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Hartwell House
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Reviews (750)
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All reviewsafternoon teathe main housecountry housepublic roomssconesnational trustbeautiful groundsspecial occasionstately homefour postersteam roommain restaurantrelaxing breakhistoric buildingamazing hotelstaff were attentivebirthday treat
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11 - 16 of 750 reviews
Reviewed 20 March 2018

We went for a birthday-treat couple of nights so it was lovely to be upgraded when we arrived. The building is beautiful, as you would expect from one of only three National Trust hotels. Our room was gorgeous - great views, very comfortably appointed and super shortbread. The public rooms are delightful too as are the grounds which are HUGE and full of snowdrops and nearly daffodils. It's a lovely time of year to visit.

The restaurant and bar are quite formal and pricey - people obviously come in from miles around. But I would think two dinners would be enough. The meat was particularly ace: we had duck and venison and both were meltingly tender and delicious. Breakfast good too, though an odd marmalade policy (you have to ask and some guests obviously didn't know to do so. Home-grown apple juice a highlight. And they do kippers too - which not enough places too.

The spa is pretty good too with a fair-sized pool. Not a huge range of treatments, but well done and nice people.

We would go back like a shot (bank balance allowing)

And try the afternoon tea. And maybe the local pub's pie day on Wednesday too.

Room Tip: All the rooms in the main house looked good. Personally I'm not keen on cottages - lots of the rooms were in them
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank saranLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2018

Beautiful room, so well appointed with some delightful antique furniture in keeping with the quality of the house and contents. Very comfortable 6' double bed. Huge bathroom. What an experience. Dinner was really lovely with friendly and helpful waiters. Breakfast in the morning was delicious. A swim in the pool in the Spa was very enjoyable. It was all a treat arranged by my children for Mothers Days, we were so spoilt.

Room Tip: The rooms on the second floor are very quiet.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Captainbligh53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2018

This was the first time I had taken my family to Hartwell House, for Sunday lunch to celebrate my wife's 50th birthday. From the moment I made the booking to the moment we left the hotel, nothing was too much trouble, everyone at the hotel made us feel very welcome and made to feel special and valued. Quite simply, the customer service was exemplary consistent and provided by staff who clearly took great pride in their appearance and individual service to meeting their customer's expectations My daughter has a gluten free diet which the hotel catered for with no fuss and even went to the trouble of providing a separate gluten free slice of birthday cake just for her to go with the main birthday cake for my wife - a nice touch. Upon arrival, a member of staff greeted us and offered to take group photos for us which got our visit off to a great start. Pre-lunch drinks and canapés were served in a beautiful drawing room. Our three course Sunday lunch was professionally and attentively presented by each of the waiters, who were always on hand to meet any requests for assistance e.g. extra vegetable and gravy. The Roast Oxfordshire rib of beef was in particular cooked to perfection (all medium rare) and all courses were perfectly cooked and beautifully presented. I can thoroughly recommend dining at Hartwell house and experiencing fine wine, beautiful cuisine and outstanding customer hospitality. We will definitely be returning to enjoy the stunning location and unique ambience and occasion that all the staff passionately strive to deliver to each of their guests.

Room Tip: Book the restaurant and arrive early to enjoy the stunning grounds and customer service
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank chrisyoung2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2018

A stay at Hartwell House is punctuated by fleeting moments of magic: my first was on a late afternoon winter's walk alone in the beech woods of the grounds. Suddenly, a deer and I crossed paths. We stopped and looked at each other silently with keen interest for a while, and then went our separate ways.

As you approach and the drive dips to the old house surrounded by acres of calm green fields, you know this is a special place where time takes its time. The heavy front door opens into a cosy great hall hung with an old tapestry and with a real wood fire.

We were shown to our spacious bedrooms on the top floor, under the eaves. To be honest, I shuddered slightly at the liberal use of chintz and thought "I'd like this better if I was 85." But Hartwell is quitely and unapologetically traditional, and that is its charm. You will need to surrender any expectations of quirky designer touches and witty artwork, but once you do, the old house will grow on you. There are two sumptuous drawing rooms with fresh flowers, a wood paneled bar, and a library perfumed with the aroma of 18th Century leather-bound books stacked to the ceiling. All are supremely comfortable.

We planned to have just one or two dinners in the domed ceiling yellow dining room during our 6-night stay: we ended up having four. The food was addictive: the best of British produce with a modern, light touch that was also satisfying, from grilled turbot with leek spaghetti, to crispy yet moist guinea fowl, lemon treacle pudding, and a cloud-like panna cotta with rhubarb foam. The Sunday lunch was one of the best I've ever had, and believe me, I've gorged my way through a few. And don't get me started on the afternoon tea, laid out on crisp white linen in front of a gently sputtering fire in the library. I've never tasted such perfect scones: crisp and crunchy on the outside, soft and yet properly chewy on the inside. It's ruined all other teas for me now.

The spa in the separate converted stables and courtyard accommodations adjacent to the main house got a resounding thumbs up from my guest. It also has a more casual cafe, and once again, the food was light and delicious.

The staff, one and all, are gracious and helpful. The young wait staff were charming and courteous, particularly with elderly guests. Which brings me to another point: most of the guests are a much older set, but if you have young children -- so long as you've brought them up to mind their p's and q's to a certain extent -- don't be put off: introduce them to these old places, so they will grow up with magical memories.

Considering this is a National Trust-run hotel (only one of three) I think they're doing a wonderful job, and put many other places to shame.

Bottom line? This is a very long review, but Hartwell House is one of those special places that deserves it. She won't dazzle you with style and opulence, but like a true lady, will reveal her charms to you slowly. If you've ever read "The Children of Green Knowe," then Hartwell will let you turn back time and be Tolly, in a place where time is of little importance.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank tonydebangkok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2018 via mobile

Had a lovely afternoon tea here with a friend. The setting is beautiful, it is such an elegant house in amazing grounds. Felt very indulgent enjoying the afternoon tea. Tea was plentiful, as were the cakes. Little sandwiches were ok, would have been nice to have had a choice of fillings. Also offered complimentary prosecco or champagne which was a bonus!

Stayed: February 2018, travelled with friends
Thank Avon5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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