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“Customer service left a lot to be desired.”

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The Priest House by the River
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 November 2012

Booked and paid in advance for a nut free champagne afternoon tea for 8 for a very special occasion.

No welcome, barmaid surly and not attentive. Waited at the bar for a full 10 minutes whilst she scowled at the till and a previous order.

When I introduced myself and said I was with a party for a champagne tea we were told it was all set up... But I had tI prompt her to tell us where!!

We went to the table rather than being shown and waited for another 10-15 minutes before she appeared to take a drinks order.

When we asked the barmaid for wine we had to prompt her to bring over a wine list, then she brought just one list for a table of 8 and was more concerned in telling us it would be in addition to the 'afternoon tea'

we were waiting for some of the party to arrive and did not want to open the champagne until all had arrived, I felt as if we were being 'inconvenient' to the barmaid- the extra money for a bottle really wasn't a problem and I did not want my guests to be troubled by this!!

Waited over an hour for the afternoon tea, then it arrived with nut based cakes. These were replaced for the but allergy sufferer- but I had been quite specific when booking that I wanted but free for all, so as not to single out one person- aftersll afternoon tea is aboyt sharing a three tiered plate, not individual settings.

Two if the afternoon tiers arrived, another 5 min wait for the third.. Causing the whole party to wonder if there would be more, or enough sandwiches to go round.

Overheard other diners complaining about waits- one diner actually went to speak to the chef!

I complained about our wait, the nuts and the fact coffee and milk served was not enough for 8 cups let alone a refil. I did not recieve an apology.

Staff did not check on our service, no apologies for the lateness, barmaid insistent in blaming others.

At the end of a truly Dissapointing afternoon I was hosting for friends I was then presented with a bill- I had paid advance. After the barmaid 'checked' with someone else I paid for the additional bottle of wine we had ordered.

Barmaid did not once apologise for the mistake or ask if we enjoyed the tea.

Food was lovely, but there is absolutely no excuses for the terrible service and lack of attentiveness as a 'handpicked' hotel.

I would not recommend dining at this hotel, we returned home watched fireworks in the village and got better service from the volunteers serving cups of tea than we recieved from the Priest House.

Truly terrible, dissaponting, embarrassing and awkward dining experience.

Stayed: November 2012
2  Thank 2uptourers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PriestHouse, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 13 November 2012

Dear Guest
We do take all feedback extremely seriously, as this helps us to improve our service, standards and facilities and I am very sorry that your experience at The Priest House Hotel was not to your expectations and below our normally high standards of service and customer care. It is never our intention for a guest to leave us with a poor lasting impression and I was very disappointed to read your feedback, which I have discussed with my Food and Beverage service Manager who in turn will retrain the individual concerned to ensure such a situation does not reoccur in the future. Kind regards Michael

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617 - 623 of 796 reviews

Reviewed 30 October 2012

We recently organised a surprise anniversary lunch for our parents and as my wife's family lived further north, Derby or the surrounding areas were the most central location to us all. We set out looking for options and came across the Priest House online as we looked up the Handpicked Hotel chain of hotels for occasional breaks.
From the moment we enquired - the communication, responses, options and assistance in planning a surprise lunch for 30 guests was great.
We arrived on the sunday morning to find the Garden Suite perfectly laid out as requested and were expertly assisted by helpful members of the Priest House team when required. We met guests in the bar and then moved through to the dining suite where Priest House staff executed the surprise marvelously.
Service, attention to detail, the presentation and flavours of the meal were all spot on and the whole event went without any hiccup - all our guests were very impressed and we then found out that Mother used to frequent the Priest House 38 years ago so all in all it was a perfect choice of venue.
Well done and thank you so much for your excellent hospitality - only negative was a guests concern that a Pint of SPeckl

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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Thank VesuviOCiampi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PriestHouse, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 13 November 2012

Dear Guest
I was delighted to read your comments following the surprise Ruby Wedding Anniversary lunch you arranged for your parents. What a unique coincidence that your mother visited The Priest House Hotel, only to come back to celebrate her anniversary after all those years. I have passed on your kind comments to all concerned. Kind regards Michael

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Reviewed 26 October 2012

This hotel is in a lovely position right next to the river next to an old fashioned bridge.
My room was in what appeared to be a row of converted old cottages next to the main building.
The room was clean and large with a flat screen tv, modern bathroom and tea/coffee facilities.

The main hotel I felt was lacking in atmosphere although the staff were friendly and helpfull.

I ate in the Brassiere the food was ok, better than average but not fantastic.

I would visit this hotel with my partner but not return on business.

Room Tip: Cottages are nice
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Alan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PriestHouse, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 2 November 2012

Dear Guest
I am sorry you found the main house of the hotel to lack atmosphere and I have fed back your comments regarding the food to my head chef, which I am sorry you thought was not to your expectation. I was pleased to read your comments regarding your room and the friendliness of our team, which I have passed on to all concerned. We look forward to you and your partner returning in the near future. Kind regards Michael

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Reviewed 16 October 2012

We got married earlier this year, our day was perfect in every way. The staff were fantastic very friendly and professional, especially Becci the wedding coordinator who was our main contact and couldn't do enough for us to make our day just right. The food was excellent we received many complements on the service and everyone was very happy. This venue is truly stunning,the river location is perfect for photos and for guests to enjoy. Us and our guests really enjoyed the breakfast the following morning in a separate room all together which made it a very personal and special way to say our goodbyes. We absolutely will be returning to enjoy our anniversaries in years to come.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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1  Thank wheldonWint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PriestHouse, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2012

Dear Guest
I was delighted to read your email follow your wedding at The Priest House Hotel. I have passed your kind comments on to all the team members concerned. As you say our location is perfect for weddings, on the banks of the River Trent, which makes the perfect backdrop for the wedding photos. We look forward to welcome you back in the coming years to celebrate your wedding anniversaries. Wishing you the very best for your future together, from all the team.

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Reviewed 10 October 2012

Lovely location a few miles outside Donnington at the end of 'No Through Road', alongside the Trent. The Priest House tries very hard to be 'excellent' but doesn't quite make it. The staff are very attentive - but perhaps too much so. Every course throughout the very well presented and tasty meal we would have at least 2 of the staff checking everything was alright. Food was very good (smoked Guinea Fowl and Tuna Steak were excellent) although the main dinner menu was a little limited - we could however order from the Brasserie menu which offered some more standard fare - such as battered fish and chips. Extensive wine list - though not cheap - typical lower price being £28.
The cottages (rooms 1-11) just off the entrance road are nicely finished though have a few issues. Being on the entrance road there is light traffic in the early hours (staff coming and going?), the bed (room 11) is showing its age and the shower you definitely don't get drenched (not a power shower). Sufficient for a night away though these rooms may not suit for longer. Room 1 has a very small bathroom with similar furnishings. The rooms in the main building were more spacious.
Appears to have regular business meeting clientelle (as per our visit) and the conference rooms are very well equipped comfortable and definitely fit for purpose - Board have a view across the river at the front of the hotel. The hotel does spoil you with coffee and 'snacks' - continuous !
Overall a nice hotel, well finished though just misses the mark, perhaps mainly in the cottage rooms.

Room Tip: Rooms 1-11 are in the cottages detached from the main hotel - would not recommend these rooms due to...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Dave B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PriestHouse, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2012

Dear Guest
Thank you for your kind comments regarding our attentive team and the quality of the food, although sorry you felt you were asked too frequently by team members to check your satisfaction. We have reviewed the frequency of our check backs and have reduced them to eliminate the feeling of being intrusive. Regarding our rooms we do have a wide selection of rooms both within our cottage rooms and our main house which do allow our guests’ a choice. On your next stay I would be delighted to arrange a main house bedroom for you.
I was delighted to read your comments regarding our meeting rooms and very please you enjoyed our sweet, savoury and healthy snacks. Kind regards

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Reviewed 8 October 2012

This hotel is ideal for a relaxing short break or for a luxury romantic getaway. All the staff were very friendly and helpful all the time and were knowledgeable of places to go in the area. Prices are expensive compared to run of the mill hotels but you pay for that extra luxury touch that most people only have for that special occasion or treat. We had two nights here for our 31st wedding anniversary and enjoyed it enormously. Just don't go expecting cheap prices.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank TomG624
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PriestHouse, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2012

Dear Guest
Thank you for you kind comments regarding your recent stay. I was delighted to read that you found the team to be helpful and friendly throughout your stay and that they were informative on places to visit in the area. Kind regards Michael

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Reviewed 5 October 2012

This hotel close to the airport and race track is a great place to unwind. We spent a week there during the summer (we were lucky to miss the rain!) and found the hotel staff polite and welcoming. The food in the restaurant was very nice, but surprisingly the restaurant was empty perhaps the Olympics stopped people from going.
We upgraded to a suite and having a separate room to watch TV in the evening was much more comfortable.
The hotels classic rooms are housed in a row of picturesque cottages which adds to the uniqueness of the hotel.
Another winner from the HPH group

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SAW60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PriestHouse, Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 8 October 2012

Dear Guest
Thank you for your comments regarding your recent stay at The Priest House Hotel. I was delighted to read you found our staff to be welcoming and polite and that you enjoyed the food in our restaurant. I must say how clever you were to plan a week away this summer and miss the rain. We hope you will return in the future or enjoy another stay at one of our other great properties. Best wishes Michael

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Additional Information about The Priest House by the River

Address: Kings Mills, Castle Donington DE74 2RR, England (Formerly The Priest House Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Derbyshire > Castle Donington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Castle Donington
#4 Luxury Hotel in Castle Donington
#5 Romantic Hotel in Castle Donington
Price Range: £68 - £119 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Priest House by the River 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a tranquil and stunning location on the banks of the River Trent, The Priest House's history is a rich one that can be traced back almost 1,000 years. Built around a mill tower with its very own water wheels, this 42 bedroom hotel is perfectly placed for a romantic break, an exclusive conference venue or a picture perfect wedding. We've hand-picked a fine selection of food and drink to compliment the charm and romance of our English Countryside setting. Fine dine in our beautiful dining room or relax in our newly renovated and re-named Millstream Bar & Terrace where you can enjoy al fresco dining overlooking the River Trent in the Summer months. We invite you to come and relax and really feel at home with us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Priest House Hotel Castle Donington
Priest Hotel Castle Donington
The Priest House By The River Castle Donington, Derbyshire

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