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“Very badly managed, very poor service, appalling food.”

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Blazing Donkey Country Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Ham B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 27, 2013

We had 2 nights at this excuse for a hotel in February courtesy of a Travelzoo deal which was very attractively priced. We arrived on a very cold day around 2.30 and the owner who we never saw again gave us our room key and little else. The room, to be fair was warm and clean and a reasonable size though certainly not a £130 room which is their real price. Due to the weather we had a glass of bubbly which we had brought in our room and decided to have dinner at the restaurant as it is rather remote and we did not want to drive. What a disaster. First of all we were put in a corner so dark we could barely read the menu and it was cold so we asked to move. The food was appalling and the service lacking to say the least. The wine was poor and expensive and when we enquired tot the price by the glass we were told a bottle of wine which was outrageous as £19.95 a bottle (2011 Rioja) cost a mind blowing £6.50 a glass!! We reluctantly opted for the bottle. My lamb (£19) was tough and had Oxo/Bisto gravy which was romantically called a 'rosemary jus' and was just appalling. My husband's chicken was little better. The lady on the next table asked for her food to be put in the microwave as it was cold. Then came breakfast...the same hotel manager who we had complained to the previous night about the table put us on the same dark, cold table. We were then overlooked, had our order taken eventually and then watched several others have their 'full English' put in front of them before us despite arriving 10 minutes after us. When it did finally arrive ('Sorry we are very busy in the kitchen!') it was very poor, microwaved in the main and greasy. Needless to say we ate out the 2nd night at a great place called the George and Dragon in Sandwich. We had horrible, tasteless toast the next morning as we certainly could not face the 'full English' again. Our room had the bed straightened but no fresh towels, the bathroom was not cleaned, tea and coffee not replenished nor the loo paper. On our final morning no-one was available to take our key or ask if we had enjoyed our stay (they probably didn't want the flack) so we gave it to the waitress. The place clearly needs money spending on it and the boiler is really noisy at night. Finally you take your life in your hands pulling out of the car park as the hedges are so overgrown they obscure your view of the road. Don't stay here, even on a deal.

Room Tip: Don't.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank loireuncorked
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,008 - 1,014 of 1,300 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2013

We had a Travelzoo voucher and thought it might be a nice country hotel! After a 4 hour drive we found the building, opened the door into one room which was the restaurant, bar and reception hatch. We were informed that we couldn't have lunch as they don't serve it in the Winter without prior booking. We were asked what type of room we wanted - twin bedded - despite having already booked this, we were told the room wasn't ready - it was after 2 pm by this time. We set off for the nearest town to get some lunch and when we got back, we were given a double room which we were told would be split and made into a twin by the house keeper. After unpacking, we were moved to a family room where one of us had the 6 foot bed and the other a single bed - which was falling apart - against the wall. The rooms are dull, dated and depressing - lots of dark brown, the "donkey" influence I guess. The rooms aren't even in the hotel - they are chalets. the bathrooms don't even have a towel rail. Dinner was expensive and mediocre - they didn't have the wine we asked for and the waitress said they didn't do Irish coffee, but the manager did one for us - albeit in a wine glass.
Breakfast the next morning didn't have a selection of cereals - just Shreddies _ and no "rustic toast" as on the menu, just thin sliced, white bread - apparently they were waiting for a food delivery - strange. Coffee and tea were served yourself from flasks. I won't go on any further about things as they were appalling - suffice to say I think the only thing they were interested in was getting people in to eat an evening meal.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank 186284Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

I have stayed 2 nights with travel zoo voucher in the Blazing donkey and I had 10 oz steak it was fantastic really tender cook to my liking (rare), lovey service, nice background music restaurant was quite busy manager and the waitress was serving they were chatting to all the tables, they were in for breakfast as well and yes they did run out of juices or the cereals and all we had to do is them to fill them up within seconds they were filled nothing was to much trouble.
Over all we had a lovely stay and we definitely come back and let our friends and family to visit as well.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

We had a 2 night stay through Travel Zoo & opted to dine in on both nights, & paid in advance. The menu consisted of only 4 choices on each course with no seafood & only one vegetarian dish, which was the same throughout the whole month. As I don't eat meat I had no option but to have the same meal 2 nights running. The waitress spoke to the chef & I was offered a creamy mushroom sauce on linguine as opposed to the tomato mushroom sauce that I had had the previous evening. I do eat fish but although I could have had the fish starter as I main I did not want to eat cold fish & salad on a February night that was below freezing & snowing. The food itself was fine but had we known how limited the choice we would not have eaten in the restaurant. Breakfast was also a shambles - wheatabix or shreddies, a few pastries, coffee & tea in Thermos jugs. Cooked breakfast was ok. We had a room in the main building which was lovely - but no heating until 4 pm. Log fires in the bar / dining room but only one lit on one evening. The waiting staff were great, very overworked & had to break off from serving breakfast to check people out!
I e mailed the above to the hotel when we returned but not even an acknowledgement - says it all.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lynda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

My husband and I married at The Blazing Donkey on 20th December.

Everything ran very smoothly, we were allowed into the venue the day before the wedding to get everything set up - which was reassuring as there was nothing to do on the big day. Harri, the wedding planner was so helpful and nothing was too much bother for her, even providing tea and danish pastries for my family and I whilst setting up the marquee the day before.

On the day, everything ran like clockwork - the rooms were perfectly clean and tidy - guests treated well and we had so many comments about how delicious the food was. One of our concerns was that, being in the middle of Winter the marquee may be too cold, but we needn't have worried, it was lovely and warm!

This really is a beautiful venue, and the food is excellent. Don't believe everything you read - we certainly will be back!

Chloe & Ashley x

Thank Kent_Deal_2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Having been given this trip unexpectantly and not knowing what to expect, we were absolutely delighted with the warm reception, very warm room (it was about -3 outside) and excellent facilities.
We ate in Sandwich, read review for The Crispin (5**). Breakfast was adequate and sufficient, could have eaten more if I'd wanted, service at the table was excellent.
2 nights here were wonderful and will recommend this to others.
possibly need to know the local area or get some good maps to travel around.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BrendanBedford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

The rooms were fine. Reception good, and restaurant looked really nicely set up.

But dinner was steak , really poor bit of steak for a hotel like this pretends to be. Could have bought a steak from a supermarket and cooked it better myself and i'm no expert, don't knwo who cooks the steak there1?

The biggest disappointment by far was the arrangements for breakfast.

On entering the restaurant, bo one about to tell you where to sit. No sign of staff at all a lot of the time at breakfast. So we sit down at a table with cutlery set out, no problem. But it was a problem for people coming in after us as the set up tables all got taken. Then you get asked "two full English is it?" - that appears to be the only choice, unless you count the tiny crossaints or stale cornflakes.

Then you get brought toast and have to ask for butter!! Not just us, but every single person had to ask for butter for their toast!!

Then the orange juice runs out. The coffee runs out. Staff asked for more, but take an age for it to appear. One poor woman left standing where the coffee should be for ten minutes with no sign of fresh stuff coming out - she appeared to just give up and go without in the end.

How difficult can it be to keep juice and tea/coffee readily available- surely everyone wants that with breakfast?

The breakfast when it did appear was fine and well cooked.

A really poor effort for the prcies quoted - fortunately we got a travelzoo bargain so weren't that dissappointed, but if anyone pays the full price they must be appalled.

Amazed that people book weddings here, can only assume that they've never been there, or maybe are fooled by the nice surroundings.

It really is a nice place and has massive potential but not if it continues to be run like it is now.

I wouldn't advise this hotel to anyone, sorry.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jimmythefish88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blazing Donkey Country Hotel

Address: Hay Hill, Ham CT14 0ED, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Ham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Ham
Price Range: $119 - $184 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Blazing Donkey Country Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Blazing Donkey is a 22 bedroom country hotel located near to Sandwich in Kent. The hotel boasts its own restaurant, and has a cosy bar and stunning garden with terrace for guests to enjoy. The hotel is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Richard and Sherry Martin. The accommodation at the hotel is arranged in a courtyard and each of the well appointed en suite rooms enjoy rural views. The rooms have flat screen TVs and baths with showers. Parking for guests is free. The hotel enjoys a very mixed patronage; from leisure break visitors, business travellers, golfers and wedding guests. The hotel is one of Kent's most popular special occasion venues, and with good reason as the facilities are as extensive as the surroundings are beautiful. The hotel's restaurant produces a regularly changing menu inspired mainly from locally sourced produce. Lunch and dinner are served daily. Visitors can also enjoy morning coffees and afternoon cream teas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blazing Donkey Hotel Ham

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