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We love a hotel stay, so we were happy to visit the Doubletree at Hilton Forest Pines hotel just outside Scunthorpe for a review. Scunthorpe wouldn’t usually a destination of choice, but we combined it with going on to meet up with my best friend and stay at her parents for a couple of days. Forest Pines is a golf and spa hotel complete with golf course and leisure facilities.
The hotel is really easy to find, just after a roundabout, set back from the road. There’s plenty of parking but you do need to remember to put your registration number into the tablets at reception to avoid getting a parking fine.
We were tired on arrival having had the journey from hell, but were welcomed warmly when we checked in. We didn’t have time to swim before dinner, as we only had 30 minutes before our 6.30 dinner reservation in the main Grill Restaurant. You can also eat in the lounge bar which is handy if you want to eat earlier with children.
Our room at Forest Pines
Our room was a good size, with a real treat of 2 double beds which were nice and firm. If you take a lot of electronics, you’re in luck – we counted 14 plug sockets! The usual tea and coffee tray were available as well as a fridge for any food or drink storage. We scoffed some of our warm cookie having had a long drive, unfortunately there was no hot chocolate on the tray.
As soon as I get in hotel rooms I have to check out the hotel information. I couldn’t find any information about the pool or opening times which was a bit annoying. It would have been good to include this in the information file or in a welcome letter, as we didn’t get one of these.
The bathroom was really nice. We don’t do baths, so it was great to have a huge rainforest shower, plus a normal shower head option too. Not forgetting amazing lighting if you want to do your make up there.
The room was quite modern in the furniture too – if I had a desk at home, I’d want a chair like they provide too.
One thing I did like was being able to control the heat. Both N and I get warm easily, so we were able to turn off the heating at the radiator and open the window to let some air in. It’s not nice being too hot overnight, so I think being able to control this ourselves made a big difference in how I sleep for one night in a hotel.
For me, the housekeeping let down Forest Pines a bit. It was disappointing to find a sock left from someone else behind the cushion on one of the chairs, and a rogue hair grip that wasn’t mine. When we walked to our room, one of the corridors had a whole load of used glasses and bottles left in the middle of the walkways, which weren’t cleared until after we came back from breakfast the next morning – this does often happen in hotels, but it doesn’t leave a good impression. The bathroom was clean though and we had a comfortable stay in the room.
Dinner in the Grill Restaurant Forest Pines Hotel
We had an early reservation in the main restaurant. It’s nicely decorated and a bit more restaurant-y than some hotel restaurants which can be a bit austere and functional. The staff who seated us and served us were friendly and helpful without being overbearing. They also explained how the menu worked within the dinner bed and breakfast package. Children eat free – the standard Hilton children’s menu of 2 or 3 courses. And adults can choose 3 courses from dishes marked with a bed icon next to them. If you choose other dishes (e.g steaks), there is a supplement to pay.
For someone who’s fussy, I didn’t have an issue finding anything I wanted to eat. There were in fact, several options I’d like to have eaten. N chose the nachos for starter – no sour cream on these that he’d had in the previous Hilton we stayed in, but he said he liked that the salsa was served on the side. I decided on the roasted pepper and smoky tomato soup which came with a bruschetta and fresh chopped tomatoes. I’m not usually a big soup eater but it was very tasty, and the bruschetta was a nice addition rather than just having a bread roll.
I chose a cheeseburger with chips for my main course. The chips were good and the burger was also really well cooked to my liking. N’s choice of macaroni cheese wasn’t a good option. He’d decided against the pizza thinking it might be a small portion, and chose the macaroni as it’s one of his favourite meals. It was a huge portion – way too big for a child’s menu, and probably a bigger portion than I’d expect to get for an adult size meal. It was unfortunately not hot, not even warm.
So we asked for it to be reheated. But once it arrived he only ate a small amount because he didn’t like the sauce. I also tried it and it wasn’t good. At first I thought it was cooked using blue cheese, but as it tasted a bit ‘off’ I think it was brie. The garlic bread it came with was demolished and N finished my chips I couldn’t eat. The waitress did offer to replace it with something else, and to feed back to the chef, but as he’d filled up with chips, we just decided to have desserts instead.
N was pleased to see ice cream with strawberry sauce on the children’s menu, so he chose that. 3 scoops of ice cream – chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. It would have been nice if they’d asked which flavour scoops he wanted because the menu didn’t say that it was a mix. He’s a bit weird with chocolate foods (strange child considering I’m a chocoholic), but said he had to eat it to get to the strawberry. So he was still a happy boy.
I’d chosen the chocolate brownie with blood orange ice cream. It was a really good pudding and I could have eaten a second helping! The ice cream was really refreshing and a good end to a meal.
Breakfast at Forest Pines
Breakfast is in the same restaurant. As well as the usual buffet selections you can also request and pay for other supplementary dishes like avocado or fish from the additional breakfast menu. We didn’t need to as there was plenty of choice.
Along with cereal options, there were different breads to toast, a great choice of mini pastries, yoghurt and fruit, continental meats and cheeses, and then full English hot options.
We both had sausage, bacon, and eggs (I had back bacon, while N chose streaky and was very pleased with his choice). Plus toast, and then fruit and yoghurt for me, and salami and fruit for N. Yes, a strange combination but we like to have a good breakfast when we’re staying away. N was pleased to see the hot drinks machines had hot chocolate which he really liked. I was a fan of the rhubarb juice.
We both thought the breakfast was good – with the hot food kept warm, and regularly topped up. And more mini pastry types than I could have thought of!
After breakfast we decided to have a wander over to the spa and leisure building to check out the pool. We were gutted we hadn’t gone to the pool before breakfast because it was really nice. The website said it was 19 metres long, and was empty at 8.30am. The times were a bit confusing as online they’d said kids could swim at one time, but on the entrance it said 7am-7pm. If we’d had time to swim we’d have looked into it more to make sure we’d have had time. The only downside is that you have to go out of the main hotel building and walk around to the pool.
As well as obviously the golf course and facilities, we also spotted a small children’s playground. It’s not often you see a hotel with a playground so it’s a nice extra touch.
We didn’t hang around after breakfast. Check out was fast – we did have an issue with N’s meal not having been taken off as a free kids meal, but that was fixed. I’d have expected to have been asked how our stay was, but it was very much a functional check out.
Overall we really liked the Doubletree at Hilton Forest Pines hotel. The rooms and interiors were comfortable and spacious for our needs, and the majority of our stay was really nice. There were just a few niggles that could have been improved on, but we’d definitely stay again if we needed a room in the area. If only to try out the pool.
Have you stayed there or at another Doubletree at Hilton hotel? What are your favourites things about staying in hotels?
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