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Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in East Grinstead
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 29, 2013

My partner & I stayed here expecting 5* luxury, but unfortunately we were disappointed. Our room was clean, but nothing as special as the website, chipped furniture & wallpaper peeling off in various places.
We had tea & cakes in the bar, we had this around 3.30pm & the selection of cakes looked lovely but one was dry as though it had been left out uncovered & the custard slice had soggy pastry.

We used the spa facilities, which look just as lovely as they do on the website. I would say though that this is a hotel with good facilities rather than a spa, the steam/sauna are in the changing rooms and there is no sense of 'spa hush'. There were plenty of towels & water points in changing rooms & in the pool area, which was good. The steam room in the ladies had tiles missing & guests had made a pile of these on the floor, i think work was being done on it as there was on opening with wires or steel tubes where i imagine the steam comes out. It was extremely busy, with all the loungers taken up with guests towels but the guests were either having treatments or swimming, there was nowhere for us to sit so we sat on foot stalls until a lounger became available. The large jacuzzi was cold, too cold to use & the smaller jacuzzi was a lovely heat but appeared to be faulty as one jet, the only one, was spraying guests uncomfortably. The pool however is lovely & warm & looks great.
Our room was next to the house keeping stock & in the evening it was very noisey with doors opening & closing, staffing chatting etc. so we spoke to reception & asked if this was likely to continue & what time they would start in the AM, as if it was to continue we would want to move. We were told that staff were finishing soon, which they did and wouldn't start until 9am, this wasn't the case however & there was a steady flow of noise from 6.30am(!).
We ordered Pre-dinner drinks & ordered a cocktail, a basil Collins, which when arrived didn't taste of basil at all, so I asked if they could put some more in, another waiter came over who told me they had searched the kitchen but there was no basil, which I find acceptable, however they should've told me, not served me there drink & hoped I wouldn't say anything.
It took a long time to be seated at dinner, other couples with the same dinner time were seated quicker & given a menu to look at before, we're not sure why we weren't seated or given a menu at the same time. Dinner was lovely, our starter came out really quickly & we waited about 25mins for a main course, staff didn't reference this.
Breakfast was good too.
We spoke to the manager upon checkout & were suitably reimbursed, he was friendly & professional & gave us his details if we chose to use the hotel again which I thought was the appropriate response.
I think the hotel is average, but were expecting much more. I'm pleased that we weren't celebrating an occasion as I think we would've been disappointed further, so I'd say if you want something really special I'd choose somewhere else.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Surrey606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Dear Surrey606

Thank you for adding your review.

I appreciate you taking the time to discuss your comments with our duty manager before your departure. At times things do go wrong, mishaps happen and defects occur. Whilst some are unpredictable and beyond our control, may I also reassure you that we will always work to resolve such issues as quickly as possible to avoid disappointment to our guests.

I am aware that the issues reported in your room have now been rectified

Once again thank you for your review.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,602 - 1,608 of 2,147 reviews

Reviewed March 29, 2013

This is a little late, but the comments will equally apply to any afternoon tea. Booked their festive afternoon tea directly via the hotel web site. The hotel is in the country and it own grounds just outside Turners Hill in Sussex. It is a high quality hotel, so you need to be reasonably dressed, and the afternoon tea is quite popular. They have lots of different teas - I chose the "Fifty shades of Grey" tea (I think that is what it was called) which is an Earl Grey variant. Food was excellent, and we really enjoyed ourselves.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Clive D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Dear Clive D

Thank you for your great review.

Afternoon tea is very popular at Alexander House and I am very pleased you enjoyed it. Homemade cakes, scones and jam combined with locally sourced tea makes it that bit different and even more enjoyable.

On behalf of the team at Alexander House, I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back for next Christmas!

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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Reviewed March 28, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here Friday the 22nd of March, started with a spa treatment which was ok but didn't live up to my expectation from a 5 star. The pool facilities were nice though.

Dinner in reflections was disappointing, we were waiting 45mins for our starters and when we asked, they appeared straight away.The main course was then served too quickly after the starter! A service charge of 12.5% is automatically included in your bill,which is ok if the service is up to scratch-but it wasnt here!

The bedroom was cute in a tower section of the hotel, however the bed was extremely soft. For a 5 star it was missing items that you would expect in the bathroom e.g body moisturiser.

The hotel area itself is lovely and relaxing, with welcoming fires. But overall my stay was disappointing-I wouldn't rate this hotel as a 5 star.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank Eileen1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Dear Eileen1982

Thank you for your review.

I am sorry if you felt disappointed by your dining experience. I believe, with all good intention, we may have tried to over compensate with the speed of your main course clearly having an adverse opinion. All service charges are at the discretion of our guests.

I am pleased you liked your room and the facilities offered by Utopia. Room inclusions are dependant on the room type booked. Naturally, whilst still comfortable and cosy, our standard rooms do offer less than our other room categories.

Once again thank you for adding your review.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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Reviewed March 28, 2013

Stayed Tues night and Wed room was lovely bathroom was big with bath and separate double shower, could not fault it. The Spa was good not the best I have been to but acceptable, bit on the small side, so would not like to be there at weekends or when busy. The facial treatment I had was amazing best I have ever had.
Only had breakfast in the hotel, nothing special, coffee was cold, toast just plastic bread was included otherwise would not have bothered.
Staff very pleasant and helpful, so all in all I would return with a voucher not at full price.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank jak258
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Dear jak258

Thank you for your review.

From the title of your review I was a little surprised by the overall rating awarded.

However, I was pleased to read your comments on how much you enjoyed your time with us and that you will be returning in the future.

We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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Reviewed March 27, 2013

My partner and I were treated to a weekend stay here which included an evening meal in the AG restaurant and our room was booked as a suite. When we arrived we were greated by the doorman who walked up to our car the moment we opened the door and asked if he could help us. I explained that we were staying and therefore wished to check-in. He seemed to take a slightly unhelpful and negative attitude towards us, but we followed him in to reception. He stood next to us whilst we gave our details to the receptionist who said we were staying in the room named 'oak' (I think this is correct from memory). Suddenly the chap next to reception stepped in with a completley new attitude explaining with surprise in his voice that this was his favourite room in the hotel. It felt like a bit of a pretty women moment which we actually found quite amusing. From there on in, he literally couldn't have been moe helpful, in fact at one point I didn't think he was going to leave our room!

The bathroom in our suite was superb, it was the one I had seen in the photos on the website so we were very pleased. The room was nice, I wouldn't say it was special but it was comfortable and there was plenty of space, also with a great view of the hot tub outside.

We had dinner in the AG restaurant that evening which was good, although we got the impression that they may have been trying a little too hard to impress. There were far too pre-starters, pre-desserts, amuse bouche etc. that we were too full to order a dessert. the main meal was very tasty and we enjoyed it, although the amuse bouche was awful. Neither of us ate it and the waiter did seem a little offeneded but it really didn't taste good at all. We then had a brandy in the bar which was pleasant.

Breakfast in the hotel was great, plenty of choice and very well cooked. The staff seemed attentive and we had no issues at all. We decided to check out the pool and spa. When we walked in to reception, again we were presented with staff who just looked at us as if we shouldn't have been there. It felt very uncomfortable, we explained that we were guests and we were asked to sign in. The pool was great, we enjoyed the jet pool, a good swim and the indoor hot tub. The outdoor hot tub was also great, the weather wasn't brilliant but the tub was so warm so it was fun.

The next evening we ordered dinner in the room. We did expect a service charge which is fine but the portions of the food we ordered were very small for the price. Prior to this we also had a brandy in the bar as we had the evening before. The only difference was that the house brandy was now 3 times the price and cost more than £30 for 2 single brandy's. Needless to say, we stayed away from the bar!

We walked around the grounds which were beautiful and overall we did enjoy our stay. The hotel and room were great, we mainly just felt uncomfortable and maybe a little unwelcome at times by the staff. On reflection it is an expensive place to stay and they may not have been used to young couples staying in one of their best rooms and using their spa.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ShuaRio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Dear ShuaRio

Thank you for your review.

I am sorry for the negative impression you felt on arrival I am confident that this was not intentional but will most certainly feed this back to the team.

I was really pleased to read how much you enjoyed your stay and hope that this has not deterred you from staying with us again.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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Reviewed March 26, 2013

We arranged a night away at Alexander House as a surprise for our friends 50th birthday.
We have stayed at Alexander House several times and know that the rooms are all beautifully furnished; during our recent visit we stayed in the Tree Tops suite which I have to say tops anything we have previously experianced. The suite has been wonderfully designed and furnished providing a bespoke contemporary design of the highest quality.
The meal at the Brasserie was lovely with exceptional service, my only compliant was they ran out of English mustard!

Room Tip: They are all excellent but Tree Tops is our new favourite
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Howard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Dear Howard M

Thank you for your wonderful review.

I am pleased you enjoyed your stay and loved Treetops, this is one of our newest additions. Whilst they do not do the room justice, we have just added the pictures to our website which look amazing!

I do hope we will be seeing you for many more birthday celebrations to come.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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Reviewed March 24, 2013

Three of us had a lovely day just in the spa. We each had 2 treatments, all of which were very relaxing and enjoyable. Staff were lovely. The facilities were good, with lots of different pools, showers etc.

The only slight let down was the lunchtime service. Whilst you want a leisurely lunch ( tasty, but small, yet sufficient for a spa style lunch), you don't really need an hour and half for a meal that has already been pre-ordered, especially when sitting in robes as it does get slightly chilly.

That said, I would do this again.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Graycee54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ian H, General Manager at Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Dear Graycee54

Thank you for taking the time to add you review.

Our spa day two course luncheon is generally served within one hour. Naturally should time allow and guests wish to indulge a little and opt for dessert and coffee this will take longer.

I am pleased you had a lovely day with us and hope you will be returning again soon.

Best wishes,

Ian Heath

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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 Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa

Address: East Street, East Grinstead RH10 4QD, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > East Grinstead
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in East Grinstead
Price Range: $240 - $838 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on 170 acres of stunning private gardens and parkland, Alexander House Hotel in Sussex is both a boutique retreat and an unsurpassed destination spa hotel near London, UK, the heart of South England's countryside. With tastefully designed, luxurious bedrooms, award winning Utopia Spa and a 3 AA Rosette restaurant, Alexander House Hotel is ideal for a weekend luxury escape in Sussex countryside and is a perfectly appointed private function venue, wedding venue near London and business events venue. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alexander House And Utopia Spa
Alexander House & Utopia Hotel East Grinstead
Alexander Hotel Utopia
Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa East Grinstead, West Sussex, UK

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