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Stanley House Hotel & Spa
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Reviews (778)
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Reviewed April 3, 2013

I booked a table for my fiance's family to celebrate his Mums 80th which sadly she hadn’t been well enough to celebrate earlier in the month. Our booking for 9 people was taken by a very friendly Becky on reception and from this initial contact my expectations were that we were going to have a good experience.

The Grill on the Hill restaurant couldnt take a booking for 9 people, but Mr Freds bistro could and having looked at the menu it looked ideal.

Our first problem was when we realised the menu was different to that on the internet. As some of the group have allergies they had already spent some time beforehand deciding what to order, so this was completely futile. If you are going to put your menu on the internet you need to make sure it’s accurate - or at least indicate it may not be the current one.

Service was very hap-hazard - with most orders missing something at each serving. Some of us started with tea - unusual I know but it was very cold outside - but the cups and tea pots remained on the table throughout the whole meal, despite me trying twice to get someone to take them after bringing food - their hands were empty so it seemed a good time to ask!

One of the drivers ordered pink lemonade as he didnt want any alcohol, and was brought what looked very appealing so I was keen to try a sip. It turned out it was actually rose wine with lemonade - so had he not realised and had ordered another one he would have possibly been driving over the limit.

I know serving 9 people at once is a challenge, but there was a longer delay then there should have been when bringing dishes out, so some had their meals sitting in front of them for a good few minutes before everyone was served.
The food was actually very good - they obviously have a chef who knows what they are doing - but its let down by inexperienced serving staff. This is a management issue rather than the staff themselves who were doing their best, but just didn’t know the menu well enough. Items that came with one dish were put in front of someone else, who then proceeded to eat them, but then others who had ordered the same meal were expecting vegetables also, again there was no explanation so it just made things difficult.
My nephew has a peanut allergy and ordered exotic fruit salad with sorbet and coconut cream - which he was looking forward to. However the dish came without the cream - but based on the randomness of the rest of the meal we assumed this was going to be brought separately in a jug. After 10 minutes we asked about it but was told the didn’t put it on because of his nut allergy ! Coconuts aren’t nuts and therefore it was fine, but there was no explanation when the dish was delivered. The young man we questioned this with then took the whole dish away and it was another long wait before it came back again - with the coconut cream. By this time everyone else had finished and was ready to go !

Because the family have had a very difficult time recently I really wanted this to be a treat to celebrate Mum finally coming out of hospital but I feel I made the wrong decision in choosing this restaurant.

To end on a plus point as I really don’t want to be negative, the hotel looked amazing and I think the people staying there and using the facilities probably have a very different experience to us - but for just a dining experience it fell very short of what it should have been.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
2  Thank LouiseKennedy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2013

thankyou to all the staff for making my sisters and brother in law wedding day perfect. i would recommed this hotel to anyone who are getting married its the ideal location because its grounds are so lovely so its perfect for the photos too

Room Tip: we stayed in the old farm house which are very nice rooms with olde world furniture
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank autumn97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela C, Front Office Manager at Stanley House Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2013

We are so honoured to have been given the opportunity to share this special day with you all and I'm so pleased that you all thoroughly enjoyed the day. Please don't be strangers, come back and visit us again soon.

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Reviewed March 31, 2013

We visited “The Grill on the Hill” last November. Booking itself was troublesome and it was the sixth phone call that finally secured our 7.15pm booking. We were told that the menu was brand new that day and ‘to bear with us’ for that reason. Had we been aware that the menu was different to the one advertised on the website, we would not have booked. However, we had arrived and were looking forward to an evening of good food and decided to continue as it was rather late to think about where else to go.

We were given the menu by a young lady in a black suit who appeared to be in charge. After a little while, and whilst sipping our vastly overpriced drinks, we called her over to ask a few questions about the menu. She gave a limited interpretation of the menu and told us that only the chefs had tasted them and therefore she couldn’t pass comment. We continued to order a starter and main course each and hoped that we would be more fortunate when the food arrived.

Two members of our party had the winter pressed vegetables which they described as lacklustre in flavour and felt that the combination with the marshmallows was bizarre. The other two starters were of reasonable quality. The waiters served the starters and promptly disappeared. On their return to remove our plates, they asked only one member of our party ‘How was your starter?’ The reply of “Weird” elicited no response.

Our main courses followed directly. The meat was tolerable rather than good but one member of our party chose sea bass and we were all left gaping at his plate. The portion of sea bass was miniscule and we were astonished that anyone had the arrogance to present such a tiny portion. Although half a scallop accompanied it, the minute size of the food presented to an adult left us all astonished.

My experience of other restaurants is that, after having received your meal, a waiter comes to ask is everything alright. We weren’t asked. The meat came with chips and, as no additional vegetables appeared for the recipient of the sea bass and none had been offered, we shared out the chips so that he wasn’t left too hungry.

We were given a dessert menu and one member of our party asked for the cheese whilst the disappointed sea bass eater said he was not prepared to pay for anything else and was looking forward to leaving.

The lady with the suit, who we think was in charge, was offhand and snappy in her manner which was not a good start to the evening. The food was generally pleasant but everyone in our party felt that the portion size was unusually small and therefore the value for money was extremely poor. Had the service been more amenable, we would have been able to find out more about the menu before ordering or have raised our concerns after the main courses had been presented. We didn’t feel able to do that and were keen to leave.

Possibly the greatest disappointment was that one member of our party had visited ‘The Grill on the Hill’ before and enjoyed the meal enormously and it was on that recommendation that we decided to book. We were left disappointed on two counts: the poor value for money because of the lack of food presented and the grim faces of your staff. Smiling costs nothing. On Friday November 16th, our visit to ‘The Grill on the Hill’ was regrettable.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
5  Thank lyegreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela C, Front Office Manager at Stanley House Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2013

Thank you for providing your feedback on which was a very disappointing experience for you. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the lack of customer service that you received throughout your meal and I can assure you that this was not our usual standard of service. With regards to the food, all of your comments have been detailed to the chefs for reference though the menu has now changed again with the new season.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

I have just returned from my second visit to Stanley House - I suggested the spa night following a lovely afternoon tea for my Grandmothers birthday.
The hotel is in a beautiful location and the rooms are lovely and of very high quality with amazing views.
When booking the staff were very helpful and were very pleasant and professional in 2 follow up calls to ask me to rearrange treatment times - which I did. I booked 2 rooms for the overnight spa break. I requested that the rooms be next door to each other as we wanted to get ready together; this didn't happen and they actually allocated rooms on different floors which was disappointing!
The spa was very nice and relaxing; each of the experiences were explained to me and my friend but the treatments were very confusing and seemed a little disorganised they didn't last for the 30 minutes and seemed rushed.
The food in the restaurant was nice; the cheeseboard however was very small but we asked for extra which the staff brought.
Overall the stay was very good value for money but the lack of organisation has put me off returning. Compared to similar breaks I expected more from the staff of a 4 star hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank LJ676_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela C, Front Office Manager at Stanley House Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 25, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your recent stay with us. I am pleased to hear that on the whole you had an enjoyable stay with us though a couple of aspects let it down. Please do accept our apologies for you not receiving rooms next door to each other, this has been addressed with the team as has the slight confusion within the spa. It's great that you enjoyed your meal and you agree that our new bedrooms are of a very high standard. I do hope that you will come and visit us again so that we can exceed your expectations.

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Reviewed March 29, 2013

Went for dinner and overnight stay for my daughters 40th with her family, my other daughter and her family. I knew from the web pictures it was a beautiful place but wow and yes we was wowed by it all, from the decor to the food and the friendly staff. It was clean, beautiful and the scenery inspite of it snowing was breathtaking probably the snowed was the breathtaking factor. Mind you driving down the drive after was bit hairy scary but well worth the trip.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JMJONESY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela C, Front Office Manager at Stanley House Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 25, 2013

Thank you for choosing Stanley House Hotel & Spa to celebrate such a big occasion and I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoyed it.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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