We are a group of primary school teachers who enjoy exploring the country and indulging in adventurous activities. The location of Oakerthorpe was great for walking, climbing and watersports. We were certainly drawn by the magnificent photos on the website and the house itself holds historical charm, especially the fireplaces. We had a very informative tour of the building by the owner which was very agreeable. There are some extensive (long term) building projects underway at present. The grounds are being majorly renovated and an orangery is being planned for the side of the house. Unfortunately this meant that the appearance of the grounds was somewhat disappointing, but we were offered a discount if we booked at another time. We found that the interior of the house needed rather a lot of attention too. To be fair, there are so many large rooms that it must be very difficult to keep up with the maintenance and the costs must be very expensive. There are some key issues to consider however. Becareful when sitting on the dining chairs as some of them have undergone several repairs and are particularly wobbly. (One actually broke during an evening meal which could have resulted in a nasty accident.) Additionally, we were glad that we had not taken children with us as the showers ran either freezing cold or boiling hot. It was almost impossible to get an even temperature and several of us were scalded. (We did point this out to the owner after our weekend stay.) The pressure of the water was also an issue as the gravity fed system couldn't keep up with the demands of a large party of people, especially in the mornings and evenings. (We had been told of the low pressure when we first arrived.) If you are a large party, make sure that you ask for several key fobs in order to enter and exit the grand gates on the boundary of the grounds otherwise you will have to keep together when exploring the surrounding area or leave someone behind as caretaker. Two of the rooms had comfortable beds, but the others proved particularly uncomfortable and affected sleep. In addition, it would be lovely to have mirrors and bins in all shower closets/ensuites. The owner suggested a lovely restaurant which served up excellent meals with enormous portions. This is definitely worth a visit! We enjoyed a roaring fire in the main sitting room and there were plenty of comfortable sofas for us all. A note of warning: make sure that you check the condition of the BBQ during the introductory tour as we didn't do this and a £25 cleaning charge was withheld from our damage deposit despite not having used it. Even after explaining this to the owner, our money was not refunded. It was a shame to look back on our short stay with bad feeling. Overall, if you want to enjoy the atmosphere and splendor of what was once an amazing house, and understand that the building does need some renovation, then this could be the place for you.
The large sitting room with comfortable sofas for all
The hot water system and being accused of using the BBQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nov 10, 2011
This was a nice group of people, who wrote several emails following their stay, all stating what a wonderful house and a wonderful time had been had by all. The only mention of any problem was that some of the showers had been “temperamental”. This is from the lead guest’s email following this group’s stay: (shower) … it did seem a wee temperamental, but I fully understand the problems with caring for a house with such character, it did not spoil our stay.
I explained on arrival at the house that there had been a problem with Severn Trent Water with water pressure and that there may be problems if all the showers were used at once.
The group were clearly delighted to be meeting up without having their children with them and did not raise any issue during their stay. No one mentioned anything being dangerous, and as we spoke to the group several times during their stay, they had the opportunity to do so. To state that people were scalded is defamatory as well as untrue. I am currently seeking legal advice on this matter. If the group disagree, I would be pleased to receive copies of their hospital reports.
They did break several antique dining chairs, but as it was unclear to me that this damage was solely their fault, I did not make any charge from their deposit.
There are 5 keys and gate keys available, which is enough for most groups. 2 are usually enough. No one has ever had to act as caretaker!
No representative from this group or any other visiting group has ever made any complaint about the beds being uncomfortable. All of the beds were new 2 years ago. Bins and mirrors are in all of the bedrooms.
There were no building works being undertaken at the time of the visit. We had just completed the landscaping of the lower acre, and I completely accept that due to the hot weather, the grass had not grown as planned. This has now fully grown and provides a lovely grassy promenade with apple and pear trees either side. I did offer the group £200 off their next stay here, because of this. However, there is still another 4 acres that they enjoyed during their stay.
The place that I suggested to eat was actually a pub rather than a restaurant that caters for people on a budget and offers great food at a great price.
The interior of the house has had an immense amount of money spent and works undertaken to preserve this wonderful 1840 house. This lady infers that this is a place of faded splendour and that renovation needs to be done. This is untrue. The house is a wonderful meeting place for families and single groups and we have around 20% re-booking rate over 2 years.
There is an insinuation from this comment that the website pictures are misleading in some way, which they are not. Far from it – we have recently commissioned a video to show the house off, in response to these comments, primarily.
So why would a nice group of people leave such unwarranted comments? Simply this. The group used the BBQ and didn’t clean it afterwards. There is a charge of £25 in the contract if this occurs. Unlike the damaged chairs, I could be certain that the BBQ was used by this group and left in a very dirty condition. I explained this to the lead guest and received a total of 7 emails and 2 phone calls demanding that the £25 be returned as no-one had used it. This is the sole reason that this lady has written this review, which is very different from the feedback that they gave at the time of their stay and afterwards in their emails. It is really a little sad that this couple have decided to behave in this way.
However, we continue to improve and restore this wonderful house to its former glory and people continue to book (and re-book!) and enjoy their stay for roughly the per person cost of a Travelodge!
We have also installed a state of the art gas central heating system ready for this Winter. The grounds have been fully fenced along the railway side, so making the grounds safe for children. The Gatehouse Lodge in the grounds has been completely renovated, new central heating, new carpets, flooring, kitchen, bathroom – providing additional accommodation for 4 adults in the grounds, now also available for rental to accommodate a larger group.
I hope that you will take this into account when reading the review left by this lady. We work very, very hard to make our guests welcome and to make our house a wonderful venue for a group retreat.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.