The Rectory Hotel is a perfectly pleasant place to stay (and eat), but it lacks the personal touch that would ensure a return visit from me. The reception staff had the professional briskness of a hotel chain used to corporate events and society weddings but lacking the friendly, conversational manner that I was expecting, based upon other reviews on this site. I saw one of the owners, Jonathan, both on the hotel grounds and at the pub he runs, but he seemed too shy to speak and busied himself while his other staff dealt with the public.
Our room, Nympsfield, was clean and bright and had a great view. Others on this site have had issues with room temperature and rattling windows, but for me, both were fine. The bathroom was serviceable, but the shower, as noted by previous guests, was a problem. In order to get the water temperature right, I had to either stand under the shower head, which was fixed, immovable, two inches from my scalp, or stand outside the open door, which would have soaked the floor.
I appreciated the extras: digital Roberts radio, white dressing gowns, comfortable (very soft) beds and pillows, and bath products. The lack of coffee and tea service in the room seems a hot topic in this forum, and I didn’t actually take advantage of the free tray that was on offer by phoning reception, but I wonder if the hotel should bend the Slow Food rules a bit and at least provide a mini fridge on each floor, as calling reception out of hours is not really an option.
The restaurant provided good value for money – a three course evening meal at just over £30 per person – but the service, though swift, was unskilled. Our young waitress “didn’t really know about wine” when asked for a recommendation to go with the meal and various unused items remained on the table throughout the meal. Nevertheless, we enjoyed a variety of dishes, including a complimentary spinach strudel starter that was especially tasty. Breakfast on both days of our stay was exceptionally good.
The hotel itself is beautiful and tastefully decorated with quirky pieces that show inspirational flair, such as the patchwork covered armchairs and pop art style farm scenes hanging in the dining room. However, at the risk of sounding like an eco-crank, I did feel uncomfortable about the huge number of coral pieces and seashells on display throughout the house, given the
at-risk status of the world’s coral reefs. Perhaps this issue is negligible for others, but for me, it was the same as featuring an impressive ivory collection or an elephant foot waste bin.
We learned when checking out that the heated pool had been, in fact, open to guests during our stay, despite the hotel’s information pack saying that it was only open in the summer months. It’s a shame that we weren’t told about this when we checked in.
This is a lovely hotel that would most likely suit a wedding party, and the owners have got a lot of things right. With a little more attention and personal touches, it could easily earn five stars from me.
- Also Known As:
- Rectory Hotel Crudwell, Wiltshire