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“Good, but could do better”
Review of The Goodwood Hotel

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The Goodwood Hotel
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Chichester
Reviewed 24 June 2014

Second time we have stayed here, and just a one night visit. Lovely property in great setting, good rooms, staff helpful and polite. Only downside is that service in the leisure club bar/restaurant is sometimes a bit chaotic

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Reviewed 23 June 2014

Put simply, I have very high standards. I've travelled a lot on business and pleasure, so I know where hotels should fall on the 'good or bad' band. I originally visited The Goodwood Hotel (or The Goodwood Park Hotel as it used to be) back when it was under the aegis of Marriott -- a very nice hotel with extremely high standards. However, when I returned after a hiatus of several years, my first impressions were somewhat disappointing.

I only stayed a single night as I was in Chichester for a morning meeting, so I didn't have the chance to receive a completely holistic impression of the property, but here are a few of my experiences...

I arrived by taxi and was greeted by a stellar member of the reception team waiting by the door for me, who promptly checked me in and offered to take my bags whilst showing me to the room (358). As other reviewers have noted, the carpeting in the hall way was in a dire state -- strange yellow stains and dirt everywhere (ironic considering the receptionist claimed the hotel had undergone renovation very recently). The room itself was very nice -- plenty of space in a standard room, with lots of light fittings and good air conditioning. Again, lots of space for storage and a good sized bathroom. The usual Molton Brown miniatures by the sink and a bottle of (tap) water on arrival etc.

However, despite the basic level of 4* comfort the hotel clearly lacked any of the attention-to-detail required to compete at a high level in the hospitality industry. One of the light switches appeared unconnected to anything, one of the bedside lamps was too large to fit on the table, the mirror had been mounted at an angle so that it blocked half of one of the plug sockets adjacent (so only one of the two sockets could be used), and the pillows were not put fully inside the pillowcases, with one even having a stain on. The sheets, however, were very nice and my sleep was enjoyable and comfortable. Despite this, some items in the room were dusty -- such as the plane-shaped paperweight.

A strange room in the way that it was devoid of a mini-bar, although there was a well-stocked tea/coffee tray in the wardrobe. A large flat-screen TV was also present, alongside robes and slippers -- the usual accessories. Great WiFi for business travellers, and a rather fancy 'designer' telephone!

The bathroom had a very complex shower system with an array of taps and controls, but one which made a long bath very enjoyable. It did appear, however, that the housekeeping department lacked a formal process for checking any defects. The grouting appeared to be coming up in the corners and there were several scratches on the bath (which one would expect to be polished away before the arrival of guests). The bathroom, rather crudely, also lacked a toilet brush -- luckily I never required one...

I went down to dinner at around 7:30 in the Richmond Arms and had been advised to book -- hardly necessary when, for the entirety of my two hours in the restaurant, only 10 others appeared to be dining (that includes those who arrived as I was leaving). The service from the two female assistant waitresses was very good, although one appeared rather dozy (I had to wave for a few minutes before she finally looked up and grabbed my bill). The restaurant manager seemed rather meek and barely spoke to me - he just stared through the restaurant from his perch at the reception desk. The only actual waiter was an interesting mix of juxtapositions - he appeared a little intimidated by me and made little in the way of personal conversation (unlike the two females, who were most friendly). He rapidly took my food orders, which was good, and the food was delivered on time.

Food in the Richmond Arms, as throughout Goodwood, was very good. Not quite excellent, because the breakfast on my day of departure was rather small and bland (especially the scrambled eggs), and the steak for dinner was a little simplistic for my taste. It was a £34 (I think) dish, yet arrived with the meat itself (very nice and smokey), but with just 4 chips and some leaves -- luckily I had ordered one of the side dishes. I found the meat itself to be very tender and full of flavour, yet a little dry, so asked for an accompanying sauce -- a red wine jus. I was a little surprised when the jus was added as an extra onto my bill, as normally one does serve various sauces with steak 'as standard' (peppercorn, béarnaise etc.). Overall, a very nice selection of food (I had the fish to start, followed by the steak and then the chocolate soufflé, complimented by truffles and coffee).

But, like the rooms, the restaurant lacked the little details that could make the place great. There were drip stains down the sides of the white walls, a a few cracks also. The napkin had several stains in it (as did the replacement the waiter brought me...) and the glasses had a few specks of previous drink garnishes in. The waiter was very loud in talking to other guests and, whilst I appreciate his friendliness to others, perhaps should try and restrict his conversation to those he is actually talking to - in harmony with a 'fine-dining restaurant'. I was also surprised that the restaurant manager and waiter appeared so inadequate when dealing with another couple's order. The other table ordered a bottle of wine and were later told that it was in the Bar & Grill, rather than the Richmond Arms -- apparently it was being brought over as they were moving the wines around between different venues (goodness knows why an unavailable bottle was placed on the menu, then...). The couple had finished their starters by the time the wine arrived -- wholly unacceptable. They were probably still charged for it anyway... So, for £86 a cover it was an interesting meal. Not a place I'd come back to purely for the food, and if I stayed at the hotel again I think I'd head for the Bar & Grill for something a little more comforting and less 'interesting'. It was also clear that he restaurant was unsure of its own personality -- the food suggested fine-dining with a modern Goodwood twist, and the waiter was dressed in a suit an tie, yet the manager had an open-necked shirt and grey suit, with some of the diners in a t-shirt and jeans, some in full suits, and some (like me) in smart-casual attire. The prices were almost fine-dining, but the quality of execution didn't quite live up to expectations.

However, the ABSOLUTE STAR OF THE HOTEL must be Ivan, the Richmond Arms' bartender. This man can certainly make a smashing cocktail and has worked all over the world. He interviewed me to find out what I liked and didn't like, whether I'd had dinner yet etc. and created the perfect drink to match my mood -- a superb mixologist. After spending most of the evening in the bar, I got talking to him and discovered more about his family life and his career -- it's always a treat to share stories with staff, especially when you have a drink in your hand, and Ivan really made my evening. It is obvious that the hotel bar has been neglected by management (Ivan is not to blame, of course, he has only been in the job for two months!) yet I was told of upcoming renovation works. I just hope the General Manager reads this review and asks for Ivan's insight into the plans -- all too often hotel managers lead the way with renovation work and ignore the expertise of staff like Ivan who know bars inside and out. Ivan is a superb guy (the fact that I remembered his name should show how much I enjoyed his company) and I think he needs to have greater prominence in the bar -- he knows his drinks and I was surprised to learn that the bar didn't have a cocktail menu (I found this out as when I asked for a cocktail in the Richmond Arms, the waiter asked me what I'd like -- I found it rather tricky when he claimed they had no cocktail menu...). Ivan tells me that he has already drafted a menu and is awaiting approval -- it seems as though his drinks will go down a treat! Ivan is clearly a great investment to the company and should be treated like royalty -- don't ignore his knowledge, nurture it!

The next morning, after attempting to nurse my hangover, I was awoken by the irritating sound of vacuuming... at 9am! Surely room cleaning can start later than this? I was also surprised that housekeeping asked if they could clean my room at 10am, especially as I was checking out the same day at 11am, and thus the freshly-cleaned room would be dirty for its next occupants... My room service cooked breakfast arrived (small portions are de facto here) and I had a little trouble as the metal plate-lid wouldn't come off the cooked breakfast. I thought I must be incredibly stupid and called reception to ask for some assistance. After a minute waiting for someone to answer, I endured the two minute trek downstairs and spoke to someone at the front desk, who sent room service back up. They couldn't figure it out either, and ended up making me a new breakfast with a lid that could be removed.

Anyway, overall an interesting trip -- on my rate the stay was very good value and the hotel certainly provides basic 4* comforts, but needs that attention to detail to progress any further. At the end of the day, I do have high standards (but I think these are reasonable when a hotel is managed by 'professional hoteliers' whose job revolves around ensuring guest satisfaction...) and all reviews are subjective. Give it a try if you wish, but don't think its as formal as the website portrays it.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
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    • Location
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2  Thank James K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GoodwoodHotelManager, General Manager at The Goodwood Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2014

Thank you for the very detailed & comprehensive review of your recent stay.

I am delighted that overall you enjoyed your stay with us and in particular your time with Ivan and I have passed your comments on to him. As you say, he is a great member of the team within the hotel.

With regard to the rest of your comments, we do read all of the reviews and act on the feedback. I have shared your feedback with the various departments you have mentioned in your review and discussed your comments with them to ensure that we provide the highest level of service to all of our guests so thank you for taking the time to tell us of your experience.

I do hope that we get the opportunity to welcome you back to Goodwood in the near future.

Kind regards,
Jane Goodyer

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

Our room was very nice, traditional and also modern bits, very clean, and very nice toiletries!
Dinner and breakfast were very good, very fresh and locally grown!
I would definitely stay there again, hopefully soon!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Veronica W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

For a 4* country hotel you would expect more.

The signature king room is very small with a bathroom that is absolutely tiny.

The staff was friendly and the hotel was clean.

Watch your salt intake when dining in the Richmond arms. It seems the secret to good food is to throw a load of salt into every item of food.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Kevin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

We had a lovely stay for our 20th wedding anniversary. The staff and facilities are excellent. Food in the Richmond Arms, both dinner and breakfast, was superb and good value. The health club facilities are not world class but are pleasant enough.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Martin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Lovely hotel, nice setting. Rooms are very nicely decorated and equipped. Dinner ain't the restaurant was extremely good, using local Goodwood ingredients (beef, pork etc) and herbs straight from the garden.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Graham B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

A lovely location in glorious grounds but the hotel didn't ultimately match our expectations. On the plus side the room was lovely and the bathroom was well supplied with our favourite Molton Brown!! The swimming pool and spa were lovely and it was very pleasant sat outside in the sun with a lunchtime beer!! However, on the minus side, the shower was lukewarm and the room was a little grubby, especially behind the door and the furniture. We ate in the Grill and although the food was lovely, the choice was a little limited. However Sunday breakfast was a big disappointment. the hot food was not very hot and not of the high quality we had been looking forward to - The scrambled egg and bacon in particular were not good and the coffee was not pleasant either. Altogether having been looking forward to our visit (a Christmas gift!) we were ultimately left a little disappointed.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank FletchasArmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GoodwoodHotelManager, General Manager at The Goodwood Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2014

Thank you for your comments and I am sorry to hear that we did not meet your expectations. Please can I ask that you contact my assistant, Tammy Vallins at your convenience so that she can discuss with you the points that you have raised.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Jane Goodyer

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Goodwood Hotel

Address: Goodwood, Chichester PO18 0QB, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > Chichester
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Hotels in Chichester
Price Range: £138 - £179 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Goodwood Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 91
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the spectacular 12,000 acre Goodwood Estate, the hotel has returned to full Estate ownership under Lord March. The hotel has 91 comfortable rooms and all rates are inclusive of Bed, Breakfast and VAT. Guests can enjoy complimentary use of The Health Club, with a 14 metre indoor swimming pool, Waterbeach treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, gymnasium and fitness studio and tennis courts. Guests may also enjoy beauty and holistic treatments as well as golf on our championship courses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Goodwood Park Hotel
Marriott Chichester
Goodwood Park Chichester
The Goodwood Hotel Chichester, West Sussex

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