This was a splurge. We booked one night B&B at a discounted rate through Secret Escapes and it was still the most we have ever paid for a room. We guess this may well be a regular feature of the hotel but whilst we were checking in it was a nice touch to be greeted personally by the manager, Abbi.
We were given a lovely big SW facing room in the manor house called Nina, which is directly above the hotel entrance and looks out over a flat roofed bay towards the front lawn. The hotel calls Nina a suite but we think it’s actually a good size junior as it doesn’t have a separate bedroom. We had a huge 6’ 6” bed. When we sat on it, the mattress felt very soft and squashed down a long way and we thought we would end up with bad backs. But when you lay out it was actually a very supportive and comfortable bed, which pleased us a lot. For the size of the room, the 26” LCD TV with all the regular freeview channels was much too small. It was positioned a long way off in a gimmicky cabinet that could be remotely raised and lowered. It would be much better if the cabinet was simply closed up and a larger 32” or even 37” TV positioned on top. You get a DVD payer and ipod docking station in your room and WiFi is complimentary. The furniture in the room is either old or has been designed to look old to be in keeping with the house so it looks quaint, but the two seater sofa was so uncomfortable we couldn’t use it. For the two of us to both sit we had to pull out the desk chair. We’re sure the hotel could find a suitable looking period style sofa that’s actually comfortable. As has been mentioned by other reviewers you don’t get a tea tray in your room. But you do get a couple of bottles of water and some sweet sherry. In spite of it being summer and the start of a heat wave, and unlike the picture uploaded by Textlad in June 2012, our complimentary fruit turned out to be just two bright green apples, which we didn’t fancy. One thing we couldn’t understand was why Nina had a second door about six foot from the bed shielded by an old fashioned screen. We don’t see why the hotel couldn’t have blocked up that door when it carried out the refurbishment. There is obviously no aircon in an old manor house but in hot weather, being sort of south facing, the room cries out for a fan.
The bathroom was huge. It only had a single sink, but it did have a bath and a separate large shower cubicle with great water pressure, and unlike bog standard hotel bathrooms, it even had a window. What it didn’t have was a towel rail or hook near to either the bath or shower. The towels were possibly the best quality towels we have ever had in a hotel and the bath sheet was possibly the largest ever. But there was only one bath towel. So we asked reception to rectify that as we went out for the rest of the afternoon. When we came back at tea-time we wanted to get cleaned up for dinner but we found that no-one had brought us the second towel so we had to go down to reception and ask a second time. This is not something you’d expect you’d have to do in a hotel of this standard.
We didn’t have dinner in the hotel but we did have an excellent meal in its sister property The Slaughters Country Inn across the road. We had a very pleasant breakfast in the morning and the hot food is cooked to order, which is so much better than the standard buffet you get in most big hotels nowadays. No-one else was having toast so we assumed it wasn’t an option but after we’d started our hot breakfast the waiter asked us as a bit of an afterthought if we’d like some, by which time it was a bit late. So make sure you ask when you place your hot food order if you’re not offered any. You get posh leaf tea here but it’s more like slivers of wood and quite sharp. It would be nice if the hotel offered an alternative black tea choice to people who might prefer something else.
You can see that whoever does the gardening keeps on top of the lawns and some of the borders but we were disappointed to see that many border areas were unkempt and full of weeds, including lots of bindweed. For a hotel that praises up its gardens in its advertising we expected better and as we said in our review title, elegant manor house hotel, needs a good gardener.
We had a nice 24 hours in Lower Slaughter but we think the hotel could pay a bit more attention to the detail. We were happy with our discounted splurge, but we would have been much less so if we’d paid anything near rack rate. We’ll upload some photos after the review is posted.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 5, 2013
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Thank you for writing a review of your recent stay with us at Lower Slaughter Manor – we shall use your thorough feedback to evaluate where we can make improvements to our service.
With regards to the room itself, although there are plans in the long term to carry out refurbishment, we have not as yet completed renovations under the new ownership. When we do start to redecorate, we will of course be reviewing the furniture in all rooms and removing items, such as the TV cabinet which is not in keeping with the Brownsword’s interior design style. I should imagine, however, that the second door in Nina will remain as it opens onto a emergency escape route.
As a result of your comments, I have spoken with our Head Housekeeper and our Restaurant Manager about the lapses in service you experienced over the missing towel and fan, and the lack of toast at breakfast. These are all unacceptable points that will be addressed with the respective teams.
The gardeners and I were disappointed to read that you did not enjoy the grounds particularly as when we took over the hotel, the gardens were very overgrown. The team has been working tirelessly since to prune, weed, spray and repair and whilst there is still much to be done, we have received many lovely comments about the improvements. As I am sure you can appreciate, a garden is never a quick project and we hope to return ours to their full glory in the coming months and years.
Thank you once again for taking the time to write, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.
With kind regards
Abbi & the LSM team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.