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Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

We stayed at Summer Lodge for a couple of nights in late March. This was our third visit to this wonderful hotel in a very picturesque Dorset village. I booked a two night package through the hotel, comprising accommodation in a Principal Deluxe room, breakfast, dinner in the hotel's restaurant on the first night, and dinner at the Acorn Inn on the second night.

After driving through snow covered roads for most of our journey, we were greeted by Jack Mackenzie, part of the husband and wife General Manager team. This was the first time we had had the pleasure of meeting Jack, who is a very friendly and knowledgeable host. After a chat about Summer Lodge and the Red Carnation group, we were shown to Room 15, opposite the Reception area. Each of our stays so far has seen us in more and more luxurious rooms, and this visit was no exception. In Room 15, the bed is enormous, but the room itself is very large, with a walk-in wardrobe and, for warmer months, a small outdoor patio area with two loungers. The bathroom is also very large, with a free standing hip bath and a large walk-in shower. In what was a very cold March, the underfloor heating in the bathroom was very welcome.

My "full English" breakfast, taken in the conservatory, was beautifully cooked, and dinner in the hotel's restaurant was probably the best we have had in our three visits. On our second night, dinner at the Acorn Inn, which is in the same group, was excellent.

Apart from the superb accommodation and food, what stands out at Summer Lodge (and two other Red Carnation hotels I have visited) is the quality, efficiency and friendliness of the staff. I happen to know that the owners of the group treat all staff members around the world as "family", and that is reflected in the service levels provided to guests.

I would happily recommend that anyone looking for a treat at a five star hotel in in the beautiful Dorset countryside should think about a luxury break at Summer Lodge.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank DavidG638
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ACAW, General Manager at Summer Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 April 2018

Dear David G638
Jack and I were so thrilled to read your wonderful review. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. We will take great pleasure in sharing it with the fabulous team at our morning meeting and we all look forward to your next visit very soon. Warmest wishes, Alex & Jack

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Reviewed 24 March 2018 via mobile

My husband and I visited Summer Lodge for one night last October and loved every minute of it - from the warm welcome from the concierge when we arrived to our departure the next day.
From the minute we entered the grounds, we knew Summer Lodge was a bit special and after a 3.5 hour drive, the stunning setting was a very pleasant surprise.
We were given the key to our room and I was a bit apprehensive with the dark stairs but the room was absolutely amazing. The main sleeping area had a huge (and oh so comfortable) bed, table and chairs for dining, relaxing chairs and lovely double aspect windows. There was a little area dividing the living area from the bathrooms (yes, there were 2) which had the tea and coffee making facilities and then on to the bathroom and shower room. Wow! The bathroom was massive with a large bath, chair and basin - the perfect place to relax. I only used the shower in the other room as we were limited on time and visiting friends, but the shower was also amazing once I'd figured out how to control the jets.
In the afternoon, we had a snack in the room where afternoon tea is served and it was fabulous. I went for a cheese and tomato sandwich and my husband had a cheese board. The portions were huge and the food and presentation was superb.
We were visiting friends for dinner so didn't get to enjoy the restaurant food, though we did have a look around the bar and snug area which was the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine after a winter walk.
When we returned that evening, the turn down service included some delightful lip balm and we had the best night's sleep away for ages.
When we woke completely refreshed the next day, even my husband joined me for breakfast (which is a rarity) and we are in the lovely conservatory overlooking the beautiful gardens. Breakfast was fabulous and the service was excellent (as it was throughout our stay).
We left Summer Lodge and it's pretty surroundings after just one night but feeling like we'd had a real mini break. It was literally the best hotel we have ever stayed in within the UK - from welcome to setting to luxury to farewell, nothing was too much for the staff who arranged cabs for us (warning us how expensive they would be), offered us umbrellas for our night out and gave us water for our homeward journey. If only we could have stayed for longer...

Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Temer2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ACAW, General Manager at Summer Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 March 2018

Dear Temer2
Jack & I were so happy to read your wonderful review. We shall take great pleasure in sharing your kind words with our colleagues and look forward to seeing you again very soon when hopefully you will be able to join us for dinner too. Warmest wishes, Alex

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Reviewed 22 March 2018 via mobile

I’ll be honest, no REAL issues here other than not as good as Afternoon Tea at other Relais and Chateaux hotels. Maybe we’ve just been really spoiled elsewhere or we’re really greedy!Maybe comparing isn’t fair however expected things to be very similar.

The food was very good and really couldn’t fault the quality, or the staff and service which was both very good. The issue was the amount of food. Other places offer extra sandwiches if required (and cake), and we only had one scone each here whereas had two elsewhere. This clearly does make us sound very greedy however when spending the same as other places (approximately £30) in the same hotel group I would expect very similar quantities.

Summer Lodge is lovely and welcoming and has a really nice feel about it. Open fire and quiet, relaxing lounge area. Just felt we didn’t really get our money’s worth, after driving a long way!

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with friends
Thank little-miss-magic1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ACAW, General Manager at Summer Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2018

Dear little-miss-magic1
Thank you so much for your recent visit to Summer Lodge, we are all delighted that you were so comfortable and that the team looked after you so well. Thank you for your very kind comments about the quality of the afternoon tea you enjoyed.
I am sorry you feel that we should have been a little more generous with the portion size; it has been our experience in the past that the quantity is usually plentiful. We are also always very happy to top up the sandwiches, scones or cakes at any point during tea time should it be required. Ensuring our guests leave us feeling fully satisfied is a priority for us and I apologise if it was not the case for you on this occasion.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we look forward to welcoming you back to Summer Lodge in the future.
With our best wishes, Jack and Alexandra

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Reviewed 20 March 2018 via mobile

We had the most wonderful romantic break at Summer Lodge last weekend.

This is our 3rd visit and definitely not our last.

We stayed in the cottage again it was wonderful.

All the staff are so very lovely and it is nice to visit a place where the same staff work there when you return. Special thanks to Peter who always greats the guests will sincerity. He is a huge asset to Summer Lodge and our favourite member of staff.

On the visit we had dinner on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon tea. Chef chose for us and we had wines paired with all the courses. Everything was faultless and delicious .
Cocktails were as always fantastic.

Rose petals were placed on our bed a lovely surprise when we went back to our room.

Please commend all your staff and we hope to visit again soon.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank Alison d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ACAW, General Manager at Summer Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 March 2018

Dear Alison d
We were thrilled to read your lovely review which we took great pleasure in sharing with the team this morning. We all look forward to your return very soon! Warmest wishes, Jack & Alex

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Reviewed 18 March 2018 via mobile

It becomes harder and harder every year to keep upping my game for mothering Sunday. Seriously, I don't know what I'm going to do next year to better this. I've had to wait 5 years to get my mum booked in here for mothering sunday and goodness me it was worth the wait. The staff were outstanding at all times. The service with a smile was exemplary. Absolutely. The afternoon tea was fresh, delicate, beautifully presented and more importantly tasted sublime. Lovely big portions, plenty of cream and jam to go with the scones.
Beautiful surroundings, very quirky and classy. Beautifully maintained. We like places with an air of proper vintage, not kitsch. There's a difference. My goodness this ticked every possible box.
After the wonderful tea we went mooching and found a roaring fire with comfy chairs and the papers. Despite having had our tea we were welcomed with every appearance of pleasure and so had wine. Was lovely from beginning to end and we so didn't want to leave
Whoever cares for this hotel please keep it as it is, it's unique. So nice to go somewhere that doesn't feel the need to conform to the "corporate norm"
Praise is well deserved for all of you who make this place so amazing.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
Thank indy010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ACAW, General Manager at Summer Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2018

Dear Indy010
We are so grateful for your wonderful and very kind review. It is so lovely to hear that you are as passionate about Summer Lodge as we are. All the staff join us in looking forward to your return soon. Warmest wishes, Alex & Jack

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