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“Second visit” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wivenhoe House

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Wivenhoe House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Wivenhoe
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Second visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2013

Long awaited return to Wivenhoe House. Second visit for another one night stay. Great deal on a wonderful room in the main house. Fabulous accommodation, way beyond expectations. Really comfortable and relaxing after a long trip South. Surprised to see the grubby marks on the door but guess wear and tear inevitable. Did not detract in any way from the quality of the accommodation provided. Probably the best hotel room I've experienced in the UK. Great Apple Mac and TV combination, Inclusive Wifi. Super quality, beautifully presented and excellent bathroom. Really comfortable bed. No aircon, no problem it's about time we enjoyed a proper summer and some warmth. Modern fan provided air movement which was fine for me.

Disappointing that Signatures restaurant experience wasn't available but enjoyed a good meal in The Brasserie. Pigeon starter was tasty, slightly over and just warm but still enjoyable and not really worthy of complaint. Rib eye was cooked as requested and no complaints. Attentive, professional, relaxed, and friendly service. Like the feel of the Brasserie, modern, functional but comfortable and pleasant restaurant.

Cooked English Breakfast was OK but not special. Not really the standard expected for the restaurant and hotel. Good service but let down by mediocre cooking. Two fried eggs combined into a mass of bubbled egg white with no visible yolks. Quickly spotted by waiter and replaced but similar provided as replacement. Not the end of the world but surprised at the standard of breakfast on this occassion which lowered my overall review, for this visit, to very good

Overall experience was high due to accommodation and evening meal.

For me the Wivenhoe House is still an excellent place to stay. I will return at the earliest opportunity.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Coordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 30 September 2013
Thank you for your kind review, my apologies that you felt the food let your stay down slightly. I will pass your comments onto the head chef, who I am sure will want to investigate into the reason why your food was not up to our normal high standards. However, it is lovely to hear that you found the accommodation to be fabulous. Hopefully we will welcome you back to Wivenhoe house for a third visit soon, with our standards being at our normal high level.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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611 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (128)
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English first
London
Level Contributor
123 reviews
109 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2013

So we spent a Saturday evening at Wivenhoe house having just been to see a friend in a matinee at Colchester Theatre.

From the website the hotel looks very much like a country house hotel, but on arrival (if the sat nav brings you to the correct entrance that is) you'll find that the house is actually part of the campus of the University of Essex. A little bit of a letdown, but it is secluded from the main buildings of the University.

When I originally booked I asked for a king suite with a balcony in the new block as I am that most dreadful of people - a smoker! When I received the booking confirmation for this, there, and only then, did I see a notice informing me that all parts of the rooms and balconies (!) were non-smoking. I had a delightful phone conversation with someone called Sophie who was incredibly helpful and she said that she would reserve a room for me which was one floor above the brasserie meaning that I would only have to come down a flight of stairs through a door and I could be out on a terrace where I could smoke.

We were checked in by Francesca who was incredibly helpful, but even though she had seen the note on the check-in, we were taken to a room at the end of the corridor on the 2nd floor of the new wing as far away from the lift as it was possible to be. This was obviously not the room that had been arranged, and in addition the room was incredibly stuffy. It wasn't the warmest of evenings that we've had recently, but the room had no air conditioning. Francesca told is that they weren't allowed to have air conditioning as it was a listed building. We pointed out that we were in the new block. Francesca then told us that they couldn't have air conditioning because of regulations. Perhaps the management should decide which story staff are going to tell guests.

Owing to a wedding that was on, rooms were in very short supply and they only had one other room which was currently out of service due to a spotlight in the ceiling having been removed. Francesca showed us the room which was The Constable suite. No nearer to a smoking terrace, but the room was more spacious and airier.

It lacked some towels and a 2nd bathrobe,a tv remote, as evidently the room had been supposedly laid out for one person, but Francesca organised bringing everything we needed. This was a top of the range suite, yet the lounge area for lighting had only one spotlight over coffee table. The bedroom had wall lights on either side of the bed as reading lights which could only be turned out from one side of the bed. A spacious and luxurious bathroom with Molton Brown toiletries ( always a good sign), but only using the bath next morning, there was no hair washing attachment on the tap, so one had to get out of the bath and into the shower.

We had dinner in the brasserie on the Saturday night and the food was excellent. I understand that with no house is also a training establishment for young people wanting to get into the hospitality industry. The restaurant was brilliantly run by fantastic French maitre d', and he made up for the slightly over solicitous but less than effective service from some of the staff. Each time our dishes were brought, the waiter had no idea which dish was for whom. With only two of us dining, that shouldn't be a problem. The brasserie is clean and functional, but with no real atmosphere. A bit upmarket IKEA. Breakfast service was not good. Having been seated, we got our own stuff from the buffet bar, but it then took nearly 30 minutes for our cooked breakfast to arrive and this only happened when the fantastic French maitre d' rushed to the rescue and shouted at the kitchen.

The food at dinner and breakfast was excellent. Well prepared and well presented.


Our one night stay was designed to be a bit of a treat, and on that front it fell a little short. It's got great potential, and as long as they can sort out the reasons they're telling guests from lack of basic facilities such as air-conditioning, I'd give it a try.

Room Tip: Don;t stay on a hot night, or ask for a room with many windows - open them.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank claytoncast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Co-ordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 3 September 2013
I am sorry to read your review on your recent experience at Wivenhoe House. You will appreciate that, from time to time, especially being a people led industry, mistakes do occur. I have spoken to some of the staff already who have explained that they tried their best to assist you. Hopefully we will be able to show you our normal high standards of service in the near future.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2013

Arrived hot n sweaty - had a great shower (I am 6ft 4in so rarely "enjoy" being sprinkled chest down) . Large fluffy towels (I am basically a big softy) and then sat on balcony (in new part of the hotel) and watched a game of cricket whilst sipping some (of our) cold white wine.
Staff very friendly and helpful and food in the evening and at breakfast all very good.
Hotel/restaurant wine list was a tad expensive but we had saved on the room.
Strolled around the lakes and as the students were not there it felt like we had our own "estate".
No fridge in the room and it was a very warm summers night.

Room Tip: All the rooms appear to have either a lake view or a view over the playing fields. Ask for what you...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 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 DalesRanger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Co-ordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 3 September 2013
Thank you for such a lovely and detailed review, it is always nice to have such kind feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back to Wivenhoe House for another enjoyable stay soon.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2013

As part of a wedding party, I originally viewed this property in December. The students were all on vacation, so the campus was quiet and the grounds were covered in snow; it was a postcard picture. I returned again in June for the wedding opening day and once again it was beautiful. All the doors and windows were open, the sun was streaming through and we were able to enjoy drinks on the terrace. Both experiences made us excited for the big day, which was this weekend. The day was magical, despite the torrential rain, but there were a few things that came to light that we just didn't think of in the booking process.

Unfortunately the property only has air conditioning in the public areas in the newly built area. This means the rooms within the old house, as well as all bedrooms are unbearably hot on a warm day. The hotel do provide fans in all rooms, but they just blow around the hot air, not cool. In terms of bedroom configurations, a twin is a double bed with a 2cm gap between the mattresses. Not ideal for some sharing situations, as it is practically a double bed.

Although we were aware that some staff members are in training, the reality is the level of service some times suffers due to their lack of knowledge and experience. I have seen this set-up work well in other environments, but what makes it successful is having an experienced and qualified member of staff in support. This doesn't just mean one across 10 trainees, but one between two at most. Obvious challenges were at check-in and with adhoc requests.

I'm not sure if there had been an accident in the kitchen on the day, but all the food was very salty. This was particularly true of the crab doughnut canapes and the bread with the chicken liver pate starter. On a positive note, the breakfast selection and quality were of a good standard.

I can only imagine every wedding is different, so it is difficult to get the timings spot-on. However, due to slow service we finished the wedding breakfast as the evening guests arrived. As people were being welcomed, tables were being cleared, so I would recommend adding extra time to the schedule to be safe on the day.

I don't have a need to return to the venue, as I don't live far away. However, if the property were to extend and offer spa facilities, this would be an enticing facility.

Overall the day was everything the bride and groom could have wanted, so special recognition should go to Charlie (wedding coordinator) for everything she did to make it what it was.

Room Tip: Corner standard room in the new wing provides additional space and a large balcony.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jennifer_thomson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Co-ordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 3 September 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble to give us your feedback. I’m so sorry that you were disappointed with parts of the day, but as a whole I am pleased you enjoyed your stay. The feedback from the Bride and Groom has been very positive. I have passed your comments onto Charley and the management team who I am sure will want to investigate why service was slightly slower than our usual standards.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockport, UK
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2013

This is a very good hotel. We had a decent sized, modern and spotlessly clean bedroom and a very comfortable bed in the old part of the hotel, with a good sized bathroom and great walk-in shower. The iMac in the room is a great facility along with decent free wifi. The staff are friendly and polite. Breakfast was great. The negatives: no air-con in the room or mini-fridge, so not great as the outside temp was upper 20s. We called down for ice and it took a second call and more than 45 mins wait. I appreciate this is a hotel where they train some of the University's own hotel/tourism students and perhaps this accounts for some of the issues around service and responsiveness. Also the hotel was very busy with two weddings and we did wonder if they were adequately staffed to cope. That said I would definitely stay again (but not during summer unless they install air-con).

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Saffyhound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Co-ordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 3 September 2013
We have had some very warm nights recently and I am sorry that you found your room temperature a little uncomfortable. We have invested in fans and all windows do open fully. My apologies for the wait you had on the ice, I have passed your comments onto all management staff who I am sure will want to investigate why you had such a look wait. Hopefully we will be able to welcome you back to Wivenhoe House soon.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Overstrand, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2013

Found this place online and choose it for our honeymoon. Really happy with every aspect of our stay. The room was a delight. Spacious, clean, comfortable. Beautiful large bathroom, lovely large power shower. All kinds of little extras. TV / computer in our room. We were just in a balcony twin, not a suite. Great view of the peaceful countryside.
Food was very nice. Super breakfast with a vast choice. All the food was good but maybe could use a little more choice for us veggies.
Staff were brilliant. Thoughtful, hard working, attentive. Thanks especially to the multi lingual, multi talented Lionel from France. Presented us with an unexpected glass of wedding champagne after we arrived.
Very good value for money. (we paid 109 per room per night, August season peak. Shop around online for best prices)
We don't usual repeat visit but enjoyed it here so much that we will definitely return.

Room Tip: The balcony rooms if you're visiting in the summer.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank adiexx2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Co-ordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 3 September 2013
Thank you for choosing Wivenhoe House for your honeymoon, we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us. I will pass your kind words onto Lionel and the rest of the staff. It is always worth calling us for the best room tariff or going on our own website. We look forward to welcoming you to Wivenhoe House in the near future.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2013

just had to write a review on the wivenhoe house, from check-in to departure it was absolutely faultless, fantastic room friendly helpful staff, bed was fabulous really comfortable sleep,food in the brasserie superb, would definately return and highly recommend.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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 irenedorothy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Co-ordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 28 August 2013
Thank you for such a lovely review. I will make sure to pass on all your kind words to the staff. We look forward to welcoming you back to Wivenhoe House soon.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wivenhoe House

Property: Wivenhoe House
Address: Wivenhoe Park, Wivenhoe, Colchester CO4 3SQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Colchester > Wivenhoe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Wivenhoe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Wivenhoe House 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Re-opened in June 2012 after a £10 Million refurbishment, Wivenhoe House Hotel is a 17th Century country house, which is also home to the Edge Hotel School. Students at the school work alongside professionals, as they study for their degree in Hotel Management. There are 40 rooms, 16 in the main house and 24 in the more modern garden wing. The brasserie offers breakfast lunch and dinner daily, and afternoon tea is served in the drawing room daily. The panoramic views over the wooded parkland tot he University of Essex, are stunning. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wivenhoe House Hotel Colchester
Wivenhoe Hotel Colchester
Wivenhoe House Essex

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