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“just awful”
Review of The Red Lion Hotel

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The Red Lion Hotel
Reviewed 23 August 2013

stayed here for 3 nights, vastly over priced, miserable staff, awful room. not much more to say. hotel carpets dirty, pillows with no pillow cases, dirty showers, it goes on and on. the price we paid felt like we had been mugged

5  Thank rcharris
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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329 - 335 of 559 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2013

I booked afternoon tea at the Red Lion using a Groupon voucher. The experience was pleasant enough but it was such a shame that some of the finer details were lacking. The food itself was good - glass of champagne to start and scones, sandwiches and cakes on the obligatory cake stand. It was just such a shame that we were given saucers rather than plates on which to eat our food and there didn't seem to be any teaspoons available, only desert spoons with which to stir the tea. Minor details perhaps but it is such a shame that given the hotel's location in such a beautiful setting on such a beautiful summer afternoon in a wonderful Oxfordshire town, a little bit more trouble could not be taken to make this a first class experience.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lindsay99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redlionmanager_12, Guest Relations Manager at The Red Lion Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Hello Lindsay99,

I hope you are well & thank you for your comments regarding your afternoon tea at the Red Lion Hotel.

I am glad you enjoyed your afternoon tea & would like to discuss the negative points in your review in more detail.

If you could contact myself on 01491 572161 at your earliest convenience I would greatly appreciate it.

Kind Regards

Amit

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2013

My now husband and I celebrated the most beautiful day of getting married in the Red Lion Hotel in Henley.
The whole experience from start to finish was magical - the hotel is excellent for such events, the location could not be better!
The organisation of the day went so smooth with a lot of help and co-operation from Event Manager and all staff at the hotel.
We had everything we requested for the day and even more - the staff were so amazingly helpful and friendly, they put so much effort into turning our day into a really magical one (even ensuring our photographer took fantastic photos by the river at sunset!).
What can I say more - absolutely great choice of venue!!
We treasure the memories of a very special day!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MariHenley_on_Thames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redlionmanager_12, Guest Relations Manager at The Red Lion Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Hello MariHenley_on_Thames,

I hope you are well & thank you for your kind comments about your wedding held at the Red Lion Hotel.

I will pass on your lovely words to all departments & we hope to welcome you back to the Red Lion Hotel in the future!

Best wishes for you & your husband

Amit & the Red Lion Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2013

We were recommended to stay in this hotel as we had a wedding in the Henley area 2 miles from the hotel. When reviewing this hotel, it was suggested as one of the better hotels in Henley...i wouldnt like to see a worse one.
Prior to arriving and when booking the hotel, there were already complications. There should have been a rate set up, which no one seemed to know anything about...even after numerous phone calls.
When we arrived, from the outside, the hotel looked very nice and well kept. (Although could've done with a better sign as it seemed tucked away and we had to pull in very sharply.) The parking was at the rear of the hotel, but again, not clearly signposted and we struggled to park the car due to limited spaces.
The reception was very small, but the lady on the front desk seemed very helpful. Although our room wasnt quite ready, we were offered an alternative, but we opted to wait. When arriving to our cupboard (aka the bedroom), we had to squeeze around the door to a a small pokey hot stuffy area. We had a room that overlooked the river....but also the main road around the town.
When trying to sleep, we needed to open the window as there was no air con or fan. we opened the window to a nest of spiders...both dead and alive.
The bed was very uncomfortable and maybe shouldve provided a light duvet instead of a thick winter one for a hot room.
Around 4:30am, the bin men, lorries, vans and other large vehicles that had to pass within a few feet of our window which made the room shake and sounded like the vehicles were in the room with us, but we would have been hotter and even more uncomfortable by having the window closed.
Maybe, if we had had an inside room, our experience would have been better. Even when checking out, there was still confusion for the room price and there was no mention of the discount to stay at the hotel, which was expensive for what we had. Unfortunately for us, this was not a good stay and would not be returning; we even contemplated staying at the hotel in Reading where we had come from, as it was much cheaper, better service, bigger rooms and generally a more pleasurable experience.

Room Tip: Not on the main road
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank nomio19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redlionmanager_12, Guest Relations Manager at The Red Lion Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Hello nomio19,

I hope you are well & thank you for your comments regarding your stay at the Red Lion Hotel.

I am sorry to hear you did not have an enjoyable experience & I would very much like to discuss your review in more detail.

If you could contact myself on 01491 572161 at your earliest convenience I would greatly appreciate it.

Kind Regards

Amit

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2013

The Red Lion, Henley boasts a prominent location right on the river and should be ideally set-up for wedding parties (my reason for staying). There were complications in reservations and payments prior to arriving however this seemed to be in hand when onsite.

Generally this is a good hotel, and the staff were for the most-part well serving however the small touches such as no air-con and unclean public areas (multiple cobwebs everywhere - inside and out) did let it down on my stay.

With just a little more precision this would be a very strong wedding venue.

And nobody likes to see a "Giant Carpet Sale" happening in one of the conference rooms whilst checking out...

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank GavTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redlionmanager_12, Guest Relations Manager at The Red Lion Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Hello GavTravels,

I hope you are well & thank you for your comments regarding your stay at the Red Lion Hotel.

I am glad that overall you had a pleasant experience & I would like to discuss the negative points raised in more detail.

If you could contact me on 01491 572161 at your earliest convenience I would greatly appreciate it.

Kind Regards

Amit

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2013

This used to be a lovely, old world, slightly quirky hotel, with good service, a rather limited but good quality choice of food and wine. It doesn't really demonstrate any of these attributes anymore. It seems to be trying to appeal to a more mass market and failing. Sad.

Stayed: June 2013, travelled on business
2  Thank Geoff L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redlionmanager_12, Guest Relations Manager at The Red Lion Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Hello Geoff L,

I hope you are well & thank you for your comments regarding your stay at the Red Lion Hotel.

I am sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the hotel & I would like to discuss your review in more detail.

If you could contact me on 01491 572161 at your earliest convenience I would greatly appreciate it.

Kind Regards

Amit

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

In the last ten years I have been fortunate enough to attend half a dozen Henley Regattas, and been taken to lunch at the Red Lion on four occasions. Until this year, the Red Lion experience had always been top drawer and thoroughly enjoyed. A small slice of luxury and something to be relished. Yes, the carpets by reception are bit thread bare but that was part of the Red Lions charm and ambiance.

This year we arrived at coffee time to find that the hotel had rented out two lounges to a private company for a meeting. This was on the first day of the Henley Royal Regatta. Who on earth made this poor business decision? The Red Lion is located in the heart of Henley. It is exceedingly handy for the Regatta and is often used as a meeting point during the rowing festival. As a direct result of shutting these lounges, everyone ended up very cramped in the bar. It was not comfortable and rather unpleasant.

We had a quick drink and headed over to the Festival. We later returned for a pre-booked lunch at the Red Lion. I work in tourism so I have some idea of what corporate lunches will cost during the Regatta. You are looking at close to three figures per head for lunch, not including alcohol. I was a guest at this event. If I had been hosting a lunch at the Red Lion I would have been professionally humiliated and mortified at what I found. I really felt for our host.

We were not the last table to sit down to lunch, I would say that half the dining room had eaten. We found that the buffet had been decimated and there was poor pickings left. When our host complained the hotel begrudgingly and with very bad grace brought out a fresh salmon. I am not quite sure what the staff were thinking because they shovelled it onto the display. It ended up looking quite peculiar because there was the scabby end of a salmon and a broken new salmon.

Chaps you are catering to high end clients. We know good food and service - both of which were consistently below par. The menu was not that inspiring, considering the charge per head, and there seemed no attempt at locally sourced, speciality or organic foods. The menu didn't tempt you to eat. Some salad, new potatoes, salmon, pork pie, and a couple of different meats. Strawberries and cream, profiteroles or a very cheap cheese board. I would say supermarket cheddar? Where are the locally sourced British cheeses? Really disappointing. If I had been served this in a Travelodge or Harvester, the food quality would have been fine. For Henley Royal Regatta is was cheap and uninspiring.

Our host had booked specific wines and had checked with the Red Lion earlier in the week that everything was in order. However when it came to being served, things were not in order. The wine waiter had to go and find our wine and then attempted to serve warm white wine. Quite extraordinary.

In previous years we have always returned to the Red Lion in the late afternoon for drinks before heading home. This year because of the service was so bad and there was nowhere to sit, we stayed in the Stewards Enclosure and had drinks there.

I wanted to know how such a top drawer product could have degenerated so badly. The answer? The Red Lion had been sold to a new company since my last visit.

We have had some amazing lunches and service at the Red Lion during Henley over the years. This year's experience was dire.

Red Lion Management you need to sort ourself out quickly. You have a great hotel in a smashing location. You have dedicated fans. We remember having very special times at the Red Lion. If you want us to return, sort your life out. I know that I would now be very wary of booking corporate hospitality here, which is actually very sad.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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1  Thank Le_Scribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redlionmanager_12, Guest Relations Manager at The Red Lion Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 August 2013

Hello Le_Scribe,

I hope you are well & thank you for your comments regarding your visit to the Red Lion Hotel during Regatta week,

I am sorry to hear you did not have an enjoyable experience & I would very much like to discuss your review in more detail. If you could contact myself on 01491 572161 at your earliest convenience I would appreciate it.

Kind Regards

Amit

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 The Red Lion Hotel

Address: 4 Hart Street, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2AR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Henley-on-Thames
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 8 Hotels in Henley-on-Thames
Price Range: £78 - £124 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Red Lion Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the River Thames and the tranquil green fields beyond, The Red Lion Hotel, Henley-on-Thames offers the most sought after location in the heart of one of Southern England's most beautiful and affluent market towns. It is also home to the most expensive home outside London.With four spacious banqueting and conference suites and thirty-nine individually designed bedrooms, each with its own unique history and character, The Red Lion offers over 600 years of experience in service to some of the country’s most prominent figures.Superbly located just two minutes from the market square, The Red Lion rests just five minutes from the Henley Railway Station and a short drive to the M4 and M40 motorways allowing for excellent access to London and the surrounding areasOur dining room offers an outstanding menu, using only the finest seasonal and local ingredients.Our unique wedding suites make this the ideal venue for weddings and civil ceremonies. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Lion Hotel Henley-On-Thames
Red Lion Henley On Thames
Henley-On-Thames Red Lion

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