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Travel Blogs from Ashford
... Plus both planes were decorated with Christmas deccorations, so we really started to get into the Christmas spirit!
Finally, at 8pm on Friday 7th December 2012 we walked through arrivals at London Heathrow, 392 days since we left last year. Both our families were there waiting for us, and it was a great welcome home, they were even armed with advent calenders for us to catch-up on! It's hard to believe it's been a year, we both said on the plane it ...
... century. One can only imagine how dank and dark this place was before central heating and electric lighting. On the lower floor is the vast kitchen. Upper floors contain the living and sleeping quarters.The steep stone steps are ******* Margarita, who wonders why English Heritage didn’t spend a few more pounds to install an elevator ...
... finally land up at the Beach Hut Café (many miles from any beach) on Breezy Corner (no corner, and no breeze). I enjoy a terrific carrot and tomato soup while waiting for the others.
We now continue to the coast of the English Channel at Ramsgate, which we find somewhat depressing. This is a seaside resort that has seen better days and now ...
... It is totally deserted. All the shops are closed. We feel like the only people in town.
Crossing over an empty High Street we approach Christ Church Gate. The entry is closed.
“Hello. What time does the Cathedral open?” I ask the attendant at the office within the gate.
“On Sunday it opens at 12:30” she informs me.
... advice is expedient.
It’s easy to find our way to Maidstone, but difficult to navigate the city streets. One false turn ends us up in the paid parking lot for the neighbouring shopping precinct. Not to worry. As well as getting our supplies at the supermarket, we also get to tour the rather scruffy mall.
When we get ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Eastwell Manor Ashford
Nice place - Shame about reception
Our experience mirrors a lot of others in that the surroundings were fantastic and the room adequate but the place was let down by it's reception staff. I found them rude and unwilling to help when asking for a cot that we had previosly requested for the room. The lady also took delight in barking that under 4 year olds were not allowed in the pool. We still had a look and found the staff there to be very helpful and let us in to the pool anyway. We ate in in the restaurant of the health club and the service was great. Staff on reception seem to have a problem with those booking through laterooms deals.
A wonderfully relaxing weekend
We stayed at Eastwell Manor for a Saturday night getaway with friends. The hotel has a real English Country house feel, slightly faded, but with big open fires in the lounges and bars and cosy corners to escape to and read. Despite being a busy weekend with 4 helicopters from Belgium on Sunday, the service was always discreet, friendly, helpful and attentive - including reception. The meal in the dining room was very good - my lamb bette than my husband's fish. Our standard room was large, with complimentary decanters of sherry and sugared almonds, but a little faded and overlooked the kitchen - it might be worth an upgrade. It was also a smoking room, as was our friends. The hotel should really consider a non-smoking policy, especially in the bedrooms, these days. The bathroom was, however, excellent with bath robes and slippers and other thoughtful comforts. The leisure centre was excellent, although it had no loungers round the pool. The outdoor pool looked very inviting, but not in October! The view from the terrace on a crisp, sunny October morning was wonderful and just the place for a drink or read. We will be back in the summer.
Wonderful really special
This hotel is in my opinion almost perfect, if you get to stay in the manor itself. The facilities are exceptional the spa and the outside pool are kept spotless and the staff in general were excellent. We met the duty manager and she went out of her way to make sure our stay went well.
The gardens here and the kent scenery are lovely. The food and room service are prompt and good value.
I did not find the bar to be expensive just normal 4* rates. The lunchtime menu is a must.
Good hotel but staff lets it down
Stayed in a mews room in Dec 2004. Was quite nicely furnished but not worth the £200 or so price tag! I'm guessing the rooms in the Manor are more luxurious. Pool/spa was lovely and there was a well equipped gym housed in a building a few minutes walk from the main hotel.
We ate in the leisure club restaurant as the Manor restaurant was well out of our price range! Food was very nice but they seemed short staffed and so the service we rec'd wasn't up to much.
Reception was chaotic when we checked out and there were mistakes on our bill. A week later I noticed charges put on my credit card which should have gone to my friend's card. It was all a bit of a hassle to sort out and we received no apology for the mix ups. Has a fair bit going for it but not sure if I cld really recommend this place.
I stayed at the Eastwell Manor for a weekend break in February 2005. The grounds and the hotel building are impressive indeed. Unfortunately, this is where the praise ends. After check-in (late Friday evening) we were escorted to our room the door of which was locked from inside so we had to toddle back down to reception. Room turned out to have a view of the parking lots in front of the hotel so we asked for another one as we had booked well in advance, albeit "only" a standard double room but mind you, this nevertheless sets you back in excess of £200 per night! The lady at reception grudgingly upgraded us to a superior double which (she shouted after us as we went back up the stairs!) we had to vacate after the first night as the hotel was fully booked Saturday night. The superior double room was on the top floor and very spacious. Unfortunately, however grand the manor may have been, the room was cheaply furnished without any effort to keep to the original style of the building. The bathroom was very big as well but was fitted with a very worn-out Ikea wooden floor; the other fittings were equally worn-out and not exactly spotlessly clean - less grand! The walls are hardly soundproof so a baby crying during the night meant little sleep. Breakfast next morning was nothing impressive, the buffet was pretty much empty and the staff made no effort to restock it so I had to ask to refill the orange juice etc etc. The breakfast room and bar are, not terribly tastefully decorated, which again spoils the natural charm of such an old building. For the second night we were moved to the standard double room, which was smaller but still a good size. The shower was very poor with only some sort of vapour being spit out! Again, a baby in the adjacent room made for a rough night's sleep! Sunday then saw the start of the hotel-organised wedding fair! The hotel was heaving with people, as all the doors were thrown wide open; not my idea of a relaxing Sunday! We were then informed that they had stopped serving breakfast at 10am (we arrived just after that time) because of this event. Now this is simply unacceptable for such a "grand" hotel and after having called the (unapologetic) manager breakfast was - miraculously - served (never mind the empty buffet). With regard to the spa (which is in a modern, purpose-built block a short drive from the hotel building) the facilities (pool, sauna, steam room) are nice. All in all this could be a great hotel but it is completely let down by a very unprofessional service bordering on the rude, inadequate decoration and poor soundproofing. Needless to say the price we paid is nothing short of a rip-off.
Great hotel, food & facilities, service a little slow
Lovely hotel, great room and pool/facilities - a very luxurious pool and spa. Food was very good too - we only ate in the more informal brasserie restaurant, but the quality was excellent. The only thing to let it down was the slowness of service - long waits between evening meal courses, and 25 mins or so before a cup of tea/toast arrived at breakfast was a little frustrating - i think they were were a little under-staffed perhaps - plus after a long wait for the cooked breakfast, my husband's porridge which he would have liked to eat first, arrived at the same time, luke-warm and tasting burnt so he had to send it back. Ask for a quiet room - we were above the kitchen, and you can hear the staff bashing about until quite late and then early again in the morning (so avoid the viscountess of maidstone room). This may be because we booked very much at the last moment. Overall, a very nice stay however.
Perfect setting, shame about the reception staff
I stayed at Eastwell in 2003 with 5 of my closest friends for my hen weekend. I was recommended this location by a colleage of mine as the hotel has self catering accomodation for small groups in the converted stable blocks in the hotel grounds right next to the spa. The hotel and grounds are lovely, a well kept example of a luxury country house hotel, the self catering accomodation is also good, not quite as luxurious as the main hotel but very comfortable and reasonably priced for a weekend (2 night) spa break which included breakfast on both days and dinner in the a la carte restaurant on the Sat night, which is when the problem occurred. When I made our reservation at the hotel I booked us a table in the restaurant at 7.30 on the Sat night, bearing in mind this was a special celebration for me and the hotel were well aware of this, when we arrived in the main hotel all dressed up for dinner, the restaurant had no recollection of our dinner booking and passed us onto the reception staff who tried to tell me that we didn't get dinner in the Manor restaurant as part of our weekend package but they could do us dinner in the other restaurant (the lunch brasserie in the spa) instead, bearing in mind we were all done up in our best dresses this was not really an option, they actually had me in tears before I realised that I had written confirmation of the booking including dinner in the Manor in my bag, back in the room, I actually had to walk back and get it to prove to them I wasn't lying, by which time I was pretty angry! They finally fitted us in for dinner at 9pm and the food was very nice but sadly the attitude of the reception staff had already spoilt my weekend and for that reason I wouldn't return to Eastwell Manor. I wrote and complained of the way we were treated that evening but the hotel manager made it quite clear that he didn't think it was a problem!!
Our whole family stayed in the mews Summer 2002. We still talk about it and reflect on the beautiful photos. We would love to go back some day. Highly recommended. There was nothing I could fault on this manor. I even consider the price very reasonable considering what you get.
Very relaxing environment
We stayed at Eastwell Manor for one night last week and were very happy with our choice. Ordinarily it is as expensive as you'd expect for a hotel of its class, but we paid much less via a last-minute booking website.
The room was lovely. We stayed in the main manor house (as opposed to the Mews Cottages, which are supposed to be equally lovely but slightly more modern). Our room was quaint, spacious and comfortable without being 'tired' and was full of cosy touches. It had a wonderful view across open countryside as I'm sure all the rooms do. It made a refreshing change to have a decent sized TV instead of a tiny portable one (although the 'Sky' channels basically only amounted to CNN). The landscaped gardens were extensive and beautiful, and the spa was as good as it looked on the hotel website.
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. Crucially for us the hotel offers a baby-listening service which meant we could have a meal downstairs. The cot was provided by the hotel, which is definitely baby-friendly. They even went to the trouble of turning down the cot bedding!
If I had to pick out negatives, the only things would be that our room was directly above the restaurant pianist, but that's not a problem if you like loud classical music! Also the restaurant was extremely expensive and maybe the food was marginally less imaginative than we'd expected (but the service couldn't be faulted).
All in all, this is a good place to come for some peace and quiet and a lovely spa. Leeds Castle is nearby and makes a great outing.
Traditional Country House in great setting
If you are looking for a traditional country house hotel in Kent, this is the place. The large rooms in the manor house are excellently equipped and the meals are well presented and very tasty. There is also a new leisure center close to the main house with additional rooms. The staff are always cheerful and helpful. There are large grounds around the hotel, which make for a pleasant walk.