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“Nicely Themed - Great Hotel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chessington Safari Hotel

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Chessington Safari Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Chessington
Aylsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Nicely Themed - Great Hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2014

I have just returned from a trip with my family and have to say this hotel is very good. I wasnt sure what it would be like at first being a Holiday Inn however the decor throughout is very good, all based on an african them which fits with the safari side of the resort and is done to a very good standard. From walking into reception right through to the rooms you will be pleased with how nice the place looks and feels. We had 2 nights here over the easter half term in April and really enjoyed ourselves. The rooms are clean and well layed out (we had a family room, large bed with a set of bunk beds for the kids) although it does seem to be pot luck whether you get one of the rooms with seperate side area with the kids beds and TV in.

I do feel however that there are a couple of things worth pointing out to would be visitors.

The in house restaurant the Zafari bar and Grill does decent food at reasonable (ish) prices. The kids also loved seeing King Julian wandering around a coming over for high fives and pictures during our meal. The price of the drinks however is extortionate.....£5.95 for a small (125ml) glass of sparkling wine?? In my opinion this is blatant profiteering as they know you are a captive audience and will have to pay it.

Breakfast is absolute CHAOS! You eat your breakfast in the Zafari bar and grill however the whole layout is shocking and could really do with looking at by the hotel management. There is a member of staff at a "Greet" area at the entrance were you are shown to your table, however this also where they layout cereal, toast machines, milk, pastries and one of the hot drink machines during breakfast?? (The hot buffet breakfast items are layed out to the side of this) This results in guests arriving and trying to get seated, those who have already arrived wandering in the same area to try and get cereal and drinks and on our second morning king Julian (Madagascar Character) posing for photographs in the middle of the very small isle!! As I said above its absolute chaos and I cannot belive they cannot work this in a better manner than they do currently. The breakfast was also a little below par each morning, the bacon wasnt cooked enough and nor were the tomatoes which were a quite hard. They also dont advertise the fact that the chef will cook you eggs any way you prefer as he is hidden round the back of the serving area and on the first morning I was stuck with the sloppy scrambled effort on the hot buffet area.

We also had an early entry ticket as part of our stay which should have given us access to the park from 9:00am however due to the fact we were waiting for "vehicles" to leave the park we didnt get in until 09:20.

Overall the hotel and the park were very good, dont let the points above put you off as they were the only low points of an otherwise fantastic break. The staff are all very friendly and curteous and will go out of their way to help you and make you feel welcome. (You will notice however that you get called "guys" about 200 times a day, it must be part of their staff training! )

If they could sort out the breakfast and the rip off bar prices I would have given them an excellent rating. Well worth a visit with the kids

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Imhungry122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 16 April 2014
Thank you for your brilliant review of the Chessington Resort and Hotel! It’s great to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and that you enjoyed your room. We are pleased to hear that your children enjoyed seeing King Julian and the other Madagascar characters! Regarding the breakfast, we will ensure that your feedback is passed on to our restaurant management team.
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1,660 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (368)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bolton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2014

We stayed here last October to allow us to visit both Thorpe Park Fright Nights and Chessington's Halloween offering. It was a last minute booking and was well worth it. Cost approximately £75 for 1 night which is on par with similar "quality but budget" Hotels in the area. We got lucky and ended up in a deluxe room overlooking the safari type area. We got it by pure chance but I would definitely recommend upgrading to these rooms. Very spacious and waking up to see ostriches is a lot better than catching another Fraser repeat. The bed was comfy and breakfast was delicious. A nice touch was the provision of Early Ride Time to an area in the park as it allowed us to get on the Kobra and then queue up for the Dragons Fury ride before the park opened. Given how busy Chessington can get being able to skip the queues for two of the major rides was a real bonus,

Room Tip: The upgrade prices may be a turn off but can't recommend the deluxe rooms overlooking the animal...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Enk27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 16 April 2014
Thank you for your review of the resort. We have lots of exciting adventures to offer and it is great to hear that you enjoyed our Hocus Pocus Halloween experience! It’s also brilliant to hear that you enjoyed our fantastic views on to our Wanyama Reserve. We hope to welcome you and your family back to the Resort very soon.
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Kent
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2014

Recently stayed there for the second time in 3 months. 2yo and 4yo had a great time even though they were limited on what they could go on. Weather not great on the Monday but lovely on the Tuesday. Clean, heavily staffed and performers were great and happy.

On the minus side, the pool was closed (we knew in advance) and the resort hotel has a very limited menu for Vegetarians. But the breakfast was great, staff friendly and helpful and were willing to cook if the menu did not suit. You always have the Beefeater at the Premier Inn next door if you want more variation.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mentat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 16 April 2014
Thank you for the fantastic review of the Chessington Hotel and Resort! It’s great to hear that you enjoyed your time in the park. We will ensure that your comments regarding the restaurant are passed on to our team. We hope to welcome you back to the Resort soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2014

We love this hotel and for the first time stayed over Christmas and persuaded family to come too, who have always spent Christmas at home. We had a wonderful time and so did they. We want to spend every Christmas there if we could afford it!! The staff are second to none (particularly Ameeka and Alex) in the restaurant. They are wonderful with my two boys, always remember them and even what they like to eat!! How's that for Customer Service. The food is superb. If they do a good a job with the extended hotel as they do with this one then they are on to a winner!!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank julie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 16 April 2014
Thank you for your great review of the Chessington Resort! It’s brilliant to hear that you and your family enjoyed your Christmas break with us. We have lots of exciting adventures happening in 2014 so we are looking forward to welcoming you back to ‘Britain’s Wildest Adventure’ again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

Family of 3 just returned from 2 nights at the Holiday Inn Chessington resort. Lots of little things that weren't up to scratch. The swimming pool is closed and we weren't informed when we booked. We sat in the restaurant for over 20 mins (after booking a table) and weren't even offered a drink, never mind food order being taken. The breakfast was cold, not a huge selection and because it was busy trays were empty so reduced the choice even more. (we ate before 8am both mornings) Early rider is a it bit of a con, you have to meet at 9am and then aren't allowed into the park until 9.30am and only into one section which has hardly any rides and attractions. Also, the park signposts you to the hotel past the Zufari ride, when you get to the hotel gate, it is closed so we had to walk all the way back through the park to another entrance, no where does it tell you the opening times of the gate to get back to the hotel.

Positives! The room was lovely and quiet during the night. The kids entertainment was brilliant, the hotel do animal meet and greets in reception and there are movies playing with a large bean bagged area for kids to watch. In a separate room there is entertainment that kept our 7 year old entertained for a few hours.

Chessington itself - there seemed to be a lot of young staff who were only doing there jobs but had no customer service experience. one example, my son is disabled and wanted to go on the indoor soft play, he did his best but became distressed and the young girl was adamant I wasn't allowed to go and assist him and fetch him out as it was against company policy!! Also on an outdoor play area staff were letting 19/20 year olds on alone, who were causing havoc and frightening and laughing at the little ones who were struggling. We went into the Pizza restaurant at 3pm on mine and my husbands watch but the waitress insisted it was 2.56 and we had to wait 4 minutes before she would let us in!! how about letting us in and get us sat down and given a drink?!

we are merlin pass holders and although my son had a lovely 2 days I wouldn't be rushing back to this hotel and resort any time soon

Room Tip: we have stayed in a themed room before, lovely but overlooking the car park. this time our room was...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dria0607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 7 April 2014
Thank you for your review of the Chessington Resort. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed our movie club and animal meet and greets in the hotel! Regarding the Early Rider scheme, we do also offer our guests Fastrack access to the park from 10.00am-11.00am, in order for our hotel guests to fully experience priority access before our other guests. With regards to the other points you have raised, these will be fully investigated by our management teams and improvements will be made for our future guests. We do hope you will come back to ‘Britain’s Wildest Adventure’ again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth
Level Contributor
73 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2014

Can't speak highly enough of this place! From the lobby, right through to the rooms, this hotel is very well presented and kept extremely clean and tidy. Staff (particularly front desk) were very friendly and helpful and the welcome packs were a nice touch. Room was a nice size, well decorated and we all loved the fact the kids had a seperate little room with 2 beds and their own tv!
Only negative comment I could make was the service in the restaurant was a little slow but the delicious food more than made up for it!!
Kids loved the animal encounters, character meet and greet and character breakfast (food choice was very good too)
This was our first time staying here but most definitely wont be the last! Thank you for a lovely stay!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kate B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Thank you for your review of the Chessington Resort! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed every aspect of your stay! It’s great that you enjoyed our Family room with the separate sleeping area for the children and additionally that you loved the entertainments programme that we have on offer. We have many exciting new things happening in 2014 and beyond, so we do hope you will come and visit us again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2014 via mobile

I will get the negative out of the way first as it will only be quick....we were in room 201 which is nearest the lift and break out area. a family sat there from evening till well into the night talking loud and shouting...the kids running up and down the corridors parents not asking them to stop. no regard for others.
I have not included this on the rating as its not a fault of the hotel..
the hotel appreance is beautiful. staff helpful. rooms were lovely. breakfast was nice. I phoned reception and asked for some more milk and she was there in a couple of minutes.
I was lucky enough to have a view out to the animals which was brilliant.
I would definately come again.
my son did not want to leave and my only regret is not booking an extra night

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank sam301186
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Thank you for your brilliant five star review of the Chessington Resort. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the hotel and found our staff to be very helpful and efficient! We are also delighted that you enjoyed the fantastic views on to our Wanyama Reserve, where the giraffes and ostriches roam freely. We do hope you will come back to ‘Britain’s Wildest Adventure’ again soon!
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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 Chessington Safari Hotel

Property: Chessington Safari Hotel
Address: Leatherhead Road | Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Chessington KT9 2NE, England (Formerly Holiday Inn London - Chessington)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Surrey > Chessington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Chessington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chessington Safari Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up to an African inspired reserve with zebras, antelopes, ostriches and the very rare Scimitar Horned Oryx roaming freely before your very eyes - it's the ultimate room with a Zoo! The hotel is perfect for family breaks with safari theming, African Adventure rooms, Penguins of Madagascar themed rooms, an indoor swimming pool, the family friendly Savannah Splash, gym & spa and the fantastic Zafari Bar & Grill. The hotel is part of the Chessington World of Adventures Resort and is just a few strides away from the Park. On weekends and during school holidays there are also animal meet and greets and character breakfasts. The hotel also has state of the art corporate facilities with 6 meeting rooms all with natural daylight, air conditioning and high speed internet access. At the theme park take on the KOBRA, our exciting spinning disc ride in Wild Asia, soar on the Vampire roller coaster through the depths of Transylvania or take a fiery spin round Dragon's Fury. Take a walk on the wild side with tigers, lions and gorillas in the Trail of the Kings, go underwater with sharks and stingrays in the SEA LIFE centre or journey to our new Wanyama Village & Reserve where the zebras and antelopes roam. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn London - Chessington Hotel Chessington
Holiday Inn Chessington
Chessington Holiday Inn
Chessington Safari Hotel Surrey

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