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“Luxurious stay in historic surroundings” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hartwell House

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Hartwell House
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Oxford Road, Hartwell, Aylesbury HP17 8NR, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hartwell
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Luxurious stay in historic surroundings”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

Stayed her for one night to celebrate wedding anniversary with my husband. The drive up to the hotel is very impressive, sweeping around to the front of the house. On entering you realise you really are going to be staying in one of those wonderful old houses you normally only get to walk around behind roped off areas.

Our suite was amazing, looking over the driveway in the main house. It had a huge four poster bed and the largest fireplace I've ever seen in a house, let alone in a bedroom. We loved the decor, completely fitted in with the style of the house, bit with the modcons.

We used the spa in the afternoon. Usually when hotels add a spa the pool is small and a bit of an after thought....not here. The pool was a great size and lovely to relax beside, with a great choice of magazines and an outdoor hot tub. Only small comment was that there was no clock to be seen so you were sort of guessing when to get ready for any treatments.

Before dinner we had drinks in the main lounge, with the log fire nearby. We did feel we were guided towards a small table as opposed to sitting next to the fire (made up for this with our after dinner coffees!). Dinner menu was good, I'm pregnant and there was a good range of starters/mains which I could eat, although not desserts which was unusual. Dinner was excellent, good sized portions, and the serving staff were efficient and friendly. There was no sommelier and no-one asked my husband if he needed any advice on wine which I would have expected somewhere this smart. The dining room was lovely, with a pianist playing just outside the room which allowed you to appreciate the music whilst not having to shout over it.

Breakfast next day was a tad shambolic, they really seemed under staffed. Two tables were seated after us and served before us, we had to go up to ask for coffees....not great. I had specifically asked for my eggs to be well cooked as I am pregnant, they arrived not so, but fresh ones were prepared correctly promptly. The choice of fruit/cereal was good, but could have done with few more interesting pastries.

Wifi was excellent throughout the hotel, and free, which made a nice change compared to lots of other top-end hotels.

Overall an excellent stay, would definitely make more time for relaxing in the spa if stayed again, and a stroll round the imoressive looking grounds.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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341 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
Bedford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

To celebrate a notable event in delightful surroundings with historical links, this is the place for you. Hartwell House, with its period architecture and very comfortable furnishings, complimented, by the excellent service from the staff proved the ideal venue for our 60th Wedding Anniversary overnight stay and dinner gift from our family.The food was extremely good and the restaurant service second to none, attentive and obliging throughout. Unfortunately there was insufficient time to explore the house and grounds adequately, but this would be a good reason for a further visit. A date for the diary, undoubtedly!
A truly memorable experience.

Room Tip: Select a room overlooking the tree lined avenue
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  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tring
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

We never tire of entering this wonderful old building. The ambience in the great hall is reminiscent of a bygone age. The immaculate service from the moment you are greeted to the moment you leave is always a joy. The restaurant is as good as ever and this is always our first choice for a special celebration dinner. It is by far and away the best place in the area for such an occasion.

Our only disappointment is that, since the National Trust have owned it, they have relaxed the dress code for gentlemen which was always politely pointed out to be a jacket and tie. Although the restaurant standards are still very high, it is a disappointment to see some diners sitting there in jeans with shirts outside their belts. Without sounding too " Victor Meldrew" about it, it lowers the tone! and detracts from the sense of occasion they seek to create.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013 via mobile

A special occasion meal. Fantastic food but, oh my Lord, the bill! A special evening but your wallet will take a battering! The grounds are spectacular, the food is exquisite, the service is professional and a mix of Slavic and French, and none the worse for it. These guys take service seriously.

Stayed August 2013
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Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

I last had tea here in march this year and have just returned from my second visit. I have to say Hartwell have upped their game since being rather disappointed last time. the cakes, instead of being of a rustic nature, more suited to a garden centre tea, were this time varied and delicious, fruit tartlets and choux swans. more what I would expect , so I was pleasantly surprised.
However, the service needs improvement, not very attentive and I do not expect to have to hunt for a member of staff to bring us the bill and then cant find anyone and had to go to the reception to pay. not very impressive. I expect to do this in a café, not a 5 star establishment.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

When writing a hotel review its hard to compare a three star hotel on the beach in Italy with a 5 star luxury hotel in Oxfordshire. So what did we think of hartwell. Imposing historic building owned by the national trust. set in its own grounds with a luxury spa. Rooms are either in the main house or a converted stable block 4-500 yards from the main house.

We stayed in the stable block adjoining the spa, it was wet and miserable so we checked in and then drove the car to the rooms. The room was large and well equipped but decorated to appeal to my 80 year old parents. With its small windows and low ceiling despite the size it felt distinctly claustrophobic.

Generally we thought that the whole place was more historic house rather than quality hotel.

The fact we were in a separate block meant a walk in the rain to access any services - no brollies. Despite a cobbled car park outside the rooms you have to park the far end of the building which was a trail with 3 bags.

I think this just about sums the place up - a hotel chain would have made use of this cobbled area, national trust cordon it off. There were notices everywhere don't put hot cups here, don't use these curtains etc.

Main bug bear with the room was that there was no hot water on Sunday morning when we tried to get a shower or bath.

We had been to Blenheim horse trials, and at about five to ten fancied s snack, full room service was no longer available but they listed a small selection of sandwiches. we rang at ten and asked if they could make sandwich on a breadcake - answer was a frosty no - not I ll check or we could do .... Yet the kitchens were clearly open and they offered burgers on the menu!

Following morning we went to tge spa for a late breakfast - advertised in the room to commence ar 9. but on arrival at 9, a waitress pointed out no breakfast till 9 15. so we walked to the main house where we ordered toast and coffee with a cooked breakfast, the breakfast turned up 15 minutes later followed by the coffee and toast bizarre.

Small things but at the price we have had much better

All in all we didn't think it compared (other than in price) to other luxury house hotels we have stayed at.

Room Tip: Stay in main house
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartwell, Manager at Hartwell House, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
This guest has described Hartwell House properly- it is both an historic house belonging to the National Trust, and a first class hotel in Buckinghamshire.
The seperate "block" referred to is in part the converted stable by the most distinguished early 18th Century architect James Gibbs.
Apologies about the water pump timer failure, and we shall carefully consider the helpful suggestion of more benches in the court yard.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2013

Wow! What a house. I felt like I was on the set of Downton Abbey. The house is stunning, the grounds are beautiful and to top this off they have a lovely little spa that is a few minutes walk from the main house.

My husband and I visited Hartwell House in August and took advantage of their 40% off sale. I requested a room in the main building and am really glad I did. Our room was gorgeous. It had tall ceilings with beautiful furnishings and I felt like I had gone back 100 years in time. The room also had a lovely view of the grounds. (I would strongly recommend that you book a room in the main house. They have rooms in a second building which is a few minutes walk away and I do think you really miss out when the stunning sitting rooms aren’t right at hand…especially in winter if you have to traipse back and forth from the other building to the main building in the cold).

The sitting rooms on the ground level are beautiful. We had booked their afternoon tea (tea and scones only) for £12 and it was served in one of their lovely sitting rooms. We were each served a pot of tea and 2 small scones (which was plenty). The scones were delicious, and the clotted cream and jam served with them were perfect. At £24 for the two of us, it was well worth the money.

They also have a nice little spa there. We went there a couple of times and I think the lounge chairs there are probably the most comfortable lounge chairs I have ever sat on. I almost dozed off on one of them. The outdoor hot tub is very nice, as is the jacuzzi (which is a part of the pool). My one criticism is that the shower area is really dark. I thought someone had turned off the light switch in the area then realised that’s just the way the area is lit (or not lit?). To be honest, I found it quite odd. However, all in all, I really loved the time I spent in their spa and their body wash products are gorgeous.

We stayed on a Saturday night and they had a pianist playing in the central area on the ground level ‘til about 11:00pm which I thought was a nice touch. You should be aware, though, that you can hear the piano playing in your rooms, so take this into account if you decide to make an early night of it.

Overall, we had a great stay at Hartwell House. The one area where I feel they can improve is with their customer service. We found it to be spotty and inconsistent (with the exception of the front desk which was excellent from the moment we booked the room to the moment we checked out).

All in all though, we had a great stay and would definitely recommend Hartwell House to family and friends.

Room Tip: Book a room in the main house.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hartwell House

Address: Oxford Road, Hartwell, Aylesbury HP17 8NR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Buckinghamshire > Aylesbury > Hartwell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hartwell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hartwell House 4*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hartwell House is a beautifully restored 17th century Grade 1 listed stately home. The magnificent rooms are superbly furnished with antiques and hung with fine paintings. Many of the exquisitely designed bedrooms and suites are in the house and some in Hartwell Court, the converted coach houses or the Old Rectory. Royal rooms have high ceilings, fine fabrics and dreamy views over the extensive landscape, it is a truly idyllic setting.There are thirty bedrooms and suites on three floors in the main house each aimed at ensuring your comfort and enjoyment during your stay. In addition there are ten suites and six bedrooms in Hartwell Court, the adjacent 18th century indoor riding school. The Old Rectory Hartwell has a superbly appointed master four poster suite with a sitting room and three other bedrooms with bathrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hartwell House Hotel Aylesbury
Hartwell Hotel Aylesbury

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