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“30 Years later at The Compleat Angler” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Macdonald Compleat Angler

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Macdonald Compleat Angler
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Marlow Bridge, Marlow SL7 1RG, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Marlow
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“30 Years later at The Compleat Angler”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

We honeymooned at The Compleat Angler 30 years ago, admittedly that was before MacDonald Hotels making it a very hard act to follow. We had our reservations as wedding day highs coupled with almost iconic hotel status at the time are a once in a lifetime experience and judging from some recent extraordinary reviews criticising the service we were naturally tentative about making the booking.

Check in was welcoming, fast and efficient and we were shown to one of those sumptuous four poster rooms with stunning weir views and balcony (see pic). Afternoon cream tea on the lawn by the river couldn't be faulted, with champagne it does get a little pricey but hey-ho you will soon forgive that because everything just keeps getting better. I am not going to go into everything in detail except to say that the restaurant and service were outstanding and nothing was too much trouble.

I can only congratulate MacDonald Hotels for being able to continue the legacy of the original privately owned Compleat Angler and wish them well as it is fully deserved. It was a huge relief after so many years to find it still run like a family business where personal attention is of the highest priority. We will most definitely be back again, but sooner next time.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
GWyncoll, General Manager at Macdonald Compleat Angler, responded to this review, August 7, 2014
Thank you for your kind review. I am very pleased that you enjoyed your return visit after so many years and for such a special occasion. Thank you for taking the decision to visit and for taking a balanced view of the comments. It appears that you were staying in one of our feature rooms with the private balconies. These rooms do offer added comfort and size. It is great to read that you had the opportunity to have both a cream tea and dinner with is and I do look forward to welcoming you back again, this time in the not too distant future.

Kind regards

Gaius Wyncoll
General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (175)
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London
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

I first started visiting the Compleat Angler, Marlow, in the mid-80's as a quick get-away weekend break out of London. It is in a lovely location, right on the Thames with easy access over the bridge by foot into the quaint town with its many shops and restaurants. With the weather being so hot a few weeks back we made a spur of the moment decision to head there for lunch and decided to stay over a couple of nights. Reception staff were very accommodating as I have a mobility problem , they found us a ground floor room in a new block behind the hotel. Sadly, the hotel lets itself down a bit on restaurant service. We sat outside at a pretty table but no-one came to take our order. My husband had to get up to go to the bar to get a menu and indicate we needed service outside. Still, it seemed to take forever before anyone came. However, the meal arrived fairly quickly once we had ordered. I think its a shame that they have stopped outside guests sitting on the grassy area overlooking the river, this seems to be now reserved for corporate and function guests only who are not there most days of the week. The area is under-used at these times, though they are nearly always booked for weddings at the weekends, especially during the summer months. Over the years, we were always able to sit here for lunch or afternoon tea. Sitting on the small decked area outside the bar is fine, but the noise from the weir can be disturbing if you sit at a table at the end of the decking. The main restaurant has lost its grand ambience now that it is has cut down its number of tables and partitioned it. Only part of the lovely lead-light windows remain - I remember how this restaurant was originally, with a lovely view of the river through these windows on all sides. I understand that a separate bistro restaurant will be taking over the partitioned area, though they have had some teething problems in getting this started. Breakfast was adequate though disappointing compared to other Macdonald hotels such as the Bear in Woodstock, another recent stay which has a superb breakfast buffet. A limited choice of cheeses and pastries but we were served quickly and the food was hot. I would certainly visit again as our room was bright and clean and the bathroom refurbished. However, an important point for the hotel to note is that the windows around the restaurant and bar areas need to be cleaned more frequently, so do the railings and tables on the decked area as flys and insects coming from the river seem to be covering all surfaces. Not very pleasant to see this say, at breakfast time, when you are sitting at a table by the window. Also, when we sat in the lounge late one evening had a coffee, no attempt was made to clear away used coffee cups etc. from previous guests on other tables. However, this is a nice, pretty hotel to stay out in a good location if you are touring areas around the Thames and the Chilterns.

Room Tip: I would check with the hotel if a wedding is booked at the time you are staying there. We have stay...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
GWyncoll, General Manager at Macdonald Compleat Angler, responded to this review, August 7, 2014
Thank you for your recent review following your stay at the hotel. You have clearly known The Compleat Angler for many years and enjoy the enviable location on the River Thames. I note that there are certain aspects of your stay that could be improved and I am sorry for these shortfalls marring you stay. We try to focus bar service either on the lawn or on the terrace by the river depending on occupancy, staffing levels and the weather. The terrace area is adjacent to the river, right in front of the restaurant, some tables closer to the Suspension Bridge and Church, others closer to the weir. Some find the weir most attractive and enjoy the sound of the water cascading over it. We have stepped up the cleaning in the area, which being close to the waters edge attracts flies, especially in the evenings and for this reason, dinner is served inside with the doors opened.

We are just finalising the plans to refurbish the terrace in the Autumn, ready for next season as well. This follows the £434,000 refurbishment of the restaurant and bar. I am sorry that you felt that the breakfast buffet was lacking. We offer the same excellent choice as all Macdonald Hotels with actually some additional cheeses so I am a little unclear on your comments with this regard.

Overall, I am glad that you found the reception team accommodating, the breakfast hot and served promptly, your room bright and clean and that you will return again. Thank you for your comments. I do hope that we will see you again soon when our new second, exciting restaurant (complete with lead-light windows) will be open.

Kind regards

Gaius Wyncoll
General Manager
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014 via mobile

We stayed at the complete angler for our first wedding anniversary. From the moment we arrived we were truly spoilt with great customer services aswel as wonderful views of the Thames from the balcony in our room. We took our six week old daughter with us and the staff were perfectly accommodating for all of her and our needs. We had afternoon tea at the riverside restaurant which was a wonderful setting for a special treat. We will definately be visiting Marlow again.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
GWyncoll, General Manager at Macdonald Compleat Angler, responded to this review, August 5, 2014
Thank you for posting a review following your recent stay with us. I was delighted to read your comments and so pleased that you had a great stay, even more so for your first anniversary. I will have pleasure in sharing this with my team and we look forward to welcoming you back again.

Kind regards

Gaius Wyncoll
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiltshire
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

We wanted to stop for a drink at this lovely location today. We sat outside and waited to be served. After 10 minutes one of our party went to the bar but were told someone would come to our table. They would not serve us at the bar. We sat back down and waited a further 45 minutes. We eventually left without being served and feeling totally disgusted. This should be called The Compleat Dangler - a place with lots of pretensions but no service!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWyncoll, General Manager at Macdonald Compleat Angler, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
I was most concerned and disappointed to read your review. There is no doubt that this is not the experience that I would want any guests to encounter. I only wish that I knew what day this occurred so I can investigate this further. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you would like to discuss this further.

Kind regards

Gaius Wyncoll
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

We held our daughter's wedding reception here and from the moment we looked round and booked the date to the handover meeting the day before the staff were fantastic. Constant communication, as many meetings as we wanted and always someone at the end of the phone to answer any queries. The location and back drop for photographs is amazing. The bride and groom even went out on a boat for 20 minutes. The meal was lovely, every meal came out hot. Many of our guests stayed at the hotel, clean rooms and great breakfast! If you are looking for a wedding venue you must include this hotel as a possible choice! Drinks are expensive but they do give you the option of buying in your own drinks and charging corkage, which we found an advantage.

Room Tip: No lifts in main hotel, but there is a newer part to the hotel overlooking the weir which has a lift...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
GWyncoll, General Manager at Macdonald Compleat Angler, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
Thank you for sharing your feedback with the world on Trip Advisor. We were so pleased to take care of this special day and we are delighted that everything went well from the initial planning to the meals, the food and the service. I hope that The Compleat Angler will remain a special place for many years to come for the whole family.

Kind regards

Gaius Wyncoll
General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Marlow is a very pretty and affluent village a little way upstream from Henley. Just over the bridge,twinned with the bridge connecting Buda with Pest (they had the same engineer),is The Compleat Angler.
Nestled by the Thames,with chocolatebox vistas, the hotel is a delight.
A lawn to drink cocktails, boatrides, and a terrace right by the salmon ladder and weir.
The rooms are well appointed and immaculate but you come here for the view and it does not disappoint.
The hotel is not cheap but squeezing your partner's arm and saying we're only 35miles from London makes it all worth while. A real treat for a romantic weekend.

Room Tip: A river view isa must.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
GWyncoll, General Manager at Macdonald Compleat Angler, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
Thank you for coming to stay with us. I am glad that you both had an enjoyable, romantic stay by the river. The view of the river, the bridge, the church and the weir from the lawn all add to the experience as you have said. It sounds like you took advantage of a private skippered boat trip, which costs just £90 for the hour. I hope we can welcome you back again soon!

Kind regards

Gaius Wyncoll
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Myself and husband traveled down to Marlow to celebrate out first wedding anniversary, I had booked the Hand and Flowers for the Friday night and then the restaurant at this hotel for the evening of our anniversary. It started to go wrong from the beginning.
We arrived early for our table as we wanted to have a drink in the bar first, we sat down in the bar and waited for someone to serve us, although there were waiters and waitresses everywhere no one actually seemed to be serving any customer just walking around very fast not making eye contact with any customers, my husband got tired of waiting so went up to the bar where he was told a waiter would be over, he explained we had now been waiting for 15 minutes, the bar man took our order and told us he would bring it over. I them watched our drinks sit for nearly 10 minutes with staff walking past but not bother to actually serve the drinks before I went up to the bar to collect them and a waiter brought them over. We were then told our table was ready for us and the waitress speed off leaving my husband and I to carry our drinks over to our table ourselves.
I ordered the crab or lobster ravioli, not sure as it didn't taste of much which is priced around £13 and it was really not nice at all and the portion was tiny, just one piece of ravioli! My husband ordered the Salmon which he didn't really enjoy. My main was fine but nothing great however my husband ordered the sea bass and we are both sure that he was not served sea bass. The fillet was quite thick which is not usual for seabass, it also did not have the texture or taste of seabass. After 10 minutes and my husband not eating his main a waitress finally came over, my husband questioned whether it was seabass or if he was served something else by mistake, she said that it was definitely seabass and left the table, a few minutes later she came back to the table and quickly showed us a piece of raw fish which was apparently to prove that my husband was eating seabass, we both found this quite rude. My husband eat everything else on the plate expect from the fish as if it was seabass then there was something definitely wrong with it. When they cleared our plates there was no apology or even mention of all the food left on the plate. We decided to have a dessert between us which the wrote happy anniversary on which was a nice touch but sadly doesn't make up for the experience we received. I am quite disappointed with this experience especially because we had traveled down from Glasgow and it was out first wedding anniversary.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWyncoll, General Manager at Macdonald Compleat Angler, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
I am sorry to learn of your disappointment on this occasion. I do hope that you brought your comments to our attention before leaving the hotel. There is no doubt that the bar service on the night of your stay was unacceptable and although of little consolation to you at this stage, I can assure you that we have put certain steps in place to ensure we deliver more consistently in this area. Equally, I am concerned by your comments about the food. All the fish that we serve is ‘wild’ and should be as stated on the menu. Unfortunately from the review I cannot identify when you stayed with us or comment further. We value all feedback and take all comments seriously. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss this further,

Kind regards

Gaius Wyncoll
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 Macdonald Compleat Angler

Address: Marlow Bridge, Marlow SL7 1RG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Buckinghamshire > Marlow
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Marlow
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald Compleat Angler 4*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Named after Izaak Walton's famous book on angling, the beautiful four-red star Macdonald Compleat Angler is idyllically located on the banks of the River Thames. The hotel is just a short walk from the Georgian town of Marlow, 10 minutes drive from the M4 and just over an hour away from Central London by train. Beautiful both inside and out, enjoy mouthwatering meals from the recently refurbished, two AA rosette-awarded Riverside Restaurant overlooking Marlow Weir or delicious afternoon tea on the terrace. For meetings, strategy days or conferences, our meeting facilities are ideal and our 2 brand new SMART board technology board rooms perfect for inspiring great ideas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macdonald Compleat Angler Marlow
Macdonald Compleat Angler Hotel Marlow

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