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“Not a good experience - overwhelmed by a wedding”

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Ettington Chase Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ettington
Buckingham, United Kingdom
1 review
“Not a good experience - overwhelmed by a wedding”
Reviewed 8 May 2012

We had the misfortune of booking a stay on a weekend when the hotel was hosting a wedding party - although this did not become known until we got there. From the moment we arrived until the moment we walked out of the door we suffered the hotel's lack of planning for this wedding which stretched it's staff and facilities to the detriment of the few other hotel guests; key examples include:

1) Checking in - upon arrival we were told our executive room had been given to one of the wedding guests by mistake, I had booked this room online and paid a deposit, but there was "nothing they could do now, it was a mistake with central reservations" and so we were offered a free dinner and the only other room available with a double bed (we were also offered a single room!!). When we eventually got to the standard double room, which is not in the main house and quite a trek to the business centre-looking annex, the phone was ringing in the room, it was reception saying they'd just had a last minute exec room cancellation and so we could have the room back we had booked if we wanted it - great! - so we trekked back to reception. I must say the receptionist was very friendly and did her best in the circumstances, even appearing quite embarressed by her employers.

2) Room service - I rang for room service because it was in the room guide to hotel services and there was the usual dedicated button on the phone; we fancied a relaxing bottle of wine after our check-in ordeal. "We no longer offer room service due to a temporary central company policy" I was told - I asked for more information about this 'temporary company policy' and the receptionist quickly dropped the attempted cover story and admitted "sorry but it's this wedding party, we don't have enough staff to cater it and perform room service, we've stopped it for the weekend". So, we went and got our bottle of wine from the bar and carried it back up to the room ourselves - sort of a DIY room service! Not a huge deal or distance now we were back in the main house (it would have been had we been still stuck in the annex building), but the attempted 'temporary central company policy' cover story was both obviously false and insulting - honesty is a much better policy.

3) Dinner - no steak available, despite an empty restaurant (everyone was in the adjacent conference room at the wedding dinner) - thankfully the receptionist was taking real pity on us at this point and she booked us into a pub down the road called Chequers. A delightful pub within walking distance that we highly recommend - great atmosphere, great wine, great staff, and the steaks were great too!

4) Checking out – a small queue forming of the wedding party – but two tills available and both appeared to be in operation with reception staff. Only one person being served at the second till so I chose this queue, assuming it to be a non-wedding queue; however, when that person was checked out the woman behind the till just picked up a piece of paper and walked off, leaving me standing there, and leaving the friendly receptionist who'd taken pity on us last night, dealing solo with the now enormous queue which was as far back as the bar area! So I would need to join the end of that queue now - great, the wedding strikes again! Thankfully she saw me standing by this now unattended till (I still can't believe the woman just walked off and deserted the till with a guest waiting) and quickly checked me out rather than letting me join the her till queue.

The receptionist and the guys at the bar were all very friendly, they really did try and do their best to cope with a few ordinary guests on top of this wedding party, I realise that this is not their fault! But it is the hotel management's fault for not preparing properly for this wedding, I can only assume an attempt to save some money because the additional staff required to cope with a party of that kind is well known to hotels based upon individual hotel experience and collective industry norms.

This hotel is clearly setup for business conferences and training courses; anything else, like a romantic weekend away, or a wedding, is apparently a complete shock to their system; so they should change the way they advertise this hotel on their website. Stop trying to be something you clearly are not - the damage to reputation will inevitably impact on your regular business. My company will certainly not be using this hotel again for it's conferences due to my personal experience.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Simon G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ettington C, General Manager at Ettington Chase Hotel, responded to this review, 14 May 2012
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review following your recent stay with us. I was sorry to read you had several issues during your stay. I have discussed those specific to reception with the department manager who will in turn pass the on to her team. I'm afraid I cannot offer an explanation as to to the reason you were given for not being able to have room servce during your stay with us. We are currently in the process of amended our in room literature to reflect the current room service offering we provide.
Please be assured that despite training and conference business being our main market during the week the operations team are well versed in preparing for and delivering excellent service to the weddings and leisure guests we host most weekends. I'm sorry you felt this was not the case.
Kind regards
Stuart Fleming
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2012

Went here as part of a Joy Swif Murder Mystery Weekend. The rooms we were allocated were straight out of the 1950's complete with a bedspread that had apparently never been washed. Overall the hotel was appalling. The staff and the managertook no responsibility at all for items missing, false charges to the room, or the quality of the accomodation. They simply didn't care, refused to refund our money and refused to attempt to make our stay liveable.

The murder mystery weekend was also a complete waste of time and money. We have never been angry about being ripped off.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else or pay for the Suites.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Peztravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ettington C, General Manager at Ettington Chase Hotel, responded to this review, 14 May 2012
Dear Sir/Madam,
If you would like to contact me directly on stuart.fleming@principal-hayley.com I'd be happy to try and resolve your complaint re missing items and false charges of which currently I am not aware.
With regard to your issue with the murder mystery weekend may I ask you contact the agency your booked the event with directly as the hotel merely hosts the weekend and we have no involvement in pricing or content.
Kind regards
Stuart Fleming
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Travellers are raving about these Ettington hotels

England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2012

As a fan of Stratford-on-Avon i do visit fairly often and love the place. I have never stayed at this hote before but was lured by an offer of room, champagne and chocolates plus breakfast for a reasonable price in a 4 star hotel so thought why not?

The main building of the hotel (the one featured in all the pictures) is fairly nice, old fashioned building.. and there is a drive up to it through greenery, so it all looks quite nice. The blocks where the bedrooms are look a bit like a hospital.. although its quite clear even without entering that this place is set up more as a business/conference venue rather than a leisure stay. I would imagine this place would be ideal for business users as there is a very large car park and lots of bedrooms and conference rooms.

The reception is small, and the staff member who dealt with us was friendly.

Our room was fairy modern. A bit like a premier inn type style. The bathroom was slighty tired and perhaps not cleaned to the best standards, but all in all the room was OK. The shower was OK although only one towel was provided.

There were the usual things in the room you would expect, an iron, a hairdryer, flat screen TV with a few (not many) freeview channels, a trouser press and tea/coffee making stuff (no biscuits though, although i have noticed this to be the case in the last few hotels i stayed at... as a big biscuit fan, i find the phasing out of biscuits very saddening!)

The bed was very soft and seemed to dip in the middle, but it was OK. The room was a decent size too, and the champagne and chocolates were waiting for us as promised.

We didnt use the pool area so cant comment on this other than it looked OK on the photos.

We ate in the hotel restaurant for dinner and breakfast. Dinner was really nice. The waiters perhaps not the most attentive, but I personally dont like been fussed over so this didnt bother me. The food was delicious. I really enjoyed all 3 courses. Breakfast was OK also, but it was very busy due to being a bank holiday so food was running out fast. There was a lot of choice of cooked breakfast things.. not so much choice of non cooked stuff.

All in all a decent stay, which i enjoyed. Things to improve upon would be the cleanliness of the bathroom and the quality of the beds. Its just all a bit tired in the rooms.

The location is OK. Its about 7 miles out of Stratford in a nice village with 2 pubs.. both of which looked nice. Its an easy drive into Stratford if visiting here.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kglove101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ettington C, General Manager at Ettington Chase Hotel, responded to this review, 14 May 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to leave a review following your recent stay with us. I hope to welcome you back to Ettington Chase in the near future.
Kind regards
Stuart Fleming
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rhyl, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2012

Do not go to this Hotel for a relaxing break - believe all the bad reviews -No help with luggage struggled upstairs with cases, not informed of lift - bath plug broken, water luke warm, told would be fixed next day! Later told by another guest how to work taps to get hot water! Evening meal not four star standard, unpleasant to eat. Dining room full of corporate groups, noisy. Breakfast no milk for cereal, cooked breakfast items missing, ordered a well done egg never materialised, food was nice though. Geared up for corporate clients who breakfast early to get to meetings. Second night decided to eat from bar menu for safety, club sandwich - bacon and chicken cold, only ate a tiny bit of it - big mistake!! Luckily escaped to wonderful Arden Hotel Stratford heaven but I had an upset stomach on first night there and missed my evening meal! Two other couples staying at same time with horror stories to tell. So much I could say about our stay that was not good. Hate giving bad reviews.

Room Tip: Paid to upgrade to a superior room - only difference from normal room is that it was bigger, only on...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank christine p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ettington C, General Manager at Ettington Chase Hotel, responded to this review, 14 May 2012
Sorry to read you did not enjoy your recent stay with us Christine P.
Thank you for your comments though and I will use them to review the service and product we provide here at Ettington Chase.
Kind regards
Stuart Fleming
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2012

The rather attractive building advertising this hotel has little to do with the experience, being primarily a wedding-photo opportunity and housing just the superior bedrooms plus reception. The rest of the hotel is a modern, corporate complex, with even the dining room being the modern canteen style. I wouldn't have minded too much if the rest of the experience was up to scratch, but lots of minor niggles added up to a disappointing stay - the pre-authorised credit card spend was not recognised at the bar, the "special" wine on the chalkboard was not available!, the Sky TV showing my team's match was not working (and hadn't been for a couple of days apparently), much of the gym equipment was not working, and having looked forward to my sauna on Sunday morning.............out of order.
Food was OK and everyone seemed keen to help, but little actually worked. When I came to pay I was asked for a credit card surcharge - unheard of at a hotel, and I had to push to get a receipt for the payment which I made in cash.
Don't bother.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Agglestone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chesterfield
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

This was our second stay at this hotel albeit this was just a one night stay. I found the bedroom to be of a good standard and the mattress to be nice and soft but not too soft (everybody has their personal take on what is soft etc). The breakfast was excellent with masses of choice English or Continental. I found the staff to be very friendly indeed. I would stay again and I would recommend it to anyone else.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank daveChesterfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sutton Surrey
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We had a free night for four people as compensation for problems we had at my daughters wedding at Wotton House Dorking. The picture on the web site made it look old and that part of the hotel was. The building where the bedrooms were looked like a hospital. The bedrooms were very nice although my friends were next to very noisy people. We ate in the Tempus restaurant the food was lovely even better when it was a part of the compensation. The drinks were very expensive and especially the tea which was £3.95. The swimming pool etc was nice. Wotton House has a lot more land and is beautiful not much to see here. The village of Ettington has a brilliant pub The White Horse great food and very friendly people well worth a visit. We stayed for a second night which we had to pay for which was expensive. It was very busy as a wedding was on while we were there.

We had to pay for a second night which i felt it was expensive.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank achillies10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ettington Chase Hotel

Property: Ettington Chase Hotel
Address: Banbury Rd, Ettington, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 7NZ, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Warwickshire > Stratford-upon-Avon > Ettington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ettington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Ettington Chase Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 130
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Also Known As:
Hotel Ettington Chase
Ettington Chase Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

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