We have just returned from a fabulous half term break with our family (8 adults 5 children). The house is absolutely lovely with plenty of room to accommodate everyone. The children loved the pool and the adults loved the hot tub and sauna. We definitely would like to return.
As advertised on the website I booked a hen party trip to Houghton Lodge in August for a long weekend. 10 of us in the group the booking process was the majority of the time challenging.. I received minimal contact with the hosts when trying to confirm receipt of payment, and with it being large sums of money this was obviously quite concerning.
Nevertheless we continued with the weekend and arrived to quite a haphazard welcome from Matt as Lucy had apparently had to leave for sometime else.
The Lodge itself is very well set out and is accommodating to a group of 10 people with everything provided- the swimming pool is in the house next door and you have to walk through the garden past their windows to use it which seems a little intrusive.
Unfortunately anything about this place that myself and the party would like to comment on was overshadowed by the shocking behavior of Lucy. As a hen do we had obviously enjoyed ourselves over the weekend however Lucy started to message me, on the Sunday morning (after 2 nights) to mention about noise- to which we apologized but as was we couldn't take it back, however saying sorry apparently wasn't enough.
Unfortunately as well a handle on the hot tub was accidentally broken, and as we had paid a security deposit this would normally would be used to repair the damage, again along with my apologies. However I was nothing short of being bombarded with text messages and phone calls from Lucy who was irate and frankly incredibly rude and I have never been spoken to like this from a supposed "professional". After numerous messages and emails we received half of our deposit back, without proof of receipt of parts and a fabricated story of the handle miraculously becoming a "waterfall" was pitched to us. I'm not really sure what Lucy was trying to gain from this other than it was clearly obvious she has pulled a stunt like this before when she hasn't got her own way- as that's what she portrays herself like..
We apologized and said we were more than willing to pay for damages (as long as their was proof of receipt) and there was nothing more we could have done than that but it did not stop her from acting very unprofessionally as can be seen in the pictures I have attached.
3 weeks after our visit I had to email Lucy multiple times to ask about the security deposit as she had blocked me and it was clear she was probably going to try and keep all the money. However after multiple emails half of the deposit was returned- a number clearly just plucked out of the air, we decided not to pursue receiving anymore money back even though no proof of costs were provided by Lucy as I did not want anything more to do with her and her nasty comments and between 10 of us it was £15 each of fun for one of our closest friends hen do's. And we did not want it tainted anymore than she had already tried to do. I expect to receive another rude reply to this review (as lucy has done before to other guests) but wanted to make people aware of the behavior and unprofessional manner of Lucy- it's not worth it.
I suggest that the owners do not advertise the venue as hen do destination or even for groups of young people if they do not want people to enjoy themselves as they naturally would like too!
Overall we were pleased with our stay at Houghton Lodge. The house catered for all our needs, we loved the large living room and plenty of large sofa seating was a huge plus for 4 families staying at the Lodge (the photos online don't do that room justice!). The facilities are good, numerous bathrooms, outdoor space, hot tub and use of a pool. The enclosed garden leading from the kitchen is small, mostly patio and the hot tub, with a small lawn area, however there is access through the gate to a neighboring field and footpath taking you up to see some horses, which is great for kids - plenty of space there for kids/dog to run around which is really great.
The pool is clean and warm, but our only downside on this is that it did feel like we were intruding on the Downview Farm property, as you have to walk through their back garden, right past their windows, to get into the building where the pool is. Also, they can see the pool directly from one of their living areas, (the pool building directly joins to the Downview property with large full length windows, albeit with vertical blinds connect the two) and also viewable from their other garden (no blinds), so it didn't feel too private. Blinds on the pool side of the windows may be a good addition for those guests from Houghton Lodge to use when in the pool, to make it feel more like ‘your pool’ for the 4 hours per day you are allowed in it, to stop guests in the other property nosying at whats going on in the pool. For the price for the accommodation, it is a shame the pool is only to be used by Houghton Lodge 4 hours a day too (only in the morning), however it was made clear in the T&C, it is just a comment to say you pay a premium for a pool but 4 hours isn’t much, but for our needs, it was fine. Just something for other guests to consider.
Overall though, a pleasant stay! Many thanks.
Had a fantastic stay.every thing there to keep everyone happy. Definitely stay again.already thinking when can it be.x
Location good and lovely pubs in the area, annoying that a few things were not explained before arrival ( ie ) wifi and I did find Lucy quite rude at times, my main problem was the booking in the first place after several messages left and emails finally I had a response.
The house and facilities are good for group bookings.
The owners do need to accept constructive criticism they are not as professional as one should be.
A large group of family all gathered at Houghton Lodge for an early christmas celebration. Everyone instantly felt at home, there was plenty of space for everyone and kids never got bored. The owners had set up a beautiful Christmas Tree and laid the table all ready for our festive feast.
The area was beautiful and many of the group enjoyed some lovely walks. Garden was enclosed to keep children and dogs safe. Plenty of toilets and showers so no one had to wait. Very comfortable, very cosy and we cant wait to return.
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Fantastic house! Clean, well equipped, warm and cosy. Perfect for a family celebration or group of friends. The owners are lovely and put a great amount of effort into ensuring that guests feel welcome. I would love to return.