We booked a seven night break at this Warner Hotel, partly based on its location in North Wales, and also on the historic and "luxury" status advertised - expecting the hotel to have the character of a grade II listed building as advertised on the Warner web-site. The castle and hotel are indeed set in lovely grounds, and the view from our room was splendid, looking out from the front of the castle. We stayed in one of the Royale rooms at Bodelwyddan, apparently their best (and most expensive) rooms (there are only seven of them, set in the main castle). However, though the main castle building (which is not part of the hotel, but a museum, opened periodically - well worth a visit) is superbly maintained in period, and full of character, our room could have been in any reasonable 3 star hotel or B&B (the only discernable feature was the original window, and the fantastic view). The furniture was solid, with a large and comfortable bed, though the furnishings and decor were tired, and the bathroom no better than a travelodge, quite tired - the so called luxury spa bath was noisy, old and smelt of bleach when switched-on(though the shower was excellent).The room was kept very clean and tidy, and our cleaner could not have done much better. The room was nice and quiet, though it wasn't possible to have the widow open if it was windy at night, because of the noise created by the air flow through the aircon/vent in the bathroom.
The dinning experience was very disappointing, it felt more like a Butlins Holiday camp than a luxury hotel.It was difficult to find a properly clean plate and seemed to be rather short staffed. The whole event felt rushed as staff sprayed, cleaned and laid tables for breakfast while we were still eating our dinner. The atmosphere was certainly not one of romance or intimacy as the tables were so tightly packed together there was no chance of having a private conversation and the dinning hall was very brightly lit. Our waitress was great and did her best. The food, while plentiful, was similar to decent pub grub, not a restaurant and considering there was no A La Carte choice this was disappointing.
We used the gym once but found it rather poorly staffed and busy, though we attended at the most popular time of day. We were surprised to see members of hotel staff using the facility at this busy period.
The haphazard management continued with the parking, which was difficult as the hotel was busy. There is adequate parking overall, with overflow available in the large museum car park, a shortish walk (over 100m). However, staff cars were parked in and around the castle courtyards, and in the car parks close to the accommodation, forcing some guests to use the overflow carpark. Great when the staff want to smoke out of the rain on their break, not so good for the guests walking uphill to the hotel carrying bags.
Overall this is not a bad hotel, but it could be run better, and it is not a luxury, character hotel as described in Warner's literature. Even the reception looks like a travelodge, with gaming machines. The staff are very friendly and helpful on the whole, but some seem to lack hospitality training, and they were understaffed. For what we paid, we expected better. We did not sample the entertainment, and perhaps that would make a difference for some people. We would not go back to this hotel given the costs, as we do not think it represents value for money. If you like the Warner experience, go to another location to avoid disappointment.
- Also Known As:
- Warner Bodelwyddan Castle Historic Hotel Wales
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This stunning Grade II listed Historic Hotel has walled gardens, sweeping lawns and ivy clad turrets. Soak up the rolling Welsh hillsides, or take in the scenery from the top of nearby Snowdon. Midweek and Weekend breaks inclusive of breakfast and 3-course dining, live evening entertainment and extensive leisure activities. ... more less