We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good hotel, very poor service, disappointing” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Priest House

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Save
You added Priest House to your Saves list
Priest House
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kings Mills, Castle Donington DE74 2RR, England   |  
Hotel website
  |  
Hotel deals
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Offers & Announcements
Complimentary Champagne
Huntingdon, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
137 helpful votes 137 helpful votes
“Good hotel, very poor service, disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

This is our second visit to the Priest House, but it will also be our last unfortunately. When we last visited it was an independent hotel, now it is part of the Hand Picked Hotels group and whilst being a chain isn't always a good thing, one thing I hope for with being part of one is consistency of service. This was not in evidence during our stay from Friday to Sunday on the Download festival weekend (we stayed during the festival last time as well).

First to the basics. We booked an executive double with breakfast included and the bedroom itself was fine. It was pretty small and it did feel there is a large part of the hallway that is a complete waste of space leaving a rather snug bedroom. The bed wasn't great (very soft) but OK and the bedding was nice. The bath shower combo (one of my pet hates as you will see in previous reviews) was a little awkward to position yourself in for some reason but it was clean. There was a huge unsightly crack at the base of the sink (see picture) but it didn't detract from what was a nice modern, if again rather small bathroom. The air conditioning worked very well and the tea and coffee facilities were much appreciated, as were the full sized towels (we're used to American serviettes!)

The 'free Wi-Fi' was pretty pointless. We couldn't connect in our room (No. 40) and the only place we could actually get a signal was in the bar. If I was here to work I would not have been impressed. The staff are very friendly but in the main they are ineffective and not very helpful, the exception to this was the guy who checked us in on the Friday afternoon.

Examples of the poor service that we received include returning at 11.30pm on Friday night, calling the number stated on reception and getting nobody for what felt like an age. Eventually a guy appeared and provided us with our key and checked in an understandably annoyed lady who had been waiting as well.

Breakfast is lovely, but waiting to get it can be hit and miss. On Saturday we were seated fairly quickly but served by an overly familiar guy who seemed more interested in chatting than providing us with food. As a result despite ordering two breakfasts, my husband's turned up very quickly but after waiting for 10 minutes, it became apparent that mine wasn't. Chatty man had been in and out but neglected to realise the error, when I asked, apparently the kitchen couldn't read his writing and decipher a 1 from a 2 as our orders were the same!

Sunday morning was worse; four separate parties were waiting in the dining room with no service or person to be seen for at least 10 minutes. We seated ourselves and waited patiently only to see two staff members eventually walk past the doors, look in and then hear people in the kitchen but still have nobody come to serve us. Eventually someone did come in and one of the guests gave the staff a piece of his mind for the wait and lack of service, good for him. They subsequently managed to mess up his order as well - not good!

On Saturday night we arrived back around 11pm and yet again nobody was about and despite calling the number, nobody came. When the (same) night person eventually showed up I asked him if there was any chance that we could extend our stay by another night. Rather than check, he merely shrugged his shoulders, said 'I doubt it' and suggested I ask in the morning - completely unsatisfactory as I needed to make alternative arrangements, which I did. He made no attempt to look for me and clearly couldn't be bothered.

The reason that the service and staff are so lacking in this hotel appears obvious. They are completely focussed on weddings which appear to be the hotel's bread and butter (and also accounted for hideous music blaring out until 12.30am on both nights). In my opinion they need more staff to actually pay attention to those who aren't part of a wedding party. The hotel is not cheap and it sells itself on its location and its service and if it wants to retain non wedding business, in my opinion, it needs to reassess.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

423 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    161
    120
    80
    38
    24
See reviews for
53
200
5
65
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

We took advantage of a dinner b&b package for £70.50 per person per night and found ourselves in a nice peaceful location with helpful, friendly and polite staff. Service was generally very good, but on our last morning there were no glasses, cereal bowls or orange juice for a while. Food was very good, although the menu didn't change for three days which could have been a problem.
We had a cottage room, reasonably sized with a large comfortable bed, the decent quality toiletries, plus tea, coffee etc. There wasn't a bath which my wife would have liked, but the shower cubical was large. For some reason the room (11) was always rather hot despite the weather being cool and no apparent heating being on. We slept with the window open, something you are advised not to do in hot weather due to flies off the nearby river. I guess this could be a problem had the weather been hot.
My only real disappointment was the wine list. Nothing under £23 and £28 for a Chilean Merlot. It should be possible to offer a few decent wines in the £15-20 range, so value does not quite get full marks.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Twickenham, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2012

A wonderful setting with staff that are attentive and considerate. My only negative comment would be thy in the cottage accommodation, there was only a shower room that was so small as to be virtually unusable - great quality fittings, but very poor design!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

My fiancé and I came here to celebrate his birthday with a meal in the 2 Rosette Restaurant.

The meal was beautiful and we had a fabulous time. The wine list was exquisite and the staff were fantastic!

Well done to all at The Priest House !

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
midlands
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here as part of a wedding party and can't praise the hotel highly enough
They seem to have really upped their game in the last twelve months or so. Everywhere looks smart the rooms are nicely decorated with everything you need.
The food for the wedding was fantastic not a small achievement with about 80 guests service was fantastic delivered with a smile and a willing attitude .
Thanks to all for making it a really special day

Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

We have stayed at other Hand Picked Hotels over the years e.g. Buxted Hall, Ettington Park, & Audleys Wood which are larger and more formal hotels than the Priest House.

There is plenty of parking alongside the hotel which you access through a gate which raises as you approach. You leave via a different exit but back up the same road you came in on.

The hotel is in a lovely setting with views of the river and the meadows / woods all around.

In the main hotel there is a reasonable sized bar/snack area, the main restaurant, and one or two function rooms for weddings etc. There was a wedding on when we arrived which was a bit noisy at times but then you can get this at any hotel. We were not aware of a lift to the first floor which you access up a large stairway near reception.

Our double room was smallish, had recently been redecorated, and was clean as was the bathroom which had a bath with a shower over it, wash basin, and a toilet. Shower gel etc. was provided in bottles. The finish in the bathroom was not as good as the bedroom with grout falling out around the shaving socket and holes in the boxing-in under the wash basin. The hand towels and bath towels were fine. Our room had a double bed which was very comfortable. There were tea & coffee making facilities in the room. Power sockets were limited to two in the bedroom if you unplugged the DVD player and used the one the kettle used which we used to charge up phones, use a hair dryer, plug in the iron provided. The large flat TV had Freeview but some channels had no signal. There were no chairs or table in the room as there was no room for these. There was a full length mirror on the wardrobe door but the wardrobe space was limited to half a wardrobe as the other half had been blocked off and used to house the wash basin in the bathroom. There was also a lack of drawer space.The bedroom door was not as sound proof as other hotels we have stayed in.

Breakfasts were self service for rolls, cheeses, jams, yoghurt, fruit juice, and cereals. Staff took orders for hot food, toast, and tea / coffee at your table. The choice of food and wine for evening dinner was excellent and there was a lovely atmosphere in the restaurant.

There may have been wifi access but we could not get a signal in the bedroom and at times data reception for my smartphone from T-Mobile/Orange was very slow. Other carriers may be better.

Overall an average hotel with friendly staff which we would probably give a 3* but because of the great setting we have raised this to 4*.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the main stairs when booking.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012

The standards of this hotel chain are second to none,and the food is equally as good.

Room Tip: The cottages are very quiet
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Priest House? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Priest House

Address: Kings Mills, Castle Donington DE74 2RR, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Derbyshire > Castle Donington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Castle Donington
#4 Business Hotel in Castle Donington
#5 Romantic Hotel in Castle Donington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Priest House 4*
Number of rooms: 42
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Booking.com, LateRooms, TripOnline SA and Priceline so you can book your Priest House reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Priest House Hotel Castle Donington
Priest Hotel Castle Donington
Priest House Castle Donington, United Kingdom

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Priest House, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.