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“Lovely setting, fantastic food.”

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The Priest House by the River
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 June 2014

I stayed here on business for 4 nights recently. It is an old building and there are no lifts, so if you have plenty of luggage stay on the ground floor, although there are only two levels so this shouldntreally cause any real problems. You will struggle to get mobile phone reception (which some may consider a blessing) but other than that I cannot think of any problems I had during my stay.
the setting is lovely, and you get that nice feeling of being 'away from it all'. My room was fine although could have been laid out better, the main mirror was on the wardrobe door in the corner of the room, which, with the room furniture in the way, made it slightly difficult to use properly.
tThere is a pleasant bar area, with friendly, helpful staff.

I would have to say the main pluspoint of the hotel is the food. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner there every day, and while one or two dishes werent to my taste, everything was superbly cooked and presented, real mouth watering stuff.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Rex L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn J, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2014

Thank you for taking the time to complete a review on Trip Advisor.

At the Priest House we ensure all team members are kept up to date with regards to reviews so we can where necessary learn and improve on constructive feedback. I know they will be delighted with your review highlighting the positive attitude they displayed during your visit and I know David our head chef will be pleased to read about the excellent quality dishes you experienced.

On behalf of the team I look forward to welcoming you all back to the Priest House in the near future.

Regards,

Gwyn Jones

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439 - 445 of 787 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2014

Wed sent the following to Handpicked Hotel H/O early June - they still haven't bothered to reply to me yet! and if the Manager replies he will deny any evidence of the smell just like he did in a review further below - but can assure you they have a problem

Subject: Priest House Hotel Castle Donnington

Our son and his fiancé held their wedding at the above on Friday 6th June, and the weather and location could not have been better, and everything that had been organized by them ran very smoothly, but the biggest problem was the hotel, and I don’t understand how it can be in your franchise. Having used Handpicked before I was sure that the service and attention would be perfect - how wrong could we be.

1 The room that held the disco in the evening - stank - there is no other description - and when we complained about this we were told that it was due to the cesspit and there was nothing that could be done - this is a terrible excuse for a quality franchise - the smell was so bad that the disco was empty most of the evening as the guests could not stay in there, and eventually it made its way into the bar and the sitting area outside.

2 The Wedding Planner never turned up!

3 At the Wedding meal on the top table the organiser was asked to provide some more bread rolls and the Bride and Groom were told in front of everybody that they could only have extra if they were prepared to pay for them!! insulting and unprofessional is too kind - with a budget spent >£20k - this should never ever have to be mentioned - again not a hallmark response for a quality hotel!

4 Both the staff for the meal and especially the bar were too few in numbers and could not cope - and in fairness to them there was little evidence of any management support to them.

You will be contacted by *** with a litany of other things the hotel did not do - but that is their choice - and we were not aware directly of the other problems - and only want to bring to your attention our first hand experiences. But in conclusion we cannot stress enough how this hotel damaged your brand.

We look forward to your response

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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9  Thank simon s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2014

Well we were invited to some very dear freinds of ours wedding. (Have visited for our own wedding but wasn't for us) and the setting is lovely. You get the gentle hum of the motor bikes at Donnington Park and the planes flying over head for east midlands airport but that doesnt take away the stunning setting. We visited June and the weather was lovely (went to the wedding fayre in January and the river was a bit close to our liking and very high)

The rooms - we stayed in room 39, small but had everything you could wish for - en suite bathroom with bath and shower, tiles a little tired now and could do with replacing but the bed was comfy and the aircon a must as the hotel was very hot. Fab view over the courtyard at the back of the hotel

Ceremony room - again lovely, not too crowded and perfect for the ceremony of approximately 50 people

Function room - SMALL! There was about 6 round tables in the room with a top table and the table we were on the poor guy had to keep moving so the staff could serve the food. The dance floor is small so if you have a large wedding party anymore than 10 people on there and you wouldnt all be dancing together! It got very hot in here and no air con - the temperature was about 25 degrees outside and must've been about 30 in the room, they opened the windows but didnt let much air in

Staff - FANTASTIC, very attentive and couldnt do enough for you

Food - lovely, the wedding breakfast was really nice - goats cheese and plum tomato starter, chicken for main and lemon and lime cheesecake for pudding. Evening menu - dont know as didnt know where it was (its served in a little room at the side of the DJ and by the time we, inc 1 of the brides, found out where it was they'd removed it apparently they only leave it out for an hour)!!!!!!

As i say a lovely setting, attentitive staff, bar prices a little steep if you drink soft drinks - £2.40 for a small bottle of coke, average £3.95 for a pint of DRAFT beer, bedrooms small but have everything you could want, overall a nice experience but needs a little more attention to detail with updating the tired decor, looking at getting soft drinks on tap as too expensive if you dont drink alcoholic drinks (and being so remote not everyone was staying over at the hotel), function suite could do with air con and something telling people where the evening food was as there wasnt just us who didnt know!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Anne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn J, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2014

Thank you for your comments and taking the time to report your experience at the Priest House. We value our guests opinions and this enables us to address any issues which you raise from your visit to the hotel.

I am delighted that you were pleased with a number of aspects during your visit however naturally disappointed with your comments about missing the evening buffet and the room being hot. We take all our guest comments very seriously and I have addressed these with our food and beverage team and asked the maintenance team to review the air-conditioning output.

Once again thank you for your comments and I do hope that I will be able to welcome you back to our Hotel in the future.

Thank you again for your valued comments.

Regards,

Gwyn

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Reviewed 12 June 2014

The Priest is undeniably the nicest hotel in the Midlands, if you're looking for a beautiful, relaxing, comfortable, inviting property then this is for you.... From the long driveway, parking by the river and getting your first view of the original mill, its stunning. The reception staff are just superb, great service with nothing being too much trouble. We've stayed there at least one weekend a year since getting married there 3 years ago, our most recent stay on our wedding anniversary.
The hotel staff know us by name and look after us so well. The most recent visit they upgraded our room to the suite we had on our wedding night, a glass of champagne before our dinner and the option to have the restaurant menu in the cosy bar area... nothing is too much trouble to make you feel at home.
All the rooms are lovely, they have the main hotel rooms and the cottage rooms which are slightly cheaper but still lovely. The bar area is just perfect with an open fire and comfy chairs. The bar menu has changed recently but the food is lovely and reasonably priced.
Weather its sunny or snowing the Priest house is a guaranteed great weekend away. A walk by the river in the sunshine or a mulled wine and mince pie by the fire in the snow.
A buffet continental breakfast with a full english breakfast cooked to order either on your room or served in the restaurant, good quality produce, served freshly cooked.
I can't recommend this hotel enough, if you want somewhere easily accessible from the motorway, with a welcoming, relaxing vibe you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: All the rooms are superb however if you're looking for something extra special the Heron and Sto...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Heather M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn J, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2014

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write a review. It was a pleasure for me to read it and I am delighted that you thoroughly enjoyed your visit. I have shared your feedback with all of my colleagues and I know that they are pleased that their attention to your needs was appreciated.

Our Executive Chef, David was really pleased to read your comments about his food as he has worked hard to influence the menu and its dishes. That you enjoyed his food is a huge reward for his team's efforts.

I do hope that it will not be too long before you make a return visit to us.

Regards,

Gwyn

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Reviewed 7 June 2014 via mobile

Beautiul hotel, lovely setting, even better food, really enjoyable. We were lucky enough to come on a night when the chef changed tge menu and had one of the most exquisit and decadent vanilla and peach desserts i have ever tried. Special thanks has to go to "Faye" she really was attentive and couldnt do enough for us. The secret escape offer really was the icing on the cake. Definatly recommend and definatly be back.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
Thank a-wanderinggourmet78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn J, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2014

Thank you for writing such kind things about your recent visit to the hotel; it is much appreciated. I was delighted to share your review with my colleagues and Chef, in particular, was delighted you enjoyed the vanilla and peach dessert.

I do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to the Priest House in the very near future.

Regards,

Gwyn

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Reviewed 6 June 2014 via mobile

We have just had 2 nights at the Priest House for a mini break. The setting is absolutely lovely on the banks of the River Trent. The food is excellent particularly in the restaurant and the staff could not have been more friendly and helpful. The standards are high but the atmosphere is nice and informal, we really enjoyed it and will definitely be visiting again.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Sarah E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn J, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2014

Thank you for your review. It is always wonderful to receive feedback about the team delivering excellent customer service, as we spend a lot of time training our team about exceeding guest expectations. Once again, many thanks for your feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel in the near future.

Regards,

Gwyn

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Reviewed 6 June 2014

Myself and my fiancee booked the Priest house for our planned wedding and I paid £1750.00 towards the costs. we booked 9 or 10 months in advance and worked out a payment package with the Hotel. My Fiancee looked after all the booking forms and letters.. My fiancee dropped the bombshell on me a few months ago that she no longer wanted to marry me and that the relationship was over. This shock gutted me and I developed depression and anxiety. My doctor put me on medication to help me cope.
I recently lost my sister to cancer and im coming to terms with as well.
I'm 67 years old and was looking forward to settling down after living alone for 20 years. We had planned to move into a new house and start from fresh.
I then had to start phoning round informing all the invited guests and explain the news of the cancellation and i had to explain the situation to the estate agents.
I had to cancel the photographers and Wedding car hire, all this with help from my friends.
I emailed and phoned the Priest House and explained the Situation to them and I asked if it was possible to get a refund because of the length of time of the cancellation.
I had to ring them again because I heard nothing for some weeks. They said that they couldn't find the original email and that they would look in to it.
I rang them again some weeks later and was told that a refund would not be possible even though there was still several months left to go before the wedding date 28th Sept. I thought that because id given them plenty of notice it would be possible to claim back some of the deposit,they still said no.I explained that I would have been happy with half the deposit but they were adamant and told me a definite no. It had taken me months to save the deposit out of my State pension and it would have helped soften the blow. My ex fiancee had all the paperwork but destroyed it. Me and my fiancee stayed at the Priest house on our engagement night that's the reason we booked it for our wedding. We was very satisfied with our previous stay there so we decided to use the Hotel again.
I would have thought under the circumstances and the well in advanced cancellation that the manager would have been more sympathetic and understanding.
I'm slowly getting better with the help of my GP and friends.
I'm very Disappointed in the way they dealt with my situation but I suppose i have to accept the outcome.
Thank you for taking time to read my problem

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Dave O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwyn J, General Manager at The Priest House by the River, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2014

As previously stated I was very sorry to hear you had to cancel your Wedding.

As I have explained I have checked through the terms & conditions on your signed contract with regards to your deposit. Based on the contract, I am unable to offer any refund. If you took out wedding insurance then this will normally be covered under the terms of the insurance.


Kind regards,

Gwyn

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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: £75 - £133 (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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