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“Very nice but expensive”

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Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Dartford
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 February 2014

My wife and I spent a Saturday night at the Rowhill Grange on an 'Indulge Package'. `On arrival, checking in was easy and friendly, our room (Crocus) was clean and comfortable (and actually a decent size for a standard room), that afternoon we enjoyed the Spa facilities (steam room, jacuzzi, swimming pool) followed by a drink in the 'bar' afterwards. That evening we ate in the restaurant where the service was attentive and friendly, the food was excellent, breakfast the next morning was tasty with lots of hot and cold choices.

The only negatives would be £11 for a glass of Rioja (and not even a full glass) and £5 for room service - I would expect this to be a service the hotel would offer without extra charge.

All in a very nice hotel, good staff and lovely food but rather expensive - the sort of prices you would expect to pay in a 4/5 star hotel in central London not Dartford.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank sh103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,011 - 1,017 of 1,653 reviews

Reviewed 1 February 2014

Stayed here as a treat for me and my other half and was really looking forward to an indulgent break, unfortunately we were disappointed. Although our room was nice enough it overlooked a roof and there were loud 'buzzing' noises heard during the afternoon/early evening, not what you expect from a spa hotel marketed such as this, with prices to match. The spa/pool area is okay although small. The saunas are separate within male/female changing rooms so you can't use as a couple and they are tiny. There were lots of people in a small space within the pool/jacuzzi area, many of whom I gathered were visiting as a spa day, which added to the feeling of several people crammed into a small space. There didn't appear to be much thought to the number of people using the facilities at any one time or alternatively more concern given to the financial aspect/profit rather than the experience for customers. The restaurant was nice enough and the bar area a nice place to relax with board games available to use if required. Overall, an 'okay' break but unfortunately not worth the money charged for the experience.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
5  Thank danshell7062
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Stayed overnight using a living social deal. £169 for two people including £30 each toward dinner. Overall some very good parts and some issues. Very good service. Room fine. Good atmosphere. Nice Spa but treatments too expensive to make use of. Great breakfast.

Problems: Charging £2.50 for a toothbrush-really! Very small bath towels. The biggest issue is the price of the food in the restaurant. It's all well and good giving you £30 toward your meal but when main courses cost up to £28 your £30 does not get very far. Feels like a bit of a con. The food was very good but £125 on two drinks in the bar a starter, two mains and a bottle of wine! Oh and £4.50 each for a couple of side dishes!!. Just much too expensive. I forgot to mention the 12.5% 'discretionary service charge'! Oh and did I mention the £2.50 for a toothbrush?

So all in very nice hotel with great service but dramatically overpriced food.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Trickydicky1
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 reviewResponded 1 February 2014

Dear Trickydicky1

Thank you very much for posting your review of Rowhill Grange.

I’m very sorry you felt our food offering didn’t represent value for money. We do try our utmost to be transparent with pricing and what is included within our own packages and those available through third parties such as Living Social. I understand your comments about some of our main courses costing up to £28.00, but would confirm nearly half the main courses on our current menu are priced at £20.00 or less, which I do feel represents guests with both variety of choice and value for money. In terms of your reference to service charge, this is absolutely at the customer’s discretion and we would certainly do not expect any of our guests to feel obliged to pay this unless they are entirely happy with the service received.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank for your positive comments about the facilities at the hotel and for your kind words about the service. I will ensure these are shared with the rest of the team here at the hotel.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

Kind regards

James

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Reviewed 30 January 2014

We had been given a chocolate tea as a present for 2 people. The hotel is fabulous and you instantly feel special. The room we had the tea in was warm and cosy with luxurious sofas to sit on. The staff were welcoming and accommodating. We could choose between teas,, coffees or hot chocolate with a willingness to top up if we wanted. We had 2 scones each with melted chocolate and cream which was gorgeous. The finger sandwiches were tasty and all the little chocolate cake selection was heavenly. I would definitely recommend this to people!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank nandjm
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 reviewResponded 31 January 2014

Dear nandjm,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience of Chocolate Afternoon Tea here at Rowhill Grange.

I was thrilled to hear how much you enjoyed your afternoon and will be sharing your kind comments with our Pastry Chefs, Samantha and Ben.

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

Best regards

James

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Reviewed 28 January 2014

We were attracted to Row Hill Grange with an enticing offer of £200 for the two of us. This included our room, £30 per head off dinner, use of the spa and a full breakfast. This seemed like a great package, but as we quickly found out was too good to be true.

We were greeted by a surly woman who had no record of our booking or dinner renovation, and a look that said that she wasn’t really bothered if they were found or not. After calling for her supervisor and the forwarding of conformation emails, they eventually conceded that we had actually booked and paid for our room. Luckily someone had cancelled on dinner, a shrude move on their part, so we were able to eat the dinner I had already paid for.

With an apologetic look on our faces for the inconvenience we had caused having the audacity to check in, we shuffled off to our room. The concierge clearly though we could do with a pre spa workout as she stride off as a brisk walk leaving myself and my girlfriend to carry our bags up to our room.

In all fairness the room wasn’t that bad, but as we were at a “spa hotel” we thought we would go check out the facilities. After donning out white gowns, and accepting that no slippers were provided, we set of bare foot for the spa. In most hotels this is not an issue but due to the novel layout of Row Hill Grange, the patrons of the bar were treated to the sight of us walking through barefoot in white dressing gowns. Apart from being rather embarrassing, I work in hospitality and am well aware of the rubbish that can collect on the floor of a bar. After wiping my feet clean we went down to the pool. Far from the relaxing spa we had envisaged, there was a rather small swimming pool with a couple of water features which brought to mind a golden garden hose pipe, and 4 couples graphically embracing each other in the pool. After awkwardly standing by the edge of the pool, we decided that swimming wasn’t for us as we may need a shot of antibiotics after.

After getting changed we went to the restaurant for dinner. The way the dinner offer works is that we had £30 which would be knocked of our bill. The way Row Hill gets around this though is to charge more or less £30 for everything on the menu, regardless what it is. After establishing this was the facts and it was either suck it up or go to bed hungry. I declined the £28 shepherd’s pie and went for the £30 steak which was ok. Everything else on to op this was equally overpriced.

We went to the bar after dinner for a drink which was rather cold. My girlfriend asked if the fire could be lit but was told no. After overhearing the reception and waiting staff in the lobby mocking her and her request, we decided that it was time for bed.

By the time we checked out we had a £156 extras bill to pay for really very little. Most of this would normally be considered complimentary, ie water and sauces for my food. This brought the total of our stay to £178 per head. There is no planet where this is a fair price for the service we reserved. My lasting impressions of Row Hill are that it is a combination of Fawlty Towers and a central London wine bar. In essence an unorganised, arrogant rip off!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank tom T
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 reviewResponded 31 January 2014

Dear Tom T,

Thank you posting your review.

Obviously I am extremely disappointed to receive your feedback and am sorry we did not live up to expectations.

I have responded to you in more detail at your personal email address and if I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me by return.

Best regards

James

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Reviewed 26 January 2014

Really enjoyed my stay at Rowhill. I booked the spa package called 'Guilty Pleasures' for my friend and I and I was overall impressed with my stay. Upon arrival, we checked in smoothly and was shown to our room, 'Crocus', my preference for twin beds was taken into consideration and provided for. The room was a lovely size, very clean and comfortable. Furthermore, the bathroom was also a good size and was clean to a good standard, the sink tap wasn't working properly but I chose to ignore it. Tea and coffee was provided in the room, if you need anything extra including fresh milk, reception are quick to send some up to you. However, I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a fridge in the room to store the leftover milk, or the chocolate covered strawberries I had ordered (which were scrumptious). The housekeeping service was very appreciated, the turn down service was a nice touch to our room, especially the quote left on one of our beds.

As part of our package, we booked a Utopia hot oil massage each (£50pp to spend on/towards a spa treatment, this treatment was £75). We both had such lovely experiences and thoroughly enjoyed the massage. The spa itself is very nice and a very relaxing place to be.
All the facilities were enjoyed from the swimming pools to the steam room.
I did find the lockers a bit confusing in the changing rooms (code operated to lock), but also I didn't appreciate the attitude I received by another hotel guest when she made a point of moaning that everybody had received a locker number on their form and that that's the locker they should use. I did not have a locker number on my form and therefore assumed I could use any locker that was free, I think this would be worth explaining to all guests as they check in, as I was not made aware. Would rather not have a little tiff with somebody before I start using the facilities on my last day.

Our package also included dinner in RG's restaurant (£30pp towards cost). We were shown to our table, and given an adequate amount of time to order drinks and our meals. In my opinion, I think the starters could do with an improvement as I struggled to find something that I would eat. What I did choose, I didn't particularly enjoy. My main however was very nice (mix grill). It does seem that the staff are attentive for the majority of your meal, but nearer the end there wasn't anybody to walk through our section for a good 15-20 minutes. This was slightly annoying when wanting to attract somebody's attention so we could sign for our meal. Two other guests and I at the same time walked over to the desk on our way out to sign for our meals as we didn't want to wait any longer.

Breakfast was good, both of us ordered a traditional English breakfast with a hash brown. Unfortunately the hash brown didn't show up, even when I had to ask for it again. But overall it was of a good standard.

In summary, I enjoyed my stay and so did my guest. A few niggles as stated above, but they didn't ruin our overall experience. I would return in the future, with the hope that there was a spa deal that included dinner at a suitable price, £30pp did not stretch far.
I have recommended this hotel to my friends and family members.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
15  Thank GeorgieSmith
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 reviewResponded 28 January 2014

Dear Georgie Smith,
Thank you for taking the time to post your recent review of Rowhill Grange & Utopia Spa.

I was delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay with us. Having received your feedback, I will most certainly look into the problem you have described with the bathroom tap. I’m afraid none of our rooms have fridges, but would confirm we are always happy to refrigerate any items such as the strawberries if requested.

I would also like to thank you for such positive comments about the Spa and treatments, although I was sorry to hear about the problem you encountered with the lockers. We will be reiterating your comments with our Spa Meet & Greet team.

Thank you for constructive comments about the dinner service and food offering. Again, I will be taking this feedback back to our Chef and restaurant team to ensure the necessary corrective actions are implemented.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your experience of the hotel and if there is anything further I can be of assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I hope I am able to welcome you back to Rowhill Grange & Utopia Spa in the near future.

Best regards

James

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Reviewed 26 January 2014

We received a voucher for the spa as a wedding gift, redeeming the voucher was a bit of a pain but after several call's we managed to book an over night stay.


The hotel is set in well maintained grounds with lovely surroundings. All of the staff were polite and helpful.

The room was lovely and the bed very comfortable, there was a good supply of reading material and a good sized tv.

We didn't have any treatments but we enjoyed the spa and had a lovely relaxing break.

We had a lovely stay and would happily return.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank varnah
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 reviewResponded 28 January 2014

Dear varnah,

Thank for submitting your review of Rowhill Grange.

I was sorry to learn of the initial difficulties you experienced with your voucher, but very pleased to hear we restored your faith once you arrived at the hotel.

Thank you for your positive feedback about the your room and time in the Spa. I will ensure this feedback to the team here at the hotel.

I look forward to welcoming you back to Rowhill Grange soon.

Best 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

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: £129 - £243 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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