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“I felt at risk, vulnerable and left disappointed.”

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Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Botley
GreenLeadersBronze level
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“I felt at risk, vulnerable and left disappointed.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2014

In summary, I will not return to this hotel for the following reasons.

1. I felt vulnerable for my family after a 5am fire alarm went off and no reasonable risk assessments or procedures where carried out or followed through during or after the event.
2. I believe the welfare and safety of my family is of no concern to the hotel.
3. I have concerns that staff couldn't deal with the incident properly.
4. I feel undervalued as a customer.
5. The room i stayed in was poorly maintained, the rest of the hotel is tired.


We stayed at this hotel Wednesday to Friday last week. A visit to Peppa Pig World was the reason for our booking. We are regular users of the Macdonald chain, in Scotland particularly, so despite the stay being more expensive than other hotels locally we remained 'loyal to the brand'. I expected with Macdonald Hotels that my family would be cared for like we had many times before during our stays nationally.

Robert checked us in, he was extremely friendly to our son who remembered his name for the two nights we stayed. Well done and thank you Robert, that was a very nice start to our stay.
Our son is two years old. We had booked a triple room.

The window in our room didn't fit its aperture, so there was a gap around it that let cold air in constantly, the window stay (lock) was loose and ineffective, and the radiator in the room didn't work. We decided to have son in our bed to ensure he was kept warm during the night.

The fire alarm went off at 4:45am. No one checked to ensure we where safe, i.e. room 314 was empty and we where accounted for. The roll call was started then abandoned when the fire service pulled up at reception and we where all stood outside in very cold temperatures without any explanation or consideration for ours and everyone else's welfare. We where not told it was safe to return inside or not, at any point. We where just left to file back in gradually like sheep.

I was informed by a couple who also had their two year old daughter with them and where visiting Peppa Pig World, that the room close to them was the reason the alarm went off, triggered by smoking in the room. The smell of the cigarette gave them cause to believe it wasn't just tobacco they where smoking due to the pungent smell. I am disappointed to believe this is true, but have no reason to doubt the people who told me.

Im a worldy wise person. I am able to take care of my family in most events after looking after others in emergency situations as a job and don't complain as a rule, however, I was disturbed by the information I had been given, the lack of communication after a serious incident by the hotel and the clear lack of after care. It made me feel vulnerable, that we where in danger at the hotel because of others, and feel undervalued as a customer and guests of the hotel that our health, welfare and safety had not been given a first or even a second thought during our stay. I could have complained but decided to accept these things happen and wait for a 'note under the door' to offer reassurance. That would have been the minimum I would have expected.

When I checked out I casually asked what was the cause of the fire alarm and evacuation of the building on Wednesday night. I was told firmly 'it was for a reason, but I will not tell you what for' by a french accented receptionist. I didn't reply. It was further disappointment by the manner of her retort, the lack of diplomacy and no offer of an apology.

So. Shall I book a room at this hotel again when it appears to allow controlled drugs to be consumed in its rooms, give no regard to its customers welfare after the apparent use of cigarettes set the fire alarm off and being outside in the freezing conditions in middle of the night for approx 45 minutes, who didn't show an ounce of welfare consideration, during and after such an event?

No, I seriously and honestly couldn't risk it. My family are to precious to remain that loyal.

The lack of skill and the inability to follow basic safety procedures in taking a roll call of guests after a fire evacuation is a major concern. Communication with guests during and after such an event was poor and discouraging. When I attempted to obtain some reassurance that I had been safe in the event and during our stay by asking a reasonable question at reception, I was further dismissed and without an apology for the inconvenience to my family for the event.

The pool was nice,breakfast was good and the staff serving that where very pleasant and courteous.

Room Tip: Ground floor by a fire exit in case the fire alarm goes off again.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Colinbos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jason N, Manager at Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton, responded to this review, 30 April 2014
First and foremost, please accept my sincere apologies for the lapse in communication during the fire evacuation on the morning of the 10th April. Clear communication at such times is important and on this occasion we fell short in providing you with the confidence that the situation was being managed

We do take guest safety very seriously and Botley Park like all Macdonald Hotels has an agreed fire risk assessment that covers both day and night evacuation. This assessment along with staff training records and all recorded documentation in relation to maintenance and upkeep of fire related equipment is audited regularly during the year by external consultants.

We do provide clear information in all bedrooms on how to safely exit the hotel if the bells sound and this is backed up with emergency lighting, well maintained escape routes and fire resistant doors that meet the requirements of UK legalisation
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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fareham
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2014 via mobile

Wow what a night! Had a second charity function, to be honest having attend many functions in many hotels the Botley park is a county mile ahead of its nearest competitor! Running our function was Damien, talk about on the ball! The food was hot, perfectly presented and so delicious. Bar staff were quick, helpful and attentive. This was the second year we chose this hotel, and if the prices don't rise too much I hope we will be booking again! It seems a perfect venue for any function as it seems the function rooms do not interfere with the guests and vice versa. We made a weekend of it, so around 20 do us stayed Friday and Saturday night and to be honest it was a perfect weekend. I have been to a wedding here too, this was again a very good choice. Breakfast excellent, restaurant excellent, with a more upmarket bar, and a sports bar, seem to cater for all. As I said last year, they should be very proud of their team, they are really getting so much right!!...... Can't wait to return!

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank andiparker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jason N, Manager at Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton, responded to this review, 30 April 2014
Thank you for your comments regarding Botley Park , we are very proud of the service we deliver in the conference and events area and as well as charity events we also caster for weddings , birthdays and large conference events.

I will pass your comments to Damien .
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Charlwood, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
302 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2014

This is 1 Star based on two unfortunate incidents but it could and should be an excellent experience, read on.

We chose Botley Park for our Peppa Pig stay over on a Paultons package. We did that because I rang ahead before booking to see if the Hotel had adjoining/interconnecting rooms (they do). When we got a booking ref from Paultons I again rang to confirm no problem in getting adjoining rooms as that was crucial with young children; it's surely obvious with children 4/8/10/12 that the younger ones go to bed earlier so perfect with an interconnecting room?

We had a fantastic first day at Peppa Pig World but turned up to find our Botley rooms were in fact opposite each other, so not even next to each other. We were told at reception that this was how the booking had been advised by the agent, I advised I had very explicitly been in contact with the Hotel to confirm details, but all interconnecting rooms were now booked out. So, my wife and I contemplated spending the first night apart in more than 10 years! We were given the option to contact the booking agent but that wasn't really an option late evening.

We resolved to eat in one of the bars, the menus looked perfect for our needs and the food was lovely. The problem was the food took well over an hour to arrive and that was only after repeat chasing once we went past the hour mark. the girl behind the bar had a weary look when I asked if food always took so long, "yes it does, always" was the knowing response. Finishing eating at 9pm with a tired 4 year old is not be advised and it made the second day at Peppa world all the more difficult. Another family in the lounge were bemoaning 2 sausages costing £9 but in fairness our food was fine and good portions once it arrived.

The Hotel could be brilliant. Robert on the front desk was the best front-of-house we have encountered always polite and friendly, even at the peak of our frustration. Staff were generally very helpful and polite, breakfast was great, the pool is lovely and the rooms were perfect in themselves, if only they had been where we asked them to be!

In the morning I chanced on the lady I had spoken to previously in booking. She too was lovely and the adjoining/interconnecting discussion just appeared to have got lost in translation, she thought we wanted rooms close together or next to each other; I struggle with that interpretation as I had been very explicit in our request.

This Hotel could be great but the room confusion and ridiculous wait time for food seriously marred our trip away, we were given a token partial refund on food but the damage was done by then, a shame.

Room Tip: Be very clear in dealing with Hotel and specifying requirements. English is not first language of so...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jason N, Manager at Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton, responded to this review, 30 April 2014
Thank you for your comments regarding Botley Park , very sorry about the confusion with your inter connecting rooms, on some occasions these such incidents are out of our control when third party operators are involved and we on the rare occasion this does happen we do endeavor to rectify
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingswood, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2014

After many years of reading tripadvisor I thought it was time to eventually put a review on this site. Why you ask? .... Well not for the first time this hotel looking at reviews has had a fire alarm go off in the middle of the night 4:45am 10/4/14. Perhaps worrying that you can put this hotel's name into google with fire alarm and get a list of similar events.
Firstly the good..... Staff are really friendly, breakfast is excellent, dinner although expensive was really good, good bar service although again very expensive & the hotel is very child friendly.
The bad...... Bed was awful & air conditioning in room did not work.
Now the fire alarm. False alarm it appears. Like other said in past no apologies or explanation from staff or perhaps a reduction on bill offered by hotel(perhaps I was being optimistic expecting such an offer however an apology does not seem to be too much to expect). Only 1 member of staff appeared to be on duty. If it was a real fire the hotel would never have been evacuated. 30 minutes after evacuation they still had only got through about 5 rooms in the fire register. They would have had no idea if anyone was trapped/needed assistance. For this reason what could be an excellent hotel gets only a 1 star rating as by saving on staff overnight the hotel could not be evacuated safely at night in my opinion.
Unfortunately I expect hundreds of hotels throughout the land will have similar problems if a fire occurs overnight but I think the cost cutting of only 1 night porter should cease. However; I do expect most hotels would offer a simple apology!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dgf1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jason N, Manager at Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton, responded to this review, 30 April 2014
First and foremost, please accept my sincere apologies for the lapse in communication during the fire evacuation on the morning of the 10th April

We do take guest safety very seriously and Botley Park like all Macdonald Hotels has an agreed fire risk assessment that covers both day and night evacuation. This assessment along with staff training records and all recorded documentation in relation to maintenance and upkeep of fire related equipment is audited regularly during the year by external consultants.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2014

The hotel is in a lovely setting with golf course tennis court and spa facilities
Excellant food with a very creative menu
The rooms are comfortable and staff are very helpful.Would definitely go again

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank patricia s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jason N, Manager at Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton, responded to this review, 30 April 2014
Thank you for your comments regarding Botley Park
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2014

We stayed last July overnigh with our 2 year old son after a day at Peppa Pig world. The room was lovely and spacious, the amenities were very good, location was pretty and the gardens were very nice also.

Theres a small pool which was perfect for us as it was a very hot day so nice for a dip after the sun.

The meal in the main restaurant was tasty but we thought it was a little overpriced, breakfast was very good with alot of choice so we was happy with that too. Would definately go back again for a night or 2 and would recommend.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Seral H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jason N, Manager at Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton, responded to this review, 30 April 2014
Thank you for your comments regarding Botley Park , the team are focused on delivering great customer service for families. If you wish to return in the future we also offer a Peppa Pig package that includes dinner.
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Staffordshire
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

We stayed here at the end of March 2014.

Booking was through their web site, which was quick and simple. £144 per room per night with all the use of the facilities and breakfast. We had a superior room as well.

The hotel is about 5 minutes drive from hedge end which has a large selection of "out of town" shopping areas.

It's only a few minutes from Botley which has a couple of pubs. Kings restaurant is only 5 minutes drive away.

The hotel is reasonable well presented and looks like its undergoing a carpet re-fit as the main entrance carpet is a little worn and thread bear in areas, however some areas look quite new and in good condition.
The facilities in the hotel has a spar, pool, squash courts and a gym which is all well presented.

The restaurant is well presented and comfortable,

This hotel caters for weddings, this seems to to be well organised and doesn't not effect the rest of the hotel residents as the areas are well separated. There was one on while we stayed and the eve entertainment did not effect others residents either.

The breakfast was continental buffet and the macdonalds signature cooked breakfast. All nicely cooked and presented.

The staff are always helpful and at tentative to what you need.

The bar prices were around £8 for a medium glass of wine and £4.50 for a pint of beer.

The room was spacious enough and had everything we needed, the bathroom was clean, but the shower had a leak that. Was soon sorted out and repaired quickly ..

All in all as very nice well positions hotel with that little extra.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Goldansilver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jason N, Manager at Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton, responded to this review, 30 April 2014
Thank you for your comments regarding Botley Park, we will be undergoing a refurbishment in the near future that will involve the public areas as well as the leisure facilities.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton

Property: Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton
Address: Winchester Road | Boorley Green, Botley, Southampton SO32 2UA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Southampton > Botley
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Botley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton 4*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa is one of the finest ----four-star hotels in Southampton. Set in acres of beautiful countryside, our hotel offers the best of breathtaking scenery and fine facilities. With direct access to Southampton airport, Eastleigh, Portsmouth and the M3, our hotel is a popular choice for family holidays, business and weddings. And if you are setting sail at the nearby port, then we're an ideal stopover destination before your exciting holiday begins. When the business or adventure of the day is done, unwind in our swimming pool or gym or thrash it out on our tennis or squash courts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Botley Park Hotel, Golf & Country Club Hotel Botley
Macdonald Botley Park Hotel, Golf And Country Club
Macdonald Botley Park Hotel Country
Macdonald Botley Park Hotel & Spa, Southampton Hampshire

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