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“Not as good as we hoped”

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Congham Hall Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in King's Lynn
Certificate of Excellence
Harpenden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
279 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 220 helpful votes
“Not as good as we hoped”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2013 via mobile

The best part of our meal was the wine and that really says it all. On the rather naff ipad wine list were some good wines, but heavily marked up. The food was OK but not good. The scallop starter was mean with just two quite petite scallops; my main of bream was poor - it was overcooked and dry; the carrot cake sticky toffee pud lacked distinction and was supported by very unexciting ice cream when in Norfolk you can have stunning ice cream.

Add to this ordinariness the quality of the service and a 3* score looks generous. The service was poor. We were asked to come to the table 20 minutes before any food arrived, which is amateur; the staff did not know which dish my wife had ordered and stood rather doopish waiting for us to tell them where to put the plates; the pace of service was poor - long waits. Given the place was less than half full heaven help the guests when they are busy!

Finally prices are very steep. A glass of Pol Roger is £12 - this is too much for the customary small champagne glass; the scallop dish was not a £10 one; the wine mark up was too high. I know the price of quite a few of their wines at retail and trade prices.

It was a lovely evening out but we will not go again and would recommend quite a few places within 5-8 miles as much better. Enough! It was close to "poor".

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank linskitours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie W, General Manager at Congham Hall Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 13 December 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble to report about your recent dinner and I am sorry that overall you considered your experience “close to poor”. We greatly value all constructive feedback be that positive or negative although it is always disappointing to learn of occasions when we get it wrong, which judging by your comments we clearly did in your case. Whilst your comments on the food and service are inconsistent with the Congham I know and I wish I had had the opportunity to address these at the time, I can however comment on your views regarding the wines. There has yet to be a single guest who does not have any opinion on the iPads although you are the first to describe them as “naff” and we try to offer assistance to those that would rather not get to grips with them. Contrary to the vast majority of establishments we have a policy of not applying a standard mark up across the board to our wines and the more expensive the wine the less will be the mark-up. We chose Pol Roger as our house champagne because it is not bog standard found everywhere and the “customary small champagne glass” you refer to holds a quarter of a bottle! For those that are looking for a cheaper alternative we have an excellent Italian sparkling wine for just £7.60 a glass. We do genuinely want all our guests to have a great time and once again I am sorry that we didn’t live up to your expectations, but hope that on reflection you might consider giving us another whirl?
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776 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (202)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2013

A wonderful break in a very comfortable hotel, fabulous pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub, lovely garden and grounds and excellent food and service. The staff were friendly helpful and efficient. Our Norfolk terrier was most welcome. He was able to exercise in the gardens on a lead and in the orchard and surrounding meadows and cricket pitch off a lead. There are also several most attractive local walks and directions for these in the hotel. The menus were imaginative and the food was good. There were a number of nice touches, newspapers were complimentary, there were treats for the dog and the car windscreens were cleaned each morning. We'd love to come back in spring or summer when the gardens and patio could be better appreciated.

Room Tip: There are rooms in the main building and 6 or so 'outside' with their own patio set round a...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank James D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie W, General Manager at Congham Hall Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 13 December 2013
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to comment following your recent stay. The local walks are always popular as the well-thumbed directions we have on reception for our guests to borrow are testament to! I look forward to welcoming you back next year. The Garden rooms (11 in total) all have their own little terrace and provide the perfect place to relax in the sunshine.
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Stansted Mountfitchet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2013

We stayed with friends for one night on 23 Oct. The Ipad wine list is a complete disaster, drove me completely bonkers. Trying to compare all of the wines for description and price and having a nice browse impossible- bring back the written word. At breakfaxt a grilled kipper is offered, I particularly asked whether it was a "proper" kipper with all its bones, that would be grilled and was absolutely assured that this was so, so it was a great disappointment when a filleted "boil in a bag" one, looking very soggy and all filleted appeared.
Enough of the criticism. The staff, or all the ones we met, are local and as helpful and friendly as can be, so completely refreshing to see that we, as a Nation, can still do it!
Our bedroom, Betony, was exactly what we hoped for and perfect with lovely fluffy towels and as good an "over the bath" shower that you could ask for.
The food, whilst not michelin star as yet, was more than adequate and the grounds are lovely, All in all, whilst not cheap, as good an overnight watering hole as one could ask for and having all of the car's windows cleaned before we left, a really nice touch.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Roland P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie W, General Manager at Congham Hall Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 13 December 2013
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to report about your recent stay, it makes such a difference to know that you enjoyed your visit and I am especially pleased that you found all the staff both friendly and helpful. We are very proud of the fact that the majority are local. The iPad’s are most definitely a talking point and I have yet to meet a guest who has no opinion about them. We have found them to be so much more flexible than a traditional printed list as well as providing more detail on the wines to be available for those that want to delve in deeply. I hope you will pay us another visit soon.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
104 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

My wife and i stayed at Congham Hall at the same time as Stephen S and our experience and impressions were very different. Although we did not have a suite, just a Best House Bedroom everything was just as it should be in a luxury country house hotel. A well appointed bedroom and bathroom, excellent linen and towels. And the service throughout the hotel, front desk, bar, housekeeping was cheerful and efficient. It was good to find that the staff were local people. The new dining room was lovely and the food five star - hats off to the chef. I didn't like the wine list being on a tablet but the choice was wide. We had stayed at Congham Hall twenty years ago. It is even better now. Good luck to the new owner. We will be back.

Room Tip: Our room was called Echinacea - you won't go wrong if you ask to have that for your stay
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 73manor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie W, General Manager at Congham Hall Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 13 December 2013
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to report about your recent stay, it makes such a difference to know that you enjoyed your visit and especially that you found the food to be five star. I’m glad you like the dining room too! The iPad’s are most definitely a talking point and I have yet to meet a guest who has no opinion about them. We have found them to be so much more flexible than a traditional printed list as well as providing more detail on the wines to be available for those that want to delve in deeply. I look forward to your next visit before too long
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013

We stayed at Congham Hall 19th Oct. I booked the best suite - Dandelion, the bedroom and lounge are nice but the bathroom is poor , for £270 per night I would expect a roll top bath and a large shower, instead there us an ordinary plastic bath and tiny shower cubicle with an electric shower, if this was priced at around £160 it would be acceptable . The bar and lounges are nice but the restaurant has no atmosphere, however the food was good. Nice place but over priced.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stephen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie W, General Manager at Congham Hall Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 12 December 2013
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to comment following your recent stay with us. It was good to know that you felt we had a “nice place” although disappointing to read that you consider the restaurant had no atmosphere. That probably used to be the case, but we are delighted with the result of our refurbishment that was completed in the spring and have been particularly pleased with the feedback generally, especially regarding the restaurant and bar. Maybe we can tempt you to come back and maybe try one of our Garden rooms that are also extremely popular?
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Stamford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2013

My daughter recently got married at Congham Hall, though we held the evening reception elsewhere. The hotel has been beautifully refurbished and is very elegant, the gardens are delightful and beautifully lent themselves to photography of the bridal party. The canapes served at the reception afterwards were good, if a trifle unexciting, and the service seemed a little bit lacklustre with guests left holding empty glasses for rather too long.
The staff generally seemed a tad unenthusiastic, they were perfectly polite and helpful when asked but didn't really seem to enter into the spirit of making the occasion joyful and exciting. None of this noticeably detracted from our enjoyment and I would certainly recommend Congham Hall, however I think that the staff could enhance the image and reputation of the hotel by appearing to take a more rather personal and friendly interest in their guests, especially at such special event as a wedding.

Room Tip: Not applicable
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Averil-Norfolk-UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie W, General Manager at Congham Hall Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 12 December 2013
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to report about daughter’s wedding at Congham Hall. We do strive to offer a friendly and efficient service without being intrusive and I am sorry that on this occasion you found the staff to be unenthusiastic although relieved that this didn’t detract from your overall enjoyment of the occasion. I assure you that we genuinely do want all our guests to have a great time and everyone’s visit is a special event in our eyes.
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2013

We have been staying as guests at Congham Hall for over 20 years when it really could describe itself as a luxury country house hotel, despite the lack of spa facilties, with a reputation for excellence in hospitality and food. Our recent stay there, with friends, proved very disappointing. Whilst the public rooms have been refurbished to a comfortable standard our 'good house' bedroom was cramped and very tired looking, not quite what we would expect from a hotel which trades on luxury. The staff in the restaurant were generally unenthusiastic, but the biggest disappointment was in the wine list (lack of choice), the menu and the food which we felt was very mediocre, compared to what we have been used to in the past. This hotel is in a lovely tranquil, location and it is such a shame that standards have slipped and prices have risen! Little touches were lacking for instance the prongs on the silver forks were tarnished, there was no shower gel, shampoo, or conditioner in the bathroom. (Unfortunately I did not realise this until I was actually in the shower by which time it was too late to call for housekeeping). To sum up this hotel is way over priced for what it offers, there are many good pubs and quality hotels in the area with much better and more imaginative menus, equally as good accommodation and overall offering better value for money.

Room Tip: Decor in the Garden rooms may be better but these rooms are twice the price, not sure they are reall...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 826Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Julie W, General Manager at Congham Hall Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 12 December 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble to comment following your recent stay with us and it is a shame that such a longstanding guest should leave feeling as disappointed as you did. Our room tariffs have been substantially reduced since the hotel came back into private ownership (our most expensive suite which used to be over £400 a night is now £270 and during the week a couple can have bed and breakfast for as little as £125 a night). Dinner, which used to be a set £50 affair now offers flexibility of choice and a three course meal can be enjoyed for less than £30 and with over 200 wines on our list, starting at £22 a bottle, I am really struggling to understand why you think we are overpriced and not offering value for money. Perhaps we are just different to the Congham you remember of old? But I honestly believe the same genuine hospitality is at the root of all that we do and I hope you will find an excuse to come back.
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Additional Information about Congham Hall Hotel & Spa

Property: Congham Hall Hotel & Spa
Address: Lynn Road, King's Lynn PE32 1AH, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > King's Lynn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in King's Lynn
#2 Business Hotel in King's Lynn
#2 Family Hotel in King's Lynn
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Congham Hall Hotel & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled within the beautiful Norfolk countryside, Congham Hall is a privately owned Georgian manor house situated 20 minutes' drive from the sandy beaches of the North Norfolk coast. A variety of market towns, nature reserves and the Queen's Sandringham Estate are also within a short drive. Each individually designed bedroom is very spacious offering extremely comfortable king sized beds and picturesque views across the estate. The team of award winning chefs create dishes using a wide variety of vegetables and herbs from the estate served in the Orangery restaurant overlooking manicured lawns and glorious parkland. For something a little more informal, indulgent afternoon teas are served in the lounge next to the cosy log fire. Set within 30 acres of wonderful parkland and extensive gardens, Congham Hall also boasts a croquet lawn and tennis courts. Congham Hall's luxurious Secret Garden Spa is where you'll find a stunning 12 metre pool, sauna, steam room, bio-sauna as well as an outside hot tub. You may also choose to unwind with one of the relaxing and rejuvenating beauty and massage treatments which will restore body and mind and leave you feeling completely revived. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Congham Hall Country Hotel
Hotel Congham Hall Country
Congham Hall Hotel & Spa UK/Norfolk

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