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“Beautiful historic venue for a relaxing weekend; close to London but feels a million miles away”
Review of Cliveden House

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Cliveden House
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Taplow
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
118 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Beautiful historic venue for a relaxing weekend; close to London but feels a million miles away”
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Just had a wonderful last weekend before my first baby arrives at Cliveden. It was the perfect venue for the occasion. Beautiful, historic building but despite being quite traditional it manages not to feel too stuffy or overly formal.
Service here is excellent. From when we first booked we were regularly emailed with information on the hotel and offers to make reservations etc. the only negative we experienced was that while they emailed us the spa brochure and offered to make reservations they did not emphasise how early they get booked up. We attempted to book spa treatments 3 weeks before arrival at an off peak time of year and the only time they had was 9.30 am on Saturday! I'd therefore recommend booking as early as possible. I said we were unhappy we had not been warned that this was an issue and a few days before our arrival they contacted us to move our treatments to 10.30.
That however was the only slight criticism of an otherwise perfect weekend.
We had only booked a club room at a discounted rate but were upgraded to the stunning canning deluxe suite! This was a truly wonderful treat that really made our weekend and they didn't even make a fuss of it. I only realised by looking it up on the website. The room was huge with a four poster bed, views of the beautiful lawns and large living area with a permanently lit fire. Very comfy bed and asprey toiletries in the bathroom which also had wonderfully thick fluffy towels!
Breakfast was very good, a continental buffet and hot food to order although randomly you have to pay extra for some dishes like eggs benedict or salmon. On day 2 we had breakfast in our room for a 10 pound tray charge but it was perfectly served.
The casual club restaurant is nice but with a limited menu. Reasonably priced though around 10 to 15 pounds for lunch.
The terrace dining room is quite formal but a lovely setting for dinner. 60 pounds for 3 courses. The food was very good, especially the desserts. An awesome pre dessert and the grand mariner soufflé with bitter chocolate sorbet and blood orange carpaccio is one of my favourites ever! Don't miss it!
The spa area is nicely done. I had the face and body pregnancy treatment which was very nice and relaxing although the massage not as good as some. There is an indoor and outdoor pool, hot tubs, sauna and steam room and it was a very nice place to while away a couple of hours with the papers.
Drinks prices weren't too bad. 6 pounds for non alcoholic cocktails made me happy and 14 for the proper versions! Wine started at 7 pounds for a medium glass of Sauvignon which is reasonable. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful and made you feel at home without any pretensions. The setting here is beautiful with plenty to do on site although I would recommend going for dinner in bray one night as its only a 15 min drive.
All in all highly recommended and I now feel perfectly relaxed!

Room Tip: Canning suite is amazing with a four poster bed.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gooldie
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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cambridge
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2013

I booked this hotel as a surprise birthday pressie for my husband through Secret Escapes. Extremely good value. As we drove down the drive towards the house, my husband's face was a picture, as he had no idea where we were staying and the vista was so impressive. We were a little early so our room wasn't quite ready. We were asked if we would like a cup of tea/coffee while we waited and sat in the library overlooking the gardens at the back of the house - fantastic, especially watching 3 magnificent kites,, whirling in the sky. After about half an hour, Afternoon tea was about to be served so we had to move to the Grand Hall to further wait. Our Secret Escapes package included a glass of fizz each on arrival, which we were not offered, so my husband asked for it (a little embarrassing, as it marked as out as being on a "package"), however it was delivered immediately together with a bowl of olives and salted almonds. We were then taken to our room (called Leoni) and shown around. We were in a refurbished room with all mod cons (flat screen tv in room and end of bath, gas real flame fire, dab radio, heating/air conditioning etc) The bed was 6ft wide and comfortable with lovely linen. Soft furnishings were very luxurious, as was the carpet. Two complimentary bottles of water, an apple, grapes and a dish of homemade chocolate were on the dresser, together with 2 cup cakes (presumably for husband's birthday). There was however, no kettle. The bathroom was fabulous with nice large bath surrounded by mirrors and dimmable lighting. Towels were thick and fluffy.
We went to breakfast Sunday morning quite early and were the only ones there to start with. Fresh fruit skewers, yoghurts, homemade bread, danish pastries, cold meats, lovely range of cheeses, cereals, honeycomb etc laid out in centre of room, and hot breakfast cooked to order. Fantastic service, however, next day when we came down later, there were more people having breakfast, and the empty tables hadn't yet been cleared. We waited only a few minutes, and were seated. Tea, coffee and toast were served quickly but we had to ask for butter 3 times and by time we got it, the toast was stone cold. We also had to ask for some natural yoghurt as there was none available. Hot breakfast freshly cooked. We both had spa treatments booked, so we spent a lovely day in and around the spa. It rained most of the time we were there, but the outdoor pool was inviting and I had a lovely swim in the rain and then a warm up in the hot tubs outside. Treatment rooms warm and comfortable (heated pad under the towel on the bed). Hot and cold beverages, fresh fruit and homemade biscuits available in spa conservatory. We had our evening meal in the old stables which was novel and cosy, albeit limited menu choice. The grounds are impressive but as it was raining, we didn't feel like a long walk, but we did find our way around the maze. We were offered wellington boots and umbrellas.
Although we have a lovely time, I would like to make a few points:

1. When the dining room was almost full for breakfast, service fell a little short
2. Instead of putting natural yogurt on top of fruit puree, serve the yoghurt and puree separately.
3. No kettle in bedroom - room service tea and coffee extremely expensive
4. How is the bathroom heated? If it is underfloor, then it didn't work
5. The hotel information guide found in each room, did not have instructions for tv, radio, fire, etc. I know we could phone housekeeping or reception for assistance, but not everyone wants to. Also it would have been helpful to have a internal floor plan of the house, so we could find our way around easily. Also a menu for room service should be available.
6. We wouldn't have eaten the nuts/olives if we knew that we would be charged for them.
7..The cleaner asked if we wanted our water replenished, again this was NOT complimentary. We didn't find out about these hefty extra costs until presented with the bill on departure.

All in all a fantasic, luxurious weekend with mostly superb service. I'm not sure that I would pay full rack rate though, when tea coffee and water are chargeable.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fiona57Cambridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Thank you for your comments and useful feedback. We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay and that your room was comfortable and well equipped. With all the lovely touches in your room there would barely be room for a tea tray as well but these are always available and can be requested from housekeeping, I hope you can use this tip on a future stays. Kind regards
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2013 via mobile

My partner and I visited the Park and gardens and enjoyed the beautiful grounds. The house is a hotel and although we did pop in we didn't eat or stay there. We spent time walking in the garden behind the house which is lovely with a spectacular view as its high on a hill. We walked down by the river which involved steep inclines but was worth it. We visited on a lovely sunny (but cold) day and really enjoyed our time there. We both said we would return either with a picnic or for afternoon tea!

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Jenny W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
I would like to thank this individual for their lovely comments and, although they did not manage to come inside the hotel, the grounds team will be delighted to know that they enjoyed all their hard work in the gardens! All of the team at Cliveden House look forward to welcoming these guests when they next visit, hopefully for a spot of afternoon tea in one of our glorious dining rooms or on the terrace if the sun is shining…
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Florida, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
159 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

Several years ago (8 to be exact) we stopped at Cliveden for afternoon tea before going to Heathrow and flying back to the US. This past December anxious for an overnight visit, I booked Cliveden for a one night stay on the way to Shanghai. As it was low season we got a great rate at a higher room category. We arrived at the hotel on a chilly December morning. The checkin was fast and efficient. I was a little surprised the reception desk was located in the outdoor vestibule instead in the warmth of the hotel. (We were told it would soon be moving inside). We were escorted to our room which was an adventure in itself - and not a a good one! We went upstairs, then down a hallway, then downstairs, around corners, down more hallways. It was a nightmare. My mother is over 70 years old and was quite upset by the end of it. Our room (Chaplin) was just okay and was not in my mind worth the expense even at the reduced rate. Worse, there were several dead bees on the windowsills. The key was a fob like device but were not shown how to use it. I went to find someone to explain the key and to tell them about the dead bees. When I returned to the room my mother was steaming. She had just killed 6-7 large flies and was ready to leave and find another place to stay. Thanks to TA I knew the managers name and who to ask for.

We went downstairs and first spoke to the woman who brought us to our room. We mentioned my mother was very upset about the journey there. The woman said there was a much faster way but that she didn't want to disturb people who were having lunch in an area we would have to walk by to access the room. Now I was getting mad!

The manager was busy saying goodbye to a large ladies luncheon so we waited patiently until she finished. We approached and asked if we could speak about a room problem we were having. She agreed and I provided all the details. I had thought about writing this review without mentioning any problems but explaining how the Cliveden "made it right" says a lot about the hotel and the caring and competent staff. We were asked if we would be willing to change rooms (yes) and then asked to wait to see if that would be possible. We received the good news that another room was being prepared but that it would take 30 - 45 minutes. We were invited to sit in the library/sitting room while we waited. We took a nice walk outside and enjoyed the brisk air and beautiful views.

A short while later our room was ready. Veryan, who is excellent and works in guest relations explained that this room was recently redone and that we are its first new guests! Our room Orkney, is a higher category room but they honored it at the same rate we booked. I was very impressed! The room was gorgeous and so worth the wait. It was a suite with a marble fireplace and separate bedroom. It was very special! Lest I forget the bathroom which was huge and nicely appointed. The Orkney room is also located in an easily accessible part of the hotel in the wing to the left and just had a few stairs. It was soon time for our afternoon tea which was wonderful. We then toured the hotel grounds and enjoyed seeing the outdoor pool, clock tower and Club Restaurant which was adorable. What could have been a disaster turned into a great stay. The staff including Sue, Veryan, Paul and John were amazing. Loved the Orkney room and we had a wonderful relaxing visit!

Room Tip: Make sure you get one of the newer or recently renovated rooms
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Steph2727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
It was a pleasure having you stay with us & I do remember meeting you. I am just so pleased we were able to talk about room requirements and make adjustments during your visit, resulting in an enjoyable experience with us.
I do hope you get a chance to return one day and that now we know your preferences that we can get t right from the very first few moments if your visit. I hope you might get lucky with some more cheery weather on a return visit and t that you get to stroll out in these glorious gardens some more.
Kind regards
Sue Williams
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed March 18, 2013 via mobile

Beautiful house, gardens and spa located in the heart of the English countryside. Great rooms and food. High standard spa and treatments. Outdoor pool and hot tubs. Great walks to be had through the expansive grounds and gardens which are large enough that you can genuinely get away from the company of your fellow guests at the hotel. Thoroughly recommend for a short break, or a longer one if you have a car and intend to explore the local area

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AliceJoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
I am pleased to read that this guest thoroughly enjoyed their break away at Cliveden House and I am grateful for their positive review following their stay with us. I firmly believe Cliveden is able to offer its guests so much; from a tranquil and relaxing break away from the city, to an indulgent or activity filled adventure with the family. We all certainly look forward to seeing these guests back at Cliveden House in the near future.
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

This was our second visit for afternoon tea and the service was much better this time. we told them in advance that I am vegetarian and they gave me a separate plate of meat free sandwiches but with a sausage roll on the plate! Lovely sandwiches and scones. However cakes were nothing special and disappointing compared with our last visit.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank spikeynor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
I am saddened to see that this guest felt their recent afternoon tea did not match the experience of their previous visit with us, and that on the whole the food marred their overall impression. Our Head Pastry Chef Alex Walker takes immense pride in the creation of his afternoon tea offering, which he continually tweaks to find improvements and also changes depending on the seasonality of ingredients. I am truly sorry that we failed to impress on this particular occasion and very much hope these guests have not been deterred from visiting again. Alex has also asked me to convey how sorry he is for this unusual lapse and has already begun working on an improved offering for the future as a result of this guest’s feedback.
On a more positive note, however, I am pleased to read that the service from the restaurant team was enjoyed, in addition to the sandwich and the scone elements of the tea. Please rest fully assured that this particular instance is very much a one-off as opposed to the norm and with this in mind, my colleagues and I all hope to see these guests return again, so that we are able to restore faith in Cliveden House.
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parkdisc
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Just returned from a superb night staying at Cliveden and a visit to the Fat Duck. Hardly an inexpensive weekend but a great combination for a superb treat. Cliveden is beautiful and our room was superb overlooking the Parterre to the front. The bathroom was hardly state of the art but all was very tastefully finished and furnished and the staff were first rate too. A few too many Americanism's for my taste from the waitress at breakfast and whilst there were was a great looking buffet the Full English cooked was OK rather than the great it perhaps should have been. But I am nitpicking really as everybody from the General Manager Sue Williams down to the man who carried our bags were polite, helpful without being obsequious. The main public rooms were fabulous and after a wonderful tea we spent a lovely hour or so with friends in the Spa area [again very tastefully finished but perhaps heading towards needing a minor revamp] together with another hour or two of walking the superb grounds inbetween the rain!! All in all thoroughly recommended.

Room Tip: Only been once but ours in the main house was superb. I believe we were upgraded so lucky us!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank parkdisc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue W, General Manager at Cliveden House, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Happy to learn that you enjoyed your experience at Cliveden and that team looked after you well.
The setting of the house and the wonderful spaces within are quite unique and we are glad you
felt that too. Sounds like the only thing you did not experience are our boats which are now back in the water, so sounds like there are more treats awaiting you when you return one day. Thank you for your review. Sue Williams
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Additional Information about Cliveden House

Property: Cliveden House
Address: Taplow SL6 0JF, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Buckinghamshire > Taplow
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Taplow
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Cliveden House 5*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cliveden is unique. One of the world's finest luxury hotels, this grand stately home is set in the heart of the Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 376 acres of magnificent formal gardens and parkland and with wonderful panoramic views over the River Thames. It is one of the finest luxury hotels near London and Heathrow Airport. Guests have included every British monarch since George I as well as Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, Harold Macmillan, President Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, John Profumo and Christine Keeler, and many other well-known names from the past and present. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cliveden House Hotel Taplow
Cliveden House Taplow, UK - England

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