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“Could do a lot better!”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Wivenhoe House

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Wivenhoe House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Wivenhoe
Certificate of Excellence
Rayleigh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
299 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 265 helpful votes
“Could do a lot better!”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

My wife booked the hotel as an anniversary surprise being our 32nd year married. It is also my birthday, both of which was relayed to the hotel. However, took a while to find the hotel, not realising it is on the University of Essex campus and the roads have been changed. No problem, booked and was told of an upgrade. We had booked a Garden room being told that was the place to stay. We were transferred to a suite - one large room and a large bathroom. Seems ideal bit the rooms was very hot and though the staff had provided a fan this was far too small to cool the room.

Bed was massive but the facilities were let down by the instant coffee machine and the poor shower hose to the shower.

Venturing out from the hotel we asked for directions to the Art Exchange which is on campus about 150 metres away. The receptionist had't heard of it but her colleague gave us directions. Problem was, this being a university campus, the art exchange is only open term times. What else is there to do on campus/at the hotel,nothing. So headed off to Colchester.

Arrived back and had booked a special dinner. problem is that the Signature restaurant, whilst being less than a year old is being refurbished so we had to go the the Brassier. Nice staff, but sat smack next too a loudspeaker which burst into action ten minutes into the meal. Did consider moving but we had little choice as there was a large family with babies in the only other nice area so we learned to put up with the noise. I would say that the music wasn't too loud, but it did ruin the ambience.

We did some fine dining, which I regret was below par. My wife had liver pate and this is in fact a moose. Tasty but lacked texture. Me I had ham hock thing this was ham on the bone and it was a ham pad with piccalilli but no bread, peas and peas shoots with some jam substance. Too many flavours on one plate.

we followed this with the beer battered haddock and chips. Strangely this came with a quails egg - again I wondered why but it was a nice dish. Deserts were banana and peanut butter pudding for my wife and I had treacle tart which came with evaporated milk ice cream and a small bottle of jelly. Problem I had to ask for a teaspoon to get the jelly as the other spoon was a larger desert spoon. Again the varying flavours did nothing to add to the dish and I think someone need to look at the menu.

Finally ordered two decaffeinated cappuccinos .....and got two Americana coffees. The waitress did say she would change them but we were keen to go so just had those. Not a great eating experience for an anniversary.

After a good night sleep with all windows open and fan on (the corridors outside were far hotter btw) we went to breakfast which had been recommended to us. Waiter took the order but we had to wait 20 minutes before our teas and coffees arrived even though the restaurant wasn't busy. Order for cooked breakfast taken and again 20 minutes later it appears with the wrong eggs on one. (I knew the waiter wasn't listening as he asked if I wanted scrambled and I said no fried but scrambled arrived). Both plates removed but rather then recook my wife's eggs they went on the not plate - we knew this as her plate was hot, mine wasn't and her eggs were solid and mine was with loose yokes. Seems that taking the wrong orders isn't a one off which was disappointing.

All in all though this is a four star hotel, I would only give 2 stars to the restaurant - wouldn't eat here again, and 4 stars for the room but they really need to deal with the fact that there is no air conditioning.

So wish we had not taken the upgrade and had gone to the recommended garden rooms.

Room Tip: If its a hot night make sure you are in a cool room or have air-conditioning.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Crispsting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Co-ordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, September 3, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We are investigating why our food and service was not up to our usual high standard to ensure this experience is not repeated. As the main house is a Grade II listed building we were unfortunately unable to install air conditioning when we completed our refurbishment this year. We have invested in fans and all windows do open fully. I do hope you come back to Wivenhoe House again and enjoy our normal high standards of service.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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624 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (130)
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English first
Hornchurch, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

We stayed here for our anniversary and it was lovely. The room itself was amazing and the bed was massive! Had a lovely roll-top bath too and loved the coffee machine!

We went out for a meal nearby and after returning sat outside over-looking the garden sipping drinks.

All the staff were friendly and helpful and the hotel was a high standard.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Emma B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wivenhoe H, Reservation Co-ordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, August 28, 2013
We are so pleased you chose to celebrate your anniversary at Wivenhoe House and enjoyed it so much. I will make sure to pass your lovely comments on to all the staff. Hopefully we will welcome you back soon.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, UK
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights while attending a conference at the University. I paid a conference rate of £79 bed and breakfast which was very good value indeed.

The hotel is a training hotel, so there are lots of staff, who are seeking to emulate the level of customer service you'd get in an upscale 5 star. They don't always manage it, but they are very nice and do try!

The hotel is recently refurbished, and standard of public rooms and bedrooms is very high, although let down by the odd detail. For example, no mini-fridges or aircon in the rooms, which normally you wouldn't mind/notice, but during a heatwave you really miss. Colleagues staying on the 2nd floor of the garden wing found it too hot to sleep comfortably.

Breakfast was excellent, but food otherwise was somewhat disappointing - expensive for very ungenerous portions. For example, a £9 steak sandwich was minute steak served in fairly bog standard white sliced bread, no chips or salad. If I'm paying £9 for a sandwich, I expect it to be filling! Similar disparities between price and portion size were evident in the dinner menu.

Overall, luxurious hotel, nice friendly staff, good value, but not quite excellent due to the poor value food and, occasional slips in important details of service (e.g. on the first day we were told we had to sign for all food and drink, but on day two, we had lunch and weren't asked to sign, but spent 10 minutes waiting to sign because no one told us we didn't have to....) and lack of aircon,

Room Tip: Avoid the 2nd floor of the garden wing during the summer - rooms get uncomfortably warm.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank andycLeeds_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
120 reviews
109 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

A very high quality hotel that obviously prides itself on offering excellent service. The setting is quite magnificent in the parkland grounds of Essex University. The refurbishment of the hotel completed last year is a credit to the designers and everything has been done to a high standard. The rooms have a luxurious feel to them and ooze quality. The apple mac PC that doubled up as a radio, television, etc, was especially useful and was available at no extra cost.

We ate dinner in the brasserie. The food was excellent and the level of service just right without going over the top. The staff were knowledgable about not only the food and wine, but also the history of the building.

The hotel rightly deserves all of the outstanding reviews that it has been getting and we shall have no hesitation in returning to enjoy all that it has to offer.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MDS24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tubingen, Germany
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

I stayed in a suite in the new part which I got at a heavily reduced price as a conference delegate. The room was simply the best I could imagine for a hotel of any class really. I was very pleased with the quality of the furniture and all other items in the room (loved the IMac!). The bathroom was the best I have ever seen in a hotel. I also liked the attention to detail displayed by the hotel staff. It was a bit hot during my stay and the room was not air conditioned, but when I came back to my room, a second high quality room fan had been provided. Minor problems I had with the room service were dealt with immediately and appropriately. Friendliness and positive attitude of all the staff I interacted with during my stay impressed me greatly. I would therefore recommend the hotel to anyone who wants a high quality stay. The regular prices are certainly not low, but at least one gets what one pays for. I would certainly consider the hotel for any future stays.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Christian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westerham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Booked the hotel to stay at following our son's graduation from Essex University and combined this with my wife's 50th birthday. It is a really, really good place to stay. We had a fantastic and luxurious time, and not too expensive either. However, it is a 'teaching' hotel and you need to approach it as such. The staff are mainly students and the quality of their work is naturally variable. Some are excellent and some less so: but they are all keen, determined to do their best to help and unfailingly courteous. If you're looking for the Ritz then go to the Ritz.

Our son has now left the University but we'll be staying at Wivenhoe House again.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Garden Wing, second floor. The rooms were all good and the balconies overlooking th...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank atterbury49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

I stayed here when visiting the University of Essex, and would definitely stay here again! The main building is gorgeous and traditional and feels warm and welcoming, and the room I stayed in (in the new part) was luxurious and modern without feeling out of touch with the rest of the hotel. I had breakfast in the restaurant the next morning, and was very happy with the food and service. The room had lots of little amenities and helpful things (computer with internet, tv, radio all part of it), tea and coffee facilities, and when I asked for an iron and board, they were immediately brought to my room.

I came by taxi, so they knew how to find it, but I could see if you were driving yourself that it might be harder to find as it's tucked away a bit.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chickenlyttle2323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wivenhoe House

Property: Wivenhoe House
Address: Wivenhoe Park, Wivenhoe, Colchester CO4 3SQ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Colchester > Wivenhoe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Wivenhoe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Wivenhoe House 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Re-opened in June 2012 after a £10 Million refurbishment, Wivenhoe House Hotel is a 17th Century country house, which is also home to the Edge Hotel School. Students at the school work alongside professionals, as they study for their degree in Hotel Management. There are 40 rooms, 16 in the main house and 24 in the more modern garden wing. The brasserie offers breakfast lunch and dinner daily, and afternoon tea is served in the drawing room daily. The panoramic views over the wooded parkland tot he University of Essex, are stunning. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wivenhoe House Hotel Colchester
Wivenhoe Hotel Colchester
Wivenhoe House England

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