10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Wonderful family hotel
"Having read some of the reviews on this site I was really worried about our stay...I am happy to say my fears were totally unjustified!
We took our 23month old for a two night stay with grandparents and had a wonderful time.
The hotel staff were wonderful, and the facilities for little people were great! Sure, the swimming pool changing rooms were looking tired, but they provided floats, arm bands and other toys for the pool! Our daughter ate wonderful fresh fruit and vegetables for dinner, they even provided milk on demand!!!
I could go on and on about how wonderful the entertainment was for our daughter but then I would not be doing the chef any credit!
We had superb food both nights in the lovely restaurant."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of September 2007
Great time second time round
"We too have just returned from a long weekend at Moonfleet Manor. This was our second stay - last time our little one was seven months and we didn't get as much out of the stay as this time (she is now two).
Think it is best for kids of about two upwards - and this seemed the average age when we stayed.
The hotel is well written about here and some comments are correct - others we don't agree with.
We had a great room in the main part of the Manor, quiet, clean and warm (very).
The food is very, very acceptable - breakfasts are great as is lunch. Dinner is the best bit - the baby monitoring service allows you to eat downstairs whilst the staff listens into the room.
We used most if not all the facilities and whilst the Manor could do with a little tlc, as mentioned before, if it was all brand new I'm sure we'd be worried about the mishaps and accidents that are inevitable with a toddler running around the place.
The vista, the beach, the sitting rooms and the walks all add up to a really pleasant stay and location for a family.
The pool is fine - we were in it daily and then there is the crÃ¨che with nice staff to look after children for a maximum of a couple of hours - again giving some rest for parents.
Staff were on the whole excellent - friendly and smiling. Spicer, the Manor dog, still holds fort in reception.
All told, it's not the cheapest weekend - though taking account of having everything on the doorstep, the food, good wine, menu, childcare - we think it is well worth it and can afford it."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of September 2007
"After searching for a stylish hotel in Dorset frantically and at the last minute, I was lucky enough to find that the Moonfleet manor had a spare room for myself, my husband and our 14 year old son. I was feeling very smug until I read the reviews on this site and then I was dreading arriving throughout the drive from London..wondering if I could justify the expense to my husband!
DONT WORRY!! Ok its not Cliveden but I wasnt looking for that anyway. I wanted a boho retreat with friendly staff and no pretension and thats what I got! The room was wonderful (Sir Henry Peti in the "eves") with wonderful cosy furnishings and two small windows with hill and sea views (the sea if you looked right).
The food in the restuarant was great, and good value for money, if a little rich, but hey your on holiday! I couldnt not fault the staff. The room was very clean and the bedding was crisp and ironed. My son actually commented that the Hotel was like staying over at a friends house as a guest.
Please dont be put off by the reviews here, unless you expect 5*... Its expensive but worth the money for the one night we stayed."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of September 2007
A Firm Favourite
"Having just returned from a four day stay at Moonfleet Manor â for the eighth consecutive year! â I wanted to redress the balance of the many recent very negative reports. I agree that it isnât absolutely perfect â the swimming pool and den are a bit on the dingy side for example â but the whole formula has worked incredibly well for us and our children (now aged 9 and 7) and we look forward to future visits.
The hotel is located in a beautiful part of the country and offers lovely walks and views. It has a large garden with tables for lunch on a pleasant terrace, hammocks, sun loungers and a childrenâs outdoor play area. The main reception rooms are comfortable and elegant in a slightly faded way with lots of interesting colonial bric a brac. Bedrooms vary in size and luxury. Recently weâve stayed in âMaximillianâ, a junior suite on the top floor â individual and comfortable though not especially smart. Elzevier is perhaps the nicest room weâve stayed in, but itâs rather more expensive.
The food at Moonfleet is very pleasing without being outstanding â some unusual, quite sophisticated combinations and good raw ingredients. The wine list â mostly New World - is particularly interesting and well chosen. Breakfasts are good â again, not stunning perhaps, but there are some nice touches such as excellent local yoghurts rather than a mainstream brand. There is a sensible varied lunch menu with lots of child friendly options. Childrenâs tea strikes a well judged balance between pragmatism and idealism. Fresh salmon and roast chicken rather than nuggets or burgers â chocolate cake, crumble, or jelly for pudding â though there is always a healthier option such as fruit salad or yoghurt. The childrenâs tea room is a bit dispiriting but itâs easy to move stuff to the adjoining lounge area which is much more pleasant.
The hotel is well staffed with a mixture of locals and Eastern Europeans. The style is informal, to the point of being casual, but also very friendly and helpful. Housekeeping is fine, though they can take quite a while to do the rooms during the day. The nannies are kind and the den generally seems well run if perhaps not especially dynamic.
Facilities for children are the key to the hotelâs success. Although the den (for younger children) and the verandah (which has table tennis, computer games etc for older children) are rather shabby they do provide lots of varied entertainment and Iâm not sure that investing a lot of money in smartening up these parts of the hotel would particularly improve the quality of the overall experience.
To sum up Iâd say that Moonfleet is better than the sum of its parts and gets the important things right. Itâs not difficult to find (mostly little) things to criticise about the hotel but overall everything here is always so pleasant and relaxing that any small blips just donât seem to matter. I particularly recommend Moonfleet (and the other hotels in the group) to parents of preschool children who will really appreciate all the childcare â and are able to benefit from substantial off season reductions in term time."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of August 2007
"Ive just returned from a seven night stay at Moonfleet Manor.
There were 2 adults and 3 children in my family group,I booked a suite for the first 4 nights and interconnecting Rooms for the last 3 as thats the only way they could accomodate us for the week . I picked the hotel as we were booked into a weeks sailing course in the nearby laser School.
Overall it was as I expected , it is slightly tatty around the edges but the rooms were large and clean and the staff friendly.
It was not top draw luxury but better than most hotels in the west country catering for families that ive stayed in before.
The food was good for adults,not quite restuarant standard but for a hotel with food as part of package not bad at all- limited menu though.
Food for kids was average to poor with a Â£10.50 cover charge if taken with adults in the evening.
House wine Â£16.50
My total bill was just short of Â£3000 -they did over charge me by Â£200 pounds though so check your bill !!"
- Travel date: Sat 18th of August 2007
Weekend break...or broken??
"Ok we went here because of the Von essen tag and because they claim that it is great for kids. So having arrived the interior is tired and had that old knackerd feel to it. The staff where polite and showed us to our room. Also very tired and it smelt awaful the toilet in the ensuite bathroom stank like ransid salt water. We complained but nothing was done, some guy looked at it but it still smelt aweful. The Kids areas where nice but the toys where old and some broken, the pool area old small and not clean, the cresh was open but poorly equiped and would never dream of leaving my child there on her own. The place needs a few million spending on it. Food was excellent. But when you look at the price they charged us for the room and never offered another room or a discount even though the toilet was rank we would never go here again."
- Travel date: Wed 1st of August 2007
"I was really looking forward to a relaxing weekend at Moonfleet Manor having stayed at a sister hotel but was bitterly disappointed.
On arrival to the very shabby reception I was shown to my room by someone who clearly had little time for guests and having overheard some of her comments on other guests over the weekend I was shocked that a hotel charging the amount they do could employ such unprofessional staff. It seemed as if the hotel was being run by some kids on a year out and I kept waiting for the real manager to show up.
My room which cost over Â£300 per night was terrible. There was such an awful smell in there that I did not want to be in there. I mentioned it to one of the staff and was told that there was no other room to move me to. I wanted to leave there and then but my son wanted to stay as he had met a new friend so I decided to stick it out.
The kids facilities were no better. The tunnel leading there had a plastic roof which was full of flies, the swimming pool was so full of chlorine that it made my eyes water and it was also really dingy and grubby so my son who loves swimming would only go in there once. The kids club was next to it so that also had a strong chlorine smell. The large play area on the other side of the hotel (which also contained the spa) was basically a large shed with green felt on the floor. There was a trampoline, a pool table, table tennis, large chess and a football table that you had to pay for. The smell going in there was so bad that even my son had to hold his nose and the whole area just looked dilapidated and tired - I couldn't wait to get home.
In summary: my room was dreadful, the place was grubby, tired and full of flies, the childrens areas are dilapidated, the food was ok but definitely not "luxury", the reception staff were dismissive and unprofessional and it is not worth even a tenth of the money I paid. Save your money or go somewhere else but don't go to Moonfleet Manor."
- Travel date: Wed 1st of August 2007
Run down Moonfleece you manor
"Summary: an overpriced, tatty, dirty and run down hotel with good food that tries to pass off luxury by calling it shabby chic. Don't waste your money. We left early. Complain and they treat you like an idiot (read on).
I donât normally write complaints but I felt the need to after staying at MoonFleet Manor.
I booked a 2 night stay on the basis that it was a luxury family hotel. It was not cheap. The good bit was that the food was great (in fact excellent) butâ¦.
The nappy bin in the room stank so much that we could not use it (it had obviously not been cleaned for ages).
My biggest complaint was that most of the hotel was run down and needed a complete refurbish, I had the feeling that an extra year or more was being squeezed in until it was done up. There was paint peeling everywhere and it was in poor decorative order, there were leaking roofs with buckets in the play room to catch the water etc etc etc. The room was dusty to the point that we kept our of it as much as we could.
There was dog poo on the lawn where kids are supposed to play.
Most of the toys were worn out. The room was too small to really put a cot in it.
We left early â not the luxury relaxing break we needed. Need I go on.
I wrote to the hotel outlining my issues. I got a patronizing and dismissive reply back ignoring all my points and saying 'Moonfleet cannot be compared to Cliveden' and suggsting that it might not 'be my cup of tea'. Basically saying it was my fault for not liking it!
Don't go. I hear their other hotels are better but I am not willing to take the chance"
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of July 2007
Not a luxury hotel!!
"As four adults with no children, I can honestly say that moonfleet manor was our biggest nightmare. The hotel was recommended by a local, and after checking out the website we thought that this would be the perfect pace for us to relax in luxury for the weekend.
We booked a coachhouse, it was described as being in its own grounds with a private outside space, two double bedrooms and a lounge area.
The cost for this was Â£500 Per night, which we thought was steep - but looked forward to a special weekend.
Firstly finding this hotel was problematic - we did not find one sign indicating where to go and had to stop at 2 campsites for directions.
On arrival, first impressions were poor. The whole place is shabby. There are disgusing faded leopard skins (complete with heads, snarling teeth and glassy eyes) along with stuffed animal heads lining the walls. Enough to give you nightmares.
We were incredibly disappointed with the room and spoke to the manager immediately. The one main bedroom was fine, the second however was tiny with a small bed and no tea and coffee making facilities. The lounge area was small with one two seater sofa and a desk. Not possible for 4 people to fit into, let alone sit comfortably!
Our outside area was shabby, the paint on the window sills badly needed repair, disturbingly there were rat poision tubes put down everywhere.
The manager offered us a free bottle of champagne as compensation. We did not take him up on the offer and went out.
The next morning, we felt we were really being ripped off and decided that unless the rate was reduced dramatically, we would leave.
After further discussion with the manager, he relented and reduced the rate to Â£350 per night (a more reasonable price, but still on the high side for the standard of accommodation)
We stayed on and made the best of it.
Standards however did not improve. We ordered sandwiches on arrival, which were served on our patio area. The plates, glasses, cutlery and remains of our lunch were still all sitting there when we left 2 days later, smelling and soaked with the rain.
No wonder they have a problem with rats!
Also worryingly for a child friendly hotel, the tiles around the bath were razor sharp. Some clever fellow had decided to make a mosaic out of left over tiles, not bothering to smooth over the edges. Our friend cut his elbow while in the shower. With boisterous children and wet surfaces, this is indeed an accident waiting to happen - thats if they don't get to the rat poison first!
I would not recommend this place to anyone who is looking for luxury. If you want basic accommodation, with shabby faded surroundings, then this could be the place for you!"
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of July 2007
Is it really a Von Essen Hotel?
"I cannot describe the disappointment I felt when I turned up at this hotel thinking it would be like other Von Essen hotels. It isn't.
The hotel manager attempted to put us into a 1970's style B&B room, but we refused because it was above the kitchen (i.e. noisy) and very hot. As my wife is pregnant I asked to move but had to pay another Â£20 to get a very basic, more shabby than chic room. The general manager didn't want to hear about our issues and simply wanted us to go away.
Before arriving I informed the hotel I had a Strawberry allergy. On checking in I informed them again that about this allergy; when I booked my desert I mentioned this allergy. Imagine my surprise when I got a nice, juicy strawberry on top of my desert. It might not sound a big issues, but imagine if it was your child and they had a peanut allergy? Would you want this kitchen to prepare their food?
The best thing about this hotel is the location and the road from it"
- Travel date: Wed 18th of July 2007