More about Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club
A wonderful stay!
We stayed at Ashdown Park Hotel for 3 nights in April to celebrate getting engaged. We had informed them beforehand of our engagement and as a result we were upgraded from a standard room to a suite (very impressed). I'm not sure what suite we had but it was huge and had a large private balcony (I believe the only balcony from what I could tell). It also had a whirl pool bath, and everything was spotlessly clean.
The other thing that really made our weekend was how polite the staff were - ALL the staff. If they saw you coming down the corridor they would rather put down what they were holding to open the door for you and say hello.
With regards to the restaurant, again me and my fiancé were very impressed. The food was incredible. We would start the evening at the bar and have a few cocktails whilst ordering our food and wine for the evening, and munching on some very delicious appetisers. Then we would later be shown to our table in the restaurant and given another delicious aperitif. In between courses there were sorbets to help us digest and cope with all the courses. The whole time the staff were there topping up our wine with friendly chat. With reference to the previous review, yes they would do the whole cheesy lifting of the silver lid, but we found it funny and although the dress code was very smart, the staff were very down to earth and friendly. We had quite a few laughs with the waiters - perhaps the previous reviewer lacked a certain sense of humour!!
On one night they did seem to be incredibly busy and perhaps were a little short-staffed and as a result one couple had to wait a rather long time for their meal and when it arrived it was wrong. However, from what we could tell the staff were incredibly apologetic and I think they made amends when it came to the bill - which considering ours came to £140 (including cocktails at the bar) would have been fine by us!
I had one treatment during our stay - a body massage - which was very enjoyable but not incredible or anything. The pool was also very nice - and warm! It is small but better than I thought it would be. The sauna and steam rooms are in the changing rooms so boys and girls are separated!
We went to two great local pubs for food - the Coach and Horses in Danehill (Apx. 2.5 miles south) and the Griffin at Fletching (TN22 3SS) - apx. 7 miles south. Both recommended in the Good Pub Guide and definitely worth a visit if you like a good local pub and cheaper food than Ashdown.
All in all we had a super time, although it was quite expensive (hence the 4 out of 5 rating) - we spent about £900 for the 3 nights, including 2 nights eating at the restaurant, one massage treatment, and one lunch. Also, we paid for a standard room and had we been given one we may not have been as favourable, but would still have enjoyed our stay. I would certainly recommend you give it a go. We loved it!
Awful Park Hostel and Cringe Club
Magnificent grounds and imposing building - the superlatives stop there.
Public rooms need refurbing, bedrooms tatty, ancient plumbing and noisy heating - kept us awake all night.
Poncy restaurant with (how embarrasing) waiting staff performing the old "synchronised-lift-the-silver-chaffing-dish-lid" when presenting dinner.
Had to stay two nights, felt like a lifetime.
Go for tea or Sunday lunch but dont consider staying until the managemnet spend about £20,000,000 on this dump. You're in for a long wait.
splendid and relaxing....great for kids
we had an excellent stay at the hotel. We brought the children along who had such a great welcome. From check in when they were given their special kids welcome packs with books and puzzles until bedtime when they were served cookies milk, not forgetting their own mini bathrobes. Lots to do and visit nearyb. Food was good and well priced, staff attentive without being over fussy. Lovely to lounge in front of the fireplaces in the evening. Well worth a visit.
Too expensive for what it is
My fiance & i stayed at the hotel for a friends wedding, when arriving we were advised that we had to let the reception take a £200 trial amount from our card but it would not be charged until we checked out. The Room cost us £185 for the night which i thought was a bit extreme as when we got to our room we found out that it was very basic not even a mini bar. We asked if any rooms did have a mini bar but they said that all rooms are the same so they brought us up a full size fridge so we could put a few drinks in it..
We went down to the bar to have a quick drink before the wedding started and nearly had a heart attack as we bought 2 vodka & cokes and they cost £14.00. I have never been so ripped of in all my time of staying at hotels.. considering the room was £185 no mini bar and now they wanna charge the earth for a drink.
But the most strangest thing of all is the church located right next to the hotel.
The church is made into 3 main sections. downsatirs where the wedding is held, beside that is a bar... and upsatirs is a dance floor and where you would have the main meal..
I felt quite awkward drinking alcohol and people smoking ciggerates in a church..
When checking out we paid the bill of £196 on our card, and noticed that when checking our bank account they had taken £200. £194 & £1, we contacted the hotel and they were not aware why this had happened or how to resovle it. All i can suggest is that pay by cash only or try to find a better hotel as you dont get much for your money here..
However the staff were friendly...
I would not stay here again...
Weekend Spa break
OK, firstly read the reviews on your site and was a bit worried with the totally negative one, probably written by someone who may have set their sights a little too high!! My girlfriend booked us into the Ashdown on last minute[-] for a pampering weekend, cost only £ 125 for the night including breakfast.
First impressions as you pull into the grounds are very impressive and it has a lovely vaulted reception area, we arrived early at 11.30am and expected to wait for our room to be ready that was no problem as we hit the country club and had a coffee, swim etc and then had a couple of treatments along with a spot of light lunch. Impressions of the facilities, could do with a spruce up, pool area is very dark with no natural light and the lounge area looks a bit like it's from an old people's home, the gym is small and coule use new equipment and better audio visual entertainment. Even so it kept us busy, unfortunately we couldn't get into our room until almost 4pm which is a bit of a pain and a bug bear of mine with British hotels, why is it so hard to clean a room at 11am!!!! The rooms were pretty old school and the bathroom was cramped and had no power shower.
We had booked for dinner and noted the dress code of no jeans, jacket or tie to be worn, turned up dressed to the nines only to find a smattering of people who had not adhered to the dress code, either have a policy or don't, I would have preffered to relax in a pair of jeans myself!
Menu read well and there was a great wine list, unfortunately my meal was awful, braised pork was like a gelatinous cube of rubber, after I complained they took that away and came back with it again in 10 minutes with the fat cut of and the meat seared again, it was inedible! by now I had lost the will to continue. A total waste of £ 100.
Next day we decided to hit a few balls over the golf range, I paid £ 6 for 50 balls to hit them off an all weather mat into a bit of field... bit of a rip off.
All of the above aside I guess it was an ok weekend, would I go back? not until a lot more money has been invested in the place, if you are impressed by large country houses then you will love it. It tried hard to do too many things and doesn't quite get any of them right. Concentrate on doing simple things well. On the plus side the staff were excellent, just imagine how good it would have been if it had been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century!
My wife treated us to a night stay here to celebrate my fortieth birthday. We had one of the mini suites in a seperate building by the country club. The room was o.k but nothing special and had no mini bar. We were allowed to take our two Jack Russell dogs with us (for £50 extra) and enjoyed a lovely walk around the fantastic grounds between the torrents of rain. We had a swim in the dingy dark pool and then went for a drink in the country club bar. There was nobody behind the bar and after waiting five minutes we asked at the front desk and eventually were served by one of the beauty therapists!!
We had dinner in the main hotel and it was simply awful. My foie gras was burnt, our potatoes were undercooked and the cheese course was refrigerated and rubbery.
Breakfast the following morning was not much better with overcooked poached eggs, burnt black pudding and cold toast that must have been prepared hours earlier.
Our bill for one night was £452, value for money, NO! The last two years for my birthday we have been away for city weekends to Barcelona and Venice and probably spent less.
On the way home we passed the Roebuck Inn at Wych Cross advertising double rooms for £40. Sounds more like it.
The Perfect mini break!
My partner and I were recommended this hotel by some friends and I have to say we weren't disapointed. The staff were friendly, the food was exceptional and our room exceeded expectations. There were so many special touches throughout our weekend, from bath robes in the bedroom to pre-dinner canapes.
We went for a beautiful walk around the grounds on the Saturday evening, followed by champagne on the terrace and a fun game of croquet. I have to say, this isn't a cheap hotel but you pay for what you get. The wine had been carefully chosen, as had the menu and the staff were knowledgeable and friendly.
My only grumble would be the late check in - 3pm. It would have been nice to have had longer to spend in our lovely room!
Overall we had a splendid weekend and felt totally relaxed when we went home.
Room for improvement but ok hotel
My husband took me to Ashdown Park as a surprise birthday treat staying for one night on the "Indulgence" package.
I have given the review a neutral review purely on the shabiness of the room and the country club. Having said that, the hotel overall was very good.
Check in is after 15.00 so went straight over to the country club for our treatments (advisable to pre-book). Food is also available here, if somewhat a little pricey.
Check out is at 12.00 on this package.
The hotel itself is very impressive upon arrival as you drive up the long sweeping driveway. The main reception is a very grand hall with various lounges off of it. It's in 3 wings with a converted church (this is where weddings are held). It used to be a monastery/convent and has only been a hotel since 1993. It's setting is stunning, in about 186 acres.
The service in the restaurant and all the staff were great, can't really fault that. Also had a spa treatment which was very good, the therapist was friendly and very professional.
Our only complaints were the shabiness of the carpet in room 61, it was very badly fitted and quite grimy, as were the chairs, although the rest of the decor was very good. It was an executive room, well sized on the ground floor in the east wing of the building. I may add that I also thought that the bathroom was small, although it was clean. The molton brown products were a nice touch though.
We also thought that the communal areas of the country club could do with a refurb, ie new carpet (big stain on carpet in bar area). The shower in one of the treatment rooms could do with re-grouting/tiling, same as in the mens changing rooms.
As a childless couple, we really didn't think that this was the kind of place for children, especially when you are trying to have a romantic dinner or a quiet breakfast. There is nothing to do for children.
As to the above, not really things you would expect from a "Small Luxury Hotel of the World".
Now onto the positive points! The food was very good in the main restaurant for both dinner and breakfast. The table d'hote menu was very adequate but you have the choice to choose from the a la carte for an additional £11 pp if desired. The wine list was very extensive and the sommelier was very knowledgeable. We dined from the table d'hote (included in our package) and the food was excellent. We thought that the dress code was good, no jeans/trainers, jacket OR tie for men, although some had broken the rules slightly. Breakfast was both buffet and cooked breakfast to order if you wanted it. Was rather upset though that they didn't acknowledge my birthday, even though my husband had told them that he was booking this for a birthday surprise.
The other facilites were very good, they have a golf course, tennis court, croquet lawn, jogging trails (although we didn't get time to use all of these). There are plenty of treatments to have and the therapists were very professional. I didn't use the indoor swimming pool, however, my husband did, he said that it was ok, if somewhat dark.
So, all in all, we did have a good stay but there is some room for improvement. It's not fantastically value for money, however, would consider recommending.
Lovely Country Hotel & Spa
My husband and I stayed at the Ashdown Park for one night on their Indulgence break, for our 5th anniversary, which was also our first night away from our son. To be honest we only picked this hotel as it was within 1/2 an hour's drive of my sister in law who was looking after him.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon and had a cool drink on the terrace while we waited for our room - there was 5 helicopters parked on the lawn which was very impressive!
We had 2 treatments each - mine were sublime, I think my husband felt his was a bit rushed. Then we had time for a quick walk before getting ready for dinner. Dinner was a 6 course table d' hote. The wine list was extensive ranging from a £15 chianti to a £400+ Petrus for the wine buffs! The food itself was good, and the surroundings great.
On Sunday we had an extended check out so spent the morning in bed with breakfast and the (complimentary) papers and watched the helicopters leaving.
A stunning hotel in a gorgeous part of the country.
My only slightly negative comments would be:
Staff on the terrace were very slow, preferring to stand around in the sun...
My husband had a club sandwich and the chicken was very dry.
The drinks were extortionate (£3.75 for a bottle of still Hillingdon water).
Our experience was faultless.
The food great, the staff brilliant, the rooms huge and beautiful.
The grounds were magnificent.
Would thoroghly recommend.