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“Amazing staff - trainees with great futures”
Review of Wivenhoe House

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Wivenhoe House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Wivenhoe
Certificate of Excellence
Dubai
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Amazing staff - trainees with great futures”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

I stayed at the hotel for my friends wedding, and from beginning to end this was a relaxing, well managed and beautiful location. Dont let the UNiversity ground location put you off, this is hotel has a rural countryside feel about it. My friend and I arrived on an overnight flightt, and thanks to some good pre-stay communications with Evangeline, the hotel were able to allocate a very early checkin for us - 1030am instead of their 3pm. The hotel managed to get as many of the wedding party together as they could which was great fun for us when we were getting ready and up for breakfast. The standard twin room was modern, clean, nicely decorated, warm and had a lovely balcony too - this was in the new garden wing, but the rooms in the main building were more unique and traditional, yet still modern - the wedding couple had the Exclusive Hotels Suites, where we all descended the afternoon on the day before the wedding, and was spacious enough to house 10 or more people socially. Molten Brown toiletries, always a plus too. The beds were comfy and we had a good nights sleep, the breakfasts are really worth getting up for though service can be a bit slow but everything is cooked from from the a la carte menu otherwise there is some buffet options - ask for fresh croissants if they run out, worth the 15mins. The wedding support given to my friends was brilliant and the staff seemed to be more than willing to help and do what was required. The food in the Brasserie restaurant really has some wow factor, and try the liver pate (more like a mousse) and ask Will to make you one of his Gin Garden cocktails - Will had never made a Manhattan before but taking exact instructins (no ice!) he made a perfect version, something that is very rare if not impossible to find. he is going to do well and I can envisage him being a world class mixologist in the not so distant future. The staff (sorry I cant remember your names!) who served us during the wedding we great and seemed to enjoy the wedding too. Impeccable service, great personalities and humour, confident and timely service. When walking the corridors of the hotel the staff will talk to you and smile and the perception in they are very happy and love what they are doing. The team at the hotel mostly consist of students/trainees who are studying and working towards a hospitality qualification, which only tells me the hotel management know who are the best with optimum potential when selecting who will work in their hotel. I was astounded to know that they were all training and in all areas of the hotel. I used to wokr in HR in jhotels in the UK, Maldives and Dubai and had I still been working in the industry I think I may have poached a few if not all the student for when they graduate. Particular mention goes to James who assisted us with our room service and demands on the day of the wedding - a great personality, a mature student who has returned to training to gain more qualifications to give himself a better future, he was great fun, understood his customers well and had a great sense of humour, an asset to the hotel. A great experience and if I am ever back in the area again I will definitely be staying here again. Room and breakfast rates were excellent value too - you get more than what you pay for. The only thing missing for me was a spa and indoor pool, but not sure I would have had time to use it.

Room Tip: Any rooms will be good, but for value for money book the standard rooms in teh garden wing, easy acc...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Paula H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wivenhoe H, Reservatoins Coordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank you for such a detailed review on your stay, it is so lovely to hear when a guest has enjoyed their stay so much. I will make sure to pass your comments onto all of our staff, especially Evangeline, Will and James. If you find yourself in the area, please do think of us at Wivenhoe House.
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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683 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed September 15, 2013

A spur of the moment experience which more than met expectations. The staff were welcoming and helpful and the rooms well appointed (at least in the new wing extension) with a balcony overlooking the grounds and parkland. This truly was 4 plus stars. We were unfortunate to come down to breakfast at the same time as several other wedding party guests so it would be wrong to judge the service on the basis of unlucky timing. The staff tried their best and apologised for any delays, which is all you can ask for!
My only criticism, and I'm searching for something here, is that there should be a sign pointing the way to the hotel off the road to the university.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Nigel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Coordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
I will make sure to pass your comments about more signage around Wivenhoe House onto our General Manager. Thank you for your lovely comments about your stay. Hopefully we will be welcome you back to Wivenhoe House in the near future.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brightlingsea, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2013

My daughter and son in law had there wedding reception here and it was a day to remember.
The staff were very welcoming and helpful. The grounds lovely for photographs.
The bedrooms well equipped and the beds very comfortable. We stayed in the new hotel with lovely views over the grounds and sports fields. The only down side of the room, there was no little window to open for ventilation during the night only a large patio door.
Breakfast the next morning was good although there did run out of sausages which I did feel was strange as they knew there would be a large number of people eating as the wedding guest had booked the hotel rooms.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank teresa s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Coordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
We are so pleased that you daughter and son in law's day went so well, it is always lovely to be a part of someone's special day. My apologies that the issue at breakfast tarnished your stay, I will make sure that the kitchen are aware of this and it doesn't happen again.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2013

This was our 2nd hotel stay of the week having stayed in another 4 star luxury hotel the night before. This was much more to our liking, traditional with a modern touch.

The room was exactly what you would expect with all modern additions whilst not taking away from the feel that you were in a wonderfully older building. We stayed in a suite on the top floor, where we had the best nights sleep in a long time, the bathroom was spot on luxurious.

We had dinner in the restaurant in the evening, which was great value for 3 courses. Incidentally I had a Chicken Caesar Salad which has to be the best I have ever had!

I would definitely come back here again and recommend it highly.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Philman2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Coordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review, I will pass your kind words onto all of the staff. We looking forward to welcoming you back to Wivenhoe house in the future.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Visited Colchester and the Univ. of Essex during a recent conference; the organizers recommended Wivenhoe House - and rightfully so! This grand old house (which, by the way, hosted the elite SAS detachment until 1945) breathes the English style and elegance - while the new building offers some of the most elegantly furbished rooms I've ever stayed in. Everythin is up to a certain standard: the staff, the srvice, the food. Magnificent breakfast, excellent dinner - it all made me regret I only stayed two nights. Hope to have the oportunity to come back!

Room Tip: Try to get the staff to lower the heating - the rooms are surrealistically hot!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gregor P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Coordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Hopefully we will be welcoming you back to Wivenhoe house in the near future, for another lovely stay.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Long awaited return to Wivenhoe House. Second visit for another one night stay. Great deal on a wonderful room in the main house. Fabulous accommodation, way beyond expectations. Really comfortable and relaxing after a long trip South. Surprised to see the grubby marks on the door but guess wear and tear inevitable. Did not detract in any way from the quality of the accommodation provided. Probably the best hotel room I've experienced in the UK. Great Apple Mac and TV combination, Inclusive Wifi. Super quality, beautifully presented and excellent bathroom. Really comfortable bed. No aircon, no problem it's about time we enjoyed a proper summer and some warmth. Modern fan provided air movement which was fine for me.

Disappointing that Signatures restaurant experience wasn't available but enjoyed a good meal in The Brasserie. Pigeon starter was tasty, slightly over and just warm but still enjoyable and not really worthy of complaint. Rib eye was cooked as requested and no complaints. Attentive, professional, relaxed, and friendly service. Like the feel of the Brasserie, modern, functional but comfortable and pleasant restaurant.

Cooked English Breakfast was OK but not special. Not really the standard expected for the restaurant and hotel. Good service but let down by mediocre cooking. Two fried eggs combined into a mass of bubbled egg white with no visible yolks. Quickly spotted by waiter and replaced but similar provided as replacement. Not the end of the world but surprised at the standard of breakfast on this occassion which lowered my overall review, for this visit, to very good

Overall experience was high due to accommodation and evening meal.

For me the Wivenhoe House is still an excellent place to stay. I will return at the earliest opportunity.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank David T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wivenhoe H, Reservations Coordinator at Wivenhoe House, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank you for your kind review, my apologies that you felt the food let your stay down slightly. I will pass your comments onto the head chef, who I am sure will want to investigate into the reason why your food was not up to our normal high standards. However, it is lovely to hear that you found the accommodation to be fabulous. Hopefully we will welcome you back to Wivenhoe house for a third visit soon, with our standards being at our normal high level.
Kind Regards,
Sophie Barrett
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2013

So we spent a Saturday evening at Wivenhoe house having just been to see a friend in a matinee at Colchester Theatre.

From the website the hotel looks very much like a country house hotel, but on arrival (if the sat nav brings you to the correct entrance that is) you'll find that the house is actually part of the campus of the University of Essex. A little bit of a letdown, but it is secluded from the main buildings of the University.

When I originally booked I asked for a king suite with a balcony in the new block as I am that most dreadful of people - a smoker! When I received the booking confirmation for this, there, and only then, did I see a notice informing me that all parts of the rooms and balconies (!) were non-smoking. I had a delightful phone conversation with someone called Sophie who was incredibly helpful and she said that she would reserve a room for me which was one floor above the brasserie meaning that I would only have to come down a flight of stairs through a door and I could be out on a terrace where I could smoke.

We were checked in by Francesca who was incredibly helpful, but even though she had seen the note on the check-in, we were taken to a room at the end of the corridor on the 2nd floor of the new wing as far away from the lift as it was possible to be. This was obviously not the room that had been arranged, and in addition the room was incredibly stuffy. It wasn't the warmest of evenings that we've had recently, but the room had no air conditioning. Francesca told is that they weren't allowed to have air conditioning as it was a listed building. We pointed out that we were in the new block. Francesca then told us that they couldn't have air conditioning because of regulations. Perhaps the management should decide which story staff are going to tell guests.

Owing to a wedding that was on, rooms were in very short supply and they only had one other room which was currently out of service due to a spotlight in the ceiling having been removed. Francesca showed us the room which was The Constable suite. No nearer to a smoking terrace, but the room was more spacious and airier.

It lacked some towels and a 2nd bathrobe,a tv remote, as evidently the room had been supposedly laid out for one person, but Francesca organised bringing everything we needed. This was a top of the range suite, yet the lounge area for lighting had only one spotlight over coffee table. The bedroom had wall lights on either side of the bed as reading lights which could only be turned out from one side of the bed. A spacious and luxurious bathroom with Molton Brown toiletries ( always a good sign), but only using the bath next morning, there was no hair washing attachment on the tap, so one had to get out of the bath and into the shower.

We had dinner in the brasserie on the Saturday night and the food was excellent. I understand that with no house is also a training establishment for young people wanting to get into the hospitality industry. The restaurant was brilliantly run by fantastic French maitre d', and he made up for the slightly over solicitous but less than effective service from some of the staff. Each time our dishes were brought, the waiter had no idea which dish was for whom. With only two of us dining, that shouldn't be a problem. The brasserie is clean and functional, but with no real atmosphere. A bit upmarket IKEA. Breakfast service was not good. Having been seated, we got our own stuff from the buffet bar, but it then took nearly 30 minutes for our cooked breakfast to arrive and this only happened when the fantastic French maitre d' rushed to the rescue and shouted at the kitchen.

The food at dinner and breakfast was excellent. Well prepared and well presented.


Our one night stay was designed to be a bit of a treat, and on that front it fell a little short. It's got great potential, and as long as they can sort out the reasons they're telling guests from lack of basic facilities such as air-conditioning, I'd give it a try.

Room Tip: Don;t stay on a hot night, or ask for a room with many windows - open them.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank claytoncast
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
I am sorry to read your review on your recent experience at Wivenhoe House. You will appreciate that, from time to time, especially being a people led industry, mistakes do occur. I have spoken to some of the staff already who have explained that they tried their best to assist you. Hopefully we will be able to show you our normal high standards of service in the near future.
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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Additional Information about Wivenhoe House

Property: Wivenhoe House
Address: Wivenhoe Park | Colchester, 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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