A pamper day nightmare-go somewhere else instead.
I booked a delux pamper day for my mum and myself (total cost £320) to include 3 1/2 hours of treatments each. We were advised to arrive at 9am to be shown around and that we would be on our way at about 4pm.
Treatment times were unbelievable.. mum was 10 to 11 then nothing until quarter to 4. My first treatment was12 til 1 then again nothing until quarter to 4. All the remaining treatment had been crammed in a 2 hour slot at the end of the day (after the staff had given treatments to the shorter less expensive packages for the day).
I pointed out that this was ridiculous as what was my mum going to do for nearly 5 hours at the spa? There is only so much time you can spend in a pool and sauna! I rang spa seekers who agreed that the times were not good but the manager of the spa said that therapists had been brought in especially for us and that if we did not follow the treatment times then we would simply lose them. Charming! I could not believe I was being spoken to like that by the spa receptionist! In the end, as we could not stay there until 6pm, we have had to postpone the last treatment for another time which is not easy as I live in Munich in Germany.
In addition we were told that half an hour was being chopped as the facial included a back rub and so did the body massage... they advised it was dangerous to be massaged twice! As a physiotherapist I have never heard such rubbish. In actual fact, the facial did not include any massage of the neck or back and only lasted 45 mins. Both my mum and I were also left for 10 minutes before our body scrub to take of a robe! How long do they think this takes? Then after a quick rub we were both allocated 15 minutes for a shower. Trust me, the body scrub is a total waste of time.
I have written to complain both to the hotel and to Decleor about the spa pamper day and the quality of the treatments. I totally regret spending £320 there, clearly they have no idea how to cater for people spending cash.
Mutton dressed as lamb!
I stay at this hotel every week, and I have to say that that the standards and service are highly variable. The management at The Dunkenhalgh have deluded themselves that they are running an exclusive property, but this far from being the case...
If you are lucky enough to be in one of the newer "executive wing" rooms, you will be comfortable enough, however even these rooms are nothing special. Although larger than average, these sparsely furnished new rooms are a long outside walk from the reception, and do not appear to have any additional facilities over and above the regular rooms, apart from a separate shower cubicle and a duvet.
The regular rooms themselves are a bit of lottery, depending whereabouts in the rambling building you are located. Some of these rooms have recently been renovated with the same bland decor as the "Executive" rooms, however the vast majority are tired, oddly shaped and poorly maintained. Last week I had the misfortune of staying in a room above the health club that had a decidedly "Blackpool Guest House" feeling: Stained Ceilings, Dusty Pink Shag-Pile Carpets, Mouldy Tiles and Broken Furniture. To make matters worse, the room was filthy, and there was even a pubic hair in the toothbrush glass! Other standard rooms that I have occupied in the past have suffered from the same poor levels of housekeeping, and a couple of the rooms in the main building are small enough to make you feel like you are sleeping in a corridor.
The food and beverage service at this hotel leaves a lot to be desired. The Bar Snack and Room Service Menus are expensive and very limited (burgers, sandwiches and salads). I have ordered room service at this hotel on 4 occasions, and each time something has gone wrong (items missing, incorrect charges, long delays). Recently the hotel has taken to asking guests to produce their room cards when signing for Room Service purchases, which is simply bizarre.
The hotel's Cameo Restaurant offers an expensive Table d'hôte menu in the evening, which offers poor value for money with limited options, small portions and indifferent service. In keeping with the theme of this hotel aspiring to be something that it is not, they weirdly bring a bread trolley round with 3 or four choices and inexpertly carve it in front of you: this is simply strange. Breakfast in the Cameo Restaurant is a disorganised affair with frequent understating and a long wait for tea/coffee and toast to be served (they do not set coffee cups on the table for fear that people would help themselves without paying).
There are often weddings, parties and other functions running at this hotel (including local boxing tournaments) which means that it is often a struggle to find parking, and you are likely to have to mix with intoxicated local punters as you try to find your room (to get to many of the rooms you actually have to go through the banqueting area!).
Spending time in the hotel, you often get the impression that most of the staff really do not care. The only exception to this is front of house where there are 2 or 3 very helpful female receptionists who genuinely seem embarrassed about the service offered. To add insult to injury, Macdonald Hotels insist on levying a £2 credit card charge when you settle your bill which often leads to a delayed checkout process.
We Loved It ! executive break for a budjet price ......................
myself and my 2 cousins wanted a quick break away from Liverpools hustle and bustle - we required a little bit of luxury , great food and if possible spa facilitys and what a great place we found ...
the Macdonald Dunkenhalgh ticked all the box's.
Firstly the deal cost £160- that was for a 1 night stay in an executive family 4 room , with 3 course a la carte dinner , breakfast. and use of the spa . That worked out at £53 per person - the deal was booked on the macdonald hotels website and was worth every penny.
Firstly the hotel on arrival is pretty impressive . A stately looking castle in beautifull grounds . The reception was pleasent enough - period furnishings and the staff where very friendly . My only concerns are that it was too small an area for a hotel off the Dunkenhalgh size - this proved to be correct as on check out there was a very large que that spilled out into the hallway.
Once checked in we had quite a walk to our room in the executive wing - the walk went through a maze of corridors and a balustrade that was roofed but open to the elements - quite dark and spooky in the night time ! Once we arrived at the room we were very impressed with its quality - so i guess its well worth upgrading to executive standars . we where in room 508 it was absolutly huge ! we had a kingsize bed , 2 very large singls . The furnishings where very luxurious and the bathroom was superb . the room had easy chairs and a table , large television , coffee and tea making facilitys and complimentary bottles of water . let me say that the tea / coffee supplies where excellent - luxury teas, hot chocalate, shortbread etc - all in lovely caddys .We only had 2 fluffy bathrobes in the wardrobe but before we could phone down to reception a knock came on the door andit was a maid with an extra robe . The room was spotlessly clean and the power shower was the best i've ever been in - toiletrys were very luxurious . we realised that there was also a 4th bed that pulled out from underneath the double bed and belive me even with that bed put up the room still would have been huge !
We went imediatly to the swimming pool and spa - being a saturday it was reasonably busy - its also a health club and has lots of local members - they couldnt fit us in for any beauty treatments as everything was fully booked - so i gather its best to book prior to arrival . the pool was lovely - however it was a bit cold - they had engineers try to fix the thermostat the day we arrived but they didnt have the right parts . apparently its normally really warm and a pleasant swim . it was'nt too cold we where in it for over 20 mins just not as comfortable as we would have liked . The spa was fab - 2 steam saunas - one with aromatheray oils - 2 dry heat saunas - one biotherm and a laconium room - plus ice fountain and amazing scented showers that lit up and played music - we had a fab time in there and yes being a saturday it was quite busy but all the saunas where very big .
The evening meal was FANTASTIC some of the best food i've had in years . the resteraunt was superb - beautifully decorated , lots of ambience and very courteaus staff . they where very attentive but in no way overpowering .We had the meal included in our room price which was excellent value as its usually £27.50 a head . to be honest even if i had to pay the £27.50 i wud have to say that it was excellent value . The menu had 6 choices for starter , main and dessert . i went for smoked salmon starter - FANTASTIC ., then lamb for main - INCREDIBLE followed by chocalte and brandy tart - GORGEUS . This was one of the best meals i have ever had in a hotel in my life ! We ordered a bottle of white wine £18 and ad a jug of iced water - my 2 companions loved it .
we then went into the bar which was very cosy but i think a little to small for the hotels size . i had a lovely milky coffee , served in a tall glass with free chocalates . The bar was pricey but thats not unusual in hotels like this . We had purchased some champagne before arrival and just ordered some ice to be bought up to the room . 5 mins and there was a knock on the door . very prompt.
The beds where that comfy my cousin had to practically peel me off the mattress in time to get up for breakfast . The breakfast was in the resteraunt and we arrived with 5 mins to spare - staff were very attentive but looked a little frazzled - i think they had - had a very busy morning . there where a few untidy tables and uncleared dish's but hey the food was once again great . i had a full english , freshly squeezed orange juice , cafitiere of coffee and toast and marmalade . excellent and it would have cost us £15.50 if we had'nt included it in our room tariff .
Checkout was hectic due to the que's at reception ( one of the small reasons i didnt give the hotel a 5 rating , cold pool and bit messy breakfast room are the others ) we where asked did we want to use the spa facilitys aftyer checkout - the receptionist just gives you back your room card as entry - we couldnt as we hadnt dried our cozzys from the night before ! damn ! we wud have loved another session in there .
All in all we had a fantastic stay - and for £53 a person for everything we got a bargain . I have no doubt when theres a wedding or function that this hotel could get really busy and standards might slip a bit but that happens everywhere . plus from what we heard if your staying for a wedding its usually the poorer graded rooms - ie standard rooms that most people pick - Truthfully i would go back just for the food ........ oh and the executive family 4 rooms are very suitable for kids as is the pool but kids under 12 arnt allowed in the spa .
it was an absolute bargain and very relaxing ........................try it and see but go executive ! we did !
We booked this hotel via Tesco clubcard promotion and travelled there on a rainy sunday afternoon. The staff couldn't have been more friendly or helpful. The room was very pleasant although there was a bit of a walk from the reception which passed through the grounds.
The restaurant was excellent and the staff superb, the only cricism we had was the poached egg was overcooked on the starter my partner ordered at dinner and also with his breakfast.
I would certainly recommend this hotel and would definitely return.
Excellent in every way
I have just stayed at this hotel for the first time.
We attended a ball at the hotel & then stayed over. Everything was absolutely first class. We were able to check in at 12 noon, even though we hadn't requested an early check in. Our room was in the courtyard & was beautifully decorated in modern contemporary, yet stylish decor. We had our own front door onto the courtyard which was lovely with it's own fountain area. The bathroom was huge & spotlessly clean. The leisure club is the best I've seen anywhere in Europe & had an entirely separate area devoted to steam/sauna experiences with 6 rooms, 3 showers (even a fragranced one) a fountain & drinking water.
The staff were all lovely. The food at the ball was excellent & piping hot to say there were 200 or so people there. They allocated us a special room for breakfast too (the portrait room - gorgeous!). I can't speak highly enough of this hotel & the price is extremely competitive too (we paid £80 for the twin room inc b/fast as it was discounted because of the ball, but the web price is still only £90 & breakfast which is wel worth it for what you get).
It's only 10 miles from where I live but I'll definately go again for a relaxing night away with husband or friends. Fanstatic & well done to the Dunkenhalgh.
The Bobbin from the street
Walk into Town