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“Not as good as it used to be”

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Donnington Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Newbury
england
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Not as good as it used to be”
Reviewed February 27, 2009

We had a suite for one night. Very nice furnishings but why is there no TV in the lounge? The bedroom TV had no news channels and very poor reception. Surely a 4 star would have at least Freeview.There were no bathrobes and only one set of towels (another set was discovered in the wardrobe!) You could not reach the bath taps to run a bath (or shower) unless you got into the bath first because the glass shower screen is fixed. The table for 2 in the restaurant was so tiny it was the same size as the pillar we were stuck behind. For an expensive restaurant it has no atmosphere, no condiments on the table (or offered), the service is slow and lacking and the food not worth mentioning. The coffee machine in the lounge was handy, though I did not expect to have to serve myself coffee in a 4 star hotel. What we didn't expect was to be shouted at from the Bar to pay £3. Why not advertise there was a charge on the machine? We have stayed here three times and enjoyed a number of Literary Dinners and a Boxing Day lunch last year. We will not be back.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank smileyengland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,117 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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London
1 review
Reviewed February 1, 2009

This hotel is ok but it could be much better if it simply made up its mind what it wants to be. It has a very nice and modern spa and the staff are very good. The rooms are ok - clean, spacious and modern. Unfortunately, this is combined with a very dated "oldy Worldy" bar and a restaurant design that creates no atmosphere which seems a bit bizarre. Some of the other reviews on here have complimented the food and I do wish that we could say the same but unfortunately we didn't have the best dinner and were quite disappointed with the quality of the cooking. Maybe this was because they had a special members function on that night which took up the kitchen's attention and resources? Breakfast was an improvement I'm pleased to say with plenty of choice and the food was ok (but then it should be pretty hard to mess up breakfast!!). I think that if this hotel decided to modernise it's whole approach to the bar and restaurant so that it's in line with the spa it would be a vast improvement and if it did I'd stay there again.

  • Liked — Spa
  • Disliked — Bar & restaurant
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonMattS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, Wales
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2009

I stayed at this hotel in December 2008, whilst we visited Newbury Racecourse which is only a couple of miles away.

I can't fault this hotel. Our room was very clean and spacious, we had a lovely evening meal in the resaurant and the staff were very helpful.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank asecret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2008

Stayed here for a combined break on the Sunday and then business meetings the next day nearby. When we arrived reception was packed with people checking in/out, and so I thought we'd be ages. But staff were really fast, and we were through in minutes. Room was ready (11am!) so very impressed.

Decor throughout is very smart, and the rooms are superb - thick carpet, fresh light colours, large flat screen tv, fridge, quality furnishings. The beds have such good mattresses, I'd take one home if I could! We had one of the executive rooms, which is worth the extra as you get a DVD player and complimentary video library from reception. Some public areas of the hotel are a little bit worn around the edges, but don't let this put you off. Its superficial.

The spa and gym are superb. The gym is small but has quality equipment, and staff happily explained the couple of machines that were a bit unfamiliar. The pool area is really relaxing - tables, chairs and garden loungers all around it, and bar and food service poolside. The cafe next to the pool does really healthy lunches and smoothies too. They have daily papers and magazines, so you could spend hours here.

For breakfast, ignore the buffet cooked food - it doesn't look great. ORDER your cooked breakfast from the waiter, at no extra charge, and it comes fresh from the kitchen. It's no hassle, and delicious.

Lunch and Dinner is expensive, but local fresh food and well prepared. They do a market menu, 2-courses or 3-courses, which is better value. We actually ate in the lounge bar this trip, and the food selection was upscale for a bar menu. Very good.

One complain, internet/wifi is NOT free. £8+ for a few hours. To fork out to check emails seems mercenary, as this isn't a cheap hotel. (top-end rooms have it free, but not in my price range!)

All in all though, a great place for a weekend escape or business. Very quiet, superbly attentive and friendly staff and great rooms.

  • Liked — Quality of room decor, Gym, Pool, Friendly Staff, Cleanliness.
  • Disliked — Cost of restaurant food, Lack of free wi-fi
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank RCox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bristol
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2008

My best friend and I booked in on a Saturday to have a relaxing girls weekend and use the spa.

On arrival, our rooms were not quite ready and the spa had run out of robes to hand out - we were expected to get the ones in our room but it wasn't ready - spot the problem! When we did get to the room, the beds had not been separated into twins as requested - they soon sorted this out but again not good first impressions.

The spa area itself was really lovely and relaxing - quite busy but never so much that it felt crowded. I used the pool and the generous sized steam room before having a facial in the treatment rooms upstairs (Clarins). The relaxation room following the facial was lovely.

We ate in the restaurant which was nice, but not a patch on the Vineyard that it has some affiliation with. Food nice, staff friendly. We did feel a bit tucked away from it all on the upper floor and sometimes this meant it was difficult to get service.

Breakfast was buffet and a bit disappointing. It was busy and kept running out and some food did not look well cooked.

Overall, a nice break, lovely hotel but needs to get it's service standards a bit higher.

  • Liked — pool and spa
  • Disliked — organisation
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank earth-roam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull, UK
Level 6 Contributor
708 reviews
120 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 558 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2008

I stopped here to be near to the venue of an early starting meeting the next morning. I booked direct with the hotels website on a room only rate. I booked a superior room. Arrived in the afternoon to find the reception area and bar busy with training/meeting groups moving furniture and 'huddling'. Reception gave me the key for the room but told me the wrong room. Eventually reaching the correct room, I was most impressed, lovely pastel coloured furniture and decor, seating area, HD digital television and large and well appointed bathroom with bath and shower cabinet. Very clean. Comfotrable bed. Minbar which I couldnt access. Plenty of storage space. Internet access costs £8 - very expensive. TV channels limited and one not working. Also not working was the electric shaver point in the bathroom - so I had to attend my meeting unshaven. This hotel promotes itself as a leisure venue, not quite up to the mark for a single business traveller.

  • Liked — Bathroom
  • Disliked — Equipment failure
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Topkoppite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, SY
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2008

We stayed at the Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa at the beginning of November 2008 to celebrate our anniversary, and it was fantastic!

Lovely, clean and luxurious room, brilliant food - just a shame we had forgotten our swimming gear, as the facilities (pool, sauna and steam room) are free to guests!

The staff were lovely, friendly and very helpful, although we had requested a smoking room - only to be told they didn't cater for this... Although that's hardly a major issue in my opinion.

The food and drink was all incredible, pricey but worth it!

We're already planning to go back next year!!

  • Liked — Luxurious room, fantastic food and wine, beautiful location.
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KIANOTKYA
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

Property: 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:
#1 Family Hotel in Newbury
#2 Luxury Hotel in Newbury
#2 Romantic Hotel in Newbury
#3 Business Hotel in Newbury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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