Now, we holiday in a our touring caravan because we can be assured of comfort, cleanliness, quality of food etc etc etc...so it was with great trepidation that on my families recommendation I take my wife here for bed, breakfast and evening meal to celebrate her 40th Birthday....I wish I'd booked the weekend.
We had read several of the other reviews, including the one about the barbed wire (what nonsense!!!), and felt that the Ilsington was worth a try.
The approach is picturesque, clean, tidy and mature...a great setting, plenty of parking.
The staff greeted us with smiles, help was available for luggage (we didn't need it), everything was clearly explained then we were directed to our room.
The room (superior), big, loads of space, yes the two singles were pushed together, but you'd never have known if you hadn't noticed. The bedding was wonderful...lush heavy throws, beautiful crisp sheets and pillow cases. Bath robes and towels were supplied, as were plenty of bathroom sundries. There was plenty of tea and coffee within the room, as well as flapjacks and mineral water. The information welcome pack was clear and uncompilcated. A large clear TV and remote was in the room which was more than adequate. Wifi is a little patchy, but free, and once connected, almost as good as home, there was no need to log in every time. Being connected is important to us, but the odd disconnection in no way detracted from our experience.
Facilities. The lounge and Tiger Bar are great, we spent our evening in the lounge, great atmosphere, comfy seats, plenty of literature to read and a few games. The grounds are well kept, chickens are amusing. The spa area has a gym, small pool, steam room,sauna and Jacuzzi...all of which we used except the Gym. Towels a plenty on request. There are a lack of markings on the pool floor and sides, which make it hard when swimming to determine the end of the pool. The area is clean and well tended.
Food...Gorgeous...We are good home cooks, and are often disappointed with food we are served, hence we rarely eat out, and rather buy and cook pheasant, duck, parrot fish etc ourselves!!
We were asked to sit in the lounge before dinner where we were served drinks, nibbles and given a menu. In good time we placed our order, I asked for the Partridge, but with the Duck accompaniment, this was done for me with pleasure. The starter of calves liver was so good, I had another after my main (this raised an eyebrow)! My wife had the goats cheese spring roll, this too was excellent.
The deserts were extremely good also. Again we note the comments of small portions, but really, the three course meal was more than enough, it was greed and flavour that persuaded me to order an extra starter.
The breakfast had all of the usual items, and then some. All were fresh, cold (not stood around), and the full English breakfast was excellent.
The staff made us feel welcome, they were all friendly but courteous, not over the top and false.
Now I must feel that I should address the décor. I have noted that on some of the reviews about dated décor, cleanliness etc. I for one don't decorate my home every year, and I have the odd repair that needs making, so for the price I paid for my visit, I was more than comfortable with the odd blemish in our room, and I was more than happy with the cleanliness too. I ran my finger on top of the wardrobe and architrave....all clean! If I'd have wanted an absolutely spotless up to date modern hotel I'm in no doubt that I would have to quadruple the price, I'd have to worry about touching anything, and I may not have felt so quite at home. I didn't concern us that the carpets were not spotless, this is an area that supports walkers and people that enjoy the outside, and unfortunately this outside will find its way inside.
The cost of bed breakfast and three course evening meal was about £250, which included an extra starter and several drinks. I felt that it was worth the money (and we can site our caravan for 2 weeks for this price), and will have no hesitation in recommending, or booking up again.
I look forward to our return, and be assured, I am no easy person to please.
We had room 16, and will ask for this room again.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.