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Review of Peckforton Castle

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Peckforton Castle
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 18, 2011

We decided to give ourselves a New Year treat and stay in castles with gourmet dining, staying first at Thornbury Castle, near Bristol then onto Peckforton Castle.
Peckforton Castle is a ‘modern’ castle, built specifically as a family home for John Tollemach in the 1840’s. First impressions are good as the castle exterior is appealing to the eye. Once inside the castle though you could be in any 4 star hotel. The reception area had a huge fire roaring but it was uncomfortably hot. Check in was quick (they don’t take amex!) and we were shown to our newly refurbished executive room, Huxley. I was disappointed by the size of the room and the view – a few tree tops and large metal tanks, maybe heating or water, not really sure.
The bed was comfortable and the bathroom modern with a slipper bath. Fluffy bathrobes and huge towels. Good quality toiletries. Refreshments tray under stocked, we had to request extras and fresh milk. There was a fireplace but it was empty!
We were booked into the restaurant 1851 for dinner. Restaurant had a nice ambience. The menu choice was rather restricted and we were not advised that for a small charge we could upgrade to a la carte – this was the start of one of my worst dining experiences. Although polite and friendly the waiting staff is young and inexperienced, often walking through the dining room gazing up at the ceiling.
The list of errors is endless but here are a few:
Drinks order taken after several minutes. Starter took almost 20 minutes to arrive and white and red wine appeared seconds before the starter, white was to go with the main! My partner was served first; I always thought it was ladies first. Starter not cleared away for at least 10 minutes. Main took a further 30 minutes to appear. At no time were our water or wine glasses topped up unless by request or by ourselves. No additional vegetables served with the main (although we noticed later that some other diners had some and they were on the inclusive menu also!) and not advised that the meal didn’t come with any. Empty plates cleared before other person finished but dirty side plates left. Not once were we asked if the meal was ok. When requests made to waitress/waiter these were not actioned. Had to ask for cutlery. All staff reactive rather than proactive. On the plus side the food was good but not excellent.
Breakfast was another matter – older more experienced staff, service good. Breakfast choice was excellent and plenty of it. All cooked well.
On the whole we enjoyed our stay and it was an excellent package of dinner bed and breakfast in an executive room for £169 but it was spoiled by the lack of dinner service.
I would be willing to go back again and give it another try as hopefully the staffing may improve if enough people complain. It would also be fun to try the falconry.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Susan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 9, 2011

Thank you for your kind words. We are so glad you enjoyed your time at the Castle and we look forward to seeing you again soon to exceed your expectations even more.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 16, 2011

I was frankly apprehensive about even calling Peckforton Castle after having made another call to another England castle enquiring about rates - but I honestly can say that I was very glad to have gone ahead an called.

When I first called I spoke to a very polite gent by the name of Kevin, who was all too happy to answer all of my 'however obvious' questions about the Castle, services and surrounding areas. I was listened too and my questions were answered clearly, concisely and with respect.
We'd experienced a bit of change to our original plans ~ so imagine my surprise when I phoned when were still atleast 5 hours away and was welcomed to pop in after 8pm that night. At this time I spoke to a well-spoken respectful lady Sarah. At no time did Sarah make us feel like we were annoying her; Sarah was very helpful and gave very step-by-step instructions.
Ok to explain we were travelling AT night, through unknown road without a GPS only a London tourist map! So there you go; even us 'peasants' who can't afford to hire a GPS (with one way drop charge) can be made to feel like a King/Queen returning to their Castle.

Upon our arrival quiet later than 8pm we were welcomed with a warm smile, and by a gent only too happy to help us not only check in, retrieve our luggage, but also service up the halls, stairwell and down again to our very impressive and warm room. In addition, they have a complimentary valet service, which was exactly what we needed after driving over 7 hours! Thank you Peter for helping us it was so nice to have such a great chat to you so late at night.

So the night sleep was so peaceful. the bed /linen and 'fireplace' (electric) set such an amazing scene and feeling - really truly did feel like we were the King and Queen of our very own Castle.
On our morning we arose to a spectacular view - really amazing. Depending on the location of you room - will of course determine the view you have.
We could even and did open our window - slightly chilly but was part of our experience at the Castle to even 'act' like it was our home.
So getting about from our room to the breakfast (which depending on your rate can be included in your room/rate stay) there were signs and DISABILITY assistance equipment about the castle paths. Seriously really impressive - they way the assistance has been incorporate without detracting significantly to the overall genuineness of Peckforton Castle. There is signage directing the way and whola – back to reception where we were welcomed by the team with warm smiles. The Manager Pamela was down to earth and warming, welcoming; explaining how we could tour the Castle and have a leisurely walk about.

Any time we walked past a team member they’d welcome us and say good morning; I will say it was not feeling like a ‘forced’ morning like I have previously experienced at major hotel chains.
happy to have a chat, answer questions and help with any inquiries we had.

Now breakfast – WOW! seriously! Wow – Pauline is fantastic! Seriously never ever have we ever experienced such FANTASTIC service – Pauline clearly loves and enjoys her work at Peckforton Castle and really enjoys meeting new people and bringing a smile to their/our faces.
Immediately upon entering the restaurant Pauline gave a truly King/Queen experience – really surprised us as we didn’t expect to be spoken to in ye olde style castle talk. Pauline really embraced her position and has really made our stay such a memorable one! To be asked and checked on throughout the breakfast service by Pauline and ohh – so I have not heard anyone say before ‘I beg your pardon Sir, you’ve given me the giggles’ – except in Recreated stories of the Kings/Queens or Shakespeare’s writings.
I even made sure I let Pamela know how fantastic Pauline is! And I even told her myself and now I am telling you – seriously this lady really is amazing.

So not really wanting to leave the breakfast service we ventured about the Castle to have a look - it really is magnificent and you really need to see it for yourself. Stairwells, the library, the yard, the towers, they even have special events like murder mystery dinners.

Upon checking out we were welcomed back through the ye old style wood thick doors by a very busy reception area ~ BUT yet again seriously everyone of those seven team members said good morning to myself and my husband! This is not a joke. It really makes a massive difference being so happy with the entire experience of staying or visiting somewhere.

There is another team member who had knowledge on an inquiry I had made, Kevin, who seriously spent a large part of his morning helping us out ~ it was fantastic and what’s more the remaining team members, Sarah – got to thank her for her fantastic help the night before as her shift had only just finished when we arrived shortly after 11pm and the Manager, Pamela even assisted and chat to us about various things. It really was a magnificent experience; nothing was too much for the Peckforton Castle team.

I was truly impressed and happy to confirm any questions you may have of my experience – we come from Australia, Brisbane and have said to each other and others – Fly directly to Birmingham and out to Peckforton!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AussieLadiesfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 9, 2011

Thank you for your wonderful remarks, which I have shared with our staff. We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay, and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2011

We drove past and were intrigued enough to take a closer look, as it really does look like an incredible place.
We decided have a coffee in the brasserie so we could find out more information on staying and perhaps having a meal there, however we were very dissapointed with our experience.
Firslty we were ignored, so we thought we had the wrong place, they then eventually told us to sit down and they would take our orders. The waitress came and took our drinks order, we thought they would come back and ask us for the food after, however and it took 20 minutes for them to serve us the coffee even though there was no one else there and 4 staff, the waiting staff just stood and chatted around us while we were waiting. They never bothered to come and ask us if we wanted to order any food. they were clearly young and inexperienced. During the time we did wait, staff walked in and out of a room behind us with something very noisy in it, perhaps a fridge or something, which they seemed to have no awareness of and didnt even bother to shut the door. It was actually so rediculous it made us laugh. The staff were also cleaning around us, it just felt so unproffesional, and to be honest felt like fautly towers. We were considering going there for a proper dinner, but we definately will not be going back. They could halve the amount of inexperienced waiters and employ people who actually gave a toss.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Fyberspates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2011

We did not stay in this hotel but stopped for a late lunch. The building is lovely and is situated in extensive grounds, though there isn't much atmosphere.
I ordered mussels as a main course and received far too few in a luke warm sauce. The service was friendly but very slow.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank taith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 9, 2011

Thank you for your comments. We welcome all feedback as it helps us improve. We have taken your remarks on board and hope to implement the changes necessary.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2011

We stayed at Peckforton Castle December 2010 for my partners 40th surprise birthday. I have nothing negative at all to say about the castle. The staff were amazing, From day one when trying to organise the event up until we left everyone I have come into contact with has been so helpful. I can not praise the staff enough. The castle itself is just magical, wonderful grounds, wonderful setting. Each and every room was different, full of character. We stayed in a suite which was out of this world. I can not wait to visit the place again and will be doing so very soon. The resturant was beautiful and again the staff could not do enough to help. An amazing experience from start to finish. We have stayed in a lot of hotels and this truly was head and shoulders above the rest.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Amy190729
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 9, 2011

Thank you for your wonderful remarks, which I have shared with our staff. We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay, and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2011

I had to organize the businesses Christmas Party 2010. I thought of all the "normal" venues but wanted this one to stand out so when I heard fantastic things about the castle I approached them to see if such a huge venue could take place, and that it did. Peckforton castle catered for 260 of my colleagues. From start to finish the event could not have gone any better. We had the castle to ourselves with most of my colleagues staying over at the Castle. I stayed in a suite which was absolutely gorgeous with everything to iPod docking station to heated floor tiles in the huge bathroom. I will be staying there again personally!
Taking place that night we had a disco & casino which went down a storm. I would like to thank all the staff that worked that day and evening as they were impeccable and could not do enough to help people, from directions around the amazing building, to the simple service with a smile all evening. I would recommend strongly to anyone who is thinking of such an event that Peckforton would be one worth booking.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled on business
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Thank LM_Customer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 9, 2011

Thank you for your wonderful remarks, which I have shared with our staff. We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay, and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2011

My husband booked a weekend here as a birthday treat, and what a treat it was to!
The building is amazing, full of character and enchanting in every way.
We had a standard room (as this was all that was available) it was well equiped, clean and spacious,with two double windows overlooking the court yard, which was fabulous as we could watch the Falconery training and the beautiful peacocks that strolled the grounds displaying themselves at every opportunity.
Most of The staff were Very attentive and nothing was to much trouble for them, in fact I would go as far to say, they went the Extra Mile for us every time, special thanks for the balloon with my champagne ice bucket, nice touch, there was only a few members of the bar / breakfast team who failed to even smile yet alone offer customer service, but one was leaving on the Friday, I don't think she will be a loss to what otherwise is a well run team.
The food was very tasty and well presented, but lacked choice, on the package we were on there were 4 items on the menu 1 of which was vegetarian, and the menu was the same both nights!! This I would say let the restaurant down, the manager was very receptive and accomodating, remembering what wine I had ordered the previous night, and that I liked lemon in my water.
Then came the SPA well done Vanessa & Milly!!! these girls are just Fabulous!!!! My husband and I stay at many 5star hotel / spa's and can honestly say they gave the BEST
Facial we have ever had, again the added extra of a hand & head massage whilst your face mask sets is wonderful.
We can say this break was well worth the money and we will return again.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Ukcouple14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 9, 2011

Thank you for your kind words. We are so glad you enjoyed your time at the Castle and we look forward to seeing you again soon to exceed your expectations even more.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Peckforton Castle

Address: Stone House Lane, Tarporley CW6 9TN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cheshire > Tarporley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Tarporley
Price Range: $149 - $261 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Peckforton Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Peckforton Castle - An enchanting Hotel in the heart of Cheshire. Rising majestically above the Cheshire landscape, the castle is both enigmatic and enchanting. Originally the home of Lord Tollemache and built in the early 19th Century, this Grade I listed building is the only intact medieval style Castle in the country. Over the years the castle has been the location for numerous movies including Robin Hood and Dr Who. Now owned by the Naylor family, the stunning exterior has been complemented by a loving and considered restoration programme resulting in a magnificent hotel and venue offering contemporary luxury and impeccable service. Services include 48 stunning individual guest rooms, conference, events, and wedding facilities for up to 180. Tranquility beauty, on site Falconry and team activities all adding up to a rather magical experience. Dining at the Castle truly is a special occasion, welcoming the public as well as hotel guests. The 1851 Restaurant offers a dining experience fit for royalty. Holder of 3 AA Rosettes and a Taste Cheshire Award. Alternatively the more informal and cosmopolitan 2010 Brasserie, located in the former scullery of the castle, features many of the amazing features of the original scullery including two cast iron cooking ranges dating back to the 1840's. Peckforton Castle's enchanting medieval style beauty and stunning location make it a truly impressive and desirable venue for weddings, christenings, birthday parties, or just about anything that's worth celebrating. Everything plays a part; the fabulous setting, stunning location, the attentive service and smiling faces, the bespoke menus and decorations. A magnificent venue for conferencing and meetings. Within the medieval walls, old and new combine seamlessly to offer state of the art multi media and conference facilities. Captivating on arrival, Peckforton Castle's unspoilt, natural beauty will stimulate and motivate, delight the eye, inspire the mind, tantalise the taste buds and leave you enchanted. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Peckforton Castle Hotel Tarporley
Peckforton Castle Tarporley, Cheshire, UK

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