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Pennyhill Park, an Exclusive Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bagshot
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 4, 2013

OK so I we just had a Friday night away at Pennyhill Park as our last weekend away before oiur baby comes, and I basically feel like I have been mugged.
Where to start - Firstly the facilities are good (espec the spa which is huge and has lots of different areas and things to try out). The rooms are also OK (we got upgraded to a junior suite so it was basically a big room, the decor in teh room itself is a bit faded and shabby but the bathroom was brand new and really lovely. Kind of felt like two different rooms walking between two though, since the bathroom was super modern and nicely fitted out with TV on the bath etc, while the bedroom felt like an old school corporate hotel. A bit odd but still fine.
OK so the spa is good, and so is the room - so why do I feel like I got mugged then?

The main thing to report is that they are really let down by their inexperienced and impolite staff. The service in the Brasserie both at dinner and breakfast was nothing less than shocking for such an expensive hotel. Service was 3 star or less. At dinner the food was nice, though not exceptional. They also do the thing where your main course seems like a normal price but has nothing with it, and when you add the sides it gets expensive very fast. We had to ask every time we wanted a water glass filled, and had to remind our waitress (twice) about our wine order. It is very clear that the girls they have working there, while nice girls, are not professional waitresses, but students or similar earning a few extra quid. That is fine in a pub and what you would expect for the price, but really not fine in a five star hotel, especially given that the prices are so high. To give an idea our meal was £129 for two people including just 4 glasses of average wine, and my wife only had a rocket salad to start and no dessert - to me in a Brasserie setting with inferior service this is frankly appalling value for money. Prices I remember that shocked me were £11 for a chocolate mousse dessert that was tiny, and £5.50 for a single Espresso. I work in Mayfair and regularly go for lunch at the best restaurants here, and this is high even for there...
The bad service continued the next morning when we came in for breakfast. It is a self service buffet which is fine except you would have expected to be able to order a la carte for hot food, but the bacon and eggs etc are all pre-prepared under hot lamps like you get in a motorway service station. Anyway all I therefore required from our waiter was a cappucino and a latte, but the waiter I gave my order to needed reminding THREE times, and the third time he was rude about it and rather than apologising said he hadn't got to it yet. I asked him if he remembered the order and he said "Yes, two black coffees". I think by the look I gave him he then realised that I might complain about his tone so he was then really ingratiating and actually retook the order. Our coffee eventually arrived after we had finished the rest of our breakfast. Not a great start to our "relaxing break" I think most would agree.
We then went back to our room and realised that because of the slow service it was now 10:55 and that we had a spa treatment at 11 but that checkout was also at 11. So I called down and asked if it would be OK to checkout at 12 after our treatments so that we didn't miss any part of them. I got a flat NO without it even being considered. After a hasty pack we then went down to reception, where we waited for 15 minutes because there were only 2 staff on duty at reception and it was heaving with a wedding party all leaving. Eventually having waited for 10 minutes or so without getting any nearer the front of the queue, my 8 months pregnant wife and I carried our own bags down to the spa (don't worry I carried the heavy ones), and arranged to leave them there. We missed 15 minutes' worth of our treatments as a result, and I don't think I've ever had a massage feeling so unrelaxed. It was anyway not a great massage, again the staff member was very young and clearly very inexperienced and in her first job, as all the staff at PH seem to be - cheaper that way I guess...
In conclusion my thoughts on Pennyhill Park are that you can only get away with the prices you charge if your service is commensurate, which right now it definitely isn't. Otherwise we will certainly not be back as there are MUCH better hotels for the same money. It has a very corporate kind of wedding venue feel, real conveyor belt, and if you are on a couple weekend we would suggest that there are many better options available before you settle for Pennyhill Park.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Helisimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,578 - 1,584 of 2,116 reviews

Reviewed March 3, 2013

My husband treated me to a stay here for my birthday on the 2nd March 2013.
The hotel is beautiful and the spa is wonderful, especially the outdoor pool/hot tub areas.
We had a couples massage which was very firm but enjoyable. The lunch and drinks menu are expensive but i guess that is to be expected in a 5* hotel.
We had dinner at the Latymer which was wonderful, small portions but the flavours were just fab! The service was what really made this place special such as members of staff wishing me a happy birthday, a birthday cake in my room, special macaroon treats at dinner etc.
The sommelier was a lovely guy called David?? (i think), i explained i'm not much of a wine drinker but i enjoy champagne cocktails and he recommend a couple which were lovely! One of them was a little strong for me and straight away without me even having to say anything, he had replaced it with a complimentary champagne cocktail! Now that is great service! We ended up spending around £300 on dinner which is hefty! but it was worth every penny!
I would recommend this place to anyone wanting something a little extra special!

Room Tip: Let managers know its for a special occasion and if you have any preferences. I like big spacious ba...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank N0vember1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2013

I stayed on 23 of February, 1 night. We arrive to the Hotel from the staff entrance on church lane (guest entrance is on London rd) but a employee very kind show to us the way to the reception. It was bit busy and we had to wait few minutes because there were few people on front of us. The receptionist confermed our name, I payed the deposit and gave us the key (felt bit cold the conversation), a concierge very kindly took our luggages and he escorted us to our room. (some rooms and the spa are seperate from the main mansion). When indise he explained some features of the room very satisfactory. Our room the snowdrop (Rooms have name no number) was very nice, new, clean, huge bathroom with bath and shower, very confortable bed and amazing pillow.
After relaxing a bit we went to the spa. Very big, clean and well assorted (nice swimming pool, sauna, steam room, hot tub etc). The only black point was maybe the size. I felt more relaxed in other small spa, with more privacy and with less people. The massage 60 minutes aroma teraphy very good, my first best experience of the trip and reasonable price.
After we went for dinner and from here something went wrong. Before sitting to our table we order two cocktail, the bar is ok, very similar to other country hotel, with live music and soft light.
We wait for around half an hour before I asked to a waiter if my table was ready and he went to check. When he came back he escorted us to our table( we dined in the Brasserie, the Latymer was fully booked) The Brasserie looks nice bit to bright and with a bit cheap look for a 5*. They brought us the bread and I had to ask for some butter. We drank a Riesling martin zahn 2008 £36 nice wine bit overpriced for this type £10 less was the correct price for me but it is a 5*. We ordered the starter rabbit ballottine and scallops with black pudding and ham hock. Both very tasty well cooked and amazing presentation. After we wait and wait and wait for our main , 40 minutes and I had to ask to a waiter if there was some problem and he said sorry and our main where coming soon. After all this wait at least the kitchen did not left us down. Very good main too. After the waiter took out the mice en place to serve the dessert and only now he remove our cocktail glass that they were emtpy since the beginning of our starter....The kitchen again amazing dessert, as I was tasting the pistachio mousse I aske to a waiter how the dessert was made ( I am chef and like to know what I have in my plate) and the waiter brought me back the dessert menu and he just read what was written on the menu, really? I ordered pistachio mousse well I know that is a mousse, could be nice if the waiter could explain little bit more about as on the plate there was not only a mousse. We order an Bailyes coffee and a Mobazillac but I think the waiter was not really aware what was it and he brought me back the menu to let me point out which one was it. After that we left the restaurant with mix feeling, excellent food very bad and not attentive service and £200 bill
We order the breakfast in the room, two eggs benedict, croissant coffee and orange juice. Very good, only I think they should serve with cooked breakfast tomato ketchup and brown sauce.
The next day we went back to the spa to enjoy the pool and the sauna and steam rooms. Then we went to the bar for a lunch before leaving the hotel.
Again the service was very poor, We ordered one beer and one no-alcholic drink that they came only after 20 minutes. After the bar manger very kind, came to take our order one burger and one ceaser salad, both nice. After again we have been left to our destiny and to have a eye contact with a waiter no luck. I had to stand up and go to the bar counter to order one coffee. The total bill £70
We went to do the check out and the bill was wrong, they did not remove £80 of the dinner that it was inclusive in our package. We heard again another sorry. Too many for 5* hotel.
We also tried to have a look to the bakery downstairs but there was a sign "private function" when we asked to a memebr of staff if there was any chance to have a look, she said "do you really want to see it?" we said "yes, please!" she replied "I am sorry but it is not possible!"
Now, if the kitchen and the hotel as hotel was good what it left us down was the poor service. In a 5* I think I pay for it and this should be on top of all the rest. I did not feel special and I did not have that wow factor. When I contact the GM, he gave me his apologise and he stated that during that weekend the hotel has been very busy.
When I came back home and friends asked me how was it, the only two things really that stayed in my mind were the food and the spa treatment. A bit a short list for not a really cheap bill!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Alexgourmant81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013 via mobile

We were lured here by their restaurant latymers and has amazing night away. Check in was seamless. The room wasnt to my taste as it played on the ye ole english but it was incredibly comfortable.
Breakfast was pretty standard buffet but the staff were very helpful and made up a bacon butty for me to takeback to the room for the hungover partner.


I spent most of the time away being amused that I kept stumbiling across england rugby players.

The bar is a little pricey but the drinks are of the quality and price you would expect of a five star.

The spa was worth a visit and the massage
Was the best I have ever ecperienced.


We also had aftrrnoon tea and the service couldnt be beaten and I love that they offered to box up our leftovers and provide extra cake.

I could have easily spent longer here and not left the site.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank firefairie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

This was our 3rd annual visit and the 2nd time to celebrate my wife's birthday. Off to an excellent start when reception "welcomed us back" and delighted to be told that we had been upgraded to one of the premiere suites......how apt that on the weekend England beat France in the rugby, we got the Twickenham room....stunning room and it's huuuuge - very very pleased!! Such gestures go a long way to encourage returning guests to keep returning....
Our only slight complaint, we went straight to the main bar for some lunch and got ushered into a small table sandwiched between 2 other couples, no sense of privacy for anyone. There were many empty tables and when we asked, apparently reserved. Not one filled in the time we were there. A bit more common sense required...
Had a nice meal in the Brasserie Saturday night, service and food was very good. Enjoyed breakfast as usual on Sunday morning and spent the day in the spa relaxing. I didn't spot any areas requiring refurbishment but I wasn't really looking. The changing facilities remain first class with a constant feed of clean towels.
Shame wi fi doesn't work in the spa but not big deal and pleased for once that it's actually free -other hotels please take note!
I also agree with a previous comment, if you stay in a top class 5 star hotel and expect to pay less than £4.85 for a bottle of Peroni then i think you're out of touch and/or in the wrong place.
Came home very refreshed, a great relaxing weeeknd and looking forward to our next visit.

Room Tip: All the rooms are excellent, if you are a return guest then you might get a very nice upgrade
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RJhols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

I am a regular visitor to Pennyhill, both for business and pleasure. Have just returned from a couple of nights celebrating the wife's birthday. Once again, no disappointments at all. As another reviewer on here has pointed out, the staff really do make a big difference to the whole experience - especially the car valet guys, they always make my wife and I feel special and as though we were the only guests that mattered.
Brasserie was very good this visit, food has certainly taken a step up, perhaps trying just a little too hard to emulate the Latymer? Some of the menu was beginning to push the boundaries of what one would expect from a "Brasserie", but then again rest of it was just as expected!
Spa again fabulous, as were the treatments. However I think it is time the senior management took note of repeated comments from reviewers on here; there are areas in the spa that are starting to look a little jaded. They are in a catch 22 aren't they? If they close one of the rooms for refurbishment, I am sure there would be complaints from guests that not all the facilities were available, but they HAVE to close at some point to undertake maintenance! I think some forward planning and identification of the historically quietest week of the year and a spa spruce up would do the place a lot of favours.
All in all, another great visit - our thanks to all the staff once again. Oh, one last point to make.....a few reviews recently complaining that some areas are "over priced" or "too expensive"...... Please? This is a renowned 5 star hotel.....if a fiver for a drink comes as a surprise, perhaps knocking a couple of stars off your next choice of hotel would bring pricing more in line with your expectations. Pennyhill is fairly priced for what it delivers.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BenBarribal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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: $341 - $561 (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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