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“Very pleasant stay - perfect for families with children”
Review of Marwell Hotel

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Marwell Hotel
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Winchester
Reviewed 6 September 2009

Despite some of the less favourable reviews on the Marwell, we booked a last minute break directly with the hotel, and received a welcome discount. We travelled with our five year old. We booked a Superior room as I had read that the rooms were tired, and we were certainly not disappointed. The room was very clean and spacious with a large double and a single bed. The bathroom was modern, with fresh towels and gels/shampoos etc. The idea of staying in an African themed hotel appealed to us, and that aspect of the hotel was appreciated by our child. We ate in the hotel on 2 nights, where we chose from the Bar Menu, and the Steaks were quite simply excellent and better than I have eaten in many more "fancy" restaurants.
There is also an excellent childrens menu, which is very reasonably priced, and was also very good quality. The main restaurant menu appeared quite expensive.
Breakfast was good, with a good choice of cereals, fruit etc, and a cooked breakfast cooked to order. Waitress service was very attentive at breakfast.
An all round very pleasant place to stay, especially for children.
One small criticism would be the addition of 5% servie charge to your bill, which transpires is completely optional, although it is added without first asking the guest.
On check-out however, this was pointed out to me by the receptionist, and it was then deleted without question, although it would be prudent to remember to ask for this to be deleted, rather than wait for it to be mentioned !

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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Thank KentMal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,211 - 1,217 of 1,257 reviews

Reviewed 4 September 2009

We booked as a late booking on tuesday this week. We had thought of going to the zoo for some time. some friends of ours said they had stayed in the hotel and were very pleased.
The hotel gives very little away from the outside, but once inside it is just delightful. The reception , receptionist was warm and inviting. The walk to the room is via a window lines 'tunnel' so you get the full effect of being surrounded by woodland. We were on the ground floor of the 'giraffe suites' The room was fabulous. The biggest bed i have seen. The bathroom was very clean and well presented. The The room was decorated very tastefully to fit in with the safari theme.
We decided to stay in the hotel for our evening meal and the food was fantastic. Panfried shetland king scallops with black pudding and creamed leeks for starters. Roast rump of lamp served with buttered savoy and pearl barley parcel (which was amazing) dauphinoise potatoes and rosemary jus. The lamb was cooked to perfection and soooo tasty. i asked if it would be possible at the beginning of the meal for a cheese board to be bought to room temperature and was delighted when the cheeses came out to find they were just right ( Lyburns aged wincehster, dorset blue vinny, somerset brie and rosary goates cheese with fruit chutney , rapes, clelery and biscuits.

There was nothing to fault with the whole stay. This hotel is only AA rated as 3 stars. having stayed in hotels that ocst three times as much and have been 4 stars, my opinion is that it is very under rated. And exceptional value!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank GaynorBert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2009

Stayed 2nights for our wedding anniversary on a D<.B & B break. Lovely room - updated since our last visit 3 years ago and very comfortable in every way. Weather wasn't very hot but there was a fan provided (no air conditioning). Good service at reception and in restaurant. Food is always very good and we received superb service at dinner on our first night with complimentary wine and a specially decorated pudding to celebrate our anniversary. We had a very long wait for dinner on the second night, we were told it was because of a wedding reception, but as there had been 2 receptions the night before, which did not affect service, we suspect there were other problems. Both breakfasts were good and service was quick even when the restaurant was full. We enjoyed a quiet dip in the jacuzzi before leaving, having waited until the families had finished having fun in the pool. We like the unusual Safari feel which the hotel has but have only stayed in the summer so cannot comment on heating etc which seems to have been a problem for some. All the staff were very friendly and helpful and we plan to return at some point in the future.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank time0f0urlives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2009

After reading the posts on this site it was with some trepidation that we approached the Marwell Hotel, having been booked in by our office as all other hotels were booked solid because of the Farnborough Airshow. Clearly this is the accommodation side of the local wildlife park so there’s an emphasis on kids and families and everything is jungle themed with all the rooms made to look like pseudo-pine cabins.

Fortunately we didn’t have so bad an experience as some others obviously had (maybe the management has taken note of all the criticism) and so it was it was quite a pleasant stay given that we had very low expectations to start off with.

Nonetheless there were still a few things that need addressing such as wallpaper peeling off, dirty carpets and rooms that were still way too hot despite a fan being provided. This was a real problem as the only windows were large French windows which opened onto fire escape type walk way and so I didn’t feel safe opening them for air.
I needn’t have worried as I only found the following morning that they couldn’t be locked anyway (simple latch but no lock) so anyone could have walked in any time. I’m not even sure the front doors to the rooms locked on closing – presumably they needed to be locked with the key when you left the room. Either way we fully packed and vacated our room every morning so as not to leave anything in such an insecure room.

Otherwise the room were large and clean rooms but I had a dirty bathroom with very, very cheap bathroom fittings – 1970s stick-on rubber tube shower that goes hot or cold depending on how many others are using it on the same floor.

There was a small sad bar/lounge area that was largely open plan so that people could watch their children. We arrived relatively late in the evening (after 9.00pm) by which time the restaurant had closed and there was nmo room service - so take sandwiches if you also intend to arrive late.

Breakfast was served in the nice light and airy dinerand there was plenty of choice, fresh fruit, yoghurts etc. Fried food is now banished to the corner so clearly previous criticism on this site has had its effect! The staff were young and often foreign but generally fine and the receptionists were especially helpful.

The car park was a bit tortuous, very uneven with one enormous pot-hole that would have scuppered anything short of a 4x4.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled on business
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Thank IntrepidVoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2009

This is a hotel with a difference. The car park is of grit and gravel construction and on a wet day holds the water very well. The outside appearance is not very appealing, with what looks like a guards gun tower overlooking the car park. Inside things get better though, reception was quick and efficient. Be aware that you will be asked to have your credit card swiped on arrival and charged £50 for any additional purchases that you may make during your stay. This will be refunded on check-out. I am used to swiping, but not to the pre-charge and found this disturbing.
Our room was on the ground floor and was a good-size. The bathroom had bath and shower over and was perfectly adequate.
The bed was as hard as they come, and a gap between the headboard and the bed big enough to lose a small child down! That said, we were so tired we still got a good nights sleep.
The bar area was very pleasant and the bar meals looked good.

Without doubt, the best area of this hotel is the restaurant. We ate here as a party of 7. Our orders were taken in the bar by the waiter and when our meals were served to the table by the waitresses, they knew who had ordered which meal and did not need to be prompted. Excellent service. The food itself was extremely good. The menu description does not do justice to the size of the meals served, good sized proper meals.
Breakfast was good, cooked to order and plenty of variety.

The style of the hotel may suit some, but its not for us and we would not choose to stay here again, despite the restaurant.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled on business
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Thank johnny-glen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2009

We stayed one night at the Marwell Hotel as I had an early start doing a zookeeper day at the zoo and this is right opposite the main gates so convenient. Some of the reviews here are a bit off-putting but we had a very pleasant stay. OK, it was very quiet (day after Bank Holiday and no conference groups) and yes, some of the decor is a little tired (nothing some new wallpaper wouldn't sort out) but the staff were exceptionally helpful and friendly and the bed in our room was the biggest we've ever had in an hotel! Comfortable too. The room was clean and a pleasant temperature - certainly not over-hot as some reviews have suggested. We had a bar meal in the evening - it was lovely and a decent sized portion (we did have the night's special). Breakfast was plentiful (Continental buffet and also hot breakfast to order) and was included in the room price which we found very reasonable.

One thing I would point out is that some of the corridors to the different pavilions have a series of steps going down to them which would be awkward to those with mobility problems or lots of luggage. There didn't appear to be lifts either and we were on the first floor of our pavilion - luckily we only had overnight bags. Check when you book as I don't think this applies to all sections of the hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank NotesFromABroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2009

Stayed here for the Valentine's night package, dinner B & B.
Very nice staff, good room and lovely food. The hotel is a sort of Savanna style which suits the proximity to the zoo well.
Pool was OK, only a titchy gym, but no chance of me using it anyway so no sweat there. Literally.
Perfect for a visit to the (great) zoo next door.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Andy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marwell Hotel

Address: Thompsons Lane | Colden Common, Winchester SO21 1JY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Winchester
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Winchester
Price Range: £72 - £130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Marwell Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marwell Hotel is based just outside Winchester, opposite Marwell Wildlife. Surrounded by woodlands, it really is a place for relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marwell Hotel Southampton

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