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“disappointed” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Chessington Safari Hotel

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Chessington Safari Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Leatherhead Rd, | Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Chessington KT9 2NE, England (Formerly Holiday Inn London - Chessington)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Chessington
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

First impressions , lovely staff, nice looking hotel, typical of Holiday Inn. My husband and I got our children and ourselves ready to go swimming only to be told that when we got to the pool we needed to go on a waiting list, which was currently running at 35 minutes, my 4 year old was not happy at all! So make sure if the hotel is busy and you want to swim, book a slot. I was not informed that when leaving the resort by car that a code was required for the barrier to open, nobody was answering the call bell at the barrier and therefore I had to ask the 2 cars behind us to reverse (they were not told either) to allow me to go back to hotel to ask for the code, which is 1234 doh, I should have known. To top it all the hotel had a wedding party and the music was extremely loud, by 10pm I phoned the hotel reception to enquire at what time the music would stop and was told at midnight, they apologised but there was nothing they could do! I know that we were not the only family who complained. If you are wanting to stay at this hotel it might be worth checking that they have no weddings or any other loud events taking place during your stay. Also if you are planning to stay off peak season Oct-March it is probably not worth paying the extra money for the reserve view as the animals are shut away at 5pm. Mattresses very hard and uncomfortable, not what you usually get at a Holiday Inn. The cooked breakfast was also not very warm. A rather expensive but not enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Dear tarina_12,

We appreciate your willingness to share your experience with us as this is our best resource to improve and avoid similar situations. I'm glad you found our hotel clean and up to your expectations. I do apologize for the inconvenience brought about by the wait list to use the pool, this we do to strive to provide a safe environment for you and your loved ones. While we understand that your stay was not 100% satisfactory, we hope you give us a chance in the future to show you how great our hotel is.

Sincerely,

Irish V.
Case Manager
IHGCare
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (241)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
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English first
Basingstoke, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

I stayed at the hotel for one night in August last year and really felt like I had a weekend away so decided to go back for my husband’s Birthday for two nights
When we checked in on Saturday 29th September we were told we had been upgraded to an Executive Room (room 326) which was great. The room was large with a huge bed, sofa, walk in shower and a view of the side of the hotel
We got a train from Surbiton into London on Sunday which only took 25 minutes so if you would like to see a show in London and feel like a night away then I would definitely recommend this hotel. Also being right next to Chessington Theme Park is great if you have children and want to spend a day or two in the theme park
Will be definitely be coming back in 2013!

Room Tip: Ask for a window seat at breakfast then you should be able to see the Ostriches and Zebras grazing
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Thank you for your 5 STAR Tripadvisor review Amanda W!

I am delighted that you had a wonderful weekend and that you are looking forward to coming back in 2013! Dont forget we have a new ride for 2013 at the theme park called ZUFARI - one not to be missed as guests will be able to see our new Giraffes from the Zafari Bar!!

Best wishes,

Laura Elliott
Hotel Excellence Manager
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

as merlin annual pass holders, we couldn't resist the opportunity to stay here when a friend conveniently (!) decided to have a birthday party in nearby kingston, and generally speaking it lived up to expectations!

the good:
- the safari theming is fantastic and really makes this hotel stand out from holiday inns we've stayed at before. it's very tastefully done so business folk in particular won't feel like they're stepping into a holiday resort!
- the staff were absolutely fantastic, both at the check in and at the bar. even though we arrived on a busy saturday afternoon with a wedding happening, we were checked in extremely promptly.
- we were given an executive room which was lovely; really big, clean and modern with a sofa, queen bed, safe, fridge (mini bar can be stocked for £20 - extortionate in my opinion!), flat screen tv, tea and coffee making, walk in shower and wifi which was offered at an extra cost. shower gel & shampoo are offered with additional toiletries being available from reception.
- parking is free which is ideal plus it's right next to the hotel and park entrances.
- the public transport connections to london are fairly decent. there's a bus stop literally outside the hotel with chessington south station (35 min train journey to the city centre i believe...) being a 5 min trip away. the m25 is a 5/10 minute drive away which is great for onwards connections to heathrow and gatwick.

the not so good;
- we didn't have a great night's sleep unfortunately. we found the room to be a little cold and the covers were impossible to untuck from the bottom of the bed which made our sleep quite restricted. we were also woken early by a lorry leaving the park workshops - we were on the top floor so god knows what the noise would've been like for the people below us!
- there were no plugs by the beds. sounds a little silly but it's something i'd expect from a modern hotel. the clock on the tv was tiny so it would've been useful to be able to charge my phone by the bed in order to check the time.
- some of the furnishings were a little cheap and worn. i appreciate the hotel is busy but it ruins the look when bedside tables have scratches and small chunks missing from them!

other tips;
- for those visiting the park, an early ride time is available for the wild asia section. although the hotel info states it starts at 9:15, it actually starts at 9:30 as the staff spend the first 10 or so minutes mucking about doing birthday celebrations (not sure how well a huge chorus of 'happy birthday' goes down with sleeping guests!) and stamping people in. annoying when all you want to do is get in the park!!!
- the only other thing i noticed was there being no animals on view. even though we didn't have a savanna view, we did meet there in the morning without an animal to be seen! don't know if this was just a one-off but nevertheless makes me question whether it's really worth paying extra for the "view".
- annual pass holders get a really good discount on the rates. we paid £80 whilst the room is normally £150 i think!
- i know thorpe park is supposedly getting a 'snooze box' but i imagine the chessington hotel will be a cut above it if you're tossing up between the two. thorpe park is really easy to get to from cwoa - about 20 minutes drive down the m25.
- avoid arriving if you can at the closing time for the theme park. it took us 30 minutes to drive one mile because the traffic around the area is so bad at that time. urgh!!!

overall, we would stay at this hotel if we happen to be in the area again. we couldn't argue with the rate and the service we received from the staff was fantastic. my only real regret is not having enough time there to enjoy all the facilities!

Room Tip: ask for a top floor room for a quieter night's sleep!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Thank you for your Tripadvisor review lou2188!

We are so glad you enjoyed your time with us at the Chessington Resort Hotel! We look forward to your return visit so you can enjoy more of our facilities!

Best wishes,

Laura Elliott
Hotel Excellence Manager
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

This is a great weekend break for any family. After a hard day of trudging around Chessington World Of Adventures (Which by itself is great) it is a short walk to the hotel. First impressions of the hotel are very good, clean, modern and extremely friendly check in staff and the rooms are brilliant particularly the ones looking over looking the "African Savanah" styled fields. Ostriches, zebra and a herd of Oryx are trotting about minding their own business most of the time. Dinner was the only slightly dissapointing part as my ribs were served cold but the waiting staff were very attentive and offered me a replacement dish without hesitation. There is plenty of things for the kids to do within the bar/grill such as a Nintendo Wii games room, Madagascar characters milling around and a nightly dvd shown on a 60" plasma. The kids in our party both young and old had a fabulous time.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the wildlife park
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Thank you for your Tripadvisor review reggieboy101!

It was our pleasure to have you stay at the hotel, I am happy you and your family were able to enjoy our hotel facilities!

Best wishes,

Laura Elliott
Hotel Excellence Manager
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Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012 via mobile

The hotel very nice the service at the front desk was excellent couldn't do enough for you! We were upgraded when we got there so nice hotel very busy as anyone can use it, we tried to get a table in zafari restaurant at 730 but had to wait until 9 I felt the service was very poor but maybe this was because it was later and they wanted to get away...we did get 10% off for the poor service ! Make sure u book early for restaurant !

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
CWOAR, General Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Thank you for your Tripadvisor review Jennacatcat!

It was our pleasure to have you stay at the hotel and I am glad your complications in our Zafari Restaurant were resolved on the evening for you.

Best wishes,

Laura Elliott
Hotel Excellence Manager
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Swindon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

I've stayed in loads of Holiday Inn Hotels but I have to say that this one stands head and shoulders above the others. This Safari themed Hotel looked amazing. The rooms were clean, tidy and well stocked. The staff were lovely and the bar veranda overlooking the parkland was stunning. I would stress that this is a Family Hotel so expect loads of kids. The Madagascar charatcters came round at dinner and breakfast which the kids loved. The Wii room went down a storm and the Rangers activities with the kids at tea time was great. The rangers also brought in a meerkat for a meet and greet with the guests which was a personal highlight! There was a big wedding reception taking place but this didn't impact the hotel operations at all. The food in the hotel restaurant was superb. The only criticism I would make is in regards to the Changing Rooms in the Spa area. The Bins were over-flowing, there are only 2 showers and the poolside has the smallest Sauna I've ever seen.....this is a circa 300 room hotel and I expected better! I'd definately go back.

Room Tip: Pay extra and have a room overlooking the parkland
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Thank you for your Tripadvisor review Rach1eb and your wonderful comments.

It was a pleasure to have you stay at the Chessington Resort and we look forward to seeing you back again soon!

Best wishes,

Laura Elliott
Hotel Excellence Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotherham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012 via mobile

I stay here at least once a month with work.
The hotel is clean, the rooms stress good and service is good.
Breakfast is good, with a huge selection.
My only advice would be not to stay when it's the school holidays (bear in mind that private schools have different holiday dates). It can be manic. Hard to get a table at dinner, and breakfast is just noisy, and too busy.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, September 29, 2012
Thank you for your 5 STAR Tripadvisor review sheribobs!

It is nice to also have recognition from our corporate guests!

Best wishes,

Laura Elliott
Hotel Excellence 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 Chessington Safari Hotel

Address: Leatherhead Rd, | Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Chessington KT9 2NE, England (Formerly Holiday Inn London - Chessington)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Surrey > Chessington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Chessington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Chessington Safari Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up to an African inspired reserve with zebras, antelopes, ostriches and the very rare Scimitar Horned Oryx roaming freely before your very eyes - it’s the ultimate room with a Zoo! The hotel is perfect for family breaks with safari theming, African Adventure rooms, an indoor swimming pool, gym & spa, Nintendo Wii Room, Movie Club and the fantastic Zafari Bar & Grill, the hotel is part of the Chessington World of Adventures Resort and is just a few strides away from the Park. On weekends and during school holidays there are also animal meet and greets and character breakfasts. The hotel also has state of the art corporate facilities with 6 meeting rooms all with natural daylight, air conditioning and high speed internet access. At the theme park take on the KOBRA, our exciting new spinning disc ride in Wild Asia, soar on the Vampire roller coaster through the depths of Transylvania or take a fiery spin round Dragon’s Fury. Take a walk on the wild side with tigers, lions and gorillas in the Trail of the Kings, go underwater with sharks and stingrays in the SEA LIFE centre or journey to our new Wanyama Village & Reserve where the zebras and antelopes roam. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn London - Chessington Hotel Chessington
Holiday Inn Chessington
Chessington Holiday Inn
Chessington Safari Hotel Surrey

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