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“Spoil yourself at Chilston Park Hotel”

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Chilston Park Hotel
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lenham
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Spoil yourself at Chilston Park Hotel”
Reviewed 14 September 2010

My wife and I enjoyed a one nights stay at Chilston Park Hotel that included a pre-dinner glass of champagne,dinner,overnight accomodation and breakfast.
We can thoroughly recommend the hotel that is part of the "Hand Picked Hotel" group and from the moment we arrived, until we sadly had to depar,t we enjoyed fantastic service from all the staff we met.
We stayed in the "Kipling room" that was very comfortable and still retained the original oak beams. Dinner was superb with a varied menu to suit most people and also an extensive wine list to choose from.The staff we met were very attentive but never intrusive during our stay. Although the hotel was busy with a wedding party and a conference meeting we still enjoyed the tranquil setting and atmosphere of the hotel.
The hotel is set in its own gardens with a lake in close proximity.
All in all a really enjoyable stay at Chilston Park and we will be visiting again very soon.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank cliffb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rogers, Arkansas
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2010

Very disappointing. Badly needs interior freshening up with paint and at least a good cleaning. Reserved a suite which was unacceptable. Awkward and worn sagging floors etc. Given lesser deluxe room. Worn yellowed and aged. No apologies no financial adjustment. Not at all as pictured on net. Front desk personnel indifferent.

Other service staff helpful though. Restaurant was better, but not memorable.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Historylover061
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2010

Just back from a wedding at this Hotel and everything went really well.
The Staff were excellent.
The first room we stayed in needed some TLC and a properly shutting bathroom door (Frampton Room) and more light!!
Second room I stayed in "Bronte" great room.. just upgrade the shower!!
Two really nice nights though.
my only other point would be that the Salmon and Scrambled egg in the morning needed some salmon in it!! well visibly anyway..
But i am truly being picky.. Lovely people working there and the Wedding Manager? Kirin.. Fantastic.. (sorry i called you Kev for ages and if i misspelt your name!!)

  • Stayed September 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PhileasPhil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ME
Level 6 Contributor
168 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2010

Lovely location in Kent - but would be even better without the drone of the M20 and the shock wave of the Eurostar in the same valley. Still, the ducks are cute, the swans graceful and the geese land in formation on the lake. Nice. The food was uniformly excellent, although service was somewhat erratic - clearly the wedding parties stress the service team somewhat. Wine prices were ludicrous - I can't understand this policy - why not sell more and make the same profit? Dining room very nice, and not cramped. Cream tea is just scones, tea served in cracked teapot with no choice of tea offered. Where cucumber sandwich?

Had similar room problems to previous correspondent, but did get it changed without issues and found replacement satisfactory. Beds do seem very tired, though - a relic of the previous ownership? However, there are clearly fundamental issues with housekeeping, and investment is needed urgently in rooms if this hotel is going to compete. All inclusive prices are attractive, but a clean, quiet room with a comfortable bed is the foundation of every hotel stay. Chilston Park is struggling with this. Don't expect broadband outside the public areas, either. There is also horrible, intrusive background music in the public areas at times. I really don't want to hear James Blunt when I'm eating, especially at the volume it was pumped out at.

We enjoyed our stay, mainly because of the excellent food, staff who spoke English well and tried hard to please, and we would return, but we will be very explicit about our room requirements when booking (in writing) and will insist on checking the room before taking it.

One final point - breakfast ends unusually early at 0930 during the week. It's worth taking, though.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank toomanybeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2010

Okay, having read reviews prior to visiting this hotel I was somewhat reserved as to what I may experience personally, but hey ho, I was prepared to draw my own conclusions. The hotel website painted a lovely picture of what we should expect, and indeed made the sound of our weekend stay inviting to say the least.

Having arrived mid afternoon, hunger was beginning to set in, therefore the inviting sight of other guests tucking in to a wonderful cream tea was a sight for any rumbling travellers belly........ on asking the restaurant Manager as to where we may also be able to obtain a cream tea, we were abruptly told that the lounge was full, therefore we could not have a cream tea that day...... as if that was not bad enough, we were offered no alternative food service and panicked that we would have a 5 hour wait until dinner that evening, instead settled for a drink at the bar, where we were then duly told there was nowhere to sit to enjoy our drinks and we would have to sit outside!! The fact that is was raining clearly did not matter in the eyes of the hotel staff. We were informed that the tables and seating in the bar area were all 'reserved', I must say that in over an hour that we hovered there, not one guest arrived to take these tables, however staff continued to usher arriving guests outside if they wanted to eat or drink.

In the time we spent in the bar area that afternoon, the experience was nothing short of being embroilled in a slapstick comedy to be honest. With staff rushing to and fro in a fluster, crockery being dropped and smashed, bickering between staff members infront of us, it left very little to the imagination. It appeared that no one was in control of a very busy environment and the sense of stress was very evident and wholly unprofessional.

The room: When I booked my room I was duly informed that I had been given one of the "best rooms" in the hotel (an Executive Double). On entering the room, indeed it did appear very grandeuse, a room with a distinctly Oriental theme, overlooking the lake.
The bathroom indeed let the quality of the room/hotel down. Missing grout around the bath and sinks, significant absence of paint on the skirting boards, something which in a 4* hotel was in my opinion more like a 2*.
Again a superficial approach had been adopted when it came to dusting/polishing - the main dresser in the room had such thick dust present, that my partner was able to write "clean me" visibly in the dust - not pleasant when the drinks offered in the room were also located on this surface.
As the evening drew in, the room became dark, on attempting to switch on the lamps (no overhead lighting present), out of 5 lamps only 2 actually worked, with one being a very small bedside one, the room was somewhat dark and dismal to say the least - fine for a bit of ambience but far from practical! The ornate sofa was on the brink of collapse if two people sat on it.

On the subject of a 'double room' - we actually had 2 small beds pushed together! And the hotels way of getting around this was to use a zip-up mattress cover to conceal it!

Handles and knobs(!) - despite being very ornate in terms of furnishings, we were once again disappointed that the standard was somewhat let down when for example on opening a drawer the handle then fell off in our hands! This was typical of many of the features in this hotel, superficially stunning, but scratch the surface and you see what this hotel is really about.

Dining - In defence of what has previously been written in my review, I must say the food was excellent, with a very wide and varied choice being offered. We were somewhat surprised that despite paying for room, dinner and breakfast as part of a 'summer deal', we were expected to pay an extortionate supplement for after dinner coffee!! Fair enough wine and water charged as extra, but in my world I have NEVER been expected to pay for such a basic entity such as coffee after a formal meal!

Apart from one extremely professional waitress, the dinner service was once again slapstick, with wine being spilt by staff, wrong meals being delivered to tables, and again a very 'stressed' team present in the dining room. For my partner and I, by this time we were using the errors as a form of constant amusement throughout the stay, which we are still laughing about to this day! I must say it was like being on the set of Faulty Towers!

It was apparent that there had been a wedding held at the hotel the day/night before we arrived - apparent because the remnants (glasses etc) could be found strewn all over the external grounds, which did indeed look tatty and unprofessional, especially the next day. Another example where attention to detail and appearance lacked.

Overall I will conclude our experience:

Good: lovely grounds, beautiful views, wonderful food (dinner and breakfast), good choice of wines (with of course very high price tags), helpful and professional reception/concierge staff.

Bad: poor service from front of house staff (waiting/bar), staff lacked knowledge, room was disappointing underneath the 'frills', additional cost of coffee at evening meal, room detail was unfinished (chipped paintwork, tile grout), dust beyond belief, beds pushed together to make a Kingsize, lamps/lights in room not working. General 'cant be bothered' attitude of many staff, insufficient lounge seating additonal to what has apparently been 'reserved', noise of the motorway close by!!

In conclusion, I fail to see how this hotel could currently be classed a 4*. If those who inspect look 'underneath the surface' and beyond the 'best behaviour' attitude of staff, I do believe a very different rating would be awarded.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank LadyLou73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seiontmanor, Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this review, 26 August 2010
Dear Guest,

I am sorry you have found cause to complain regarding your stay.

It is only when guests inform us of any issues they have encountered that we are able to make amends.

Rest assured your complaint has been discussed with my team to ensure we improve in the areas you have highlighted. I would like the opportunity to discuss your comments further so please contact me should you wish to talk through your experience to give me the chance to restore your confidence in Chilston Park.

With Kind Regards,
Steven Ogden
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2010

We spent 3 nights at this hotel in April 10 and had a lovely stay. This is the 5th of the Handpicked Hotel group we have been guests at, and the service and accommodation we had was excellent. We spent 2 nights in their "Cromwell Suite" which has 2 separate bedrooms to the lounge/dining area, it was great to have so much space as we had our 2year old daughter with us. This suite takes the whole top floor of the hotel, and the arched window in the middle is the bathroom, which overlooks the lake with the swans..., a real treat to take your morning bath with this view!

The 3rd night was spent in a junior suite "Reynolds" which was also lovely with a separate bedroom to the lounge area and 2 bathrooms with showers over baths. The service we received from the staff was very impressive, we never had to wait too long for anything and everything we requested was taken care of. We loved the relaxed and very friendly feel to this hotel.

All the meals we had were very good and breakfasts were so delicious. We think this hotel group is very reasonably priced for what you receive. Our 3 nights were so perfect because of the super friendly staff who did their best to make us feel so welcome. We enjoyed this hotel so much we have booked to stay another 3 nights in August (again in their Cromwell Suite) and i am confident we will have another very enjoyable stay. We highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank PDLMillSki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whistler
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2010

We arrived to be told we had been upgraded from our Executive room to a 4 poster bed room - sounds great!
The bed was far too large to make the room comfortable to move in - it looked out over the kitchen roof and all the vents!!! and it was so hot! - no air-con which is fine - but the room had been closed up and never cooled down. Not a good upgrade.
Restaurant staff are very nice but require alot of training, we arrived for dinner - it took 3 staff to finally seat us - we ordered white wine -only to be told it was not cold - they put it in an ice bucket - with not ice - only water - 30 minutes to get ice in it???
Dinner took forever - but the food was very good.
All in all, the poorest value and experience of the Handpicked Hotels we stayed in, The best was The New Hall by Birmingham and Audleys Wood by Basingstoke - both very good.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank WanderingCdns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chilston Park Hotel

Property: Chilston Park Hotel
Address: Boughton Road | Sandway, Lenham ME17 2BE, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Kent > 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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