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“Great Hotel but let down by the service and the Breakfast”

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Rhinefield House Hotel
Ranked #7 of 10 Hotels in Brockenhurst
Reviewed 9 March 2008

Stayed at Rhinefield House after a dinner function there, went with friends to the bar afterwards for nightcaps -nothing special coffees and spirits-what a shame it took two staff more than 20 minutes to serve us (there were only 6 other tables occupied). The room was good, but hot (unlike the heated towel rail in the bathroom which was cold) but the windows opened for fresh air. Huge TV at the end of the bed, not sure it was neccessary to have one that big as it really dominated the room. The bathrobes were really old, frayed and tatty which was a shame. Plus point for mineral water in the fridge, but only one small bottle of still and sparkling water so you either have to share or fight who has which water.The complimentary beverages had a reasonable selection, fresh milk if you need it and a cafitiere as well - the downside was that it was a one cup cafitiere with a three cup size pack of coffee, minor points maybe, but perfection is always in the detail!
I was offered a morning paper, not complimentary, and by 9 o'clock it still hadn't arrived, reception gave me a story about staff problems etc. - I'm a paying guest not their human resources manager, so I 'm not interested in your staff problems -don't offer a service you can't provide.
Breakfast, however, was disappointing, a previous reviewer says it is cooked to order, believe me it isn't (I'm a chef, I know the tricks) the only things cooked to order are the eggs, everything else had been pre cooked and reheated to order( trust me - I'm a great chef and even I couldn't get a "full english" to your table from scratch in 6 minutes). The coffee was awful - made in a large filter brewer, very over brewed and bitter, they have cafitieres in the rooms why not on the Breakfast tables? Toast arrived almost as we sat down, so that when the food arrived the toast was cold, I asked for fresh toast,and when it didn't arrive had to ask other staff members to go find it, when it eventually arrived, I had eaten what I wanted and the rest was cold anyway. There were plenty of staff walking round trying to get rid of the awful coffee, but nobody able to get me fresh warm toast. The breakfast chef seemed to have shares in a black pepper company, the food was covered in it, and there was also a pepper mill on the table. Small pots of Hotel branded preserves on the table a good touch, but ours were nearly all strawberry jam with no marmalade, remember - perfection in the detail. Breakfast is usually the last thing a guest has before they check out and for me a poor experience at breakfast marred my stay

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank Andy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,715 - 1,721 of 1,787 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2008

Just returned today after a 2 night stay at Rhinefield house hotel. It didn't start well - when I arrived I found I had to lug my bags from the car all the way through long hotel corridors to my room - no doorman, and the receptionist watched me struggle in with my 7 year old helping to carry one of the big bags. No porters or offers of help at reception.
The meal on the first night took ages between courses and the bread never arrived at all to go with the butter on the table.
My room was very nicely decorated in neutral tones and very comfortable and clean - great for me on a business trip but not so good if you are looking for something with a bit more character. No fresh milk or even UHT milk pots in my room, which I did not realise until my tea bag was in! Also, no feedback forms in the room so I could not even leave some feedback. Also the corridors to the bedrooms needed a good vacuum.
The biggest disappointment was that I was running a corporate event for 50 people (so we were spending a LOT of money at this hotel) and the first coffee break was missed completely, making me look unprofessional and leaving people with the wrong feeling about the place. It took a lot to get a smile out of some members of staff, or an apology. It feels to me that this place is running with very low staff costs, as there are not enough staff. In summary, some things were lovely (food on the second night was good), but nothing was reliable and service was dour and unimaginative. This is a hotel with great potential that does not seem to be working in the hospitality business.
Try Chewton Glen down the road if you are going to spend this kind of money - you'll get what you pay for!

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled on business
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2  Thank chesterbest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2008

We stayed here 2 nights at the end of Feb to celebrate my husband's 30th birthday.
I wanted to book somewhere special and had struggled deciding whether to go for Rhinefield or Careys Manor in Brockenhurst as both had mixed reviews on Tripadvisor.

I'd say that if you're after a stunning setting and a proper historic country manor for a special occasion, Rhinefield House wins hands down!
(True, Careys Manor has a lovely spa but the car parks and 70s style blocks dominate, it's on a main road with no grounds to speak off and there seemed to be some sort of ugly industrial building next door!).

Rhinefield House Hotel is situated in a secluded location right in the centre of the forest and has stunning grounds - terrace, fountains, croquet lawn, koi carp ponds - it really was beautiful.

We stayed in one of the new Executive rooms which was large, modern and had everything you needed. Tea, coffee, biscuits (always a bonus), proper milk, large plasma TV, DVD player, generous seating area. There was even a plasma TV above the bath in the lovely, modern bathroom which was decent sized with separate shower unit. The 'do not disturb' soft toy ponies mentioned in earlier reviews did actually amuse us to my surprise.

We ate in the Armada restaurant on my husband's birthday which was a lovely wood panelled room with huge fireplace and chandeliers etc. Perfect for a special occasion. The food couldn't be faulted and was wonderfully presented with great service. The restaurant was two thirds full (on a Tues night) so not too quiet and not too busy. At £37.50 for 3 courses (5 courses if you included the appetisers and sorbets) it was good value as well. Even the champagne was reasonably priced for this sort of hotel.

The Full English Breakfast was cooked to order (rare these days it seems) and was served in the same room overlooking the lovely grounds. Again the food and service was great and there was plenty of cereal, fruits and pastries in the b/f buffet.

We made use of the pool and spa on our first day. It all looked very clean and brand new with twinkling little lights above the spa pool- very pleasant and relaxing. Note though that the pool and changing rooms are very small so we may not have had such a relaxing experience if we hadn't been the only people in there.

Although I thought this was a lovely hotel and we had a great stay, minor criticisms and points to note (& hence the 4 stars instead of 5) if you're thinking of booking include the following:
- The excecutive rooms are in a modern new wing but still connected to the hotel. We like contemporary rooms but some people may prefer a more traditional room or might be disappointed not to be in the main part of the hotel
- The view from these rooms are of a grassy bank and edge of the forest. My husband liked this but I would personally have preferred a view of the stunning grounds. It looked like only (some of) the standard rooms and the suites had a proper view of the main gardens.
- The hotel has only one restaurant and they allow children. We were a bit unlucky in that we had to share the first hour of our birthday dinner with a couple with a noisy 2 and 4 year old eating at the next table! Same at b/f. (We have children but would personally never bring our toddler to a restaurant like this but each to their own!).
- There were a couple of areas of the hotel that needed work (eg area past restaurant leading to the health club, stairs down to cloakroom)
- They were doing work on part of the chimneys and refurbishing the orangery whilst we were there so a bit of noise and dust.
- No birthday card or birthday greeting to my husband I'm afraid! (see an earlier review). Reception staff / welcome ok but some staff could still benefit from training.

Overall, I would definitely recommend giving Rhinefield House Hotel a try.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JJF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2008

Myself and my boyfriend came here to celebrate our anniversary and couldn't have picked a better place! Idealic location, amazing room, fantastic food, friendly helpful staff, it really was perfect.
We got a special dinner, bed and breakfast deal and came away with having snatched a bargin here!
We stayed in an executive room which I would definately recommend - where do I start, tv in the bathroom, result! the room was clean and spacious with a giant tv, dvd player, enough storage space and a very comfy bed. The bathroom along with the tv and surround sound also had a seperate 2 head shower which was luxury. We could have stayed in the room the whole time.
The dinner was fab, usually with these deals it's not up to much but we both had a fantastic 3 course meal with excellent service from the staff, friendly polite and helpful without being in your face. There was a good choice on the menu, the dishes came out wonderfully presented and we felt just right after, not stuffed or hungry.
There is a small pool so if you are after a proper swim then its not for you but just to chill out is ideal, there is a steam room, sauna and spa pool so leaves you feeling chilled.

Just to come here for the surroundings is enough, set in beautiful grounds, we had a good wonder and you can see why so many people want to have their weddings here, it is very well kept and you can imagine how fantastic it would be to sit on one of thir hideaway benches in the grounds with a drink in the summer - bliss.
Seriously I couldn't reccommend this place enough. I heard good things before I went and I wasn't disappointed, if you want a relaxing getaway then book in here you won't be disapointed!We will definately come back here again.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Littlemiss00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2008

We booked Rhinefield House with a few concerns having read some of the reviews others guests had written, but we were so happy with the whole stay. The staff could not of been more helpful and were more than happy to amuse our 6 year old! The food and service were great, eating in either the lounge (try the high tea!) or the restaurant, we took our son into the restaurant with no problems, a full children's menu is available. Will be going again soon!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
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Thank Jacks72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2008

My husband & I have just returned from a weekend at Rhinefield House. We arrived on Saturday around 1.30pm, as rooms aren’t available until 3pm we registered and retired to the lounge for lunch. The hotel has so much character, the public rooms are all very nice and the gardens are stunning.

We had an executive room, Wagtail, which was very spacious and had a forest view. The bathroom has really good use of space with a separate shower and even a television! The room was very nicely decorated, with a very comfortable bed, plasma TV and DVD player.

It was nice to have tea & coffee making facilities and to actually get more then 1 packet of biscuits; I know it’s sad to get so excited about something like that! Also appreciated was the carton of fresh milk instead of the usual little UHT cartons and the complimentary still & sparking water – it may not sound like much but little touches like those should be more common place in hotels.

We ate in the restaurant that evening and had a delicious dinner, the service was a little slow but we didn’t mind. The menu was very good with plenty of choice, we also thought it was very reasonably priced at £37.50 per person for 3 courses; it really was top quality food.

Breakfast was also very good, large choice of cereals, fruit etc and hot breakfast made to order instead of the usual buffet affair.

Staff at the hotel are very attentive; I must mention Vicki on reception who was incredibly professional and so organised and Lucie in the restaurant who looked after us really well and worked really hard all evening (& at breakfast too).

In summary, a wonderful weekend, great hotel, excellent service, delicious food and lovely rooms. We fully intend to return later in the year and spend a couple of nights there so we can take the time to explore the area a bit more.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
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Thank Davies91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2008

Held our wedding at Rhinefield and whilst the day event was managed to our satisfaction the evening event was an absolute shambles. The evening staff were rude, arrogant and incompetent, the bar manager in particular isn't fit to run a bath let alone a supposedly 4 star hotel, on several occassions he lied to me about certain events.

The fault lies with the manageress for employing these people, part of the reason we chose Rhinefield was our belief that the high rates would guarantee a certain level of staff professionalism and competance, clearly Rhinefield failed on this point.

We eventually received a £3000 refund, although it still sticks in my throat that I invited my friends and family to this hotel and all they received was insults and rudeness, one guest was deaf and was shown no assistance whatsoever by any member of the evening staff. Just writing this makes my blood boil, I would urge anyone to think long and hard before using the Rhinefield for a function, weekend away or business.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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1  Thank Jumper122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rhinefield House Hotel

Address: Rhinefield Road, New Forest, Brockenhurst SO42 7QB, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > New Forest > Brockenhurst
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Brockenhurst
#3 Romantic Hotel in Brockenhurst
#4 Luxury Hotel in Brockenhurst
#4 Spa Hotel in Brockenhurst
Price Range: £131 - £246 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Rhinefield House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Like a magical secret, Rhinefield House is located deep within the New Forest National Park. Step inside and the aura of magic simply deepens - and nowhere more spectacularly than in the Alhambra Room, bedecked in glittering jewels. With beautiful surroundings and a blend of Tudor and Gothic architecture, Rhinefield is the most perfect fairytale wedding venue. It is also the ideal setting for an indulgent break and an inspiring conference venue for meetings, team building or product launches. Downtime means the chance to take in the great outdoors we have on our doorstep, whether its pony trekking, long walks in the forest or a day trip to the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rhinefield House Hotel Brockenhurst, New Forest
Rhinefield Hotel Brockenhurst

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