Hilton Garden Inn, Doncaster Racecourse
Graham Clark, Features Writer
If you really want to see how a newly opened hotel operates when it is nearly full to the brim, then there would be no better time to visit the swish Hilton Garden Inn at Doncaster Racecourse than on a busy race meeting day.
Did they fall at the first fence or did they complete the course and reach the finishing line? Read on to find out.
There is a trend at the moment to open hotels alongside sporting venues: there are other Hilton Garden Inns at Lancashire County Cricket Ground at Old Trafford and the Stadium of Light in Sunderland. Now Yorkshire can boast a fine addition to the Hilton Garden Inn portfolio.
Everyone seemed to check in at the same time. My heart sank when I saw at least 10 other guests in the queue waiting to register, but with two receptionists on duty the line soon went down and within 15 minutes we were given our room key card.
A good idea to ease impatient customers in the queue on days like this would be for someone to walk down the line and offer them a small glass of juice or water - I have seen it done in practice many times, it doesn't cost much but in terms of goodwill it creates a good first impression.
Our King Room came with a splendid view of the Racecourse but not all rooms face the Racecourse.
Decorated in a neutral colour scheme it had all the amenities the modern traveller expects these days. The Suite Dreams by Serta bed aided a good night's sleep, good range of pillows, the 32 inch TV came with all the regular channels, the free Wi Fi was fast, plenty of plug in points and USB ports, good writing desk with an ergonomic chair which was the right height for the desk, free mini safe, tea and coffee making facilities (but no biscuits) and a mini fridge. Apparently if you are a Hilton Honours member you receive complimentary bottles of still and sparkling water.
The air conditioning worked well but could be a little noisy at times.
The bathroom had a good range of quality toiletries, but I was surprised to find a power shower and not a rain shower which are fitted in most new hotels. The water pressure in the shower was low, but then we were on the 6th floor, and it could also have something to do with it being an eco shower.
The breakfast is buffet style with hot and cold options. The cook the morning we ate worked her socks off as other members of the team were off sick. Some items such as black pudding, grilled tomatoes etc have to be specially ordered - there is a card on each table informing you of this, but it could be easily missed.
The cooked breakfast was hot and one of the best we have eaten this year, despite the over stretched cook! Children with a sweet tooth will like the waffle maker. The coffee came out of big urns though a more substantial coffee could be ordered for a supplement.
There is a small fitness room too which seemed to be little used during our stay. It might not meet the needs of everyone, but for the basic equipment it was fine.
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With Yorkshire Wildlife Park being 5 minutes down the road from the hotel and Robin Hood Airport 12 minutes away (it is as I timed it) the hotel is not just for racegoers.
The place feels new and fresh and all the staff I liaised with seemed to be pleased to be there.
Definitely in the Winners Enclosure in terms of service, comfort, good Yorkshire hospitality and value with rooms starting from £59.00 (breakfast is extra at £10.00 if booked in advance).
A very enjoyable stay.
Hilton Garden Inn, Doncaster Racecourse, Leger Way, Doncaster DN2 6BB
Telephone 01302 986888
Hilton Garden Inn, Doncaster Racecourse, 1st January 2019, 14:53 PM