Cliveden UK

Feb 24th, 2007, 10:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5
Cliveden UK

In the book "1000 Places to see before you Die " the first entry is about the National Trust Property Cliveden. It is described as the most masjestic country-house hotel. I would appreciate some feedback if anyone has been there.
peterjr41 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2007, 01:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,950
It has been a long time since I've been there but it really is beautiful. Are you old enough to remember the Profumo scandal?

I was on a week long barge trip on the Thames so we visited from the river - quite a climb to get up to see it. There's a folly overlooking the river & a beautiful garden. Well worth seeing, IMO even though it's a hotel now.
Carrybean is offline  
Feb 25th, 2007, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,154
Are you proposing to visit it or stay there?

As a place to visit, it's just another country house, and the Thames Valley has them by the dozen. Not desperately attractive, though it makes a pleasant sight from the Oxford-London train. Visitable only on Thursday and Sunday afternoons, April-October.

Might be worth booking and staying there if you're interested in what it's like to stay in a large country house and you think you never will. Internet bargains (£199 a night) seem occasionally possible. I've never stayed there (google cliveden orange juice to see one reason), but the balance of most reviews seem to be that it's quite a good introduction to a typical English country house stay.

Pompous architecture, lived-in atmosphere, lots of non-repro furniture, highly variable standards of service and often indifferent food. Just like any other stately home - though of course you have to pay at Cliveden.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 25th, 2007, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5
hi there
thanks for your reply. I was intending to stay until i saw the prices.
peterjr41 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 133
Having just returned from a two night stay at Cliveden, I am thinking the title of the book was a misprint. Are you sure it wasn't "1000 Places That Make You Want to Die"?

In a nutshell...
The room- On first look pretty impressive, but closer inspection reveals peeling paint, stained carpet and curtains, fireplace that may or may not have worked... I don't know... there was a gas line running to it, but there were no instructions given (written or verbal).

Housekeeping- Let than stellar- Hair (not mine) in bathtub, fleck of paper on chair.

Maintenance- Dripping faucets are annoying, ripped carpets on stair treads are dangerous.

Electronics- Stereo and a little TV with DVD player. Small selection of movies at reception. Couldn't get DVD to play in colour the first night (and yes, it was a colour movie!). They fixed it for the second night, but in the process lost two TV channels (of the whopping eight you recieve)

Service- Here is perhaps the biggest issue of all... Cliveden really does put the 'vice' in service. (Though there were a number of small issues during the stay, I will focus on the largest one...) When I initially made the booking I asked if they would be able to get me a difficult reservation at a local restaurant. Though I was assured it was not a problem, they were unable to secure the reservation. This led to a lot of emailing back an forth with the manager and finally the head of von Essen hotels. I was told that some special arrangements had been made for me during my stay to retore my confidence in the hotel. Alas... nothing. Not even a greeting by the manager or a delegate.

And to add insult to injury when I checked out, the rate on the bill was twice the rate I had booked under. The assistant manager who was there made it seem like he was doing me a favor for lowering the rate, even though I held the original confirmation with the lower rate listed right on it. (Note to travellers: Always travel with a copy of the confirmation... Hotels have charged a higher rate on the final bill more often than I care to say... and my only defense was having the confirmation with me...)

The Verdict: If you want to see the grounds, which are quite nice... spend a day, but don't don't don't spend the night.

Incidentally, even if you stay over, you will be charged the National Trust Fee... so save yourself the extra GBP220+ (or GBP480 that they tried to charge me) and the aggrivation of a hotel that obviously doen't care.
goldilox is offline  

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