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Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa
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Reviewed October 13, 2012

We attended a charity dinner dance at the dunkenhagh in the Townley suite and were incredibly disappointed, particularly with the food and service. Our starter was an uninspiring vegetable soup which was served in a thimble and was only just warm. As the main course was being brought out an outside door off the main room was opened for the band to bring kit in. It was open for a long time and the room was freezing cold. I asked a member of staff to close it and I was told no because the band were setting up. It was wrong to do this as the meal was uncomfortable because of this, why they didn't delay the band just 15 mins or provide an alternative door I do not know, but it was clear the comfort of the customers came last. The main was a steak pie and mine was stone cold in the middle, reminding me of dog food. Everyone else said theirs were luke warm but they put up with it. I sent mine back and another was brought out. This was only just warm and no one came to check that this one was ok. With experience in the catering industry this lack of after care and service is unacceptable. I ate it but did not enjoy it and really it was not hot enough. The laughable thing was that the plates were scorching hot - far hotter than any of the food! The desert was passable but nothing I would order again. If this had been a restaurant I would have refused to pay, but having already paid for charity tickets this wasn't possible. Having since checked the website that gives food hygiene ratings I have discovered that in April this year the kitchens received a score of 1 which means major improvement is needed. I was not surprised. I will not go back here and feel I had to eat unacceptable food. Not good enough.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank MrsNE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
h6617_dm, Manager at Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2012

Dear Guest
Thank you for your feedback. It is disappointing to hear that your experience was not as you had hoped. I will discuss your feedback with the team and aim to rectify the areas of concern. The feedback that we received from the function organisor was very good, so I was a little surprised by the feedback. I will definately use the comments to ensure that the staff and management react in a more switched on fashion in the future
Yours sincerely
Ivan Lynch
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

A group of us stayed at the hotel for one night for a hen weekend. The rooms were very spacious and nice and the bathroom had a great shower. One problem was that our rooms (503 and 505) were a long walk from the main part of the hotel, which was a problem as one of our party can't walk very well. We were not informed of the distance when we booked.

The hotel was busy with two weddings on and quite a few other guests. At dinner it took a long time for our order to be taken which we were not impressed with, however the food was delicious.

The following morning we went for breakfast which I can only describe as chaos. We were put onto a dirty table and it wasn't cleared properly (the table cloth was dirty). We then waited half an hour for tea and coffee although we repeatedly asked for it. At the buffett there was a huge queue because there were no glasses, bowls or plates!!! The staff didn't seem to know what they were doing, and were bringing out more croissants when there was nothing to eat off!! When we did eventually get some food it was nice and there was a good selection.

We used the pool which was very busy with children so you couldn't reallly swim. On the first day some of the saunas didn't seem to be working and the ice machine wasn't on. We had a treatment each which was ok, but the staff member I had talked about her relationship problems the whole way through my massage which wasn't very relaxing, and I now have pain in my back where I didn't before.... Other members of the party had a foot treatment which they said was very good.

Generally we had a good stay, but I think that the service needs to be improved by having more staff on for meal times.

Room Tip: The executuive rooms are very nice.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Sew501
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
h6617_dm, General Manager at Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your recent stay. I was disappointed to hear that there were problems experienced. Please allow me to express my sincere apologies.

I am sorry that there were issues with the service during breakfast and a delay at dinner. I will follow up with the team. We were let down by a couple of staff over that weekend and were pretty pushed to get everyone served as quickly as we would have liked. I am sorry that this impacted on your enjoyment of your stay.

We have tried to improve the training given to the team and I hope that the improvement in service will be evident.

Yours sincerely

Ivan Lynch
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

A friend and I needed to have a bit of "our" time as we're two busy working mums and so we booked a one night spa revive break.
We arrived about 12 on a saturday and even though the hotel was busy as it had two weddings that day check in was fast and efficient and we knew our room would not be ready until at least 2pm and so left our bags with the concierge and headed for the spa.
We spent a nice afternoon using the spa and having our pre booked treatments. One slight gripe about the spa was that there were children in the pool and jaccuzzi and as we had left our children at home with our husbands to get away we could of done with a nice relaxing swim but this was only a small gripe! We are not anti children at all as we have three great kids between us its just when you go off on a spa break it is nice to get away from ALL children lol
Our treatments were good and we finally left the spa about 5'ish feeling very relaxed and pampered.
One small problem was the charge. On our booking form it had stated that we would get £70 worth of treatments free and 20% off any additional ones booked per person/per day but when it came to pay we were told that it was £70 between the two of us! This was however rectified after the duty manager was called and the manager agreed for us to have the £70 per person as in our written confirmation.
We then went to our room which was near to where there were two weddings were being held but we could not hear anything at all in our room. The room was lovely, clean and spacious and overall we were very pleased with it.
The down to dinner at 7pm which was included in our package and was just fab! Lovely restaurant, great food and yes an enjoyable meal.
After dinner we went to the bar but couldn't find a seat as it was crowded and have to say with a lot of older generation and so after a long day of pampering we decided to call it a night and have a few wines and a chinwag back in the room.
Breakfast was self service and ok...nothing like the fab meal the night before but as we don't normally do full breakfast anyway this was ok for us.
Checkout wasn't until 12 which was great and we both got a well deserved and rare lie in.
Overall we really enjoyed our stay and would go back and I would like to take my husband for the night to allow him to enjoy the great food at the restaurant.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank 577allison577
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
h6617_dm, General Manager at Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear Guest
Thank you for you feedback. I am ppleased that you enjoyed your time with us. I hope to welcome you back to the hotel in the future
Kind regards
Ivan Lynch
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

A colleague and I spent a night at the Dunkenhalgh as it was very conveniently placed for where we were working. It certainly doesn't merit a four star standard; check in took an age where one poor girl struggled to deal with an increasing queue whilst her colleague appeared to be writing his life story on a computer! My colleague was offered an upgrade to an executive room for which she was very grateful, although it entailed a strenuous walk through an endless rabbit warren of corridors. Unfortunately she didn't get a wink of sleep as their was an incessant rattling and vibration from an adjacent cupboard; when she called reception she was simply told "We have no idea what that could be". Also the mattress was so soft and poorly sprung it was difficult not to roll onto the floor.

My experience was different: my standard room seemed fine although there was no wi-fi connection, and when I switched on the bathroom light all the lights in the room blew. I went to reception to ask for the room to be changed to one which had a wi-fi connection as I had a number of e-mails to send. I was told that very few rooms could connect to the wi-fi network and none of those were available, not even the more expensive executive rooms. I was moved to a different room where I was assured I could connect, but again no connection was possible.

Now, you might expect this in a small two or three star establishment, but it is totally unacceptable in a so called four star hotel and conference centre. It is now the 21st century, but the Dunkenhalgh hasn't woken up to that fact yet! We won't be staying here again, despite the receptionist's kind offer of a 20% discount on my colleague's room rate.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere different!
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank chrishx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
h6617_dm, General Manager at Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2012

Dear Guest
Thank you for your feedback. I am disappointed to hear that you will not be returning. I am sorry that you experienced problems. I will follow up with the team accordingly. The issue of the internet is something that we are hopeful will be resolved shortly.
Yours sincerely
Ivan Lynch
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

After arriving at the hotel very late on Friday night I was greeted at reception by Andrew, there had been some major issues in the hotel that day, there was a power failure in the area and by all accounts the hotel had been without power from 10.00am that morning until 9.45pm that evening so you can imagine the chaos for the staff members.

Andrew took the time to explain the problems the hotel had faced and let me know that everything was now fine, I checked into my room which was clean and pleasant, and headed to the bar area where the staff were all friendly and helpful, you wouldn't have guessed that the hotel had no power all day, the hotel guest looked to be the number one priority on Friday evening, that was evident from the staff running around getting things done for others.

In the morning I was served breakfast by a wonderful young girl, Nicole I believe her name was she was really helpful and was very pleasant, she always kept my tea pot full thanks Nicole.

All in all simply because of the great friendly welcome I received from Andrew when I walked through the door, even with all the problems he had to deal with on Friday and the fantastic service from Nicole I received at breakfast I will visit this hotel again and very time I am in the area.

I highly recommend you to visit the Dunkenhalgh, a beautiful hotel with phemonimal staff members a rarity these days.

Thanks for a memorable weekend.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Thank Kyle R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
h6617_dm, General Manager at Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2012

Dear Guest
Thank you for your feedback in regards to your recent stay with us. It was a really challenging day for the hotel and all the staff involved. The team reacted very well under the pressure of the situation and we are very grateful to them for providing the service that they did. I hope that you will return to the hotel in the future.
Kind regards
Ivan Lynch
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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