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“Exceptional Hotel and Service”
Review of Hartwell House

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Hartwell House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hartwell
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 August 2014

I had the absolute pleasure to stay at this hotel recently for a couple of nights.

I had booked through Laterooms and on arrival my booking was located quickly and within a few minutes I was checked in and being show to my room by a very helpful porter.

The room was superb, it was a superior room, well appointed and in keeping with the period of the hotel, very clean and comfortable with spectacular views across the grounds.

I used the bar while staying here and the staff were very efficient and courteous at all times, attentive but not intrusive a sign of good management and training in my opinion.

Breakfast was excellent with a good choice of continental and cooked options available, the breakfast room has great views over the estate and although busy does not feel crowded.

The spa was as one would expect with a comprehensive range of treatments and facilities, again it was very clean and well appointed with pleasant staff for whom nothing was too much trouble.

This hotel has raised the standard, I have travelled far and wide and have to say that this is probably the best hotel that I have ever stayed in for service, professionalism and staff attitude and aptitude.

Thank you all for such a wonderful stay, I will be back.

Room Tip: Room 11 is and excellent choice
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Matt G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 August 2014

Stayed for two nights after our wedding. Totally old school, and decorated in keeping with the house. Philip Starck style design and lines wouldn't fit, but I prefer the contemporary hard lines. It's a beautiful place, don't get me wrong, but what I couldn't stomach was the to the manor born old duffers set there with their sense of entitlement. I'm talking about the guests here, not the staff. I've stayed at more expensive places than here and not been sneered at because I wear shorts to breakfast and not some penguin suit. Spa is great, just lose the faux establishment snootiness.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Lee W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartwell, Manager at Hartwell House, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

We are pleased that this reviewer considered Hartwell House to be beautiful - it is.
Any sneering emanates from this reviewer, and not from the courteous and caring team at Hartwell House, or their appreciative clientele.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

I visited Hartwell House for a two night stay, we arrived and we allocated a Hartwell Court Suite which was located in an adjoining building which I believe used to be a riding school. It was decorated in an old fashioned way, very chintzy but in keeping with the history of the building so I can see why they have kept this dated theme. The room however was huge and exceptionally clean.

After unpacking we visited the spa as we had a couple of treatments booked. My therapist Alice was lovely and explained the treatment thoroughly, it just so happens that this particular treatment wasn't exactly what I wanted but Alice was happy to listen to my requirements and tailor the treatment accordingly which I thought was fantastic. The treatment itself was brilliant and Alice gave great after care advice and offered products which I might want to purchase to take home. I would say the only negative would be that the treatment room had a large window and only a blind to keep out the sun, the room could have done with being slightly darker to create a more relaxed environment.

We took a lovely walk around the grounds which are gorgeous, we could have walked for longer if we had the time!

We had dinner in the main restaurant that evening and everything was just perfect. We had drinks and canapés in the bar prior to dinner and this was a delightful start to our evening. Service throughout the evening was impeccable, I couldn't fault a thing. We were on a set menu but we were told that we could order from the other menus and pay a supplement which was good as you aren't then limited to just a few choices. We had three courses and everything was delicious.

Breakfast on both mornings was very good, continental buffet and breakfasts available to order. Everything was delicious and the service was also very good. Nothing was too much trouble and the staff really do go out of their way to make you feel special.

We used the spa but were a little disappointed, not really sure the hotel can call itself a hotel and spa with the facilities they currently have. Pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Everything was a bit grubby, dated and just generally looked like it needed a good wash and TLC. Could be lovely!

We booked to have dinner in the Spa Café on our second evening at 8.30pm. We went to the bar in the main hotel for a pre dinner drink but it was very busy and unfortunately we had to wait 20 minutes for a drink to arrive, this meant we arrived at the Café 15 minutes late for our booking. On arrival we stood for 5 minutes waiting for a member of staff to appear but no one did so we found a table ourselves. A waitress came over at 8.50pm and barked at us immediately that we were late and last orders were in 5 minutes and then proceeded to throw the menus on the table. We sat in stunned silence for a moment at the sheer rudeness of the waitress, we tried to explain that we had to wait in the bar to get served but she just turned on her heel and walked away. She came back and took our orders, the food arrived within minutes which made me wonder how fresh it was however it tasted nice enough. We ordered a bottle of wine which the waitress brought over to the table and just plonked the unopened bottle down and walked off. Now I know that the Spa Café isn't trying to be a fine dining restaurant but in the most basic of restaurants you would have your wine poured for you. At 10pm we had finished eating and were sat enjoying our wine when the waitress appeared again and told us they were closed so we would have to leave. Again we sat in stunned silence for a few moments before collecting our wine and glasses and taking it back to our room. I have never encounter such utter rudeness and out right disregard for customer service in my whole life. Unfortunately this outrageous treatment stopped Hartwell house from being excellent and I certainly would not recommend anyone to bother eating in the Spa Café unless you want to be chastised like a child.

Overall our stay was very good but I do feel like the service in the Café Bar needs addressing as it really is bringing down the rest of the hard working staff that seem to go out of their way to make your time at Hartwell memorable.

Room Tip: Don't eat in the Café Bar
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Ema S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2014

I booked for a small group for a friends birthday .. It took a long before anyone came to take our order.. They bought the wrong sandwiches over apologised left the room and returned less than a minute later with the same ones.. We asked for butter and semi skimmed milk, twice and when we ordered more tea we had to ask twice how much longer it would be. The menu stated egg and cress but they were just egg sandwiches and when we were paying and were asked how everything was we mentioned the cress and were told it had been taken off the menu.. Which clearly it hadn't.. As this was a special occasion the service didn't spoil our visit but it was very faulty towers and none of us will be rushing back.. Unfortunately it's not the first time the service was bad.. There are better places to go!

Stayed: August 2014
2  Thank Julesn28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2014

Just spent two nights this week Monday and Tuesday at Hartwell House and I must say it was very nice. Lovely old house, beautiful grounds, friendly polite staff, nice room and lovely food. Thank you very much xx

Stayed: August 2014
1  Thank billie47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

We stayed for two nights in a courtyard suite. Having booked the accommodation I e-mailed to book a table for dinner on both nights. After a couple of days and not having had a response I called to see if they had received my e-mail and the lady muttered something about how would she know but did then check and advise that we had been booked in at 8.45pm on both nights which was too late but we had no option. I wonder if they had booked us in when I asked if the time might have been more convenient, and why didn't anyone reply to my e-mail?

Upon arrival at the hotel the 'gatekeeper' advised us where to park, but there simply were not enough spaces and it only got worse as more people arrived, they really do need to sort it out.
Our suite was clean and comfortable but I would say a little dated. I can't help but think people are a bit more forgiving because it is National Trust, but for the money they charge I don't really think it was up to standard.

The hotel is set in lovely grounds and on both days we spent a couple of hours wandering round the various paths, and spotted montjacs, red kites and plenty of herons.
The public rooms of the hotel are very opulent and very pleasant for reading the morning papers after breakfast.

We used the spa everyday, there is a good pool and both indoor and outdoor jacuzzis but neither were working whilst we were there. The steam room is spacious, I'm not sure what another reviewer meant by it being damp, we found it to be perfectly fine whilst we were there.
There are a few loungers inside by the pool and more in a quiet little courtyard outside. It was a nice enough area but just needed a bit of TLC, a sweep, jetwash and perhaps some bedding plants - when you pay top price you expect top notch.

Breakfast was a full buffet on Sunday morning and hot food was cooked to order on Monday morning. We ordered haddock but it was out of stock, despite the fact I had seen the fish delivery arrive earlier in the morning! I ordered English and my partner a veggie English, but when it arrived it was just half a breakfast! A mushroom cut into two halves, a tomato cut into two, and two eggs, that's it! Would a hash brown or veggie sausage from the freezer have been too much to expect? The lady who I think was the head waitress made sure everything was running smoothly, and the buffet items were varied and of good quality.

On the first night we at in the cafe bar and sat on a little balcony which was very pleasant. Once again the food we ordered as our first choice was not available but what we had was tasty and the service was good.

On the second night we ate in the main restaurant which was an interesting experience! We were allocated a table squeezed into a corner next to the doorway that the waiting staff were constantly charging through. I asked to be moved and was told that they were busy and we couldn't. I asked if I could move to one of the 'free' tables but they said more people were coming, so I suggested we moved and other people could have the table we had been allocated. The waiter went off and the restaurant manager came over, clearly irritated, and said she could set up one of the tables where other diners had finished. Perfect! Only why did I have to fight for it?
No one explained what we were entitled to on our dinner inclusive rate, so I had to ask but the waiter didn't seem very sure and said it was the set menu, which was ok but I would have been happy to have paid extra for some of the other dishes. When the main courses came out they were the wrong dishes, and I did notice we weren't the only table this happened to. The manager was clearly stressed and raised her eyebrows and huffed! What a shame because I have to say that all of the food was absolutely delicious.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay, primarily because the location is so peaceful, we didn't need to go out and about to entertain ourselves, and because it is a relatively small hotel it wasn't too busy. However, if I compare it to places of a similar price, such as Bovey Castle, I don't think it was of the same standard. I wouldn't want to put anyone off, just consider your options.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Service
2  Thank LittleDollyUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Beautiful setting and just like staying for grand country house weekend, Subtle discreet service which was just right. Lovely rooms. Members of our family have stayed here a number of times and it has become a firm favourite for a relaxed stay. Last time stayed in the Lady Elizabeth room. All very comfortable. Gorgeous grounds. Look out for the tennis courts which are hidden away in what was obviously the old walled garden. You can almost hear the clink of glasses of lemonade and the laughter as you sit on the side lines. Just very English. Owned by The National Trust and has great history. Just remember this is not a state of the art building but part of history and has therefore been around a long time and has some worn edges. Enjoy the chance to taste the country house experience. We do.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Pringle1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hartwell House

Address: Oxford Road, Hartwell, Aylesbury HP17 8NR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Buckinghamshire > Aylesbury Vale > Aylesbury > Hartwell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hartwell
Price Range: £192 - £318 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hartwell House 4*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hartwell House is a beautifully restored 17th century Grade 1 listed stately home. The magnificent rooms are superbly furnished with antiques and hung with fine paintings. Many of the exquisitely designed bedrooms and suites are in the house and some in Hartwell Court, the converted coach houses or the Old Rectory. Royal rooms have high ceilings, fine fabrics and dreamy views over the extensive landscape, it is a truly idyllic setting.There are thirty bedrooms and suites on three floors in the main house each aimed at ensuring your comfort and enjoyment during your stay. In addition there are ten suites and six bedrooms in Hartwell Court, the adjacent 18th century indoor riding school. The Old Rectory Hartwell has a superbly appointed master four poster suite with a sitting room and three other bedrooms with bathrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hartwell House Hotel Aylesbury
Hartwell Hotel Aylesbury

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