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“Excellent hotel, disappointing welcome”
Review of The Arden Hotel

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The Arden Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 September 2012

This is a superb hotel and the breakfast is excellent. Unfortunately, the member of staff who checked us in and whom we encountered a few times during our stay was consistently abrupt and unfriendly. Service was otherwise fine however and this was the only low point of an otherwise extremely pleasant visit.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank LondonScot20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 August 2012

My wife and I first stayed at the The Arden in 1985 so we have seen it in many guises. Our stays have not been without previous problems, the most disappointing of which being a visit some twenty years ago when we turned up to discover a full scale rebuild going on around us. That resulted in a complaint letter and a free stay the next time we went! As has been mentioned previously in other reviews the hotel has just gone through another major refurbishment and boy have they spent some money on it. Thankfully this time the new owners (who include the RSC) decided to close the hotel to undertake the upgrade and given the amount of change there has been this was the only really sensible way to do it, well done to them for taking that view.

The hotel now is beautifully decorated. Reception is now at the rear of the hotel which is great if you arrive by car but not if you come by taxi I suspect. The whole of the ground floor is given over to the brasserie/bar/restaurant and they have some fairly large outside seating areas which are great if the sun shines (but not so great if it doesn't). Bedrooms are mainly on the first and second floors. We had two rooms, Maple (a suite or "feature room" as they call it) and Magnolia (a superior twin/double room which was next door used by my daughters aged 13 and 17). Both rooms were very good, beautifully appointed and beds comfortable. Slight issues with the rooms were the lack of air conditioning (mentioned in other reviews) which meant having to leave a window open and listen to the traffic go past and the depth of the bath tubs which were diffiult to get in and out of. These were minor issues though and the overall quality is very high.

We did not eat in the hotel apart from breakfast which was on the whole very good, beautifully cooked and presented using very nice ingredients. Service at breakfast was generally good but given that most of it is self-serve buffet style this is to be expected. We ate out in the evenings having pre-booked two other places to eat prior to arrival. My overall impression of service in the bar/brasserie is that it needs a bit of work. It is not obvious who is "in charge" and because of the latest changes made during the refurbishment there is a big space to cover and there are quite a few "nooks and crannies" which need monitoring. There is no shortage of staff/waiters but they seem to lack experience and need a little more direction. Several times we waited to be served drinks and ended up getting up and ordering them at the bar. Given that they are charging £16 for a glass of Bollinger champagne this shouldn't have to happen.

When we returned to the bar on our last night we were sat next to a couple who had clearly just eaten and were having a bit of a domestic about something or other (couldn't tell what it was but the woman clearly came out on top!). Next thing we knew the man marched over to the bar and called over what I assume to be the bar manager and gave him a tongue lashing about the poor quality of service and the fact that they seemed to have been forgotten and their plates had not been cleared. The waiter guy did not seem to know what to say, he aplogised profusely and said that the position of the couple in the room, meant they were difficult to keep an eye on which was a bit of a lame excuse really given they were no more than 20 feet from the bar. I personally thought the guy who complained made himself look a bit of an idiot and went over the top (I think he was trying to get some free drinks) but his underlying criticism of table service was I think valid.

The bar space does not have clearly delineated areas for food only and drinks only and they seem to be encouraging people to eat and drink in any part of the bar area. Having built such a large ground floor space the hotel needs to ensure that customers paying top price for food and drink, in whichever part of the bar they are in, feel they are being fully looked after. We didn't let it spoil our stay at all and we found all staff friendly and welcoming especially reception, concierge and the bar staff we encountered. We will return to the Arden again I am sure and I would recommend you give it a try.

Room Tip: You get what you pay for at this hotel - best rooms are at the front of the hotel in the older part...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Rob W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2012

Great location , good staff on check in , luxurious room , comfy beds- however no air con so very challenging in hot weather due to some noise from the road/theatre goers. Part of SLH so got upgrade and chocs/champagne very nice !
Bathroom - top notch .
Food in restaurant very good , evening service excellent , breakfast service however very slow - not just me but many others were waiting a long time for our cooked orders , in my case it was forgotten and then re ordered .That is the only reason for the mark down

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled solo
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Thank BellaMBJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2012

My Wife and I stayed at the Arden as part of a few days away to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary. Our experience from check-in to check-out, was 1st class. Faultless friendly service from all staff, good food, spotlessly clean throughout and a great location by the river.
We were made to feel very special by the staff and would definitely consider returning in the future.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank RichardPeters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2012

We used to stay here some ten years ago on a regular basis and so it was interesting to see how it had been refurbished. The rooms are now luxuriously appointed with very good quality bathroom fittings. The staff were very welcoming and the restaurant staff particularly helpful. The proximity to the RSC also is a great asset. Rooms are hot and the odd slip here and there in the housekeeping, such as supplies of fruit and tea and coffee not being replenished need attention but a good venue nevertheless if a bit pricey.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank StuartLiverpool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2012

This is a great hotel, run by nice people, and the rooms are well furnished. We eat in the brasserie and watched the sun set, the food was great and parking the car securely was a bonus. We had breakfast as well, and again very happy with that.

I requested foam pillows and they were on the bed so all good stuff.

My big but, and I hadn't picked it up in the other reviews was the lack of air conditioning. The ground floor room was very hot, and if the window was open you got all the noise of people passing the window and talking on the phone. If it was closed we were far too hot! There was a fan in the room, but it was just pushing the warm air about.

We slept pretty badly, on and off, it was just a hot room, which I think is probably a symptom of the ground floor rooms that face the car park and get the setting sun.

The reception assure me that Air con is being fitted over the winter so if you go outside the summer or in 2014, you probably would not have the same problem!

Room Tip: Rooms facing the car park are quieter but can be hotter as the sun sets that side. I would guess th...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Martyn K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2012

Nice boutique style hotel. Lovely refurbished rooms in a great location. Food and drink a bit pricey but service excellent. Nice for a short weekend away. Stayed for a Sunday on the bed breakfast and diner rate.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mandybb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Arden Hotel

Address: 44 Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Warwickshire > Stratford-upon-Avon
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 29 Hotels in Stratford-upon-Avon
Price Range: £92 - £261 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Arden Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of historic Stratford-upon-Avon, directly opposite the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company Theatres, the Arden Hotel has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment to create an elegant and sophisticated 45-bedroom boutique-style hotel. The transformed Arden Hotel opened its doors in July 2010, and is fast becoming the flagship destination in the redeveloped World Class Stratford, enticing Shakespeare aficionados and theatre-goers from all over the globe.The luxuriously renovated Arden boasts the chic new Waterside Brasserie, a stylish Champagne Bar and spacious suites with beautiful views over the River Avon, providing an inspirational backdrop for your trip, whether for business or pleasure.Set in glorious Warwickshire, the Arden Hotel with its large car park is an ideal base for exploring some of England’s most famous and picturesque countryside, including the charming villages of the Cotswolds, the bountiful Vale of Evesham and the ancient market town of Warwick with its awe-inspiring castle. ... more   less 
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