Barnsley House is really everything that it should be, perfect rooms, perfect food, perfect service and perfect surroundings. Without any airs and graces, it doesn't take itself too seriously which makes for a relaxed stay. I stayed in room 15 in the stables, a split-level dual height room that was really a suite and probably one of the nicest hotel rooms I've ever stayed in. I was checked into the room and shown all the amenities by the Deputy Manager. She mentioned that she had stayed in that room herself before, it's always good to hear when a hotel tries out their own stay experience so they can constantly improve. The room included free tea and homemade biscuits, nespresso coffee machine, fruit and complimentary fruit juices and mineral water. Downstairs there was a sofa and huge plasma tv, upstairs a king bed with fabulous linen and another flat screen tv. They have the full Sky television package here, not just the usual couple of Sky channels. They also have a very extensive DVD list so there's lots to watch if you want to catch up on your movies! The bathroom was enormous with under floor heating, double vanity (wooden sinks - very unusual) and the most enormous Turkish bath. Products were Aromatherapy Associates - lovely, but you don't get any to take home.
I chose to have dinner in the restaurant but I could have had it in my room. I don't think the hotel gets many people staying here on their own as they seemed a bit surprised and a little uncomfortable about that in the restaurant. That could have made me feel uncomfortable in turn, but I'm used to it so didn't take any notice. The ambience in the restaurant was lovely, quite quiet but relaxed. The wait staff were very attentive and tried really hard. The emphasis is on quality food, simply cooked. I can recommend the Lemon Sole! Most people had dressed up and made an effort, but there was a table of four sat next to me who hadn't which was a shame I thought.
The spa is set in the grounds and you have to wander through the trees to find it which means you have to change when you get there rather than go to/from your room in your robe. There is limited changing room space, there was only one other lady changing and we were stepping over each other. The hydrotherapy pool is small and I didn't like the fact that the pool cover and maintenance tools were on show. The sauna and steam rooms were nice but again small. The relaxation area was lovely with natural woods, candles and a view of the countryside. There is a second relaxation area for after your treatments, which is a bit of a surprise and quite unusual. My rose body polish was divine, my therapist excellent. Despite that, I wouldn't rush back to use the spa as I like to have more space and greater facilities. As an extra to the hotel though, it's good to have that facility.
There is also a cinema in the grounds but I didn't use it.
Breakfast was delivered to my room the next morning at my request, the hotel are very flexible on timings and the guest's requirements come first here. All very home-made and natural, the food was delicious.
Be aware there is almost no mobile reception here - something that caused me a few issues during my stay. If you've come to get away from it all though, that won't matter to you. I did also have trouble getting an outside line from the landline in my room. I could have called Reception to look into it for me but I didn't bother.
The hotel is famous for its gardens and I was disappointed not to have had time to walk around them. The gardens are brought into every aspect of your stay though and the style and design of the hotel is based around them. Little touches and beautiful fragrances everywhere make you feel as though you are staying for the weekend in someone's house. I did have the option to stay on and use the facilities post check-out, the hotel is very relaxed about this, unfortunately I had to get going on this occasion, but I will definitely be back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.