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“Lovely food, not a spa”

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Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes
Reviewed 26 April 2014 via mobile

I visited five lakes on easter Sunday for an overnight spa break with my mother and sister. After reading the reviews on here we were very nervous as to what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised. We arrived early to use the spa facilities and didn't think we would be able to check in until 3pm. We were lucky that our room was ready so we checked in at 12pm. The room was lovely, 2 large double beds and a very nice bathroom with a separate bath and shower. The spa was not what we expected. We wore our robes and slippers to the spa, expecting the pool and sauna to be alongside the relaxation room etc. We were disappointed to find them on different levels, having to walk past a bar full of men enjoying the fottie! The pool wasn't all that and there were loungers around the pool but it was absolutely freezing! The sauna and steam were average. The relaxation room was nice, 3 full poster beds and magazines. The best thing about this resort has to be the food. We had the buffet dinner and breakfast. The dinner was yummy, fresh salad, buffet roast and an array of desserts, all beautifully presented. Breakfast was full English and continental with fresh fruit and yogurts. We definitely ate a lot! The resturant staff were lovely, we had a very young waitress at dinner and she was adorable! So professional at her age. Overall we had a lovely break, we felt very relaxed....and full! However if you are wanting a proper spa break I wouldn't choose this hotel again. If you just want to chill and don't live too far, id recommend it!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Rosie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IanICullen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback on Trip Advisor following your recent visit to Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester – Five Lakes.

I am pleased that you were happy with your well appointed accommodation and thank you for your constructive comments regarding the spa and country club which have already been passed to the Spa Manager and Country Club Manager respectively.

I was pleased to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your dining experience during your visit and our dedicated Chefs and Food & Beverage team will be delighted to read your comments..

With kind regards

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Reviewed 20 April 2014

16 of us stayed end of Mar 2014 for a golfing break. The hotel is nice, it's well presented & clean. We received a good welcome, check in was very very easy.
We were all put up in the adjoining purpose built golf accommodation. These rooms were very good, large rooms, comfy big beds, all the whistles & bells you'd expect plus a very large bathroom. Again clean & well presented....a lot of my friends complained about the heat in the rooms but we just opened the window overnight.

The food was okay, a self service buffet dinner with a good selection & well cooked. The brekkie in the morning was also as expected, a full english is as easy as it gets.

The atmosphere in the evening was a little lacking, drinks were a bit pricey but that seems to be the norm for these types of places.

Onto the important bit..the golf....we played both the links & the lakes courses. starting with the links.......terrible!!!...fairways were like muddy ploughed farmers fields, the greens were woeful & esthetically it was totally uninspiring ...dreadfull course.
Day 2 was the more established Links course. Better but not by a lot .... looks like a golf course....fairways were ok but again the greens were terrible....shocking.
I'm guessing they aren't making their money from golf & therefor aren't ploughing money back into it.

If your golf is important to you then I wouldn't recommend this resort as you will be dissappointed. If your golf is recreational & you have partners interested in the spa then why not give it a go.

Room Tip: Try to get one of the adjoining purpose built rooms away from the main hotel. Very comfy well presen...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Matt P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IanICullen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2014

Thank you for reviewing your visit to Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester – Five Lakes following your visit in March and I am pleased that the hotel made an impression upon you on arrival and your check-in was seamless.

I am sorry however, to read that you were disappointed with your golf experience as you can appreciate. Vital renovation work had been carried out on the courses recently which included verti-cutting and hollow tineing and these processes can manifest themselves in the courses being a little difficult to play. Coupled with continuous incremental weather which the surrounding area has suffered since the beginning of the year, this too had impacted our ability to spread the workload processes which hindered our dedicated greenkeepers from routinely maintaining the course to their usual high standards.

Again, please accept our sincere apologies and despite your final paragraph saying that you would not return, I do hope that you reconsider.

Kind regards.

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Reviewed 19 April 2014

I have just come back from a 'Spa Break' arriving Good Friday and departing Saturday 19th April 2014.

The purpose of my trip was a break with my sister and a friend, to celebrate my sister's 40th Birthday. Our first impression was that the reception area was lovely, but the turned out to be the best part of the hotel.

Our triple room had two double beds, so two guests were obliged to share. We had two mugs between three of us. Three rough scratchy robes and no slippers.

We were given no information regarding our break and therefore had to go looking for the spa area. We were not advised that there was a separate staircase within the spa and so we self consciously walked through main reception in our robes. There was no sign for the pool so we tried every door until we found school style changing rooms with £2 lockers and a basic pool full of children.
This is when we realised that the facilities were not unique to spa breaks but shared with everyone staying at the hotel. There was nothing relaxing a 'Spa' like about this.

That evening we went to dinner and again found ourselves in a large echoey family restaurant full of children, and with no music to create any ambience. It felt like a canteen.

On Saturday we went to the spa for our treatments and all were shorter than advertised. The 30 min scalp massage was 20 mins, the full body 60 min massage was 45 mins and the 1hr 15 min facial was 50 mins. (I see other guests have had this experience). Our 15% spa guest discount was not applied to any of the treatments and we had to request it. As we left we discovered the spa relaxation room we were unaware of.

Unfortunately, I feel that the experience would be quite different if a few steps were taken:

Spa guests, after checking in be directed to the spa reception.
Spa staff could make guests aware of all the facilities available and the more discreet stair case, and location of pool.
Spa cafe area to have sofas and footstools for guests to relax.
A 'make the best of your stay' guide detailing the above, to avoid our wandering around corridors and stairwells in robes.
Pool area and changing rooms to be brought up to spa standards, with time slots in the day for adult guests only.
Spa guests to dine in the (completely empty) Catch22 restaurant, away from family guests.

I believe the above changes would make this hotel pass for a 'spa' break.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank JoannaBTEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IanICullen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2014

I appreciate very much indeed the time you have taken to highlight some of the issues that were concerning to you during your stay and please accept my sincere apologies that your Spa Break did not meet your expectations on this occasion.

Going forward, your constructive comments have been taken on board and have already been shared with the departmental managers so that appropriate resolves can be put in place to ensure that similar experiences do not occur in the future. We will obviously action resolves to the issues we can impact where we can, again thank you for your insight.

We do hope that despite the issues mentioned in your feedback, you will give us another opportunity to serve you in the future.

With kind regards

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Reviewed 14 April 2014

We stayed for one night in a family double bedroom (2 double beds) dinner and breakfast included £165 (2 adults+2 children and infant in a cot)
The room was not huge, but modern decor and furnishings.
Plenty drawer, cupboard hanging space, kettle, flat screen TV, iron.
Bathroom and had bath and separate shower.
We did not use wifi as was £14.95 per day....can’t believe anyone pays that!
Our dinner package allowed us to have anything from the buffet which had a reasonable selection or £21 towards anything from a la carte.
The children could have either. The food was I though failry good for the package price we paid.
There was not a huge wine list prices started at just over £20 to near £100
Service was good
Breakfast was buffet, this was again good, with full English as well as fruits and pastries.
We used the pool, this was very good and child friendly with gentle incline from steps starting at 0.5m
The bar area was nice enough too.
Service was good throughout and no real complaints.

There were a lot of hen parties there suing the spa
As well as a wedding

Room Tip: room 202 was quite
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank neilkate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IanICullen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Your views and comments are truly appreciated and I am happy to read from your feedback that you and your family enjoyed your visit to Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester – Five Lakes.

At the time of your visit, WIFI was chargeable after the first complimentary half hour however, since your visit, WIFI is now complimentary to all guests.

I do hope that we can look forward to welcoming you back sometime soon. Thank you again for your review.

Kind regards

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Reviewed 11 April 2014

I attended this spa/ hotel a couple of weekends ago with a group of ladies for my friends hen do. I had a great weekend with the girls but I have very mixed reviews of the hotel/spa.

Parking – there is a very large car park but on the day we arrived it was completely packed and people were having to park on the grass verges etc. We had a call the day before we were due to arrive to warn us that there was a carp convention on that weekend so the car park would be very busy so we left plenty of time before our treatments but it wasn’t the most relaxing start to a spa weekend and it may be worth asking at the time of booking if there are any conventions on so that you can try to avoid them.

Reception – the hotel lobby is very impressive and the reception staff were very polite. We arrived earlier than our check in time but this wasn’t a problem as they have a room behind reception where you can leave your bags until it is time to check in.

Spa – you are issued with a robe and slippers on arrival, the spa staff are very nice and I had booked a fully body massage before arrival which was lovely and included in the price of the hotel package which I feel was a good deal. However I didn’t feel it had a very relaxed spa like atmosphere. The odd scented candle or diffuser (used in the treatment rooms but not in the seating area or relaxation room), lower lighting in the seating area and a few products to use in the changing rooms etc would have been nice and is what I am use to from other spas I have visited in the past. I also found it to be a bit of a maze with the pool downstairs, relaxation room upstairs etc so you ended up roaming corridors in your bath robe which would be fine if the hotel was just a spa but with such mixed clientele it was a little awkward at times.

Pool – the pool was nothing luxurious and is in need of a bit of a cleanup. The hot tub was on a random timer so by the time we got in the bubbles had stopped and we just had to sit and wait for them to go off again. There were also no way near enough loungers for the number of people using the pool. This is a very large hotel so they should expect large numbers and be more accommodating to this. I heard a few other guests complaining about this also.

Room – was nice and spacious, beds very comfortable, covered most of the things you might need – fridge, hair dryer, safe etc. The negative I have is that the room was very hot even with the air conditioning on which resulted in a bad nights sleep. There was also a group of men arguing outside our bedroom window in the early hours of the morning which woke us up.

Food – was very good value for money and very tasty, they were constantly bringing new trays of food out and it all tasted very fresh. Breakfast especially was lovely. We defiantly felt we got a lot for our money with the deal.

In general – there was a very mixed clientele when we were there, Carp convention, wedding, football teams etc which didn’t make for a very spa like feel. I would describe it as more of a hotel with standard spa facilities. If you are looking to get away with the girls for a night and want a good deal then this is great but if you are looking for a luxurious, relaxing pamper break then there are nicer spas to visit.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank ChloeSimone86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IanICullen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your observations from your recent visit to Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester – Five Lakes on Trip Advisor.

One of our most important tasks is to learn directly from our guests and you can be sure that your feedback has already been shared with the relevant departmental managers so that going forward, improvements where appropriate are put in place.

We do hope that we might have the opportunity to welcome you back at some time in the not too distant future.

With kind regards

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Reviewed 8 April 2014

My party of 8 booked into a 2 nights stay of the Crowne Plaza Five Lakes for a golf and leisure break. Everything was pre-booked, rooms, tee times and tables for dinner. We arrived early morning and were able to unpack into our rooms before our tee time. The golf organisation was perfect and all our times we met, unlike other resorts. The rooms were large and well equipped, with the only negative being that they were too hot! There is plenty to do at this hotel: gym, pool etc, snooker, pool, table tennis, outdoor tennis and even squash.
Breakfast is a buffet but with the option for freshly cooked eggs etc and plentiful. Dinner again was an option of buffet or al la carte. We tried both and they were excellent.
No problems recommending this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank SGP_Kent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IanICullen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Thank you very much for your positive review following your golfing break at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester - Five Lakes. I am delighted that we were able to meet and exceed all your expectations and that all your group had a most enjoyable time.

I very much hope that you will take the opportunity to return in the not too distant future to enjoy again, all the facilities that the hotel offers.

Thank you again for taking the time to post your review on Trip Advisor.  

With kind regards.

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Reviewed 7 April 2014

Where do I start my sister booked this spa as a gift for my mum,it was a family day out and 8 of us had decided to come up. We tried to book this in advance but was told you just turn up but could call and book treatments in advance. My sister and my auntie called for three days straight with no answer left voice mails and emailed all with no response. I then began to call and got through to the main desk and a very helpful gentle man went up to talk to the spa for me. I then instantly get a returned phone call (as you will see in this review the only way to get round this place to complain ). The spa is now fully booked due to the hotel being booked. So there goes mums present of a massage. We ask to be put on the cancellation list just in case and enquire if they are having issues with their phones only to be told that every voicemail and email are responded to( clearly not ). We then get shown to the changing rooms for the treatment area even though we are unable to have any treatments. Before finding our own way down to the spa and their changing rooms ( lockers only take £2 coins by the way no one tells you this and get very grumpy when you ask them to change it up as my mum found out ). The spa facilities themselves are ok. One of our party returns from using the gym and noticed glass on the floor in the changing rooms( where there is a little girl running around ) I go and tell the life guard and off he goes to clean it up or so we thought 3 hours latter when we are going to get ready for out afternoon a member of our party then steps on the glass. My cousin then goes to have a shower only to be greater by a cockroach
. We go up and complain to the spa reception and granted we get a 50% refund. So me and my sister go down to decorate the table reserved when we arrived in the bar as you can't have tea in the restaurant ( was not told this when booking ) only to find people sitting at it so they are asked to move we go to get my mum come back only to find someone else sitting at our now decorated table with the bar staff just standing at the bar watching the football. We then order our tea now granted we are a fussy family and 3 of our pairs asked for no salmon sandwiches and asked for extra of anything else and 1 of us asked for no egg we were told they were running low on ham and asked if Turkey would be ok for our swap we said that was fine. Then 2 of our pots of tea turned up 10 minutes later my mum went to the bar to ask for her tea and was told it would be made straight away.10 mins later still no tea and out sandwiches arrive wrong so we explain what we ordered and the guy just stared at us. We explained again that we don't want that food and that we still hadn't got our tea. Only to be told that there was no ham left in the restaurant. We
complained again and half an hour later got the money back for the food we sent back. We also received a voucher for a free afternoon tea which we will not be using. The place is a joke stay away.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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3  Thank Daniellepascoe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IanICullen, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester Five Lakes, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Thank you very much for taking the time to relay your feedback. We are most disappointed to read of your experience, albeit we felt that we dealt with it appropriately on the day. Your feedback has been shared with my respective managers and like them, I sincerely apologise.

On your note re health and safety obviously, we take this matter very seriously indeed and I can assure you that action has been taken to avoid any instances of this nature in the future.

Once again, many thanks for your feedback, all comments whether positive or otherwise are always taken as read whilst we endeavour to satisfy everything our guests need.

Kind regards.

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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: £56 - £128 (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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