My friend and I booked the Tipi 2 night break from Wowcher so I think we paid half the usual price and dinner on one night and full breakfasts was included. I'll start with the positive. I've always been nervous to go camping but thought glamping in a Tipi would be a good compromise. Our tipi (the only one there) in the hotel grounds was lovely. The bed was really comfortable and warm (electric blanket and lots of covers). Even though it did rain during our stay, the tipi remained dry. There was a wood burner outside for our use which meant on one evening we stayed out chatting with the fire burning for hours which was lovely. There were wellies and umbrellas in our tipi on our arrival. The decor and layout of the hotel (that which we saw when we dined etc) was aesthetically pleasing and quaint.
Now to the negative. I don't want to put a dampener on our break as we did have a good time, but I'm sure readers of reviews want to hear what wasn't so good. Upon arrival for our stay, the receptionist was not very friendly and even took some time to look up to greet us. We arrived at 1.30 and had been advised prior to arrival that we could check in from 2, so I said that I knew we were early and could we have some lunch if our tipi was not ready. We were not immediately shown to the lounge, but given a menu whilst still standing in reception, which felt very odd. However, we were then taken through to the beautiful lounge and had lunch, which was very nice. At 2.15 we went back to reception and a lady showed us (by pointing) where the tipi was and we were shown the spa (we could use the loo and shower before 9pm there), and a staff toilet (which could be used after 9pm). When we got to the tipi and opened the flap, excited to see what it looked like, we were faced with an unmade up bed and an uncleaned tipi. We trundled back to reception and were advised to use the spa and the tipi would be ready in about an hour. No proper apology, although this receptionist was friendly. Totally unacceptable...why would we be told check in at 2pm if the room wasn't ready? We used the spa which was nice but we weren't impressed that there was only 1 toilet and 1 shower in the ladies changing area (and this was the toilet and shower that we were meant to be using as guests as well as visitors to the spa). There is also a saddle hut and another outside room that presumably had to use the same facilities. The shower had a button that needed pressing constantly to keep the water coming (which is fine if you are just having a rinse after swimming, but not fine if you need a proper shower). At night time when we needed the toilet, although torches had been provided, it was a very dark walk in a place that we were unfamiliar with, and the night toilet wasn't a very nice one. Breakfast on the first morning was fine but basic. On the 2nd morning, there weren't any croissants when we arrived (we were told they were baking), and when we left over half an hour later, they still hadn't materialized. On our 2nd night when we used the wood burner, we had some trouble lighting it so ran out of matches. When we went to reception for more, were advised that they were on order and didn't have any!
So for me, glamping means camping in luxury. The main issue for me was the toilet and shower facilities. There should be a block just for those staying outside the hotel. Brushing my teeth in the sink in the spa, where swimmers were washing their hands after using the loo, was plain weird. I couldn't have a proper shower, knowing that there was only one and someone might be waiting. Our tipi break was fun but not luxurious (apart from the bed, which was amazing). I would like to try glamping again but would not do it at Wallett's Court.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Walletts Court Hotel is a hotel near Dover, Kent with restaurant and Spa. The hotel has at its heart an ancient manor house which nestles in wild open landscape in White Cliffs Country ninety minutes from the city of London & ten minutes from the port of Dover. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Wallett`s Court Country House Hotel Dover
- Walletts Court Country Hotel
- Walletts Court Country Dover