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“Absolutely outstanding.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wivenhoe House

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Wivenhoe House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Wivenhoe
Certificate of Excellence
Norwich, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Absolutely outstanding.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2013

It's worth noting that I've worked in the hospitality industry for several years, so am always conscious of the workings of hotels and the way they present.

In light of this, I tend to be a bit analytical of hotels and staff. I am so pleased to say that this hotel met and exceeded my expectations and certainly deserves the brilliant reviews and reputation it has.

We were greeted warmly by reception which was staffed by what I assume was a regular member of the team and a trainee - this was current throughout the hotel as it stands on the University of Essex campus grounds and works in conjunction with the hospitality degrees. Some people may be swayed away by this, but I found it very insightful.

We were shown to our room by the trainee receptionist - a spacious king room built on the new addition to the building, with a balcony that overlooks the campus field grounds. The room had modern facilities; an Apple TV that you could listen to the radio, play DVD's and watch TV through as well as using as a computer. The WiFi was better than the service we get at home and easy to access; a rarity among hotels! The bed was perfect - if you are a fan of soft beds it may not meet your expectations but I prefer them to be medium. It was linked together by two smaller beds, but there was none of that "falling through the gap" problems. A instant coffee machine was available but we didn't use, and plenty of teas/fruit teas, milk and biscuits. Bathroom was very modern with a powerful shower and lots of towels.

Despite this being so close to the campus, I heard absolutely nothing untoward in the way of late night noise. We had a sliding door to the balcony which was open much of the time and it was beautiful to wake up to the birds. The curtains, although not a big concern of mine, were very good at blocking out light - perfect for people who find it difficult to sleep in sun drenched rooms.

The service by all was absolutely perfect. Yes, some of the trainee staff were a bit slower or less confident but I thought it was charming - they were clearly very willing to help in whatever way they could. As part of hotel staff, I really feel the best thing you can do to make a stay is to feel welcome, and everybody did this in abundance here. The hotel was very well covered, with night porters throughout the night and plenty of waitresses/waiters on hand for meals and breakfast.

I'd also like to mention how helpful the domestic staff were - I was working on a lengthy project and was surviving by copious amounts of tea. Unfortunately I didn't catch the housekeepers name, but she was utterly fabulous - we had a lovely chat about my work and she gave me a huge selection of biscuits and tea - enough for at least a week! She could have easily suggested I buy tea/coffee from the bar downstairs.

We didn't eat in the restaurant, but we had breakfast both mornings of our stay. It was presented so beautifully and was a brilliant start to the day. The staff/chefs were speedy but not too quick, meaning we could enjoy a leisurely breakfast. There was a huge amount of choice - from juices, to cereal, pastries and yoghurt/fruit, as well as continental options. I opted to have eggs both mornings rather than full English, and the quality of the cooked food was outstanding - so fresh and wholesome.

I really couldn't find any faults here at all and I didn't want to. The price may not be as cheap as some locally, but it was worth every penny. I wouldn't hesitate recommending Wivenhoe House as a place to stay or eat - it's just a shame we don't live more locally!

Room Tip: Balcony rooms facing the campus fields are quiet and peaceful - but if you are a smoker, you cannot...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank missybct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damir T, General Manager at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 29 October 2013
Thank you very much for taking up much of your time and writing such fantastic review. Reading your comments made me feel very proud of my team and your comments will certainly be shared with all members. It certainly means a lot to us to receive such positive feedback from someone who is an industry professional as we all admit being our biggest critics. I am absolutely delighted that we managed to exceed your expectations during your short stay with us. I am pleased to read you enjoyed being part of the development of our students, our future leaders and hoteliers in this country. Credit certainly is to equally be given to our professionals who ensure quality standards are maintained throughout. I hope we can tempt you to dine with us next time and very much look forward to welcoming you back. Regards, Damir Terzic.
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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)
Date | Rating
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English first
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
116 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

Once you find it (it isn't easy!) this hotel is the bees knees!
It is housed in an imposing Victorian building in the grounds of Essex University. The outside, therefore, is ancient but the facilities are very modern including a new contemporary additional wing where the restaurant is.
We were made to feel very welcome by the reception staff who were most helpful.
The room was spacious with the use of an iMac provided free of charge. Tea and espresso coffee maker(and instant coffee available if you really must), complementary biscuits (Border brand - one of my favourites) and water make up the superb package.
The bed was comfortable and the shower a treat.
We also sampled the fine food in the Brasserie restaurant where we were made to feel like royalty by the students/trainees who were serving us. This was under the watchful eye of our French Maitre D' who was also a real character and very attentive even though the restaurant was busy. A tip, don't try to pour your own wine, you'll fail miserably, the staff have built in radar and are there to do it for you in milliseconds!
I think it's a really good idea to 'employ' the students from the University who are thinking of going into catering as a profession. It gives them a chance of 'hands on' experience and here it's not allowed to affect the standard of service which is excellent all round.
The food was haute cuisine and the wine list lengthy and imaginative. A perfect evening.
This place should have 5 star rating.
We'd love to return sometime.

Room Tip: Our room (Reynolds - they don't have numbers!) had a lovely view of the University grounds.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • 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?
1 Thank GiffLancashire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damir T, General Manager at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 27 October 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time and posting such a fantastic review. I am delighted you really enjoyed your experience with us and that you recognise how well our students and future hoteliers of this country are performing under the guidance of our professionals. Your comments are certainly being shared amongst the entire team and will for sure put a little smile on the many individuals working hard delivering excellent service and education. We very much look forward to welcoming you back at some point in the future.
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Witham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
469 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2013 via mobile

Superb ambiance great choice of food. Staff are all very attentive friendly and professional . The food was excellent and would thoroughly recommend a visit. Without being over the top attention from staff is discreet but you always feel valued but not rushed

Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Graham P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damir T, General Manager at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 24 October 2013
Dear Graham,

thank you very much for posting such a positive online review. I am delighted to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your lunch with us. The team is continuously working hard on offering all our different clients the best possible service, including our business clientele. We very much look forward to seeing you again.
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Billericay, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2013

We looked at numerous venues prior to settling on Wivenhoe House for our daughter’s wedding. This was a wedding with over 100 all day guests and we booked half the hotel on Friday and the whole place on Saturday. There is a real variety of rooms on offer and all are of a high standard. All other venues reviewed promised that they tailor the day to your specific requirements but, on closer inspection, generally offer a fixed wedding package with a few options.

The Wivenhoe House events team engaged us from the start seeking to understand exactly what the bride and groom expected and wanted for their big day – and they delivered in all aspects beyond our expectations. Our guests all commented that we must be delighted as the day was faultless and could not have been bettered in any way – they were right.
Menus were discussed from the most basic level (what do you like/want) and developed into a spectacular meal (with an excellent vegetarian alternative) that was ultimately positively commented on by all. Wines were expertly matched to the food, which was also widely appreciated.
The levels of service throughout our stay and for the wedding itself were faultless. Furniture was moved and rooms rearranged in such a discrete manner that we never saw it happen. Wivenhoe House have a clearly happy staff and it shows in what they do.
People recognise that this is a teaching establishment and you are often but not exclusively served by students. However, these are students of hotel management learning how to operate all areas of the hotel so they may train/critique their staff in the future. They are discretely mentored by senior people who could easily slot in to any grand hotel environment. If you did not know this was a teaching establishment there is little evidence to suggest that is the case. In fact we would argue that the service level is better than most because all staff are trying their best.

We had never previously heard of Wivenhoe House, but we shall certainly be visiting again.

Room Tip: The suites are all unique - there is something to suit most tastes. The old house is traditional and...
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  • Stayed October 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?
1 Thank Alan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damir T, General Manager at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 22 October 2013
Dear Alan,

thank you so much for taking the time and writing such positive comments. It was an absolute pleasure to host this special event and I trust your daughter and son in law feel we as a team have helped them create unforgettable memories. Your comments will certainly be shared amongst our professionals and students and help boost morale for upcoming weddings and the festive season. We look forward to seeing you back in Wivenhoe at some point in the near future. Many thanks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2013 via mobile

A very pleasant hotel, contemporary in design and service style. We are regular one night stay hotel visitors and we booked at short notice with little prior knowledge of the hotel or town. Impressive position, architecture and styling. All new in 2012. Well maintained. We were given the Baxter Storey mini suite and wow what a room and view. Quiet and undisturbed rest. The room was very well equipped and the bed lovely. We ate in the Brasserie and felt the dinner menu was well thought through and the food itself very good indeed.

Thanks to the reception staff who were exemplary in their handling of a package I had delivered.

Other reviews focus on the position of the hotel in the Uni campus. This is not an issue and does not detract from the hotels credibility. Some say this is a training hotel. We didn't notice any failings. Professional at all times.

Overall we were delighted with our choice of hotel and our stay. Well done Wivenhoe!

Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Alanfmcn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damir T, General Manager at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 14 October 2013
Thank you for taking the time and writing such a positive review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and your comments will be shared with all members of the team. I would agree by saying we do not consider ourselves as a training hotel but more a hotel that is developing some of the best future hoteliers of this country. We very much look forward to seeing you back at Wivenhoe House.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2013

I stayed at the Wivenhoe House Hotel the night before my wedding with my best man and ushers and we booked two twin rooms in the conference wing. The hotel itself is absolute first class, five star luxury, traditional English country house features but with plenty of extras such as an iMac in the room which was hugely impressive. I ate dinner in the restaurant and the food and service was exceptional and as delicious and varied as any Michelin starred restaurant. The rooms didn't have a fridge or mini bar which I thought was odd nor was there any air conditioning but a fan was provided. Location wise it's perfect to get into Colchester and the lady on receptions was exceptionally helpful and went out of her way to help me and my best men with a few final last minute arrangements. The hotel needs bette sign posting too and we got lost a few times on the way. My only real complaint was that I wasn't able to get a late check out on the Saturday. The hotel is used by wedding parties, my wedding was elsewhere and we weren't staying at this hotel and the guy I spoke to on reception was fairly blunt and rude about getting a late check out and told us to vacate our rooms by 11am latest. I could see the hotel was expecting early check ins but it's not hard to be polite! All in all a great stay despite a rude member of front of house staff.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cinnamon19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damir T, General Manager at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 12 October 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time and writing such constructive feedback. We are continuously striving to provide excellent service and only with feedback such as yours are we able to work efficiently on improvements. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and your wonderful feedback on the food quality will certainly delight our executive chef and his team.
We very much look forward to seeing you back at Wivenhoe House.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2013

The room we stayed in was so nice the bed was incredibly comfy. I was impressed we had a coffee machine in our room. With various types of coffee to choose, a real nice touch, the room was 5 star. The staff in the restaurant were just wonderful, the French gentleman was so helpful and very particular and attention to detail. I didn't really like Colchester that much. Will probably go back just for a treat and stay in this hotel. Lovely breakfast too. Nothing negative to say about this place.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 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?
1 Thank christina m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Damir T, General Manager at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, 12 October 2013
Dear Christina,

thank you so much for your feedback and it is lovely to hear you really enjoyed staying with us. Your compliments about our team are very much appreciated and are always shared with all members involved. Lionel, our sommelier and restaurant manager, will be delighted in particular to receive your comments. Thank you for taking the time and we very much look forward to seeing you back in the near future.
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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 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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