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“A pleasant weekend away with a terrfying bill”

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Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Stoke Poges
Certificate of Excellence
Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“A pleasant weekend away with a terrfying bill”
Reviewed June 26, 2007

We decided to stay at this hotel for a weekend break on the strength of a Mr & Mrs Smith recommendation and the rave reviews of the spa.

Whilst we had a perfectly pleasant weekend, I think that there are a few points to highlight.
Firstly we were overcharged, as our friends were a year earlier, so do check your bill.
Secondly the cost of a two night break for the four of us came in substantially over £2,000, so make sure you bring your wallet!
Thirdly there is an element of stereotypical 'golf club' snootiness about the place - we were twice told that memebers had complained about our atire - what hideous sartorial crime had prompted this? Simply the wearing of sandals and a overly informal collar in the restaurant.
Finally the food in the main restaurant is rather average, albeit fairly inexpensive. For a hotel that flags up a room rate of £300 per night as being a special, I would have expected something rather more spectacular.
However, all that said, the spa was very nice, the tennis courts were superb and a fine weekend was had by all. Will we return - probably not, but not a disaster by any means, just not a good as expected.

  • Liked — Beautiful main house, if a little ragged round the edges
  • Disliked — golf club attitude
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LoungeLizard2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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885 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (184)
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English first
Europe
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
116 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 281 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2007

I stayed here for a business meeting, so i didn't pick the place. I only discovered the price when i checked out- 340 pounds, or alomst 700 USD, for one night. given the fact that all i did was sleep in my room and had breakfast, and that I did not use the gym or spa or anything else, this was the most I ever paid for what can only be called an average hotel room. They even had the gall to charge 15 GBP for internet usage in the room. thank god the elecitricty was included ;-)

At this price a hotel should be excellent, but it was just run of the mill. ye olde england style room, dusty carpet. very large and nice bathroom though. bit worn, and cold. (had 3 space heaters in the room so obviously this is a known problem)

the breakfast was standard english fare, e.g. kellogs cornflakes or a fry up. Again, at 340 GBP one would expect something a little more imaginative.
Obviously I would never ever go here out of my own free will and if I had another business meetng here i would stay somewhere else, save 200 quid and just visit for the day.

  • Liked — the view as nice- peaceful setting
  • Disliked — way overpriced!
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Hello_Bamboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2006

Spent a long weekend at Stoke Park playing tennis and golf. Also had spa treatments. Spa and sports facilities great. If you're not going to use these facilities, would avoid it. Has a very sports club feel (boards with prize-winners on walls, trophies, bar food thats not very good, smoky, bit worn etc) - so wouldnt go for a romantic getaway. Very popular wedding venue so wedding city, but doesnt disturb your stay. Food is not very good at all - they really really need to improve this. (and if improving means focusing on simpler food but cooking it well - that would be absolutely fine too - it doesnt have to be fancy - but tasty!) The decor is all a bit worn / shabby - could do with a bit of a refurb of soft furnishings - dont really understand why they dont. Expensive. But good spa and sports facilities.

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank LoveTravelling151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2006

Retrospectively it is hard to find anything complimentary to say about Stoke Park. When we arrived we appreciated how near it was to London. The golf course and the main building are impressive. Our room was charming.

The Beach Bar
served us with a light lunch in the spa. Visitors should be prepared to cope with children en masse and giant flat screens beaming out sports channels whilst eating in a mock up of a 1960's American dinner with wipe down seats. The "Club" wines we tried were truly foul and the "Club" Chablis undrinkable and don't expect to be able to return it if you don't like it.

The Spa
which I have read others rave about is really very average and certainly nothing to get too excited about. The facilities are no better than you can find in dozens of other hotels, it was really very three star and more comparable to a good municipal sports centre than a quiet relaxing spa.

The Orangery
is where tea is served. It is a smoke filled room off the bar and were it not for the smoke and other guests in this large light but always crowded room it would be possible to enjoy a lovely tea here. There is meant to be a dress code but this is universally ignored or not enforced and you can wear what you like where you like.

The Park
as the fine dining restaurant is presumptuously named is a 1920's mock dining room, I thought it was hideous, but there is no accounting for taste. This restaurant was the worst I have ever eaten at, in this price bracket. The food is not fine dining but a fake. The food is all bought ready made and merely re-constructed. Frozen Tiger Prawns sold as Fresh, Terrine of Foie Gras from a catering pack, The lamb dish consisted of a cold plate with a micro waved Shepherds pie, slices of luke warm reheated lamb and no less than a further 14 different other ingredients to make it look posh - it was a pretentious tasteless nonsense. The Pork dish was still cold and raw in the centre when it was served and despite a valiant attempt to serve a new pork dish 10 minutes later my appetite had gone. All the puddings contained Ice Cream, sorbet or jelly, less fine dining, more kids party food although there was a selection of cheeses. However, they only had "a blue cheese and cheddar" and this was the extent of the waiter’s knowledge I settled for Pecan Pie and vanilla ice cream instead as a safer option, but this had run out. In the end I had the "Exotic" Fruit platter which was delicious although as every fruit on the plate could be bought at the local supermarket itcould just as eassily have been named "Locally sourced Fruit Platter". At £44 a head for food including service and the cheapest reasonable wines starting at £30 a bottle this is a restaurant to avoid.

The Room
we discovered had no shower and no air conditioning. We were at the front of the building which was flood lit and graced by a gravel drive. With the window open for ventilation it was 2am after the last cars left the property that tiredness took over and we fell asleep until about 7am next morning when the golfers started arriving. During winter this would be no problem. The Sunday paper never arrived, the breakfast was poor.

The best part
of the whole weekend was arriving home, the cost of our weekend break (18 hours) at Stoke Park was £520.

Management Reaction:
I was unable to raise my concerns with the duty manager when I was at Stoke park "because he doesn't work on Sundays" so I raised my concerns in a letter in case I had merely been unlucky. I was told by Mark Fagan the Club Director "I have worked in the hospitality industry now for 20 years and 4 at Stoke Park Club, I believe I am able to assimilate guest's expectations and experiences" I "find it difficult to respond to your letter as you have expressed your dislike to such a degree that I am unable to prove to you that our guests do not share similar experiences". There was no apology and no offer of compensation.

Conclusion:
This is a tremendous three star family style Golf and Country Club that caters for less discerning clientele. Those going with this expectation and a fat wallet will have a great time. I’m sure the golf is good too. Those seeking a relaxing Spa break or country weekend retreat or fine dining, sophistication, elegance or anything associated with great service should look else where.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Bolli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2005

The hotel is great, we had a beautifully furnished standard room and great food. The spa is also great, exceptionally clean, superb waiting/chillout area. I had 1 fantastic massage and then 1 very average facial with a rather young therapist. As a mum I was on a weekend break without my kids, and found myself surrounded by them. Unable to find any time when there were no kids in the pool I braved it and had a ghastly swim with some surprisingly inconsiderate parents and their children. I appreciate the pool is for all, but as there is only one, perhaps a cordoned off swimming area, more restricted times and polite notices to parents wouldn't go amiss. If you want a peaceful swim go very early in the morning - but doesn't that rather defeat the object of a weekend retreat ?

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Hardyboys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel, responded to this review, May 25, 2006
Thank you for your review, just wanted to clarify that we do have adult only times on weekends. Children are only allowed in the pool Saturdays at 10.00 to 12.00 and then 14.00 to 16.30 and on Sundays 11.00 to 18.00. Also to clarify children are not allowed in any areas of the spa, the gym and studios. We have also opened an adult only area in the spa restaurant. We have tried to make it as relaxing as possible. I will also remind all swimmers to be respectful to others. Thank you again for your review.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 26, 2005

I didn't like this htoel at all. Outdated decor, poor service in bar, restaurants and spa.
The spa is more like a leisure centre with nowhere to sit and relax around the pool area, which was really noisy and full of kids so you wouldn't want to sit there anyway. The changing rooms smelt musty and most of the facilities (jacuzzi and saunas) were out of order.
The breakfust was the most disgusting thing I have eaten. We ordered the sausgae bap. This came in a dry sesame seed bun which was clearly straight out of a packet, the sausages were horrible, so much so that you couldn't bite through the skin as it was like elastic, I am sure you can get more attractive food at a motorway service station.
In short I would never go back to this hotel, for the price there are far better hotels on the market.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2005

We stayed at this hotel a while back now but after seeing it didn't have many reviews i thought i would post one.

This hotel/Spa is the most fantastic hotel, we have stayed in some luxurious places but this one really tops them all by a mile. We booked one of there mini break packages which were good value considering how much a room, dinner, bed and breakfast usually is at these kind of places. We were upgraded to a larger room which as immaculate, the marble bathrooms were pure luxury and the shower so powerful you almost drown in there!! The food was fantastic as was the service from the staff. The grounds and lake are perfectly kept as was the golf course.

The icing on the cake for this place was the spa, the swimming pool was the most amazing i have seen, the treatments were fantastic as were the changing rooms, showers, saunas, gym and restaurant.

I can’t speak highly enough of this place; i will definitely be coming back very soon for a relaxing and luxurious break.

It is definitely worthy of its 5 stars.

  • Stayed November 2002
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank emma027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel

Property: Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel
Address: Stoke Park Farm Park Road, Stoke Poges SL2 4PG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Buckinghamshire > Stoke Poges
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Stoke Poges
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stoke Park is Europe’s leading Hotel, Spa and Country Club Resort conveniently located 35 minutes from London and only 7 miles from Heathrow. Situated in leafy Buckinghamshire, Stoke Park is set amidst 300 acres of glorious parkland, lakes and gardens. With 49 exquisite bedrooms, a 27 hole Championship golf course, award winning Spa, 13 tennis courts and a state-of-the-art gymnasium, one will certainly encounter the ultimate Stoke Park experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Stoke Park Hotel Stoke Poges
Stoke Park Poges
Stoke Park Hotel Poges
Stoke Park Country Club, Spa And Hotel Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

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