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“Good but could be better...”

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Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa
belfast
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Good but could be better...”
Reviewed 8 July 2008

The website for this hotel implies a grander hotel than it turns out to be. Essentially a functions and business hotel, it can fall somewhat short of the four star status applied to it. At first glance it is a splendid 700 year old building, through which one enters and is dealt with at reception. Like many old building ‘new’ wings have been added on where most of the bedrooms are. In the case of this hotel the Executive Rooms are in such a wing.

However, in order to reach these rooms from reception one has to negotiate corridors, pass through a functions bar, then a cold functions lobby and then pass through doors outside onto a covered verandah walkway which is completely open to the elements on one side. Dashing along this when it was raining is hardly what you expect in a four star hotel.

The Executive Rooms are a good size with excellent bathrooms featuring decent length baths, separate power shower, and good thick towels. Usual bottles of body and hair lotions. Minor gripe: tiny cake of soap. One needs to search in the wardrobe for the towelling robes and slippers. The kettle and tea/coffee equipment is hidden in a cupboard under the television. The television has a limited range of channels but seems to have excellent reception and picture quality. It is worth asking for a room overlooking the parkland. Mine had an excellent view of the fields and next morning there were real live cows contentedly munching close by me!

The picture of the restaurant featured on the website bears no resemblance whatsoever to the restaurant in use. Perhaps once it did feature a fine dining experience with table cloths, candles and napery as shown in the picture. Now it is just plain tables and chairs, all very close together and not so much as a place mat or anything. Cutlery is simply placed direct onto the table tops. This is no place to eat and have a confidential business discussion.

Despite this, the food turned out to be better than expected. Like so many hotels today the place seemed staffed by a handful of ‘seasoned staff’ and teenagers or college kids. The level of service therefore varies a bit but I think it would be fair to say on the whole it is acceptable. Some were quite cheery and efficient. Others need a little more training. The restaurant gets very busy and the bar area beside it can become quite full. It would be advisable to book a table if planning to dine in of an evening. One dish which is excellent is the poached haddock with soft boiled egg on top which features on the breakfast menu. If the hotel is busy with overnight guests the breakfast service can be a bit slow but the staff seem cheery and manage to get coffee (which seems to vary in strength) quickly if you need it to kick start the day.

As with the executive rooms, the Spa is in a separate building. The pool looks a good size but can become busy as this is one of those spas open to outside membership as well as hotel residents. There is an excellent set of steam rooms, saunas and a well equipped gymnasium. Towels and a locker key are provided. Be warned. It is a bit of a trek from the Executive Rooms to this spa and back again which in itself is good exercise!

I am not sure I would wish to stay if the hotel was full, or had a conference or noisy function going full blast. I suspect rooms close to the function areas could be noisy. It is worth noting the executive rooms are a bit of a walk to get to but seem to be well away from the main function suites. In fairness to the hotel it does seem to be the largest in the surrounding area and is probably the only one which can cope with large functions and weddings. Individual guests might suffer a little if several functions were all on at once. With a little fine tuning of the service staff and greater attention to detail this would be an excellent hotel.

Would I return? Definitely. But I would try to ensure the hotel was not too busy and I could be tucked away in the Execute Rooms section again.

  • Liked — Decent sized executivev bedroom with separate shower
  • Disliked — Exposure to the elements getting from the executive rooms to the main block
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank drflight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sussex
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2008

Large car park, friendly reception staff. Printed two route maps for us.Hotel is large and signage to rooms confusing. No assistance offered with luggage. Executive room comfortable for three nights, windows opened. No bathrobes, bathroom good, had to ask for more soap/shower gel/shampoo, provided quickly. Hospitality tray pitifully short of items. TV choice poor, few channels. Clean throughout. Good light meals in bar and conference facilities excellent. Dining room lacks good table settings but food well presented but not terribly imaginative apart from excellent starter. Good service. Disagree with the one rosette awarded for food. Breakfast (in room) excellent. On time, good choice and unlike some hotels everything ordered was there! Room was at end of a wing so very quiet, this may not be so with functions and with large functions rooms I imagine hotel could be crowded and noisy, although no expererience of that. I agree with 4 star rating and it is good value for money, although I would expect more form the restaurant for dinner at £27.50. Bill wrong but corrected immediately. Would stay again.

  • Stayed June 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Richard233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clitheroe
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2008

I had read some terrible reviews for this hotel and didn't know what to expect when we arrived at a friends wedding in March. We don't live far away but my husband is disabled and we have young children so staying over was the easiest option.

The staff were very helpful on arrival and even gave us our key early. The room was very well adapted for a wheelchair user and very clean and tidy apart from a stain on the carpet. The hotel was having work carried out but that didn't affect us. The room was situated a couple of minutes walk away from the reception.

The meal at the wedding was lovely although a few had complained about the meat at the end of the joint but everything else was excellent. The 'waiting on' staff were very polite as were the bar staff.

Later on in the evening I had to go to the car for something and walked through the reception. The staff there were very friendly and asked me if I was enjoying my stay. I told them what I had read (I think it was on this site) about the staff being unhelpful and people not being satisfied with their stay. They told me that if anyone has any problems at all that they should not hesitate in contacting them as they will try their best to rectify the problem. Whilst I was there I asked them about disabled access into the pool as I was curious. They were unsure but telephoned around and found out that it was wheelchair accessible and that there was a hoist into the pool. I told them that my husband had not packed his swimming shorts but they explained that there was an Asda a couple of miles away where we could purchse some at a resonable price (I knew this but they didn't know I was reasonably local).

We went for breakfast the next day. We had to wait five minutes for a table although people arriving later had a longer time to wait. The food was excellent and you could go back and get as much as you want. The staff also helped me and my husband back to the table with our food.

I would definately recommend this hotel. After spending over twenty four hours there if all I can fault them on was a stain on the carpet then, in my opinion they are doing very well (I am very fussy)!

  • Liked — The accessibility for a wheelchair user
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ORourkes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2008

Just come back today from a two night stay with my hubby. Must say really good service from reception staff, very friendly, although I agree with another reveiwer, I can imagine it getting very busy and crowded when there are alot of people to check out. When we arrived on Saturday there were 2 weddings on and we were a little dubious about what effect this may have. Apart from having to park in the overflow carpark and due to the function having to walk outside to get to our room it was not a major problem, fortunately the sun was shining. We booked an executive room which was very spacious and had dressing gowns, slippers fantastic sized bathroom with separate power shower that could fit at least two people in ! My only niggle would be there is no description on the hotels website to say what is included in the executive room, so we did take a bit of a chance! Tea and coffee making facilities in room although they did seem a little stingey on the supply of coffee, tea, sugar and milk cartons, although you can ask at reception and it was no problem for them, also the remote control didn't work and we ask for it to be sorted and a very young hotel assistant attempted to find a different one for us, but came back twice without success, eventually we told him not to bother anymore, but it didn't get sorted during our stay. The breakfast was lovely and its worth getting a deal with breakfast included as it is £15.95 if you buy it when you get there. There was a large choice of fruits, yogurts, cereal, juices, bread, pastries, cooked breakfasts and nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff who were all very friendly. We were in for breakfast early on both days, but apparently they had 300 odd people having breakfast on Sunday morning and so I think we made the right choice by going early as I can imagine that it may have been very different at 9:30.
We ate in the restaurant one of the evenings, absolutely lovely food, extremely tasty and good wine, although slightly pricey, it has apparently got an AA rosette. Service once again was very good.
All in all a very nice stay, a few little moans thats why I don't feel I can say excellent, but it was very very good and would definitely stay again!

  • Liked — The food and the size of the room
  • Disliked — A few little things that should have been sorted
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank niblets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa

Property: Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa
Address: Blackburn Road, Clayton-le-Moors BB5 5JP, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Lancashire > Clayton-le-Moors
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Clayton-le-Moors
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 175
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa is situated in 17 acres of parkland. Combining a traditional setting with modern technology, our hotel offers both an enjoyable weekend getaway, or facilities for business meetings & conferences. Also featuring a luxury spa, with 8 beauty suites, & Cameo Restaurant & Bar, a relaxed dining experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel Clayton Le Moors
Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel And Spa
Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa Clayton-Le-Moors, Lancashire, UK

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