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Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes
Reviewed 26 September 2011

I stayed here on the weekend of the 24th September 2011 for a golf weekend. The Rooms are fine and the hotel part that has been taken over by the Crowne Plaza looks very nice, but I dont think ive ever stayed at such a poorly run hotel in my life. The staff have no idea what they are doing. They shut the sports bar at 6:30pm when it was full, they only have one bar tender working behind the bars so average serving time i worked out was 25 minutes!!! then to top it off they actually ran out of beer.
Everyone i spoke to at the hotel said they were disgusted with the place. One person told me that they had tried to get dinner from the buffet at 8:30pm and they had ran out of food aswell!
Very odd place and I would'nt recommend staying here.

Room Tip: The rooms are good, its the service and staff that are the problem!
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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5  Thank PhillCambs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,585 - 1,591 of 1,607 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2011

Read a lot of the recent reviews and so were a little concerned about this choice for a romantic getaway.

Positives
Great modern decor
Top rooms with nice views of golf course
Treatment was fantastic
Swimming pool okay (jacuzzi wasn;t working completely)
Staff did all they could and more to make us happy (late check out)

Negatives
In short it is the restaurant experience is the only thing letting this place down. What the management are trying to do is provide both buffet and a la carte in the same restaurant. This clearly does not work. Rowdy groups of golfers shouting at one end of the room whilst couples try to whisper sweet nothings in the other. This is while the Catch 22 restaurant remained empty. This to me is a no brainer. Put the couples in here and keep the groups in the buffet area.

Staff were apologetic and did listen to our views. The customer relations manager was fantastic and the restaurant manager also was good to us. Gemma the room service girl was very cheerful. We will return.

Room Tip: club room upgrade gets you a room with a view and access to the club lounge for free drinks and a qu...
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank RavingRover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2011

I have stayed here on several occasions in the last twelve months whilst on business. Unfortunately, the experience has become less, rather than more enjoyable on each occasion, despite the 'upgrade' following re-branding to Crown Plaza Resort.

Whilst the rooms are very comfortable and clean this is the only positive part of the offering. Even my room disappointed in some respects; the multi-function TV set struggled to provide even basic TV channel functionality, and accessing the other functions - hotel info, TV internet, room service menu, etc simply was not possible. (I experienced similar problems on my previous visit approximately one month ago.)

The staff show some effort in an attempt to make up for the management inadequacies, but there is clearly a lack of proper training and insufficient staffing levels.

Whilst I have not experienced any difficulties in checking in - probably because my stays have always been during the working week where demand has been lower - lack of training of Reception staff leaves you thinking that your custom is not particularly important.

By far the worst aspect of the 'upgraded' facilities is the 'Brasserie1' restaurant. Whoever designed this disaster-area should be shot! Thanks to appalling acoustics (almost complete absence of soft furnishings and a tiled floor throughout) the noise levels -even with less than a quarter of the tables being occupied - are truly oppressive and VERY intrusive. Coupled with this, the layout and size of the buffet is woefully inadequate for the number of guests it is designed to accommodate. On the first evening of my most recent visit I waited for over twenty minutes before joining the 'school canteen'- like queue to reduce sufficiently, only to discover that a number of the main dishes were not available, having been consumed by previous diners. The quality of food on offer at the buffet leaves much to be desired, with bland flavours (main course), uninteresting starters, and a poor selection of desserts. On the second evening of my stay I chose not to subject myself to the Brasserie1 'experience' for a second time -but rather, to go to bed hungry. (I accept that I could have eaten out, or tried to find out what was available on the Room Service menu - since it was not available in-room via the TV, and no hard copies of the menu are provided in guest rooms, I understand.)

I didn't use the leisure facilities so cannot comment on these.

I am very reluctant to stay at this hotel again in future, despite its close proximity to and convenience for my business. I am actively looking for alternative accommodation and will avoid this hotel whenever possible until the Management team addresses both staff training/motivation requirements - and more importantly - the upgrading of restaurant facilities.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled on business
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3  Thank cameronian2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2011

We have recently had our wedding at the hotel and after staying there many times before, knew this would be perfect. We had a wonderful day and all expectations were met, the food and wine were exceptional and all our guests were blown away with the whole day!
The conference and events team provided a great service and made us feel very special.
The beautiful grounds set a wonderful scene for our wedding photos and we have many memoriable snaps!
We stayed in the excecutive suite for a few nights and it was perfect, very comfortable and clean, we enjoyed some peaceful days, ordering room service, which was great. We also made use of the restaurant where we had some great food and drink in lovely surroundings.
The only downside for us was the hotel was undergoing refurbishment and we couldnt make use of the reception area, although this did not affect use of the bar and restaurant.
Many of our guests stayed at the hotel on the wedding night and all praised the hotel, many not wanting to leave the next day!
We would definately recommend this hotel for a very enjoyable and comfortable stay.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank georgina r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2011

I stayed on a Friday and Saturday night for a ladies golf weekend. We stayed in an area a short walk from the main hotel called The Village. These were rows of buildings each containing 8 twin bedrooms. The upstairs rooms are larger than the downstairs ones so I'd request one of those if I ever had to stay there again. In fairness, the rooms were perfectly good - spacious with a little verandah which we couldn't access because we failed to work out how to. Beds were really soft and comfortable. There were big soft dressing gowns and the bathroom was spacious, modern and well functionning.

I only played one of the courses which was The Links course - probably the worst course I've ever experienced - the front 9 seems to be a couple of mown fields although the back 9 is definitely more interesting. I didn't hang around long enough to play the other course as one and a half rounds on The Links was more than enough. A great shame because golf is why we went there and it was a big let down.

The main hotel is enormous with dreadful accoustics in the restaurant and lobby area. Dinner was buffet style and just about acceptable - somewhere between an army style canteen and Butlins in 1969 - as is usual in this type of captive audience hotel the winelist seemed to be very expensive. A bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc was approx £42 which is over the top in my book. Breakfast was ok too although a couple of us asked for a cappucino which they brought but then charged us £5 extra which I thought was a bit petty - and they didn't say it would cost more when we asked for it - a small point I know as it didn't exactly break the bank but I just felt it was a bit greedy grabby.

There is a spa and pool and tennis courts, squash courts, gym - none of which I used so I have no comment to make.

I must also say that all of the staff were pleasant and tried their best to accomodate whatever we requested.

So, to conclude, disappointing golf but the hotel was ok. I wouldn't wish to stay there again but it would suffice if I had to.

Room Tip: if staying in the village area ask for an upstairs room!
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Pusilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben C D, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 13 October 2011

Dear "Pusilla",
thank you for taking the time to comment on your visit to our Resort. I am of course very happy that you found the room facilities to be good, spacious and comfortable. I am also delighted to hear that you found the staff to be pleasant and helpful. Unfortunately you did not have the chance to try our Lakes Course and hopefully you would have found this course to be more challenging for a golfer with your experience.

Your most negative comments centred around your dinner with us in Brasserie1; Please accept my sincere apologies if you were not offered the option of upgrading your dinner from the buffet to our A la Carte menu. Brasserie1 is offering a casual and relaxed dining style were we encourage a friendly and warm atmosphere. We are constantly reviewing our prices to ensure that we remain competitive within the market place.

Once again, thank you for your helpful comments. I do hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to our Resort in the future and that you will be able to try our Lakes golf course and our Catch22 restaurant as well.

Yours truly,

Ben C Danielsen
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2011

I am a 15 year old girl who came to stay here a couple weeks back in August. I have 3 younger brothers and sisters, two of them under 10, who also went with my parents and I. I was extremely happy with the room, as were my parents because there were 6 of us, we needed two rooms and they were not too far away. The rooms were extremely well furnished and the TV worked well although my parents thought that the room service was overly expensive, and for my two brothers (under 10) the kids channel was not working. We went for a fitness weekender so we had access to some of the ballrooms (?) I think its very original the way they are titled after the legend of Camelot and knights of the round table. The food is very very good, and I think that if you are going to a hotel as a family, the number 1 priority is to have entertainment for the children, and I was entertained. The grounds are beautiful although there is definetely a wasp problem which I think needs to be adressed. Also, I know there are wildlife but two swans came into the garden area (next to the pond) and were excreting everywhere! I was there when the hotel was being refurbished and I saw in a previous review that the hotel replied that the refurbishment was finished (before I came). This was NOT the case. Although the refurbishments were not a drawback it would of been nice to be properly notified before we arrived.

Overall I would definetely like to come back to this hotel as it provides everything that a family and couples would enjoy. Lots of privacy in the rooms, friendly service, efficient cleaning... Well done! (I must also mention that in all the hotels I have stayed in the beds in this hotel were the best! I (as were my family) was like a slave to sleep!)

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Tiana-Maria I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben C D, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 11 September 2011

Dear Tiana-Maria,
Thank you for your comments following your visit to our Resort in August. I am delighted to hear that you and your siblings and parents enjoyed your visit to our Resort. Since your visit we have completed the refurbishment of the hotel. When you visited we were in the final phase of the works. With that I am happy to say that we can now offer the full line up of TV channels again and with that the children’s channels are back. Being in the midst of the countryside the wildlife issues you raised can be hard to control, but we will try a little bit harder to try to limit them to avoid any nuisance to our guests. I do hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to our Resort in the future. Once again, thank you for your kind words and comments.
Yours truly,

Ben C Danielsen
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2011

I stayed here for a one night spa break last weekend as part of a hen group. We arrived nice and early to use the facilities, which were very good, although the pool was very noisy and a little like a public pool rather than a relaxing one. After lunch we headed to reception to check in at around 2.30pm. The queue was huge, and we quickly realised that no one was able to check in as yet, leading to a great deal of complaining by some people who needed to get ready for a wedding that was taking place at 4pm. We were not overly bothered about waiting at this stage, but asked for some free drinks which were supplied and went and sat outside in the sunshine. We headed back at 4.30pm fully expecting to be able to check in, but still no joy. We were slightly concerned as we were due to be meeting for drinks at 6pm, and would need to be getting ready shortly. When asked if the room would be ready by 5pm, the receptionist basically shrugged her shoulders at me. We were offered another drink, but pushed back and in the end were given 50% off our room rate. Eventually at 5.30pm we were able to check in. The staff stated that this happened every weekend, and that they were giving out up to £1000 in discounts every Saturday. Why on earth they don't spend some of that on extra cleaning staff I don't know. There were still people trying to get their rooms up until 7pm from what I saw.
The hotel is very nice in itself, and the facilities are good. However, due to the shortage of staff everywhere, tables in the bars and outside areas were not being cleaned, leading to dirty glasses and plates all over the place.
To top it off, I checked my bank account this morning and rather than credit me the 50% discount, they actually charged me it! I wouldn't recommend staying here.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank kk413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ben C D, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 11 September 2011

Dear “kk413”,
Thank you for your comments following your visit with us recently. Firstly let me introduce myself; my name is Ben Danielsen and I am the General Manager here at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester – Five Lakes. Having recently arrived your comments are very valuable to me. Please accept my sincere apologies for our short comings last weekend. There were a combination of issues that resulted in the delays with check in’s on the day of your arrival. Some of these issues were avoidable, while others were out of our hands. That said, the team did try the very best inform people about the delays and in making sure that all were looked after in various ways. This is not a common occurrence at our Resort and we apologise profusely to all of those affected. I have not had any reports coming in to me detailing any overcharges and would imagine that this might be related to the release of pre-authorisation from you bank. If it is still a problem and you still do not have the correct amount back, please contact me directly. Once again, please accept our sincere apologies to you and your friends.
Yours truly,

Ben C Danielsen
General Manager

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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 Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes

Address: Colchester Road, Tolleshunt Knights CM9 8HX, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Tolleshunt Knights
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tolleshunt Knights
Price Range: £75 - £144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes 4*
Number of rooms: 194
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Five Lakes Hotel, Golf, Country Club and Spa is a 4 star hotel offering some of the finest and most extensive health, leisure and sports facilities in the area. Set in 320 acres the 194 en-suite bedrooms overlook the attractive countryside and each is spacious and comfortably furnished. There is a choice of restaurants and bars. Leisure facilities include a luxury spa, indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and well-equipped gym. Golfers will enjoy the two 18-hole courses. Only an hour from London, and Stansted Airport, the hotel is ideal for both business and leisure guests ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes Hotel Tolleshunt Knights
Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester 5 Lakes
Five Lakes Hotel Country
Five Lakes Resort Country
Five Lakes Hotel Essex
Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes Essex/Tolleshunt Knights

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