Missbrowneyedgirl wrote the other review on this hotel, and from way-back when I was writing reviews all of the time I have her listed as a friend whose new reviews get notified to my inbox. She's written an in-depth review of this place which goes against what I will be saying, and so following me reading hers the tone of my review has been softened. All swearing has been removed and I will try to keep it as neutral as I can. But that's difficult following my adventure, and if anything the experience I had has driven me back here to DooYoo.
I booked a hotel room at the beginning of October to stay at the Mollington Banastre on 1st December to tie in with a large function I was attending. This Christmas fuction is a huge annual event and is worth about £7k for the function itself, and with a further £5k on raffle prizes it isn't you normal low-key Xmas-do. I booked the room over the phone, choosing a double room and then also decided to upgrade to a Double Deluxe when informed of the very reasonable price difference. In anticipation, I arranged to finish work early on the Saturday and myself and my partner arrived at the hotel at 2pm to book in, and to take advantage of the wide range of spa facilities on offer.
When I got to the room I discovered I had been given a standard twin and returned to reception to have the room changed to what I had ordered. Perhaps they did not like the idea of me and my girlfriend living in sin while under their roof a la Fawlty Towers. I was then left in reception for two hours.
The upgraded room I had ordered almost two months previously had been given to someone else, who had not ordered it, and they needed to move him out before I could move in. This never happened. Instead I was put into a standard double room, as someone had luckily cancelled. The original twin room I had been given was very quickly taken up by someone else and due to this period of time sitting waiting in reception, it also meant that we could not use the spa and leisure club, which was why we had travelled to Chester so early. Not a good start to the weekend.
I realise that the hotel was very busy on Saturday night, due to the function we were holding there. However, having booked a Double Deluxe room almost two months in advance I would have thought that this would be enough time and advance notice to ensure that it can go ahead. Although room bookings were the responsibility of the individuals attending the function, the organiser of the whole event had been contacting the hotel at least weekly and getting confirmation from them that the correct rooms had been ordered. On the paperwork the Mollington Banastre returned to him I was indeed listed as having booked a Double Deluxe allocated to myself.
The bar staff were friendly though not exactly capable of customer service. It may be that due to the size of the party we were having they had brought in additional untrained staff to cope. Whatever the reason, waiting at the bar for pre-dinner drinks turned into a momentus occasion. More senior bar members bullied newer members out of the way to use the till
The food was considerably average. I have since been told that we paid £38 per person for the food, which I struggle to believe based on the low standards. The portions were child-sized, the stuffing with the turkey was un-cooked, gravy was no-where to be seen, and one person commented that they had never had Xmas pudding with creamed rice before.
"No, that's not creamed rice love, the custard really is that lumpy."
We had also pre-arranged that we did not have to book out of the room until 2pm. At 10am the cleaner attempted to come into the room. And then again at 11am. At 12pm we got a phone call from reception asking us if we intended to book out.
All in all the event was very well organised, though the choice of hotel ruined it all. It may be suitable for a weekend retreat (if you make sure uit's not too busy beforehand) though they struggle to cope when large parties arrive. Especially if those large parties are used to much higher standards of service...
Hello again! It's nice to see you all, but I must admit it's nothing compared to my fancy weekend at the Mollington Banastre! Let me tell you... AS some of you may have gathered from my last review, I have been spending a lot of time entering competitions of late, as opposed to writing reviews, and it has turned out to be a particulalry profitable hobby, but enough of that. All I really want to tell you is that my weekend of luxury at the Mollington Banastre was indeed a prize. So, on Friday 12th August, mrblueeyedboyfriend and I loaded the car and headed for Chester. Firstly I must praise the map and directions provided on the Arcadian Hotels website (http://www.arcadianhotels.co.uk/mollington-banastre/). There was also information available from the hotel's own website at the time but that since seems to have disappeared. The only criticism I would have of the website is the picture of the hotel, which is actually a rear view and incredibly looks very different from the square brick front which greets you as you pull into the car park. The car park is quite small but had enough room for us and probably a few more, and parking is free to hotel guests. The hotel is only 2 miles from Chester, although there is nothing around the hotel itself at all (apart form a hotel run bar in the front car park) and it resides on a busy national speed limit road so walking wouldn't be much fun. It does however have beautiful grounds to the rear of the hotel and apparently welcomes pets (although I'm sure mrsgreeneyedcat wouldn't have liked the journey!). Reception is immediately to the right as you walk in the front doors and we were checked in promptly and efficiently by their friendly staff. We were able to order morning newspapers to be delivered to our room, book a table for our evening meal (just a formality as far as I could see) and request a wake-up call for the morning. The also sell discounted
tickets for local attractions at the reception desk so we were able to save £2 each off the entrance fee for Chester Zoo as well as guaranteeing priority entry without queuing - well worth doing! Our room was incredibly chintzy but in a homely sort of way. It wasn't huge but had a lovely double bed, bedside tables, a dressing table and a wardrobe (hangers included). We also had a private bathroom which was spotlessly clean, tastefully decorated in white and gold tiles and full size Molton Brown shampoo, shower gel and hand cream! There was also a polite notice asking you not to steal them before you get any ideas, but you can buy them for £9.50 each from the reception. Also we were left a lovely big fluffy white dressing gown each next to the bed, which were massive but ever so soft! We were provided with all the standard hotel room bits and bobs such as tea, coffee, mineral water, biscuits, soap, shower cap etc. although somewhat surprisingly there was no toothpaste. Luckily mrblueeyedboyfriend has sensitive little pegs so had packed his own! Our room looked out over the gardens to the rear of the hotel through a giant floor to ceiling window. However, there were no nets so if you wanted to get changed you needed to draw the curtains for privacy which were think and lined and immediately plunged the room into complete darkness! Next we decided to check out the complimentary health club and the gym in particular. To gain access you fill out a short form at the gym reception then you are given your hotel towel and free use of the facilities. The health club has a small pool with Jacuzzi then there are saunas accessible through the changing rooms - mixed or not, you choose! the gym is fully air conditioned and well spaced out with plenty more equipment than it needed for the few people in there! It had a full range of anaerobic equipment, weight training machines and free weights, plus a matted area for stretching. The
machines themselves are probably around 4 years old but are well maintained and in good condition. There are also TVs you can watch whilst exercising if that's your kind of thing! After an hour or so in the gym we had managed to work up an appetite so next stop (after a shower and change) was the Garden Room restaurant. The restaurant as it's name suggests looks out over the beautiful rear gardens and is quite formal in dress and etiquette. Guests wait in the hotel bar until their table is ready and to pass the time are served the most exquisite canapés and the equally fantastic menu! The menu is split into two parts: firstly there is the set menu which changes daily and offers you a choice of 3/4 meals for starter, main and desert. The cost of this menu is included in the price of your stay but you can offset this value against the A La Carte menu which truly has to be seen to be believed! We ordered our meals from the bar and after a short wait, the maitre d' showed us to our table and immediately served us out starters, which in my case were the two biggest prawns you have ever seen in your life! Everything we ate over the whole weekend honestly tasted like heaven. I like to think I'm a bit of a fancy cook but I had never tasted flavours so delicate and intense at the same time. Even breakfast was a joy! You could order particular items from a menu such as kippers or pancakes and also has use of the breakfast buffet which offered all the cereals you could imagine, every type of fruit juice you could image, croissants, bread rolls, European cold meats, cheese and as if that wasn't enough a full English breakfast! There was a wedding at the hotel on the Saturday which was fun to watch but unfortunately the evening meals had suffered slightly in quality. However, they were still fantastic, just not as mind blowing as the previous evening. Overall I loved my stay at the Mollington Banastre and
I would definitely go back there. I wouldn't say it was fantastic value but if it's relaxing luxury you are looking for you can't go far wrong here.