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“A tale of two halves !” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Chilston Park Hotel

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Chilston Park Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Boughton Lane | Sandway, Lenham ME17 2BE, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lenham
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A tale of two halves !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

What a difference a day makes ! On arriving at the hotel we were shown to an executive room, a bit of a disappointment, drab furniture, a cobweb in the corner of the room that had been there a few days ! I queried with the receptionist about the room, she said that it was definitely an executive room, all had different themes, well on spying other rooms on the same floor we drew the short straw. Moving on, dinner in the restaurant on the firtst night was areal joy. Very attentive staff, a very personable and amusing young man took our drinks order, I ordered a Cosmopolitan, only his second expereince of mixing one, but very well done. A lovley Maitre D, tall, thin chap, unfortunately didn't get his name. Dinner was perfect, wonderful food in a very relaxed atmosphere with the right amount of service, nothing intrusive, but obviously they knew we were there and kept an eye on wine, water, plates etc. The next morning again, brakfast a really lovely experience, we were shown to our table, the waitress brought us orange juice, took our breakfast order again all first class. Well dinner on the second evening was a totally different experince, we went down for dinner, waited ages for our drinks order to be taken, then dinner was a total disaster, waiting ages between courses, nearly an hour between starter and main, when I queried this with the waitress she assured us ours was the next to be plated up but is was at least another 10 mins before our food arrived. We did notice that others seated near us had a similar experince! At breakfast the next morning again a disappointing experience, we were pointed to a table, nobody came to take our order until at least 15min after we sat down and then our breakfast order was lost so all in all a dispointing start to the day. The hotel itself is lovely and some of the staff were very courtese, charming and friendly. The scones served with afternoon tea were totally delicious, but what a shame that some aspects let it down. I personally think that some staff do not have the relevant training and perhaps they need more help in the kitchens, but lovely location not far from the pretty village of Lenham and half an hour from Canterbury.

Room Tip: Some of the executive rooms in need of refurbishment
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Dear Guest
I am sorry that your experience was so very varied, please accept my apologies. It is indeed disappointing to read that the second part of your stay was so very different to the wonderful opening part. From looking into your comments I understand that on the second night of your stay we were certainly a lot busier within our restaurant and bar than the first night. It is clear that we need to work harder to ensure that our guest experience is consistent from both a front of house and kitchen perspective. Both my team and I are committed to ensuring that all of our guests thoroughly enjoy there time with us and your feedback will certainly be useful to us in achieving this aim.

Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager
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523 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (135)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Chislehurst, Kent
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

I took my partner to the Chilston park hotel for his birthday. On arrival we were given a room in a separate part of the main building and thought that we were going to be given one of their lovely rooms that I saw on their website that was located in the main building.
Dinner was lovely we had the set menu for £37 with a free bottle of house that we got when ordering this deal. The staff were very friendly and helpful and it was a very enjoyable night.
The bar is very small not a lot of variety especially if you like beer, and the other drinks seemed a little too pricey for our liking.
Breakfast was lovely something for everybody, the cooked breakfast was that though, the bacon a bit thick and fatty, and the rest was ok. I definitely think that there is need for some improvement.
They do some special events with dining on its own or dining and a room for a price for example in November they are doing a special night which is dining in the dark with a blind fold.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the main building when booking.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for your review, I am pleased that overall you reviewed your stay as very good. This is indeed very positive. I am sorry that you were disappointed to be located within our Mews bedrooms. From your review I can see that you booked through our secret escapes offer which is only open for this type of room type. I am indeed sorry for any confusion caused.
I have also noted your additional comments and will certainly ensure that where required we will look to make improvements.
Once again thank you for your review and I hope that you will choose to stay with us again.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager
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Maldon, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

We booked a few days before and had a very pleasent stay. We upgraded to a junior Suite in The Mews for an extra £40 which was very spacious. All the staff were very helpful and the grounds are well maintained. The restaurant is not the cheapest but is well recommended.On the evening of our stay the Barman on duty was James who we can only thank for his kind and excellent service. Check in was fast and efficient, as was room servtce,delivered as if by magic by the aforementioned barman,James! Has he got a double?
Only two small gripes. TV reception in our suite was poor on both sets and the breakfast, although plentiful and of good quality was let down by being a bit cold. Overall would not hesitate to recommend the Hotel to family and friends. Many thanks to all the staff.

Room Tip: Go for the Mews. Big room and your own front door!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for your review, it is great to read that you enjoyed your stay with us. James certainly seems to have delivered a high level of service to you and this really is pleasing to read. I know that James is aware of your review and is delighted to receive such positive comments.

I am aware that we have been suffering a TV signal strength issue within our Reynolds Room and since your stay we have been able to investigate this further and have in fact replaced the bedroom TV to improve the situation. I will certainly continue to monitor this situation and take further action as necessary.

Please accept my apologies for the slightly cold breakfast, I will mention this to our kitchen team so that improvements can be made.
Once again thank you for your review and I do hope that we will see you again at the hotel.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hastings, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

One of the great things about this place is that the the staff are friendly and accommodating almost to a fault.

The quality of the food is magnificent and is not to be recommended to those wishing to begin a dietary regime.

The ambiance is great - this is a very old house which has been transformed into a working hotel.

So you could get a false sense of drunkenness in the bedroom because the floor levels are irregular. Also, you cannot assume all rooms are air-conditioned. Ours wasn't, so on one of the rare nights in England when the temperature was very hot and humid, it was difficult to sleep.

The grounds in the immediate vicinity of the hotel are fine, but if you want to walk in the full extent of the grounds, you find that the quality image tends to degenerate - there are log cuttings 'dumped' in various places and grass cuttings similarly 'dumped'. There are rusted electrical boxes with wires hanging out near to the hotel and a very utilitarian gate restricting access to a dilapidated and unsafe quay immediately in front of the hotel.

Generally, the plusses by far outway the minussus, but forewarned is forearmed :)

Room Tip: Ask for air conditioning.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for your review, I am pleased that you enjoyed your stay. It is wonderful to read that both the service offered and quality of cuisine met your expectations. This is indeed positive to read.
I am sorry that several aspects of our extensive grounds left you with a negative impression, I will certainly look into the points raised and use your feedback to make improvements.

Once again thank you for your review and I hope that you choose to visit us again.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

We booked a two night fine dining break as we were attending a weekend event in Canterbury, and were tempted by the excellent reputation of Chilston Park. To ensure we secured a booking, we booked at the end of August 2012, for mid August 2013, so almost a year ahead. This deal required payment in full in advance, which is non-returnable but a good rate. Two days before our arrival, so Thursday lunctime, when we were due to arrive Saturday, we were contacted by the booking team and advised that due to a problem with the booking system, we could not stay on Sunday night. We were offered a room at the associated hotel - Brands Hatch Place Spa Hotel, or they would find us a similar grade hotel in Canterbury, after I explained why we were in Kent. In truth, Brands Hatch Place was a satisfactory solution in terms of our route home, so we took that option, but the big problem was that we had to take all our luggage with us into Canterbury on Sunday which meant an extra early start, so that we could repack before leaving. This was an inconvenience which we did not expect.
On arrival the reception staff seemed to know nothing about the late changes. It would have been nice to have been given a proper explanation by someone from the management team, but that did not happen. One of the staff informed us that an exclusive occupancy wedding was booked in for Sunday, but that must have been booked in for some time. An apology, and perhaps a complimentary glass, or bottle of wine would have been appropriate, but none of this happened, it was all very matter of fact. So the moral of my story is that even if you book and pay well ahead, your booking may not be honoured.
Now on to the stay. All the staff are a delight to deal with. They are friendly, and attentive, and nothing is too much trouble. Our room was well equipped and comfortable with a four poster bed. The bathroom was pleasant enough, but showing signs of being ready for a refurb - yellowing radiator, and grouted holes in the tiles over the bath where the safety rail had been removed. If your room is at the rear, then you may hear the bins being filled with empty bottles, late afternoon - it was quite noisy for a time. The food is top quality here. We had sandwiches for lunch with a portion of chips, and the chips are the best I've ever had without a doubt. Evening meal was gourmet quality for every course. It really is that good. The dining room is exactly how you expect a country house should be with a remarkable plaster ceiling.
There was a good buffet spread at breakfast which we couldn't reall take advantage of, having to dash off early. The lounge and bar area are packed with antique furniture, but some of the seating is so patinised with age and wear that it really should either be restored or replaced.
Overall an enjoyable stay, spoilt for us by the way the booking situation was handled.
On the matter of traffic noise mentioned by another reviewer, it's nothing more than a distant hum, so did not affect our stay.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Dear Guest
Having just returned from a period of annual leave I am most sorry to read about your experience regarding having to change your plans due to an error within our reservations system. Please accept my most sincere apologies for this and the lack of guest care shown when you arrived at the hotel. I will certainly pass on your comments regarding the lack of contact on arrival to the team who where handling the situation as you are quite right to expect some contact to both welcome you to the hotel and offer personal apologies for our error.

I am pleased that overall the rest of your stay met your expectations with the quality of food offered standing out for special praise. This is indeed very positive to read.

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay, your time is very much appreciated.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hastings, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

On 5th August my sister got married at Chilston Park Manor. What a fantastic weekend. Beautiful bulilding set in stunning grounds. I can not fault this weekend it was definately five star all the way, it was spotless, clean and beautiful. The staff were fantastic, nothing was to much bother, ,polite , clean and very smartly dressed, they all need a pay rise and are a credit to their boss.The food was delicious, hot and everything run so smoothly. The whole wedding day, and evening was great, breakfast was great, the rooms were great. I felt like i had won the lottery, every single guest loved the whole event, Thank you Kerrin and staff, brill

Room Tip: You couldnt choose between them, all winners 5*
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for such a fantastic review, it is wonderful to read that your sisters wedding was such an enjoyable celebration. I am delighted that Kerrin and his team had such a positive impact upon the day and ensured that the days events ran smoothly. I will certainly pass on your comments to all concerned and I am sure that they will be really pleased that there efforts made the day so special.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

We had friends who were having a civil partnership in this beautiful hotel set in a splendid location in Kent. We wanted to arrive just after 2 pm in order to settle into our Room (Johnson), take a shower and change into our smart clothes ready for the first function - afternoon tea at 3.00 pm. Unfortunately our room (along with other guests) was not ready so we spent 15 mins hot and tired in the reception area with our luggage. Not an auspicious start but once we had moved our cases in and had a hot shower with a change of clothes one felt very refreshed! I was not happy with the receptionist who did not seem perturbed at guests standing around and did not apologise for the wait.

After this the whole day was wonderful! The grounds were we had afternoon tea are beautifully set out and I saw 4 different butterflies on the buddleia. The sandwiches, scones, jam and thick cream were superb. At 5.00 pm was the civil and at 7 pm - a meal that was perfectly cooked. I can understand why people would be inclined to book the Christmas Day meal which was advertised ar £118 as the three courses were a gastronomic delight! The room we stayed had a wonderful bed, a well-stocked bathroom and was very quiet. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend this hotel. I did note that the wines were quite expensive - a large glass of house white close to £8 and a bottle of Pinot Grigio was £32.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the Johnson Room.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us at Chilston Park, I am pleased that overall your stay as an enjoyable one and celebrations went so very well.
Here at the hotel we do operate a 3pm check in time. Wherever possible we do our very best to honour any requests for arrival times prior to this time. I am sorry that on this occasion you had a short wait whilst your room was prepared, but I am glad that we were able to check you in prior to our normal check in time allowing you time to prepare for the ceremony.
From speaking with the special couple I know that the cuisine offered throughout the day was just what they wanted and I am delighted that it was also well received by yourself.
I certainly do hope that you choose to join us for our popular Christmas celebration package. The hotel really is a special place during the festive period.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager
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 Chilston Park Hotel

Address: Boughton Lane | Sandway, Lenham ME17 2BE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Lenham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lenham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Chilston Park Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grade 1 listed Chilston Park offers one of the most exclusive hotels in Kent. Set back from tree-lined lanes, the manor house at Chilston Park Hotel in Kent is set in 22 acres of parkland and features a two AA rosette restaurant. One of the most best loved hotels in Kent, over the years Chilston Park has been a home to eminent politicians, writers, Lords and Viscounts. Today it is a classic British country house hotel with plenty of style and charm and one of the most perfect wedding or leisure destinations in Kent. But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this 4 AA red star hotels in Kent are the antiques and history that surround it. The hotel has many interesting artefacts that date as far back as the 17th century manor house. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chilston Park Maidstone
Hotel Chilston Park

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