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“Luxury apartments at budget prices”

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Birchover Darley Abbey
Ranked #20 of 29 Hotels in Derby
Reviewed November 20, 2011

We stayed here on our wedding night and night prior to this and was deffinatly worth the money. They had added personal touches to our room and made it extra special. The apartments are spacious and the sauna within the rooms are very clean and a nice touch. We would love to stay here again and would deffinatly recommend. The only problem we had was our oven didnt work, but this wasnt a problem and they rectified it instantly.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank mr-mrs123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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161 - 167 of 189 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2011

Birchover offer 2 types of apartment; Darley Abbey is the better appointed offering near luxury accomodation at a good price. We stayed here for 3 weeks (mix of business and pleasure) and found the accomodation perfect and much better than a hotel room. Our bathrooms were newly renovated (fully tiled) and clean and rest of apartment well appointed. Daily housekeeping and weekly clean was excellent.
Couple of minor things - no coffee machine/maker and worn frying pan were dealt with immediately and with a smile.
Beds OK - nothing beats your own does it?
Only real complaint was that the carpet needed cleaning (light beige looks good but hard to keep clean) but understand this is scheduled for cleaning when we vacate.
Some road noise in bedrooms but d/g windows kept most of it out; we live in a quiet village so are probably more sensitive to this than others but it gave us no problems.
Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank VANDICARLTON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2011

We visited these apartments to be able to have an evening out in derby. And while the room was a nice size and well equipped, it had a horrible lingering smell of fried eggs and came complete with a used razor in the bathroom cupboard (with hairs in it!). While that wouldn't stop us staying here again, the following email that we received after our stay would... Worth noting, I drive a blue Volkswagen...


Dear [name removed]



At some point during the evening of Monday 29th and lunch time on the 30th August, during the period of your stay, one of our brand new border plants was dug up and stolen from outside entrance 1 of the apartment block.



We have CCTV footage of the person responsible and of the vehicle into which the plant was placed – a black Vauxhall.



Whilst we appreciate that you may not be implicated in any way with this theft, we are undertaking routine enquiries in order to establish who may have taken it.



We have just spent a considerable amount of money on these plants, for the enjoyment of guests and to improve the environment of the hotel. We strive very hard to keep the prices low to offer great value and acts like this only have a negative impact on the surroundings and our ability to keep prices low.



There is a very limited number of guests who we are writing to, because we have records of who checked out on that morning. We hope that if you are entirely innocent that you will understand and appreciate why I have felt it necessary to send this email. If you are the person responsible, then we ask that you return the plant to our hotel, OR respond to this e-mail accepting liability, along with payment details for the cost of the plant (£75.50) within 48 hours. If this happens then I can confirm that no further action will be taken. If the plant is not returned then we will have no other option than to hand over the evidence we have to the police.



I trust you understand our position and are not offended by our approach. We are saddened that this has happened and disappointed that one of our guests would steal from us but equally we want to draw the matter to a close.



Kind regards

[name removed]



GENERAL MANAGER

Birchover Hotel Apartments

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ps218057
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birchover, Manager at Birchover Darley Abbey, responded to this reviewResponded November 21, 2011

Thank you for your review. We have to admit that we are quite baffled by the tone of the review. My name has been removed as the signatory of the letter but I am proud to say that I wrote the letter to the guest. Despite offering 70 apartments across two hotels, we are a small, family-run hotel and offer the apartments at such competitive prices because we run a very efficient, well-managed operation.

We had very recently purchased some new plants to add to the environment around the hotel and one was stolen. So I sent (what I hope any reader would consider to be) a polite letter to those people who had checked out that morning, requesting that the plant be returned. The plant was returned within 36 hours and this was fantastic for us, because we really cannot afford to have such things stolen when we are trying to continually improve the hotel for guests.

Other guests who received the letter sent emails of support and commented on the friendly tone of the letter. I am sorry that this lady found the letter to be accusatory but I hope you, as a reader, share my view that it was not - and was sent with the best of intentions.

As an aside, this review has been posted over 12 weeks after the stay. We completely refute the comment about the razor. Our housekeeping staff work in pairs and check each other's work before signing off an apartment. Hopefully, our other reviews on here (and other websites) are testament to the fact that cleanliness is probably our key selling point (apart, perhaps from the saunas!). Our reception staff then check the apartment before rooming a guest. For all 3 staff members to have missed such an obvious item is extremely unlikely and, unfortunately, I feel this reviewer has simply added this to effect a more negative review of our hotel. It was not mentioned to us during the stay or in any correspondence since.

Thank you,
Carl Bridge (Manager)

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Reviewed November 1, 2011

Having come to Derby to visit family, we choose these apartments because they seemed well equipped, weren't too far from the city centre, and most importantly had ample car parking. We booked 2 apartments, ending up with 2 2-bedrooms for our party of 6. We were well impressed with the space, equipment, decor & overall facilities, not to mention the very reasonable per head charge!! Little extras included the very good sauna within the apartments & complimentary cereal, juice & milk for your first morning. I would look to book these apartments should we visit Derby again!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Katrina66_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2011

Upon arrival to the apartments we made our way to the reception area which was easy to find. The lady on reception showed us to our room straight away and was very helpful.
We were absolutely delighted with the room we were given. It was immaculately clean, very, very spacious and just perfect for the 3 of us.
The kitchen was well equipped, with complimentary juice, milk and cereals - it seemed a shame we were only there for one night!
As someone who is quite well travelled, and has high expectations, I can honestly say Birchover did not disappoint. Yes, there are probably certain features that may seem a little dated - fire surrounds and the like, but considering the change of ownership in 2010 it is fair to say that the owners are doing their best.
The bathrooms were very modern and very clean, with soft comfy towels a plenty. The beds were also very comfortable and the noise from the road isn't noticeable once the windows are closed.....especially at night when the roads aren't busy.
We didn't use the sauna as there wasn't time, but the receptionist did show us how to use this should we wish to.
This place ticks many boxes - especially if you plan to stay for more than 1 night as you can buy in food and really treat it like a home from home.
All in all, a wonderful stay and I'll definitely come again.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank TravelSazzle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

We stayed at the Darley Abbey Birchover Hotel having needed a short notice place to stay in Derby. Looking on Trip Advisor we found that it had, in general, good reviews so we thought we would give it a go. I am very glad we did! This place is BRILLIANT for anyone looking for something a bit more special than a usual hotel room. For £89.99 for the night we stayed in what was essentially a one bed apartment, with a lovely lounge, kitchen, very nice bathroom and sauna! A home away from home really; they even provided us with orange juice and milk.

Spotlessly clean, loaded with everything we could ever need and although we only saw the staff when we arrived, for the meet and greet the girl that helped us was very nice and helpful.

Literally the only two minor criticisms I have are that 1) the room was really quite hot when we arrived (but we opened a window and it was fine!), and 2) I had to re-tune the freeview on the TV. That's it. Oh, and with the windows open it is noisy because of the A38 running along the back of it, but with the roadside windows shut you can't hear a thing.

They have addressed all/any negative comments you might read below and the place is really, really good. Next time I need to go to Derby I would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank chris w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2011

I stayed in this apartment hotel with my wife and friends over a weekend in September 2011. The first impression was that of a student dorm and we had to ask some people who were hanging around if that was the actual apartment hotel because there was no sign of any kind. That for starters.

First the positives:
- Spacious with a large living room and good size bedrooms
- Quite complete kitchen equipment

Negatives:
- The moment we entered the house we noticed a funny smell (cigarette?)
- Carpet stains all over (see pictures). Not a good idea putting a regular beige home carpet in a hotel. Invest in a hard-wearing dark carpet as they have them at every reasonable hotel chain.
- Fungus (we believe) in the bathroom wall and the grouting in the wall had a lot of dirt in it (see pictures)
- We did not get the sauna to work despite leaving it on for more than an hour, although we turned all dials to maximum and did the switch as advised. When we emailed management about this after the stay, they said they went and checked and everything worked fine for them. Up to the reader to take a view.
- This leads to another problem. There is no-one on site during the weekend except 3-8pm (we think?!), although the hours are not clearly communicated. So when you need face to face help it is not there. To make matters worse, if you want to call and ask for something (like towels or sauna or even just the opening hours of reception) you have to go through "option 4 - emergencies" which makes you feel that you are inconveniencing or "abusing" the emergency line for your comfort.
- The website is clearly misleading, promising "daily maid services". When we asked about that, management told us that there were none during weekends. To get towels, we had to go to reception which we were told was only open 3-8pm.
- Hot water not consistent (sometimes lukewarm, although we did not find out what the driver for that was)
- Right next to a very busy A-road (not very smartly, the bedrooms face that road rather than the living room). So forget about leaving windows open over night unless you have a very high pain threshold when it comes to noise.
- You are not allowed to turn on the air conditioning to make the room colder which is a bad combination in summer with the street noise. You can apparently use the aircon to make toe room warm when it is cold outside.
- You are threatened with a fine of £15 per hour for late checkout after 11am. That is ridiculous given that nobody is around at the hotel anyway, not even reception staff. If I was management I would give guests more time, especially when I have not got the staff to turn rooms around on the weekends.
- My wife found someone's hair while turning down the bed covers, before climbing in.
- Careful, the lift door snatches to close very quickly and one of my friends got stuck and hurt herself badly on the arm.
- Button coming off toaster.

Overall, this is a typical case of management cutting corners and saving on maintenance to maximise profit as it happens so often in the UK unfortunately in this day and age. But this is false economy as it causes guests to stay away in the end. I travel to Germany a lot and I have never seen this type of negligence there. Life is not just about profit.

Also, a clear case of over-promising and under delivering. All the talk about luxury is misleading in our opinion.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank John_Evans1951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birchover, Manager at Birchover Darley Abbey, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2011

Thank you very much for the review. Whilst we are obviously delighted to have had so many good reviews on TripAdvisor (and other websites), it is often the poor reviews which are most valuable in helping us to improve the service that we offer.

Since taking over management of the apartments in summer 2010, we have implemented a large-scale programme of improvements - chief amongst those being a project to re-grout every bathroom (all 120 of them!). This is now very close to completion as most recent guests (and some reviews on here) will testify to. I am sorry that the apartment you stayed in on this occasion appears not to have been completed by that stage.

We have a fantastic reputation for cleanliness and are very proud of our housekeeping team - particularly given that the carpets are indeed beige! We regularly thoroughly clean the carpets and so we will seek to identify which apartment this was (we have no booking in the name of the reviewer in the weeks leading up to his review so it has been hard to identify which apartment it was just from the review).

In terms of persons on site and contacting us, we always have staff on site from 8am - 10pm Monday to Friday and at least from 10am to 10pm on Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sundays. Reception is open for much of this time and the telephone number is there to call us, as we have two sites and a head office spread across 1 mile. It is never our intention to make people uncomfortable calling the 'emergency' line and - as a result of this specific review - we will soon implement a new IVR option which sounds less alarming!

That said, the guest did not call us at all during their stay to our knowledge (i.e. from the points mentioned on this review). We would certainly not expect a guest to be in an apartment they were unhappy with and would have moved the guest if we had been made aware. I do remember the email regarding the sauna - which was sent after the stay - and did personally go to the apartment that day to check that it worked. The sauna came on instantly. It's just a case of switching it on and putting two dials in position. There are instructions on our welcome email and in the apartment. Our reception staff concentrate heavily on this aspect of the apartment during the 'meet and greet' process, because the sauna is obviously a big factor in many guests booking with us.

It is not the case that guests are 'not allowed' to use the air conditioning. The apartments appear to have been built with air conditioning 15 years ago and only the heating aspect of the system is operational. There is nothing anywhere to prohibit guests from using the heating.

We believe that we offer fantastic value for money. One of the reasons we are able to do that is because we are extremely busy and also that we run our hotel very efficiently. The £15 per hour charge is primarily a deterrent so that we can be fair to all guests and ensure that arriving guests' apartments are ready for them. The extra hour to check out by (to 11am) on Sundays was introduced by us as a direct result of guest feedback on questionnaires we created. Early check-in and/or late check out are available to all guests for a small fee.

I can honestly say that we are not a management which cuts corners. Since arriving in 2010, we have ploughed every penny back into improving the hotel. This is evident in things like new televisions throughout, upgraded Wifi, new appliances and kitchenware in penthouses (to be filtered to all apartments with continued ongoing reinvestment), the creation of a reception (and a team to go with it!) and the aforementioned projects like re-grouting of all apartments, installation of new plants in all grounds and much more besides. We also invest heavily in our staff - every single member, including part-time and temporary staff, has been on training courses in the past 3 months.

This review is fair in parts and the photographs offer evidence of a section of carpet that we need to identify. We accept the findings and will identify and rectify the problem.

We feel that other aspects of the review are unfair - especially when we were not given the opportunity to assist the guest during their stay because we would certainly have done so. We are pleased and proud that others have commented on our service and are just sorry that we did not have the opportunity to demonstrate that commitment in this case.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond, Carl

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Birchover Darley Abbey

Address: Church Lane North | Darley Abbey, Derby DE22 1EU, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Derbyshire > Derby
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 29 Hotels in Derby
Price Range: $146 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Birchover Darley Abbey 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Birchover Residences Darley Abbey offer you affordable luxury in a beautiful suburb of Derby. Every apartment has a sauna within the Master en-suite and all apartments benefit from free parking and free Wifi. With a separate lounge/kitchen/dining area and en-suites to every spacious bedroom, it really is affordable luxury. ... more   less 
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