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“Groupon champagne afternoon tea” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Red Lion Hotel

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The Red Lion Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   4 Hart St., Henley-on-Thames RG9 2AR, England   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 12 Hotels in Henley-on-Thames
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Groupon champagne afternoon tea”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Some previous reviews have been very critical but for our visit I can only praise the staff, cleanliness and service for our afternoon tea. The table was ready for us, the champagne arrived, we were asked what tea we would like (admitedly we didn't ask what choice they had as always have english breakfast). One set of sandwiches is indeed just cucumber and tomato, but with others being chesse and egg this wasn't a problem. The scones were large, plenty of cream and jam, and the three other cake selection fitted the bill perfectly. We were asked if we wanted more tea (which we did), if we had eaten enough (which we had) and we left perfectly happy for the experience.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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355 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (105)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Witney, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
131 helpful votes 131 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

Stayed one night as part of a business conference.
The staff were excellent across the board and couldn't be more helpful.
Food (catering for 30) was excellent.
Breakfast was very good as well with quality sausage, bacon and well cooked eggs.
Rooms are a bit dated, but this is an old hotel. The abundance of fans and electric heaters could indicate issues at extremes of temperature. That said it was a sub zero night and I didn't need any additional heat. Bathroom was well equipped with good shower pressure.
The only negative is the car parking, which is small and cramped. But there is long stay parking at the railway station a few minutes walk away.
Nice location with the river across the road from the hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the courtyard will be quieter avoiding road noise
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

If you are looking for a space age, all singing, all dancing, 7 star, dubai style hotel then this isn't the place for you. I have read a few reviews on here and feel that they have been a little harsh.

This place is very old and has a lot of history to it. The floorboards are creaking, the wardrobes are a hundred years old, the taps do groan as the water comes through plumbing that was probably put in in the 1800's. But after staying in plenty of soul-less 3 star, architecturally tragic, 1960's city centre hotels, this place was fabulous. It's absolutely bursting with character and charm. Every room is different and the whole building oozes history. If ever there was a place where 'if these walls could talk' then this is it.

Its located right on the river, actually its just off the bridge and forms the corner with the riverbank and the main road. As you exit the main door you enter the high street of Henley which has dozens of places to head for some dinner or drinks.

After reading through the reviews here it appeared that room 110 was highly recommended. I booked and requested this room which I was given and it was huge. The room was toasty warm and very comfortable. It had lots of character furniture and lovely views through two windows out over the river. The bath was a bit narrow and the room had two single beds made up as a double. This didn't cause us any problems.

The breakfast was very good. High quality sausages, thick bacon and tasty eggs. The breakfast staff were very polite and attentive, coming over regularly to top up our tea/coffee.

I didnt have dinner in the hotel so cant comment. I usually prefer to dine in a local restaurant rather than the hotel. We went to a lovely thai restaurant 50 metres away and had a superb meal. It was very busy so had to come back an hour later.

My stay went very smoothly so cant comment on how the staff would have been had I had any issues (as some people have mentioned)

I paid 89 pounds for a groupon B&B deal and I felt this was good value. Before I booked the groupon deal I called ahead and was quoted 140 pounds B&B. Had I paid that much, I wouldnt have given such a high score. Actually, I wouldnt have stayed there for that amount. You can find 5 star luxury hotels in the area for that rate.

One tip - the hotel charges 10 pounds per night for use of their Car Park. If you are arriving by car and staying for a saturday and/or sunday then you can park in front of the hotel, check in then drive around the corner to the Waitrose supermarket, Its free to park here from 3 pm on Saturday until 9 a.m on Monday.

Highly recommend for weekend night away in beautiful village in the heart of the English countryside.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

Having stayed here while travelling on business 4 times (roughly 15 nights in total) in the past year, I can definitively say I will not be going back.

You may wonder why, if it's so bad, did I keep going back. The reason is that the hotel does have some good points. It is very central, the building has a lot of character, it is warm in winter and it was, on more than one occasion, still available when other central hotels were not.

When I travel for business I like to stay somewhere central so I can eat somewhere new every night and as such I cannot comment on the quality of the food quality at the hotel, apart from the breakfast which was usually cooked to order and of reasonable quality.

My biggest problem with this hotel is that the staff seem to have had absolutely no training and the cleanliness & maintenance of the hotel itself is very poor.

During my stays here I have experienced the following things (amongst others):

1) I arrived one evening (at roughly 10pm) to be told by the guy on reception that he did not know how to check me in and did I mind waiting for his colleague to arrive (who was still en-route on a train). To his credit he was apologetic and got me a cup of tea while I waited.

2) The plumbing in the hotel has a lot of issues, with taps hissing and sputtering taps etc. During my last stay of 5 nights, I twice had the water completely stop while I was in shower. On one occasion I had to leave the shower (which is in a bath) with soap in my eyes, navigate blind to the sink to turn on the taps there to clear some sort of airlock, which resumed the flow of water in the shower.

3) I have had the toilet roll holder and the toilet seat fall off in different rooms on different stays.

4) I was told while checking in one evening that they had no more wifi codes left and that I would have to wait until the following day at mid-day, when the manager arrived, to generate some more. Not very convenient when travelling for business and you have work to do.

5) I once ordered a taxi for 0830 the next morning ( I watched the guy write this down along with the postcode of my destination) and then received a phone call at 0800 the next morning to say my cab was outside. I explained that it was 30 minutes early, and the staff member who called me insisted it was not. Eventually she accepted that they had made a mistake and said she would inform the taxi driver. When I went out at 0830 and got in my cab, the taxi driver had been waiting 30 minutes and no one from the hotel had spoken to him to inform him of the mixup. I ordered my own taxis after this.

6) I once had some bar drinks added to my bill which I most definitively did not consume (I have never once had a drink at the bar there). When I questioned them I was met with resistance, and was finally told they could not remove the drinks because the manager was not available. They said they would talk to the manager later about refunding the card (which they had already charged before I saw the bill). As this was paid for on a company owned credit card I am not sure if this refund actually happened.

7) I once came down for breakfast at about 8am to find the breakfast room looking a little bit dishevelled and deserted. The staff told me I was the only guest in the hotel and I should have warned them what time I was coming down for breakfast (although I had up to this point not been aware that I was the only guest staying there and had not been informed by anyone that I needed to tell them what time I needed breakfast). They took my order for breakfast (some sausages and toast) and eventually after waiting nearly 40 minutes I had had to leave because my cab had arrived. To their credit, as I was leaving a member of staff came running out with my breakfast wrapped in tinfoil (which at least showed they were trying to help).

8) During one stay in the height of summer the room temperature was almost unbearable. I discovered the radiator was stuck on. When I asked staff the next morning if this could be fixed, I was told that all the radiators were like that and nothing could be done about it.

9) On my last stay the sheets were threadbare and dirty looking when I arrived, complete with some strange stains on the opposite side of the sheets to where I slept. It was too late, and I was too tired to complain (knowing from previous experience the types of shoulder-shrug responses I usually receive to even the most basic and friendly requests for assistance). When I checked out 5 nights later those sheets had still not been changed.

So to sum it up. The staff, although mostly friendly (with a few exceptions) have no idea what is expected of someone working in a hotel, and the hotel maintenance and cleanliness levels are poor at best. Unless you are really not fussy, and plan to do nothing here but sleep, and accept that if you are unhappy with something you will just have to live with it, then avoid it at all costs.

Stayed December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, Mississippi
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

I purchased a groupon voucher to have a £65 pound two course meal with champagne to have here at the red lion. The meal was awful I had roast chicken..it came out as a flavourless chicken breast clearly not a roast chicken dinner! They took a long time to give us our champagne almost having to ask for it, others in the restaurant on the same deal asked for it themselves too. Within less than an hour we had been given our drinks and eaten a two course meal...all the food came out within minutes of each other which left us feeling as if they were rushing us. I felt that other in the restaurant who weren't on the groupon deal had better service and they rushed us because we were groupon, however we even paid for extra drinks and had coffee after so actually paying more than we should of as everyone else on the groupon came for just there food and didn't purchase anything else. The girl who was running it seemed young and as if she didn't know what she was doing as she just kept hovering and floating. The whole time I felt as if the staff were stood talking about us as all they did was stare. In my experience i wouldn't go here again whether I was too pay for it or on a groupon deal and the meal was certainly not worth £65 and thank goodness I didn't pay that much. In future I'd rather sit and have a takeaway as you can get better food and service in Mcdonalds. I've been to restaurant of higher standards of this many times before and never treated like this before, in my opinion it's awful. I wouldn't recommend to anyone and certainly rather go somewhere and pay more money for a better, friendlier meal.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

We decided to book and stay for the NYE party at the Red Lion and we had a great time from arrival to departure.
Our bedroom was full of old charm and overlooked the river (205). Yes - it had creaking floor boards but its an old hotel! the radiators were very hot BUT we just turned them down!
The bed and pillows were comfortable. If you were being picky you could moan that the blind in the bathroom had seen better days but really!
The evening was good fun ( as below we were expecting a Jazz band during dinner ) but the disco was good and everyone in the room seemed to be enjoying it.
We could not fault the Red Lion Team, they could not do enough for you - from the moment we made the enquiry (Vivenne) to check-out.

Room Tip: Request main hotel and be mindful that this is an old historial hotel with charm.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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Reading, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
76 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014 via mobile

Had a super night New Year's Eve at the red lion. Joined a number of other people for the festivities staying in the hotel overnight. The room (100) was exceptional with large sitting area and would recommend. The evening dinner and disco was great fun but we did expect a jazz band that was advertised. Breakfast very good but the highlight was the spa treatments which are housed in the most wonderful old 17th century building. Would recommend.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Additional Information about The Red Lion Hotel

Address: 4 Hart St., Henley-on-Thames RG9 2AR, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Henley-on-Thames
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 12 Hotels in Henley-on-Thames
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Red Lion Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking the River Thames and the tranquil green fields beyond, The Red Lion Hotel, Henley-on-Thames offers the most sought after location in the heart of one of Southern England's most beautiful and affluent market towns. It is also home to the most expensive home outside London.With four spacious banqueting and conference suites and thirty-nine individually designed bedrooms, each with its own unique history and character, The Red Lion offers over 600 years of experience in service to some of the country’s most prominent figures.Superbly located just two minutes from the market square, The Red Lion rests just five minutes from the Henley Railway Station and a short drive to the M4 and M40 motorways allowing for excellent access to London and the surrounding areasOur dining room offers an outstanding menu, using only the finest seasonal and local ingredients.Our unique wedding suites make this the ideal venue for weddings and civil ceremonies. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Lion Hotel Henley-On-Thames
Red Lion Henley On Thames
Henley-On-Thames Red Lion

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