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“Good but could do better”

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Heythrop Park Resort
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Chipping Norton
Reviewed September 13, 2013 via mobile

Location: fantastic area surrounded by countryside. There are also a number of pubs on the door step if you fancy dinner out. 15 miles to Oxford and close to Blenheim Palace

Hotel: amazing building both outside and inside. We also took full advantage of the use of the swimming pool and steam room / sauna

Room: not really in keeping with the communal areas of the hotel (quite badic) although refurbishment is clearly under way. Room is adequate and clean

Service: staff polite and the manager obviously cares deeply about the experience of the customers. Not sure all staff do though, I did ask for a couple of things to be sorted which never where such a shower gel in the room. There were glasses in the hallway when we arrived and they stayed there for 48 hours at least, not a big deal but didn't look very nice and the cleaners just ignored them. It took the manager to notice and pick them up! We also came back from a long day out to find we could not get into our room, took the long walk bk to reception to be told that 'its ok we can fix it' which was great but no apology or explanation. Little boggles but important stuff!

Breakfast: we didn't include breakfast in our package and I was shocked to be told it was 14.95 per person. I was therefore extremely shocked to be charged 20 per person at check out! Ouch! That's a lot for a buffet style breakfast which was good but nothing outside of what you would have seen at any other hotel at half the price.

Overall we had a good experience and the hotel is amazing inside and out. Rooms are a little rough around the edges but it looks like this being addressed. Breakfast is too expensive in my opinion but was nice. I would recommend this hotel for a short break in the country. If you fancy and evening out locally go to The Crown pub - great food and friendly service :)

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank Kojak03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHeythrop, General Manager at Heythrop Park Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Thank you for your recent review of your stay with us. We are pleased that overall you enjoyed your time with us but apologise that we fell short on service in the areas mentioned.
Please be assured, we take all comments very seriously and I will ensure that all feedback is passed on to the relevant departments for review.

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573 - 579 of 1,036 reviews

Reviewed September 12, 2013

I had a reservation to stay at the De Vere Heythrop Park on Sat 7th September.

I had my concerns from the outset, as I did not receive any response to an initial enquiry email I sent to the hotel regarding booking. Following eventual receipt of the booking confirmation, I emailed the hotel a week before arrival to ask whether I needed to make a dinner reservation (dinner was included) and did not receive any response. I called the hotel in the early afternoon on the day of my arrival to try to do this over the phone and it just rang and rang with no response.

The Heythrop Park building itself is beautiful - historic, set in acres of grounds and the interior is open and orginal. The Reception area in contrast was a small, old fashioned desk not in keeping with a 'top' hotel.

On check in I was informed that there was only a 9.00pm slot left available for dinner. I replied that this was a little annoying given my efforts to get in touch to arrange this in advance. To his credit, the member of staff checking us in did then find us an 8.30pm slot.

We were allocated the Chai Room. On opening the door, it was apparent that someone else was in there, or at least from what I could see before hastily making a retreat, their belongings were!! We went back down to Reception who apologised and seemed baffled (by the conversations they were having amongst themselves) as to who was in there. After some delay, we were then allocated the Mocca Room. We were wrongly directed to this room, but once we finally found it we were not pleased . Whilst the Chai overlooked the beautiful grounds and (having found out from some reviews on Tripadvisor) is large and spacious, Mocca was at basement level with a view of a brick call and a car bonnet in the car park! In addition, the decor of the room itself was extremely old fashioned and uninspiring, although I understand the hotel is undergoing refurbishment. We felt that this was a downgrade from the room we were initially allocated and that this was due to error on the part of the hotel.

My husband went to speak to Reception and following lengthy discussion, was passed to an excellent member of staff called Suzanne. She dealt with the issue in a professional manner and displayed exceptional levels of customer service. She is a real asset to the hotel.

In short, the result was that the Crowne Plaza hotel next door bailed out De Vere by accommodating us in one of their rooms for the night. They are part of the same chain apparently. Suzanne personally walked my husband to the room to check it would be ok for us before making a decision and then ensured that all of our information was transferred over and that Crowne Plaza staff were informed.

As such, we did not end up staying the night at the De Vere, but our experience at the Crowne Plaza was brilliant (I will leave a seperate review).

We later went back through to the De Vere Terrace Restaurant for our dinner and this was pretty good. It was old fashioned but elegant and the food was good on the whole, apart from the odd attempt at radical menu items - the peanut butter mash was not a hit in our eyes!!

Room Tip: Chai seemed good, Mocca was not!!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jnorth1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHeythrop, General Manager at Heythrop Park Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Thank you for your recent review of the hotel. I am sorry to hear that you experienced problems upon arrival.
We will ensure that all your comments are passed on to all relevant departments so that they can work to constantly improve and where required, re-train staff members.

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Reviewed September 12, 2013

Stayed here for a quiet break in August. Grounds are just gorgeous and you can spend a bit of time just wandering and exploring. Booked a room with terrace which are on the ground floor. Lovely and spacious and we could even park the car right outside. Room was very clean and provided all of our needs except a fridge that worked. We were unfortunate enough to be effected with a power loss when we stayed there and a very loud generator came on in the middle of the night. This was very disturbing for a few of our nights there but we have addressed it with the management and they compensated us for it. Breakfast is basic, English htls defo need to improve on this front. We ate in the bar and food was slow and overcooked. This place is exceptional but the service from within really lets it down. Wifi didnt work for 2 of the 3 days of our stay so dont bank on using it. Pool is nice but not in the main building, its small and a bit overcrowded when they allow people to buy a day spa pass and use it. Other IHG htls have sky sports in the room but here you need to go to the bar. Balcony and Terrace rooms have no outdoor seating which seems a bit odd! I would defo return but prob wouldnt eat here again.

Room Tip: Executive terrace rooms are the better ones, balcony rooms are above but smaller.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank hmfc1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHeythrop, General Manager at Heythrop Park Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Thank you for your recent review of our hotel.
We are pleased overall that you enjoyed your stay, but are sorry to hear that we did not meet your expectations in some areas. Please be assured that your comments have been sent to the relevant departments so they can work to constantly improve.

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Reviewed September 10, 2013

Heythrop House is a beautiful historical building set in amazing grounds. Great for walking or just sitting, relaxing, taking in the wonderful views on this quiet estate...The Bar is very tranquil and again you can sit and enjoy a drink looking out over the grounds.............

The Crown Plaza Hotel, is a more modern hotel. You can gain access from Heythrop House to the Bar and Restaurant. The Bar is more lively than in the main House. It depends on whether you want 'quiet' or 'more lively' when having a drink.........

Personally, we preferred to stay in Heythrop House itself, and enjoy the historical feel and quietness. Our room could have done with a lick of paint, but it was very clean. They are in the process of redecorating the Wings of the House.
We stayed on a 'dinner, bed & breakfast' package, which was great value. Suzanne is a very nice lady, who is down to earth and made us feel very welcome. The rest of the staff are also polite and friendly.

Room Tip: Stay in the Main House, if you can. Lots of History here and you feel a part of it...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank R0xR0x16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHeythrop, General Manager at Heythrop Park Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us. We are pleased you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you to the hotel again very soon.

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Reviewed September 8, 2013

The hotel is set in beautiful grounds and the main house is gorgeous. We booked a two day b&b break with dinner on the first night. We were allocated rooms in Shrewsbury so were a little worried having read previous reviews. I can honestly say that our visit was not as bad as we were expecting. The hotel is being upgraded and there is a lot of work ongoing and still more to tackle. Our room (326) was very clean as was the bathroom. We had plenty of hot water, clean towels and bedding - I mention this because earlier visitors appeared not the have these basics. The dinner on the first night was from a set choice menu but it was quick, very tasty and plentiful. The lady who was running the restaurant that night was fantastic, really helpful, knowledgeable about the local area......a real asset to the hotel. I wish I had asked her name as I would have written to the hotel to tell them. Anyway, breakfast was a fairly hit and miss affair really. The staff were a bit slow but think that was because the kitchen were even slower at refilling the breakfast dishes. Having said that, the breakfast was delicious. Hot, tasty and freshly cooked with good choice. I really hope that the hotel doesn't suffer from to many bad reviews and vets the renovations done as soon as possible. This hotel could be fantastic.......

Room Tip: Main house rooms are far more expensive but may be worth it. If you only use it as a base, Shrewsbur...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LesandDeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHeythrop, General Manager at Heythrop Park Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us.
We are pleased that you enjoyed your overall stay but will ensure your breakfast comments are fed back to the relevant department so that they can work to improve.
We hope you would consider us for any return visits to the area in the future.

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Reviewed September 3, 2013

If I had to summarise the experience I would say 'A truly beautiful setting let down by the service'.
We were there for a wedding - a very BIG wedding actually that lasted for 2 whole days and had somewhere in the region of 350 people, staying in the main for 2 nights and sometimes 3. A not insignificant sum of money will have been paid in hire charges to the venue by the family, without the additional contributions by the guests for their rooms. Think in terms of thousands of pounds, rather than hundreds....
From the check-in there was an apparent resistance to be helpful and we were sent off to our room (no lift) up 2 flights of stairs, me lugging a large suitcase (with 4 outfits for me and for each of my 2 children, plus daytime clothes), a medium one full of shoes and a vanity case, without any offer of help.
There were other mini staircases enroute and a closed off section that was clearly under renovation.
The room was clean but falling apart.
Big cracks had been filled but not painted and the bathroom walls had been painted over in places where it was clear the paintwork underneath was coming off. Several filled, but not painted, cracks were evident here too.
The bed linen was clean but worn almost bare in places.
The sash window was closed when we arrived and when I opened it I was worried it would literally fall out of what remained of its frame. The bottom 8' or so of which had simply rotted away. Maybe that was how all the ants managed to get in and crawl over our room during the afternoon celebrations...?
At a room rate of £75 per night, which was the reduced guest rate, I felt that it was poor value.
As for the staff:
The chambermaids were all very polite and did a great job of tidying and refreshing the room each day.
The Reception staff were polite but seemed not to be ready to provide the level of service I would have expected. An example: I asked 3 times for an iron so I could press my son's trousers the day before the first of the ceremonies. (No trouser press, air-con/fan, fridge or iron in the rooms). I gave up waiting for it at 10.30pm and went to bed.
The following morning I went down to Reception and asked again for an iron (we had approx 1 hour before we needed to be ready) and the chap there told me to wait a moment, went off and came back clutching iron and board and handed them to me. So... I lugged them both up the stairs etc myself.
The restaurant staff were very pleasant and some were very keen to help. Others were not so on the ball - eg the lady who put a pot of boiling water on a table full of children, mainly aged less than 10, and expected them to pour their own water on their own tea bags... Or the lad who laid us a 3rd place at a table for 2 but forgot to add a 3rd chair until prompted twice....
There are lots of little niggles I could add but I don't want it to sound all bad (the niggles are the things that stay with you of course) as the grounds were breathtaking and the event was wonderful.
I have spoken with several of the guests since then and they all have their own 'poor service' experiences, so it was not just me...
It is clear that the hotel is under renovation and I understand that to accommodate that many people they will have used lots of their rooms but there really did not seem to be that many staff with high enough standards of training in simple service to meet the needs we had. They weren't extravagant, just basic requests: an iron, some water etc.
I would love to visit the area again but would not go back to the hotel unless something radical had changed in the way it was managed. It really is a beautiful setting, let down by poor serviceI can't tell you the over all cost of our room and the 3 meals we charged to it because when I checked out the chap was not able to print my receipt as he was 'busy printing something else'. I have been waiting for it to be emailed over as promised but that was 2 days ago so I will have to call them.... again.
:-(

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Sunnysouthcoaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHeythrop, General Manager at Heythrop Park Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2013

Thank you very much for taking the time to review your recent stay with us.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere apologies for the problems experienced during your time with us.
I will be makin personal contact shortly to discuss your complaint in more detail.
Once again, please accept my apologies.

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Reviewed September 3, 2013

I booked a one night stay at the Heythrop for a wedding anniversary break and managed to get a fantastic rate online, so after reading the reviews on here was not expecting much but have to say we were very pleasantly surprised! Upon arrival at the main building, which was really impressive, we were informed that our room was not in the main building itself but next door at the Crown Plaza. We then set off back down the stupidly long but very scenic drive and arrived at the Crown plaza reception expecting to be put in a basic room, however, we were put in a room that was simply fantastic! We had a moderately sized room on the top floor with all mod cons including powerful air con which was very much appreciated on such a warm day and fantastic views over the gardens. The hotel itself was immaculate, with numerous outdoor spaces to enjoy and just a short walk across the courtyard to the main building. We were attending a festival nearby so didn't have time to enjoy the spa facilities so I am afraid I cannot comment on that. However, as we had got the room at such a good rate we did treat ourselves to the continental breakfast in bed and it was lavish, lots of choice and really good quality!
The staff throughout our stay were all really pleasant and helpful and our only regret is that we didn't have the opportunity to spend more time at the hotel exploring. I would recommend this hotel to any looking for something a bit special in the heart of the Cotswalds and would definitely return!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHeythrop, General Manager at Heythrop Park Resort, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to seeing you at the hotel again in the future.

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 Heythrop Park Resort

Address: | Enstone, Chipping Norton OX7 5UF, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Chipping Norton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Chipping Norton
Price Range: $109 - $191 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Heythrop Park Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Heythrop Park Hotel is set in 440 acres of stunning Oxfordshire countryside and forms part of Heythrop Park Resort. The hotel is in a traditional 18th century mansion house and has access to the resort's extensive leisure facilities including an 18 hole championship golf course, spa and health club. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Heythrop Park Resort, Golf And Country Club
Heythrop Park Resort, Golf & Country Club Hotel Chipping Norton
Heythrop Park Hotel Country

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