Attention to detail proved to be a bit of a double edged sword in a two night mid week stay at Doxford Hall. While the staff were extremely pleasant and there were sparks of brilliance especially as far as the evening meals were concerned there were things that niggled and let it down.
Let's start with the good things because after all that's why we would go back.
1 The hotel is set in pleasant grounds and the ambience created on a sunny day was extremely pleasant.
2 It would be hard to imagine that parking would ever be a problem.
3 The staff were very friendly and generally very helpful.
4 The hotel was mid week quiet with numerous rooms for sitting and relaxing.
4 Our room was very handy for the pool.
5 The bed was very comfortable but....
6 Dinner in the restaurant was exceptionally good and the highlight of the stay. The staff were attentive but not overbearing and the presentation of dishes delighted the eye as well as the taste buds! The rabbit confit with sauteed rabbit and prawns and accompanied by a mussel paella was an incredibly imaginative and tasty starter as was the sweet corn and roasted garlic soup which was pure ambrosia. The slow roasted belly pork was to die for....
7 The French wines on the list were some of the least expensive which was great for us as lovers of French wine.
8 One of the perennial problems with hotels, even the most expensive, is the inability to provide fresh and decently strong coffee at breakfast time. Not so at Doxford Hall. Ask for fresh, strong coffee and you'll get it. Neither does it come with that second hand me down aroma all too frequently associated. Ask for soya milk on day one and if they don't have it you'll get it on day two, warmed as well!
On the down side:
1 The room was almost as hot and humid as the steam room downstairs at the pool, well, almost. Not everyone would agree with me but I consider 27.5 degrees too hot to get a good night sleep especially when the bathroom extractor fan does not work and the window only opens 6 inches. That was night one but after reporting this to reception in the morning,sadly it was also the case on night two as well....
2 The self closing mechanism on the fire door outside our room was faulty and each time the door closed it made a metallic banging sound - day and night. Reported but not sorted.
3 Though the hotel did not look especially busy the restaurant was fully booked for 8.00pm on the second night so we asked reception for 'Lounge Service' in the library and this was relayed to the dining room. Over half an hour later no one had come to take our order. Apologies back in reception - the dining room had forgotten. Would we like to go back as someone would come this time. Very hungry by this point and equally concerned that both restaurant and 'Lounge Service' stopping at 9.00 we were reluctant to return and start waiting for another half hour. By this time it was gone 8.30 and suddenly two seats were available in the dining room if we wished.
4 When we arrived at the hotel we noticed a windowsill outside the library with at least 40 dead flies on it - really! Ten hours later they were still there as was an empty bottle of wine and two glasses on one of the tables.
5 The choice of music in the dining room was more suited to a crematorium than an AA 4 Star hotel.
6 Breakfast on the first day, no butter. Breakfast on the second day, no salt or pepper.
7 Why go to the bother of making potentially good coffee and then pressing down the plunger of the cafetiere before it's had the chance to brew.
What's the guy like you might be asking? I would respond by saying that it is indeed all in the detail. More importantly it's a staff management issue. In two days and nights we never saw anyone we would thought would be a manager. We have stayed in much larger establishments and been aware of managers doing what managers do in the background. Doxford Hall is not a large hotel and all of these niggles would be picked up by an attentive management.
Overall four stars out of five for an AA Four star hotel.
Make sure the extractor fan works in your bathroom and that you can adjust the heating if you wish t...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
16 August 2012
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I am really sorry that an otherwise enjoyable stay with us was marred for you by a few niggles.
However, I am very grateful for the most constructive feedback and we will try and do better for you next time.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC