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“telephone reception man needs to learn to speak nicely”
Review of White Hart Hotel

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White Hart Hotel
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Lewes
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“telephone reception man needs to learn to speak nicely”
Reviewed 4 February 2014

Hello

I called the hotel to make enquiries about the spa and to book 2 nights. Bless! Not a pleasant experience as I felt I was being an incombance. A young man in foreign tongue answered and was vague, gruff and business like leaving large pauses in a short conversation. If I didn't know him better I'd say it was a sketch out of Fawty Towers?!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank teaaroundtheworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (322)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2014

My partner and I have stayed at this hotel several times over the passed three years, always in our favourite room, each and every time it has been a warm and worthwhile experience, we found all of the staff to be competent and capable , and we were very impressed by the ever present and hands on approach offered by the manager, nice to see the staff have changed , and communication is fully understood with no language barrier , lovely open fires and comfortable seating in the lounge , we enjoyed lovely ham off the bone sandwiches served by cheerful staff, and the atmosphere and general persona of this hotel has greatly improved over the last several months as has the menu, we are very much looking forward to our next visit to Lewes, and once again to this fine hotel, my partner and I would like to thank the manager and all of the staff for such a wonderful experience once again ,

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank R0n_dick0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GAC380, General Manager at White Hart Hotel, responded to this review, 9 February 2014
Thank you very much for acknowledging the improvements we are making and for your support. We look forward to welcoming you back and thank you for posting such a positive review!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stirling, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2014

While attending a wedding in December my girlfriend and I stayed at the White Hart for three nights along with a number of other friends. Some parts of our stay were genuinely great and others absolutely awful this place is a real mixed bag.

We found the late night porter/barman and the assistant manageress competent, helpful and welcoming. The young barmaid on the second night spoke pidgin English and had obviously no experience whatsoever - she simply couldn't do the job and really shouldn't have been just left on her own to try and get on with it. The older eastern European waitress who served breakfast simply can't be bothered and is outright rude.

The bedroom was particularly clean which is a big plus for us as my other half is a proud housekeeper. She couldn't find fault which is most unusual :)
On the other hand there were some impressive cobwebs up the curtains in the dining room which had obviously been there for quite some time and a couple of full bin bags just lying in the corner of the restaurant one breakfast. Not food waste or smelly but not what I wanted to sit beside...

Having read some previous reviews I had requested a room in the old part of the hotel, which we got. As a result we weren't bothered by neighbour noise although other members of our party weren't so lucky.

The gym has a good amount of machines and looked very busy late afternoon and into the evening. Quiet in the morning though and I found the pool empty each day after breakfast when I went for a dip - enjoyed that. The Jacuzzi is a bit of a joke though, it's tiny with very few jets and generally a waste of time for an adult to sit in.

We checked in quite late on our first night, had a drink in the bar and when we were heading off to bed we just couldn't understand some of the reviews posted here and for the amount we were paying for our room we were giving it a 5 rating. After experiencing a breakfast service and different bar staff on the second night I was wishing tripadvisor had a zero mark. Day three was fine but we couldn't face breakfast in the restaurant and weren't in the hotel most of the day.

I did hesitate over scoring this review... My overall impression judging solely on our bedroom and how handy the hotel is in central Lewes was above average for what we paid. A few of the staff are doing a great job but enough are a nightmare to ruin the place.

Room Tip: Don't be in the annex.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Adam_Bisset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GAC380, General Manager at White Hart Hotel, responded to this review, 9 February 2014
Thanks for taking the trouble to write a review, I agree some training of staff was necessary but we have used a quieter period in January to catch up. I am sure that you would see a big improvement now! Sorry if you were inconvenienced.
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Travellers are raving about these Lewes hotels

Southampton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2014

We booked in July & told there were plenty of vacancies but still were put in a sub-standard annexe where you could hear everything from the other rooms including toilets, people snoring. Some taps did not work & to get to & fro from the hotel you had to cross a cobbled courtyard. Christmas was totally without atmosphere & no entertainment as stated in the advertising. The bar staff were inexperienced & unable to mix the simplest of drinks. The food was OK & the staff friendly but was certainly not the merry Christmas we hoped for.

Room Tip: Do not accept the annexe
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Maureen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GAC380, General Manager at White Hart Hotel, responded to this review, 9 February 2014
We are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay with us, finding the right balance of entertainment to suit all tastes is a somewhat difficult task and although you were disappointed with our choice, it seems as though the majority of guests enjoyed their time with us.

We try to allocate rooms according to our guests' preferences, I would always advise potential guests to check with the hotel directly when booking through a third party if specific requests are to be made.

Again I am sorry that we did not live up to your expectations and your comments have certainly been taken on board as we plan this year's Christmas programme.
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Crediton, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2014 via mobile

A lot of reviews have been negative about this hotel and with this in the back of my mind I booked a room in old part of the hotel. Arriving at midnight the gentleman on reception was pleasant and helpful. The room was full of character and had all that I needed. If I go back to Lewes I would happily book in again.

Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Allan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GAC380, General Manager at White Hart Hotel, responded to this review, 9 February 2014
Thank you for this review, we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2014

Dear Mr. Clifford [---],
My family and I stayed at the White Hart for three nights over Christmas and I am sorry to report that our experience was terrible from start to finish; stressful, unpleasant and completely unacceptable. I can actually say that we have never been so disappointed by a hotel stay and the negativity that it generated caused ourselves and our wider family a great deal of distress over what should have been a very happy period.
My mother paid for the hotel as our Christmas present so that we could be with the family over the festive season (24th to 27th December). Therefore, I’m sure you’ll feel ashamed when I tell you that the appalling condition of our room, the awful customer service and the distress it caused ourselves, most specifically our 7 month old son, actually caused my mother to cry through the guilt she felt for suggesting we stay at your hotel.
Please believe me Sir when I tell you that I would much prefer to be engaged in an alternative activity on the first day of the year than writing this letter of complaint to you, not only because of the time consuming nature of the task but also because of the low mood recalling our stay is generating within me.
Our check in was a very humiliating experience. Having arrived at the desk we were informed that we would be staying in a room in the Annex, which we were further informed was a separate building to the main hotel. This initially presented us with cause for alarm because having booked the hotel through booking.com I had phoned the White Hart to inform the hotel that there would be 3 of us staying including a baby and would therefore like a room with easy access from the lounge in which we could monitor our baby as he slept in the evenings. In order to do this we had bought our monitor with us, which was clearly of no use at the distance from the Annex and anyway there is no way we were prepared to leave our son alone in such an isolated location. This meant we had no freedom from our room in the evenings and were unable to enjoy any of the hotel facilities.
Once I had expressed our utter alarm and disappointment at hearing where our room was located I requested to see the manager. Immediately we felt insulted when he informed us that there was no record of my telephone call to the hotel on 9th November 2013. Graeme [---] (General Manager) and I both know who I spoke to at the time of my phone call because the person, whose name I am afraid to disclose through fear of repercussions for them, was on at the front desk during our time of check in.
Admittedly I made a mistake when I first made the booking (on 9th Nov) and only indicated that one person be staying but I rectified this immediately with booking.com, for which I was charged extra, and again through my phone call to the White Hart.
The General Manager, Graeme [---], offered us no reassurances or help and was in fact very rude to us during our check in, which was later confirmed by other staff members when they approached us to apologize. Basically Graeme accused us of lying about having phoned the hotel on 9th November, which is something my phone records can prove, and was able to offer no solution except to phone round other hotels to locate alternative accommodation. We agreed for him to do this and having done so and found alternatives he informed us that we would still be required to pay for the 3 nights at the White Hart but he could give us complimentary use of the health facilities. This seemed utterly ludicrous and not being in a financial position to pay for 2 lots of accommodation had no choice but to stay in the Annex at the White Hart.
I did ask Graeme how he would feel in our situation and he said “very disappointed” and that he would “stay elsewhere”. Then I asked him whether he would just accept that he would have to pay for three nights at a hotel, in which he wasn’t staying all because the hotel itself had made a mistake. The only response I got to this was a shoulder shrug.
An additional solution Graeme offered was for us to stay at the White Hart and when using the hotel facilities in the evenings to keep our 7 month old son with us. This suggestion filled us with utter amazement and despair.
Our 7 month old son has suffered with severe eczema for the last 5 months and has been on various steroid creams and a lactose free diet over this period. The room that we were given in the Annex was so hot, due to the underfloor heating that it caused his eczema to flare up and as a result he slept for short 45 minute periods throughout the night due to the irritable nature of his skin.
We had no control over the temperature in the room because, being on the ground floor we were unable to leave the only window (very large and easy to climb through) open at night. With the horror stories told by the news reports today we were not prepared to take any risks, especially with a baby in the room.
I have a sleep disorder, known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea and although this is treated using a CPAP machine and mask which I wear in bed at night I never get the best quality sleep. This combined with the fact my son woke up so frequently caused me to get very little sleep during our two nights in the Annex. It is also worth mentioning to you that my wife, who is never ill, has been suffering with conjunctivitis and a severe cold since the day after we arrived back home. We can only attribute my wife’s ailments to the stress and depleted immune system which resulted from extreme tiredness and the distressful time we had at the White Hart Hotel.
During the first day of our stay two staff members on separate occasions apologized to us about our treatment and one even went on to say that he wished he had been able to talk reason into the manager but he valued his job too much for that.
By the end of our stay were completely drained from the constant barrage of disappointment and energy exerted trying to maintain an element of dignity amongst such an undignified level of treatment and conditions in which we would not even house our greatest enemy.
Following is a brief bullet pointed summary of other poignant factors that further contributed to our hellish stay.
• We were not showed to our room until I requested such following our check in.
• We were not provided with a cot until I requested one and even then the porter just passed it to me through the door for us to construct and then phone through to request a sheet.
• A dog barked in the next door room for the first 24 hours until I complained strongly to hotel staff and the upstairs sounded like elephants moving around, which further distressed our already inconsolable son.
• Had no access to wireless from the Annex and the TV in the annex room, our only source of evening entertainment, was very old and tiny.
• Following our second night in the Annex we returned from a morning out with family to find new towels on the bed but no cleaning had been done. This was the final straw.
• Sauna out of order on 27th.
My wife and myself felt very insulted throughout our dealings with Graeme, who adopted an accusatory tone, implying that the mistakes made were our fault and we’d have to ‘make do’. In addition we felt belittled and completely powerless.
That was until we employed the services of a close friend who has a very influential role in the hospitality industry. This person instructed us to ask Graeme several questions, following which Graeme’s tone immediately changed and were offered the Pelham Suite for our last night’s stay, which I understand is only priced at £110, just £10 more than the Annex. This news came as some surprise because the Pelham Suite is actually a very beautiful room.
We were moved to the Pelham Suite on the evening of our last night at the hotel. This room was really beautiful but our experience of the hotel had been greatly tainted by our overall experience and by this time we were barely able to appreciate it. Even then Pelham Suite, the so called Honeymoon Suite, had the following problems.
• Leaking toilet waste pipe
• A very noisy billboard directly outside the window with no end of chains and rope attached to it.
• No down volume on the TV control, and the
• Towels on landing due to flooding due to a rotten window.
Should you wish to confirm any of the claims I have made in this letter I have recordings of conversations and no end of photos available to you upon request. I have plenty of photos of the appalling condition of our room, including a broken shower stand, disgusting levels of dirt and stains, unmaintained trims displaying gut wrenching filth. I honestly wish I was exaggerating but it is clear for all to see from the photos I took that I am actually being very fair. In fact the carpet in the Annex room (number 34) was so filthy that you would not consider putting a child on it.
When it came to settling the bill for our stay Graeme refunded one night’s stay and by this time we were so tired of the whole ordeal that I could not find it in me to present a case for a greater refund. I am therefore requesting a refund for our entire stay, as means of compensating towards the distressing ordeal that my family and I experienced during our stay at your hotel, one from which I can honestly say we’ve never been so happy to return home.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank Dan C C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GAC380, General Manager at White Hart Hotel, responded to this review, 9 February 2014
Despite an appeal to Trip advisor to withdraw this review due to the inaccuracies and almost libellous accusations within it, they have advised us that our only recourse is to add a management response. To respond fully to this review would subject the reader to a defensive tirade in length and tone to match the writer’s comments which would not be constructive. Suffice it to say that from the way the review is written I am sure that reader will see through the grossly exaggerated text and inaccuracies recorded. They may question the photography which appears genuine, but it records features from different parts of a Tudor building which is under constant maintenance. Whilst we acknowledge that the writer was disappointed that we were unable to accommodate the specific location of the room requested on arrival, we should not have been subjected to the threats and aggressive behaviour meted out to us during their stay and the unacceptable level of criticism in the review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seaford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

My wife and I haven't stayed here but we often use it for coffee and a snack when shopping in Lewes.
As has been said before, the décor is a bit tired and some of the chairs in the lounge need renewing but the staff are very friendly and nothing is too much trouble. The young staff serving in the lounge are an example of how to make one feel welcome and makes you realise there are benefits to immigration, especially from Poland!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GAC380, General Manager at White Hart Hotel, responded to this review, 9 February 2014
Thank you for your review, we have some great staff working here who really care and I am delighted to see that their hard work is recognised by our guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about White Hart Hotel

Property: White Hart Hotel
Address: 55 High Street, Lewes BN7 1XE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Lewes
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Lewes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — White Hart Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Legacy White Hart Hotel is an unusual 16th century coaching inn. The original Tudor building has been sympathetically extended to incorporate a good standard of facilities whilst retaining its wonderful historic character. The public rooms boast period features, original oak beams, stone Tudor fireplaces, oak paneling and creaking, sloping floors. Then step into our leisure facilities complete with heated swimming pool and fully equipped gym offering treadmills, weight benches, cross trainers and much more. The hotel is within close proximity of Brighton and Falmer and Eastbourne. The train station is a short stroll from the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Hart Lewes
White Hart Hotel Lewes, East Sussex

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