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Chessington Safari Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Chessington
Reviewed July 5, 2013

I have just enjoyed a one night stay at the Holiday Inn with my partner and 10 year old daughter. After a disapointing visit last time we were wary, however they have definitely upped their game. The room was ready, which was a relief as the M25 journey was much longer than expected. We didn't opt for the Wayama view and got the view of the car park but it was very quiet even with the window open all night.The pillows are a bit hard but other than that all was Ok. The breakfast was fine and the view of galloping Giraffes was wonderful at 8 in the morning. I would recomend an early breakfast as the restaurant was crowded with a long queue by the time we had finished. After a disappointing evening meal last visit we opted for a walk to the local Beefeater, which was about 15mins walk from the resort next to the Premier Inn. Good value. The pool at the hotel was pleasant and I could have spent all day in the jacuzzi which was like a hot bath! The early rider system works well but be ready by 9.10 to be walked over. The bar food is very good value and after a long day in the theme park we made our way back for a light bite and a final sit on the veranda to watch the animals, before another longer than expected journey home. Would definitely visit again.

Room Tip: I have stayed in a room with a view (Wayama) and a room with a view of the car park. Both are fine...
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank julieBroxbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2013

Good afternoon Mrs Broxbourne

Thank you for your comments following your recent stay at the Holiday Inn Chessington.

I am so glad you have enjoyed your return visit and have noticed the improvements .

i am happy you got to enjoy the wanyama reserve animals from the bar terrace and look forward to welcoming you back to the Chessington resort in the future



Yours Sincerely,

Habib Kopti

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Reviewed July 5, 2013

We've decided to stay at Holiday Inn as a part of our 2 day break at Chessington World of Adventures. Three families with young children.
On the arrival it took us over 30 minutes to check in. Firstly the member on the reception couldn't find the booking then when he finally found it the rooms were all wrong.
Finally we've managed to sort it all out just to find out that the hotel hasn't taken the payment out of our account before the arrival as agreed.Apparently you can't pay for it at the time of making the reservation and they were going to take the money anytime before our arrival.

We went up to our room which was very comfortable and my son loved his own bedroom with little tv just for him.Our room was spacious and lovely decorated.
Our view....well meant to be ovelooking the safari which we paid extra for. It did but only a tiny part of it .Instead we had a view of the downstairs roof, big wall which was a part of the hotel and a pond. We could see only small bit of safari which was a little bit disappointing.
We've decided to eat at the Zoofari Bar and Grill. Didnt book the table and with 10 of us we expected to wait ages for the table but very nice lady told us it was only going to be 30 min and that we could feed the kids in the bar area if they were hungry. So that's what we did. Ordered kids food while we had a drink. The food arrived within the minutes so as the pudding.
Children fed and happy off they went to watch the movie on the bean bags just round the corner from the restaurant while the adults had their food.
The movie club is excellent -big Tv and lots of bean bags for children to sit on and enjoy the variety of films till 10 pm . The only downfall is that you cant really see the children from the restaurant and the Tv is situated not far from the front entrance to the hotel. Not very safe so we couldnt fully relax and kept checking on the kids every 15 min.Another thing was there is a conference room right by the movie club and there was a large crowd of police officers that came out of the conference room stood right by the children watching the movie laughing and drinking alcohol....why not go to the bar??????Kids couldnt hear a word of first film.

Breakfast was delicious even thou they kept running out of food and it took long time to replace the item i really can't fault it. Everything was fresh and excellent choice of food.
After the brekfas we've checked out early as we were informed by the member of the reception staff that we were allowed in the park 30min before it opened as we were staying in the hotel.
NOT! As we got to the gates of the park we were turned away as it only apoplies on the weekends!!! We stood for 30 min in the pouring rain with 3 young children!!! Not a plesant experience.
Staff is very friendly and welcoming. The madagascar characters came in to the hotel for children to have photos which was a bonus.The lady in the little shop opposite the reception was horrid kept tellling children off and telling them not to touch things in the shop. Our 8 years old were collecting the badges and staff was meant to be swapping the badges if they wanted to so when my son asked the shop lady if she could swap with him she rudely replied "why do you need to swap!!!
Lovely hotel, excellent food most of the staff were very helpfull and great with kids, few of them needs more knowledge and shop lady needs to learn some maners.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank magdauk05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2013

Good afternoon Magda


Thank you for your comments following your recent stay at the Holiday Inn Chessington.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for your kind comments in regards to your stay and have passed your comments to the relevant department manager for review .

If I can be of any further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me direct. Once again thank you for your comments as it is only when people such as yourselves take the time and trouble to do so we are able to monitor and improve our performance.

Yours Sincerely,

Habib Kopti

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

The Holiday Inn hotel, linked to the Chessington World of Adventures park, is a REALLY impressive place to stay! It certainly had luck on it’s side when we arrived as the hotel is “African Wild” themed and the temperature was well over 25C! The only thing that spoilt the image of the hotel from the outside was the huge “Holiday Inn” luminescent sign at the front of the hotel. It’s wooden panels give it a great soft look whilst keeping an air of class and stability to the building.

Walking in through the doors, there are speakers either side blasting a tribal beat and wildlife sound effects to treat your ears and really set the mood of the hotel. The reception area had a small gift shop opposite, a measuring chart for the rides in the park and everything was really well themed. The staff were good, as expected from any establishment, offered us an extra key to the room but didn’t stand out as exemplary. But that’s not to say they weren’t polite, helpful and well dressed! On the floor I did notice a nice little touch of detail, the Chessington logo was beamed from a projector light. I know it’s only a little detail, but you have to enjoy the small things in life!

After checking in to the hotel, the Lifts are only a very short walk away. Directly in front of you there is the restaurant and exit to the wildlife park. Opposite the lift there is a collection of rugs and beanbags with a telly playing various kids films (Despicable Me, The Lorax etc…) and a set of double doors for a large conference area. One point I would like to make is the speed/wait time for these lifts. SERIOUSLY SLOW GOING! And they’re pretty small too (max 8 persons but I doubt you could actually get 8 adults in one of those comfortably).

Each floor has a cascading window over-seeing the wildlife, a breathtaking view in the morning and evening! Ostriches, Giraffes, Zebra and even ducks (the British kind, not any sort of exotic ducks.)

Getting to our room, it’s amazingly well presented! The room is nicely coloured, two single beds pushed together and a really nice bunk bed with a beautiful picture of Savannah wildlife on the side! Even the furniture was aptly themed. The coffee table was black wicker weave and the chairs were surprisingly comfortable, the desk was nice a sturdy looking and blended beautifully to the room. The beds themselves were actually quite comfy. Not the best I’ve ever slept on but they were nice and soft with a good supporting spring. The pillows were ok, but it would have been nice to have one firm and one soft pillow each, instead there were 2 in the middle pillows.

Unfortunately, this is where I start noting the things I was not happy with. On the carpet there was, what I can only guess, was a green drop stain which strongly resembled wax. The windows did open, but only by about 3 inches therefore eliminating practically all possible draft from the wind (but there was a safety catch put in place to stop the window opening any further. It’s better to have people not fall out of windows than a little grumble about how far they open I suppose) There was only a Shower in the bathroom (although it was clean and spacious, it is quite difficult to get a 2 year old to take a shower) and the supposed “Air Conditioning” or room temperature control was as effective as a wet towel to dry yourself with. It made practically zero difference to the room so we called to reception to see if it was in full working order. The staff said they had noted our query and would send a member of staff to come and have a look at it. 12 minutes later no one had arrived so we rang again. Reception said that it had been noted and there was no reason why someone shouldn’t have been up to investigate. The young man on reception then said he would personally go alert another member of staff to the problem. 5 minutes later a hotel porter arrives and checks it over and says it is working but not very much. He would return shortly with a maintenance worker. A while passes and after some conversation with the reception on a 3rd phone call they then said that there were no maintenance workers on available until tomorrow. Because of this they offered to move us to another room. The only room they had spare was an executive suite. I thought BONUS……… Well the Executive suites, as far as I can tell, had a portion of wooden floor, different tiles in the bathroom and slightly “posher” looking furniture. In my honest opinion, that was all I noticed about the room. Never the less the 2 single beds were now 1 double bed so that was a little more pleasing to me and my wife. The room was cooler but the “Air conditioning” still had very little effect. The bed was just as comfy and this time we did have a soft and firm pillow each.

Falling asleep was rather difficult with the temperature so high but I managed it in the end. I woke rather well and prepared the family for breakfast. Now I will make a suggestion for people at this hotel for the morning, take the stairs! The morning rush makes waiting for a lift a lengthy process and I think I could have gotten downstairs and back up again before the lift finally had space for me and the family. When we did get to the restaurant, we were seated instantly and instructed where everything was for the breakfast buffet.

The selection was impressive, a full English, various yoghurts, fruit salad, cereals, pastries, tea, coffee and juices! All were kept stocked by a steady stream of staff looking very busy! I must say, the hash browns and bacon were very nice but the sausages fell a little lower than the rest. They tasted very greasy and I didn’t like them that much. The staff were more than happy to help getting high chairs and to answer any questions, the tables were swiftly cleaned and prepped for other guests and it all seemed very efficient in its operation.

The Gym and pool were pretty good too. I didn’t use these facilities but I had a little look and it seemed ok at a glance, so unfortunately I can’t comment in any detail other than surface view.

To get the most out of staying here, have the time available in your day to really appreciate the decoration, use the access to the wildlife park, get up early for breakfast and fill your boots as much as you can, it’s a great buffet and you won’t get hungry until well after lunch if you indulge yourself. The kids can go watch a film at the lobby if they get bored in the room or don’t want to go swimming.

Over-all the hotel is brilliantly laid out with enough options to easily accommodate a 2-3 days stay (not that you’ll need to stay there that long!) I wouldn’t say it was an exceptional hotel as there were faults with it. One more little note I will add is that there was no “Ice vending machine” available where it should have been. There was a sign pointing to an empty enclave with an electrical socket so I assume it was supposed to be there! Can I make a connection between the hottest day of the year so far and the fact that the ice machine was gone? If I wanted to make a conspiracy theory over it yes I think I could, but I’d like to put it down to bad timing and not grumble about little things.

As a closing statement, “Great location, mostly great staff, good options for food and brilliant looks, but I wouldn’t want to pay for much more than 2 days at most here”

3 ½* / 5* purely because there was a little trouble with my stay. Other than that I recommend this hotel for a Chessington visit!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank wiredadifferentway
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 reviewResponded July 24, 2013

Dear wiredadifferentway,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments online. Please accept my apologies for falling short of your expectations on some aspects of your stay. However, we are thankful that you enjoyed your stay despite some issues. I appreciate your feedback as this is our best resource for improving guest services. We all hope that we will have the opportunity to host you again on a future visit.

Sincerely,

Karen G.
Case Manager
IHGCare

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2013

We did not pay extra to overlook the animals as was too expensive. However our family room was of a good size and my daughter loved the bunk beds. The decor was in keeping with the African theme. I would recommend that you bring extra bedding if using the baby travel cot. The shower was poor and barely got hot. The safe did not work and we had no information pack in the room.

We had to wait for 20 minutes to use the swimming pool as it was at maximum capacity and the Jacuzzi was broken much to my disappointment. It didn't work for the 2 days we were there. My husband took our 8 month old baby into the male changing room and the baby changing facilities were very poor. The pull down changing table was un sturdy and a safety hazard. For a family hotel you would expect an area to change babies and small children in the changing rooms.
There were only 2 showers and it was very small.

The staff at the hotel weren't particularly friendly and few and far between.

The restaurant was very expensive and nothing to write home about. Breakfast was a joke. I have stayed at many holiday inn's before and was impressed with the breakfasts. Not here, hardly any choice even with the cooked breakfast and they ran out of food fast and did not replenish them. This created a bit of a stampede. I find it undignified fighting over food. Not impressed.

The best thing was the overall style of the hotel and the view of the animals. Hotel was all style and no substance. If it wasn't for it's association to the theme park not as many people would choose to stay.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank Alexandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

The hotel itself was clean and welcoming. The safari theme was fab and my girls loved it. The rooms were comfy - although be aware not all family rooms are like what they show on their website with a separate cove for the kids. Ours just had bunk beds in but was nice enough, although disappointing.. We paid extra and had the view over looking the animals and that was fab although an expensive add on.

Travel cot provided was really uncomfortable - so glad we bought our own. I would not of slept there so no way I was putting the baby in there!

Loved,loved,loved being able to walk Lund the reserve until dusk! Highlight of the stay.

Restaurant was nice, food was good although expensive. Breakfast though was not great. Took them forever to refresh and change items that had run out. Had to ask a couple of times for more bacon and sausages and when the Danish plate was empty I gave up asking - it wasn't busy, (Thursday morning term time) so goodness only knows how bad it would be at busy times!

Also be warned that the swimming pool is used for swimming lessons, so you can only use half of it and all the loungers round the side are taken up by their parents so there was no where to put a towel let alone sit.

My gripe about this hotel all stems around service. From breakfast, to the rude manager type looking lady in the stripey dress who totally ignored me and my 2 year old as she tried to hand back the key card, to the 3 members of staff who all watched my husband stand waiting at the shop and only served him once he asked how to pay - too busy chatting to each other.

The hotel was not cheap and although clean and the theme was great, the service really let the place down.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Lucy-LouB12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2013

Good afternoon Lucy-Lou

Thank you for your comments following your recent stay at the Holiday Inn Chessington.
I am really glad that you have enjoyed your stay and you and your family enjoyed our view of the safari and Reserve.

I have addressed the issues highlighted with the relevant head of departments for review to ensure this does not re occur .

At the Holiday Inn Chessington we pride ourselves on customer satisfaction. Guest happiness is paramount to our hotels; whenever customer’s expectations are not met, we take it very seriously. I want to emphasise that the issues that occurred is isolated and bear no relation to our high standards.

If I can be of any further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me direct. Once again thank you for your comments as it is only when people such as yourselves take the time and trouble to do so we are able to monitor and improve our performance.

Yours Sincerely,

Habib Kopti

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for my sons birthday booked as part of a theme park package overall very good stayed in a themed room. The kids loved their separate bed room breakfast was good but busy evening meal was expensive and not that good. Staff wher brilliant especially regarding the giving of a cake we had bought with us. Would go again but would eat out for evening meal

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank paulpm49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Stayed at this hotel whilst visiting family in the area but impressed by the views of the World of Adventures animals. The rooms seemed to be themed with this view in mind. Very comfortable. The restaurant was good, breakfast also good. Children running around unaccompanied was not an ideal situation especially when trying to have a quiet meal in the evening but it goes with the territory if you choose a hotel near a family attraction.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the animals
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank frequentflyersuffolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CWOAR, Guest Relations Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 2, 2013

Thank you for your comments following your recent stay at the Holiday Inn Chessington.
I am extremely happy that you have enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back to the Holiday inn Chessington in the future

Kind Regards

Habib Kopti

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 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: $100 - $229 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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