Limited for hotel choice in Warminster, we ended up with a last minute booking at Bishopstrow House. The last minute.com website showed vacancies but advised to call the hotel so we did. We were told that there was only one room left, a deluxe room for a last minute price of £169 for B&B. As the deluxe was higher than the classic, club and superior but one below the suite, we accepted and naturally expected a deluxe room...
Upon pulling up to the main house, we only saw 2 parked cars. Odd as the hotel manager had said they were fully booked except for this room. No one greeted us at the door. I debated how I was to lift my suitcase up the stairs without assistance. Inside the lobby, there was no sign as to where to check in and again I stood with my suitcase, debating what to do or where to go. There was an open office door to the side and a manager John behind the desk which we assumed mst be the hotel reception.
We were given one room key. We asked for another but were told that each room only had one key. This was inconvenient as it then meant we had to coordinate our activities. John, the manager, seemed to also be the hotel porter as he took my suitcase to the Wylye deluxe room which he also called a garden room. Upon entry into the room, he did not show us how to operate the rather Star Trek light switch which was a circular grid with arrows and numbers 1-5 which did not seem to correlate with parts of the room and instead deposited the suitcase and left. After pressing randomly for seversl minutes, we still could not operate the light switch which were the same by the bed too! The inroom folder stated we would be given a tour of the facilities upon check in. So much for a tour and no, no light switch instructions in the folder either.
Inside the room, we looked for the mini bar, safe and kettle to make some coffee. No minibar fridge, no safe in the closet and no kettle. The inroom folder suggested we call for a coffee tray. Hmm.
Even though it was the evening, the room felt like a sauna, so we opened the patio door and window to cool the room as there was no thermostat or air conditioning. Big mistake. Mosquitoes then flew in as the room overlooks the outdoor pool! We immediately closed the French doors and window and spent the next half squatting mosquitoes on the ceiling and walls. Yes jumping on the bed to kill bugs on the ceiling was not fun!
The room was still too hot so we rang reception and were told there was a fan in each room closet. There wasn't, so they brought a fan...a small desk top fan! The room had 2 bottles of complimentary water which were downed in the heat of the room. We decided to distract ourselves with the tv. Unfortunately the tv which looked like a small 20 inch was positioned so that we could not watch from the bed as it was obscured by a sofa bed blocking our view at the foot of the bed. After rearranging the furniture, we could finally see the tv. We turned it on only to find about 10 tv channels and no pay per view movies. Reception told us we could come down and choose from a selection of dvds for £5. We decided against and tried the free wifi access. This worked fine. The toilet was an odd design. We found the flush on the wall hiding behind the loo seat cover. This mesnt each time one had to flush, one had to hold the loo seat cover in one hand, lower the cover to reach the manual flush! There was only one small set of Elemis bath products which also meant sharing one small soap between 2 as a face and bath soap!
In the morning, we ordered the coffee/tea tray which came punctually and the freshly brewed coffee was delicious, but no biscuits. We ordered room service breakfast which starts at 7:30 am. We received a call that the food would arrive at 7:45 and was this okay and indeed it too arrived punctually. A young lady struggled carrying a very heavy tray loaded with 2 breakfasts and no trolley table. She looked baffled as there was no where in the room to place the tray. The coffee table in front of the sofa was 6 inches from the floor, too low to eat from and the desk was not big enough and already had a coffee and tea pot. She placed the tray on the bed instead. When we lifted the lids, we saw one large sausage, one fried egg on a toasted bread, 1/2 a tomato, bacon, mushrooms and shock horror, 1/2 a slice of black pudding! We rang for the other half and were told all breakfasts came with 1/2 a black pudding? We duly received the other 1/2 after insisting on a complete slice of black pudding.
I tried out the spa which was a trek through a maze of corridors with a paucity of signs and found staff to show me to the sauna and steam room. The spa facilities are marvellous, hot sauna and hot steam room. Only one guest in the indoor pool. Was this hotel really fully booked? The shower had tropical buttons which emitted tropical forest sounds and ended with a surprise cold shower spray bit there were no shower products?
Returned to the room to enjoy a bath in the freestanding bathtub. The bathroom was large and modern. As I was relaxing, I saw an ant crawling on the right hand side of the tub! I screamed! When I got out and dried off and went to blow dry my hair at the desk, I screamed as I saw an army of ants on the coffee tray, the desk and along the floor by the closet! We tried to figure out where they were coming from and could see a huge gap at the bottom of the wooden patio doors which allowed ants from the garden to crawl in! Behind the tv we saw the hotel had placed an ant trap with a white trail of insecticide powder! I took photos as I could not believe what I was seeing! I went to the mirror by the door only to find an ant crawling on the bed cushion on the floor! I rang reception to send someone to get rid of the ants! The manager Diane came, saw the dead ants all over the coffee tray I had killed and suggested we put all our belongings on the bed and offered a 20% room discount! I was incensed. The hotel knew the Wylye deluxe room had an ant infestation problem, had placed an ant trap and insecticide powder in the room, yet had opened this room to paying guests?!
Diane upgraded the 25 minute facial I had booked to a 55 minute facial and suggested we could move at 11 am to the Oval Room which we had prebooked for £300 as we had been told by John again that this was the only room available for that day and we needed to be in Warminster for 2 nights. She suggested I sit in the lobby. As I was still attempting to blowdry my wet hair, this was not an option to exit in my robe and sit in the lobby until 11 am. The facial was brought forward and we hurriedly packed. I was worried the ants would crawl into my luggage. The last straw was when an ant crawled on my face and I screamed as I brushed it off!
I could not wait to get out of the Wylye room and the facial was a welcome break. The Elemis facial started with a foot cleanse and massage? I had to double check with the beautician whether I was getting a facial? She replied all Elemis facials started with a foot cleanse. Didn't seem hygienic to cleanse the feet first and then the face? Still, it was a very nice and soothing treatment.
After the treatment, I was taken to a relaxation room and offered herbal tea. The Oval room was ready and I went directly up to the room. Inside the bed is positioned facing the door so that those ascending the staircase could look in on you in bed if one of you opened the door! The 2 freestanding bathtubs are in the bedroom positioned at the head of the bed facing 4 windows. Not good Femg Shui to have a bed facing a door or a bed without a solid wall support. There are no towel rails by the bathtubs as this is in the actual bathroom. This meant dripping across the bedroom floor to go back into the bathroom to reach for a bath towel.
Reviewers had mentioned the small meal portions and yes I totally agree. The room service main dinner linguine arrived and was a mere 4 inches in diameter! The Bishopstrow burger and fries were the size of a junior whopper burger with no cheese. No American tourist would survive on the meagre hotel food rations still priced at adult food prices.
The tv was again small and with limited channels and no pay per view. We were touched to receive a complimentary bottle of Taittinger but my husband was not pleased to see his shoes left outside the Wylye room overnight had not been cleaned as per the inroom manual suggested it would be.
All in all, clearly a hotel trying to cut costs at the guests' expense and yet still charge expensive hotel rates. Not a way to win repeat clientele.
Avoid the garden ground floor deluxe rooms or any ground floor rooms near the spa.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.