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“Couldn't wait to see if improvements were continuing....” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cliveden House

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Cliveden House
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Taplow
Certificate of Excellence
Stock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
285 reviews
162 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
“Couldn't wait to see if improvements were continuing....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2014

Having been so pleased at the improvements when we stayed last year, we couldn't wait to come back to see if the upward trend was continuing...I think I have to say that our opinions are mixed. Yes the rooms continue to be refurbished which is great, but we visited on a very busy weekend and I can't help but think that there were too few staff on duty for the crowds of people. Whilst our afternoon tea and pre-dinner drinks were impeccable - service at both dinner and breakfast was a bit hap-hazard. We waited over 25 minutes for coffee after dinner (which didn't come with the advertised "bon-bons") and the breakfast was disappointing in both range of food on offer and service. The breakfast buffet was woefully under-stocked with a lot of people trying to get to a pretty small selection of food and it strikes me as a bit mean to only include cold options in the price. When you are staying at a grand English Country House I expect the grand English breakfast to be included! However, lack of staff and poor breakfast selection aside, it was a privilege as ever to stay at this remarkable house and if you've not been, I urge you to visit.

Room Tip: try to get a room with a view over the fabulous Parterre if possible.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank quin-i-bog
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, May 14, 2014
Thank you for urging others to visit us and for your very considered review. I am taking great note of your feedback with regards to breakfast and I know it will drive us to really focus on improving our
breakfast buffet. We need to turn on our creative juices and come up with an offering that matches the beautiful breakfast room that we have. Today the sun was shining and there is nowhere as stunning as Cliveden at this time of year. I hope you can hold the view in your minds eye and that you return to us before too long. Kind regards Sue W
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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907 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (218)
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English first
Addlestone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2014

My first - certainly not my last - time at Cliveden, to celebrate my wife's birthday. It is a fantastic place, the service was faultless at all times. We stayed in the GBS (George Bernard Shaw) room, which had a lovely view of the infamous pool. Our room was spacious, with a good-sized bathroom, the room had a homely feel rather than pretentious, unlike some other top-flight hotels - the Cliveden lets the building speak for itself!

After reading some of the negative reviews of the hotel, I did not really know what to expect in terms of the service, but there it was not overbearing (although there were some rather overbearing guests!). Service was pleasant, professional and there when you needed it. We ate dinner in the lovely (though slightly haphazard masquerading as quirky) Club Room and would highly recommend the food and the relaxed, friendly atmosphere. We then had a coffee in front of the fireplace in the main Hall of the hotel.

The breakfast in the main House was also relaxed, and plenty of room (we sat in the window, with a view over the Parterre). I think it's a bit rich when the room was over £300 (and that's a cheap room!) to charge an extra £10 for a hot breakfast, but it was delicious nevertheless. There was certainly no sign of any shortages or delays reported by other reviewers, and we experience efficient and courteous service and ate far too much.

The Spa is well worth a visit or two, and on the Friday evening we actually had it all to ourselves, and even on Saturday it was still relatively quiet. It would be good if it was a little bit tidier (towels and gowns on the floor in the changing rooms, empty cups around, empty refreshments) but overall a lovely and private little spot. Just one thing - I tried to squeeze size 10/11 feet into the provided slippers, but please find some larger sizes!!! We steered clear of the outdoor hot tubs - loads of wasps settling around the edges. It was great to swim in the outdoor pool several times - I always had it to myself even though the sun was out.

On Saturday we took a walk around the grounds, which were very busy due to the sunshine and the Bank holiday, I would suggest walking over to the Duke of Westminster's statue for some lovely views back to the House. It was a shame that the Long Garden had been hit by blight so that the tulips were all diseased, but that's not the NT's fault. The Parterre is beautiful, and I look forward to visiting again to see the results of the restoration work on the terrace.

Overall, it was a relaxed and very pleasant place to stay. There are areas where some maintenance would be of benefit - leaky taps in the bathroom, poor paintwork in several spots of the bedroom, seemingly missing a blind at one window, no room to leave comments in the guestbook in the room. But these did not detract and I hope to visit again when we're looking for a little bit of spoiling and pampering.

Room Tip: I should try (as I did, but failed) to get a room on the East Wing, which has been refurbished.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bradley R
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, May 11, 2014
Return plans are what we like to see, thank you for your balanced and considered review. It is interesting to learn that previous reviews had left you uncertain of what to expect but that you ended up having your expectations exceeded, this always makes happy reading for me and the team.
We certainly enjoyed looking after you and hope that your return visit is not too far in the future.
Kind regards Sue W
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
427 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2014

Clivedon House has been half way down my own and many friends bucket list for some time so when the opportunity arose for my husband and I to stay our friends awaited our verdict with great anticipation as we have travelled abroad and in UK with several of them in some very prestigious ,beautiful hotels over the years and tend to appreciate the same things and therefore know what to recommend to each other . For this reason all of us are rarely disappointed . For the first time ever I found myself confused as to quite what to say to them !
We were met with a very warm and informative welcome from the delightful Magda who is a great asset to Clivedon . We had been upgraded to a beautiful suite (Spencer ) which was totally unexpected and a wonderful surprise and truly appreciated . Just wish we could of stayed longer .
The grounds are beautiful and we used the outdoor pool as the heat inside the spa was as many people complained unbearable . We were very lucky with the weather so an outdoor swim was very refreshing and lovely to have complimentary tea,coffee and biscuits sitting outside in our bathrobes . Nice and relaxing so we could forgive the fact that the patio and seating areas and the edging of the pool are in much need of a clean up . Possibly unprepared for the decent weather !
I didn't have a spa treatment as when I rung to book some 6 weeks or so before our stay I was told that they do not offer reflexology and was not offered an alternative treatment so didn't bother . That was a slight disappointment .
Our real issue was our dining experience believe it or not ! Can't believe it myself ! It really was a huge disappointment for us in almost every aspect I'm afraid to say . I don't like the seating arrangements in the dining room ,tables far too close together ( the triple tables in a straight line ) look nice but not at all intimate . We ended up having conversations with neighbours which was nice but not what either them or us were there for . Most people are there for some much needed me time . I would suggest that when the restaurant is busy it would be worth considering using the very underused library ! You can't relax when you are all trying so hard not to listen to what each is talking about !
We then struggled a little with the quite limited ( in our view ) menu as we do not eat meat and are mainly vegetarian ( I know ,every chefs nightmare !) but we eat fish so that helped a little but there is no flavour in broad beans and not everyone likes asparagus ! (Although I do understand that it is in season at the moment ) A choice of side orders on offer would make a huge difference as apart from the size of the mains portions being so small and us feeling the need for more veg it would be nice to have the choice on offer even as a supplement ! I gave my portion of potatoes to my husband as I knew he would need more !
It didn't help that we waited over 20 mins to start our first course sat in front of us as I was told that they had made a note for my glutton free bread ( nice that I didn't need to ask for it ) and that it was on its way ! I had the salmon starter which was absolutely divine ( all 2 mouthfulls of it ! But needed the bread as it was very rich so I waited . As I said ,it really was fabulous but by the time I started mine , my husband was on his 3 rd roll as he was so hungry ! He never would eat more than 1 normally but saw the size of the portions ! His starter was 1 mouthfull of flavourless something .
We had the Turbot for mains which was OK , definitely overcooked and tepid at best which meant it was fairly , dry and flavourless (other than salt ! ) which was a shame as my husband had never tried Turbot before. It seemed to me to of been re heated ! This sat on 2 pieces of asparagus that I had to scrape out as the skin was too woody to eat or cut ! It was also unfortunate that I had to send back my potatoes ( before I gave them to my husband !) as someone had been very heavy handed with the salt which must of been sprinkled on after dishing up as my husbands were fine . I then discovered the same had happened to my fish ! By now I was feeling very embarrassed and uncomfortable AND hungry ! So we decided to have cheese and buiscuits to fill up ,not my usual choice , but I don't have a sweet tooth and am usually too full for dessert anyway ! The choice of cheese was fantastic and opted to have mine with the fruit as there were (quite understandably ) no glutton free buiscuits . But then again there was no choice of buiscuits full stop ! Just normal crackers ! How can there be such an amazing choice of cheeses let down by such a limited accompaniment ? It doesn't make any sense !
Please don't get me wrong , the staff are all without exception very kind and attentive ( although a little less attention or at least quieter from the clearly enthusiastic and I've no doubt very knowledgable wine waiter would of been welcome !) Not everyone wants the entire dining room to hear what you are eating and which tannins will react with each flavours ! I have been on a wine and food tasting experience and do have some understanding of matching the two together but I didn't ask for a lesson !
After reading other reviews I can't decide if we were just very unlucky , or if fine dining just isn't for us ! But having said that nothing was terrible but nothing wowed us either ! Perhaps I was expecting too much ! That said we have always been told we are too easy going and never ever complain ! The staff were all polite and friendly and apologetic about delays etc but quite honestly
we would of welcomed being left alone for 2 mins ! It was far from a relaxing experience and couldn't wait to get back to the sanctuary of our wonderful suite ! We even didn't finish our coffee which we took in the library as we were disturbed 3 times in 5 mins whilst trying to converse ! A bit like when you are trying to sunbathe on the beach and you are constantly hassled by traders !
I understand that some people like constant attention and you can't please everyone , but as one of the previous reviewers pointed out it is just a little too in your face . Just walking to the ladies room I was stopped by 5 members of staff asking if they could be of assistance ! It was only 20 steps away !
Perhaps it is worth pointing out that too much enthusiasm can be as bad as too little ! If I am considering buying something and the salesman becomes too intense It puts me off of the product rather than making me buy it . Clivedon and all it has to offer sells itself after all , just let people relax and enjoy it ! This will probably seem strange but I feel that there are too many front of house staff ! Too many cooks spoil the broth come to mind !
As for breakfast ,the less said the better I think . You really do need to address this . We sat in the library which was quieter and more relaxing . We were there for 1and half hours ! First of all the granola was empty so we waited , there were no glasses for the juice so we waited . 15 mins later some glasses appeared but the juice was empty ! The fruit salad was very limited ,only apple pineapple and melon .there were no individual yoghurts and only 2 spoonfuls of plain left in a dish ! And yet an abundance of smoked Salmon ! Our orders for tea and coffee were fast and efficient unlike the 45 minutes and seven times of various waiters noticing that my glutton free bread had not appeared( I didn't complain because several waiters constantly apologised and toddled off to find out where it was ) We didn't dare order a cooked breakfast as I dread to think how long it would take ! The table
area of the buffet breakfast is far too small and cramped as well !
I can honestly say that even taking into consideration some dodgy 3 star establishments we have had to stay at many years ago ,this is truly the worst breakfast experience we have ever had .
And I really don't want to say that ,but it is unfortunately true .
We ended up checking out and going to the national trust caffe for an early lunch !
All in all , I guess I would say to my friends ,stay at the beautiful house and be made to feel welcome by the most delightful staff, but eat elsewhere . Or as we may consider , go to the house and gardens for the day and try lunch and perhaps you may have a different experience . The shame of it all is that part of our visit was with a view to consider Clivedon for our youngest daughters wedding but based on our experience with the food there is no way we could consider it now .

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lesley S
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, May 11, 2014
I am sorry to learn that you left with a poor impression of us. I wonder how we hit the mark so strongly for some guests and yet not for yourselves on this occasion. It is always so disappointing to read that based on one experience you would neither recommend us or return yourselves. I hope with the passing of time you soften your position and give us a 2nd chance as I know whole heartedly that your experience was the exception and not the norm. Even with these negatives thank you for your 4 star rating. Kind regards Sue W
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2014

I have been fascinated by the history of Cliveden and have wanted to visit for a very long time. My husband and I had the opportunity on 27th April 2014 for a belated 10th wedding anniversary. We were not disappointed. Amazing grounds, fabulous room, very, very attentive staff, indulgent spa treatment, swimming in the outdoor pool in the rain. I would recommend Cliveden to anyone that is looking for history, relaxation, pampering and being made to feel very special. Thank you to all of the staff and I hope to return in the near future. Many thanks.

Room Tip: We were in the older part of Cliveden in "Sargent" room. It was a beautiful room, even tho...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michelle D
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, May 11, 2014
Thank you for choosing us for your special anniversary, I am so pleased you enjoyed the setting and the history, there is so much we can share with you about all the past stories of the house. I hope to be the one to share these stories with you one day. Your recommendation is much appreciated, thank you again. Best wishes Sue W
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
209 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2014

Set in stereotypical, gorgeous, British countryside. This amazing hotel and spa is worth a visit if you have even 1/2 a day. My friend and I enjoyed pampering beyond description in surroundings that definitely are spectacular. I will be returning to Cliveden House with my husband for a much longer stay. So close to London and yet so removed from the hustle of the City.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MarkTCalgary
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, May 11, 2014
I think that so many folks are still to get to know us and to learn that we enjoy this wonderful setting & yet so close to London. So thank you for making this point. I am delighted you left feeing truly pampered and we look forward to seeing you again. Kind regards Sue W
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2014

This hotel was a cut above the rest. The service was just excellent. Rupert raced out to help us with our bags and then continued to show care, concern and forethought for the rest of our stay. The house is absolutely incredible and they were kind enough to upgrade our room so that we had a stunning view of the parterre - that view was priceless.

We stayed in the Blakney room which although it had a disappointing shower, was incredibly spacious and comfortable.

The estate, gardens and trails are a treat so if you enjoy going for walks this is a great, great place to go.

We ate at the restaurant and had the 8 course tasting menu with wine pairings. The best eating experience of my life without question.
Breakfast was very pleasant and just sitting in the main hall and library with a drink and a book was an experience I will remember forever.

Yes, this hotel is a splurge, but if you are going to splurge THIS is the place to do it!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Megan K
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, May 11, 2014
Now that was a review heading that was a joy to receive, thank you for your lovely words. The team really enjoyed looking after you and we hope you will return to us in the future. The National Trust
work very hard to make sure our surroundings are near perfect, we aim to reflect that performance inside the house. We will keep at it until you can return one day. Best wishes Sue W
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2014 via mobile

My Husband and I returned home yesterday after a lovely stay at Cliveden on Saturday night. It was almost faultless. We stayed in T E Lawrence room and it was a beautiful room with a magnificent outlook. The staff were very helpful and attentive. Our dinner on Saturday evening was delicious, the restaurant is stunning. We were however disappointed with the quality of the breakfast on Sunday morning. I was surprised that given the price of our stay, we had to pay extra for breakfast. Continental breakfast was included in the price but cooked breakfast was extra. We always really look forward to our breakfast when we stay in a 5 star hotel and we would have expected it to be a lot more special than it was. Having stayed in Claridges on a couple of occasions, we were hoping for the same level of quality but alas it wasn't. It was average and the portions were small. The only other small gripe is the fact that we were charged for our Sunday morning newspaper. We felt that was a bit mean. Putting the negatives aside, we would definitely return to Cliveden. We think the breakfast issue should be addressed.

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Christine B
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, May 11, 2014
Close to perfect and yet we let you and ourselves down. We thank you for your feedback and we will keep looking at this area of our product and making improvements along the way. Thank you for very kind review and we are delighted to have the chance to welcome you back in the future. Kind regards Sue W
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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