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“Spa suites are lovely as is food”

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Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cuckfield
Brighton, UK
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Spa suites are lovely as is food”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

I picked this hotel because it was quite a reasonable price compared to other posh hotels around and I could get a decent deal on dinner, breakfast, suites, spa and money towards spa treatments.

The spa suite was fantastic and the only room I've stayed it that it compares to is the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas. The bathroom is amazing with massive bath, lovely shower and lovely attention to detail. The bed was huge and had a nice comfy topper on it and duvet (hate sheets/blankets). Nice modern furniture and design and the direct access to the roof top garden was amazing. In January we couldn't really use it but it would be great in summer.

The spa itself is very nice but they've obviously had a few teething problems that need sorting out - alot of the plaster is off around the pool and patched up and the sauna light wasn't working. Also the steam room smelled a bit and also had chunks of plaster missing. It doesn't affect the usability of the spa and I'm just picking holes really. It also doesn't really have enough seating for lazing around on. The tea/coffee/water section is very well stocked. The pool is a little cool but thats because its for proper swimming rather than lazing around in. Both hot tubs are nice and the changing rooms have everything you could possibly want.

The best part of our stay was the food. 3 courses of amazing yummyness and one of the best meals I've ever had. All 3 of my courses were out of this world as were the petit fours and amuse bouche. Staff all very friendly and attentive with special mention to the lovely lady who did my nails. There isn't a restaurant in the spa so you either have to have food bought over or get changed and walk to main restaurant.

I didn't stay in the main hotel because I don't really like old style rooms and I get the feeling it needs a bit of updating. The main lounge is a bit tatty and musty smelling. It doesn't really match up with the spa part or the dining room.

So plus points were the staff, food and room

Down points were the distance of spa from main hotel (3 min walk), price of spa treatments and issues with appearance of spa.

I've still given it a 5 because it really is lovely. If I wanted to go to a spectacular spa I'd go to Pennyhill Park because thats amazing but for food and room and overall stay I'd go here.

Room Tip: Spa suites are modern, spacious, comfy and very well equipped
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank babymt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
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English first
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We had a brilliant stay in November. We had a lovely dinner the night we arrived and made full use of the spa the next morning. The food was delicious and different - my partner had oyster to start, it was cooked in three different ways. The place had plenty of cars in the carpark but you wouldnt be able to tell there were lots of guests staying as it was so quite and tranquill.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Emma2707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed January 4, 2013

A completely blissful day from start to finish. The surroundings were stunning, the spa sumptuous and the staff polite, helpful, kind,..everything you would want and hope for especially after the hectic Christmas period.
If you can go you must

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Judith S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hove
Level Contributor
44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

This quaint hotel has one of the best spas in the country and the food is best we have ever had in this country, both in terms of taste and presentation. The room we stayed I was classed as de luxe, It had very nice aspects and fair size with plenty of storage space. However, the decor looked tired and some work needs to be carried out especially in the bathroom department to bring it upto the same standard as the "spa" . The prices are high.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dandini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
303 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

Five of us spent New Year's Eve 2012 at Ockenden Manor and I loved it! It's a gorgeous hotel with a lovely old world feel to it.

We checked in at 1.00pm and our room was already available. We stayed in the Alexander Room, which was a great size. The decor was very pretty and it felt warm and inviting. The bed was large as was the wardrobe, there was plenty of room, another two chairs and a dressing table were in the main area. There was also a tv, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities. There are also cookies in your room on arrival which were very nice! There wasn't a fridge, so we put some of our pre-dinner cava in the sink and made do with chilling it that way! The bathroom is stocked with nice cosmetics as well big fluffy towels and robes. There is also free wi-fi throughout the hotel.

Before dinner we went to the spa. I loved it! Although the building looks very modern in comparison to the manor itself, it was stunning inside. There are two pools - one indoor and one outdoor that link through to each other - it is worth going into the outside pool even if you think it will be cold as it really isn't - especially when you come back in doors. There are some nice sun loungers with plenty of magazines on the inside. My partner and I both had massages. I had the Kundalini back massage which was terrific - very soothing and relaxing, I felt terrific afterwards! I also had the mini pedicure and manicure which was perfect ahead of the night ahead. There is also a steam room and sauna which you can use. Gowns, slippers and towels are provided.

The New Year package included a six course tasting menu (it's a Michelin starred restaurant) - the food was fantastic and I would be keen to go there again for one of their other events or just for dinner itself. The foie gras, venison and dessert were all lovely (although maybe a few more veg with the venison would have been good). All the tables were decorated nicely and there was a nice bubbly atmosphere throughout. After dinner you could sit in one of the three rooms they have available, there's plenty of comfortable chairs and sofas and there was waiter service. It would have been nice if there had been more entertainment after the dinner - there was a nice pianist and singer but probably more could have been made of the countdown.

The bar itself is very small but extremely cosy and would be a perfect place to retire to after a good day's walking in the local area.

Breakfast was included in the price - you could have a mixture of cereal and continental breakfasts and then a choice of cook-to-order hot food. I had the scrambled eggs and salmon which was delicious - everyone else had the main cooked breakfast which again was really good. A complimentary newspaper can be delivered in time for breakfast as well.

The grounds are reasonably large and there's plenty of walks that you can do in the very pretty local area.

I would definitely recommend this as a lovely getaway for the night or weekend. They do do a lot of special events around food, wine and literature etc which would be worth more investigation.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Alexander room which although didn't have the best views was towards the back o...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TerriLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Stayed at the hotel over New Years Eve, in the Charles room. Package with dinner and breakfast was approx £520.
Let me start with the overriding highlight : the restaurant. The 6 course tasting menu was beautiful and the wine list amazing. The local venison was the highlight of well crafted menu. Service was generally fantastic in the restaurant (particularly on the drinks front), although with a little let down of dessert coming to our table about 2 minutes after our main course plates were taken away. We suggested we wanted more time and the waitress quickly took it away.
The Charles room was beautiful, with a large four poster bed, and despite being on the main stair case to rooms, very little noise from other guests. However, whilst the room was lovely, several minor aspects on house keeping did let this down. Firstly, we were shown to our room to find a half empty bottle of water on the bedside table (presumedly from past guest or housekeeping) and when we looked in the drawers found previous guest's item of accessories. Then when I went to make a cup of tea, the cord was not long enough to fit in any socket in the room. The only way was to place the kettle on the floor and boil from there. Reception quickly bought up a extension cable. Room was made up during the evening, but some things such as teapot left untouched. I know these are minor points, but still things that should be taken care of as standard. Also, the room was positioned next to an extractor (from kitchen I think) which was quite noisy.
You may think that 3 points is a bit harsh, but I have to compare to other hotels I've stayed at where such basics are delivered at a lower price. I would recommend a meal at Ockenden, but I don't believe would return to stay in a hurry.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank andyw5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, England
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

This hotel was exactly what we were looking for: character, charm, spa, excellent dining.

Such a shame I cannot award 5 blobs as we thought it was great and will return (hopefully) but a few issues prevent.

1) either don't leave a biscuit pot (with crumbs) on our hospitality tray or leave some biscuits. Not enough in itself to lose a blob, more a minor point!
2) pool temperature @28 degrees is just a bit below what I expect from a spa pool. Such a shame as it's a lovely area, the inside/outside is great but I guess that's why they struggle to keep it at 29/30 as it 'should' be. Nearly enough to lose a blob but I could've forgiven.
3) the Merrick Suite, what a fabulous room, we loved it, it's charm and character including a stairway to a lovely sitting area with fabulous views (even though it was a bit tatty). Until we went to bed and discovered we are right above the 'swing' doors in/out of the kitchen which went BANG, Bang, bang every single time staff went in/out of the kitchen until long past 11pm (we did retire early), plus a few times in the night (don't know who was going in the kitchen then but they definitely were), then restarted early the next morning. Sometimes the bed almost shook with the force of the banging.
What a shame I've come home so tired!!!

As I said, we will certainly visit again as this hotel did so much right but we would ask to avoid this room. We would highly recommend changing the kitchen doors to genuine swing doors that don't go clomp every time! We did tell reception whilst checking out and were very surprised the receptionist didn't know about this problem so hopefully some sort of improvement will take place and this hotel can have the 5 blobs from me it deserves.

Room Tip: Avoid Merrick sadly (unless/until kitchen doors are swapped)
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Essex_Becca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa

Property: Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa
Address: Ockenden Lane, Cuckfield RH17 5LD, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > Cuckfield
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cuckfield
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ockenden Manor is a charming and tranquil Elizabethan Manor House tucked away in Cuckfield, one of the prettiest Tudor villages in England. With its history and character, elegant sitting room warmed by a roaring log fire and cosy, wood panelled bar, it's a wonderful place to escape to and yet it is just an hour from London and 20 minutes drive from Gatwick. The hotel is set in nine acres of peaceful gardens and parkland with views across the West Sussex countryside to the South Downs and some of the great gardens and stately homes of Sussex and Kent are within easy reach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ockenden Manor Hotel Cuckfield
Ockenden Manor Hotel And Spa
Ockenden Manor Cuckfield
Hotel Ockenden Manor
Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa Cuckfield, West Sussex

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