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Oulton Hall & Spa
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Reviews (2,806)
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Reviewed January 11, 2014

My husband and I had really enjoyed our one nights stay last week. I have been a tripadvisor fan for many many years, and do not book anywhere without checking views on this site beforehand. I booked through secret escapes and paid £ 99 for dinner bed and breakfast for two people. I requested an upgraded room by email before we arrived. On arrival we were shown to our room which was very nice. The bed was massive lovely quality bedding and really warm duvet. The bathroom was not luxurious but certainly adequate. The one thing I would definitely ask the management to do urgently , is to explain to all staff and customers exactly what allowance they have towards their food bill. We were certainly confused. We ate in the Claret Jug. Our three course meal was very hot ( to me VERY important and a sign of a guide restaurant ) and delicious.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 124 on the first floor . Nice and quiet and very near pool. I ordered breakfast in bed total heaven!!! Cost £ 5 extra . Worth every penny!!!
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kaldoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

Booked a two night stay a week before Christmas to include New Year’s Eve, with first night including bottle of wine and 2 course meal for 2 in Calverley Grill. As I was booking for New Year, I dealt with the resort office rather than central bookings. I was persuaded to upgrade to the chambre unique room at a cost of an extra £30 per night and as I am picky about my rooms, I didn't want to get a tatty room so agreed. I was a bit concerned about the efficiencies of the hotel as despite repeated requests I received no formal notification of my booking, although my card was charged £507 immediately for the 2 night stay( as you can see not cheap).
Arrived at the hotel mid-afternoon on the 30th, at the same time as another party who were offered a free upgrade to the room type I had just parted with £60 for- ah well, not a good start.

On a positive note, the hotel public areas were beautifully dressed for the festive period, lots of atmosphere, even later on in the evening which was great. Yes, drinks not cheap but I expected this. The spa and pool was very nice, although not much space around pool to sit.

The Chambre unique-not huge, but nice refurbishment, with all the additional bits of fancy coffee machines, sound systems, but a rubbish view, free bottle of wine was there on arrival, the bathroom was poor, very small, shower over bath, cheap and nasty make over- black school toilet lids.

It was the dining room which let down the stay. Breakfasts were fine but the meals on both evenings were below standard. On the first night, our deal was 2 courses with the value of £21 which you could also offset against the a la carte menu. We decided to stick with the fixed menu but the food was poor quality. I had the chicken which was very dry, and the rosti potato was overcooked, the husband’s beef was very tough. I ordered a sweet and we waited 20 minutes for it. It also annoys me that they add service charge to the final bill without any consultation.
For the gala dinner, we were in the Calverley restaurant. As the beef had been poor on the previous evening, we ordered the lobster/cod dish. There were many delays in serving and when we finally got the main course, it was difficult to find any lobster and it was like another course of soup. We then noticed that people who got the lobster after us had correct portions of fish. Like other guests I complained to the maître d’ and the desk the following morning, and we received some recompense for this but would we rush back, not sure. Lovely hotel let down by something as basic as this? We are off to Slaley Hall later this month and I hope it’s a better experience

Room Tip: when booking, ask for a separate shower rather than one over bath
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Whitleygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014

We booked a two night stay, very last minute for New Years Eve and Jan 1st at just over £500. For this we were to receive a champagne and canape reception and gala dinner with live entertainment on New Years Eve, and breakfast on the two mornings.
Our room was an upgraded Chambre Unique room which was fine.
Everything was ok until the champagne reception. We had to queue for 10 minutes for half a glass of warm sparkling wine, the waiter had run out and when I enquired about the problem, I was told that some people had had more than one glass so he had run out. We didn't see any canapes so can't comment.
Dinner was in the Charvellry restaurant, which was beautifully decorated, although far too many tables were in there, making it virtually impossible for waiters to serve between tables.

To cut a long and sorry story short, the service was totally inadequate, far too few staff for the number of guests. We waited 1 hour and 20 minutes between starter and main course. Everyone else had been served. We could not get bread, although was promised it four times. My husbands hot fish main course was icy cold in the middle and looked like it had been dumped on the plate. I was constantly being knocked by passing waiters as I was on the main route to the kitchen.
We had pre-ordered champagne which was placed in a wine bucket away from our table, and we could not get anyone to serve it to us. It was also warm. At £68 a bottle I would have expected chilled champagne.
We tried to complain but was told the restaurant manager was dealing with a problem in the kitchen!
As an upshot, there was no-one to voice our complaints to, so we checked out first thing in the morning.
This is a beautiful looking hotel, but feel that they got it totally wrong for New Year.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank NottinghamDenise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Stayed overnight in between Xmas and new year. Very busy on arrival but the check in staff did a good job of dealing with everyone as quickly as possible. The hotel had emailed us prior to our arrival to ask us whether we wanted to be considered for an upgrade which would be confirmed on arrival. There was no mention of this at check in however when I mentioned it I was immediately upgraded. The room was a refurbished room and it was very nice.

We had champagne and lunch in the champagne bar. Lovely room and great staff and service. Not happy that the advertised price on the menu for the champagne was £68 yet I was charged £70 on my final bill. A bit naughty I think.

We hadn't reserved in advance so our dinner reservation was for 9.15 which was not a problem to us. However the food was just awful. Very cold fois gras straight from the fridge and extremely overcooked fish. The brocolli was however excellent! There were about 6 dessert choices but 3 or 4 of them were not available and were replaced by a strawberry cheesecake which I'm sure was bought in as it had a very synthetic taste. I'm fairly easy to please but I really did not enjoy the food and was very disappointed in the meal.

Breakfast was a very hectic affair but that's what you get when you turn up at peak time so I expected to wait a while for a table which I did. There seemed to be insufficient staff to deal with the volume of customers and when my coffee and toast eventually arrived it was burnt and indelible. I ordered poached eggs from the menu but they were actually hard boiled when they arrived so I gave up on them and went to the buffet. I'm not a fan of hot breakfast buffets and there was nothing particularly bad about it but I ended up with yoghurt and muesli which was very nice.

All in all it was a fairly expensive overnight stay costing over £300 for lunch, champagne, dinner, bed and breakfast. It was OK. Not great value for money and although the surroundings are lovely the food really really let it down.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Evilkimevil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We booked the 3 day Christmas break and were very well looked after from start to finish. Afternoon tea on arrival, delightful carol singers followed by midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Welcomed by complimentary fizz at breakfast and lunch on Christmas Day. Plenty of well managed attentive, friendly staff. Boxing Day Black Tie Dinner with live music, Beautiful main building and landscaped grounds.
Best Christmas break in the UK so far, would go back. A big thank you to Gillian Greaves, Rachel Riches and all the wonderful team at Oulton Hall.

Room Tip: Stayed in a sumptuous suite in the main building. Discuss your requirements prior to booking to avoid disappointment
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Lizzie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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