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“The WORST breakfast I have ever had!”

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Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Newbury
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I stayed at Donnington last night. Reputedly a 4 star establishment, obviously down to its facilities (spa and golf course) but I can tell you NOT its food! I dont expect a cold buffet breakfast to be offered to me when staying in a hotel of this standard! The restaurant staff are very pleasant, in particular one member of the waitressing staff with a Liverpool accent (all the other staff who are not front of house are foreign) who was interested in my opinion of the breakfast and said she would report my disappointment back to the chef. The sausage was so damn hard it flew off my plate. The bacon ... well it was like trying to cut through a piece of cardboard. The tomatoes were mush. And the fried egg (I prefer poached and why can't I have poached in a 4 star hotel) was freezing and undercooked. I managed to spot one that had been basted with oil slightly on the top so as to not eat raw egg white. Or I could of course had the grey looking scrambled egg that looked like it had been made 3 hours earlier.

Poor perfomance Donnington. Smarten up your act in the kitchen! And get some local preserves in for breakfast.

To my disgust, when I mentioned the very poor breakfast experience to the hotel reception staff, nobody offered to knock the cost off my bill and considering Im a Gold Member of the spa I'm pretty disappointed. I wont be staying with you again!!!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DVH-HM, Manager at Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear Lisa S,

This is very disappointing feedback indeed especially from a Gold Member of our spa. I would very much welcome the opportunity to speak with you directly regarding the issues you have had with breakfast and so will be in touch shortly.

Just to clarify for other readers the hotel not only offers a breakfast buffet but also a breakfast menu which does contain poached eggs as well as boiled eggs, omlettes, eggs benedict, eggs florentine, waffles and a host of other items so I am very suprised to hear that poached eggs were not available.

Kind regards

Sally Russell
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,089 - 1,095 of 1,439 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2013

We went the DVH for a relaxing girlie overnight spa package.
It was £175 each but we had 3 in a room- for B&B, 1 treatment and 3 course set menu.
But we had one person on a sofa bed, so not ideal for that kind of money- we were expecting 3 single proper beds.
The spa was nice but Aroma Room not working and they did not tell us.
People seemed to put towels down on loungers and not return so we asked staff to move them- which they did.
Staff I spa did not issue us with a locker to key- but a lady in changing room gave us one each!
Staff in spa not particularly efficient.
Check In at 3pm and treatments at 6pm
The espa facial was great, my friend got a Jessica manicure and got to keep the colour - great idea.
The rooms was very small as the sofa was made in to a bed, TV, tea, coffee, fresh milk, water, nice products, great size bathroom, robes, washed slippers- I had 2 right feet!
Diner was nice- set menu 4 starters, 4 mains and 4 puddings
Wine choice great..
Bar area very nice
Breakfast was a buffet style but staff served hot option and drought tea,coffee, toast etc
Overall very good- just expensive compared to other spa overnights I have had recently.
Golf course and grounds looked nice
We went to Harry's across the road for lunch and was good..

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Libbylocket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DVH-HM, Manager at Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear Libbylocket,

I would like to thank you for your feedback following your spa break with us, I greatly appreciate the time you have taken to give a review on our venue. I apologise that the room was not to your satisfaction but just to clarify for other readers that rooms for three guests will involve a sofa bed and my apologies to you ladies if this was not made clear to you upon booking. I will address the spa issues with my spa director however I am pleased that on the whole it was a very good stay.

Kind regards,
Sally Russell
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed April 2, 2013

We have just returned from our Easter break at the Donnington Valley. The initial impression was very positive, the hotel is on very nice grounds, well decorated and warm. On our 1st night we waited 50 minutes for the meal we ordered at the bar. We were tired as we had only arrived and it seems they had forgotten about us. The next day I had pre-arranged a full afternoon tea for 2 with Bookatable and had received a confirmation email and text message with a reference number. Upon our arrival at the restaurant, the waiter advised they had no booking and sent us to the bar area. We were then told the same story, they had never heard of Bookatable and wanted to charge us twice the price I had pre-paid! The whole ordeal was a real downer and in the end we had to wait around 1 hour before the scones/sandwiches was served on less than impressive dinner plates! Although we had free access to the spa, we only went to the pool once for a couple of hours before they closed. We ordered drinks and when the waitress brought them to us she said, do you know we are closing in 1h? I thought that was less than courteous! Upon our check-out I reported my bad experience with our meals and was given a 20% discount, when in fact I would have preferred to have had a lovely memory of my 1st stay in this place. Also, the towels were not changed and the toiletries were not replenished on the 3 nights we stayed.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MarcelaB810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DVH-HM, Manager at Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear MarcelaB810
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your stay at Donnington and I am dissappointed to hear that your stay did not meet your expectations. We appreciate any feedback, to ensure we always improve our service to exceed our guest's expectations and I will share your comments with the management team.
Kind regards,
Sally Russell

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Reviewed April 1, 2013

Just returned from another spa break weekend at Donnington Valley! Our 6th visit and just as good as ever!!

And what good value - £99 for bed, breakfast, evening meal, 1 x 25 minute treatment and full use of all the facilities in the spa, on a special deal.

We phoned in advance and asked (cheekily) if it was possible to have room 240 again. We have stayed in this room several times before, and it is one of the best. We were told that we would have to go on the list, as it is one of the more popular rooms. When we checked in, we were delighted to be told that we had the room again!! Marvellous!!! We were very happy!

After unpacking, we went down to the spa for our 25 minute treatment (the Sanyo Massage Chair) and then spent the rest of the day unwinding in the spa. Being Good Friday, it was quite busy, but we still managed to find a couple of loungers to sit on!

Dinner in the evening was exceptional good value - 3 courses from the 'Market' menu. Service was excellent, food was hot and well presented, great wine.

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the bar area with friends, before retiring to our room. Lovely big, comfy bed and massive bathroom with great shower and super bath! Best nights sleep I have had for ages. The room overlooks the golf course, so it is lovely and quiet.

Breakfast next day was excellent - and again the service was spot on.

Well done to everyone at Donnington Valley for making our stay so enjoyable. We will be returning again before too long, as we love it there and it is one of the nicest ways to relax for the weekend.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Wendy8312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DVH-HM, Manager at Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear Wendy8312,

Thank you for your kind words which I have shared with the team, always so nice to read. We look forward to your next visit, and as always, please feel free to contact me directly.

Kind regards,
Sally Russell

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

I paid extra for an executive room but the reality is it gives you "just" the standard you would expect of a hotel of it's rating. The quilt on the bed was wafer thin and I had to have the heating on full and use the blanket to be warm enough. Room was serviced but no toiletries replenished, again would have expected this as a routine. We had a BBQ (indoors due to the cold weather which was for a party of 42. Not mass catering by any means but it was awful. Served from covered heated platters it was just warm, but the jacket potatoes were still hard, corn and vegetables skewers were Ok and so was the salmon, but the burgers were hard and dry and the ribs chewy. The salad was basic, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber with a poor quality bought coleslaw and potato salad. Dessert was better tho' I wouldn't have fancied your chances with false teeth on the pastry of the pecan pie and honestly how can you go wrong with cheese and biscuits? Breakfast was just as poor, served in the same warming platters the eggs were rubbery or hard, Bacon so crisp and hard it just snapped, sausages wrinkled because they had been there too long. Tomatoes and mushrooms fine. Toast barely toasted, more like warm bread. The second evening the meal was adequate. Frozen prawn cocktail, served in a cereal bowl. Main course of lamb was good, but not gourmet and the dessert was OK a brulee but not really set enough and from one the average catering companies that you see everywhere. I should have stayed here another night but left without breakfast on the second morning. I will say the pool and spa facilities are good, but at Easter there were just too many children around for me, and many were left unsupervised in the pool and although there are no children swimming times they were still unsupervised in the pool area so it wasn't relaxing enough to read by the pool. At no point did any one even ask if everything was OK during any of the meals, it was simply get it out and get it cleared. I would not re visit.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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Thank 471sally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DVH-HM, Manager at Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear taggieDonningtonPark,

Thank you for the reivew and I am truly sorry we did not live up to the expectations. I can assure you that your comments have certainly been shared with the teams and I thank you for your time on the phone last week with Jamie from guest relations.

Kindest regards and I do hope to welcome you back when your group next visit.

Sally Russell

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Reviewed March 28, 2013

If you are on a business trip...avoid! if you are on a Holiday , prepare for a tale of 2 cities.
On the down side: Despite the fact this is a spa hotel, my room was missing a hairdryer, conditioner , and any water or healthy snacks. I called to the front desk for a blanket 4 times before anyone picked up. and when the blanket arrived it was visibly dirty and had hair on it. The staff at the front desk was mainly disinterested and indolent.

On the plus side, the staff in the Bar and Restaraunt are professional, welcoming and charming. And there was one young woman at the front desk during the day who was extremely helpful and curteous.

And one young woman at the Front Desk

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank anne d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DVH-HM, Manager at Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2013

Dear anne d,
Thank you for your review and I am sorry you did not find some aspects of your stay up to standard; all of our rooms come equipped with a hairdryer, conditioner and bottle water so I am suprised to hear you found these missing, I have shared the feedback with my teams so corrective action may take place to avoid re-occurance.
I hope you may decide to try us again if you are in the Berkshire area and if you do then please do contact me directly so I make the arrangements for you.
Kind regards,
Sally Russell

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Reviewed March 26, 2013

Booked for a weekend break with my daughter in law. I couldnt have asked for a better place to stay. Totally stress free, excellent spa facilities, treatment rooms etc. We had an executive room which more than met our needs and the food is outstanding

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank carol m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa

Address: Oxford Road - Donnington | Berkshire, Newbury RG14 3AG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Berkshire > Newbury
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Newbury
#2 Romantic Hotel in Newbury
#3 Business Hotel in Newbury
Price Range: $131 - $291 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded by glorious hills and stunning parkland, Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa is a natural blend of charm and elegance with uncompromising quality and countryside views. Home to 111 bedrooms, Donnington Valley is a privately owned 4-star country hotel in the heart of Berkshire with a state of the art spa and 18 hole golf course. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Donnington Valley Newbury
Donnington Valley Hotel Newbury
Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa Newbury, England

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