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“Fun day out”

Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre
Margate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Fun day out”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2014 via mobile

We arrived on one of the nicest days of the year so far along with everyone else. Although we did have to queue for about 30 minutes between each turn we still enjoyed it. One thing I will say is that it could be better organised with regard to the people on the party groups who can jump the queue as it caused us to leave when we had not had all of our turns as they were having 3 turns to our one. All in all the staff were friendly and we would go again.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Melissa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andy R, Manager at Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Thank you Melissa for taking the time out to review the Centre. I am pleased you had a good day with us. At weekends we do have a number of Birthday Parties running and they do get priority queuing as they have paid extra for this. This normally lasts for 30 minutes each hour as they then generally move onto taking part in sno-tubing. We only ever take one party booking per hour.
I hope it didn't spoil your time with us too much. Regards
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140 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great for beginner!! Excellent service!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2013 via mobile

Have just back from a 2 hour lesson at this centre. I write this as a level 2 skier going skiing in a few weeks to the alps. Eekkk.....

Having gone to the snow centre in Hemel Hempstead last week. And paid £160 for an all day crash course lesson on real snow, which aims to take attendees from level 1 to level 4 in a day.

Unfortunately I am a slow learner and it takes me a long time and numerous repetition to get to grip with things, I can't skate either and took me ages as a kid to learn to ride and swim. I'm just a bit slower but will get there in the end.
The all day lesson didnt work in my favour as the rest of the group (who we were all strangers to one another), all took to it straight away and by the end of the day attained level 4, but i was still struggling with snow plough and controlling speed and only managed level 2. Not a waste of £160 as I learnt some things, but, certainly felt disappointed and knowing I needed more lessons.

In such a large group the instructor at hemel did do his best for me but i felt bad monopolising his time when the others in the group had paid the same money for instruction too, so i told him to leave me and concentrate on the others and i just stayed at the bottom trying to master my snowplough.

I came away from hemel feeling tired, achy, and a bit dejected and annoyed as to why everyone else was getting it and not me.

Someone suggested trying a dry slope to learn so I gave chatham a go as its quite local.

Ok....so on arrival the car parks could do with a resurface and the buildings are a little worn and tired, and decor a little dated....but you know what. Who cares. As the manager has said in previous replies, in these tough times they have to be financially prudent with upgrade investments and it will be a slow but steady process. Perfectly understandable and anyone who cant sympathise and marks a place a down for this clearly doesn't understand economics or business and lives in cloud cuckoo land. It's the quality and level of service received which is important here. Not what the place looks like. I could go to a swanky, brand new slope with posh buildings and modern decor but get crap service and poor instruction or come to a place looking a little tired and get great service and instruction. I know which I would prefer....you decide.

It is perfectly functional and suitable. The bar was fine and food looked nice, (although we didn't have any).

Reception staff very friendly and helpful on arrival and even looked after our car keys, which leads me onto a slight negative. No lockers in the equipment area. so had to lock our valuables in the car and leave keys with reception. Perhaps something which could be considered for the future to get lockers for patrons.

I Had booked a private 2 hour lesson as I felt I would have benefited more from 1 on 1 tuition rather than group lesson. Which was around £75. I think fairly reasonable for 2 hours of personal tuition.

Ben,was my instructor, and big thanks to him as he was exactly what I needed. Top guy. I found the dry slope easier to get to grips with than the real stuff and by the end of a throughly enjoyable 2 hours I felt I had progressed more in 2 hours than I had in 6 hours at Hemel. Mainly thanks to Ben, who was attentive, patient, and constructive. After an hour he could see I was getting tired and we had a break and even got me a drink of squash for free as my wallet was locked in car. Top service.

In response to other people, I didn't see one bit of rubbish, fox poo, or any other litter anywhere on site and the equipment is perfectly adequate and in good condition.

I guess I can see why accomplished and confident skiers might not like his place, but for newbies and 'bambi on ice' wannabes like me I really liked it and liked the intimate kind of community atmosphere. The staff and instructors actually seem they genuinely care and want to see you progress. Ben even filmed me on a tablet like ipad device and when I got to end of the run would show me the playback so I could see where I was going wrong. Really helpful!!

All in all I thought it was good value, really helpful, and would recommend for beginners to get lessons. Maybe not so good for level 4 onwards people wanting to develop skills as the mats may not help much.

This place is obviously trying hard and it will never be a massive, corporate, polished and swish place like Hemel or Milton Keynes without serious business investment but then I feel it would lose its community feel and just become another faceless collective.

A super afternoon, keep up the good work, and I will be back hopefully for another lesson before I go!!


Visited December 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank phoniex61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andy R, General Manager at Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre, responded to this review, 2 January 2014
Thank you phoniex61 for your review. As with all reviews it is appreciated, but I must thank you for putting some realism to the current economic climate and to previous reviews. I can only differentiate the Centre from some our bigger competitors by trying to offer a good standard and level of personal service whenever we can. We may not get it right every time... but I know from the levels of repeat bookings we get, that we get it right most of the time. Thanks again Andy Rushton
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Maidstone, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“shambles ......”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2013

On arriving with five children all keen to go on the toboggan and sno-tube we were told the queue was 25 minutes for each ride which we accepted, unfortunately the 25 minutes turned into an hour for one ride. We booked and paid for 5 which is non refundable but useable on another day. OK if you are local. As the children stood in the queue i was frustrated to see the young disinterested assistant spending as much time as possible under a heat lamp staring at her mobile phone. The speed at which the toboggans were matched with the next rider was incredibly slow and even more frustrating was that after waiting in a queue that was not moving, a large party group were taken straight to the front to merge with the queue which although i understand the reasoning behind, did not help the length of time we had to wait. I also note that this information is only explained after payment is made.
The general area is run down, strewn with rubbish, the staff look bored and simple maintenance has not been carried out. The sno-tube was a waste of money. It was not particularly a great slide and is in need of sorting out. It looks quite simply a bit knackered. This is not a cheap afternoon so i would expect more from this experience. Disappointing.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank melnick2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andy R, General Manager at Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre, responded to this review, 28 November 2013
Thank you for your review. I have taken on board your comments and I will draft a sign for reception informing customers that tickets are non-refundable but can be used at any time in the future.
We do try to get the customers through the toboggan run as quickly and safely as possible, allowing sufficient gaps for people to come down at reasonable speed. We cannot legislate for groups of slower riders who may slow the process up.

We do plan to redevelop the sno-tube area at the earliest opportunity.

I appreciate your comments about the site, I would love to be able to invest more in the Centre to make the appearance more appealing, but in these days when business investment has be carefully targeted, we cannot improve things as quickly as maybe others would like us to.
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Tonbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Very disapointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2013

It is very shabby now it was half term and they over sold the toboggan ride my grandchildren had to wait an hour for one go after their skiing so w e had. To leave so we now still have two rides left do not know when we can go again. It cost me £35 which is no cheep. The queue for food was very long and very slow, I would have thought at half term it could be better organised.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Ann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andy R, General Manager at Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre, responded to this review, 28 November 2013
Thank you for your review. I accept that we will be very busy during the half-term weeks and we staff the Centre accordingly. The £35 did include the skiing and the toboggan is heavily discounted after you have been skiing. I would never apologise for being busy (we must be doing something right) but we do try to manage a) the sale of tickets, stopping selling them when we see the queue being to large, b) telling customers how long the queue is before they buy a ticket, and also c) with the view to getting customers through the ride as quickly and and safely as possible. I am sorry your visit wasn't to your expectations.
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Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
304 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Best toboggan in Europe”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2013

I have tried a similar toboggan in the Great Wall near Beijing. When I discovered this attraction, I did not doubt to use it together with my daughter: she loved it!!!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Astur67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andy R, General Manager at Chatham Ski and Snowboard Centre, responded to this review, 28 November 2013
Thank you for your review, we like to think the ride is good as well!.
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