My wife and I stayed for one night at Salomons near Tunbridge Wells as a short break, last night. We booked based on the decent reviews (I'm still slightly confused about those....), the very attractive buildings and beautiful grounds. The cost for the room and continental breakfast was £90.
On arrival we found our way, through very nicely landscaped grounds, to the reception where it took several minutes of banter between staff before anyone actually came to help us. When checked in the receptionist asked
"Are you aware of where our accommodation blocks are"
This raised some concerns which were confirmed when he showed me a map of the site and pointed to some out buildings. Not wanting to pre-judge or be negative I took the keys and drove around the site until we reached what most honestly is described as a series of 1970s University Halls of Residence. The grounds had been recently landscaped (no plants or shrubs yet, fair enough but somewhat at odds with the website images of rolling, manicured gardens and country estate) and the buildings were out if sync with the attractive, historic main house.
Having let ourselves in the impression was improved a little as the renovation has clearly been recent. The common parts clean, if cheaply decorated. Our room was immaculate, but tiny and single glazed. The bed comfortable and bathroom clean but very basic. We felt that this was a long way from what the website and photos promised and went to speak to the reception who told us (twice during our stay) that we weren't the first to mention the mismatch, to express disappointment and to raise issues. Apparently, this has been passed on to the managers but no changes get made to the site or description.
Breakfast was sparse, but reasonable, the suggestion that we pay a further £15 for cooked breakfast was out of the question once we saw the dishes sitting, congealing at the side of the room. For the price, you expect a bit better.
The staff were polite, but seemingly powerless and clearly embarrassed. If I'd paid £50-60 for a business stop over I'd feel it was fair, £90 sold as a romantic getaway is far from realistic. We so wanted to love this place and were happy to find it but unfortunately can't recommend very highly after feeling quite mislead and left with a sense of frustration at how much better it could have been. It's worth mentioning that there are NO rooms in the main house - all our in the blocks. Look at the site, is that clear to you?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Salomons Estate is a stunning Victorian mansion combining elegance and history. The house is set in 36 acres of picturesque gardens, woodlands and lakes nestled in the heart of the Garden of England. A mix of king-size, doubles, twins and singles bedrooms are available in 47 well-appointed bedrooms situated in two purpose-built accommodation buildings a short walk from the mansion house. Each room has en-suite shower facilities with shower and complimentary toiletries. There is a TV, telephone, hairdryer and tea and coffee facilities. A Continental breakfast is served each morning in the mansion house. The Estate offers a spectacular venue for your wedding, your next conference or a great day out with facilities to suit your every need from sumptuous dining and exciting nights out to fascinating historical setting and luxurious overnight stays. This venue offers a picturesque and tranquil environment whilst only being a short distance from both Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Salomons Estate Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent