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“Beautiful venue with great service”

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Chilston Park Hotel
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lenham
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 August 2013

This lovely spot is ideal for celebrations and events. We enjoyed a wonderfully organised 80th birthday party here this weekend and Kerrin and his team were very attentive and helped the whole family enjoy themselves. Service was excellent and 'just enough' without being too much or too reserved.

And, if any of the group need to overnight they can. I don't know much about this part of the property but certainly A* for event management.

To top it all off, I misplaced my SD card with all my photos on it... And the team handed it in, then Becky was brilliant getting in touch with me to let me know they found it and popped it in the post! Thank you again.

Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
Thank s_kelly7654
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to review your recent celebration here at Chilston Park. I am glad to read that our normal high standards of guest care were delivered by Kerrin and his team. I will certainly pass on your very kind comments to all involved.

Once again thank you for taking the time to review us and I do hope that we can welcome you back to the hotel again in the future.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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629 - 635 of 999 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2013

We booked this hotel via a big tour operator here on the continent, through our local travel agent, approximately a month prior to our stay. The issued vouchers showed rooms booked as requested, all (four) names as provided.

A few days prior to our stay I called the hotel (spoke to Reception) to advise them that I had a dietary requirement and to ask if they could accommodate this. They were unable to find our booking - I provided all four names and was assured that there was no booking but that they would look into it and call us back. Half an hour later they called back to say that they had now found the booking in two of the names (two people sharing one room were now each named on an individual room). Again, I provided all four names and advised who would be sharing which room. They also confirmed that they could provide the necessary replacement product to accommodate my dietary requirement.

Upon arrival, there were two rooms allocated to us. One had the correct two names, the other had one name but wrong prefix (Mr or Mrs/Ms) and the fourth name was not in their records, even though it was one of the names they had originally, eventually, found the booking in.

The two rooms could not have been more different - we had an extremely large room (Chinoiserie), whereas our friends had what I can only imagine is one of the smallest rooms in the hotel (Red). On Saturday our friends requested to be moved to a larger room, but this was only possible the next day (for our final night), which they accepted.

After unpacking we went downstairs for a drink, searching around for someone to serve us at the bar. There had obviously been a function, as there were dirty glasses on tables outside, napkins on the floor in the verandah and on the grass outside. Eventually found someone to take our drink order after about 10 minutes.

Both allocated rooms were overlooking an area with cottages, a function room with outside terrace, and delivery area. Unfortunately there was a (very loud) wedding party going on that evening, an extremely warm and pleasant evening. The wedding party was enjoying the weather very late into the night (singsong etc etc) which meant that we could not sleep because of the noise. Closing the windows in both rooms did not help to dull the noise much and meant that all four in our group had a very bad (and hot!) night's sleep. We were assured the next morning that there were no more functions that weekend (we had booked for three nights but were prepared to find other accommodation if the answer had been otherwise). On the second day we were provided with normal table fans to attempt to alleviate the warmth in both rooms which certainly in the larger room did not provide much relief. Going to breakfast the next morning at 8.30am we came across dirty champagne glass by the lift, obviously from the previous night's festivities.

Breakfast service was extremely slow and not of great quality, which discouraged us from planning to eat in the hotel restaurant on any evening during out stay.

After sightseeing in the morning, we all retired to our rooms to recover from the previous night. Unfortunately, our friends in the Red room were unable to sleep due to delivery vans outside.

Breakfast the following morning was a repeat of the previous day, perhaps even more chaotic and slow, although on both days there were many staff in attendance for breakfast. Unfortunately I was told during breakfast that they had run out of the goat's milk I had requested and been assured of (due to other clients using it), and asked if I would accept a soya alternative (I had no choice if I wanted scrambled eggs, tea/coffee or cereal!).

During our outing that day the hotel moved the possessions of our friends to their new room.

Much better service for our final breakfast - this time by only two staff!

We would not stay there again and would advise anyone considering it to make sure there were no functions during their stay (as another reviewer also advised). There was noticeable motorway and train noise outside, a comment also made by another reviewer.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank S G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to review us after your recent stay with us here at Chilston Park. Here at the hotel we place a great deal of emphasis on all feedback received from our guests. Naturally it is extremely disappointing to read that on this occasion your expectations were not met during your stay, please accept my most sincere apologies for this situation. Since receiving your comments I have undertaken a process of investigation so that I may understand why your stay was so very different to the normal positive experience that our guests feedback upon. From these investigation’s I am now able to respond to your comments in a manner that I understand to be correct and reflective of the situation from our point of view.

I am sorry that the booking process that you encountered lead to a number of frustrations for you. I understand that you booking was made through Axisglobe and was received here at the hotel via email. Unfortunately when received at the hotel the two room reservation was entered into our booking system under the names provided by Axisglobe for the first room of the booking. This then lead to confusion on our part when you contacted the hotel to discuss your requirements as there were no rooms booked under the names of teh second room of your booking. I understand that this was looked into and the corrected when the hotel re-contacted you after taking a short period of time to look into the issue. I apologise for the confusion that this caused at the outset.

Within your comments you mention that on arrival the second room of your party was named under the prefix of Mrs. The detail received by the hotel from the agent that clearly states that the room would be occupied by a Mr & Mrs. I am truly sorry that this was not the case but do not believe that the hotel is not solely to blame for this mistake as we were clearly provided with incorrect information. I also note that you mention that your confirmation of booking states the correct salutations for your party. If I can kindly request you to forward a copy of this confirmation to the hotel I would be more than happy to follow this up with the agent as I am very unhappy that the information provided by them has caused a level of embarrassment to our guests.

I understand that during your conversation prior to arrival at the hotel you informed us of your special dietary requirements and also your requirement to be accommodated within a accessible bedroom. Here at Chilston Park we have one specially prepared accessible room, Chinoiserie. This room sits within our Executive Room types an upgraded room type from the Classic Manor Room that was booked by you. The team at the hotel were more than happy to honour this request and upgrade your room type to allow your request to be honoured. What this did mean was that the two rooms within your party were allocated different room types which naturally are of different sizes. Our Red Room is indicative of the size of our Classic rooms which whilst all individual in design are the same size. I am sorry if these arrangements lead to embarrassment on your behalf, but I assure you that we were only attempting to honour your requirements. I am aware that your friends requested to move rooms and when this request could be honoured we did so without question, indeed luggage was moved on your guests behalf to aid this move.

Chilston Park is indeed a popular wedding venue and on the Friday of your stay we did have a wedding party taking place in our Coach house which finished at midnight. I am truly sorry that this event disturbed your stay, I understand that the guests attending this event did take advantage of the particularly warm weather and used the courtyard area late into the evening. This is something that was un foreseen on our part and I will ensure that wherever possible we consider this element when planning room allocations in future. I also understand that your friends were also disturbed by delivery vans during their time in our Red Room. This week we have installed a access control bollard to ensure the comfort of our guests and stop this situation from arising.

From discussion with my Food and Beverage Management team I understand that due to the volume of guests choosing to take breakfast at the same time on both Saturday and Sunday mornings we did not deliver our normal level of guest service during these times. I would again like to offer my apologies for this situation and also add to those apologies the fact that we did run out of the requested soya milk . Both of these instances are not ones that I find acceptable and I have discussed the need for additional foresight to be delivered by my Food and Beverage Management team in the future.

I do hope that I have been able to convey the level of importance that we place upon your comments and that my apologies for the level of guest care shown will be accepted in the manner in which they are offered.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2013

Our friends organised their wedding at Chilsten Park on a Friday and we stayed over night. They did a fabulous job, it was a great day. The hotel has wonderful surroundings and lovely rooms and very helpful staff. Be warned some rooms are a bit poky, low ceilings, but still charming. Just check what you're getting before you book - we stayed in the Austin room which was lovely.
Only down side would be that drinks are very expensive (matched London prices) ...but when at a wedding you don't realise till you sign the bill at the end of your visit. That con however would not put us off going back again.

Room Tip: The Austin is a good size, nice large bathroom.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Venetiar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 July 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for recording your recent visit to Chilston Park on Trip advisor. I am really pleased that you enjoyed the wedding celebrations so much.
I am really pleased that you enjoyed our Austin room, this has recently undergone a small refresh delivered by Eddie our Maintenance Manager and his team. Its great to read that this work has ensured the comfort of your stay. Being a historic building some of our rooms are quirky and throw up some interesting spaces, but in turn this generates some of the charm of the building and is generally received well by our guests.
I am pleased to read that you would look to return to the hotel again and very much look forward to welcoming you back.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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Reviewed 30 July 2013

Our stay was a disaster from start to finish. We have nicknamed this place "Fawlty Towers Plus". For our troubles, all we got was our meal on the Friday evening for free which, considering it took them 3 hours, is the least they could have done. Specifically:

- We were given a room in the attic (Boswell) which is tiny (not much bigger than the double bed within it) and has a tiny cupboard to put clothes into - in the bathroom. The worst is it's much hotter than the rest of the hotel (you can feel the temperature rise as you ascend the stairs). The window opens onto a rooftop view with constant noise from the kitchen extractors and other people's attic room windows looking right at you. It was far too hot to sleep in so we complained and were given a monstrous portable air conditioning unit which sounded like a tractor and occupied the remaining tiny space between our bed and the window.

- Dinner on the first night took almost 3 hours. We waited an hour for our starters to arrive after ordering. The dining room was only half full so the kitchen wasn't even working to capacity. The food was nothing to write home about anyway, but the long delays meant it was nearly midnight before we finished dessert, so there was no chance of a relaxing coffee afterwards. After a day of travelling to get there, it was very frustrating. People dining at tables beside us also complained to the waiting staff about the extraordinary length of time it took to be served. The waiting staff were very apologetic about it but obviously the Chef can only churn out one plate every 15 minutes or so, and there was nothing they could do about it.

- Breakfast on both days was a very slow affair. Ordering the cooked breakfast (avoid at all costs - undercooked bacon, overcooked rubbery egg with solid yolk, over-boiled beans....) meant I had to wait 30 minutes to get my food on the first day, and a similar time on the second. Ordering my toast to go with breakfast and asking for white only when prompted, I then had to ask again as I finished my long awaited cooked breakfast as it hadn't been brought out yet. Then, when it arrived, it was brown toast, not the white I ordered. On the second day it was a similar story, except two tables who had arrived and ordered after us were served their breakfast before us (and it was the same as I had ordered too!). Any time we asked the staff a question or prompted them for our order, they were very confused and would usually just walk away and ignore us. After 40 minutes of waiting, we had to give up and go to our room to pack as we had an appointment to make on our way home and were running late. 40 minutes to wait for breakfast to be served? Who knows when it would have eventually arrived.

- The shower was broken. No matter what temperature we tried to set it at, it stayed the same very hot temperature. We complained about this on the Saturday morning but nothing was done about it (although they did acknowledge that it was broken). We came home from our wedding do after midnight to find a note on our bed saying we should contact reception to discuss the problem - not handy when reception is shut. I was then informed before checking out on the Sunday that I could have had a shower elsewhere if I wanted. They should have told us this straight away! So this meant that, not only did we check out on the Sunday morning very hungry due to lack of breakfast, but I hadn't been able to have a shower before the long travel back home to Scotland.

- The sink didn't hold it's water even when the plug was jammed in as hard as I could make it go. I had to shave with the tap on full to try to maintain a small amount of water in the sink. The sink also has a big crack in it, adding to the general shabbiness of the room.

I'm sure there was much more, but we gave up trying to remember it all and instead focussed on the wedding we had come down for, which was a lovely distraction and thankfully elsewhere.

In summary - do NOT eat there unless you are graced with bountiful patience, do NOT accept the Boswell room or any of it's counterparts in the attic space and, if you have a choice, please please stay elsewhere. For all our problems and the stress of travelling home hungry and without a refreshing shower on the last day, all we got was dinner refunded. The room itself was not worth the fee we paid and the general attitude of the place meant they don't deserve the custom anyway.

Room Tip: Avoid any of the attic rooms, especially Boswell
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank IslandFan_2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 31 July 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on Trip advisor. Naturally I am disappointed that on this occasion your stay did not meet either your own expectations or those that we set for ourselves here at the hotel. I am fully aware that your stay was unfortunately effected by service delivery issues and am of course apologetic for these issues. These service related issues were discussed with Victoria our Duty Manager on your departure from the hotel on Sunday morning and the apologies I offer are added to those made at this time. I am also aware that a gesture of compensation was offered to you by Victoria and accepted by yourself. I believe that this highlights that we have indeed recognised that our normal level of service was not delivered and compensated you for this.

In addition I am also regret full that this long period of fine summer weather led to the room allocated to you being warm. As you have mentioned when requested a portable air conditioning unit was supplied to you. I agree that these units are large, but they are also effective and do deliver the required result of cooling the room.

When made aware of the issues relating to the shower in our Boswell room by yourself on Saturday morning a plumber was called to the hotel to attempt to address the situation. Unfortunately as this was a weekend call out the required parts that were not readily available, hence the note left in your room asking you to contact reception. Our Reception is staffed 24hrs per day and can be contacted via telephone at any time. The team at reception were ready to provide you with an alternative room that had been put aside for your use. Additionally they were more than happy to assist with the move of your luggage as required. Unfortunately as you mentioned during your conversation with Victoria you didn't choose to contact reception on your late return to the hotel after attending the wedding celebrations mentioned in your review. I recognise and fully understand that aspects of your stay did not deliver the standards that we wish to be associated with, but I do believe that the team at the hotel did their very best to resolve the issues that you brought forward during your stay. I am sorry that you have viewed these actions as uncaring and that your stay was effected in these ways.
Regards
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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Reviewed 29 July 2013

I booked the Orangery for a private event to celebrate my 40th Birthday. Everything about Chilston park was wonderful. We found the staff very attentive, Kerrin and his team during the evening did a great job at looking after all my guests and everything ran smoothly.
The food was superb and I can honestly say that it was a perfect evening. All of my guests have said how much the enjoyed the night and how great the staff were.
The hotel is in beautiful grounds and each room has it's only unique character.
An ideal place to celebrate a special occasion!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank ClassyT24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you so much for this lovely review, I am really pleased that your event was so successful and that you and your guests had a wonderful time. I will certainly ensure that Kerrin and his team are made aware of your very positive comments.
I do hope that we are able to welcome you back to the hotel again in the future.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2013

My fiancé and I stayed here on a dinner, bed and breakfast offer. The drive up to the hotel was lovely, we booked in at reception by very nice friendly staff, although our room wasn't ready we where happy to have a walk round the beautiful grounds and enjoyed a pimms sat by the lake.
We were then showed to our room Bloomsbury, which was very nice and had everything you wanted. The hotel was beautiful, full of history.we enjoyed a light lunch in the beautiful bar, all staff were very nice and friendly.
We then had a leisurely afternoon then we got dressed for dinner, we met in the lounge where we had champagne and canapés, we then had dinner, the food and service was excellent ! We then had coffee in the lounge. The following morning we had a lovey breakfast, anything you wanted, nothing to much trouble, and excellent quality. The only down fall was, late in the evening and early morning we where woken up to really loud banging, and truck deliveries, I know this needs to happen but the noise woke us up so we had a disturbed night.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank jeaniem6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2013

Dear Guest
I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us here at Chilston Park and am equally pleased that you have chosen to record a review on Tripadvisor. Thank you for your kind comments regarding so many aspects of the property, it is wonderful to read that your expectations were met. I am sorry that you were disturbed by noise from required access. This is something that has been mentioned to us on several occasions recently. I write this I can see Mark, one of our maintenance team busy installing a new access restriction post to ensure that vehicles cannot access the area that you have mentioned. I do hope that this improves the situation for all of our guests.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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Reviewed 27 July 2013

My husband and I had a lovely time at Chilston Park (despite my recently broken arm!). The surroundings are exceptional and with the weather being unusually summer-like, we strolled round and then settled by the lake. Our room (Austen) was comfortable and clean - we didn't spend much time in there as it was really relaxing in the huge lounge. We had booked an evening meal and this was another great part of our stay. Pre-dinner drinks and canapes were followed by an excellent meal served in a friendly and opulent restaurant. Breakfast next morning didn't disappoint - eggs benedict was cooked to perfection and the view through the window was magnificent. Finally, we must commend the staff who were efficient but more importantly friendly and helpful. Our next visit will not be for just one night.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Patsy2652
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for your review, I am really pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us on route to the continent. Chilston Park is ideally situated for a stopover on this long journey and I am glad that we were able to send you on your way relaxed and ready to enjoy your holiday.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chilston Park Hotel

Address: Boughton Road | Sandway, Lenham, Maidstone ME17 2BE, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Maidstone > Lenham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lenham
Price Range: £84 - £163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Chilston Park Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grade 1 listed Chilston Park offers one of the most exclusive hotels in Kent. Set back from tree-lined lanes, the manor house at Chilston Park Hotel in Kent is set in 22 acres of parkland and features a two AA rosette restaurant. One of the most best loved hotels in Kent, over the years Chilston Park has been a home to eminent politicians, writers, Lords and Viscounts. Today it is a classic British country house hotel with plenty of style and charm and one of the most perfect wedding or leisure destinations in Kent. But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this 4 AA red star hotels in Kent are the antiques and history that surround it. The hotel has many interesting artefacts that date as far back as the 17th century manor house. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chilston Park Maidstone
Hotel Chilston Park
Chilston Park Hotel Lenham, Kent

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