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“Attic bedroom, appalling room service and pretentious staff”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Cliveden House

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Cliveden House
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Taplow
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“Attic bedroom, appalling room service and pretentious staff”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2014

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.

Room Tip: Avoid the "Asquith room' - this is the room that we had
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank mhbeowner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, 14 January 2014
A manager is never happy to receive such a review and a response is hard to write. I am sorry that you left us feeling as you do. Your room "Asquith" is a very large room on the top floor of the Main Mansion. There are no sloping ceilings, in fact it accommodates a lovely large four poster bed. The bathroom is small, but this is a very old, heritage house and can not be compared to modern day 5* hotels. It is just one of the facts of Cliveden & I realize this will be acceptable to some and not other. If you are the couple I am thinking of I do believe you arrived on an evening when we were having a concert at the hotel so I imagine you would have entered into a busy front hall and a busy night. There is no excuse for your poor room service though and I very much apologise that this was below the standard you should expect. We will continue to work on consistently hitting the mark for all our guests. Regards Sue W
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Rating summary
  • Location
    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
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English first
Virginia Water, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2014

It was a very important event- birthday of my partner. So I decided to do a surprise for him by booking a spa day with stay at Cliveden House. The premises are beautiful but as soon as we entered the house my plans were ruined. We didn't recieve any spa tretment the day we booked as our massagers were 'ill' (on 1st of January- what a surprise). We did not recieved any compensation for that. During dinner food was nice but we were not served the wine we ordered and did not get the promissed compensation for that. The birthday cake , which I ordered few weeks before, was simply forgotten! It was brought only after my reminder. Other problems during breakfast and next day were just too much. For such a money with house of the 5* we recieved very low quaity of servise and ruined the event.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank AliceP007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, 4 January 2014
I am very sorry to learn that you left Cliveden House with a less than favourable impression of us. We are sad to learn this is the case and apologise for your disappointment.

We did have a member of staff who let us down in the Spa, alternatives were offered but you were inconvenienced and we would never have wished this to be the case. The cake was all set to be delivered to the table and then you needed to visit the ladies, the team were just waiting for your return to deliver it at the right moment. With your menu you had ordered a wine flight and we regret that one of the wines did not arrive in sync with your next dish, this should not have happened.

Thank you for bringing these items to our attention and we will certainly use your feedback constructively. Yours sincerely Sue W
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2014

My family and I were fortunate enough to stay in Spring Cottage over Christmas for three nights, and loved every minute of our trip!

Our party consisted of 5, and we had therefore opted for Spring Cottage to give us a little extra space outside the hotel. We were not disappointed! The cottage itself is immaculate and beautifully decorated - and we were all surprised by just how spacious it was, the brochure does not do it justice in this respect at all. Everything that you could possibly need for a visit was also thought of, from scones and a lit fire on arrival to providing wellies, and even a bed, lead and treats for our dog!

Now onto the main house, which, again, was fabulous! Upon arrival from the cottage we were always greeted by very friendly staff and offered refreshments. The house itself is very welcoming, with a very homely atmosphere for a hotel. The dining room is beautiful (as is the rest of the house), and the food also first class - we ate breakfast and dinner in there each day and had consistently good food.

The staff are also a credit to Cliveden and clearly take pride in the hotel - we were frequently greeted by friendly faces and asked how we were finding our stay; each time being left with the feeling that they genuinely wanted their guests to be happy. Nothing ever seemed too much trouble for anyone.

We will definitely be returning!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gemma s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, 14 January 2014
I remember you all so well, it was a pleasure to have you all with us over the New Year Festivities.
Thank you for being so swift at posting your review and for all your kind comments. Hopefully we can say "same place, same time next year". In the meantime have a wonderful 2014. Best wishes
Sue W
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Wiltshire, UK
Level Contributor
97 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2013 via mobile

I've been watching the renovations at Cliveden with interest as this has long been one of my favourite places. I've held off actually staying there for a few years now as I was always worried I'd be disappointed, but when it was bought recently by the owners of Chewton Glen, I felt sure the required investment would be made.

I'm intending to hold my 40th birthday party at Cliveden in 2015 so wanted to stay beforehand to try the new restaurant and see how things are coming along. My mother and I decided to stay a few days before Christmas to try it out as a pre-Christmas treat and I must say, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Upgraded upon check-in to a Deluxe twin room, Garibaldi, we thought the room was lovely although I think it's due to be renovated and the bathroom probably does need a bit of updating. The rooms make you feel as though you're staying in someone's house rather than a hotel, which to my mind is the whole point of a stay at Cliveden anyway. Lovely Asprey toiletries and extremely comfy beds and bedding with complimentary mineral water and chocolate treats are a nice welcome. I also particularly liked the name plates on the doors and the handwritten note from the manager. My only niggle was no tea and coffee in the room, I do like a cup first thing in the morning without having to open the door to a member of staff in my PJs.

Given it was pre-Christmas, the Great Hall was very busy with afternoon tea patrons so we were shown across to the Club room (members and guests only) to have a sandwich. I was impressed with the menu and the prices and the service and ambience was really good. Very cosy!

Dinner at Andre Garrett was a real highlight. The restaurant has been refurbished beyond recognition and the menu was lovely. I particularly enjoyed the Dover Sole and the Mille Feuille dessert was one of the best puddings I've had in a long time. We did get overcharged but it was quickly sorted out when I checked out and with very good grace. Dinner was included in our rate but at £65pp for 3 courses, coffee and bonbons (a fantastically original touch) it was good value.

Breakfast in the same restaurant was also very good, although note there is a charge for hot dishes, again not overly expensive though at around £10 each.

We had no time to use the spa but had a quick look round before departing. Again, it will be renovated at some point in the future, I imagine once the improvements to the main house have been completed, but the facilities are still good as they are with both indoor and outdoor heated pools big enough to swim in properly, Canadian hot tubs and saunas. This would be a nice place to relax in summer.

Unfortunately we had limited time and wet and windy weather so we didn't explore the National Trust grounds on this occasion, but I have done in the past and you must do this if it's your first visit as they really are beautiful. Ask for a map or directions because much of the gardens are tucked away at the front of the house and there is a lot to see. Hotel guests are able to borrow wellingtons for use when walking.

Finally, we were helped to the car with our luggage and sent on our way with water and cookies for the journey. The staff really make the experience and I'm so glad my favourite UK hotel is now being returned to its former glory. It's a very special place full of history and atmosphere and I very much look forward to my next visit...



Stayed December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Mac7471
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, 14 January 2014
I am so pleased that you have spotted the changes at Cliveden and that all in all it resulted in a memorable stay for you both. We are busy working away on future projects and Garibaldi will have had its "facelift" by Easter. There will be so many more reasons to return and we hope to be able to share all these with you before too long. In the meantime a heartfelt thank you for your very kind and considered review. Kind regards Sue W
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Maidenhead, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 December 2013

Had are wedding here on Friday the 20th December in the Lady Astor suit, then they turned it round for us to stay in that night it was such a beautiful room. The venue was amazing and all the staff made us feel so welcome and also went above and beyond with every thing we requested, when all our and are guests needs were catered for. But our day would not have been the same with out the help from Emma Riddell she made it better than we could have wished for.

Helpful?
1 Thank Scott_kirkham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, 14 January 2014
Many congratulations on your wedding day from all of us at Cliveden. It was a great pleasure to help create a magical day for you to remember for the rest of your life together. May it be happy & blessed in every way. Emma & I hope to be here to welcome you back for an anniversary celebration in a year or twos time. Regards Sue W
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Hertford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Cliveden for one night last week. It is one of the best hotels we've ever stayed in. It's a stunning building - absolutely gorgeous. The service was outstanding - it reminded us of the Cipriani in Venice.

Breakfast was lovely and served in a beautiful dining room. We didn't get to have dinner at the hotel as we met friends in a local pub but we'll be back.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Stephen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, 28 December 2013
To be mentioned in the same league as The Cipriani in Venice is a tremendous compliment as it has long been regarded as one of the finest hotels in the Orient Express collection, thank you.
Cliveden is a wonderful House and we are really pleased that the service matched the setting.
Hope you are having a wonderful Festive time and we hope to see you in 2014. Kind regards
Sue W
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Windsor, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2013

Thank you Emma for your help in organising the Christmas Dinner for my client, Genius Reserve. They can't stop talking about the exquisite food, excellent service and wonderful ambience in the Boudoir and overall Cliveden House. A very special thank you to Ryan who looked after them on Saturday night. Ryan you are a STAR!! Hope to be working with you again in the very near future. This is a stunning venue with outstanding service and friendly welcoming staff! I would love to rate Cliveden house EXCELLENT- plus!

Petra Opperman

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank petraoppermanwedding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, 28 December 2013
Emma joins me in saying a special thank you for your lovely review. You were great fun to look after and we are so pleased your event all ran exactly as you would have wished. We have to agree Ryan is a star, we spotted this special quality in him 2 years ago when we 1st met him. We consider ourselves very lucky to have him on the Cliveden team. Thank you again, hope we have another chance to look after you next year. Kind regards Sue W
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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 Cliveden House

Property: Cliveden House
Address: Taplow SL6 0JF, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Buckinghamshire > Taplow
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Taplow
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Cliveden House 5*
Number of rooms: 44
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

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