During their tours in the 80's Van Halen had a clause in their contract stating that if ANY brown M&M's were to be found backstage the promoter would forfeit the entire show.
What seems on the surface to be rock stars being divas, was actually a creative approach to stage safety.If the M&M clause had been missed. Chances are, something else on their extensive safety checklist had also been missed.
In pursuit of a wedding venue, and as part of my own exploration of Hotel quality in the North Coast - I too have adopted a similar approach. Simply asking for mints on the pillows in the "Any other requirements" sections during the booking process.
Needless to say the Raddison Roe Valley Hotel either didn't take this seriously, or failed to read my booking form additional requirements. And the lack of attention to detail doesn't end there.
This weekend was supposed to be a romantic getaway, some of you may call it a relaxing Spa Weekend. In the events which followed, it turned out to be anything but relaxing.
Firstly, check in was in my opinion. Extremely late. 3PM on Saturday. Our Spa Treatments were at 3:45pm. Checkout, the following Sunday was at 11am. This gave us roughly 12 waking hours in the hotel, if we went to bed at 12pm, and woke up at 8am - at the price we paid, this works out to be roughly £30 per hour for their hospitality. The entire experience felt rushed as a result.
(Maybe some of you party animals can manage to squeeze some additional hours in for extra value for money. We however, you can firmly put in the lets not have a crazy hangover tommorow camp. It is supposed to be a relaxing weekend after all.)
Ok - so once I worked that out, I thought - well..why don't we go down early? And experience the wonderful facilities whilst we wait on our rooms being ready. Seems sensible? Right? So off we trotted down the road. Arriving at roughly 12pm, we put our stuff in a spare room, grabbed our swimming gear, and went to the pool.
Imagine our disappointment to find that the swimming pool facilities, as one other reviewer has pointed out, were rather sub standard. Had I have brought my pet cat, I would have failed to swing it and in terms of water depth you could have walked from one end of it to the other. No dive bombing round here. Which was something of a relief.
In fact, it was probably more suited to children learning to swim, which we also discovered seemed to be another service the hotel offered. Sadly however, we were lacking in offspring to join the fun. Having attempted to swim from one end of the pool to the other and do a few laps myself, my efforts were thwarted by several kids splashing the bit out. Again, not exactly what you would call relaxing.
So what about the hot tub? That's the relaxation machine you see on many a hotel brochure. I proceeded to have an excellent conversation in the jacuzzi with my girlfriend, letting the bubbles gently sooth my tired bones, set to the backdrop of family members encouraging little Conor to "kick harder" and "keep 'er lit". Not only that, but the jacuzzi temperature could have done with going up a notch or two, if only to warm our ever cooling opinion of the place. We stayed in it for about 15 minutes before forcibly warming ourselves in the Steam room, and leaving to get something to eat.
( I should point out as well, that the spectating family members weren't all bad. They did re-press the Jacuzzi button for us, without us having to walk from one end of the facilities to the other to do so. Which was most helpful given the idiotic placement of the controls. )
Now for a bite to eat. We decided, well, how about we grab something on site, and get drunk. After all, we had a few hours to kill now, without any room to go to. So we went to the bar for a light bar lunch, however - the place was absolutely dead. Didn't see either staff or other patrons, so that was out the window. We decided to venture into Coleraine to kill some time. We could have sampled the other restaurant, but thought, we are going there for Dinner, lets not spoil the experience.
Back in the Hotel, managed to check in to our room, which was lovely, but imagine my shock and dismay to discover NO MINTS ON THE PILLOW! Once I'd gotten over that particular disappointment, we grabbed our stuff and quick marched to the Spa. Rushed again - but admittedly our fault for having more fun in Coleraine than the Hotel.
The Spa experience I couldn't fault. In any way, shape or form, it was fantastic, and undoubtedly the best part of the weekend.
After our treatments, it was almost time to head out for dinner. We grabbed a shower, tried to work out the extra value that we'd got in an executive room (it was a sofa and coffee machine for those of you curious) - and made our way to the restaurant.
I ordered soup for starters, and steak for lunch. What could possibly go wrong. Well, the steak was definitely cooked. I asked for it medium, and it came out well done. A more experienced kitchen staff, wouldn't have let it out the door. We asked for a Jug of water, and got two glasses. Clearly there must have been a shortage. Either that, or glasses were easier to carry.
The average age of the staff, was probably around 21 to be honest. Probably another money saver on the wages. Any food or drink request we had was greeted with a friendly "Aye, No bother" - or some other variation of the local dialect.
The couple beside us, God bless them, had their waiter come out with Desserts and let out a huge sneeze, once he'd left they erupted in laughter. By then end of Dinner service, we felt like we were in a Fawlty Towers episode.
My girlfriend had no complaints on her food. The remainder of the problems I had with the food started with cramps at 3am, and didn't finish till 6am. Delightful.
Overall, this Hotel is suited to anyone who doesn't notice or care about attention to detail, and is one of those places which seems like it has got its star rating in 1982 and clung onto it for dear life ever since. For romantic relaxation, give it a miss. As I'm sure many of you avid Trip Advisors will have worked out, won't be availing of the wedding facilities in the future.
- Also Known As:
- Roe Park Hotel
- Roe Park Hotel Limavady
- Radisson Hotel Limavady
- Radisson Limavady
- Radisson Sas Roe Park Hotel
- Limavady Radisson
- Radisson Roe Park
- Roe Park Resort Limavady, Northern Ireland
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Roe Park Resort – one of Northern Ireland's premiere golf and spa resorts. Overlooking its own stunning 18 hole golf course and set amidst the gorgeous surroundings of the Roe Valley Country Park, this 4 star luxury hotel boasts 118 stylish en suite rooms that blend the charm of a country house estate with the modern luxuries and conveniences you'd expect from a 4-star luxury hotel. ... more less
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