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“Fairytale castle hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Thornbury Castle and Tudor Gardens

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Thornbury Castle and Tudor Gardens
3.0 of 5 Castle   |   Castle Street, Thornbury BS35 1HH, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Derbyshire UK
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Fairytale castle hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2009

A castle that has been tastefully converted into a fairytale hotel. It even has its own vineyard. Few English restaurants can offer their own very palatable home grown wine.

  • Stayed September 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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682 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (176)
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English first
London
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2009

It's a Von Essen Hotel so my expectations were high. Mrs Penguin was exited at the prospect of staying in a Tudor castle.

The hotel did not disappoint. Valet parking. Luggage straight to the room. Well appointed room, very comfortable bed. Drinks provided quickly and well prepared.

Champagne and canapes in the rose garden
Not quite Michelin food but certainly "excellent"

Beautiful surroundings and very professional staff.

Only slight point: Parts of the hotel are a bit in need of decoration.

Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Shropshire, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2009

My Wife and I recently booked into Thornbury Castle for 2 nights, for the Henry VIII Regal Experience package as a special occasion. Based on the price we both had very high hopes and expectations for the weekend and the experience we had booked. The description of the experience on the Thornbury Website states "you will be treated like royalty from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave" however we found that this was far from the case. At check-in the receptionist was not aware that we were booked on the Henry VIII Regal Experience, she indicated that there was nothing in the booking register regarding our booking for the experience.

We asked for a complimentary coffee and tea tray, which was brought up to the room, however the tray was dirty and was covered in coffee stains and the milk jug had coffee stains in the neck. For a hotel of this standard (and price) it's expected that cleanliness is paramount.

The experience description states "Seated on your thrones at your own table on the gallery, with chalices of tumbling fruit, you'll feel every bit the king and queen of the castle" The reality is that you are sat on your own on a chair on a very small balcony at the top of some stairs at a small square table with one small bowl of fruit and a candle - this was not quite the regal grandeur that we were expecting !

The Food itself for the dinner was very good (although small portions and most courses are shared) and to begin with the service was attentive.

However it really started to go downhill about half way through the dinner, when we were constantly disturbed by members of staff carrying table cloths, laundry and crockery past us up the stairs into the room adjacent to our table. From our table we could here constant noise, chatter and laughing from the staff at the bottom of the stairs and the room adjacent.

We took afternoon tea on the second day and the scones were dry and not fresh, having eaten delicious scones in several busy National Trust Tea rooms up and down the country it's definitely not that difficult to bake regular batches of fresh scones. For our dinner on the second evening we were not placed in the historic and atmospheric Tower Dining Room as per the experience description, we were allocated to a different dining room. I got the impression here that preference had been given to non residents coming into the hotel for Dinner on the Saturday. As residents on an experience where the hotel is supposed to make you feel special, we should have been given preference, and we should have received what was stated in the itinerary.
On one of the days we did not receive a morning paper and I had to ask for one at reception. At Breakfast we were given pots containing Jam, Honey and Marmalade that were chipped and my Wife noticed that one of the pots had clearly not been washed properly and had what looked like dried mint stuck to the rim inside. I raised some of these concerns and comments with the receptionist, who I felt was not overly sympathetic, though she did apologise for seating us in the wrong room for dinner. Eventually I was offered a bottle of Thornbury House wine which I took and I was offered another Night at a reduced rate, neither of these options compensate for our disappointment and I declined the offer of another night. There was one redeeming feature of the stay in as much that the food and the service was good in the restaurants. Our overall experience was very poor value for money, lack of attention to detail, lack of personal touch , not making the guest feel special (as described in the experience) . It was far from the memorable experience that we had been looking forward to for a year. We will not be visiting again.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nottinghamshire, england
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2009

My husband took me to Thornbury Castle for my 40th birthday, as a surprise, along with my dad. I had the most fantastic time. My husband and I stayed in the Woodstock Room which was accessed by stone steps via the castle courtyard. My dad had a smaller room in the main part of the castle overlooking the gardens at the back The rooms were amazing! They provided me with champagne on arrival. They also provide toiletries, a robe and slippers in the bathroom. We had evening meal and then breakfast the morning after, both of which were second-to-none. We visited Bourton-on-the Water on the 2nd day of our trip which is one of the prettiest villages I have ever seen (know as Venice of Gloucestershire because of the river running through it and the bridges). Lots of little quirky shops and places to eat and drinl - well worth a day trip.

All in all, we had a great weekend break and would definitely visit Thornbury Castle again.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2009

This was an beautiful, surreal place to stay and a highlight of our 10 day trip through the UK! It was such an experience just to get to be staying in a Castle.
As others have pointed out you mainly pay for the location, ambiance, and experience as the breakfast we had was not bad but nothing special either.
Still it is one of those special experiences you will always remember and since it is rather pricey it is a nice place to add on to your itinerary for at least one night!

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2009

We stayed at Thornbury Castle recently on my birthday and were really pleased with the service and surroundings. When we booked and mentioned that I was a tudor history enthusiast we were put in the Dukes Bedchamber where Henry VIII stayed which was a very special experience. Theold tudor gardens were beautiful and it was a good time of year to stay. We paid extra for a bottle of champagne which was chilled and waiting for us upon our arrival, but the birthday card and 'Happy Birthday' written on my dessert plate were nice touches. The service at all times was attentive without being intrusive and drinks in the drawing room before dinner were enjoyable. We thought the food itself was a little disappointing however, having eaten nicer dishes in other restaurants. We were given still water on the table when we'd ordered sparkling, the scallops for starters were slightly burnt, they mixed up the medium-well and medium cooked lamb as main courses and the desserts were poor. Breakfast was nice, although the poached eggs were a little overdone for my taste! Overall, although expensive, I would say that the hotel is a lovely setting for a special occasion, and well worth a visit.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Gloucestershire
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2009

We stayed at this hotel as a special treat for our first wedding anniversary and because i was eight months pregnant it maybe some time till we spend this sort of money on one night again!!

The rooms are large and full of character. We were in our own tower with a huge four poster bed and amazing ornate ceilings. Bizzarely, although it was September and quite warm the fire was on full flow when we were shown to our room, consequently it was far too hot in the room. We could never get the fire to turn off completely (it was a fake log fire and it always had the pliot light on) and spent the night with all the windows open and the fan on full. The bathroom is not horrific but is in urgent need of some attention as there is a different between old and full of character and just down right tired.

Despite this, it was still an amazing stay. The atmosphere of the castle is magical and the staff are really helpful and polite without being impersonal. Some parts of the castle could do with some TLC to make it even better.

The food in the restaurant was amazing. I was concern when reading the menu that it would be abit too fussy but it really wasn't. Every single mouthful was gorgeous. They even took the time to write happy anniversary on our dessert!! I would also recommend the Thornbury Castle wine made from grapes on the grounds, as it was easy to drink and went well with the food.

The grounds are nice to walk around after dinner and it often feels like you are the only person wandering around in your own castle! It has an exclusive feel without being unfriendly.

It is a very expensive stay but it is also a very unique experience with amazing service and food and is therefore worth the effort.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thornbury Castle and Tudor Gardens

Address: Castle Street, Thornbury BS35 1HH, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Gloucestershire > Thornbury
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Thornbury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Thornbury Castle and Tudor Gardens 3*
Number of rooms: 26
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Thornbury Castle And Tudor Gardens Hotel Thornbury
Castle Thornbury
Thornbury Castle And Tudor Gardens England

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