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“Beautiful Building and Gardens, shame about the rest”

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Stoke Rochford Hall
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Stoke Rochford
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful Building and Gardens, shame about the rest”
Reviewed 2 September 2014

We were amazed at the stunning building as we drove up the drive to this hotel. It is beautiful, as are the gardens, so hats off to the gardeners, they have done a magnificent job, but sadly that is where the praise ends. We stayed in the stable courtyard. We paid extra for a standard room rather than have a small standard. I can only say the small standard must be tiny as the standard room was very small and dark. On arrival we certainly did not receive a warm welcome, the receptionist did not even bother to give us a key card (we had already pre-paid for the hotel), so we had to pay for every drink and meal each time. She had no interest whatsoever on our arrival or departure. When you enter the building there is a large lounge area which is lovely and a library to the side and a beautiful orangery, there is also a bar with large windows overlooking the gardens. Sounds delightful eh? Not so. This bar is only open when there is a function or wedding or during the day but not in the evening when it would be so nice to sit and have a drink looking out at the beautiful gardens. The lovely library which would make a beautiful dining room and the orangery next to it a lovely restaurant/lounge/bar are also out of bounds for residents and only seem to be used for weddings. Instead, meagre residents have to eat in the BASEMENT in the dreariest restaurant I think I have eaten in for a long time. You cannot see outside, mainly I would imagine as there is nothing to see as you are basically in the cellars. "The Terrace Bar" is also in the basement and has one door outside onto a patio area. This is closed during the day, when you may want to sit outside, and open at night when I would imagine most residents would like to use the lovely large bar upstairs, which is closed. The Terrace Bar (grand name for something far from grand) is dull, dark and depressing with no ambiance whatsoever. Why this hotel seems to feel that the residents should be shoved down in the basement goodness only knows. They seem to be far more interested in weddings and functions, talking of which, do check if there is a wedding before you make a reservation, because if you are in the main building you will have no sleep!!! There was a large wedding taking place one of the nights we stayed and the noise was appalling. Fortunately we could not hear it so much in the stable block, at least not until they came to bed around 3am and banged all the outer doors and stomped up the stairs. We have stayed in a lot of hotels over the years and this is one of the worst. It has so much potential, it could be beautiful, but they do not seem at all interested in residents. On arrival, apart from no key card, we were not told what time breakfast or dinner was served. On arrival in the room, there was absolutely nothing there to give any information about the hotel, either history-wise, which would have been interestinjg or regarding bar and restaurant times. Apparently, this hotel was used during the war and there is a small room, again in the basement, where the pool table is located, which has memorabilia and photos from the second world war. Wouldn't it be nice to have some information about this? and the history of the hotel. Our room was very basic and tired and the staff are the same. There was one young girl who was on reception briefly and she was friendly, but the other receptionist seemed very unhappy in her job and was not at all welcoming. Breakfast was good and dinner half and half depending on what you ordered, but overpriced for what it is. I just feel that it is such a shame that a really beautiful building should not be utilised properly. The afternoon after the wedding had taken place we must have seen at least 20 glasses shoved in bushes, left on lawns, broken glass scattered in some places, so sad that people feel this is an appropriate way to behave in such lovely gardens. I do hope this hotel is taken over and restored to the beautiful hotel it deserves to be, but I definately would not stay again until that happens.

Room Tip: Noise level loud if there is a wedding. I do not know what the rooms in the main hotel are like, bu...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank PamM M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry1972, General Manager at Stoke Rochford Hall, responded to this review, 4 September 2014
Thank you for your review and i'm sorry to read that you were disappointed with aspects of your stay. Your comments regarding the welcome from reception are simply not acceptable and i'm sorry to read this was the case. With regards to your constructive feedback regarding the layout of our facilities, im grateful for your suggestions, however, it's only fair for me to put your suggestions into context. Stoke Rochford Hall wears many hats to it's diverse range of clients, however our core business is conferencing, corporate meetings, weddings & other large scale events, in particular for our owners, the National Union of Teachers, for whom Stoke Rochford Hall is the national training and conference centre, so i'm afraid there is is method in what may well appear our madness in having lots of large open spaces. Never the less, i'm glad you appreciated the beauty of our buildings and the large estate and thank you again for your feedback.

regards,

Barry Clark
General Manager
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cheshire
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2014

This hotel is situated in lovely quiet spacious grounds and the gardens are well kept. I was travelling alone and booked a room in the Stable Block. The receptionist was friendly and check-in was trouble free. She asked me whether I wanted to book a table in the restaurant for my evening meal .I replied that at that stage I had not decided whether I would like to eat there or in the restaurant and her answer was that there was no problem as they were not that busy.
The entrance to the Stable Block is through a security door which always bangs shut loudly. Rooms 1 and 2 are very near so I would advise against staying in these rooms. My bedroom appeared to have been redecorated recently and the furniture was quite nice. It was very small and there was no room for a chair if I wanted to watch the TV. The pillows appeared new but they did not have pillowcase protectors. The poor state of the bathroom came as a shock. Mould on the tiles and also brown staining. The extractor fan was deafening and long fronds of dust clung to it. My room number 3 was a little dark probably due to a high hedge just outside the window. My view was of some wooden sheds which had paint peeling off.
I went to the restaurant at 8pm and the waitress asked me whether I had booked and when I replied in the negative she told me that they were fully booked. I repeated to her what the receptionist had said and she said that they had several last minute bookings so I went to the Bistro. To my surprise it was a very small area and all the tables were full. The young man behind the bar said that there would be a long wait but did his best for me and suggested I sat in the lounge and he would bring me a meal. This meant eating at a low coffee table. The menu was plain and simple not what I would have expected from a 3 star hotel. Whilst there I had a good view of the through traffic to the restaurant and it did not appear to be very busy. Other people arrived at the bar and they also were informed that there would be a long wait. A gentleman who was on his own also came into the lounge to eat his meal.
The following morning I went down to breakfast and the waitress showed me to a table. I sat there for more than 5 minutes and she made no effort to ask me what I wanted to drink. The breakfast was buffet style and the food looked appetizing and it was replenished often. Whilst there I was able to look around and see that there was lots of tables in this restaurant. When I had left the lounge the previous evening I was able to see into part of it and I was not able to see many people. All I can conclude is that the hotel can only cater for a small number of guests so if you don't want to go hungry be sure to book!
On check out I mentioned my problem to the receptionist and she seemed surprised. I paid £70 B&B and do not feel I got value for money and was disappointed with my stay.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JadeCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Stoke Rochford hotels

Maldon, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2014

We have just returned from a one-night stopover on the way south. The Hall is ideally placed, very close to the A1, but we were not conscious of traffic noise. You do need to be careful making a right-hand turn across the A1 from the north, very scary as it is usually so busy.

From the website and other reviews I was expecting a country-house hotel, but although the Hall itself is most impressive our stay disappointed in several ways. It is very much a product of its owners - the NUT - and almost the entire first floor is given over to Teaching and Seminar Rooms. The handful of superior guest suites are there, too, with proper windows, but most of the Mansion bedrooms are on the second floor with windows well above eye level. There is a view but only if you walk up quite a high step. The Conference Suite reflects Stoke Rochford's earlier days as a training college and is appallingly badly situated on the main approach to the Hall - spoiling the view from all directions. The Hall's ground floor rooms are beautiful and not surprisingly they seem to be kept for functions. The only place we could sit indoors apart from our room was the entrance hall, which was large and comfortably furnished, but not exactly a cosy lounge.

When we arrived shortly around 3pm and were booked in, I was rather hoping for some recognition of my birthday (just a greeting would have been nice) as I had indicated on my booking form that this was the reason for our visit, but it did not happen. We were shown up to our room but the bed had not been made up. We were also surprised to find the lack of "normal" windows and asked whether we might change rooms, but it was not properly explained that very many of the Mansion Rooms do not have views. (I had requested a quiet room with a pleasant view.) The only other Mansion Room available was a suite for which we would have had to pay extra, and having looked at it we decided to stay put in the original one though it was just off the staircase. Actually we were not troubled by noise, but could easily have been as one noisy party made their way upstairs quite late. The room itself was large and had everything we needed but was furnished somewhat institutionally. By contrast the bathroom seemed to have been updated recently and was very good.

We had a walk round the grounds, which are lovely and well-kept. We decided not to try the leisure centre. The pool is not as impressive as its photo on the website suggests. It is also a bit of a walk from the main Hall, but at least it means there is no swimming pool smell as sometimes happens with hotels.

We had dinner in the downstairs restaurant and apart from my dessert the food was tasty and plentiful though somehwat unimaginative in the way the vegetables were plonked onto the plate. (I had pear and frangipane tart with Calvados custard, but the tart looked and tasted like a factory-made pastry, with not much evidence of pears or of Calvados in the custard either.) I ordered one glass of wine and had to send the first glass back because it was not clean. We both felt the meal was overpriced for what it was. It was also disappointing that the downstairs restaurant has no view outside and is not particularly well-lit, therefore there is not a lot of atmosphere. The plentiful serving staff were very pleasant and helpful.

Breakfast was fine with excellent homemade granola as well as all the usual offerings. It was nice to be able to order freshly cooked poached eggs and other dishes at no extra cost.

We left feeling intrigued about the history of the Hall, and very impressed by the main ground-floor function rooms, but let down by the general ambience. Stoke Rochford must be lovely for weddings and other celebrations. It just can't quite offer what has come to be expected by "holiday guests" looking for a stay in a real country-house hotel.

Room Tip: The Mansion Rooms are difficult to access because the lift stops on a different level, and it is nec...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Butterfly500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry1972, General Manager at Stoke Rochford Hall, responded to this review, 4 September 2014
Thank you for your positive comments and i'm pleased to read that overall you enjoyed your recent stay with us. Stoke Rochford Hall is a venue which indeed wears many different hats for a very diverse mix of customers. Our core business is indeed conferencing, corporate meetings, weddings & other social events. You are absolutely correct that the business is owned by the National Untion of Teachers and has for the past 30 odd years been home to the NUT national training & conference centre, so it is only natual that the building and facilities are geared towards the needs of our owners & key users. I would be the first to admit that Gleneagles we are not; then again, to be frank if I may, we're not trying to be either. Never the less, i'm pleased that you found the staff welcoming and that you had a comfotable stay with us and thank you for your constructive feedback.

regards,

Barry Clark
General Manager
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York, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 August 2014

Fantastic couple of days. Wow, what a setting. Granddaughter (4) arrived in a princess dress as she was staying in a "castle". Staff nice, our cleaner arranged all 4 year old's toys - she was thrilled! Breakfast and dinner excellent. Bar and beer fine. Room outstanding. Bits of the place are like a 1970's school - added to the fun. In the wonderful grounds you can roll on the grass, play hide and seek, blow bubbles and run. The pool building is grim but it is what it is and we enjoyed it hugely. The place and the surrounding area are not for children unless you are imaginative with your time. It's an NUT place, why isn't there a corner of the library with kids stuff? Isn't that what teachers are for? Place was worth 5 stars from our 3 generations but it had
teachers in it and they were a glum lot-perhaps because they start work next week.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pipthemiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry1972, General Manager at Stoke Rochford Hall, responded to this review, 4 September 2014
Thank you for your positive review and i'm pleased to read that all your family enjoyed your recent stay with us. We look forward to being able to welcome you back next time you are in the area.

regards,

Barry Clark
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2014

Many years ago - certainly pre fire - I attended an NUT reps course here and this month together with my wife decided to have a two night break at the mansion. First the plus points. We stayed in a mansion room which was very comfortable and well appointed with great views. We would have loved to take the bed home with us! Our afternoon tea was delicious if rather pricey and breakfasts were of a good standard. However not everything was as we expected. The reception staff were efficient but gave us little information for our stay; as others have stated the old hall could do with a clean, paint and general makeover; we thought the waiting staff and others lacked training and experience and to sum up we expected Hilton guest standards but received a Travelodge experience.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Seniorpete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry1972, General Manager at Stoke Rochford Hall, responded to this review, 29 August 2014
Thank you for your positive review and i'm pleased to read that overall, you enjoyed your stay with us. As I trust you will appreciate, maintaining a Grade 1 listed Victorian property like Stoke Rochford Hall is a never ending project and indeed, we have an extensive on-going programme which will progressively upgrade all areas of the business. ironically, the Forth Bridge isn't constantly painted anymore, but that analogy certainly is true of a historical porperty like ours, that the job of maintaining and keeping a venue like this fresh is a never ending one. I'm pleased you enjoyed our Food & Beverage offeirngs and whilst I recognise your feedback that you found Afternoon Tea expensive, it's only fair to say, that since re-launching our improved Afternoon Tea standard earlier this year, the customer fedback has been overwhelmingly positive and alsom commenting upon what tremendous value for money it represents at only £18.95, given that we offer only freshly prepared hand made food, a selection of 9 different fresh leaf teas and over 12 combinations of freshly made artisan coffee. I'm really pleased you enjoyed it and as we continue to develop our largly newly recruited team, I hope you will return before too long and see the results of the World Class service standards we're introducing here, which i'm confident will put anything a homongenous brank like Hilton has to offer to shame.

Best regards,

Barry Clark
General Manager
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Colsterworth, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 25 August 2014

We had our wedding reception at Stoke Rochford Hall in July. We had a fantastic day and the staff were very helpful, especially Mick! Our guests were overwhelmed with the beauty of the building and grounds. Thank you. Angelina & Nick

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Angelina F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry1972, General Manager at Stoke Rochford Hall, responded to this review, 28 August 2014
Thank you for your fkind words and your 5/5 review. It's always delightful to hear from our Brides & Grooms and to know that Stoke Rochford Hall was able to make your special day so memorable. From all the team here at Stoke Rochford Hall, we look forward to welcoming you back again many times in the future to relive the memories from your special day

Best regards,

Barry Clark
General Manager
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exmouth
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2014

We stayed here for 4 nights in late August 2014. I must say the setting is fantastic and the staff were very attentive indeed. The food is lovely and pretty good value. We were allocated a room in the Old Stables part of the hotel and I must say it resembled a bad 1970's B&B. The furniture was VERY tired and extremely shabby and really took the shine off our stay. The bath was grubby (not sure whether this was rust marks or dirt) and the toilet cistern seemed to take over half an hour to fill, not good when you are trying to get back to sleep! It was also pretty unpleasant that the smokers stub out area was directly below our room, so people tended to use this as a smoking area, which wafted into our window (the nights were warm so the window was open, but i'm not sure having it closed it would have made any difference seeing the gaps around the old sashes) - perhaps a smoking area should be allocated away from the building. I would also echo a previous poster's comments with reference to the 'leisure club': the changing rooms were filthy, the pool was not particularly nice and the jacuzzi was only half full.

I did look for a visitors book so that I could leave feedback direct with the hotel but couldn't find one.

Overall a slightly disappointing stay and i'm really not sure that i'd stay here again, unless the hotel undergoes a fairly substantial modernisation programme.

Room Tip: I can't comment on the main mansion rooms but if you are offered a room in the Old Stables - dec...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jimbo2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barry1972, General Manager at Stoke Rochford Hall, responded to this review, 28 August 2014
Thanks you for your valued feedback and i'm pleased to note that overall you enjoyed your stay with us. it is kind of you to mention the attentive and firendly staff and i'm pleased that you enjoyed the fine freshly produced & locally sourced food we offer. It is a little frustrating though, to read that you were not completely satisfied with your accommodationm, yet I can find no record of your having discussed this with any of the managmeemnt team. With 91 bedrooms in our Grade 1 listed Victorian buildings, we would have been more than happy to look at providing you with an alternative room more to your liking, particularky given that you were with us for an extended 4 night stay. I am the first to admit that areas of this large hotel & estate could benefit from refurbishment and we indeed have a rolling programme of works to continually refresh parts of the hotel, the result of which I hope you were able to enjoy during your visit. Never the less, our team work tirelessly to maintain the highest standards of housekeeing & hospitality. Thank you again for your valueable feedback and we do hope to be able to welcome you back next time you are in the area.

Best regards,

Barry Clark
General Manager
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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 Stoke Rochford Hall

Property: Stoke Rochford Hall
Address: Stoke Rochford | Grantham, Stoke Rochford NG33 5EJ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Lincolnshire > Stoke Rochford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Stoke Rochford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Stoke Rochford Hall 3*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stoke Rochford Hall is situated in peaceful, rolling countryside in the heart of the East Midlands Shires. The idyllic and tranquil environment offers a perfect retreat away from the demands of modern day city life. Yet its easily accessible, central location and excellent transport links mean that Stoke Rochford Hall really does have it all. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Stoke Rochford Hall Hotel Stoke Rochford
Stoke Rochford Hall Lincolnshire

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