We booked into The Cliveden as a treat for the night before we moved into our new home. We booked a luxury room at £460 including breakfast for just one night. We had been told that a black tie event was being held in the hotel that night but were surprised to be taken into the hotel by a side door and then have to walk through dark corridors before being shown into a service lift which took us up to the top floor of the hotel (3rd floor) and to our 'luxury room'. On the hotel website it says that all luxury rooms have fireplaces and we had planned to have a cosy room service dinner in front of a roaring fire. We had asked for the fire to be lit for our arrival. The room was heated to a tropical heat such that we had to open all of the windows on arrival and the fireplace was not a working fireplace! Our bathroom must have been a cupboard originally and you could literally sit on the loo and touch all corners of the bathroom. It was ridiculously small.
Disappointed by the room, we asked for the room service menu. It is extremely limited and as we did not want burgers or fish and chips we opted for the lamb hotpot. At £27 we thought it would serve 2 people but no when it arrived it was a tiny portion and £27 each. On top of this was a mandatory service charge and a mandatory room service charge. The only table in the 'luxury room' was a wobbly coffee table so we ate our expensive meal on our laps. Still hungry, we ordered a lemon curd tart and an ice cream sundae. We received 2 ice creams, both melted and the waiter had forgotten the spoons so we drank the sundaes having waited 15 minutes for him to bring spoons to us. We slept well as the bed was comfortable and we were exhausted. The next morning we ordered 2 pots of tea with milk. One pot of tea with a thimble of milk arrived, literally not enough for even one cup of tea. We found our way down to the hotel restaurant by taking many wrong turnings carrying our own luggage having waited 10 minutes for a porter to arrive. As we struggled into reception 2 staff members came running over to help and made a fuss about us having carried our own luggage.
Our room rate included breakfast so we went into the restaurant and asked for a table by the window (the restaurant was empty). The tables by the window have a hot air vent under each table and it was literally too hot to sit at the table so we had to move. A tiny buffet was laid out on a sideboard. It was very disappointing. The dishes to be used were small side plates and cup sized bowls. Again there was no milk. Anything cooked had to be ordered and was extortionately expensive. (bed and breakfast included the continental breakfast buffet only). The staff that we came into contact with were snooty in the extreme. None of them were british and all seemed to think it extremely odd that we wanted milk with our tea!
On checking out we were informed that in light of the problems with our room service dinner the £70 for that meal had been waived. This still meant that our one night stay was £500 and there was absolutely nothing luxurious about it. When you arrive at this hotel you have to get past the gates to the National Trust grounds. There is nothing to tell you that you have arrived at the hotel and you have to pay the National Trust fee even if you arrive after dark and leave early as we did. The architecture of the hotel is beautiful from the outside and the public rooms are stunningly decorated but the bedroom that we had was shabby and the bathroom completely inadequate. The furniture may have been antique but it was poorly maintained and shabby. Very disappointing.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cliveden is unique. One of the world's finest luxury hotels, this grand stately home is set in the heart of the Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 376 acres of magnificent formal gardens and parkland and with wonderful panoramic views over the River Thames. It is one of the finest luxury hotels near London and Heathrow Airport. Guests have included every British monarch since George I as well as Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, President Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, John Profumo and Christine Keeler, and many other well-known names from the past and present. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cliveden House Hotel Taplow