Stayed here for one night 16th Feb. Paid for the Relax and Retreat package. Checked in approx 40 minutes early no problem. Credit Card was swiped for £50, slightly annoying, especially as my attention was drawn to the fact that it had to be a credit card, and that I'd be charged an additional £3 if I settled using a credit card. Seemed a bit of a scam that one. Was advised that my room would 'also be upgraded' which wasn't entirely true as I'd paid for the upgrade. Room was of decent size, the bed was huge, their was water in the room on arrival, and a vey welcome fridge. Room has no air conditioning which proved for a restless night as it was too warm, and couldn't open the patio doors as it was groundfloor so didn't fancy a fox cruising in at 4am and chewing my arm.
Spa treatments were ok, my girlfriend enjoyed her facial, I had a massage. After initially being told we didn't have lunch in our package, we were advised we did, but that we were too late for lunch. This was annoying as it was the hotel who had called us asking us to move our alloted spa treatment times to a later slot. The girl who manned the Spa reception advised us we could have it the next day, but this would mean hanging round well past check out.
Pool was nice, heating was broke and too hot so some bright spark opened the patio doors and let the winter air in. This made it rather refreshing!
Spent 75 minutes in the hotel room trying to connect to the joke internet service. Fail. Despite being both a vodafone and o2 customer I was unable to connect to either option and was left stressed by the experience.
Meal at the night was a bit of a mixed bag. Firstly, I had paid for a full board package so was not impressed that I was offered a more basic menu, making me feel a bit cheap. It wasn't explained how the evening meal worked, so whilst I found the instructions hidden behind the 'cheap' menu, easily enough, it did take me to have to use my brain. Full credit to the chef, the meal was beautiful, and the complaints are purely directed at the waiter and waitresses who got the order wrong twice, added extras on our bill that we never received and took 35 minuted to bring a drink to the table. Luckily their poor service was not a dampner on the evening as the signer the hotel hired was very entertaining.
Next morning, we went for breakfast to find it wasn't quite the eat what you like feast I imagined but rather a cut down buffet, with a set menu for cooked breakfast. The cooked breakfast whilst small was certainly tasty, and wasn't even ruined by the fire alarm break.
Off to the pool for a swim after breakfast to be greeted by hoards of children screaming and shouting, definitely not the relaxing spa break I imagined.
Off to reception to settle our bill, after having it corrected, paid the extras using my visa debit to avoid the £3 scam and off we went.
After writing all this I feel like regrading my review to 3 from 2 stars as I feel quite stressed after writing this! Definitely won't be making a repeat visit next year, sorry, it was nice I'll leave the 3, but marred with various smaller issues that made it far from perfect.
The large king size rooms all have a nice view of the golf course it's just that they open out o...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 25, 2013
I would like to thank you for taking the time to pass on your feedback following your recent stay with us here at Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa. It is most unfortunate that you did not enjoy your stay with us, and I apologise for the poor service levels you encountered in the restaurant during your evening meal.
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You will find that almost all hotels are unable to pre-authorise a debit card and hence the reason why you were asked for a credit card. This is purely for pre-authorisation purposes only and most of our guests do exactly what you did and pre-authorise their credit card and settle their bill with their debit card. The vast majority of hotels are now charging for the use of a credit card which is mainly due to the rising costs we are absorbing in terms of food & energy prices which we do not pass on to our customers. You will find that the majority of four star hotels are now charging a service charge to cover these, which Macdonald Hotels do not practice.
I understand your frustrations with the speed of the internet, which is something we are addressing at the moment; however due to our rural location this is taking longer than expected. I would anticipate our internet connection to be vastly improved within the next couple of weeks.
I apologise if the dinner package was not explained to you but again like most hotels we have a set menu for all our guests on a dinner, bed and breakfast package; however they are more than welcome to choose items of the a la carte menu with a small supplement.
I do have to disagree with your comments in relation to our breakfast offering. Macdonald Hotels are very passionate about the breakfast product and we have moved away from the hot buffet service as we feel that the plated breakfast is more aligned with the service we are trying to provide. We do still offer a quite substantial cold buffet to complement what is a fantastic hot breakfast product.
I sincerely hope that these service issues you have encountered will not deter you from returning to Hill Valley again in the future.
Terence P Southward
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.