Lainston House Hotel
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Decent stay - but negatively impacted by issues
My husband and I stayed at the Lainston House for 2 nights over the Bank Holiday. On the outside, the house looks very enchanting, rolling hills, beautiful flowers, old stately mansion.
We encountered several issues with our stay, and they all seem to revolve around the Lainston House's reception - this is a significant issue since they are the only folks we really interacted with on a consistent basis.
1) We had booked a junior suite (at 355GBP) - HUGE room with King Size bed, view of the grounds, and a very amazing bathroom complete with marble floors that heat up, jacuzzi, and rain bath. I was loving it until my husband called me into the bedroom and told me to listen. We then realized that we were located right next to the gym, and could easily hear the "thump thump" sounds of a runner - I can only compare it to the beating in Edgar Allen Poe's Tell Tale Heart. So we spoke with reception and asked them when the gym was closed each evening and when it opened in the morning and were told that it was open 24 hrs a day and there was nothing to do about it. We were then offered an inferior room that overlooked the driveway. When we requsted a few minutes alone to choose between rooms, the receptionist said a bit testily "well we are very busy today so we need your answer very soon". Nice service-oriented tone of voice right?
So we went back to reception and asked to speak with the manager. Thank goodness because she was wonderful -- she assured us that they would shut down the gym at 10pm and not open til 8am. She also assured us that the gym was rarely used and that she doubted that we would be bothered again.
2) When we made our reservation, we were asked if we'd like to make a dinner reservation with their restaurant Avenue A. We said yes and had an email confirmation that the reservation was made. Well, that reservation didn't exist when we arrived, and we were told by reception that we'd have to just wait til 9pm - no apologies for the mistakes made. At that point, I was really getting upset - this is supposed to be a 4 start hotel and have some concept of service. Also I am 4 months pregnant and waiting another 2.5 hrs to eat just wasn't going to work. The maitre d' stepped in and told us that he would fit us in. Which he did.
3) We were charged a 1-night stay deposit at the time that we made our reservation. Reception was supposed to deduct this deposit when we checked out but instead charged us for both night's stay even thought I had already paid for one. So I am still owed 355GBP and 5 days after reporting this issue, it's still not taken care of.
4) When we were playing tennis, we were given 4 balls, 1 of which was completely torn. I went to reception and asked for a fresh ball. I was intending to wait for the balls, but they offered to come to the tennis court to deliver the fresh balls. Well they never arrived. When I went back to ask them what happened, they said "oh we ran out of balls". In a service-oriented hotel, I would expect that they would have come over to the tennis court to at least tell me that since I was told to expect them.
I think that it's the sum total of all these little experiences that make or break an impression of a hotel. I will say that the bed was very comfortable and we loved having our own jacuzzi. Breakfast was okay (fruit plate very very good but eggs cane overcooked once) and dinner really wasn't that great. The grounds are very nice, but you do get the feeling that they are a has-been -- We can only imagine how glorious they used to be during the glory days. In the sum total, we did rather enjoy our stay because we made the best of the situation but I do not think we would stay at Lainston House next time.
Note - The day we checked out was the day after the Bank Holiday and we noticed that the folks working in reception were so much more professional and easy to talk to. So I am willing to give allowance that the bank holiday staff was perhaps just not their best folks and that might have impacted our impression. However, it seems strange to staff your "B" crew on a very important weekend.
Great hotel - if you're not paying!
I stayd here for 3 days for a work function and was looking forward to it with trepidation after reading a few of the reviews.
First impressions are good, the house and grounds look superb and grand. The reception is a bit small but nothing too bad.
The room I had was massive, with 2 king size beds lots in the sheer space. The room was equipped with a TV, video and DVD and had a few DVD/videos next to it. Overall I thought the bedroom was pretty spectacular with a very comfortable bed.
The bathroom was huge, a jacuzzi-type bath was next to 2 sinks. The room had an excellent supply of fluffy towels and robes. The shower wet room was massive, the only drawback being the soap dish was at the opposite end to the shower, but this was a minor drawback. To add to the luxury the floor had underfloor heating, plus a toilet with an infrared sensor to save you touching it!
Food in the hotel was great for a business function, the bar was also ok if a bit small.
Overall it was a great place to stay, 10 minutes from Winchester. It was a bit expensive but as I didn't pay I can't complain!
Nice exterior to the building, lovely gorunds, not matched inside
After reading all the wonderful reviews on this site, I booked a hi deluxe room for myself and my girlfriend at the end of February 2005 so that we could go away, be pampered and enjoy some quality time togther. We drove up the long, winding, tree lined driveway and upto the main house which was absolutley picture postcard gorgeous! We thought we would be in for a treat.
Going into reception, we saw the open log fire in front of us, which was welcoming, but the reception desk on the right was small, uninviting and looked like it had been thrown together in an hour by some Polish builder! After checking in, we went up the creaking staircase to our room. The carpet outside the bedroom door was dirty. When we went in I walked staright to the bed to see how clean it was and I pulled back the bed spread. It had a large stain on the inside. I called housekeeping and they quickly came and removed the bedspread but did not replace it. The television only had 5 channels and no sattallite. Remember, we spent £155 for this room. The bathroom was not at all 5* in fact I wouldn't call it 2*, it was very simple and very old, like in a council house!
We left after 5 hours. I complained the next day and I got a full refund. Never again, except maybe if I pay £30 a night.
A hotel full of contradictions...
This is probably the lowest rating the Lainston has received on this website, so allow me to explain why. After staying in the Lainston for 3 weeks in 3 different rooms (for work), I've decided that this hotel is utterly full of contradictions that is at odds with its upmarket image it tries to portray. Certainly not a cheap hotel, it does have its cheapness - like a tea/coffee tray on request for £5 per day, something generally included even in bed and breakfasts in England. So it tries to redeem itself by including complementary bottled water in the room. The restaurant is not cheap either, considering they charge London prices in Winchester. (Starters are £10-15 and main courses are £20-30) Yet, their staff failed to charge the bill to my room and never bothered to rectify it even though I was honest enough to tell them they undercharged me. (In fact this has happened a few times during my stay so readers should definitely take note and charge things to their room - they might forget about them as well.) For a grand country house labelled "pure excellence" (quote from its website), the service is decidedly inconsistent - from the wonderful barman to the morning receptionist who can't cope with printing out a bill in the morning (and left me waiting at the counter for 10 minutes), from the fantastic maitre'd at breakfast who always remember my usual order to the check-in staff who lost my reservation despite sending a confirmation email to me. If you are planning to visit the Lainston for a romantic getaway, don't bother unless you can afford one of the suites. The photos on the website is decidedly misleading as on three separate occasions when I was in a traditional double room, my room looked nothing like it, not to mention the brown bathroom with lack of water pressure in the shower which forced me to resort to taking a bath.
Wonderful country hotel
Had a very nice saturday night here in February - a great old country mansion. We stayed in the new wing, but it was still luxurious. We had a deluxe double (£145), but the room was more like a suite: it was massive with a huge bathroom. Nice old-fashioned book-lined bar/reading room downstairs which had a good two-man jazz band on saturday night at least. Fabulous gardens and they have good walking maps at the desk. We hd a problem with the room being cold, and althuogh they couldn;t fix it they quickly gave us a large portable heater. FYI, the breakfast can be bargained down on the phone, and although full value of £17.50pp would be a crazy price, it is indeed very good (especially if you did not use the dining rooms for dinner)£7-8 from Winchester in a taxi.
We had wonderful dinner at the Wykeham Arms in Winchester a fantastic old gastro-pub, which was great for tourists, but full of locals (you need to book ahead though).
Outstanding house, beautiful location, excellent service.
We arrrived late due to traffic problems but the house and the open fire in reception was so inviting and cosy that you coudn't help but relax as soon as you came through the door...
We had a junior suite - and had been guaranteed a four poster bed. When we were shown our room, there was someone already in it (not a great start for sure)...but the staff were so apologetic and friendly and really made every effort to make it right. They not only upgraded us again, we got champagne, chocolates and fruit along with a teddy bear as an apology for messing up the reservation. We then got £80 off of our bill in addition to this and still managed to put us in a room that was really lovely!
The staff couldn't have been friendlier and more helpful. The bathrooms are AMAZING - really big with walk in showers with rain bars, heated floors and mirrors - just lovely! The grounds are great too for a lovely walk in the autumn sun!
We had breakfast there and thought it was a little limited and disappointing.
I really enjoyed our stay here and would definitely go back
Stayed at Lainston House 12-14 November 2004. Great hotel, wonderful room (upgraded to a deluxe room), good food and service and, above all, smiling staff who were all willing to help whenever asked. Notwithstanding the fact that other functions were taking place at the weekend (a wedding, parties, etc.) we, as private guests, were made to feel completely special. The grounds of the hotel are absolutely beautiful - what a way to spend a weekend.
Stunning building and grounds
5 stars for room (Junior Suite room cost a fortune, but was worth it - the most incredible bathroom I've ever seen) and food (if you're really into gourmet food you won't be disappointed) and general look and atmosphere of the place.
The only downsides were:
- They showed us to the wrong room
- Some of the staff's mastery of English was, er, limited
- For these prices tea/coffee should not be 5UKP a day extra
- 2 weddings on at the same time - didn't really cause a problem, but we're very noise tolerant. They have weddings almost every weekend. If you see the place you'll understand why it's so popular
- Continental Breakfast wasn't to the same high standard as dinner
But despite all that, the stunning building and grounds, great food and fantastic rooms make for a great romantic get-away.
My favourite of all time! A******
We simply had the best most romantic time here. Even though a wedding was in full swing and it was a cold February day, the candles along the cloisters glowed beautifully and everything was heavenly.
Our suite was superb with everything thought of - and the adjoining bathroom a delight (although hubby banged his head on the TV bracket in the bathroom!)
The decorations were sumptuous, our meal was exceptional (with extra sorbets and dishes compliments of the Chef) - by the window in the beautiful restaurant. Staff were fantastic, everywhere was immaculate. Even tea and cakes on the Sunday in the drawing room was a real treat. I just did not want to leave. (Can't wait to go back - hint, hint!)
If we lived nearby, we would be there for Sunday lunch every weekend!
Great Night, Great Food
Stayed one nigth with my wife. Fantastic four poster bedroom, excellent bathroom. The dinner was excellent. Staff were friendly and helpful.
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