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Reviewed 1 June 2021

We have stayed at Oulton Hall several times before the pandemic, and would have given the hotel the maximum 5/5 rating. We wanted to support the hotel when it re-opened in May 2021. However, rather than the grand re-opening we had expected (especially when paying over £700 for a two-night stay), we were disappointed in the noticeable slip of standards.

The hotel was woefully understaffed for a bank holiday weekend, and most of the staff were school-leavers who although friendly and polite were clearly lacking in training, work-ethic and common sense. Any savings the management may have made on staff must have been obliterated by the refunds that they gave to the many customer complaints we heard (and made) during our stay:

• Despite dinner and breakfast being included in our stay, and our being urged to book our tables in advance, it was impossible to book online using the link provided. The receptionists eventually responded to our e-mail after a few days, but even then, did not book all the requested tables. We had to book the remaining ones when we checked in (minus half a star).
• There was a large queue at reception for both check-in and check-out – the first sign of severe under-staffing for the Bank Holiday weekend (minus half a star).
• There was a large patch (at least one metre square) of sodden carpet outside the en suite bathroom, as if the bathroom had been flooded (see picture – the discoloured area was soaking wet). This was vacuumed on our request on the first night of our stay, but it was never really dry. (It is only fair to point out that we received an apology, a bottle of champagne and a partial refund on our bill for this - minus one star cancelled out by plus one star).
• There were large strips of black gaffer tape on the carpet outside, and hanging down from the four-poster bed inside, our suite (see pictureminus half a star).
• There was no champagne on arrival, as was promised as part of our package – we had to order it when we finally got through to room service (minus half a star).
• Dinner on the first night was excellent served by Oliver, a friendly and professional man who understood his job very well and we tipped accordingly (plus one star). Unfortunately, there was no English breakfast tea available at the end of the meal (minus half a star).
• G&T Afternoon Tea was included in our package. We booked ourselves in for 2pm, but on arrival were asked to find a spare table and chairs on the terrace. The afternoon tea was brought out in dribs and drabs – cold drinks after half-an-hour, hot drinks after 45 minutes, and the sandwiches and cakes after an hour and a half. When we asked for plates, however, the waiter suggested, ‘Just earrit off them plates’, indicating (and rather spoiling the grand effect of) the three-tier silver-plated serving stand. (To be fair, we were offered free drinks at dinner that evening to compensate for this - minus one star cancelled out by plus one star).
• We booked dinner at 6.30pm on the second night, having seen how busy the dining hall became later on. Despite this, the starters and main courses each took 45 minutes to arrive, so we didn’t bother with dessert. We ordered champagne but were initially brought a rosé wine – when the champagne eventually came, it was without an ice bucket or champagne flutes (minus half a star).
• By the time we arrived for our reserved time for breakfast on the second morning, we were kept waiting for a table and then told they had run out of orange juice. We ordered tea for two on arrival, but a single pot only arrived when we had nearly finished. We had to order the milk and one of the mugs separately, although shortly after the milk had been delivered, we were asked by another waiter whether we had finished with it so he could take it to another table. We hadn’t, and he didn’t – but sharing small jugs of milk between different tables could hardly have been the most Covid-safe policy. The ‘fruit salad; consisted of eight pieces of tinned oranges in syrup (see picture). The carpet in the dining room was clearly in need of vacuuming as there were crumbs everywhere (minus half a star).
• The pool had run out of towels, had a wet and dirty family changing room, and was letting in more than the 10-12 maximum number the various Covid signs said were the maximum, again, despite booking our slot in the pool. We were asked to go to family changing as there was only one locker token left. When we tried to do this there was nowhere to change as rooms were closed. We later noticed a family changing in the corridor area (minus half a star).

Summary: we started with a 5/5 rating based on our previous stays, but the minus half-stars above bring down the current rating 2/5. We look forward to visiting again in the future and see the hotel and its customer service restored to its former glory.

Room tip: The suites in the old building are best. There are only eight of them, and they are expensive, but worth it.
Date of stay: May 2021
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank hcropilslighter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohammed Thousif Hussain K H, Guest Services / Front Office at Oulton Hall & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Hcropilslighter,

Thank you for leaving a review and please let me start by apologising that you feel the service and entire experience were not as what you've expected. Our stunning hotel really is in such a beautiful location and we have many fantastic facilities to offer, however, I hope you understand that post pandemic, we have had to make few adjustments. Things have been slightly challenging for us and things are not quite running to the usual exceptional high standards that we pride ourselves on. However, please be assured that we are working extremely hard to address the above issues and implement right measures and procedures in place to ensure that the finest quality of service is provided to all our guests. We are very confident that you will have a nicer experience on your next visit and we look forward to welcoming you back again at Oulton Hall Hotel.

Kind regards,

Mohammed Thousif
Guest Experience Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2021 via mobile

Sadly having to leave early due to a disappointing experience.
We have been to this hotel many a times, in fact, my parents all time favourite.
Albeit the hotel refunded us the money for our stay (only thing they did right!) I would like for them (and others to be aware) and to address the following issues we experienced:
Where do I begin...

Arrived at midday, went and sat on the terrace, which has not been organised correctly. Not enough tables and chairs for guests. Litter in most places, we had to wipe the chairs down to be able to sit. No table service (or not that it seemed) went into bar at 12:30. Ordered 2 coffees and a wine.
30 mins passed. Nothing. I went to see where they were. 30 mins later. Still nothing. Finally 2 coffees appeared, cold, chipped mugs. No wine.
1.5 hours passed I go and chase at which point the bar staff told me they couldn’t leave the bar to go and get a new bottle from the cellar ‍♀️
About 2 hours later a glass of wine appeared. Not what I ordered. Don’t even mention the 2 coffees!!
Lunch was ordered, turned up cold. Didn’t bother complaining at this point. As it was going in one ear and out the other. They gave me the money back for the wine and coffees, but still charged us for everything else so.. actually nothing was gestured as I never got what I paid for anyway.

Then we saw a rat. Yep. A rat, crossed our paths right outside the hotel. We reported it to reception at which the lady just laughed!?

Went to check in, door keys not working. The poor man on reception had to go with every single guest to let them know their room.

Bedroom was fine. Sheets lovely to be fair and bed comfy. The room however was tired. But little can be done about this I wouldn’t usually mention this.

Booked the pool for 5pm. Which I had phones several times to confirm, left messages, but no one ever came back. But to my surprise it was confirmed.
However. Covid who? 20 people in a tiny pool, just ferrel. Couldn’t “swim” and given safety of covid, well. There was none.
Considering the limitations to booking the pool I would have thought the numbers would have been controlled. Given signs around the pool saying Max 10 people. Needless to say we walked in and walked out. Disappointing.

Now onto dinner. Queued up for 20 mins to get in. Then another 30 mins just to take drinks order (of which we had to call the waitress over to do so)
Food was ummm microwaved? That’s how I’m going to describe it. Just terrible! I’m ok with slow service if the food is amazing! But no..
For the prices they are charging I would expect amazing!
Steak was GREY! I asked for medium, again, at this point I just didn’t want to carry on. Didn’t complain, didn’t eat it. Just left (meal was included in our stay).
Final straw. So we left even before breakfast the next day as didn’t want to stay for that show!

Manager had literally no hesitation to say “full refund, leave now and you can book somewhere else you may enjoy” .. 3 rooms just lost for our whole party.

I really am gutted as been here before and it was lovely and food was amazing. I really hope they can turn this around.

Date of stay: May 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank HSharman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohammed Thousif Hussain K H, Guest Services / Front Office at Oulton Hall & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi HSharman,

Thank you for leaving a review and please let me start by apologising that you feel the service and entire experience were not as what you've expected which led you to check out a day early. Things have been slightly challenging for us and things are not quite running to the usual exceptional high standards that we pride ourselves on. However, please be assured that we are working extremely hard to address the above issues and implement right measures and procedures in place to ensure that the finest quality of service is provided to all our guests. We are very confident that you will have a nicer experience on your next visit and we look forward to welcoming you back again at Oulton Hall Hotel.

Kind regards,

Mohammed Thousif
Guest Experience Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2021 via mobile

What a dreadful experience this weekend. So short staffed that the ones who were there were run off their feet. Numerous guest complaints everywhere we went. Most of the spa closed, no jacuzzi, sauna, steam or relaxation room, no loungers by the pool all this despite having called and been reassured that it would be open this weekend.
Incorrect room allocation, times of restaurant bookings messed up, times of treatments moved without us being informed, limited choices of cocktails, why?
Offers of a glass of Prosecco as compensation never materialised, no answer from room service, 40 minute wait for breakfast due to large queue
Truly messed up my daughters 18th birthday gift/celebration. No point in complaining to staff at Reception they were clearly under a great deal of pressure and trying to do their best.
Not nearly up to the reputation the hotel claims to have. Have requested a complementary re visit, I will post on here the outcome of the complaint

Room tip: Dont go here until the reviews improve
Date of stay: April 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank ElaineH869
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohammed Thousif Hussain K H, Guest Services / Front Office at Oulton Hall & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Elaine,H869,

Thank you for leaving a review and please let me start by apologising that you feel the service and entire experience were not as what you've expected. Things have been slightly challenging for us and things are not quite running to the usual exceptional high standards that we pride ourselves on. However, please be assured that we are working extremely hard to address the above issues and implement right measures and procedures in place to ensure that the finest quality of service is provided to all our guests. We are very confident that you will have a nicer experience on your next visit and we look forward to welcoming you back again at Oulton Hall Hotel.


Kind regards,

Mohammed Thousif
Guest Experience Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2021 via mobile

Stayed there on the 21/5/21, with golf breaks , what an absolute nightmare 28 blokes and ran out of beer ,staff giving out iou as no change one minute pay by card then it was cash as machine broke down, watched golf bar manager pour a pint of Guinness then put his hand in the glass scooped some out and re filled and served to a customer an absolute disgrace, the breakfast que must have been 40 deep, hotel bar staff run ragged as not enough staff on but plenty behind the bar doing nothing not the staffs fault just poorly managed by management.
Believe it or not you had West Brom football club staying there as if there season couldn't have got any worse.
If you are thinking of staying find somewhere else as not to be disappointed

Room tip: Hotel itself nice but organisational skills shocking
Date of stay: May 2021
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank garyt900
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohammed Thousif Hussain K H, Guest Services / Front Office at Oulton Hall & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Garyt900,

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. I am surprised to hear that you felt our golf facilities were not as expected. Set in 300 acres of picturesque parkland, our terrain is designed to be challenging to really put all abilities to the test. However, I have noted the improvements you feel need to be made and these will be thoroughly looked into. Once again, thanks for choosing us and I apologise you were not entirely satisfied. I still hope I could welcome you again in Oulton Hall.

Regards,

Mohammed Thousif
Guest Experience Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2021

I had the Elemis rebalancing facial treatment with Therapist Sam this morning and I cannot recommend this highly enough. My skin has never felt or looked better and I came away feeling so relaxed and rejuvenated. Sam explained every product to me and how this would benefit my skin and she was extremely knowledgeable. Thank you Sam!

Date of stay: May 2021
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Thank emilywM1083CF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mohammed Thousif Hussain K H, Guest Services / Front Office at Oulton Hall & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Emily,

Thank you for taking the time to leave us with such kind review. We are very pleased that you were satisfied with your space treatment! Rest assured that this will get to sam. Thank you again and looking to see back on your next spa treatment.

Kind Regards,

Mohammed Thousif
Guest Experience Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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