I stayed at the hotel for a spa weekend - a present from me to my sister, who was with me. I was hoping for (and thought, at the prices they were charging I should get!) a stress-free weekend.
Right from the booking onwards there were problems. The website clearly stated that rooms could be twin or double. I made my booking (£490), requesting twin, and was charged a £200 deposit in accordance with their terms. Next day, I got an email stating that there were no twin rooms available in the category I had requested; I could either have a double room or pay an extra £40 to upgrade (described as half price - though the next category of rooms online were only £60 more). I tried several times to talk to the person who had sent the email, but was unsuccessful, and she left a couple of messages for me, trying to get me to pay the extra £40. By the time she left the final message, the next category of rooms had been reduced online to just £20 more than mine, so I would in fact have been paying more than someone booking then!
On arrival, however, the staff were excellent, and I found that we had in fact been upgraded to the twin room free of charge. I really enjoyed the spa, the room was nice (though impossible to have a shower without flooding the bathroom, and the bath plug didn't work). Dinner, however, was another hiccup. We had £30 each included in our 'deal' price. We each ordered the 'mozzarella and tomato gateaux' (£10). This was just a plate of mozzarella and tomato slices. We then had our mains. I ordered some green beans as a side. However, these only arrived after I had prompted twice - and finished my main course. The total cost was £58.50, under the £60 we had between us, yet the restaurant added 12.5% 'service charge' on. Given they failed to actually deliver what we ordered at an appropriate time, I would certainly not have paid this had I realised. We'd had some cocktails before dinner, and so both drank water with the meal, for which we were charged £8.
After dinner, we thought we might watch a DVD in our room, as the publicity said some were available from reception. However, when we asked, we were told 'Yes, I'm not sure why it says that, we don't have any DVDs.'
I had expected to pay a significant amount of money for the weekend. I travel a lot, and have stayed in a number of similar hotels around the globe. I expected to pay that money for a standard of service. Sadly, despite the price, and the genuine politeness of the staff, the service was lacking. I noticed that this is the first year they have had the 5* rating, and I felt that they were just not comfortable with it. Although it was a nice weekend, it left me with the feeling of it being money-grabbing and uncomfortable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on 170 acres of stunning private gardens and parkland, Alexander House Hotel in Sussex is both a boutique retreat and an unsurpassed destination spa hotel near London, UK, the heart of South England's countryside. With tastefully designed, luxurious bedrooms, award winning Utopia Spa and a 3 AA Rosette restaurant, Alexander House Hotel is ideal for a weekend luxury escape in Sussex countryside and is a perfectly appointed private function venue, wedding venue near London and business events venue. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Alexander House And Utopia Spa
- Alexander House & Utopia Hotel East Grinstead
- Alexander Hotel Utopia
- Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa East Grinstead, West Sussex