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“A fine hotel with a fascinating history, but unpredictable restaurant service”

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Chilston Park Hotel
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lenham
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 16, 2013

We arrived at our room to find we were in 'Camelot' (or 'Camalot', as the room service receipt has it.) The receptionist who conducted us there declared it her favourite room; and Luke who brought us some tea told us with pride that Julia Hands chooses all the décor personally. The enthusiasm of the staff does Handpicked Hotels great credit, so I shall merely observe that the room is festooned with acres of red, blue and gold fabric, with faux-medieval fittings and a huge four-poster bed.

It was also commendable that the tea we requested appeared after only a short wait, even though the hotel was very busy with a wedding and another function. When I expressed interest in the hotel's history, Luke told me I could get a photocopy at Reception – but then he went one better and came back with a copy himself. Gold star for him!

The bed was comfortable, and the bathroom spacious and well-equipped. The drapery across the ceiling did make the room dark, though.

And so to dinner. Service was... unhurried. We ordered a bottle of still water when we sat down, but this wasn't actioned and we had to request it again later. We felt a bit sorry for the bloke whose job it was to carry trays of food into the dining room; he would then wait in the middle of the room, revolving gently, until someone pointed him in the right direction. Starters and mains were both excellent; desserts were rather stodgy.

At breakfast, the same happened again; we ordered tea, coffee and orange juice, but yet again this was not actioned, and after 15 minutes the lovely Kayleigh came and rescued us from our lack of breakfast. This is a shame, because the food when it came was excellent – pancakes and eggs benedict – but the uncertainty about whether one's order will arrive does not make for a relaxing dining experience.

Next we tried a bar meal. We asked what the dish of the day was – no one knew. We placed our order and I received my champagne cocktail, which was very good. However, the meal took 45 minutes to arrive, and the hotel was not busy that evening. It can’t be that ‘we cook everything fresh to order’, because the couple who ordered later than us got their food first.

Breakfast (7am) on Monday was very efficient and fast, so well done to the two ladies on duty.

Finally, back to that room décor: the panels on the wardrobe appear to be more ‘Indian’ than Arthurian. Check out some of the images!

Room Tip: Be aware that there are 'themed' rooms - you might want to select one to suit your tastes!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank hoteljunkie99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for the on the whole positive review, it is great to read that the teams enthusiasm for the hotel in which they work came across during your stay. This was especially evident in Luke’s proactive approach, I hope you enjoyed reading about the history of the house. Whilst we do encourage our guests to relax and enjoy their stay with us it would seem that aspects of the service delivered to you stretched this ethos a little. Please accept my apologies, we will certainly take this feedback in the manner that I am sure it was intended and work at improving this aspect of our guest experience.
Once again thank you for the review and I hope that we will have the pleasure of your company again in the future.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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589 - 595 of 979 reviews

Reviewed September 15, 2013

I didn't stay at this hotel but spent the evening there for a friend's wedding and it was a delightful experience. The hotel is stunning and set in beautiful grounds. Staff were very friendly and helpful and there was a lovely atmosphere. A great hotel for exploring as there were lots of nooks and crannies to discover hidden treasures in.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Service
1  Thank vicki411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Dear Guest
I am really pleased that you enjoyed the wedding celebrations hosted here at Chilston Park. Thank you so much for your review.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

Fantastic countyside stately home. Very close to the world loveliest castle, Leeds Castle. Although the dinner is quite pricy, the food and service is definitely worth the money. Wish to visit here again.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank lxwin2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Dear Guest
It is delightful to read that you enjoyed your stay with us so much and I thank you for taking the time to review your stay. The surrounding area of the hotel does have a lot to offer with Leeds Castle being a particular highlight attracting many guests to the area. I am glad you managed to enjoy this attraction during this visit.
Once again thank you for your review and we hope to see you again.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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Reviewed September 13, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for our anniversary. We booked an executive manor room (as it was the best available upon booking), I also emailed them prior to our stay to request a four poster bed within our room to make it extra special. I received no reply so just assumed it wasn't available as it was a last minute booking.
Upon arrival, we were checked in by a friendly and happy receptionist, he was unsure of some things but he explained it was his second day which is understandable. We were checked into a nice room, nothing wow and without a view or four poster bed but it was still nice. However, within 15 minutes we received a phone call from the receptionist offering us a four poster bed of which we took up. We were then taken to the most beautiful outstanding room with an amazing view and the four poster bed we requested.
Breakfast in the morning was also lovely, but we did wait nearly 45 minutes for it (only fault). The hotel food and drink is expensive but that is to be expected of a hotel with such quality.
You can hear the motorway and there was dirty marks on the windows of lips however this didn't affect our Stay due to our outstanding upgrade!
Overall a perfect stay for us! And so worth the email prior to our stay! Thank you!

Room Tip: Email preferences prior to stay!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Hannah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. I am delighted that you enjoyed your short break with us with the four poster room being such a impressive aspect. I am however sorry that your breakfast was slightly delayed, I will mention this to my Head Chef and pass on your comment about lip marks on a window to my Head Housekeeper.
Once again thank you for the review and I hope that you will visit us again.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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Reviewed September 12, 2013

I booked a 'suprise' birthday visit to Chilston to celebrate my wifes' birthday and once again we not disappointed.
We were accommodated in the 'Frampton' room at the top of the main house with views over the rear grounds. Like most rooms at Chilston it was beautifully furnished and very comfortable with a very large bathroom.
We enjoyed a three course meal in the 'Culpeper restaurant' and have to give praise to the waiters and waitresses who looked after us. The food was of exceptional standard and quality and all credit must be given to the Chef and kitchen staff.
We had a 'minor' problem during the night when the phone in our room rang several times waking us both up several times....finally identified as a fault with the bathroom phone.
We were pleased that the hotel dealt with our 'complaint' and made recompense for our sleepless night.
We always enjoy our stays at Chilston Park and despite the 'problem' experienced we will return,

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank cliffb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for your review that on the whole describes another enjoyable experience here at Chilston Park. Through our recent direct contact you are aware of the situation regarding the telephone calls that disturbed you during your stay and I thank you again for your understanding regarding this. I most certainly look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel to again.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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Reviewed September 8, 2013

Will never stop returning to this wonderful hotel but it seems to have lost lustre since becoming hand picked. We have been visiting now for over 20 years and have seen all the changes, some good and some bad.
A lovely stay again this time, we kept ourselves to ourselves and weren't overly bothered by the weekends wedding.
Food as always was superb and we opted for room service breakfast as a treat to avoid the wedding so a slow and relaxing start all round.
There is still no sign of the long anticipated spa facclities which would be the icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned, but maybe one day they will get there.
I still miss the hey days of Marc Desseaux and Jean Marie, Emma, Annette, Mama Rosie and our ever attentive barman shane but the latest recruits are doing a fine job learning the trade.
Keep it up Chilston you might be doing my daughters wedding in 10 years time.

Room Tip: Go for Tudor if you can afford it but Camelot is just as nice without being a suite
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank jessica r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for taking the time to record your most recent experience of the hotel. Your review is indeed an interesting one to receive. However I am pleased that many of the aspects of your most recent stay stood out for mention in a positive manner.
As I have explained in response to previous reviews we are unfortunately somewhat hampered in regard to further development of the site by the historic value of the building. But we will continue to do our best make up for this lack of a leisure offering with friendly and personal service and a desire to deliver the best guest experience that we can.
Best wishes
Gareth Davies
General Manager

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Reviewed September 7, 2013

This was our fifth trip to the hotel and this time we stayed in the Shelley Cottage Mews room for a relaxing overnight stay. Our room was extremely pleasant with all toiletries supplied and a great hairdryer (so no need to pack these). We had a superb dinner cooked in the restaurant in the evening and the service of Kaylaigh and Emma was second to none. They were both extremely attentive and Kaylaigh in particular went above and beyond to provide an outstanding service. She addressed us both by our names and even remembered these in the morning at breakfast. The grounds are so beautiful and as the weather was so warm we enjoyed a stroll around them taking in the sites of the lake and ducklings wandering around the ground. Breakfast was cooked hot to serve and was vast in quantity. If I could comment on a couple of negatives that could really bring the hotel standards up it would be for the female staff on reception to greet customers with a 'good evening/morning/afternoon' rather than continuing with their own discussions. This happened to us when we went down to dinner and when we went to breakfast. It is also very difficult in the evening to remember who requires serving first, as the bar is in another room. We were kept waiting for 15 minutes before we were eventually offered a pre dinner drink. I also think the hotel could really maximise its potential by providing spa facilities. I hope these comments are taken on board to improve the standards even more. Thank you for a very enjoyable stay.

Room Tip: Do not take toiletries or hairdryer as adequately provided in the rooms
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank lisylouHerneBay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerCPH, General Manager at Chilston Park Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 8, 2013

Dear Guest
Thank you for your positive review, I am really pleased that you enjoyed your most recent stay with us. It is good to read that the both Kayleigh and Emma delivered such a high level of service to you. This level of guest care was matched by both the surroundings and quality of cuisine offered and this is very positive indeed.

I must also thank you for your constructive comments on areas that we can look to improve upon. I will certainly share your thoughts with the team. One suggestion that you have mentioned is one that I unfortunately have to say is not one that we will be able to deliver. Due to the grade 1 listed nature of the site, there are some very strong building limitations that restrict the development of the site. As much as we would love to have the ability to offer an enhancement of leisure and spa facilities we are somewhat hampered by these restrictions.

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Additional Information about Chilston Park Hotel

Address: Boughton Road | Sandway, Lenham, Maidstone ME17 2BE, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Maidstone > Lenham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lenham
Price Range: $118 - $203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Chilston Park Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grade 1 listed Chilston Park offers one of the most exclusive hotels in Kent. Set back from tree-lined lanes, the manor house at Chilston Park Hotel in Kent is set in 22 acres of parkland and features a two AA rosette restaurant. One of the most best loved hotels in Kent, over the years Chilston Park has been a home to eminent politicians, writers, Lords and Viscounts. Today it is a classic British country house hotel with plenty of style and charm and one of the most perfect wedding or leisure destinations in Kent. But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this 4 AA red star hotels in Kent are the antiques and history that surround it. The hotel has many interesting artefacts that date as far back as the 17th century manor house. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chilston Park Maidstone
Hotel Chilston Park

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