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Reviewed 16 September 2010

This hotel was our first choice venue but a shortage of rooms made us look elsewhere, however Charlie (the quirky owner) was wonderful from the moment we confirmed that we were relocating to The Hotel Grosvenor 10 days before the wedding! (Incidentally we have eaten lunch and taken coffee here fairly regularly before the wedding - it is consistently excellent in a unique way).

Charlie really sets the tone and standard for the rest of the staff here, they are young and certainly some are inexperienced but this is why this place works and others do not! Everyone here likes being here and it just shines through in genuine enthusiasm for the the guests and each other. We were made to feel part of the 'family' but at no time were the boundaries blurred and no request was too difficult, needless to say there was lots of laughter and we cannot stress how relaxed we were in our dealings with the Grosvenor Team, instinctively we knew that we could trust them.

Planning our day was a real team effort and ideas flowed easily in both directions culminating in a shared understanding of what we would each do and how. I had decided to do all of the decorations as I was totally inspired by the venue (including the flowers). The team led by James spent several hours the afternoon before the wedding in the ballroom with me polishing glass, tying hearts onto chairs and putting roses into jars, not to mention finding all of those little things that I had overlooked and offering last minute ideas - it was such fun.

Mark is the most understated and wonderful chef, he was genuinely happy with our chosen 7 course menu, he really brought our food to life with love on every plate. The challenges laid down were truely exceeded; perfect starters, the best beef ever (everyone's food was piping hot), Pavalova to die for and cheese as it should be, I could rave about the merits of every course and can still taste the food and wines especially the dessert wine!

The staff had to arrange the wedding cakes that had been made by my aunt and daughter - again no problem and they really presented them beautifully. Not one of our (mostly fussy) 27 guests had a single complaint, in fact we have repeatedly been told that this is the best wedding food ever!!! (and they are all looking forward to sharing our anniversaries......) Incidentally we started eating at about 2.30 and just kept going until the bacon butties at 9pm, which really rounded of the day swished down as they were with yet more champagne - the perfect finishing touch.

As part of the day Charlie promised us the services of James the bar manager who is a talented photographer and while we are unfortunately still awaiting the disc the photo's on the website are lovely. So guys when will we receive the rest of the photo's? This is our only complaint!

As an overview for those of you who are considering this as your venue do not hesitate, we were met, fed and watered to an exceptional standard and we have been to many splendid weddings. Be specific about any requests and don't worry about changing your mind as the team are really professional and they thrive when working with you.

Top tip - Firstly before making your decision do a mystery shop as we are confident that they are consistent with our review.

Other Tips and ideas:

1. The day after the wedding we had a post wedding lunch in the main dining room for 22 family members which was as great as the previous day so if your budget stretches it is really worth it.

2. Do take up the offer of lunch and a wine tasting to help you make your decisions as this can help you theme your day, also book a taxi or a room for afterwards to properly enjoy (we had to do the school run!!!)

3. Honeymoon Suite - double shower, roll top bath and fab coffee machine, we loved it, but the room does lack lighting for make-up and hair but I'm sure that Charlie has these minor glitches in hand. If you are staying the night before you will need to think carefully about these things to avoid stress on the day.

4. Get the parking sorted and agreed beforehand as this was a problem for some of our guests who had to feed the meter.

5. We entirely recommend our vintage car firm but not the local taxi firm who were late and lost property!

6. Agree exactly what, how and where the drinks reception will be conducted, include wet weather arrangements. (There had been a downpour during our wedding service and the puddles on the patio soaked the hem of my dress, but also guests were not really directed onto the patio and things were a little dis-jointed for a while).

7. Don't be tempted to 'over wedding' the ballroom, it is a natural and needs little extra to create a personal statement.

8. Have a final meeting with the staff the day before to deal with last minute arrangements and check understandings, expectations, etc. For us we had a couple of teenagers and wanted to ensure that there were no hangovers, lets say our system could do with refining!

9. Throw your bouquet from the balcony it was a real grand finalie for us and the guests as they left..... for the evening.

Regrets - not being able to arrange live music (we ran out of time).

Overall; as you will have read this was a wonderful day for us and our guests I hope that you have as much fun. We are both happy to be contacted to share our experience and answer any questions, Charlie has our number. In the mean time we will be booking our first anniversary dinner very soon! Wishing Charlie and the lovely staff as much happiness as we have and continue to enjoy, we wish them continued growth and every happiness for the future.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Chunkymicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2010

We had high hopes for our trip to Hotel Grosvenor after reading the reviews here but came away feeling a little bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, there are great aspects to it and it’s definitely worth staying there but there are a few details that if they get right, would turn this from a good hotel to a fantastic hotel. So, the great things:
- Food – the food is fantastic. Their chef has to be their best asset, we had delicious meals, excellent quality and value. Dinners were amazing and the cooked breakfast, excellent.
- Design – the hotel has a lovely feel to it, upmarket but relaxed, nicely designed bedrooms and reception areas. Beds are wonderfully comfy!
- Location – right in the heart of Shaftesbury, it’s a great base to explore the town and the region.
And the things that could have been better:
- Staff – really friendly at all levels but most of them are quite young and inexperienced and the place seemed to be lacking leadership. For example, in the restaurant, numerous requests were forgotten by staff, we had the wrong bottle of wine given to us two nights running etc. Nothing major but a bit more training and this place could be really good.
- Design – the restaurant design is interesting, looks great in the pictures but when you go in, it’s a really big space, not very intimate and it has the feel of a large canteen. The seats are really low (all the guests were asking for cushions!) and lighting is cool but makes it nigh on impossible to read the menu! Same situation in the bedrooms, just not enough lighting. If your room faces the high street like ours did, you have to keep the blinds down a lot of the time which again with the lighting available, makes it really difficult to read. Rooms are huge but could benefit from some seating and a fridge.
- Location – as I said, great but request a room away from the front of the hotel. It’s not really noisy at night but during the day it is so if you can, might be a better option.

As you can see, nothing major and certainly not a reason not to go there, hopefully the hotel will see these comments and fix these tiny details to make it perfect for the rest of you planning a trip there!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank eb02twhg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2010

My one night stay was with my wife to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. And I have to say I could not have picked a better place for such an occasion.

The check-in was not really a check-in at all. Immediately upon arrival at the hotel we were shown to our room, which was a very spacious and tastefully furnished junior suite. The bathroom was a very good size with a luxiurious roll-top bath and flat screen TV for viewing was having a good soak. The shower was a fabulous 'rainforest' type, and was big enough for two (????).

The bed was incredibly comfortable, with really good pillows and a lovely soft duvet. The room had a flat screen TV, along with a posh coffee maker (not sure of its make). Even though the room was facing the main street, and the windows were not double glazed there was little or no noise after 11.30pm.

We didn't visit the hotel bar, and instead had a lovely couple of hours in The Mitre on the high street, enjoying the good ales and views. However, we did eat at the fantastic restaurant in the evening, which provided excellent food at what I would consider to be good value for money. Three courses for the two of us, along with a shared cheese board and a bottle of red wine came to £100. The wine list in particular seemed to offer excellent value for money compared to other 'fine dining' restaurants' I have had the pleasure of eating at. For example, our bottle of Argentinian Malbec (a great complement to the beef) was only £23.

The restaurant also provided breakfast in the morning. All made to order and very good. A small buffet offering cereals, pastries and fruit, along with a selection of hot food. An outstanding breakfast of which there is no doubt.

Check out was fast and efficient.

I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to my closest friends, and would go back. A fantastic experience.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank robski_korsikoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2010

Well situated boutique hotel in the centre of Shaftesbury with free parking a short walk around the corner.
We stayed here on a Tuesday and Wednesday night, 13th-14th July on a dinner, bed and breakfast deal.
Our room was trendy and very spacious. Although it lacked bathrobes, biscuits (on the first night!) and a toothbrush mug it DID have a Tassimo machine with ample pods - fantastic!!
The restaurant was extremely quiet on the first night - just one other couple - but strangely full to overflowing the next evening. Food was excellent and not overly priced but unfortunately the service was terribly slow on occasion, which lead to a couple of luke warm dishes - shame.
We were struck by how incredibly young all the staff seemed to be - not one appeared to be over 20! Without exception they were all very polite, courteous and helpful.
The bar was great and it had a super, cosy lounge.
All in all, very pleasant and I would recommend to couples of all ages.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Claire4567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2010

Some days ago we stayed at the Wentworth Hotel in Aldeburgh; this week is was the Grosvenor Hotel in Shaftesbury. In many ways, these hotels are as different as they possibly could be – in location, in history, in ownership and in their style of service. However, both attract enthusiastic customers, at least that is what TripAdvisor seems to be saying. The difference between the two was summed up before we had even arrived at the Grosvenor. At both hotels, we ‘phoned a few minutes ahead to ask for details about parking. At both hotels, we were given perfectly adequate instructions. However, at the Wentworth, we made our way from the hotel parking, across the road to ring the bell in reception. At the Grosvenor, a young man was standing outside the door to take our cases to our rooms, to direct us to parking, and to arrange tea, gratis, for when we returned. Such things make a difference. And, this level of interested service was apparent throughout our days at the Grosvenor. Those who recruit and train here should be congratulated.

The room, described as superior, was much as one would expect in a new ‘boutique’ hotel, with a flat screen, MP3 player, posh coffee machine and a very large ensuite. The bed was excellent. Sadly, the only chair was a desk chair and not the sort for relaxing and reading and the cupboard was large but not much else. The architect seemed keen to throw light down the toilet which left the bathroom mirror somewhat gloomy and shaving problematic!

The Grosvenor prides itself on its food and rightly so. The chef is Michelin starred and trademark twists of biscuitry and of smoked bacon appeared in many dishes. Meals, both breakfast and dinner, looked really good on the plate and tasted so. There were lovely lemon cakes and chocolate brownies for tea. Over three main meals, a wonderfully light pate, a courgette soup, an excellently cooked and rich duck, and a custard tart were memorable. The tasting menu, usually an opportunity for flamboyance, was somewhat muted. The chef has an enthusiasm for sharp blue cheese which appeared in soup, in a fettuccine and again as part of the cheese selection. The last was probably a mistake as it completely overwhelmed a less strident goat’s cheese. (My wife disagrees with that last bit .. )

So, on balance, this is an excellent hotel with nice rooms, great food, and an interested staff. At the time we stayed, the Grosvenor had a very attractive offer of £150 per couple for bed and breakfast which included a £50 contribution to dinner, this being the price of two set dinner menus. This was excellent value and I see that the hotel agrees, as for August the price has been raised to £175. It is then probably right that an extra service charge should be added for food and drink outside the inclusive arrangement. Whether, then it is also right to present a bill asking for a further gratuity, where the POS system limits you to paying some fixed percentage of the bill – 5%, 10%, that, frankly, I am not sure about. The Grosvenor needs to be quite clear about its rates and what extra it needs you to pay and what it would encourage you to pay.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Paul71043
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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