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“A beautiful RUSTIC Hotel”
Review of Blazing Donkey

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Blazing Donkey
Ranked #1 of 1 Ham B&B and Inns
Herne Bay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A beautiful RUSTIC Hotel”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Having read the other reviews I was realy worried about my stay...My mother and I had a lovely night in room 7 with a fantastic view of fields..no other buildings in sight. The staff were very friendly and only too happy to help. The evening meal was faultless and the sticky toffee pudding was the best I had ever had, and believe me, Ive had a few!!
Breakfast was a full english plus plenty of cereal, toast, fruit and yoghurts....certainly much more choice than I personally have at home!
The clue to this review is that it is a RUSTIC Hotel, in the middle of the country side, if you want a comtempory soul-less hotel. then dont stay here!!
If you want a little bit of shabby-chic, country charm, give thie hotel a chance.

Room Tip: Room 7 in the stables, great view, newly refurbished bathroom, parking right out side your door.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Grannyannieabc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (286)
Date | Rating
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English first
england
Level Contributor
50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2013

We stayed for one night whilst attending a wedding. We had a bedroom with a four poster bed which we was told was " A top room" well thats how they describe it but not us. Firstly the bathroom was covered in cobwebs. the tea and coffee facilities in the room only had one mug- we found the other one in the bathroom dirty so clearly the cleaner had not carried out their job correctly! The bedding was stained the bedside lamp was broken and the bedside cabinet door did not close. the carpet was old and also stained. The wedding was marred by the fact that the staff had no interaction with anyone and we couldn't believe our eyes when the staff started dismantling the tables and chairs at just gone 11pm to get ready for another wedding the next day............. The wedding we were attending was still going on. Would we stay again? definately not

Room Tip: Dont bother wasting your money here
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank hubbjay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Gibbs308
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2013

We stayed here in May 13, on a Groupon deal (isn't everyone nowadays?). Having read eRkier reviews we were simewhat apprehensive. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality and size of the accommodation. Lovely big beds ( only down side was the roll together that you get in many places nowadays), and the luxury of both a bath and shower. We were ALS pleased with the breakfast which was much better than earlier reviews had led us to expect. Not a great choice of cereals, but option of yoghurt and croissants as well as cooked breakfast. Altogether a very pleasant and satisfactory experience.

Room Tip: We booked ver early so were lucky enough to get rooms 1and 2 on the end
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gibbs308
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013

Booked 2 night stay from internet site which does not reflect the actual accommodation when faced with it. We were rented to book the a la carte dinner before arrival £45.00 for 2. Not a bad price but don' t expect great things. On arrival the external appearance of the property was very shabby and tired. A coat of paint wouldn't go amiss. Bedrooms dull and no toiletries available, dust along skirting boards, only brown sugar with choice of English breakfast tea or nescafe coffee. A la carte dinner menu - well - eaten in better cafes. The belly of pork was more belly of fat. Breakfast no salt and pepper, only cutlery on the table was for english breakfast, no side knife for toast, only marmalade served and napkins couldn't have been any thinner if they had tried - 1 ply. This place is fine for a nights stop over but we really had to make ourselves stay for the 2nd night. Staff don't really engage with anyone I think they just want to get food served and be away. Perhaps a nice place for a wedding but just don't expect too much with the accommodation. However, it is the small details which people look for and enjoy when they are away from home, it is what makes their stay more pleasant and they will want to come back and recommend to friends. This is not something we will be doing.

Room Tip: Don't expect too much
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sandra G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2013

If you have read a few other reviews of this hotel then you can't fail to have reasonable expectations. So shame on you if you arrive and expect everything to be plush and perfect. I'd done the homework, opted for a 2 night special offer despite some bad reviews, and had a good time. We intended to be out in the locality sightseeing most of the day, so didn't really need or want anything too glamorous. My priorities were clean sheets and hot water, and those were provided. Also a piping hot radiator on which to dry our rain-soaked clothes. So everything else was a bonus. Including a pleasant view of fields and a room that never seemed to get cold even at night.
The manager and staff are very pleasant and seemed on the ball. So it makes me wonder.... if people paying the rather high full price are always disappointed and fail to return, and if those of us on the very inexpensive special offer are happy enough but can't afford to return at full price, isn't there a way to keep everyone content? The owner could spend a little money improving the place, charge a medium price of around £85 a room a night, and then they may have a business. I was baffled by the way it's run, but would definitely go back on another offer. The next place we stayed was a b & b at twice the price, very very nice - but excessively so. Too hot, too contrived, too fussy. I could have stayed another night at the Donkey. Sandwich is a nice relaxing place and the eating places were great!

Room Tip: We had a corner room - Room 7. So very few passers by to disturb us, and only one adjoining room...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeanette C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I got a £99 deal for two nights plus dinner and breakfast. The setting was beautiful and the décor was very rustic. It was a short drive from Sandwich which was also very beautiful.
Hard to understand the porter, but they were friendly (as were all of the staff). Dinner was pretty good. Breakfast was average.
Stayed in room number 2 which was supposed to be a double bed but was in fact two single beds pushed together. One of the mattresses was springy and the side I slept on had a huge dip in the middle. Being a small woman I naturally got stuck in the dip for most of the night! It was without doubt the most uncomfortable bed I have EVER slept in in my life! (even a cheap travel lodge had a better bed!).
The room was very hot but we managed to switch it off and the hot water seemed intermittent. I.e. it worked in the morning but not at night...
The sound from other rooms also travelled. We could hear the TV in neighbouring rooms late into the night and at 6am!
Could have done with a curtain to cover the small window in the door so as not to let the light wake you up at 4am with the dawn chorus.
The bed was the main thing that ruined it for me. I could have overlooked the other things and I would stay again if they got a new one!!!
Everything was clean and bed was made in the morning. I wouldn't agree with the other review that it was dirty.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Emma H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2013

We stayed for three nights paying £99.00 for room and breakfast (The full English was extra £9.50 and I’ll come back to that later). The location is great and first impressions of the property are positive, particularly since we were given an unprompted room upgrade.

Then, sadly, the cracks begin to show and they are all due to a lack of management control.

Outside the property, right by the entrance, is a sign saying the restaurant is open from noon to 3.00pm. It's not and we couldn't even get a sandwich because, so we were told, they had run out of anything suitable due to a wedding at the weekend. Bearing in mind we had arrived on Monday afternoon you have to wonder why they could not have replenished supplies. They did though offer to order us a take away pizza from Domino's in Deal, waiting time approx. 50 minutes, so we settled for that and decided to have a drink in the bar whilst we waited. I asked 3 times for a pint of draught bitter and was given a half pint of very off beer! Apparently both the draught beers were off and the barrels hadn't been changed since the wedding although they knew it needed doing. That knowledge didn't stop them giving me the half pint anyway!

As for our room, as I say it was an unrequested upgrade to a room with pleasant views and a four poster bed and could be great but … the water pressure to the bath and hand held shower was awful. If you want a bath prepare for a long wait. The bathroom is separated from the bedroom by French windows. They look nice but forget privacy. If you want to use the bath, wash basin or even the toilet in private ask your partner to watch the TV because the clear glass in the doors offers no privacy whatsoever and there is no curtain or screen available. In addition one of the handles on the doors kept falling off.

The mirror over the wash basin has two spotlights which would be helpful if they had light bulbs or any means to turn them on. They don’t. There are no bathroom amenities worthy of the name so be sure to take your own

The bedding is basic to put it mildly although the bed itself is very comfortable and the room generally well appointed. It’s just let down by a lack of attention to basic details.

We ate dinner at the hotel that night. It was not memorable but fine, if a little limited – due we were told to the wedding at the weekend!

Next morning we arrived for breakfast to find a very limited supply of pastries and fruit. Jam was supplied in one flavour in a very small pot. They should offer more choice without being prompted.

That night we opted to eat in the restaurant again and once more the choice was limited but the linguini we chose as a main course was tasty and well prepared but the dessert choices were reduced from three to two excluding the cheese. Thankfully the wedding was not blamed on this occasion!

Breakfast the next morning was the real low point. We arrived to find no tables ready and whilst we no particular issues with that, recognising they were busy, we were asked to sit at a table that had just been vacated by other guests. This table was dirty and has crumbs left from the previous diners. Despite that the staff began laying the places for us without, until we asked them, cleaning the table and even then they only swept the crumbs away leaving the sticky marks.

We then found they had run out of pastries and had no fruit available. Undeterred I decided to have a cooked breakfast but didn’t want the full option, just a couple of eggs, beans and tomatoes. Sadly, according to the young lady who served us, that’s not possible. You had to have the full breakfast or nothing! In an attitude redolent of that in Moscow 20 years ago, what the customer wants was not important, there could be no deviation from the menu! That, presumably, was for the convenience of the staff.

Then the coffee arrived in an individual cafetiere. What wasn’t spotted was that it was over filled until, when gently, and I emphasise gently, depressing the plunger hot coffee came out over the table, toast and clothing.

I thought now was the time to speak to the manager, only to be informed that there was no manager on duty “because they didn’t need one”. Really? No comment! The manager I was told would be there later in the day. At that point the young lady, who clearly did not know what to do – not her fault it’s a lack of training – departed for the kitchen leaving the table in a coffee covered mess with no thought being given to replacing the coffee splashed cutlery and crockery let alone address the issue of my spoilt clothing.

Deciding we couldn’t face the limited choice available for dinner in the restaurant we purchased M&S salads and fruit and eat that in the evening whilst we watched England play Ireland. (That’s another story!) I did however ask again to speak to the manager. Surprise, surprise, he wasn’t there. When I asked who was in charge I was told “no one”. Incredible!

I was though given the business card of Mr Cuneyt Dolek the General Manager.

I emailed him saying, “Dear Mr Dolek, I am told you are Manager of the Blazing Donkey Country Hotel and that, in your absence, there is nobody in charge of the property.

“My wife and I have been resident at the property since Monday and have a number of issues with our stay. These culminated in very poor service at breakfast this morning. We were told you would be in later in the day but that appears not to be the case.

“My wife and I will be checking out tomorrow morning and it would be nice to have the opportunity of discussing the negative aspects of our three night stay with you before we do so.”

I received the following email reply, “Thank you very much for your email, I am afraid I will not be at the Blazing Donkey this (Thursday) morning, I am sorry that you had a poor service yesterday at breakfast, I will be speaking to the member of staff and I will make sure this will be dealt with.
Once again thank you very much for bringing to my attention.”

To that I replied, “Without speaking to me you cannot possibly know the issues to which I referred in my email.

“For example, to whom should I send the dry cleaning bill?”

Mr Dolek still decided that calling an upset customer was neither necessary nor important and replied by email again saying “I was not aware of any dry cleaning bill, if you let me know the cost I am more than happy to pay for it, if we spilt (sic) anything on your clothing.”

In reply I commented that I was sorry he was “not able to make the time to speak to me about our concerns.” That failure however seems to me to sum up the problems with the property qnd of course he didn’t, and hasn’t, sought to follow up on our concerns.

There appears to be a total lack of management control, through disinterest on their part, at the Blazing Donkey and that is unfair on the staff members that are there and, more importantly, risks short changing their paying guests.

If we had paid the full published rate we would have been extremely upset and probably moved to seek compensation. As it is we are just sad that a property that promised so much at first glance should fall so short on closer, personal experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PDRUnitedKingdom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blazing Donkey

Property: Blazing Donkey
Address: Hay Hill | Sandwich, 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Blazing Donkey 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 ownrestaurant, 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 roomsenjoy rural views. The rooms have flat screen TV's and baths with showers. Parking for guests is free.The hotel enjoys a very mixed patronage; from leisure break visitors, business travellersGolfers and wedding guests. The hotel is one of Kent's most popular special occasionvenues, 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 is 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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