 3 hours they were busy..... Over the whole weekend we never got our food without constant complaining, the staff were unhelpful, harassed and couldnt cope with the work load. They didnt have time to be friendly. There was a wedding on both days and that was the reason the guests of the hotel got neglected. The whole experience was stressful, unenjoyable, the manager did come and speak to us at some point, we were given some bar food for free because of this but we were there for a relaxing break which we did not get. So my advice dont stay at this Macdonalds!we Werent the only guests complaining many others did too. Apart from this the hotel was very tired looking, in need of decoration, only a few seats out side which had dirty ashtrays on, unkempt, basically the whole place had a total lack of cleanliness and I blame the management for this. The only good thing was the food in the restaurant was good, if prepared to wait, and on our last day we had a spa day, and although the male receptionist was not friendly the treatment and girls giving it were!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank springholme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2014 via mobile

I spent the evening here recently part of a wedding party. I arrived at the hotel at around 10.30am enquired to check in and understandably they told me I couldn't even though I was part of the party, I ended up using someone else's room and was advised I could check in from 2, it took me 6 hours to finally get a bedroom here as they were telling me that the housekeeping is short, there we're loads of people complaining and it seems like the hotel was having a very bad day.

When I finally did get a bedroom I walked in and it was still be cleaned, I walked back to reception to get my room changed and within 15 mins another guest walked into my room, then my card key broke on me which was a ball ache to fix

I really do feel sorry for the receptionist on the front desk as she was getting shouted at most of the day due to the incompetence of people above.

The room I eventually got was lovely the bed was great, very spacious and bathroom large although my view was over the car park.

The grounds are next to a golf course and at times the whole hotel can get very busy just as a warning!

As people have already mentioned the bar prices here are above and beyond £4.50 for a pint of Guinness.

Breakfast is very cramped, it's only a small area and glasses and food can run out quick. You have to wait for service and it can be a while. The breakfasts are very small but decent quality.

This place can't candle to amount of quests it has here it's very poorly managed and I would hate to work here as a member of staff as I can tell all I would be getting was aggro!

Overall at a stretch I probably would stay here again if there was no where else available.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Twitter1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2014

We visited this hotel just for the one night, and had a near perfect stay. Our welcome was very friendly, the room was very clean and spacious, the only thing we would have changed about our room was to have some air con, as it was a very warm weekend! The spa was excellent, all of the facilities were very well maintained and we definitely enjoyed all of the different spa rooms. We had a 3 course dinner inclusive with our hotel package, which meant we chose from a set menu which was limited but we definitely enjoyed all of the courses, all very fresh and well cooked. Breakfast was also delicious, with plenty on offer in the buffet and cooked breakfast. All of the staff were extremely attentive which really made our stay special, would definitely recommend.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Hannahkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ian j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      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
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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 #4 of 5 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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