I have real mixed emotions about this place. This is my fourth visit and I feel things have progressively gotten worse. That being said, I will return in the hope of seeing improvement.
I don't know what it is exactly but this place seems to draw me in. It's location is great and the hotel has so much potential that it's a crying shame it isn't maximised.
You are left to your own devices by the staff which is unfortunate. For a hotel purporting to be "luxurious" they should be a bit more attentive. That being said, for the first time in all our visits, two staff members actually took the time to speak to us (and they were English!) and very friendly.
Many people think the hotel is scruffy but personally the decor and furniture is responsible for that. It's a quirky mix of what appears to be re-upholstered antique or repro pieces. Quite eccentric with a colonial feel in some rooms. And I happen to like it personally.
We stayed in a different room this time which was quite grand - bedroom was fine but I think the bathroom needs an overhaul. Generally the cleanliness was ok save for the fact that whilst laying in bed I happened to look up and noticed a couple of small (what appeared to be) blood spatters on the inside of the bedside lampshade?
The common parts of the hotel are needy of renovation and it is evident in several aspects where cost cutting has come into play.
Personally I believe they are understaffed. There is a nice terrace outside where you can sit and enjoy drinks and more often than not you need to go find somebody to serve you. Surely this is a loss of revenue? Imagine how much they could make if they were more pro-active - that would cover the cost of another person.
The room charge is way too steep for the quality - this hotel should no longer be classed as luxury. The owners have let things slide here. Whilst they have added a spa (which I'm guessing was an addition of the last owners before they went into administration), there are many more factors such as dilapidations and remedial works requiring urgent attention.
The hotel has an indoor pool which is absolutely filthy. There is also a sauna which again looks pretty unhygienic. It was so bad that I didn't dare venture in. Unfortunately my children had already gone swimming but I didn't let them use the pool again. It was so bad that my son commented that he couldn't see underwater as it was so cloudy. Again no staff were present anywhere which I guess is another cost cutting exercise.
One helpful thing is the fact that the hotel pushes a Newsletter under your door every morning giving info on the hotel, vacinity, things to do etc. We were also given a welcome letter and on the reverse was a map of the hotel. This was the first time we had received anything like this in all our visits. Imagine our surprise when we discovered there was a den for the kids to play in! There are no signs anywhere and this had never been brought to our attention in the past. The door to the den was locked so we went exploring round the other side. We could not believe it. What we saw was a huge corrugated building and beside it two tennis courts which looked recently renovated! We also found a squash court inside, a child's eating area, a bar (ok so it was totally empty and unstaffed), three computer gaming chairs and a locked snooker room. The place was really eerie and spooky. Inside the vast empty hall was a fenced off area for toddlers, a pool table, three table tennis tables, trampolines, a tennis court, basketball set up and two goals. Ball, bats, racquets etc were strewn all over the floor amid children's trikes and scooters. The sight had to be seen to be believed. It was almost as if we had travelled into a village where the inhabitants had been eradicated by some deadly virus and this was the only trace left of their seemingly recent existence!
When we returned to the hotel, we asked how long the hall had been there and we're told "always"!
One notable advantage has to be head chef and his brigade (evening) - will come on to breakfast farce in a minute.
The food he creates is fabulous and well priced. What an asset to the hotel - have to say I'm surprised he bothers to stay as the restaurant itself is naff in the highest 80s era degree. Definitely in need of urgent modernisation. What I do find laughable however is that whilst they encourage you to eat "en famille" or, in laymans, "as a family", it's ok to do so as long as its in your room. They have a policy precluding children from being in the restaurant after 7:30. Given that the a la carte only starts at 7:00, that gives you a measly 30 minutes to wolf down a delectable three course meal. For the privilege of eating in your room you have to pay a £10 tray service!
Why on earth put yourselves out as a "luxury family hotel" if children cannot eat with you? I wondered why they might have implemented this policy as every table at breakfast has children sat it. I didn't notice any couples only at the hotel either. Surely when you holiday with your family you do everything together? I know I do. If you want to go for a romantic meal, book yourself a dirty weekend without the kids.
I soon came to the conclusion that the owners don't want children eating in the restaurant as they market it to the public also. What a swizz - surely you should put your hotel paying customers first here rather than Joe Public?
Lastly breakfast - improvement required here. Not luxurious and incompetent cooking. The selection is greasy and disgusting. I therefore ordered from the menu which you pay separately for. I pointed out that as I am pregnant I would like egg and soldiers but the eggs need to be cooked properly. Not too hard to cook eggs I thought. What I was given were two eggs which were snotty and must have been dunked into boiling water for a max of two minutes. I didn't bother to ask them to cook them again.
Need to lastly mention Snoopy the hotel's spaniel. How delightful he is. The children wanted to take him home.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
29 August 2012
Dear joanne d,
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Thank you very much for taking the time to write and post a review of your most recent stay with us at Moonfleet. We are delighted that you keep coming back - its the magic you know(!), because Moonfleet is like no other Hotel.
Between 2006 and 2012, Moonfleet was owned by von Essen Hotels. During that time, the Hotel had not one pennies investment and many of the reviews you see reflect this. Imagine a luxuriously plump pillow in 2006, now bereft of its stuffing! The task to re-plump the pillow is certainly under way with bedrooms and bathrooms being refurbished throughout the year. A brand new Treatment Zone has been added this year, with great reviews recieved (yours included!), along with a Cinema Room, a family "snug" and lots of new kids toys and equipment being added to our indoor play area. We recognise that we still have a significant journey to undertake, but we will get there, it just can't be done overnight though!
Our plans also include building a brand new, state of the art pool and spa, so keep your eyes out for updates on our facebook page. Until that time, the changing rooms and showers will get a really nice update.
We are delighted that you enjoyed our food, the team work hard to deliver a treat on a plate and we know how important to your stay it is. Our food service team are a little inexperienced at the moment, so I do apologise if you experienced any inconsistencies, but please do be aware that we are continually training and our aim is to be better every week.
With regard to family dining - we actively encourage it and provide a suggested meal time of between 6pm and 7.30. This does not mean that all children have to be out of the Restraurant by 7.30. Each family is different, so there are families that like to dine together and other parents who would like a bit of grown up time at dinner. Our aim is to provide both treats, but it is not always easy to separate the two dining experiences. It is something we are working on.
We very much look forward to your fifth visit soon and thank you once again for the feedback.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC