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“Great potential! [if they can get it right]”

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Chessington Safari Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Chessington
keleburndred
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great potential! [if they can get it right]”
Reviewed January 2, 2013

We stayed here in May 2012. The hotel looks very impressive and the rooms over looking the animal reserve are a great feature. However......
We booked this hotel even though it was costing over £100 more than where we would normally stay, we thought it would make a great treat. We booked the room over the phone as we have a merlin annual pass and had seen an advert on the merlin website that we could get a discount if we mentioned our membership when booking. We booked a room over looking the animal reserve with breakfast inc for us and our 7 year old. We received an email to confirm our booking which stated the price etc. We noticed on the email that we had been given the staff discount and we had to show proof of employment when we arrived. We called them back and were told that the person who booked it had got it totally wrong and also had quoted us the wrong price it should of been £100 more!!! We were very angry and after a very lengthy argument involving a manager we negotiated the price down to just £40 more than was agreed. The next email we received had the new revised and agreed amount but stated room only no breakfast. so we made yet another phone call back and after another argument and another costly discussion calling an 084 number from a mobile we were assured that they had made a note on the booking that we should get breakfast. we arrived early in the morning and we went straight to the park. when we finished around 5pm we were so excited to see the room over looking the animal park. however we didn't have this room when we got there. We went down to reception who informed us that every room in the hotel was booked out as it was the bankl holiday wknd and the busiest time so they could not move us to what was promised. We decided to speak to the manager in the morning and to just settle in for the night as at this point we were exhausted. We decided to try the restaurant and to chill out. We called down to book a table for tea and were told they were totally booked until 9pm! Our daughter definately couldn't wait that long and so we went out in search of a restaurant instead. By the time we arrived back it was 10pm and we went straight to bed. It was over 30 degrees that wknd and the air con in the room stopped working. We again went to reception who borrowed us the worst most ineffective fan i have ever seen. It was basically a small square that blew[ish] out air. In the morning we woke up early so we could have breakfast before we could complain about everything that went wrong. Of course no one knew about a note saying we had breakfast included and again had another argument to explain that the last person we spoke to while booking had promised it would be included, all in all we spent over £150 more to stay in a hotel that we couldn't eat in, was boiling hot and we spent more time at the reception complaining than in the room [ that didn't even look over the animal reserve] We had a very tired and upset little girl who wanted to know why she couldn't see the animals like we promised. A total nightmare and waste of our hard earned cash!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kelly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, July 16, 2013
Dear Kelly B,

Thank you for sharing your feedback regarding your stay with us. Guest satisfaction is important to us and we try our hardest to make sure all of our guests have a rewarding experience at our hotel. We are so sorry to see you did not enjoy your overall experience with us and regret our hotel fell short in rendering great service during your stay. Rest assured that your comments will be reviewed by our team and take actions accordingly.

Sincerely,

Joel B
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (392)
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Hornchurch, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We stayed here as we were spending a couple of days at the park. The hotel was really lovely and clean. Our rooms were good and very comfortable.

The que to get into the dining area at breakfast was ridiculous, dinner was pretty much the same, I suggest booking a table for dinner.

The breakfast was good, lots of varieties. The dinner was ok, I couldn't really rate it so highly and it was pricey for what it was especially the drinks.

The pool changing area could do with modernising and a good clean. Only 2 showers of which one worked. Toilets in the gym area was grim. Too many people in a small overcrowded changing room. Pool was good though.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank joldat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We stayed in a family room with our 3 children 15,12 and 10.The room was a good size and really clean and had a nice separate area for our 2 older children(with extra TV).Hotel facilities were very good,including swimming pool and gym.Wstayed 2 nights and ate at the Hotel Restaurant,which was excellent both at breakfast and in the evening.We even got early entry to Chessington after breakfast.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Stuart H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trinidad
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

My trip was for business and since there are so few hotels in the area, this was the obvious choice. The decor in the lobby area was nice and the rooms were quite spacious. Additionally I found the staff to be quite helpful and very polite, attentive and professional.
However there are many drawbacks
1. The website says wifi in all locations but this isn't true. Wifi is only in the lobby and common area on each floor. Needless to say this was a bit inconvenient esp if you travelled far and the time difference is great. To chat to folks at home is uncomfortable. Only cable Internet is in the rooms which for new devices eg iPad, iPhone, it makes no sense. You'll have to trek outside to have Internet
2. Breakfast was quite bland and everyday it was the same choices! Imagine staying for a week. Generally too the quality of food in the restaurant was not good and of limited variety. I suggest eating at the Monkey Puzzle which is nearby instead of at the hotel
3. The hotel staff organised taxis for us but I am not sure what sort of arrangement they had with the 'company'. The prices were ridiculously high in comparison to using Central cars taxi service, and they were never the traditional black British taxis. My suggestion is to call your own taxi.
Overall clean hotel with friendly staff but as a business hotel, should be upgraded significantly

  • Stayed November 2012
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Helpful?
Thank GVKJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2012

I had a bad experience when I stayed in that the fire alarm went off... three times. Overall though, the place is clean and that's my number one. The executive rooms are very roomy and the view of the park is pretty cool. The place is definitely a tourist trap and it can get a little obnoxious with families around when you're staying for business. The rooms are paper thin too.

VERY annoying that WI-FI is cut off in the rooms. I was very disappointed with this.

I definitely don't recommend the food for dinner in the hotel. It was over-priced and not that good.

Having said all this, if you're looking for a hotel in Chessington, there didn't look to be much better in the area. I'll try once more before switching.

Room Tip: Get up high with a view of park. Recommend executive suite
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank megs0607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Firstly, I paid a premium for a Family Room Overlooking Wanyama Reserve. It was important for us to have a separate sleeping area for my daughter and her best friend, both age 8. The girls were terribly excited that our room we would be overlooking the Wanyama Reserve - from the brochure, it looked like zebras and oryx would be wandering around outside the bedrooms.

We were most disappointed that our view was in fact overlooking a roof! Only 3 ostriches were seen in the very far distance!

I asked to be moved but was told that the only other room available would have bunk beds beside a double bed. Definitely not appropriate as one of the children was not a family member.

My next complaint is that when I made my booking with central reservations, I explained that we wanted two nights in the hotel and three days in the park. I was advised that there was a package that gave us two days park ticket for each night stayed at the hotel (2 nights = 4 days park tickets) I accepted this in the knowledge that in all probably we never use the 4th day tickets. Prices were confirm for £193.20 for the Monday night and £205 for the Tuesday night.

On arrival, We were checked in on Monday morning by Fiona who gave us only 2 day passes for the first nights accommodation. When I queried this she said she couldn't authorise additional days but would check with central reservations and get back to me. I advised that if we didn't get tickets for the third day, there was no point in us staying in the hotel for the 2nd night.

On Monday evening, Fiona had gone home and I asked Mikey on Reception if Fiona had left park passes for rest of our stay. He couldn't see anything on the system. I explained the foregoing and asked if he could sort it. Mikey went to ask the manager but was told no. The manager did not have the good manners to come to us but sent a message saying we could check out in the morning. Receptionist Mikey was clearly embarrassed.

On checking out on Tuesday morning, Fiona was on reception again and was clearly surprised we were leaving - she had indeed arranged for the additional park passes for us. Which gives rise to my third complaint - the lack of communication between staff. We had already packed our cases, the car and promised two disappointed and crying girls that we would take them out somewhere else for the day and had already bought tickets online.

One saving grace for our stay was all all the staff that we did encounter and both the park and the hotel were very polite and helpful.

On my return home, I contacted customer services and was advised that the General Manager from HI Chessington would contact me within 48 hours. Despite sending two reminders of my complaint, I have still not been contacted. Seems they don't care :(

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Teresa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012

I attended the Eden Alternative UK Conference which is all about person centred care and support for vulnerable people.

The Conference was held in the Holiday Inn Chessington i the private part of the hotel.

All good news and the restaurant food was very god except for special diets - I am a diabetic and when I asked for a fruit salad as al the sweets contained sugar I was told it was not possible. However a very nice guy on the waiting staff helped by offering cheese and biscuits which was just the ticket.

Overall a great service and as this is my second time I would recommend the venue. Easy to find and good secure parking out the front of the building.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Richard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chessington Safari Hotel

Property: Chessington Safari Hotel
Address: Leatherhead Road | Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Chessington KT9 2NE, England (Formerly Holiday Inn London - Chessington)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Surrey > Chessington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Chessington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chessington Safari Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up to an African inspired reserve with zebras, antelopes, ostriches and the very rare Scimitar Horned Oryx roaming freely before your very eyes - it's the ultimate room with a Zoo! The hotel is perfect for family breaks with safari theming, African Adventure rooms, Penguins of Madagascar themed rooms, an indoor swimming pool, the family friendly Savannah Splash, gym & spa and the fantastic Zafari Bar & Grill. The hotel is part of the Chessington World of Adventures Resort and is just a few strides away from the Park. On weekends and during school holidays there are also animal meet and greets and character breakfasts. The hotel also has state of the art corporate facilities with 6 meeting rooms all with natural daylight, air conditioning and high speed internet access. At the theme park take on the KOBRA, our exciting spinning disc ride in Wild Asia, soar on the Vampire roller coaster through the depths of Transylvania or take a fiery spin round Dragon's Fury. Take a walk on the wild side with tigers, lions and gorillas in the Trail of the Kings, go underwater with sharks and stingrays in the SEA LIFE centre or journey to our new Wanyama Village & Reserve where the zebras and antelopes roam. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn London - Chessington Hotel Chessington
Holiday Inn Chessington
Chessington Holiday Inn
Chessington Safari Hotel Surrey

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