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“What a pleasure!”
Review of Amberley Castle

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Amberley Castle
Certificate of Excellence
Connecticut
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“What a pleasure!”
Reviewed June 18, 2014

Rather than one of the airport hotels before our flight out of Heathrow, we chose to spend 2 nights at this pleasure of a hotel. It is everything a Relais et Chateaux property should be. Food, service, surroundings and staff were all A-Plus. We had all kinds of plans for places to visit nearby but enjoying the beauty of the place with a walk into the village was the best decision we could have made. The icing on the cake, Bob (short for his full name, Robert de Niro!) the white peacock. He struts across the lawn with full knowledge of how gorgeous he is and spreads his tail as if on cue. The hotel created in this 11th c castle is a delight.

Room Tip: We had one of the Premium Deluxe rooms. Expensive, yes, but it was huge, had the medieval architect...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank luxurytraveler_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amber1103, General Manager at Amberley Castle, responded to this review, July 1, 2014
Dear Luxurytraveller_9

Thank you very much for your amazing review. Bob will be most pleased of your review of him, We are all impressed you managed to catch him 'showing off' we only get to see that when its dinner time.

I know the whole team will be extremely pleased to read your comments. We all hope that we get to welcome you back to the castle soon, where we will be able to introduce you to wilfred (Bob's Wife).

Yours sincerely

Matthew
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (200)
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UK
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2014

My husband and I went for lunch to celebrate our wedding anniversary and were bitterly disappointed with the whole experience. It was a gorgeous day and we opted to have drinks and canapes in the glorious gardens but sadly this was when it all sadly started to go wrong. We were a good third of our way through our glass of champagne before the aforementioned canapes arrived and then it took quite a long time for them to take our orders and the requested wine list never did arrive. Curiously, it was also the first time that orders for dessert were requested at the time of taking the order.

When we were shown up to the dining room the aromas that hit you were a combination of lingering cooking smells and that of a care home, which was distinctly unappealing. Considering the temperature outside was in the low 20's all the windows were closed and the one closest to us had cobwebs round it so was clearly not in the habit of being opened and the whole room was desperately in need of a good airing.

We eventually got to see the wine list having had our wine glasses removed and our wine when it was served was put in an alcove several feet from our table. Our wine glasses were then never refilled and my husband had to go and retrieve the wine cooler and bring it to our table and serve the wine himself under the watchful eye of the waiter on the other side of the room. There were 5 other tables occupied with 3 waiters in attendance so the lack of service could not be excused and you really do not expect to have to serve your own wine or have to ask for your water glass to be refilled at an establishment of this class.

The food was very disappointing and not well balanced as we went from an incredibly salty mushroom soup (compliment of the chef) to a goat cheese and beetroot mousse starter where the balance was all wrong. The beetroot mousse was too sweet and there wasn't enough goats cheese to offset the sweetness. We both followed this with grey mullet and a tomato risotto where the mullet was overcooked and the risotto was over seasoned and incredibly salty. The meal was finished off with an incredibly sweet, diabetes inducing lemon meringue tart and lemon sorbet. The whole meal was an assault on the tongue from salty to sweet all the time and was not well executed.

We opted to have coffee in the garden and it has to have been the worst coffee that I have been served in a long time. It was incredibly weak and again we were nearly through our coffee before the petits fours arrived.

Considering that this is a tourist destination we felt that Amberley Castle did not reflect the fine cuisine and service that is to be experienced in the West Sussex area and the beautiful setting and gardens should and does deserve so much more.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank KarenJMiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amber1103, General Manager at Amberley Castle, responded to this review, June 20, 2014
Dear KarenJmiles

I read your review with great dismay, as you can see from previous reviews and responses of mine, that food and service are the two areas we pride ourselves on. I have to say that your review was extremely shocking to me and I offer my personal apologies for the poor service you clearly received on this occasion.

I will of course investigate these points to understand how any of this could have happened, please be assured that we will as a team work to make sure that this remains an isolated incident. I am just extremely saddened that we were not given the opportunity to address this directly with you at the time or post your departure in order to rectify this matter so that you could have fonder memories of this experience.

I do hope you will return to Amberley Castle in the future and I am sure that you will have an enjoyable experience.

Yours sincerely

Matthew Drinkwater
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Preston, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2014

Had friends staying with me from America, one a travel agent and thought they would like to visit Amberley Castle where I was married 10 years ago. Have stayed here a few times and could not praise it enough. BUT that was before the renovations. Man on reception said they had done a survey and this is what people wanted. Yes people want mod cons but if you stay in a historic place thats what you want HISTORY.

Why oh Why have the new owners ripped out the character and replaced it with bland rooms with cheap 1950's charity shop style furniture. Gone is the opulence, antiques, tapestries huge baths etc. It actually reduced me to tears at what a mess they have made of this place. Only 10 weddings booked this year up on the 8 last year we were told. We had to get married on a Friday because all saturdays were booked for weddings 10 years ago. must be losing money hand over fist.

Gardens needed weeding as did castle ruins before they do lasting damage. Plants had been badly pruned and the wonderful rambling white rose outside the portcullis, which used to spill over the wall in a froth of confetti like flowers was hacked back out of site. Why?

This is a Grade 1 listed building. It needs to preserved not left in this state. So sad.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SPAGIRLWestSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amber1103, General Manager at Amberley Castle, responded to this review, June 18, 2014
Dear Spagirlwestsussex

I am sorry that you felt the need to share your feelings on trip advisor regarding the design of one of our rooms. For many guests this room is a brighter and more relaxing room now, however I appreciate that this is not to your taste which I am clearly disappointed to hear. Bedroom design is an extremely subjective area as many guests prefer different styles, some neutral and some old style.

We as a team have consciously reduced the number of weddings we undertake at Amberley so that the castle remains a haven for good food and relaxation, which has been a great success. I am sure that many of our guests travelling to us on a leisure break would be pleased to hear this

As you did not mention the food or service you experienced at the hotel, I do presume that otherwise your stay was an enjoyable one. Our food and service is most important to us and our hard working team strive to ensure we offer the best of both.

If you choose to return please contact us so that we may guide you toward a room that is more suited to your tastes.

Yours sincerely

Matthew Drinkwater
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heathfield, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2014

This hotel was amazing! Had a 3 course family lunch and the food was real quality and the setting was very romantic... felt so at peace! The lovely little village behind the castle is also well worth a visit. Lots of lovely thatched chocolate boxed houses. I felt like I was on another planet. Would love to stay at the Castle.The beautiful white peacock adds class to the atmosphere. Would highly recommend.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank samantha2988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amber1103, General Manager at Amberley Castle, responded to this review, June 14, 2014
Dear Samantha2988

Thank you for taking the time to share your amazing feedback with other potential diners. Our team thrive on such lovely feedback and I will ensure that they read your review, we may even show Bob (our resident Peacock).

I do hope we see you again soon.

Yours sincerely

Matthew Drinkwater
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2014

First time visitor and our hopes were matched for afternoon tea. We had an occasion to mark and had long intended to visit Amberley Castle. The location is exceptional, England at it's finest. The staff were courteous, polite, helpful and engaging. We have taken afternoon tea at South Lodge, Ghyll Manor and Alexander House recently, but Amberley Castle is the best. The tea, cake and sandwich selection was the correct balance of choice and taste.
We will certainly revisit for a meal and/or a stay.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CatterD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amber1103, General Manager at Amberley Castle, responded to this review, June 14, 2014
Dear CatterD

Thank you for your amazing review of Amberley Castle, we constantly strive to deliver the best we can in both food and service. We are glad to read we have created an Amberley Castle enthusiast in you.

I do hope that i get to personally meet you on your return visit to the castle, where we do hope you can stay the night with us. When you do choose to return please let me know so I can thank you in person.

Yours sincerely

Matthew Drinkwater
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2014

We stayed in this hotel in April which was a birthday treat. It cost over £200 a night which is the most I have ever paid for a hotel and it was one of the worst I have ever stayed in. It was a complete con as the castle is a ruin and the hotel is just a manor house in the grounds of the ruined castle walls. The initial room they gave us was so dark and tiny I felt claustrophobic. The bathroom was ancient (not in a good way). When I complained we were upgraded to one of their premier deluxe rooms (Herstmonceux) which was barely average for any hotel and not in any way "luxuriously appointed". The room had access to the battlements but the staircase was filthy with rubbish strewn around. The bathroom was new but the toiletries were so small there was barely enough shampoo etc for my husband and I to share. There was no fridge or any milk and only 1 coffee sachet and 1 tea bag. When these were used in the afternoon they were not replenished by the evening. We had no biscuits in the room and when asked for some had £6 added to our bill! For 6 small biscuits!!! There was no bottled water in the room forcing us to drink from the bathroom tap. There was no fruit in our room. The window cills were covered in a layer of dust. The bed was made up of 2 single beds pushed together. Only 4 channels were accessible on the TV and there was no useable Wifi in the room. The evening was chilly being April but they refused to make a fire in any of the lounge rooms. The website gives pictures of rooms with stone mullioned windows, plush furnishings and fireplaces in the bedrooms but this clearly only applies to the Chichester room. Utterly disgusting robbery of money. I will never stay in an Andrew Brownsword Hotel again.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Susie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amber1103, General Manager at Amberley Castle, responded to this review, June 18, 2014
Dear Susie A

I was most disappointed to read your comments regarding your stay in April, as you can see from other reviews the feeling the castle and our rooms is not shared by many guests. I do appreciate that we should ensure that the style of the building is communicated to all our guests. May I personally apologise that when the Duty Manager upgraded your room for you, that they did not arrange for the transference of your Fruit and Water as would be expected.

We constantly strive to offer service to the highest level, I am very saddened that you did not share this feedback with us on departure or at the time so we could have done everything possible to ensure your celebrations were an enjoyable occasion. Being a 900 year old grade 1 listed building many our rooms are of different shapes, sizes and offer different features, however all of our rooms are furnished to the same quality, yet in varying designs, which as with any hotel design is completely subjective. Suzie A I do hope that you will take the time to re-visit Amberley, should you find your self in a position to do so , please contact me directly and I will personally oversee your booking.

Yours Sincerely
Matthew Drinkwater
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2014

We were lucky with the weather and clearly had better service than some other reviewers, as we found this place delightful. It is pricy, but we found it to be quality, too. The grounds and the building are charming, utterly charming. The restaurant staff, although not perfect, were entirely adequate and accommodating. Dinner was a treat, dessert a delight, and breakfast served its purpose well. In between, we slept soundly in a comfy bed and washed in a clean, modern, spacious bathroom.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JeffreyJRA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amber1103, General Manager at Amberley Castle, responded to this review, June 10, 2014
Dear JeffreyJRA

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback regarding your recent visit to Amberley Castle. I was extremely pleased to read of your experiences and opinions of the castle, which are constructive and useful to us during our constant development as a team . I do hope that we get the opportunity to welcome you back in the near future.

Yours Sincerely,

Matthew Drinkwater
General Manager
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 Amberley Castle

Property: Amberley Castle
Address: Church Street | Nr Arundel, Amberley BN18 9LT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > Amberley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Amberley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Amberley Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A unique luxury hotel located in the picturesque village of Amberley at the foot of the South Downs. Privately owned by Andrew and Christina Brownsword, this magnificent 900-year-old castle is enclosed by a 60 foot high curtain wall and portcullis that remains open, behind which you will discover an enchanting hotel offering the highest standards of food and service. Bedrooms are resplendent with the luxurious facilities you would expect from a country house hotel. History encompasses every part of this wonderful building and the many acres of gardens it stands in. Enjoy discovering our tennis courts, 18-hole putting green and croquet lawn, and even our resident peacock roaming the grounds. For those seeking tranquillity and relaxation, there are many quiet corners to discover under the shade of a tree or by the fireside. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amberley Castle Hotel Amberley
Castle Hotel Amberley
Amberley Arundel Castle
Amberley Castle England

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