I wish there were half points available as I would give this a 3.5 over 3, and I will explain why. I'm not normally one to write about any negatives, but I will do for the Hever Hotel in hope that it is read and my suggestions are taken exactly as that, suggestions.
The hotel itself is lovely, the perfect architecture for that part of the country, especially with the castle right next to it. We stayed in one of the Henry VIII rooms (we were in room 12) which have been newly refurbished, it was nice, with a comfortable bed and pleasant decor, however, there are a couple of negatives. The shower is an over the bath type, but the bathtub doesn't suit this setup, as the sides taper to the bottom in the area where you stand for the shower which only leaves a narrow area to stand on, and with the lack of shower mat or non-slip surface it's quite treacherous, so this should be addressed or someone could end up slipping and injuring themselves. Second negative is the window blinds; they are a roller type which are fine normally, but that is literally all there is. There are 2-3" wide gaps between them which let in nice beams of sunlight in the morning that shine on your face if at the right angle, which isn't great when you're trying to sleep! Also, being that these rooms are ground level, there are no net curtains at all to give some privacy from the outside, so you always need to have the blinds down if you don't want to be seen. Curtains would be better to be honest, as the blinds just don't cut it. As I said before though, these are minor negatives that really didn't affect the enjoyment of our stay, but if they weren't there it would have made it even better.
Last thing is the breakfast arrangement, which a previous reviewer described as 'unusual', I would agree. First morning we entered the breakfast room to find several members of staff behind the tables which were laid out with the foods (ranging from cereals to the cooked buffet) and drinks (make your own tea/coffee, and juices), the toaster was on a separate little table with the bread. Now with any hotel I would tend to expect a bit of a greeting by the staff, and to be shown to a table, however there was no real indication as to what you needed to do. We stood there for a second until I asked what the deal was and we were told we could just choose any table. That was also where the information ended, we had no idea about eggs having to be cooked on order, as nobody told us, nor were there any menus at least to suggest this was the case. I didn't really understand why they needed 3 staff around literally to just bring out egg orders (when you worked out you could get them) and clear up plates when you'd finished. I personally believe that these staff members would be far better utilised by offering to bring tea/coffee to diners, and to ask if they wanted any eggs to go with the rest of the buffet, and perhaps even to arrange the toast. Which brings me on to the toast; there is literally a single two slice toaster to serve the entire restaurant, which is severely lacking in my opinion. A nice hotel like this could at least afford to provide something a little better than this. Sunday morning was a similar experience, but this time supplies of everything seemed to be running out all the time, with other guests continually having to ask for them. Simple things like napkins, mugs, bread for toast! I really suggest this part of the service is looked at promptly or complaints will surely start to roll in.
Finally, just a small comment about the 'bar'. It is obviously a licensed hotel as alcohol is served; however, the choices are limited to bottled drinks only, nothing on draft, which I think should be added to help attract more guests to the bar rather than forcing them out to the local pub (The Henry VIII, which was lovely!). Myself and my Wife wanted to have a drink on our last evening, and when we got into the bar area, which doubles as the reception area, I was left waiting at a bar that was totally full up of dirty glasses, literally lined up along the length. This to me looked very bad, and showed that whoever was in charge of the bar didn't really have any idea of what was acceptable. Also, even when the receptionist called for the bartender nobody materialised, so in the end I said not to worry and we went back to our room, disappointing really.
With all that said however, we still had a nice weekend, but that might have been more to do with what we did away from the hotel. As I said The King Henry VIII pub opposite the entrance to Hever Castle is lovely, with really nice food and a very friendly atmosphere, I would suggest going to there for evening meals etc.
I really do feel loathed to review these negatives, but I feel that if these few very easily changed things are addressed, it will really make this hotel fantastic, rather than just good.
- Also Known As:
- Hever Hotel Kent, England
- Hever Hotel Country Club