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“Training school” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue

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Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Milton Hill, Steventon OX13 6AF, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Steventon
Ashford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Training school”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Great staff but it is definitely a training and conference venue!!! If you have ever wondered what a government training college was like - or miss east European architecture (annexe) give it a go! Noisy plumbing, noise...

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gavin W, General Manager at Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
Dear Guest

I am sorry that you do not have appeared to have enjoyed your stay with us. Perhaps at a time convenient to yourself you would contact me so that I can gain a few more facts in order to investigate your issues.
Regards

Gavin Webster
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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698 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (215)
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English first
Kings Lynn
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

I stayed in this hotel 4 nights a week between 26th June and 26th October 2012. There are some very good points about this hotel; Nice location in lovely grounds, free coffee and tea available throughout the hotel 24 hours a day, very friendly staff and excellent service at breakfast, friendly reception staff, nice pool and gym. But there are some points that let the hotel down, some of which are out of the control of the staff. Unless you pay a lot, you will stay in the "Garden wing", you won't find pictures of the garden wing on their website, the hotel used to be a training centre and the garden wing in a concrete accommodation block built in the 70's. That wouldn't be a problem in itself as the interior is reasonable and the rooms are nicely decorated and furnished, however, in the summer the rooms get extremely hot and there is little ventilation. You can open the windows, but in many rooms the windows stick or the latches are broken. In the week, the hotel is used a lot for conferences and consequently they get some noisy guests who think it's acceptable to bang on doors and shout at 2 or 3 in the morning. During my stay, the worst offenders were Ernst and Young. Obviously this is not the fault of the hotel, but normal guests need to be aware of what to expect, even though it doesn't happen all the time. In the evening, the restaurant is open from 7.00pm, although you can often eat at 6.30pm, depending on which staff are on. When the hotel was busy with conference people, individuals sometimes get turned away while the restaurant serves the large groups. Some of the evening restaurant staff are excellent, others are not. The menu doesn't change much, there are daily specials, 2 starters and 2 mains usually. If you decide to eat in the restaurant, watch your bill. If you have specials, they nearly always get the bill wrong, sometimes in your favor but more often in theirs. I sent my bill back many times to be corrected, one of the very friendly staff told me that the problem is the staff don't change the pre-set prices in the till for the specials. I was also charged between £1.95 and £3.40 for the same size glass of coke, depending on who was serving, so in the end, I stopped buying drinks.
Would I stay again, yes for business but not for pleasure.

Room Tip: Try and ask for a room on the garden side of the garden wing so you look over the grounds and not th...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gavin W, General Manager at Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue, responded to this review, November 6, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to leave your review.

I would like to assure you and fellow visitors that night time disturbances are isolated incidents and as soon as we are alerted to any guests being inconsiderate we will send our night security team to try and relieve the situation.

I do take on board your comments regarding the menu and a pleased to say that our new autumn/winter menu was launched on the 1st November and there will be regular changes with new dishes added/changing over the coming months.

The points you raise re the bill and the price of drinks are being addressed as I agree it simply is not acceptable.

For fellow Trip advisors readers and reviewers I can confirm that we do have pictures of the garden wing bedrooms on the website so that you can view the interior prior to arrival. As this review mentions the exterior is not our most attractive feature but hope that as in this case most guests can appreciate the interior as soon as they have entered the building.

Many thanks again
Kind Regards
Gavin Webster
General Manager
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scotland
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

My wife and I stayed in this hotel for three nights as part of a small family group attending functions in the area.

The hotel primarily focuses on conferences and weddings, and if you’re not part of either of these, you’re pretty much treated as second class citizens.

The main dining room doesn’t open till 7.00pm, and on our first night we were told that the first available table was 8.30pm because they had a large conference group in at 7.00pm. Only because we had a toddler in our group and with some special pleading did a manager eventually slot us in 15 minutes before the official opening time to get us ahead of the conference group, which was good.

On another occasion, when we wanted to eat earlier, we used the bar, which is not really suitable for eating in. We were told on ordering that “there might be a delay as we have a wedding on.” Unfortunately it emerged that the delay was significant – over an hour for starters and a further 40 minutes for main courses, which was irritating and ridiculous even with a wedding on.

However, we then discovered an independent restaurant located on the main road a few yards from the entrance to the hotel – a place called Eating Inn – which, compared to the hotel, offered superior food, service and value for money, and was open all day, and this then solved all our mealtime problems and got us out from under the irritating restrictions of the hotel.

This hotel does not do technology at all well. They trumpet their free wi-fi on arrival and it worked well on our first evening, but thereafter did not work at all morning, noon or night. When I complained the reception staff just shrugged. They couldn’t do anything about it. Other guests in different parts of the hotel had the same problem. One receptionist actually responded indignantly, “Well, it’s working OK here. I’m using it right now,” which is just about the most stupid and unhelpful remark he could make at that point. I walked off in disgust, again really irritated. So if wi-fi is important to you, go somewhere else.

The reception staff, with few exceptions, were generally not particularly good. My advice would be that if you ask for something to be done, then you should check back an hour later with another receptionist to see if it has been done. On our third morning, when my newspaper had not been delivered, it came as no surprise to find out that it had never been processed in the first place. In fairness to the receptionists, it cannot be easy staying positive in the light of constant complaints from guests, which seemed to be the norm here.

Our electronic room keys failed on three occasions during our stay. On each occasion when we complained, the receptionist told us that we must be carrying them next to a mobile phone which was affecting the magnetic strip. This simply wasn’t true but fell on deaf ears and was yet another example of this hotel not using good enough technology for the job and giving out irritating platitudes, rather than fixing the root causes of the problems.

Our room safe was open on arrival but not working. An engineer fixed it. But on the occasion when my wife wanted special jewellery for a “do” the safe didn’t work again, but this time was locked closed. The hotel couldn’t get anyone to fix it for at least an hour, so through tears of disappointment we had to accept that we couldn’t get access to the safe that night in time for the “do”. We then also had to disrupt our arrangements for the following day to be there for the engineer to fix it again and get it open. Severe irritation and upset all round.

The television operates with an unusual sequence of channels. Trying to find BBC2 for instance is not easy, and some channels have poor reception, which is really irritating in this day and age.

The room was large but not well designed with a dearth of drawer space. It also had what I call “mood lighting” which means it looked good but was dim and impractical. Nowhere in the room, other than in the bathroom, could you read a newspaper after dark. The full length mirror was on the wall opposite the windows with no lights near it, which rendered it effectively useless. Again really irritating.

Generally the hotel gives a good impression at first view, but after a while you find that it really doesn’t live up to that impression. And this applies to almost everything about it. If you don’t have to be there as part of a conference or wedding party, my advice is to do a little bit of research and stay somewhere else.

I stay in hotels for over 100 nights a year, and this is by far the most irritating place I’ve ever stayed in.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gavin W, General Manager at Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue, responded to this review, October 27, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank for leaving your comments.

Whilst I would disagree whole heartedly that our leisure guests are treated to an inferior service I must apologise for the way in which my Reception team have let you down during your stay with us.

Our restaurant is open from 6.30 every day and guests can of course order food throughout the day to eat in various locations around the hotel.

We do have Wi-Fi hotspots, again in various locations, mentioned on our website, although engineers are due on site during November to ensure we have full coverage throughout the building.

It is clear that the Reception team should have dealt with your safe, malfunctioning key card and other requests in a much friendlier, professional manner and I can only apologise for their actions. Please be assured that steps have been taken to ensure that this lapse in their usual high standard of service does not happen again.

My housekeeping team have also reviewed the television channels and any that were not working as they should have been fixed.

Regards
Gavin Webster
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Very good value for what we paid, thus the rating. Reasonable distance from Oxford, if you are driving. The garden and park is really good. Staff nice and helpful. The annex where most rooms are not up to the style indicated by the main building, but rooms are not bad, with the notably exception of ventilation, which seemed to be non-existent. Opening up a window works totally fine, though, and the area is entirely quiet.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gavin W, General Manager at Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to leave your review.
I hope to be able to welcome you back in the future.
Kind regards
Gavin Webster
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

I've stayed at Milton Hill a few times now and on each occasion it's been a good experience. The 'garden wing' is a newer building which is hidden from site as you drive up to the old manor house and if you can, I'd recommend staying in the manor house instead.

The garden rooms are perfectly acceptable, but given that the rest of the hotel and the location are so lovely, it seems a shame to be stuck in this new building. In my opinion, it feels like you could just be in any new build hotel... All of the rooms are completely uniform, the furniture and fittings are verging on the cheap side and you can see it was put together quickly in the finish of some of the rooms. I'm not saying it's bad... it's just nowhere near as nice as staying in the manor house itself.

In contrast, the manor house rooms are all a little unique and whilst the furniture and fittings in each of the rooms is much older, it's also of a much higher quality and the bathrooms for example are already wearing better than their younger counter-parts in the garden.

Food-wise the main restaurant in the hotel is always excellent, however the fairly new 'deli' option for room service is a little bit of a disappointment. Again it's okay but comparison to other hotels I've been in, but in comparison to eating in the restaurant its quite poor... for example a few weeks ago I had the peperoni and chilli beef pizza. I was expecting a spicy beef topping, when what arrived was a pizza which had a huge dollop of chilli con carne, with and even bigger dollop of some tasteless and bland white thick stuff, could have been sour cream or creme fresh, I couldn't tell. Needless to say this combination ruined a perfectly good pizza, which was now soggy and impossible to eat! No knife and fork was provided and if you tried to pick up a slice, everything just fell off. Pretty poor recently.

Last time I stayed, a few days ago, I asked if the pizza could come without the chilli and tasteless white sauce and was told this probably wouldn't be possible? So instead I ordered the burger which was actually pretty good, so if you do opt for the deli room service you might want to steer clear of the pizzas.

I'm aware that up until now, this review is sounding fairly negative, so let me balance that out a little. The swimming pool and gym, whilst pretty small, are of a very good quality and I've always enjoyed using them. The restaurant and bar are both top-quality and the meeting facilities etc are all excellent too.

The main attraction however is that without fail the staff are always friendly, welcoming and highly professional. Checking in and out is a breeze and I always look forward to visiting. It's also nice that the machines that dispense the free coffee are really very good and grabbing a latte on the way to the office is very welcome!

Room Tip: Stay in the main hotel if possible.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gavin W, General Manager at Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to leave such a comprehensive review.

I have taken note of your comments regarding the room service menu and would like to assure you and future guests that we are more than happy to adapt dishes on requests. Guests are also more than welcome to order from the bar food menu and receive the food as room service.

I have also discussed the specification of the pizzas with our chefs and am happy to be able to confirm that spicy beef on the pizza should indeed be small pieces of meat and not a serving of chilli con carne. Rest assured it will be served in this fashion again!

I have passed on your positive comments about my staff and they are as always delighted to know they have been able to make your stay pleasurable.

It will be a pleasure to be able to welcome you back to Milton Hill in the future.
Kind regards
Gavin Webster
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lydney, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

At £88 for a night including breakfast for two this hotel was very good value for money. We stayed on the second floor of the Garden Room annexe which was quiet and comfortable. Nice bed, bathroom small but good shower. It was a pity the heated towel rail didn't work. Staff helpful and polite. Breakfast completely bog standard buffet fair if you like the full-English. Tomatoes unripe which was a pity. I wish there had been more variety of nice bread/rolls but the glasses for juice were big which makes a change and was much appreciated. Coffee OK too.

We were among a number of wedding guests and spent the morning in the breakfast room chatting until someone said the hotel charged £10 an hour if one stayed past the 11am check out time, so mass exodus. If this is the case then quite a novel way to get rid of your guests! The other minor irritation was the £2.50 charge for using a credit card. A new one on me as a hotel charge. I avoided this by paying with a debit card, but beware. At least there are signs in the lobby to warn one of this.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gavin W, General Manager at Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.

Your comments regarding the towel rail and tomatoes have been noted and actioned.

We do charge a late check out fee but usually endeavour to work with our guests to minimise this charge where ever possible.
Kind regards
Gavin Webster
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012 via mobile

We spent the last 3 days here rubbing a first aid course.

All the candidates were very impressed with the facilities on offer, and as a trainer the staff were excellent and very friendly.

The perfect venue for holding a meeting or training. They seem to have thought of everything.

The pick and mix sweets went down very well. A nice touch.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gavin W, General Manager at Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback, I'm glad you enjoyed the sweets!
Kind regards
Gavin Webster
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue

Address: Milton Hill, Steventon OX13 6AF, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Steventon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Steventon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue 2.5*
Number of rooms: 113
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Also Known As:
Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue Hotel Steventon
Milton Hill Steventon
Milton Hill House - De Vere Venue Steventon, England

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