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“Cannot be faulted.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pontlands Park

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Pontlands Park
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   West Hanningfield Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford CM2 8HR, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Great Baddow
Wakefield, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Cannot be faulted.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

First impression was lovely, set in fabulous grounds. The receptionist, Laura was charming and efficient. We (sadly) only stayed for one night but our room was luxurious - large with all the facilities we needed, it was spotlessly clean and stylish. The bathroom was modern with a power shower. The dressing table with mirror gave somewhere comfortable to dry my hair with a "proper" hairdryer provided.
We ate in the bar lounge and the well trained waiters, Simon and Dan also turned out to be an entertaining yet unobtrusive comedy duo. The food from the bar menu was excellent in quality and the bill for food and drinks really good value.
We came down late to breakfast and groaned to be faced with self-service which is notoriously poor in hotels but once again the hotel came up trumps! The staff were truly lovely and welcoming, the choice was first class and tasted every bit as good as if it had been prepared to order.
I didn't have time to take advantage of the spa facilities but looking at the price list, it certainly represented value for money.
I can only assume this hotel must be a smashing place to work because all the staff looked so happy in their work and this reflects in the service provided. We are now looking for an excuse to visit Chelmsford again.
Trisha and John

Room Tip: We had a ground floor superior room and it was quiet and peaceful.
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLGroup, Owner at Pontlands Park, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Thank you for your beautifully written and very complimentary review following your stay with us at Pontlands Park.

I will make sure all of your lovely comments are passed on to the team, not only the front of house staff but also those in the kitchen.
I'm pleased you weren't disappointed by the buffet breakfast, we work very hard to ensure that the standards to not drop, even on busier mornings when we are unable to cook to order.
The little things in the room like a 'proper' hairdryer and full size ironing board and iron do make a difference and hopefully help people remember us.

We look forward to welcoming you both back very soon.

Jason Bartella
Managing Director
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193 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    116
    48
    17
    5
    7
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
York, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

I stayed in the hotel whilst travelling on business and was not dissapointed. The staff are very friendly and clearly trained well, they made sure I felt welcome and where attentive but not 'in your face'. My room was fantastic, large and bright with a smart modern bathroom, I had one of the best nights sleep I've had for a while. Dinner was good, the staff chatted and Simon made sure I was happy, they even put on my own choice of music in the dining room! Breakfast was good, some of the best scrambled eggs I've eaten out, clearly cooked to order, well done. All in all a lovely place, very friendly, imaculate rooms, relaxing but with all the mod cons discreetly tucked away so you feel cosseted by the charm of the place.

Room Tip: Overlooking the garden, room 52
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLGroup, Owner at Pontlands Park, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Thank you for your review following your recent stay at Pontlands Park.
I am pleased that you were well looked after by the team and enjoyed your time with us, I will make sure that they see your comments.
We have spent a lot of time and money on an extensive refurbishment and improvement programme throughout the hotel and it is always nice to hear it is being well received and that the little touches we have included are appreciated.

We look forward to welcoming you back when you are next in the area, be it for business or pleasure.

Jason Bartella
Managing Director
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Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

My husband & I stayed at this hotel this week for a short break away. The hotel & facilities are very good; we really enjoyed using the pool & the fitness room. It was great there was a cafe with the spa facilities too which meant we didn't have to change to have lunch.
Our room was lovely, clean, light and spacious, with tea making facilities and a hairdryer. The bathroom was fantastic and very modern; the night light in the bathroom was a very good idea and the first time we have seen this. The staff were very attentive. I have to give a special mention to Dan as he is exactly how every member of staff should be where ever you go; very attentive & friendly, nothing was too much trouble.
We ate in the lounge area rather than the restaurant which was lovely with a very good choice of meals and everything we had was delicious. The only criticism was the breakfast(full English or continental) is over priced.
We had a very enjoyable, relaxing couple of days & would definitely recommend staying here.

  • Stayed April 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
    • 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.
HLGroup, Owner at Pontlands Park, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review following your recent visit to Pontlands Park.
I am pleased you liked the newly refurbished bedrooms and the little touches we added during this project, like the night lights in the bathroom, which make your stay as comfortable as possible.
I will make sure that your comments about the staff and the food are passed on to the team.

I am surprised that you consider our breakfast to be expensive, £13.50 for a full English in a hotel is quite average and we only use good quality, locally sourced produce. I do hope this wouldn't stop you from returning and we hope to welcome you back again soon.

Jason Bartella
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

My partner and myself stayed at this hotel over the bank holiday weekend. When we arrived at the hotel we were impressed by its appearance following the renovation and, overall, had a lovely weekend.

However, on the first night/morning we experienced a few issues. Upon arrival the reception staff asked to take a bank card in case we were to charge anything to the room. Knowing that the particular card I gave them had a very low balance I checked that NOTHING would come out of the account, which they assured me it would not. However, the next day I tried to pay for something on my card in a shop and it got declined (very embarrassing) so I checked my bank balance to find £160 had not been deducted but was pending deduction, meaning I was in my overdraft and could not use this card. I rung the hotel and asked if it could be moved on to a different card (to avoid possible overdraft charges) but I was told that this was not possible. Therefore I could not use my card all weekend meaning unnecessary stress and our spending money was dramatically reduced due to this error. Reception staff clearly need to be better informed. Following this a maid came into our room at 9am on the Friday morning despite there being a DND sign on the door. So it was not a good start to the weekend.

The hotel and facilities were lovely and we would have loved to spend more time and money in the restaurant/spa if we had had a card that worked.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 1 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.
HLGroup, Owner at Pontlands Park, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Thank you for your review following your recent stay at Pontlands Park.

I was pleased to read that you liked the refurbishment works and overall you were impressed by the hotel.
However I would like to apologise that the pre authorisation process on check in was not clearly explained to you. It is standard practice at hotels throughout the world and although we do not physically take the money from your account it is held until we release it on check out, or charge the amount you spent with us and release any unused funds (it can then take a few more days for your bank to process this).
I will speak to the reception team and also the housekeepers about the points you have raised but do hope you will return if you are in the area again.

Jason Bartella
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridgend, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

Hotel was good, nice friendly staff at reception and bar. Evening meal very good, nice choice of food well cooked and presented. Room was adequate and well set out. The breakfast was OK just, if you didn't want a full cooked breakfast the choice was disappointing after the standard of the evening meal. I would probably use it again since it was convenient for my purpose and the evening meal was good.

Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLGroup, Owner at Pontlands Park, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Thank you for your review following your recent stay at Pontlands Park.

I am pleased you were well looked after by the staff and enjoyed your meal, the room you were in was one of our executive rooms and these are the only grade not yet refurbished, perhaps next time you visit you might want to upgrade to one of the newer rooms.
With regards to breakfast we will note your comments, we do try to have a good selection of items but if you visit again and wanted something you couldn't see the staff would be happy to speak to the chef to see if he could accommodate your request.

We look forward to welcoming you back again soon

Jason Bartella
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Our stay was great, spacious and lovely room, very good service and very good food and my partner gave full marks to Pontlands in a separate review yesterday. However, on checking out we noticed we had been charged a 'discretionary gratuity' on each drink order! Surely 'discretionary' means we have the choice? We pay (a lot) for drinks and if there is any tipping, then we, the customer decide wether we would like to tip as an indication of our satisfaction with the service from the serving staff. I also question wether the serving staff who should get the tip direct (if there is a tip) even see any of this money. Had we tipped the server direct, would he/she have declined and told us that gartuity was already included? In addition, at no point were we told that gratuity had been included, it simply showed on our check out bill.

Service charges are for large groups, gratuity is at the CUSTOMERS DISCRETION and NOT hotel management. This has really irritated me and I think its out of order hence my bad review as I want Pontlands management to take some positive action. So all in all, a very enjoyable stay but the charge on our bill just isn't on.

Room Tip: Select a 'feature' room.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLGroup, Owner at Pontlands Park, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Thank you for your review following your recent stay at Pontlands Park and for the positive comments you have made, however I do feel I need to respond to the points you have raised about the service charge.

Each of our bar tariffs, menus and wine lists clearly states that all food and drink items are subject to a 10% discretionary service charge which is distributed amongst the staff, it is then also clear and itemised on dockets which have to be signed to charge items to your room and then on the bill presented for checking prior to payment at check out.
As the name suggests and as you have said it is discretionary and if you felt that you were not satisfied with the food and service and did not want to pay the charge you are perfectly entitled to ask for it to be removed, which the staff would have done without any problems.

I think that saying that this charge means we deserve a bad review after what you yourself have said was a good stay is a little unfair, we do all we can to ensure that the policy is clear and shouldn't be punished for people failing to read bills and other information properly.

We do hope that the good bits of your stay will encourage you to return when you are next in the area.

Jason Bartella
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiltshire, England
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

I’m a business traveller and I had to spend several days working in Chelmsford recently – good quality accommodation seems a little hard to find in this area, but I lucked out with Pontlands Park. It’s terrific! It’s in a quiet location, there are two restaurants on site (a bar/lounge and a more formal restaurant), a small fitness centre/spa and the rooms are amazing. They’re being renovated at the moment; I think I got upgraded to a higher standard of room as the one I’d booked was being painted. The room I ended up with was huge, with a sparkling and very trendy bathroom with a superb shower (although the elegant chrome controls were so minimalist that it took me a while to figure out how to use them!). Free wifi too. I had a sofa in my room, two desks, and a very comfortable bed. Everything was spotlessly clean and the staff were terrific, especially the young lad who works in the bar (good luck with your iPhone 5, by the way!), and the lady who was on reception when I arrived (sorry I didn't get your names).

I used the spa twice; I think it’s run separately and it’s the one part of the place that could do with a bit of TLC. The gym is in a tiny attic room that’s so cramped I nearly hit my head on the ceiling twice, and the changing rooms were a little bit tatty. The pool was fine though and I had an enjoyable early swim.

One thing to note is that the hotel is out of town and sits in parkland on the edge of a small village so you will need to walk/drive if you're expecting to go shopping, visit a pub etc. - not a problem for me, as I was here on business, and hey, it makes for a very quiet place to stay (I slept perfectly and wasn't disturbed once).

Anyway, minor quibbles aside, this is a superb place to stay – my room was so nice that I didn’t want to leave, and it’s been a while since that happened! I’ll look forward to my next visit.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HLGroup, Owner at Pontlands Park, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review following your recent visit to Pontlands Park.

We all know how hard it can be when travelling on business to find a nice hotel that ticks all the right boxes but I'm pleased to see we have done this for you. I will make sure all of your comments are passed on to the team.

The Spa is run separately but under the same ownership, it is predominantly a members centre and rather than call it a gym we do use the term fitness room as it is, as you mention, quite small. I will make sure they look at the changing rooms during our forthcoming maintenance week to see if they need a little TLC.

Now you have found us I hope we can welcome you back when you are next in the area.

Jason Bartella
Managing Director
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 Pontlands Park

Address: West Hanningfield Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford CM2 8HR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Chelmsford > Great Baddow
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Great Baddow
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Pontlands Park 3*
Number of rooms: 35
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Also Known As:
Pontlands Park Great Baddow, UK - Essex

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