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“Somewhat disappointing”

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Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bagshot
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Despite having the initial wow factor, we were soon began to discover the little faults, which when there are enough of them, affect your experience. Arrival was great, we arrived before check-in time so were directed down to the spa whilst our car was parked and our luggage stored. We were later shown to our room which had a dirty wine glass on the window sill, and our bags which should have been in the room were 'missing'. The luggage, when found, had the incorrect room name on the tag and had been taken to the wrong room; thankfully we had kept valuables on our possession and taken them to the spa. The waitress in the bar spoke little English and sent a colleague to re-take the order over since she could not understand our order for a beer and a glass of wine. The bar by night was extremely quiet and souless. The food in the restaurant was absolutely delicious, although I would not expect for wine to spill down the side of a glass glass and on the table cloth when poured, and for this to be ignored by the waitress. Breakfast was simply amazing, by far the part of the stay. Check out was rather timely, since our bill was incorrect on two occasions, and it seemed to take an age to amend and reprint.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank love_to_travel303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,607 - 1,613 of 2,139 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2013

Our visit to Pennyhill Park was a romantic getaway for Valentines day. The Sat Nav guided us to the staff entrance rather than the main entrance so beware. A member of staff explained that this was a regular occurrence. Check-in was a let down; card taken & swiped, no introduction to the hotel or facilities, no key available, but the room was ready and then told to wait for someone to show us to the room. The porter was, on the other hand, superb and gave us a friendly introduction to the hotel whilst showing us to our room. Check-out was abrupt.

The room was huge and nicely decorated, although the furniture seemed misplaced.The bathroom was amazing with a wet room and TV at the end of the bathroom. We wish we had taken refreshments (given the prices at the hotel) as there was a fridge in the room. There was no view from the window and at times it was dark and dingy bit we didn't spend much time in the room. TV picture was awful. We didn't quite get the point of the teddy on the door.

The SPA was outstanding. The service from staff excellent and facilities first class, (although in need of a little TLC). The swimming pool was quiet and perfect for a good swim. We agree with other reviewers about the condition of some of the steam rooms, (e.g. tiles missing, paint peeling from the ceiling) but the overall experience was superb. The outdoor hot tubs and pools were an added bonus. We loved how spacious the spa was and were able to really relax. The wife had an hours massage which was excellent but extremely pricey.

The biggest let down was the price of refreshments etc... Whilst we accept that when staying in a 5* hotel prices will be excessive it just felt that the price of drinks (e.g £5.10 for a small bottle of Guinness) and food (e.g. £8.50 for 5 small finger sandwiches, £25 for breakfast) were unnecessary. That said, the 3 course meal for £25 each was good quality. The Brasserie and the bar need better lighting and the heat was excessive. The bar was empty, not surprising given the cost of drinks. I could not imagine staying for more than one night as the hotel was a little soul-less at night.

Overall we had a lovely stay at the hotel. The Spa was superb but we left feeling a little underwhelmed. The hotel could be amazing but it seems that it values profit over customers. Compared to other 5* hotels Pennyhill Park has a lot to learn.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rhizome1844
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

I took my partner here for sat night just gone as a belated birthday present however am disappointed that the stay did not live up to our expectations. Yes the setting is stunning and the spa has a lot of facilities however its the little things during our stay that does not live up to other 5 star hotels we stay in. I am not sure that the steam room had been properly cleaned in a while as the walls looked very dirty and I was surprised to see paint flaking off the ceiling in there also. We would normally stay in a suite but as we were only here for one night booked a deluxe room which was very small so not sure what the standard rooms would be like. There was no mini bar or fridge in room so the water was very warm and the picture on the tv was fuzzy and bad and didn't sleep very well as the room opposite had young children so it was very noisy (although not sure where they would find the room to put another bed or cot in the room!) We had a sandwich at lunchtime in the bar which was lovely however the dinner in the brasserie restaurant was definitely not up to a 5 star hotel standard. All in all I don't think I will be returning in a hurry, we have stayed in much better 5 star hotels with spas which although the spa is not as big, have had a more relaxing and luxurious stay. This place seems to be too big and impersonal. Also word of warning when you go in the outside spa, there is a wall in the middle of it which is not lit or visible when it is dusk and ended up swimming straight into it and winding myself, so just be careful!!

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Binfield55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JulianTomlin, General Manager at Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2013

Dear Binfield55

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback. I was disappointed to read that that your stay fell short of your expectations and I would very much appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you further so I can address these issues properly and restore some faith.
I have addressed your comments with the relevant teams and will ensure these are addressed. I am sorry to hear that you winded yourself in the hydropool. I know that you commented on this on departure and this was immediately followed up with our Spa Manager.

If you would be so kind to contact me at the hotel, I would be happy to discuss your comments further.
Kind regarsd Julian Tomlin

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We stayed at Pennyhill Park for a Valentine's getaway. The room was enormous and very comfortable, and the staff were extremely efficient and helpful. The spa was as relaxing as you could hope for it to be, however there were some disappointing aspects.

We ate in the brasserie, and had to place our order 3 times before it was taken down correctly (something to do with their "systems"). We were eating late due to booking at short notice so skipped the starters, however one of our dishes came out undercooked. Whilst it was whisked away and a replacement dish cooked quickly, we weren't offered a choice of solutions. Instead, we were brought 2 glasses of complimentary champagne. We'd already had a couple of cocktails before dinner and were halfway through a bottle of wine, so it wasn't an appropriate solution. Moreover, at £105 for 1 dish each and a bottle of wine (£37) it felt like terrible value for money. I'm sure the Latymer is a better option.

The value for money issue was prevalent elsewhere too. For example, in the spa restaurant we opted for a salad bar each for lunch. Whilst the food was excellent - fresh and well cooked - it was ludicrously priced at £17/head, as was breakfast at £22/head.

We had a golf lesson on the Sunday and despite having been quoted one price, we were charged in excess of this. After the amount we'd spent it didn't feel worth quibbling over it so we did the British thing and sucked it up.

One other thing: attention to detail is lacking in places. For example, the bar needs premium mixers. When you're paying top dollar Schweppes tonic doesn't cut the mustard.

Overall these issues weren't enough to taint the overall experience but it fell a little way short of delivering perfection.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ollie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

I took my wife on a romantic Valentines day and night package at the Pennyhill Park Hotel, we have just arrived home and Wow, what a superb experience.

Without question the biggest asset to this establishment is the staff, so professional, helpful, respectful and happy.

We arrived at 3pm and were immediatly greeted at the front entrance by the Porter who offered to valet park our car, great start. We went to reception and were met by a very pleasant young lady called Sarah who welcomed us to the hotel and dealt with the check in, she confirmed our room and made sure that our 8pm reservation in the restaurant was what we required. We were then handed over to Clinton the Porter who not only showed us to our room, but gave us all the information about the hotel, the spa and all the facilities that Pannyhill has to offer, very thorough.

Our room was called "Apple Tree" and was lovely, a large kingsized bed in the main room with a good sized TV and lots of magazines, the real buzz was the bathroom, large with two sinks, a shower and a Jacuzi with its own TV, just quality all round. Because it was Valentines night as part of our £150 per head accomodation package my wife also had a hand made red rose and there were small cakes in the room.

We decided to have some afternoon tea, we hadn't booked but although very busy they found us a table, I can highly recommend that you book as this afternoon tea is similar to the one you would expect at a top London Hotel, really good. Although the selections were amazing my wife and I were aware that we were eating at 8pm so only had a scone each and some tea, the scones were homemade and devine, the strawberry jam was amazing and also homemade!

We had a table booked in the Brasserie for 8pm, the Maitre D, Stefan was brilliant, I asked for a window seat and he said one would be reserved in time.

At 7pm we arrived at the bar for pre-dinner drinks, the two servers were amazing, we thought they were twins! Rupert and Nick organised our drinks and not only that they also got me details of a local brewery I had heard of called "Hogs Back", they do a traditional real ale called "Tea", Rupert said that he also had some in stock at the bar and I can honestly tell all the real ale drinkers to have a glass, amazing. Incidentally after our visit to the Pennyhill we visited the Brewery and it was as excellent as Rupert said, you must visit.

Just after 8pm, Stefan was as good as his word and checked us into a superb table overlooking the large spa, aparently its the owners favourite table so we felt very honoured. Our section head waiter in the brasserie was Ewan and our server was James, both were very knowledgeable and gave us recommendations from the a la carte menu. My wife had scallops followed by filet steak, I had Lobster medallions followed by Lamb, although the Brasserie is not the 2 michelin star restaurant in the hotel, its a very good number two! The food was very good, the only unfortunate thing was that we had no room for dessert. After coffee's we said our goodbye's, thank you for your service Ewan and James.

We had an excellent nights sleep, the bed was so soft and the room quiet. We were told breakfast was served unitl 10am so at 9.30am we turned up. Again we were greeted as old friends, our server was lovely but the person who made our day was Uddin the Chef, when we went to the buffet he asked my wife if there was anything else she wanted, she loves Berries and told him so; 5 minutes later he came to our table with an assortment of fresh berries, now that is amazing, thank you so much Uddin, so kind. The whole breakfast was the same as our general experience, brilliant.

After we went to reception to check out and there was the lovely Sarah, our total bill for the night, dinner and breakfast, plus afternoon tea and drinks was just over £450, a very small price to pay for pampering my wife on valentines day.

I can highly recommend this hotel, I notice it had many spa, hotel and occasion offers so whatever your budget I would guess that there's something for you. We left happy and are already looking forward to our return visit.

Room Tip: We stayed in Apple Tree which was great, if your budget will go far enough to a Junior Suite then th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank jonip1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

4 of us recently went to Pennyhill Park for a low key, but what was expected to be a luxury and lovely hen do. All of us had been to Pennyhill before and had lovely experiences which is why we all decided it was the place to go. However, it had been a few years since any of us had been there. Apparently these few years have made all the difference.
Here is a list of our experiences this time:
- From the very moment we checked in, there was confusion at the front desk as I had secretly upgraded the room that the hen was staying in beforehand and for some reason it wasn't understood or recognised and it took a while before it was acknowledged.
- We had booked our dinner there for 9pm but decided to move it back to 8pm. The spa staff said that they had arranged this change for us, but when we arrived for dinner they had no knowledge of it and said we may have to wait. We didn't have to wait for long in the end but it was still not ideal.
- Dinner service was completely confused. We had a waiter serving us who when we asked for mustard with the steak we were ordering told us we couldn't order mustard then, he would ask us later. He didn't?! 4 of us ordered desserts. Only 3 of us got them. There were a number of incidents like this at dinner.
- We were asked to fill in a feedback form after the dinner which we did. We were obviously unhappy with the service so said so in the form. As we walked out of the restaurant a minute later, they were reading it in front of us.
- The next morning we went to the spa where the lady at reception didn't look us in the eye as we were asking her questions. She continued to read a form or document she was looking at. I clearly said said good morning to her and she didn't even answer.
- Finally, the only reason I am writing this review is because the hen wrote directly to Pennyhill after our stay there detailing all of these things and I found out only yesterday that after a couple of months, she still hasn't had a response or acknowledgment of our poor experience. If we had received a response or apology directly from Pennyhill, I wouldn't have felt the need to make this review public.

I would also like to add that it wasn't all bad:
- The breakfast staff and the staff in the spa cafe were lovely and couldn't do enough to help us.
- Pennyhill Park as a venue and location is beautiful
- The spa treatments are lovely.
- Food was great and the buffet breakfast in particular was a treat!

I am really not one to complain normally and am really sad that I have had to do so on this occasion. Pennyhill park previously was the place I would always recommend people to go to. I will never do so again.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Wendy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SebastianPinn, Food and Beverage Manager at Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2013

Dear Wendy A
Thank you very much for finding the time to pass on your constructive feedback and your kind comments regarding our team members, the good food and the breakfast buffet. I am pleased to learn that you enjoyed the lovely spa treatments and that your party were impressed with the beautiful venue and location.
I do read with frustration your comments regarding the shortcomings you experienced during your stay. Especially the part that we did not acknowledge or answer the letter sent to us afterwards. We reply to all of our guests who write to us and I am sorry that we didn’t in this instance.
At the time of your visit we did experience some difficulties with our computer system which had an impact on reservations, dining and treatment bookings. This has now been resolved and is not an excuse for the poor service and confusion you experienced at dinner.
Wendy A, please accept my sincere apologies on behalf of my team. Your comments have been passed on to them to ensure we give you the experience that you expect from us. Your stay was not representative of the experience we offer here at Pennyhill Park and I would be grateful to get the opportunity to discuss your stay in person with yourself or indeed the other members in your party. Please contact me direct at Pennyhill Park to discuss your latest experience and the way forward.
Kind regards
Sebastian Pinn

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Reviewed February 7, 2013

My first tip .. ignore the carpark signs and head for reception, where the valet will be there to meet you and park your car.
We had a wonderful girlie day in the spa, I was lucky enough to fit in two treatments - but my second tip is to book your treatments in advance as some of our group were disappointed that they could not book a second treatment as they were full.
The bedrooms were large and all unique, I have to say it did feel wrong hanging a teddy bear on your door so that you are not distrubed - but, when in Rome!
We then had a wonderful evening, dinner in the hotel and then onto the bar, nothing was too much trouble.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank jane01030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa

Address: London Road, Bagshot GU19 5EU, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Surrey > Bagshot
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 2 Hotels in Bagshot
Price Range: $353 - $556 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 123
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pennyhill Park is a magnificent country house hotel in Bagshot, Surrey, set amongst 123 acres of gardens and parkland including a 9 hole golf course. This five-star luxury hotel offers everything from unmatchable luxury spa breaks and treatments, afternoon tea in the Ascot Bar, lunch and dinner in The Brasserie and is a perfect venue for weddings, conferences and special occasions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pennyhill Park Hotel And The Bagshot
Pennyhill Park Hotel And Country
Pennyhill Park, An Exclusive Hotel & Spa Bagshot, England - Surrey

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