My friend and I book-ended a stay at another venue with stays at Rushton Hall at the start and end of the week.
The Hall is an imposing building, the construction of which commenced in the 15th century. Francis Tresham, son of the founder Sir Thomas Tresham was implicated in the Gunpowder Plot. Having passed through a number of hands it eventually became a hotel in 2003.
As you approach up the long carriage drive you can’t help but be impressed by the lovely grounds and the façade that greets you (it is a Grade 1 listed building), the property is actually very impressive throughout, but therein lie a few problems.
The Great Hall is used as a bar and lounge and, while pretty imposing, the very tall ceiling makes it difficult to create an intimate atmosphere. I am guessing that the Tresham family didn’t plan for conversion to a hotel 500 years later so many rooms (not all) are inaccessible without climbing a lot of stairs. Similarly if only the Treshams had built the spa and beauty salon as an integral part of the building it would have made things much more convenient!
For our first stay we were in the Tillman Suite. What a disappointment. It was actually not a suite at all but a fairly small bedroom looking out onto the roof. By cramming 2 armchairs in there was hardly any room to move about and no room for a table to sit at for in-room dining. The furniture was reproduction (probably) which was fine but the effect was ruined by the addition of a wood-grain effect melamine chest of drawers. Upon this chest sat a small coffer housing a good range of teas, coffees etc and a kettle. But the chest was too far away from the socket to plug the kettle in. We had to move the chest closer.
Between the bedroom and very nice bathroom were 2 hanging cupboards so plenty of room to unpack into.
For our return we opted to pay extra and were put in the Hazelton Suite. This was a lovely, spacious room with wonderful views over the grounds. To get to it required climbing quite a few stairs. There was plenty of room for those 2 armchairs and a table to eat off. There was a second bedroom with a single bed in. But oh dear! There was one teeny wardrobe with 3 small drawers in which were meant to serve both bedrooms. Totally inadequate, in fact worse than The Tillman Suite.
The bathroom was as nice as the other one. However the sink taps had been designed for looks and not function. They were just slippery chrome pillars with no knob or lever. To turn them on and off required squeezing very hard. If they were wet it became almost impossible to turn them. I have mild arthritis in my hands and for someone with a worse condition they would have been painfully impossible.
There is a covered walkway to the spa from the hotel but to get to it from The Hazelton Suite meant walking down 2 flights of stairs, through the hotel in our robes, and up a flight of stairs. Those Treshams! Instead we opted to go downstairs and out of the front of the hotel to the external entrance. Fortunately the weather was wonderful, warm and dry.
Enough of the gripes. Everything else was truly excellent. The staff could not have been more helpful throughout all the areas, reception, housekeeping, bar, restaurant and spa.
The food was truly excellent and my gluten intolerance was handled without a problem. This was fine dining.
The spa is great. It comprises a lovely 15 metre pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, sauna, steam room, small gym, very clean changing rooms. There is lots of light, plenty of loungers in the pool area and more outside looking out over a lawn; wonderful in warm weather. There is also a small café serving good coffee and wines.
My companion had a perfectly good pedicure and there were a range of other therapies available.
Our package comprised dinner, bed and breakfast and use of all the facilities (there are tennis courts too) and although not cheap was good value. One is willing to pay a premium for such a unique venue and great service.
So when booking Rushton Hall, and we recommend a visit, be prepared for the compromises necessitated by such a venerable building and enjoy the excellent service, spa and food.
Make sure how large the room is and what outlook it has,
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.