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“Do not stay at this hotel!”

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Hotel Convento Las Claras
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Penafiel
Stamford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
351 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Do not stay at this hotel!”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

Although this hotel has potential as far as the building is concerned, as it is a converted convent which is situated very close to the amazing wineries of the Ribero del Duero, it is a nightmare. The room we had was small and extremely oppressive - there was a tiny window high up, but otherwise just walls. The breakfast was dreadful. Tinned fruit salad, white sliced bread, a tiny bit of jamon, waxy cheese and machine coffee. No service at all. The staff were non-existent. One of our friends had a room where there was no toilet paper. A disgrace. How it can have four stars is anyone's guess, but I would rather no tripadvisor person has another night there.

Room Tip: Dont stay here, stay in another hotel.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cambio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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333 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2012

My wife and I stayed 2 night at this property in August and although the hotel looks very nice with a big interior courtyard, nice big rooms we were overall disappointed.

The hotel felt like it was almost closed with the restaurant not being opened for some bogus reason and really no real food available anywhere in the hotel itself. The bar only had small snacks like chips and olives.

Also for an hotel located in a wine region, the hotel had absolutely no real good wines available to buy and didn't offer any corking service or such.

My wife wanted to try the Spa but it looked shut down so she didn't bother with it.

It seems there is so much potential at this hotel but I agree with other reviewers that it seems no one cares.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank n8fire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviewed August 14, 2012

Great hotel in a historic building. We walked today to Protoss winery. Excellent location and nice employees. Quiet SPA with an extensive menu. The view of the castle from the pool is great. My kids would have enjoyed the place too. We got a 30 percent discount at the checking, a good start

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dorna L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 256 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2012

I'm giving this hotel 2 stars because I want them to wake up and pay attention. They have a gorgeous property with so much potential, but it's let down by housekeeping and unenthusiastic staff. This is especially surprising in a country where unemployment is 25% and you would hope that people would really do what they could to exceed expectations.

Let me start the regular way with the pros/cons

Pros
Free wifi, albeit slow at times and non-existent from some locations. How much would it cost them, really, to make this super fast and reliable.
Spa, although I'll come back to this
Pool
Great location
Great atmosphere in a converted convent.
Lovely outdoor courtyard for enjoying drinks, snacks
Breakfast included
The night clerk who checked me out (a guy) was LOVELY. I stopped by the desk around midnight to let him know I was leaving at 5 am and to ask about breakfast. When I showed up at the front desk at 5:10 am, he had a FULL breakfast laid out for me. I apologize, though, to the guests who showed up 4 hours later to find nothing but stale bread and sweaty meat.
Wood floors in the rooms.

Cons
Room: The showerhead was a joke. It sprayed water everywhere but on me.

Room: It's all a bit dusty. Not true housekeeping here. They can do much better.

Signage: I laughed. I got off the elevator and immediately saw a sign that said that rooms 207 to 22something were to the left. So I went to the left. Only to find myself back at the elevators after walking around the ENTIRE 2nd floor in a circle. My room was one room away from where I got off the elevator.

Bar Staff: A little surly. And not capitalists, for sure. We were there during the Olympic opening ceremonies and wanted to watch the ceremonies in the bar, close to drinks and food and air conditioning. The bar staff kicked us out on a Friday night around 11:30 when they wanted to go home. This was annoying -- but acceptable -- on Friday night because we knew they closed around this time, but it was super annoying on Saturday night when their stated hours were late night, but they still kicked us out at 11:30 because they wanted to go home. And what bugged me more than anything was the attitude. The staff were rude and just not happy that we were there. Especially on Friday given that it was the opening ceremony of the OLYMPICS for the love of God.

Front Desk Staff: A comedy. When I checked in, I inquired about my taxi on Sunday. "I'll check on that for you," says the young girl. I take a seat. I wait and wait. She's obviously not checking, unless she's checking online. So I ask again, "Yes, I will check for you." I sit back down again. And wait and wait. And finally, I ask again and she explains that she can't check. She needs her colleague to check. Because she's not sure who her colleague booked. And her colleague won't be there til midnight. A true 4 star property would have a note in my file with all the details.

Front Desk II: I asked for some recommendations of wineries. Totally cluless. A true four star hotel would have a list of wineries that they had connections with and they would hook us up. She gave me a map. Good times. Contrast this with our vist to the lovely Villa Pascuas winery, where we asked for a lunch recommendation, and our winery tourguide didn't even hesitate before hooking us up with a beautiful place that served lovely grilled lechazo.

The Spa: Ever gotten a facial or a massage from a heavy smoker?? Well, now I have. I wouldn't recommend it. She actually took a smoke break during my facial. Good times. Also, when she put the mask on during my facial and told me she'd be back in 10 to 15 minutes, I had this bad feeling about it and confirmed multiple times that she would be back in 10 to 15 minutes. She came back 35 minutes later. (And entered the room to find me up and getting ready to leave, I was so peeved.)

Breakfast: Totally so horribly basic. This is Spain. There should be a ton of fresh fruit. And there are so many lovely places around, I would hope that there would be a lot of fresh bread and cheese. I don't mind basic really, but if it's going to be basic, made it good quality.

I'll end this with what I frequently say...if you don't stay in hotels a lot, you'd probably like it here. But if you know what you're paying for, you'll be disappointed. Honestly thought, it's a decent place. It just needs to up the service considerably.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Krista N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Penafiel hotels

Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2012

Hotel Convento Las Claras is located in a structurally stunning former convent with a grand enclosed courtyard (now the hotel's atrium lobby), a comfortable bar with an enclosed outdoor stone courtyard cafe, a nice pool on verdant grounds, and a spa. Sounds great, huh?

Except that the hotel is severely understaffed, and I got the sense that the employees were overworked and disgruntled. Details are not attended to. For example:

HOTEL ROOMS: The rooms are comfortable and clean, but the shower head in my bathroom became detached by the force of the water coming through it, so it was very difficult to shower. Clearly, the cleaning staff knows about this because they clean the shower, so there's no excuse for the hotel not immediately replacing the shower heads. My companions' shower heads similarly malfunctioned, so it was clearly a design issue.

LOBBY/ATRIUM: The lobby was filled with mismatched, worn furniture. There did not appear to be anyone who tidied up the lobby, as chairs that were moved around stayed that way, and couch cushions were disheveled. The furniture clearly had not been vacuumed in a long time.

BAR: Given the sleepy nature of Peñafiel, the bar closed too early to adequately service its customers. The hotel information indicated that the bar stayed open until 1 am on Saturdays, but the staff closed it up at 11. The bar staff was very gruff and rude. We were ignored for a long period of time while the staff focused on closing up duties well-before closing time (no doubt to make it easier for them to close up right at 11 and get out of there). After patiently waiting to be acknowledged, watching the server walk by us numerous times, we finally got the female barkeep's attention (politely) and she gruffly served us as if it was an inconvenience. To make matters worse, she proceeded to call us "princesas" within earshot to other bar staff for the remainder of the night, clearly in retaliation for asking that she provide us with service. (Why do the Spanish smack-talk in spanish about their customers within earshot? Don't they know that most Americans can understand them?) The poor service in the bar was probably one of the most egregious aspects of this hotel.

SPA/POOL: From an organizational standpoint, the spa needs the most work. When I was there, the spa was very busy, and appeared to be fully booked with appointments. The two women who worked in the spa were severely overworked (but still very polite), and acted as spa therapists, receptionists, and towelboys. They needed to hire 2 more people just to greet people in the spa and hand out towels to people going out to the pool. As it stands, if one of the women was in a spa session (say, doing a massage), the reception was unattended, and groups of people would hover in the unattended reception area waiting 15 minutes (or more) for one of the women to emerge from their treatments, just so that they could provide them with a towel or process them for their spa appointment. Also, the reception area was a disorganized mess. The hotel needs to build out a proper functioning reception area, not the cluttered storage space it is now.

FRONT DESK: This hotel advertises its four star rating. If it intends to continue to attract international guests, then the front desk -- the first impression of the hotel -- should be more polished. First, their English should be more proficient. Second, the concierge desk was empty the entire time I was there, and if there ever was a concierge, it appears that he or she had not been working there for some time. Third, the front desk staff needs polishing; for instance, if I am talking to them, they should stand up and address me eye-to-eye, not remain seated. Requests for service (like cabs) were not immediately attended to, and follow-up was necessary.

In summary, I wouldn't say I had a bad stay, but it's hard not to notice when a hotel isn't operating smoothly. This hotel is gorgeous and has a lot of potential if they would focus on hiring more people, training them better, and elevating their game to meet the standards for which it was supposedly awarded (4 stars).

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aschie30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Very beautifull hotel in an ancient monastery.
Most of the staff are fluent in English and very helpfull.

Outside swimmingpool wasn't heated, the rest of the accomodation in the garden was very good.
No bar at the swimmingpool, you have to inside and order.

The restaurant should be avoided: the setting isn't nice at all, the servive could be better and the food isn't good.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Georges V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2011

We spent three nights recently at this hotel while having a holiday in the Ribera del Duero wine country. The hotel is very convenient for visiting the Ribera del Duero area and also is close to the town center, which means you can leave the car and just walk for having dinner or a drink at the nearby bars and restaurants. It is the only hotel in Peñafiel that allows this, so that is why we selected it. The hotel building is nice and they have kept many of the monastery elements, but it is not what you could expect from a four stars hotel, at least not the rooms we got assigned, really small and with no much light ( the window was literally by the patio cupola) . I suspect there are larger rooms based on other customers comments, but the price we paid was not cheap and this were the only option we got from Booking with whom we did the arrangements. The breakfast is included, but once again not what you could expect: very cold food ( the waiter said that when the heaters stop working, she does not light them up as that is "hard" ) . The quality of the food served is fine in general, but it is not properly placed and the options are limited. We did not try the SPA or the swimming pool, although it has to be nice during the summer as it has nice views of the castle. Only remarkable was a jazz dinner that took place on Saturday night at the patio. That was nice and good value for money. I recommend this hotel just based on its location, but not on the quality of room or service

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Madrid_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Convento Las Claras

Property: Hotel Convento Las Claras
Address: Plaza Adolfo Munoz Alonso s/n, 47300, Penafiel, Spain
Location: Spain > Castile and Leon > Province of Valladolid > Penafiel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Kitchenette Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Penafiel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Convento Las Claras 4*
Number of rooms: 64
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