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“Rip Off” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chessington Safari Hotel

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Chessington Safari Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Chessington
South Wales
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Rip Off”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2012

This hotel needs a good shake up, the staff are mostly unapproachable (you feel like you're hassling them), we had to queue for 45 mins to use the pool and then could not stand to be in there as the chlorine was so strong. There were no towels available so we had to go back to our room dripping wet! We ordered room service at 7.30pm and it arrived at 9.45pm with chicken wings that were so overcooked that they were like lumps of charcoal on the plate. All the food was mass produced gloop. Breakfast time meant another queue, and check out even more queuing and all this on a cold off peak weekend in October!
We will never stay here again, not even the view over the "savanah" could entice us back - the place is understaffed and overpriced. Do yourself a favour and save your cash by booking an alternative nearby - there are masses to choose from.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GolfingMum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
We were quite taken aback and surprised by your review, in particular with regards to the staff. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to investigate your comments now as they refer back to October however, they will be given attention by the team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,639 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (364)
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Bristol
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2012

I booked a Merlin weekend package for myself, my 12 yr old daughter, her friend of the same age and my 9yr old son. Although the hotel was very clean, the staff friendly and the value for money excellent, it is not the ideal break for 9 or 12 year old children.
The family room childrens beds were not big enough for 12 yr old girls, but who can afford to book two rooms for their family these days?
I booked the Wii room hoping to give me an hour to myself whilst the kids played on their own, but there was only one game available and the room was open to all the smaller children to play in and throw bean bags around so they only stayed in there for 5 minutes. A very disappointing waste of money.
The pool was exceptionally busy so we waited until 7.30pm, but what they don't tell you is that its adults only after 8pm so that was a waste of time.
Our day in London was ok, but from the wording on the website it gives you the impression that you will be transported to and from Madame Tussauds and the London Eye, which is not the case. You have train and tube tickets provided in the welcome folder and we had to walk to and from the train station which I felt was a let down - 3 children walking for 15 mins in the rain does not set you up for a great day!
All that said, I did not let those disappointments ruin our weekend. Highlights were the lovely buffet breakfast, the view of the animals from the 2nd floor and the very polite staff (especially Matt in reception and the pool staff who were all lovely).
I didn't leave this review to complain, but travellers should know the truth behind the marketing!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Julie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
Thank you for your review. This is a new package for us so we are very interested to hear the feedback. We considered transport options but felt that the best and most flexible way for people to travel around London was by tube. If we have larger numbers we will be putting a coach on to and from London. We will look at the Wii room, there should be more games and you should have been given exclusive access so apologies for that.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stroud, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

We spent one night here during half-term with our daughter and grandchildren.

Thoughts overall: Very good value for money! 2 day passes included in the deal. Large room with nice bathroom and spotlessly clean. Our daughter and 3 children were delighted with their room as the 2 older children's section was separate from the double bed so that my daughter could keep the light on and watch TV without disturbing them. The children, in turn, had their own TV.

Good sized swimming pool and leisure facilities. Pool temperature was just right.

Breakfast, which was included, was varied and of good quality - though my husband always likes the option of fried bread which was not available.

Evening meal - standard menu - no specials - mostly grills - could do with more variety to suit our taste - well cooked but pricey for what it was. Can get a little smokey in restaurant (from grill)

Overall, a very pleasant stay. Would recommend.

Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Nannyneale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
Thank you for your review. We will talk to the chef about looking at the option of making fried bread to order for breakfast.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London UK
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

This was a relatively last minute booking for the end of half term. On arrival it was clear that the hotel was overbooked. We arrived at about 3:30pm and we were eager to get into the swimming pool but we had to wait for our room as it wasn't ready. Ok, so not a big problem - we were shown to a room where they provided hot drinks but there were dirty mugs and litter on the side and no cold drinks for children. Eventually these did arrive once someone asked for them. Check-in then went relatively smoothly and the staff were helpful. It would have been nice if they had provided a little more information on the facilities in the hotel, especially when we said we had not been before.

The restaurant
They could only fit us in at either 5:30pm or 8pm onwards which when you are with a 5 year old child is a little problematic. The irony was that on arriving at 7:30 at the bar there were quite a few empty tables in the restaurant and we were told that we still couldn't be seated until 8pm (when we asked at 7:45pm). Also, I don't know if there was a problem with the extractor fans in the kitchens but the smoke went up to the first floor!

We were then shown to our room which was clean, if a little tired - the view was lovely (we paid for the view of the reserve). The only drawback was that we were over the swimming pool which wasn't exactly desireable. It didn't matter too much but those with very young children probably wouldn't be too happy as you could the screams and shouts of the children swimming the pool and early Sunday morning.

Swimming pool
Nice, but the changing areas were a bit grubby. The painting around the pool is flaking off and looks fairly tired but it was nice to have a swim and relax a bit.

Dinner
This was lovely. I was annoyed when my drinks were cleared when we went to the toilet but this was rectified quickly (and on the house) by the waiting staff so no complaints there. My little one loved her meal too.

Breakfast
This was a bit of a nightmare. We didn't arrive until 9:45am and they seemed to be running out of everything. There weren't many cooked food options and if you were eager to get in the park you would have missed the fresher items being brought out later. There weren't any mushrooms/ fried eggs/pancakes etc. The scrambled eggs were VERY runny to the point that I couldn't eat it. Luckily my little one takes a while to eat so when the pancakes did arrive (about 10:15 ish) she got some but I'm sure a lot of guests wouldn't have known that they had any. It was only on a second visit up to the buffet that I realised sausages had been brought out and tomatoes.

All in all it wasn't a bad stay it just wasn't particularly outstanding. They clearly couldn't cope with the half term rush. The staff were friendly, especially a young chap in reception (brown hair - sorry I can't remember your name). I would go again but maybe not for a 1/2 term break - I dread to think what it could be like in the summer. There is a clear need to sort out the catering - breakfast was chaotic and seeing as there aren't any other options for dinner it wasn't organised very well.

Room Tip: Do not choose the first floor rooms 120 upwards as they are above the pool - maybe this wouldn't...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hfr8505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
Thank you for your review. We are aware that we had a few issues on the weekend that you stayed and we are investigating how this can be prevented in the future. We are glad your stay was nice and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

Although this is part of the holiday inn chain, this hotel offers much more than the standard. Themed rooms and view of the Wanayama reserve make for a brilliant break with the children. Rooms and bathrooms are spacious and clean. On this visit we stayed on the second floor overlooking the reserve and the view was fantastic. The kids jumped out of bed when they realised that the oryx and ostrichs were just being let out and having a great time tearing around the reserve. It made getting the kids to breakfast diffiucult as they wanted to stay and watch! We had room 231 which also meant you could see across to the bird cages and the vultures. The one night package was excellent value with buffet breakfast and entry to the zoo on two days.
Being half term meant the hotel was packed with the only downside being that so was the pool/spa (ran out of towels) and also the Zafiri grill. We only managed to get a late table for dinner and service was extremely slow although this seemed to be down to our waitress as others around us were served quicker by other staff.
Overall would thoroughly recommend this break to others.

Room Tip: Beware rooms on the first floor overlooking the reserve as although charged at a premium, the view i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tsamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CWOAR, Manager at Chessington Safari Hotel, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
Thank you very much for your review. Your comments will be shared with all the departments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chessington Safari Hotel

Property: Chessington Safari Hotel
Address: Leatherhead Road | Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Chessington KT9 2NE, England (Formerly Holiday Inn London - Chessington)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Surrey > Chessington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Chessington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chessington Safari Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up to an African inspired reserve with zebras, antelopes, ostriches and the very rare Scimitar Horned Oryx roaming freely before your very eyes - it's the ultimate room with a Zoo! The hotel is perfect for family breaks with safari theming, African Adventure rooms, Penguins of Madagascar themed rooms, an indoor swimming pool, the family friendly Savannah Splash, gym & spa and the fantastic Zafari Bar & Grill. The hotel is part of the Chessington World of Adventures Resort and is just a few strides away from the Park. On weekends and during school holidays there are also animal meet and greets and character breakfasts. The hotel also has state of the art corporate facilities with 6 meeting rooms all with natural daylight, air conditioning and high speed internet access. At the theme park take on the KOBRA, our exciting spinning disc ride in Wild Asia, soar on the Vampire roller coaster through the depths of Transylvania or take a fiery spin round Dragon's Fury. Take a walk on the wild side with tigers, lions and gorillas in the Trail of the Kings, go underwater with sharks and stingrays in the SEA LIFE centre or journey to our new Wanyama Village & Reserve where the zebras and antelopes roam. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn London - Chessington Hotel Chessington
Holiday Inn Chessington
Chessington Holiday Inn
Chessington Safari Hotel Surrey

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