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“Perfect day but VERY stressful”

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Chilston Park Hotel
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lenham
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 January 2014

We had our wedding at Chilston Park in Spring 2013, I've waited a few months to write this review because I wanted to wait for the 2 other couples we know who booked their weddings at the hotel to get married to see what their overall experience was like.

The staff from the moment we arrived for our wedding were exceptional, absolutely brilliant. Nothing was too much to ask. The lady who set the reception room up (I'm sorry I can't recall her name Becky or Vicky I think) was particularly lovely and on hand at every moment to help both myself and my husband. Guy the porter was also really helpful. The hotel itself is beautiful and the food was great, many of our guests commented on it. Our wedding day was a dream. Simply perfect.

Sadly the run up to the wedding was difficult and the aftermath absolutely appalling. Without this the hotel would be receiving 5 stars from us. We and the other couples we know who have booked Chilston found it very difficult making contact with the hotel, unreturned phone calls and e-mails being the main problem. Understandably they are very busy with weddings but this was frustrating particularly when you are eager for everything to work out well.

A week or so before the wedding we paid our final installment and received a contract confirming we had £0 outstanding it was surprising therefore to receive a bill for 2 rooms on the morning of checking out. Despite attempts to contact the hotel about this in the weeks following our wedding we (surprise surprise) had no return call. In fact the first correspondence we received was a solicitors letter via their head office threatening court action. We were shocked and devastated. We did not owe money for the 2 rooms and proved this with receipts and the contract showing a £0 balance.

To this day we have not received an apology. The hotel wrote to us and simply informed us they had "written the amount off" - I must emphasise that we did not owe any money!!

Overall I would say Chilston Park hotel as a wedding venue is beautiful however if you want a stress free time before and after your wedding then it certainly isn't for the faint hearted.

Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
6  Thank Charlotte W
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 14 January 2014

Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to review your experience here at Chilston Park. I am pleased that on the day of your event the team looked after you so well and thank you for these kind comments. However I do find myself confused regarding your portrayal of the events following on from the event which I believe to be not totally accurate. With this in mind feel that people reading this review should be entitled to hear our recollection of the events before placing any emphasis on this review. The hotel is does not take lightly the issuing of formal solicitors letters regarding outstanding balances. Thus we would only take this action if firstly we were 100% sure that monies were owed and secondly appropriate steps were taken to contact and try to resolve the issue. I have outlined the various attempts at contact that were made by us regarding the outstanding balance within my correspondence with you. I am also aware that you were fully aware of the situation by the fact that verbal discussions were had with your coordinator prior to my involvement in the situation. When these steps had not resolved the situation a letter was issued to you as you detail. I feel that the issuing of the letter on our behalf was justified and the acted as a catalyst to the situation being taken seriously and resolved. These discussions that followed led to a part payment being received from you, a detail that is missing from your recollection of the events and my gesture of good will to “write off” the remaining nominal balance in order to draw the situation to a close. After this agreement was reached you requested a detailed account as to why these monies were still outstanding something that was provided to you in my letter of the 5th July 2013, which I note I am yet to receive a response too. Within this I outlined the reason was simply that payments where not received from all of your guests for the rooms which you booked at the hotel. This situation arose after guests at your wedding transferred a booking between themselves to void payment of cancellation fees but failed to pay the hotel for that room. I am of course happy to discuss this issue further with you should you still require further clarification as to why these monies were outstanding and hope that this response has put into context for readers the comments made within your review.
Regards
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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568 - 574 of 992 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2014

We attended a New Year’s Eve wedding day and bash on through the night seeing the New Year in. We stayed for three nights and enjoyed our stay we had to change rooms due to wedding bookings and I believe every room was booked up throughout the period with wedding's back to back and all we had to do was put our stuff on the bed and hey presto like magic all our clothes etc. appeared in the new room all nicely placed and all on hangers. The first room we stayed in had a newish bathroom so was nice I think it was Shelley in the annexe building a few seconds walk from the main building, we ended up in the main house in the Byron room nice size all what you need but the bathroom was looking a bit tired however all working fine.

The wedding itself was wonderful with a winter wonderland theme and was handled by the registrar, staff, and everyone concerned really well and the photographer was both professional and handled a very stressful photo shoot with great aplomb I can’t wait to see the pictures. Now the food was very nice at the reception except the soup starter was a bit thin for my liking all food was piping hot and the crumble desert was gorgeous. Breakfast was good and tasty with lots of choice and local produce on offer and all very tasty and I’d recommend the eggs benedict.
Overall the venue is wonderful and just ideal I would love to stay again and have stayed at a couple of other handpicked hotels in the past.
To sum up friendly warm staff helpful and engaging which and a good time had by all, oh and the manager was great to nothing too much trouble and as the saying goes preparation preparation and it all went off swimmingly.
PS- Internet access wasn’t great to be honest and if this could be extended into the rooms it would make life easier.

Room Tip: Pick a room in the main house if you can, only because you have to go outside to get to the annexe a...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JerseyBadBoy
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 14 January 2014

Dear Guest
Thank you so much for your review. I am really pleased that you enjoyed the wedding celebrations and your stay with us. It was great to the read that the team played such an important part in insuring that your stay was an enjoyable experience.
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 30 December 2013

Myself, husband and two boys (aged 3 and 7) stayed at the hotel from Christmas Eve departed Boxing Day staying in the Cromwell suite. From start to finish all members of staff did everything to make our stay special. All meals were absolutely delicious particularly our christmas lunch and we even had a visit from Father Christmas. Our suite was very beautiful and we loved the period features, it was enormous the boys had their own room! We just wanted to say a special thank you to Fiona for organising our break and all other members of staff (sorry I'm terrible with names) but thank you for making our christmas break so special. We was all very sad to leave Boxing Day but hope that we will return one year for another christmas break at Chilston Park.

Room Tip: If you want space the Cromwell suite is enormous and has two bedrooms with a separate lounge area.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank clarehellard
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 1 January 2014

Dear Guest
I am really pleased that your Christmas break was such an enjoyable time for you and your family. Chilston is a really magical venue to celebrate at this special time of the year and I am really pleased that the team looked after you so well.
I hope that we have the pleasure of welcoming 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 27 December 2013

My son and his fiancee chose Chilston for their December wedding. They could not have been more helpful in the preparations etc. But they cannot be faulted on the day itself. The staff were helpful, friendly, helped put everything together - all the couple's requests and requirements were implemented without the need to chase. Staff were good at waiting at table, ensured guests needs were met. They Coordinator and MC were great, and ensured that everything went off smoothly.

Food was excellent, very well cooked and presented. Breakfast the following day was fantastic. The rooms were great too. Very well maintained, large, and very comfortable - wish we could have made more use of them but late night(!) and early flight prevented that.

My son had eaten here before to choose their menu, and he raved about the food at the time.

The hotel could not have done more to make the wedding day so perfect. This is a lovely hotel - even in damp windy December! We will be back to sample the food again, and enjoy the rooms without the stress of a wedding.

Room Tip: Try and stay in the main Manor House part of the hotel - character of the building and rooms.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Steve6244
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 1 January 2014

Dear Guest
It is really pleasing to read that this very special day was such an enjoyable one for everyone. Your comments illustrate that our attentive service levels were delivered throughout the day and the quality of cuisine served matched this to a tee.
Thank you for the review and 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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Reviewed 27 December 2013

This year marks the ten anniversary of a large family gathering at Chilston for Boxing Day Lunch & overnight stay. This year as in recent years we ate in the Library which was attractively decorated. The food was was very good from a small but well varied menu. The roast beef got particularly good reviews. The service (Becky) was excellent and attentive but not overwhelming. The evening service (sorry no name) was also very good. The room was spacious and comfortable and the staff had no problem organising a breakfast earlier than requested due to Southern Rails inability to run any trains from Lenham.
Overall an excellent event will be back for number eleven

Room Tip: If you like a large and spacious twin try Safari or those prefering a medieval twist a large double...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank eddy_hh
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 1 January 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to comment on your visit to Chilston Park. It is wonderful to read that your annual pilgrimage to the hotel was an enjoyable one with so many positive experiences being noted. I will certainly ensure that Becky is made aware of your lovely comments regarding the service provided. The team and I look forward to welcoming you back later in the year for number eleven!
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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Reviewed 23 December 2013

Despite there being various Christmas Parties and a Wedding we received the usual first class service. As ever the food was some of the best to be found in the area. Great choices at Dinner. Breakfast to die for ! Nothing too much trouble so well deserves it's plaudits.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank yojo98
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 27 December 2013

Dear Guest
I am delighted to read that our normal levels of guest care and service were delivered to you during your recent stay with us here at Chilston Park. It is especially pleasing to read that although the hotel was busy at the time the team looked after you so well and the food quality met your expectations.
I hope that you will choose to stay with us 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 16 December 2013

My room was described as Executive in the Manor building , but it wasn't . No separate shower , no Mini Bar , and the room had pretty average decor and furniture.

The staff however were friendly and tried very hard. Room service breakfast was fine ( but no butter with the toast to be picky).

Given you have to try hard to find this place which is a good distance from the M20 it is not really an overnight executive stopover in my book.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
Thank ahomer1
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 18 December 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for your review, I am sorry that your expectations were not met on this occasion. A full listing of the facilities on offer within our room types can be found on our website. Unfortunately none of the items noted within your review are provided within this room type, they can however be found within our feature rooms and suites which would seem to be more suited to your expectations. Please accept my apologies for the oversight on our part when delivering your room service breakfast, I will certainly ensure that more focus is applied in this area. I am pleased that you found the team to be friendly during your stay; this is certainly a positive we can be pleased with.
Once again thank you for your review.
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 - £144 (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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