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“Relaxing and friendly, great value for money”

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Howfield Manor Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Chartham
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 November 2013

My partner and I stayed here for one night in November- we were taken by the receptionist to our room (17) which was a lovely personal touch. Large bed and TV, the room was decorated nicely and had good views. We had dinner and breakfast in the hotel. Breakfast was included in our room price, it was fantastic value for money and a large range of options. We both went for scrambled egg and salmon, it was fresh and nicely presented. At first we thought dinner was a bit overpriced but once we tasted the food, it was great value. All three courses were fab. Would definitely stay here again

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Amy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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225 - 231 of 387 reviews

Reviewed 8 November 2013

We stayed here on the way to Dover so that we did not have to have too early a start for our Ferry the next morning. I only booked it the night before via late rooms and so got a really good deal. £69 for two of us in a 4 poster bed room with breakfast included.
As we had arrived quite late we decided to have dinner in the restaurant. We were greeted by a very charming man named Eduard who took us to a nice lounge area so that we could have a drink before our meal. The meal was very good. For starter I had a tower of avocado, salad and prawns and it was very tasty. My fiancée had the fish cake with chorizo and that too was beautifully served and delicious. For the main course I had the ribeye and my fiancée had chicken stuffed with brie and wrapped in bacon. The presentation of both starters and main course was excellent. I would have liked to have seen the desserts but we were just too full!
The room was spacious and the bed was huge. The next morning we had a lovely cooked breakfast. The hotel was only 5 mins in the car from Canterbury, as we drove there to get some bits before we drove to Dover which is only 30 mins away.
Will definitely stay at this hotel again for an overnight stay on the way to get a ferry and will also look to come for a weekend as I would like to have more time to look at Canterbury and so this place would be ideal.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Simon N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Stayed for two nights in October. Good big car park. Our bags were taken up to our room. Clean, larage with a good sized ensuite with a bath. We had dinner in the hotel. Adequate for what we needed. Breakfast was freshly cooked. All the staff we met were very friendly.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank simba6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

Howfield manor - well, where shall we start?! They try hard, the staff are friendly and welcoming (in an over zealous slightly irritating way. Yes, I know they are only trying to be helpful)' there was space in the car park, and the tv worked....

That's about as good as it gets folks. Having said that, I suspect lots of people would like this place - for it's country feel, chintzy decor, wonky floors and low ceilings. But not me thanks. It started uncomfortably when the friendly smiling Romanian concierge/barman/waiter/IT specialist grabbed both of my two bags and insisted on carrying them up the my room. I know he was only being helpful but...."No, no, it's ok, I can manage, thank you" "sir, it is our policy, I will take them" he replied with a smile...or was it a grimace?

After landing in room 4 I flopped onto the bed (as is my want after a long drive) only to be halted abruptly by the rock hard divan base. Unfortunately, the wafer thin soft mattress did nothing to soften the blow! Never mind, at least this place has free wifi! Yah!! Errr, no actually! Well, that's not fair, it is free, it just doesn't work. "I think our router is a bit slow", the IT specialist suggested with a smile. "GET A NEW ONE THEN" I shouted to myself in my head (with a smile of course!). Just don't advertise free wifi if it doesn't work. I hesitate before calling myself a 'businessman' but I'm not in Kent on holiday so I guess that's what I am...and I therefore need reliable wifi...if only to check my personal emails. The light over the bathroom sink, which was sort of round the corner from the main bathroom light, was also not working, making for a dark shave in the morning.

The food - I selected from the bar menu. The leek soup was nice, the fish and chips were not, the fish was deep fried to a crisp. The creme brûlée was excessively burnt and a bit like thick natural yoghurt. But none of it was bad enough to send back, unlike the (incredibly polite and apologetic) lady opposite who reluctantly 'complained' that her lasagne was ice cold in the middle, whereas her partner's lasagne was piping hot. Schoolboy error Chef! If you're going to reheat food in the microwave, always give it an extra minute! The waiter seemed embarrassed and took it away. When I left the room 15 minutes later, the poor lady was still waiting for her reheated (reheated) lasagne. Her partner had long since given up the wait and nearly finished her own.

I had 2 pints of the draft local ale. Nice but ice cold. I like it that way but proper beer drinkers would likely be unimpressed with the chilled effect.

Room cost - £65

So, howdy Howfield. Lots of room for improvement. I do, however, realise I'm in the minority with this poor review.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
Thank Froggyman1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paulsharma, Director of Sales at Howfield Manor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2013

Wow, where do I start? or is it simply explained by your choice of hotel. If you want a generic, faceless, chain hotel, where everything looks the same and the staff look at you like aliens your right, Howfield Manor is not for you. If you want to stay in a place where guests matter, the staff are happy, yes that is happy, to see and assist you in any way they can, where they go the extra mile to make sure you go home thinking I am glad I stayed there, Howfield Manor is the place to visit. Did you not research the hotel first?

Surely if you have such exacting standards and you don't enjoy staying somewhere that has a country feel, low ceilings and wonky floors you wouldn't have booked a country hotel dating from 1181 onwards or am I missing something?Perhaps our previous guests who have enjoyed there stays have approached our hotel, staff and service in a different manner any have benefited from our high standards.

Yes we can get things wrong, which when we get fair comments we address them and our future guests then benefit. That is how review sites work.

Although I promised myself I wouldn't spend my evening writing in response I feel to support our excellent staff and more discerning customers I must, especially since you paid the princely sum of £65 for your stay!

Helpful member of staff, sorry, what would you rather have? The young man you mentioned is currently studying at the local university, his course: hospitality and tourism, his grades to date excellent. His approach to the customer has always been noted on our feedback forms, did you fill one of these in or would that have been counterproductive as it may not have allowed you to write your epistle on your return home ? No doubt if he keeps up being a customer orientated employee throughout his career he will either end up running a grand establishment somewhere in the world or if brow beaten by unappreciative guests or will have changed career. I don't think he can change his approach as he genuinely likes his guests, sorry! Not sure what his nationality has to do with anything but as a hotelier it has always been our pleasure to welcome people from anywhere and everywhere to work with us. I imagine if you were to visit hotels, restaurants, pubs or bar around the world you will find that there are people working there from many places, that's the beauty of the world getting smaller.

Wifi, yes it was being temperamental, BT have been changing the cables in our area, (as well as replacing them after cable theft) so the service has been up and own, the "IT specialist" you spoke to would not have been aware of this, as I am sure you can see you cannot have it both ways, helpful staff who know everything also can be perceived as over zealous.

Bed, our beds are supplied by Mattisons, they have been making beds for over a century, especially for the hotel market. The problem being some like the mattress soft some like it hard, one of the earlier reviewers has actually said it was the most comfortable bed they have slept in.

Light, I am sure you may have had this problem yourself, light bulbs do burn out. That's the nature of them. it has something to do with the manufacturer wanting to sell you a replacement. We find if guests find one of the bulbs in their room does not work a simple request will get it changed. Usually by the member of staff on duty, but you may have felt this would add to his may jobs and make him a jack rather than a master. Or would it be preferable to arrange a specialist? Did you actually mention the light to anyone?

Your comments on food and drink, again did you fill in a restaurant feedback form? The couple with the lasagne did, and it has allowed me to investigate and deal with any issues. I am sure that had they known you would do it for them they may have saved themselves the trouble. But since they did I can explain the results and recommendations that arose. If you had issues with your food, let someone know and they will deal with it appropriately. If they don't, fill in a form, if that gets no satisfaction, speak to the manager. Alternatively wait until you leave and write a review.

I am hopeful that in future you will make your choice of establishment more wisely and perhaps research them to see if they fit within exacting standards, I could list some for you but I am not allowed, friendly old Google will help, remember to look before you leave as the internet can crash anywhere.

I am more hopefully however that Howfield Manor will remain as it is with its slightly eccentric approach, with caring friendly and welcoming staff, serving fresh local produce sourced by our excellent team of chefs, all for an affordable price. I am sure many of our previous, and future, guests will hope so as well.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

This charming hotel dates back centuries and has quite a history. It does not have a grand foyer are large chandeliers. It does not have suites with bonus amenities. Instead it had an truly English countryside feel. It is a little out of the way if you go by bus as we did, but there it transportation right into the heart of Canterbury. The property is lovely for quiet walks and the restaurant downstairs is perfect. If you venture into town, there is much to see and do. From town you can take busses to other great spots such as Herne Bay and Whistable. If you plan in advance, ask for room number one. It is in the oldest part of the hotel and is quite roomy. Also enjoy a sit downstairs by the fire place and a game of chess. This is one of the more enjoyable stays I have had in England.

Room Tip: Ask for room 1
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank WorldTraveler0725
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2013

Wonderful stay. Booked for one and ending up staying for 3 nights. Large ground floor room with lots of light. Comfortable bed. Staff extremely helpful and seemed genuinely interested in guests being happy All deserve praise. Only had one evening meal due to other plans but excellent food and apple brûlée amazing good breakfast
One small issue-some mould on ceiling on otherwise clean and new bathroom
Would highly recommend this hotel to stay

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Alison R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2013

My husband and I have very happy memories of his hotel under its previous - and ultimately unsuccessful - management. Now under new (private) ownership, the hotel has been rescued from bankruptcy, and is actually better than it used to be. The building itself is historic - take a look at the dining-room floor - and if you want the clean soulless lines of a modern hotel this is not for you. The room we stayed in was excellent, the food in the restaurant interesting and filling (and very good value), the grounds delightful. But I'd say the best selling point of all is the staff. They are cheerful, polite, helpful and more than willing to do anything they can to make a guest's stay memorable. For instance, when they heard we'd been regular guests before, they upgraded us - without being asked - to the bridal suite, a spacious room with gorgeous views on two sides and a fourposter bed within. For all this the charge was £85, including breakfast. Come and try it for yourself - you won't be disappointed, especially if you book directly through the hotel site, and don't use a booking agency.

Radu and Alex, two absolutely charming young men, give the impression that all they want to do is serve you and make your life happier: give them a chance to do so.

Room Tip: Call the hotel yourself to discuss the options - I'm sure they'll do their best to provide r...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank judith_cutler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Howfield Manor Hotel

Address: Howfield Lane, Chartham, Canterbury CT4 7HQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Canterbury > Chartham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Chartham
Price Range: £63 - £130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Howfield Manor Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Country House Hotel in superb setting.Easy access to Canterbury ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howfield Manor Hotel Canterbury/Chartham, Kent

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