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All reviews afternoon tea wine cellar royden park wedding venue amazing building front of house special occasion lovely setting bridal suite jacuzzi bath five star hotel main hall whole evening following morning lovely afternoon beautiful house wedding reception
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Reviewed 5 June 2018 via mobile

Frequently visit Royden Park to walk my dog and me and my wife thought this time we would stop by the hotel for a coffee. When we arrived there was no staff members to be seen, the hotel felt derelict - 5 minutes later a pleasant girl sat us in the bar area and told us someone would be over to take our drinks orders. Another 10 minutes later we eventually ordered our coffees, then another 10 mins after that they arrived - considering how quiet the hotel seemed I don’t understand what took so long. After we finished our drinks we had a little wander around the hotel, i was shocked to hear a loud mans bellowing voice coming from the kitchen I assume, sounding like he was shouting at other staff members using vile language, I had never heard anything like it before, it completely spoilt the quiet and tranquil atmosphere of the hotel and was disgusting to hear - I just hope the poor staff members were okay!! The hotel grounds themselves are lovely but some parts of the hotel are dated and I feel could do with some decoration, the carpets are old and look dirty - the whole hotel lacked atmosphere. Not 5* standard and won’t be returning.

Date of stay: May 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
9  Thank Pott3r76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Contessa_Manager, Hotel Operations Manager at Hillbark, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2018

Dear Pott3r76,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review about your recent experience at Hillbark.

I have investigated the incident you have mentioned and can assure you that it is being dealt with by myself.
Unfortunately certain members of my team had a disagreement and expressed their feelings while in the work environment.

I apologise that you witnessed this incident and hope that you will give us the opportunity in the future to restore your faith in us.

Kind regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2018

We stayed at the hotel for four nights as part of a wedding party. The hotel has lovely architectural features and is set in the middle of a lovely park with wonderful walking trails. Walking through the park, flowers cascading on each side, birds chirping merrily and water glinting in the lake, it could easily be an earthly paradise. The staff is very pleasant but not trained to 5-star standards. Meal service can be slow and they may forget to give you the salt and pepper. Rooms are well-maintained but there may be a small spider coming in from the country through the bathtub. Overall though a very pleasant and beautiful location for a relaxing stay but expect a nice country house feel rather than 5-star promptness.

Date of stay: May 2018
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank Monica88_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Contessa_Manager, Hotel Operations Manager at Hillbark, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2018

Dear Monica88_10,

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us at Hillbark.

We pride ourselves on our 5 Star service and are currently training new staff members.
I apologise that you did not find the service you received to a 5 star level but can assure you that my Managers are continuing to train our new comers to a high standard.

We hope to welcome you again to Hillbark.

Kind regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2018

Very disappointed. We were looking for a romantic night away, our first without children in almost 10 years and after finding out about Hillbark & a lengthy conversation with Holly, we decided Hillbark was the place for us, 'a small luxury 5 star hotel' set in lovely gardens. One of the things that sold it to us, amongst others, was the little restaurant in the wine cellar. Having been in the wine trade for many years, this sold it to me, as well as a romantic night away, we wanted a nice intimate, romantic dinner for 2. When I booked our dinner reservation at the time of our hotel booking, I confirmed with Holly that this was definitely in the wine cellar, which she confirmed yes. She also said there would be a 90th birthday party upstairs, but we were definitely downstairs. We were so looking forward to our first night away together and thought after all the research I'd done, had picked the perfect place for us. When we first met, we lived on the Wirral and having moved about the last 20 years or so, now live just outside Chester, so coming back to the Wirral all seemed a great choice. At the time of booking we decided to treat ourselves and upgraded to the bridal suite, why not, this was a special treat. We arrived late morning and hadn't expected our room to be ready and it wasn't, not a problem we left our things and were told that they would be taken to our room once it was ready, We also asked for an ice bucket as we'd packed ourselves a lovely bottle of champagne to have when we returned.They asked what time we'd be back as obviously didn't want all the ice to melt. Great! We went off to Liverpool where my husband had booked me in to have my make up done as a treat and came back just after 6pm. Walking up the stairs, I asked for a champagne bucket (just in case they hadn't) and was told 'already taken care of'. Perfect! The room was lovely, a 4 poster and plenty of room, couple of sofas and overlooking lovely gardens. Lovely. The champagne bucket was there, but no glasses, which the lovely chap noticed straight away, apologised and said he'd be back. We also asked if he'd mind bringing a couple of gin glasses, as we sometimes like a gin and tonic. When he returned, he brought a couple of cocktail glasses, as this '5 star' hotel did not have any gin glasses. Then he had noticed they were both filthy so disappeared again to get clean ones! As I went to open our Champgane, the Champagane flutes we had been given were filthy too, so once he came back, he went off to change those with an apology. 5 star? Really?? Eventually after a good 20 minutes of faffing around getting our glasses, we opened our Champagne. We just wanted to relax and not rush, as we do every day in our lives as parents, like zillions of other people. We'd been told on the phone by Holly there was a resident pianist which we were really looking forward to hearing as well. When we came down, I was bemused to see the pianist tucked in a little narrow corridor. When we sat in the bar, the barman heard me say to my husband, what a shame we couldn't hear him, because the music playing in the bar was louder, so the barman immediately turned the music down so we could hear. We were told our table was ready, so got up and was shown into a big room with full bright lighting with lots of other people including a long table which looked like a family party - to the left of us - this was not the intimate romantic dinner that we had planned, nor was it in the wine cellar that Holly had assured me...when we had breakfast the next day, this was the same room. Disappointed is an understatement. No low lighting, it was horrible, no ambience, no piano, sometimes we struggled to hear each other speak..What a total let down. I don't know whether the hotel is being run on a shoestring, but I started to get that impression, as then we waited a long time for our starters which were cold -why so long? We were not impressed either, I ordered the peppers, assuming they would be warm, just cold strips of peppers that had been cooked in oil on a plate, didn't even look appetizing. Husband had the beetroot. Our red wine that I ordered was cold and was told this was because it's kept in the wine cellar and would warm up when decanted before our mains arrived. The reason we were in the awful dining room with bright lighting and no atmosphere was because the piano had broken 2 days before and that was why everyone was upstairs. Firstly, I should have had a phone call when this happened to be given the option, as dinner in the wine cellar was one of the main reasons me booked this hotel, as this was a special night for us. I'd have rather have been in the wine cellar dining with no piano, than in the awful dining room packed in like sardines. We had no phone call and were never given any options. We then waited an age for our main course which was chateaubriand. We thought it was never going to come. It was ok, not the best we've ever had, it should have been for the time it took to arrive. We didn't even bother asking for dessert, we'd had enough, it was way after 11pm, goodness knows what time it would have been for that to arrive and it was far too late for us to be eating anyway, it felt uncomfortable. We had a jacuzzi bath in our room which I was really looking forward to relaxing in. It didn't work!!! And finding somebody else's hairclip and the end of a mascara brush wasn't what I'd expect of a 5 star hotel either. Breakfast took almost an hour to arrive the following morning, despite there being 1 other table of 2 and 1 man at another and very average. All in all, I am extremely disappointed and unhappy. This was supposed to have been a really special night away for the two of us and at just over £300 for the night, expected alot better. We'd have been better off staying at home and going into Chester for a nice dinner. Not the luxury 5 star experience that was promised or that I was so looking forward to.

Date of stay: April 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
12  Thank ChrissieCav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Contessa_Manager, Hotel Operations Manager at Hillbark, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2018

Dear ChrissieCav,

Thank you for taking the time to review Hillbark and publish your views on the Hotel and service you received.

From our email and phone conversations I was able to apologise for the service you received and give you thorough explanation for our errors.

You were given a number of compensatory offers to help restore your faith in us and one of the offers was acceptable to you and has been issued and completed in full by ourselves.

I hope that you return to Hillbark and allow for us to prove our high standards to you.

Kind regards

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Reviewed 20 April 2018

This is a review only of the restaurant. Along with some friends,I had a leisurely lunch from the Riviera menu. The overall experience was mixed. First, the good bits: the welcome was warm and genuine and the pre-lunch drinks in the bar very enjoyable. The quality of the food was also very good, except for the pasta dish which was a mush of tinned tuna and tomatoes on a bed of pasta. Not up to the excellent standard of all the other main courses ordered. The desserts were delicious . The ambience and setting was delightful and the dining room airy and with lovely views of the grounds..There were, however, a few things that jarred. On being seated at the table we were invited to eat a raw tomato, adding oil/lemon/salt/pepper to taste.( Very odd! )If you want to give diners a pre-starter amuse bouche, then present it as such, rather than placing a few tomatoes on the table and inviting diners to enjoy them . The starters were delicious and presented tapas style to share.which was fine. Then the main courses were served, sporadically., but deliberately,with a few minutes gap between them. We didn't feel this presentation worked and to be frank it seemed a bit of an affectation. The only other feature, which I note other reviewers have also commented on , is the dress code of the serving staff. Our host and waiter was very pleasant and helpful, but his velvet dinner jacket, dress shirt and bow tie did absolutely NOT go with the scruffy casual chinos and trainers he was also wearing. Trust me, this is not a good look,and doesn't complement the classy and professional image of the establishment.

Date of stay: April 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Vanguard12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Contessa_Manager, Guest Relations Manager at Hillbark, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2018

Dear Vanguard12

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback. We'll be sure to discuss all your points with the team. We are glad that on the whole, you did enjoy your lunch and we look forward to welcoming you back to Hillbark in the future.

Kind regards

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Reviewed 20 April 2018

A lovely birthday gift - the Mr & Mrs package with massage and facial. Sadly, lunch a disappointment - an hour and a half to serve up what are effectively cold cuts (bread, ham, tomato). With a school run to get to, the slow service was frustrating despite having flagged we'd been waiting. Suspect the hotel is creating a relaxed ambient approach but probably best to know your customer. Almost laughed at the 'we'll look at the reasons behind your wait' - quite an easy one I'd have thought. Shame.

Date of stay: April 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank tiredparents2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Contessa_Manager, Guest Relations Manager at Hillbark, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2018

Dear tiredparents2015

I'm glad that you enjoyed your spa treatments. We apologise that your experience on this occasion may have been not our usual high standard. The light lunch that is included in the Spa package is indeed designed to be a relaxed experience. I'm sorry that the team didn't realise your need for brevity. We look forward to welcoming you back to Hillbark in the future.

Kind regards

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