Background: Enhanced recovery has been shown to improve patients' experience after surgery. There are no previous studies comparing patients' experience between those undergoing laparoscopic and open gynaecological surgery. Therefore, the aim of this prospective study is to compare patients' functional recovery based on milestones set by the enhanced recovery programme and patients' satisfaction between the two groups. Methods: All eligible patients undergoing gynaecological surgery within an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) programme from March to August 2014 were involved in this study. All patients received the questionnaires on admission which were then collected prior to discharge. They were followed up by telephone within 7 days. Results: Two hundred sixty-three patients were involved. One hundred forty-four questionnaires were returned (54% response rate). Fifty-one percent (n = 74) were from the laparoscopic group and 49% (n = 70) were from the laparotomy group. In terms of achieving milestones, more patients in the laparotomy group performed the deep breathing exercises (laparoscopic versus open; 66.2% versus 87.1% (p = 0.003). The laparoscopic group were more able to eat on day 0, but by day 1, there was no difference between the groups. Both groups were similar in their ability to drink (p = 0.98), mobilise (p = 0.123) and sit out in a chair (p = 0.511). In the laparoscopic group, the patients' experience was better for pain control (p < 0.0001) and nausea control (p = 0.003) from recovery to day 1, and they were more able to put on their own clothes (p = 0.001) and were more confident in mobilising (p < 0.0001) and in going home (p < 0.0001). The laparoscopic group had greater patient satisfaction with their pain always being well controlled (p < 0.0001) whilst more patients in the laparotomy group reported being satisfied to very satisfied with their overall care on the gynaecology ward (p = 0.04). Both groups were equally satisfied with their care from nursing staff (p = 0.709) and doctors (p = 0.431). Conclusion: The two groups were in general equally able to achieve the majority of the milestones despite differences in symptoms such as pain, nausea and confidence in mobilising and going home. Pre-operative education can empower patients to engage in their recovery. There is a high level of patient satisfaction in both groups.