More about Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa London
Fantastic! What a great hotel!
We booked our stay at the Alexander House hotel after receiving a Red Letter Day's 'spa weekend for two' voucher.
From the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome and able to relax. We were greeted as soon as we entered the hotel, and our luggage taken to our room.
We stayed in a Deluxe Room - the Eucalyptus room - which was beautiful. The decor was luxurious and modern, with a huge comfortable bed, plasma screen and a great bathroom with a large shower and roll-top bath. We were lucky to have views across the spa gardens from the double-sash windows.
We visited the Utopia spa and enjoyed the Aromatique facial and Serenity massage. The treatments were great, and the whole spa experience was just so relaxing. The relaxation lounge was especially nice, with direct access to the hot tub in the spa garden.
We dined in the Reflections Brasserie, and really enjoyed our food - again, the service was superb - and enjoyed sipping pink champage in the bar. The food was great, and plentiful. The lemon tart was particularly good and comes highly recommended!
Breakfast was fantastic, as rather than just having the traditonal English breakfast, we had a huge choice.
We had such a fantastic weekend - often high class hotels are rather pretentious, but Alexander House felt like a home from home. The staff and service were faultless, and any requests were met quickly and without question.
I would really recommend this hotel to anyone who just wants to completely relax and be pampered! Can't recommend it highly enough!
Catalogue of Disasters
Booked this hotel for a 3 night weekend break to allow us to meet up with friends and family who live locally.
Arrived and checked into one of the new Feature Double rooms, found that it overlooked the front carpark. We were offered an alternative down the corridor but this was unimaginably dark so decided to stick to the original room - our first mistake.
We decide to have afternoon tea (second mistake). It arrived in double quick time, all the sandwiches / cakes were extremely dry and nicely chilled (no doubt having just been removed from the fridge where I suspect they were plated earlier in the day). Having asked for some fresh sandwiches, a second identical plate was delivered with again cardboard dry / cold sandwiches. A further complaint was met with the remark "but they must be fresh as Chef keeps all his bread in the fridge" - enough said.
Having given up on afternoon tea we returned to our room, where my husband made the mistake (you can see a pattern starting to emerge now) of opening one of the sash windows which promptly crashed straight down again. The other one was exactly the same and having sash windows at home we obviously knew something was amiss. A call to reception elicited the assistance of a porter who was uncertain whether or not that was how the windows worked but said he would report it to maintenance. In the meantime we were advised to leave the windows alone.
I decided to have a shower but realised the towel rail was not hot. Having tried and failed to find an on switch, yet another call to reception - said porter arrived but could not work out where the switch was. Eventually arrival of reception manager who found switch in wardrobe behind chest of drawers. After some time and a still cold rail, a closer inspection revealed the wires seemed to be hanging out of the wall. Another call to reception who promise to fix the towel rail while we go for a swim.
After a trip to the Spa (average and doesn't even come close to somewhere like Chewton Glen) we returned to the room to find a hot towel rail - hurrah. Now cold from swim, decide on bath while husband watches tv - you guessed it none of the Satellite channels are tuned in. Husband also feels room is getting chilly and tries to turn on heating but nothing doing. Finish bath and try to empty it but can't. Housekeeping arrive and ask them to try but it's broken so they shrug shoulders and leave. Another call to reception to report tv, lack of heating, bath full of dirty water etc. Yet another visit from reception manager who promises heating usually comes on around eight and everything else will be sorted by the time we have had dinner.
Now the fun part, dinner in the 2 Rosette Alexanders restaurant. Tomato soup so salty it almost took the skin of your mouth. Husbands starter was OK. However, my beef fillet main course (requested to be cooked medium) was so overcooked it was charred on the outside and grey inside and oddly again was covered in salt. My husbands lamb was nicely pink but his accompanying mound (in a peculiar shape) of pesto mash had a horrible dry skin all over it - it had obviously been prepared in advance and reheated. Having returned both dishes, my plate came back with a new steak plonked on top of original vegetables. My husbands came back with a new mound of mash but his once nicely pink lamb was now grey where they had kept it hot - this is supposed to rate as 2 Rosettes?! It was truly dreadful so we left and returned to our room having first told Reception what we thought of the catering abilities of the hotel and also our concerns for the next day when we had invited 4 people to join us for lunch and then another 2 joining us for dinner.
Back in our room still no heating but lots of free music. Yes, there was a wedding reception in full swing and we could hear every record. Yet another call to reception who told us that the music would only continue until midnight - lucky we had checked in for a relaxing break then.
The next morning at 08:00 the heating comes on with gusto!
After a truly awful breakfast - never ever have the Eggs Benedict here, enough is enough. My husband is something of a gourmet and we are lucky enough to frequent the best retaurants for both pleasure and business. The thought of inviting guests to join us for lunch / dinner at a hotel where the food is this dreadful would be too embarrassing for words so we decide to check out immediately.
This means not only cancelling the meals we had booked for our guests but also our spa tretaments. However, the reception staff quite understood and were very apologetic at the numerous problems which are apparently not the norm. We were charged £205 for the night. However, I was amazed to be told that we shouldn't have been able to hear any music from the wedding reception - my call down to complain at the loudness must have been a lucky guess on my part. Don't hotels ever check their own rooms - clearly not at Alexander House.
As we checked out, we were told that the Hotel Manager had not yet arrived (we had already seen him park his car right in front of the hotel doors and remarked on his arrogance at doing so) but would call us to discuss our experience. Over 3 weeks later and we are still waiting for that call!
Best Place I've Stay in the UK
Wow! This place was wonderful. It has been newly remodeled and has an on-site spa and a great restaurant (actually has two). The rooms are incredible, especially for the UK where I've become accustomed to slighly tatered decor. The room I was in was very large with a very comfortable sitting area. The staff were great also - came out to great us in the car park. We had dinner at the main restaurant and the food and service were first class. Hope to return on pleasure and have time to take advantage of the spa.
Only problem was the wireless internet coverage which they said they were working to improve.
Five star hotel ***********
Just come back from Alexander House, Stayed for 2 Nights, very good deal in deluxe room, which I would highly reccomend. Fantastic rooms-we stayed in Elm, which was very very nice and a fantastic relaxing couple of days, just what you need after Christmas, outside spa was just what was needed and the indoor spa just as nice, staff very friendly, cannot fault the hotel in anyway and can't wait to go back!
This is the second time my wife and I have stayed at this exceptional hotel. We first stayed in September 2005 before the Utopia Spa was completed and returned to sample the Spa.
The hotel is amazing, as per my previous review. Food, drink, service, hospitality - all second to none.
I was very impressed with the Spa - the building is in keeping with the original House and is beautiful inside. Particular highlights are the underground spa pools - they are sumptuous. Everything is designed like a sort of Greek/Roman bath with subtle low level lighting and a selection of pool/jacuzzi/spa baths. There is also a rather fantastic spa garden which has an outdoor hot tub - fabulous!
All in all I cannot fault this hotel - and I am sure my wife and I will return for years to come.
Gorgeous Hotel - Wonderful Service
We stayed here for the first night of our honeymoon - before flying out the next day from Gatwick.
We booked our package directly with the hotel and booked a celebration package which included dinner, bed and breakfast for us both and champagne on arrival. The cost of the package was £250 for us both.
We arrived at the hotel early - at about 11am and our room was ready for check in which I was impressed with. Check in was seam-less and our room was beautiful - overlooking the gardens. Not long after we arrived champagne was delivered to our room. As we had got married the day before we were exhausted and didn't have the energy to use the spa facilities, so we chilled out in the lovely room and gorgeous bathroom.
We ate lunch in the brasserie - our only complaint would be the very "stand-offish" dress code which was referred to in the hotel booklet in the room. It stated that there was a strict dress code which would be enforced in the bars and restaurants, no denim or sportswear. This put us off a bit as we thought it was very stuffy. We reluctantly changed out of our (designer) denims and went down for lunch only to find that almost everyone else in the restaurant was wearing jeans or trainers or padding about in their dressing gowns. This was a bit annoying. Either you have a dress code, or you don't.
We ate in the hotel that night too and the food was gorgeous. The staff and service were very good too. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to friends. It is a beautiful hotel and I would love to return.
OK, but could be better
Took my partner for a one night Valentine's Day break at Alexander House, in a Superior Spa bedroom.
The good : friendly staff, good food and service during dinner, an impressive (and impressively clean) bathroom and the spa is very well designed and attractive.
The bad : The "superior" room we were in was one of the smallest hotel rooms I have ever stayed in. (My partner and I are regular visitors to Seaham Hall, and the rooms of equivalent price at Seaham are much larger, and better equipped and furnished.) While service at dinner was prompt, the same couldn't be said for service at breakfast, which was quite slow - and the supplementary £12.50 per person for the cooked breakfast is extortionate given what you get for it. The spa policy for guests was a little mean - guests may only use the spa from 3pm on the day of arrival to 11am on the day of departure - by comparison, Seaham allows guests full use of the spa on both days.
Finally, this hotel did what is for me, unforgivable - in spite of my having paid for over half the price of our package a month in advance, I was asked for a credit card, from which a swipe was taken, at check-in. This is just insulting - I dislike hotels which greet me with the assumption that I can't afford to pay the bill!
It's a pleasant enough hotel and spa, but for me was overpriced compared to the competition, and there is really nothing special to mark the rooms out from your average business-class hotel.
fantastic food and treatments but not quite what we'd hoped for.
We stayed here for a night before starting our honeymoon. There were things about our stay that were excellent - a lovely meal, an amazing
massage in the spa and a prompt and very early morning breakfast - although with coffee rather than the tea we had ordered! - a bit harsh at 5.30 a.m!
However, I would agree with the last reviewer that the stay was ok but not quite the luxury we had hoped for. There were no nice touches like tea and coffee in the room - you were asked to request this, which we did, 3 times before giving up. The spa and restaurant were both very cold, the restaurant, despite heavenly food, a bit lacking in atmosphere and warmth in general, and drinks were very overpriced. The room was small and was located above the spa so suffered from noise from the extractor fan that kind of ruined the ambience. Lovely to have access to a DVD player, but offerings were dire - literally nothing on offer that a person would want to watch.
I hate to be a whinging moanbag - and in honesty, it was a really attractive place with some good selling points. However, it could be so much better with a little more attention to detail. I think we may have got more from the experience had we been staying longer and could have enjoyed the facilities and grounds, but this wouldn't have stopped us from being a bit disappointed with the room and some areas of service. I've found far better service and comfort in less expensive hotels, so walked away with a sense that Alexander House has a little bit of a lofty view of itself, without the willingness to go the extra mile.
A lovely experience
After a disaster with another hotel, we rang the Alexander House to see if they had a room for one night. They did and it was absolutely lovely.
The room was comfortable, but the bathroom was something else! Beautiful mosaic tiles, enormous bath with a waterfall tap, huge shower enclosure, two sinks - what luxury.
We booked our evening meal in the more informal Reflections Brasserie. The restaurant had modern, stylish decor and our table overlooked the courtyard which contained an unusual colour-changing wood fire. The food was excellent, well presented and delicious.
This was an expensive, but luxurious overnight stay.
We stayed at Alexander House on a Sunday night in a package deal for my girlfriend's birthday, which included accommodation, 3 course meal in the Brasserie and one treatment in the Spa each. Most aspects of our stay were excellent but just 1 or 2 issues prevented it from being everything we could have wished for.
The check-in service on arrival was excellent, with the very helpful and friendly concierge showing us to our room then offering to give us a mini-tour of the hotel facilities. We had booked a superior bedroom which was on the top floor of the modern annex. The room was beautifully decorated but a little on the small side. The bathroom was very stylish with good shower and trendy double basins - which looked great but there was only just room to fit a toothbrush under the tap which didn't jut out far enough over the bowl to wash your hands, so not very practical!
The spa facilities were fantastic - beautifully roman style pools, jacuzzis and hot tubs - one of which is the garden - lovely. We were given free access to the facilities from check-in (3pm) until 4pm the following day and made the most of it!
The 3 course meal in the modern stylish brasserie was very good and the atmosphere informal and relaxed. It was mainly modern English food. We enjoyed pre-dinner cocktails in the Champagne bar - but at a cost! Other reviewers are right to say that drinks are overpriced - £11 for small champagne cocktail. Next morning we also ordered a tea and hot chocolate which came to £8.
Breakfast was also served in the Brasserie with a good breakfast selection menu, though the service was a bit haphazard. They didn't offer toast until we asked, then it came with no butter. They also didn't offer condiments when they delivered the very nice cooked breakfast. Nothing drastic, just a bit sloppy.
The main problem we had with our stay was sleeping! The bed looked sumptuous with big cosy duvet, cushions and pillows, but the room was very hot and the bed soon became irritating rather than comfy - we had the sash window open as far as possible and the portable air con unit on full blast but couldn't get cool enough for a decent night's sleep. Although it was June it was a wet and cool weekend with no heating on, so the room was just naturally hot. Dread to think what it would be like on a hot night in July/August.
Overall there was a lot we really liked about the hotel, especially the spa and if they could just rectify these few little things it would be a great place for a romantic and relaxing break.