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“Relaxing, chilled out experience”

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Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Dartford
Certificate of Excellence
Ashford, England, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Relaxing, chilled out experience”
Reviewed 30 December 2013

We chose to visit Rowhill Grange using a Groupon voucher, which included an overnight stay in a classic room, spa access, breakfast and £30 each towards dinner (excluding drinks). We could check in from 3pm, but checked in at about 4.30pm. We had previously upgraded to a luxury junior suite (one below the top). The check in staff were okay, not particularly smiley and didn't explain much to us- they asked us for a credit or debit card and charged us £100 but didn't tell us what for (we found out later). A member of staff took us down to our room, which was not actually part of the main building, but in another building. The man did not carry our bag, which for a 4* hotel, I was quite surprised about.

Upon arrival, I have to say that we were quite disappointed with our room. We were expecting luxury (the clue's in the name of the suite, 'luxury junior suite.') The room had the odd area where the wallpaper was peeling off, the carpet hadn't been hoovered properly and the furniture was pretty shabby, scratched and chipped. There were some stains on the bed linen too. The bed appeared to be a massive double bed at first sight, but as we soon found out, was two large singles pushed together- there was a big dip down the middle. The bathroom, however, was beautiful. We had a bath, shower, two sinks and a toilet- there was lots of space. There were two bathrobes in or bathroom too- but they are quite rough so if you like a fluffy robe, like me, take your own.

The room was advertised as having a selection of magazines and books; but these are very old books, and the magazines are things like 'Kent Life.' It was also advertised that rooms have a large plasma TV, which in reality is a Sharp widescreen, smaller than a 32 inch, and had no TV guide option on it, so you have to flick through the channels to find something to watch.

We decided to take a trip to the sauna, and we did so and were very pleased. We did not walk down in our slippers and dressing gown, however. Maybe we are prudish, but it just felt 'wrong' to do this in a 4* hotel. The spa is beautiful, smells lovely, and the water is lovely and warm. The ceiling is caving it at places, however. The staff were a little abrupt, however. We didn't have treatments, as they are very expensive.

After chilling out here, we went back to our room for a shower and then headed down for dinner. We had opted to eat in the bar and grill, as the restaurant menu was too 'posh' for our liking. We are chips and burger type of people. We had burger and chips, and chicken and chips. The food was amazing, and the service was absolutely fantastic. massive hats off to the waiter in the light blue tie- we tipped him as he was so friendly, professional and well mannered. The staff in the bar really could not do enough for you. The bar and grill is very relaxing, maybe a tad cold. I just wish other guests could stick to the rules of the hotel and NOT wear their dressing gowns and slippers after 6.30pm when other people are trying to enjoy an evening meal. It seems inappropriate to be surrounded by dressing gown clad people when you're trying to eat. We also felt a 12.5% service charge was extortionate- it should be down to guests to decide whether they leave a tip or not. We probably would have left £10 if we had not been charged for service.

We spent the evening in our room, watching TV and just generally chilling out. we ordered room service; sandwiches, tea cakes and drinks. Room service is chargeable at £5 per time- again I don't really see why. But the room service staff are pleasant, and very polite. It was also very quick.

We were on the bottom floor, and had the external door by our far window. people banged this all night, stomped up the stairs and clattered around overhead, constantly waking me up. Also, someone seemed to be pulling a trolley around outside for about fifteen minutes at 2am?!?!

The following morning, we were served breakfast to our room, and after we had washed and dressed, went to the restaurant where we had a full English, plus all the extras. The food was wonderful, and the restaurant is nicely set out, maybe a little bit cramped.

We would definitely go back to this hotel, but I would request a different room. I certainly didn't find it luxurious, although the rest of the hotel definitely was.

Room Tip: Go for the most expensive you can afford. And if you are not a Groupon customer and are paying full...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
32 Thank cemma15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James P, General Manager at Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this review, 14 January 2014
Dear Cemma 15,

Thank you very much indeed for posting your comprehensive review of Rowhill Grange and Utopia Spa.

I was very sorry to hear we did not carry your bags to your room. This is one of our core standards and one I will be reiterating with our Front of House team. I have also noted your comments about the fabric of your room and will be addressing these with our Maintenance team.

I was very pleased to hear how much you enjoyed your time in the Spa and was delighted to hear about your experience in the Brasserie. The kitchen and food & beverage team are a real credit to the hotel and I was thrilled to hear the food and service provided lived up to expectations. Please accept my reassurances that I will be sharing your kind comments with them.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to publish your review and I do hope we are able to welcome you back in the very near future.

Best regards

James
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (227)
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English first
Kent
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013

We booked an overnight spa break package. It wasn't a cheap break (even the packages are eye watering!), but as we were celebrating, we mind paying a bit more. From the moment we arrived, to the moment we left, the service was excellent. On arrival we were upgraded to a Master Suite, although if I'm honest the sitting room wasn't used, and it was freezing cold! We'd have been just as happy in the room we had originally booked. We had booked a champagne afternoon tea. Fantastic sandwiches, scones and macaroons, but the cakes were a bit so-so. The spa is beautiful, although we did feel as though we had walked into an episode of The Only Way is Essex! The treatments were mixed. Fantastic massage, but the facial was disappointing. I told the therapist I have sensitive skin. She used two masks that both burned my skin, and when I asked politely both times if she could remove them, she suggested I keep them on for at least 5 more minutes! I'm glad I asked if she could remove them straightaway as the next day my skin was red and looked burned. She was very nice about it though, so I can't fault the service.
Dinner was delicious, but we did ask to eat in the Brasserie as RG's restaurant didn't feel as intimate. The Brasserie felt more so - sound from other tables doesn't carry in the same way, and the decor is much more warm and inviting than RG's, which is fairly bland. A good night's sleep was had. I don't usually sleep well in beds other than my own, but I slept like a log. The bed was so comfortable! Breakfast was plentiful and a fantastic variety of cooked breakfasts is on offer - eggs benedict, waffles, kippers, etc. the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon were perfectly cooked.
So, you might wonder why I haven't given the hotel a perfect score. Well, I'll tell you why. The service was excellent. However, the hotel info in the room said that while tips are kindly received by staff, they are not expected. I suggest the hotel revise their policy as service charges were automatically added to our afternoon tea and evening meal! The staff were well-deserving of both tips,mans we would have tipped voluntarily, but it's a bit of a cheek for a hotel to state that tips are not expected and then add them automatically! The only irritation in an otherwise wonderful break.

Room Tip: Suites aren't really worth paying extra for unless you are planning to stay for a few days.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
26 Thank exiguusmus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James P, General Manager at Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this review, 2 January 2014
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for taking the time to submit your review of your recent stay here at Rowhill Grange.
I was delighted to read you positive comments about our food offering, spa treatments and the service provided by the team.

I am concerned about your comments about the facial and masks and will certainly bring this matter to the attention of our Spa Manager. I have also noted your comment about service charges and am very sorry for any offence caused – This is certainly not our intention.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to pass on your comprehensive and constructive feedback and I do hope we are able to welcome you back to Rowhill Grange in the near future.

Best regards

James
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 26 December 2013

We stayed here back in November as part of a package that included and though the staff were friendly and eager to please, delivery of basic things let the hotel down. We had an issue with the safe and the sink, both of which were addressed quickly but upon examination, both needed further parts or attention and the maintenance team left to seek parts. They never returned despite enquiries at the front desk to ask if they might seek to finish the job they started.

Secondly at dinner ( great food, superb service ) , a fellow diner and her guest were patently drunk and continued to talk loudly ( and lewdly ) to each other and then upon receiving mobile phones which we were told were banned from the dining area. It really took the edge off what should have been a lovely dinner but was ruined by other guests poor behaviour that was turned a blind eye to.

I would recommend the spa and hotel to anyone but be aware that the integrity of the staff cannot be relied upon.

Room Tip: Try and avoid a room overlooking the back as there is noise from the kitchen. A dull hum.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tours372014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James P, General Manager at Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this review, 28 December 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience of Rowhill Grange & Utopia Spa.

I am very sorry for the faults you found with the sink and safe in your room that we did not keep you informed as to when these would be remedied. I will certainly address these comments with our Front of House and Maintenance teams.

I was also very sorry to hear about the behaviour of the other guests in the restaurant. I agree entirely that this is unacceptable and am very sorry this spoilt your evening.
Once again, thank you for your constructive feedback and if there is anything further I can be of assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Best regards

James
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2013

We took advantage of a two night dinner and breakfast. As soon as we arrived we were taken to a great room and got our slippers and dressing gown on. After a couple of drinks at the bar we made use to the spa facilities which were fantastic. My wife made use of the sauna and massage rooms whilst I lounged around the therapy pool with a book. Dinner was great both nights with a good choice on the menu. Breakfast was equally as good. The kippers with lemon are excellent.

Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
25 Thank dbalzan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James P, General Manager at Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this review, 21 December 2013
Dear dbalzan,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience of Rowhill Grange and Utopia Spa.

I was thrilled to hear how much you both enjoyed your stay with us. Please be assured that I will be sharing the content of your review with the team here at the hotel.

Once again, many thanks and we hope we have an opportunity to welcome you back in the near future.

Best regards

James
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2013

We stayed for our sons wedding £350! for the room with a put you up bed settee for our 4 year old grandson. with a nice veiw of the car park!
Told we could check in 2 hours early for an additional £50! (disgusting)
The temperature was like a sauna, the porter turned the heat down to minimum, but it didn't stop the heat pumping out. At night we had to lay on the bed with no cover like you do in a cheap foriegn hotel with no air con. We couldn't leave a window open because the room had easy access through the window which have no locking bars.
The room on the whole was very nice and clean, which is more than I can say for the corridor to the room.
The food at the wedding was very good for a mass produced wedding breakfast, as was breakfast the next day. It would be nicer if the waiting staff smiled and didn't give the impression that they didn't want to be there.
Couldn't use the spa as we were at the wedding and had a 4 year old with us.
I will say that the reception staff and the wedding planner were throughly professional, lovely and very helpful.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank john2953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2013

me and my husband have visited 3x in the last year.

we also book on a special occasion.

the last time we visited was October for my husbands birthday. we was upgraded to a suite on arrival which was beautiful!!

we know what to expect when we visit here now, we walk around in robes all day and enjoy afternoon tea. we then enjoy the pool and have spa treatments.

dinner here is lovely and with £30pp towards your meal its fantastic. i had 2 deserts !! Lol
breakfast is also lovely here. cooked and help yourself to a cold buffet of fruit cakes and toasts ect.

it is pricing but it is worth it. and you do feel very relaxed when leaving.

the only negative would be the bedding. we dont always sleep to good we find the pillows very hard but this is preference still doesn't effect the hotel in anyway,

the staff are amazing too especially in the restaurant .

we will 100% be back soon !!!

Thank You

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank Megan_Hazel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James P, General Manager at Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this review, 21 December 2013
Dear Megan_Hazel,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your recent review of Rowhill Grange & Utopia Spa.

I was delighted to hear you much you enjoyed your latest stay and to read you kind comments about the food, Spa and team here at the hotel.

We hope to see you again in the New Year.

Best regards

James
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey England
Level 6 Contributor
162 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2013

We stayed at Rowhill Grange for 1 night whilst attending a friend's wedding. whilst we really enjoyed the wedding there are other aspects to the experience that were disappointing.
1. We booked via an online booking site because the room rate was significantly less than the hotel was quoting - the room still cost £179 without breakfast. This price bracket does set certain expectations.
2. A few days prior to our arrival we received an email offering us an upgrade for yet more money - I declined but did ask what time we could check in as were attending a wedding and would like a room to be available. When we have asked this question of other hotels their response has been quiet helpful and even if the room booked was not ready there is usually some provision made. The response from Rowhil Grange was that we could check in early for an additional £50!
3. We arrived around 1pm and decided to ask if the room was ready, it was not and we were told we could check in at 3pm. We did eventually manage to check in just after 3pm but it was all a bit disjointed and quite frankly not what I expected after some of the reviews.
4. The room was ok - large bed, TV etc - in fact all the usual stuff in this standard of room. There were however things that lacked attention - the seals on the shower were not clean and the fancy coloured throws on the bed had stains.
5. There was no view from the room and when we first arrived the temperature was akin to a sauna - we turned the heat off but could not leave a window open because the room had easy access through the window.
6. Breakfast was very good (as was all the food during our stay) but it was charged as extra on top of the already expensive room.
I did wonder if some of the people who have submitted reviews have been to a different place - we didn't visit the spa and lots of reviews seem to centre on that. Some of the public areas are very tired and tatty - stair carpet is dirty and the landing carpet has lots of stains. The skirting board in one of the loos in the function room is rotted away and there is a lot of peeling paint. This isn't a place we would return to.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JMTravels24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James P, General Manager at Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this review, 21 December 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for taking the time to post your recent review.

I was very sorry to hear you were unhappy with the quality of your room and will most certainly be looking into the comments made about the faults found.

I am sorry you were unable to check-in before 3pm. As you can imagine, weekends are typically our busiest periods and we cannot guarantee check-in before this time.

We operate a rolling programme of decorative works and I am sorry the public areas in the hotel were not to your liking. I have noted your comment about the skirting board in the function room toilet and will look at this personally.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your positive comments and am very pleased you enjoyed your friend’s Wedding.

Kind regards

James
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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 Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa

Property: Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa
Address: Top Dartford Road, Dartford DA2 7QH, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Dartford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Dartford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 38
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Also Known As:
Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Dartford
Rowhill Grange Hotel And Utopia Spa
Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa Dartford, Kent

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