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“Nice location, overpriced”

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The Priest House by the River
Certificate of Excellence
Desborough
Level 5 Contributor
97 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Nice location, overpriced”
Reviewed 4 January 2013

Stayed here New Years Eve. We booked into the hotel on the way back from an appointment in Nottingham. We also booked a table at a local restaurant. The room was lovely large, separate from the Hotel and had a good large shower (no hairdryer though). The room was also a bit dark.
The weather was bad so we decided to drive to the restaurant and see the New Year in, in the Hotel Bar. However after seeing there was nothing festive about the Bar and the cheapest bottle of wine was £23.00, we ended up going to the local store after the meal out and seeing the New Year in,in our room.
Next morning we ordered two omelettes for breakfast, that took nearly an hour to materialize. There were no apologies.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RealAlers
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 review, 11 January 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for you comments following your recent stay. I am sorry you felt the bar area was not festive enough and that you felt our wine starting price was too high. I was disappointed to read that you waited for nearly an hour for your omelettes at breakfast, which was totally unacceptable, but please accept my belated apology for the delay you experienced, which I can assure you is not indicative of our usual standards. Kind regards Michael
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (163)
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English first
lichfield
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 January 2013

Our first visit to the Priest House, recommended by our friends.
The food was excellent matched by very good service. We shall certainly return and also recommend the experience. Cant wait for spring when we can see the surroundings and river-off their doorstep. We are certain it must look very ettractive.
Driving down on a dark winters evening seemed eerie but well worth the journey.
The scallop starters were sublime, cooked to perfection. The duo of pork main course fulfilled all expectations. The selection of cheeses-seemingly local, was really good. Didnt realise there were so many from the locality.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank richard_lichfield
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 review, 6 February 2013
Dear Guest
I was delighted to read you enjoyed your meal at The Priest House Hotel, which I have passed on to all concerned. The cheese selection, as you say, are locally sourced from the surrounding counties, with the most famous being stilton from the Colston Bassett Dairy to the lesser known Innes Bosworth Ash which is produced only 20 mile away. We look forward to welcome you back in the spring, when you will see the hotel and grounds at their best, with the bulbs and plants in full bloom and the trees out in leaf it is defiantly something to come back and see. Kind regards Michael
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Stockport, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2012

My husband and I stayed at this hotel for one night. We have stayed at many other handpicked hotels and are members of the loyalty bonus scheme. I note that in response to another review where the over priced wine was criticised, the manager has stated that the price of the wine is fixed across the chain; however I do not remember being disgruntled by this when I visited the other hotels and anyway I do not think that this dissmissive response was appropriate considering the depth of feeling engendered by guests feeling "ripped off" (during our stay we heard many comments to this effect).
In my opinion the excellence in other areas is overshadowed by this and unfortunately the only thing that will stay in my mind about The Priest House is the over pricing. I have spoken to friends and colleagues since returning home and all agree that £39.50 for a bottle of Pinot Grigiot and £13.50 for a glass is outrageous and all vowed to steer clear of Hand Picked Hotels if this is the pricing across the chain.
I think it is a shame that our experience was spoilt by overpricing and suggest that if this is indeed across the chain, then there needs to be a boycott of the chain until this is reviewed.
I would only recommend this hotel and, if the manager is correct, any other Hand Picked hotel if you are tea total.

This said the dinner was excellent and the breakfast the best I have had in a hotel in a long while.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lynda H
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 review, 11 January 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for your review which I was delighted to read you enjoyed your stay overall and that you thought our food was excellent throughout your stay. With regards to your main comment I would greatly welcome the opportunity to discuss your views in person and would be delighted if you could contact me or forward your contact details when I would be more than happy to contact you. I look forward to hear from you, kind regards Michael.
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 18 December 2012

I am so glad I chose this venue for my wedding. The setting is beautiful, the food was lovely and the wedding co-ordinators Becky and Sarah were so very helpful prior to the day itself. On my wedding day I felt very looked after especially by Paul the toastmaster, he was brilliant. Thank you for making me feel so special and gving me the perfect wedding.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alison T
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 review, 11 January 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for your kind review following your recent wedding reception. I was delighted to read that Becky and Sarah looked after you prior to your wedding and that Paul and his team looked after you on the day. It was our great pleasure to host your wedding and may I wish you both the very best for your future. We look forward you see you both in the near future, kind regards Michael
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Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 3 December 2012 via mobile

Our wedding day was perfect and went without a hitch and this was helped by a great location and all the staff working there.
Following a flood only 4 days prior due to the winter weather the staff did a brilliant job to get our venue ready and nobody was any the wiser.
The food was superp and all our guest were very impressed.
We can't fault anything, thank you.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jay2523
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 review, 20 December 2012
Dear Guests
I was delighted to read your review following your wedding day at The Priest House Hotel and very pleased your guests were impressed.
As you know we were very anxious following the flood to ensure the hotel was fully open for your wedding and we were delighted to get everything back to normal within the week. May I wish you the very best for your future together. Kind regards Michael
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London
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2012

Booked a weekend here after some exhaustive research as a special pre-baby treat for my husband and I. The receptionist was very welcoming and friendly and the room was great; spacious, large bed, nice toiletries.

However it all went downhill at dinner. Our stay included dinner and breakfast on both days. We chose to eat in the Brasserie the first evening and the service was friendly if a little haphazard. My husband requested no anchovies with his ceaser salad but it arrived complete with the fish and my risotto was only just tepid. A glitch, we thought, and didn't mention it.

On the second evening we decided to try the Restaurant hoping the food would be better. Again both mains arrived cold and my salmon was actually raw. This time we sent the food back and I asked for my salmon to be cooked more (at seven months pregnant I cannot risk raw fish). After a substantial wait the plates arrived back hot to the touch but the food was still cold and my salmon was still raw - it would appear the plates had been slung on the plate warmer but the food had not actually been heated up! I had to leave the salmon and eat the rest of the tepid food. The waitress asked if the food was ok on clearing our pates and I explained it had been served cold twice, she said she would speak to the chef but never returned. Extremely disappointing! Allegedly this restaurant carries 2 Rosettes?? No evidence of that on our weekend.

It all came to a head at breakfast on our last morning when I ordered the smoked salmon, scrambled egg and caviar dish. The salmon arrived on toast with no sign of the eggs and caviar. I asked the waiter who grudgingly brought a bowl of scrambled egg (again cold! Aaarrgh) and no caviar. We now couldn't wait to leave and gathered our bags to check out.

Chaos at reception on check out as a wedding party were checking in and getting irate as rooms were not yet ready. I waited as one after another wedding guest jumped in front of me and became annoyed at the receptionist. Eventually I checked out but the receptionist did not ask if I had enjoyed my stay, if everything had been ok etc. and with the wedding party baying for blood I felt then was not the time to raise issue with the food.

Overall, a terribly disappointing stay. As the hotel is quite remote the restaurants were pretty much our evening entertainment and there really is no excuse for cold food and especially when it has been sent back and arrives again still cold. I would recommend the hotel itself but definitely avoid the restaurant. But based on this stay I would never again risk a Handpicked Hotel.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HelenaSLondon
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 review, 20 December 2012
Dear Guest
May I apologise for the poor quality of food served to you during your recent stay with us, which was totally unacceptable. Following your comments my head chef has carried out retraining of his brigade and reinforced our policy for the chef in charge to check every dish prior to leaving the kitchen, to prevent a similar situation recurring in the future. I was pleased to read your comments regarding the friendliness of our receptionist, which I have passed on to the team, and that you found our rooms to be comfortable. Kind regards Michael
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Derby, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 November 2012

We went for Sunday and got a drink at the bar( as one does) before sitting to read the menu, after giving our order we were asked if we would like any wine, it was then we realised that my husbands large glass of white wine had cost £13.25!!.
On further reading of the wine list we found that the wines started £28.00 per bottle, we have now found out why they are offering a voucher for 20% off your lunch.
The staff clearly do not read what the hotel offers as they were insistent that coffee/tea was not included and was £3.30 per head extra, I advise them to read their own web site.
Needless to say this spoilt the lunch which I have to say was faultless.
With so many local places doing as good as if not better we shall not be returning.
Based on our visit I would not recommend an overnight stay.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Margaret585-12
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 review, 20 December 2012
Dear Guest
Thank you for your feedback following your lunch and may I apologise for the incorrect information given by one of our staff members, regarding the pricing of our Sunday lunch. Following your comment all food service staff have been retrained on our pricing policy to prevent a similar situation reoccurring in the future. I was pleased to note that you thought your lunch was faultless, but very disappointed you will not be returning. Kind regards Michael
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Additional Information about The Priest House by the River

Property: 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 Luxury Hotel in Castle Donington
#3 Business Hotel in Castle Donington
#5 Romantic Hotel in Castle Donington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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