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“Huge let down”
Review of Ellenborough Park

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Ellenborough Park
Ranked #2 of 22 Hotels in Cheltenham
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Huge let down”
Reviewed 14 June 2014

We've stayed in many 5 star hotels and this has to be the most disappointing we usually leave this kind of hotel feeling spoiled, pampered and relaxed and wanting to return but not so here, which was such a shame as we had been looking forward to staying here.
On arrival even though we could see concierge in their office no one came to offer help with our luggage. They made no effort to try and check us in early despite contacting them weeks earlier and arriving at noon to check in ( I didn't expect the room to be ready then but there was no attempt to even offer to try and have the room ready a bit earlier than 3pm, ok this is their check in time but every other 4 and 5 star hotel we have stayed in has always manages to check us in a bit earlier when requested.
We did get an upgrade to a room by the pool which was nice( room 24) only problem was that the shower floods the bathroom and also there wasn't a suitable table in room so having breakfast in the room wasn't very comfortable there was a table outside but it wasn't nice enough to sit out.
The main problem with our stay was in the evening we sat in the hall for drinks, service was very slow it took over 20 mins for our drinks to come. Then we dined in the restaurant which has to be one of the worst dining experiences we've ever had, the tasting menu was uninspiring, bland with little imagination and the service was awful food was just plonked down with little description with the waitress looking around at other tables, our amuse bouche was nice and when we said this she didn't say a word she never once asked if everything was ok or if we had enjoyed our meal,our red wine came 2 courses too early and when my dessert came out my husband had just started to choose which cheeses he wanted so my dessert sat and melted. When we asked for the bill the waitress stood right next to my husband while he checked and signed the bill rather than leave it on the table. The restaurant manager just spoke to one table and ignored everyone else, the whole experience was a bit bizarre.
On checkout we had been incorrectly charged and again we were not asked if we had enjoyed our stay which was unusal if she had we would have said no and we won't be returning.
Overall the hotel buildings are lovely but the service and food let it down there just seems to be something lacking.

Room Tip: room by the pool if nice weathere
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
7 Thank JOOLS11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EllenboroughPk, General Manager at Ellenborough Park, responded to this review, 4 July 2014
Thank you for your review following your stay.
We are disappointed that on this occasion you did not receive our usual high standards of service and we will investigate the points you have raised. We do our very best to accommodate guest requests for early check-in however, if we have a full hotel the night before this is very difficult as guests like to stay as long as possible. Recruitment and training are our highest priorities and should you wish to come again I feel confident that you will enjoy a perfect stay.

Kind regards
John Hanna
Ellenborough Park
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (299)
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English first
LONDON
Level Contributor
41 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

The hotel is lovely, wonderful peaceful setting and nicely laid out. The main restaurant and the grand hall are beautiful. A nice reception on arrival is being met by your car and helped by attentive staff, who offer to park your car for you. The room was well laid out, nicely furnished with a lovely bright bathroom with good toiletries and a great shower. I ate twice in the Brasserie and once in the Beaufort. The Brasserie which lacked atmosphere a wee bit, was fine. Casual dining, the food was of a good standard and reasonably priced, a varied menu all quite tasty, doing what it said on the tin, friendly staff and an exceptional Spanish maitre de. The main restaurant was wonderful. We choose the tasting menu which was an absolute delight. Splendid food and attentive service, really very good indeed, exciting, delicious food. The small outdoor pool is very nice, sadly not touched due to the poor weather. The staff were courteous and friendly and we had a very enjoyable break overall.

However, I feel the hotel drop the ball on a few small issues, which lets them down. Forgivable as one offs, or at a cheaper hotel, but together quite frankly not representative of a 5* hotel.

The issues I refer to are:

Waiting for some considerable time on more than one occasion at the small bar area to be served. Waiting for some 5 or more minutes at an empty bar late afternoon.

Bedrooms not cleaned very well.

Cold cooked breakfast served and duly returned, the same the following day with a cold coffee pot. I saw a fellow guest have the same issue

Sometimes at the reception there is no one to speak to, You do occasionally find yourself lurking about trying to find someone.

Soap slither left and soap/shampoo not changed every day.

A/C in room not really fit for purpose, mentioned at reception but it seemed the same the following nights.

Whilst we had a very nice break and the hotel has charm and character, I do feel these minor issues just should not happen at a 5* hotel. You should get what you pay for, and this hotel is not a cheap option.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GREENBUSH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EllenboroughPk, General Manager at Ellenborough Park, responded to this review, 13 June 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to review your stay.
I am very pleased that most of it was excellent and that you especially enjoyed the 'Taster menu' in the Beaufort and also that Antonio was exceptional he will be delighted to see this. I have investigated all the areas which, you have highlighted and following training in each of these areas we will do our utmost to ensure that your next stay does not have these niggles.
We look forward to seeing you here again and next time it being perfect.
Kind regards
John Hanna
Ellenborough Park
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

The title really does say it all, from the moment we arrived to the moment we left, everything about this hotel was truly exceptional. We were greeted by a very friendly gentleman at the entrance who offered to take our bags to our room whilst we checked in. The room we stayed in was only a classic room but was still fantastic, spacious and very comfortable! We were staying in one of the new out building rooms, a short walk from the main house.

Quick tip, I cannot recommend the breakfast in bed enough, even with the food taking a short walk from the main house the poached eggs I had with bacon were absolutely perfectly cooked.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank mrob1988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EllenboroughPk, General Manager at Ellenborough Park, responded to this review, 13 June 2014
Thank you for your review following your recent stay. We are delighted that you considered your stay to be 'exceptional' We are also delighted to sea that your breakfast in bed was perfect.
We look forward to seeing you here again soon.
Kind regards
John Hanna
Ellenborough Park
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
80 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014

What an entrance when you drive through to the main house! The property and surround views are beautiful. It looks exactly like the pictures on the website. Our car was valet parked and suitcases taken to our room as soon as the handbrakes went on and we stepped out of the car.

Our room was large, airy and beautifully decorated. Large four poster bed, a nice sitting area and a lovely big bathroom with a beautiful Victorian bath.
We had cocktails and dinner in the main restaurant - and the food was amazing! Deliciousness throughout all courses. Breakfast there is also very good. A la carte and buffet (cereals, yoghurts, fruit etc.) was included together. The poached egg with salmon was perfect.

We had afternoon tea on our checkout day in the Snugg to celebrate our engagement the previous night and it was delicious. The pistachio cones were amazing!
Service throughout our stay was impeccable by all members of staff, we could not fault any part of our stay.

Make sure you take a ramble up to Cleve Hill during your stay if the weather is nice. Luckily the sun was shining over our long weekend. The hotel has a boot room where you can hire Hunters and Barbour jackets for your ramble.

Ps. I knew Ellenborough Park was going to be a great stay as they served my favourite champagne as their house - Billecart Salmon.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Everlong08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EllenboroughPk, General Manager at Ellenborough Park, responded to this review, 13 June 2014
Firstly, I would like to offer you on behalf of my team congratulations on your engagement. I am delighted that everything was as you would have hoped and that you had such an enjoyable stay here. ' Deliciousness throughout all courses' is a great expression and I am very glad we achieved this for you.
We look forward to seeing you here again for your next celebration.
Kind regards
John Hanna
Ellenborough Park
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Evesham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
196 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2014

We took a couple of old friends visiting the UK from Switzerland and spending a few days with us in the Cotswold, before travelling to London for the rest of their holiday, to Ellenborough Park for a full "Afternoon Tea". As I used to work there before retiring last year, I gave them the full tour of the hotel and they were extremely impressed about everything the hotel has got to offer their Guests visiting the Cotswold.

Once we had made ourselves comfortable in the Great Hall and our daughter also joined us, we had a nice bottle of Bellicart-Salmon Rose' Champagne, before enjoying a fantastic full Afternoon Tea. All the staff on duty were excellent, especially Stefan he was absolutely charming!

This is one of the very best place to go for "Afternoon Tea", in the whole of the Cotswold.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank italian186422
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EllenboroughPk, General Manager at Ellenborough Park, responded to this review, 13 June 2014
Thank you so much for your very kind review following your afternoon tea here at Ellenborough Park. I am delighted that you, your friends and daughter all enjoyed yourselves so much and we were able to provide you with an excellent experience following your retirement last year.
I hope your friends continued to enjoy their British holiday and we look forward to seeing you all again next time you are in the area.
Kind regards
John Hanna
Ellenborough Park
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

My wife, our 8 month old and I stayed one night here to relax and found the hotel and the staff first class. We would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel to friends and will certainly be back. The staff throughout are extremely helpful and the main old part of the hotel is stunning looking like something out of Downtown Abbey. We enjoyed a drink in the great hall (which we pretty much had to ourself) and ate dinner in the restaurant in the evening. The food and wine was extremely good and while not cheap we would say it was priced appropriately for the quality.

Im having to think very hard for a downside and the only thing to be aware of is that while our room was a good size and very clean and well kept most rooms (I think) are in a modern block at the back of the hotel and it does feel slightly disappointing not to stay in a more historic room in such a grand setting.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mr-and-Mrs-SW8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EllenboroughPk, General Manager at Ellenborough Park, responded to this review, 13 June 2014
Thank you very much for your review following your stay. We are very pleased that you enjoyed all aspects of your time here. Our bedrooms are located across 4 different locations and each area has a different feel and there is a mix of old and new so next time please ask to stay in a room in one of the different locations and we will do our best to accommodate you. We look forward to seeing you here again.
Kind regards
John Hanna
Ellenborough Park
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
54 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

A lovely hotel that would definitely be 5 star if it weren't for a few small niggles. Bearing in mind the cost per night, this should categorically not be the case.

Small niggles - we ran out of tissues, if you want more soap you have to make sure you throw the old small bar away otherwise another one won't be left, not enough loo rolls - all of which will, I know, be brought to the room in an instant, but not really the point when such things should be anticipated.

Our room wasn't vaccuumed during out stay, though the room itself is clean.

Under floor heating in the bathroom makes the room incredibly hot and the aircon isn't quite up to scratch. We couldn't find an off switch for heating so had to ask reception to get it turned off, which they did straight away.

Big niggle - the bar is very small, and the tables take up so much room there's not much space for guests. It's also incredibly warm in there! At one point we had to wait almost ten minutes when the barman disappeared, ostensiby to deal with something in reception, but, again, not quite good enough for an allegedly 5 star hotel. This was swiftly dealt with by the Maitre D, Antonio, who is charming and so professional I was surprised to learn he hadn't been trained in a top London hotel. He really is a credit to the hotel. As are Sam and James.

On the other hand, you can opt to have your drinks in the main hall, which is stunning. Again, a bit too warm. Which reminds me - try the Lady Ellenborough cocktail. You'll never want to drink anything again. Other cocktails are just as delicious, and immaculately presented by a young barman who really knows his stuff.

The continntal breakfast is excellent but the hot food and drinks are tepid. Very nice food somewhat ruined because it's not served hot. I think the tea and coffee is poured into the silver pots in advance and no one remembers to check they're still hot. Again, a minor thing but not something I would expect in a 5 star hotel.

Immaculate grounds, a magnificent refurb. Staff are, on the whole, attentive and helpful. The receptionists are very sweet, though it takes a while for the phone to be answered (sometimes so long that, if I hadn't already arranged to stay there, I would probably have given up waiting for someone to answer).

Food in the Brasserie is very good value and utterly delicious. A visit to the Beaufort is a must, and a lovely excuse to dress up. The wine list is impressive (go Billecarte Salmon!). Go for the 7 course taster menu - divine.

As an aside, I wouldn't bother shopping in Cheltenham. Bicester (about an hour's drive away) is, however, well worth a visit.

A nice touch was the tiny bottle of fresh milk in the fridge, as well as two small complimentary bottles of water. I know a lot of people say stay in the main building, but we stayed in a ground floor room near the heated pool, where you get your own patio and table and chairs. Very quiet - it really was like being abroad.

We stayed midweek to Saturday, when it was very quiet. There was a wedding reception going on which we didn't hear at all, which is no mean feat in an hotel. It's an excellent venue for business meetings or company weekends away, having both the facilities and a little bit of finesse that makes it appealing to professionals.

On the whole, a lovely place to stay. An hotel is only as good as its staff and what surprised me was how young so many of them were, but they have been very well trained and are unfailingly pleasant, courteous and helpful.

Room Tip: Stay in a ground floor room by the pool.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chunkylongtail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EllenboroughPk, General Manager at Ellenborough Park, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Thank you for your recent review, we appreciate hearing our guests comments and are sorry if we slipped up in a couple of areas, I have aked the relevant departments to review procedures.
Thank you for your kind comments regarding the various team members you encountered during your stay and we are pleased that you found all them to be pleasant courteous and helpful.
Kind regards
John Hanna
Ellenborough Park
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ellenborough Park

Property: Ellenborough Park
Address: Southam Road, Cheltenham GL52 3NJ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Cheltenham
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Cheltenham
#1 Family Hotel in Cheltenham
#1 Business Hotel in Cheltenham
#2 Luxury Hotel in Cheltenham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Ellenborough Park 5*
Number of rooms: 62
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Also Known As:
Ellenborough Park Hotel Cheltenham

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