I went the The Vale Resort on a Golfbreaks.com stay as part of a golf society of around 30. When we arrived we were immediately surprised to see a lot of the Welsh Rugby squad milling about after their Grand Slam success the day before. Many looked like they hadn't been to bed, which was probably understandable! The location of the hotel is pretty good around 5mins off J34 of the M4, however be warned the nearest town/shop is a fair walk.
We played the Lakes course on the Sunday and thought the course was in good condition considering it is out of season. There are some really challenging holes and a good amount of water to deal with which makes you think alot about your game. The only thing that did let it down was certain parts were very wet underfoot which was unexpected considering the good weather we had.
We then played the Welsh National on the Monday and whilst there is a lot less water in play than the Lakes, the water is more in play off the tee, so it is definitley a challenge for a high handicapper like myself. The par 5 second is a challenge (apparently the longest par 5 in Wales!) and the stretch of 13, 14 and 15 is definitely very tricky.
The rooms were spacious and had a particulary large bathroom. The beds were comfy and the room bright and airy. (We stayed in 002) The only downside was the batteries in the TV remote did not work and a lightbulb needing changing (very minor things)
The bar area was bright and drinks were not too pricey considering where we were. Pint of Carling £3.50 and Vodka and Coke £2.90. The biggest disappointment of the wekeend was the service and portions for the evening meal. For the eveing meal we had budget of £29 to spend off their normal menu on what we wanted. I went for the Sweet Potato and Onion Soup and the Pan Fried Monkfish. Both were very tasty and well cooked, however the portions could have been a lot more substanial. For example no breadroll was served with the soup and a limited amount vegetables was served with the monkfish. Which considering the monkfish would have been £16.95 to order on its own seemed a bit excessive. Most of the group had the steak and be warned whilst it was cooked well, it was served with 6 chips, some tomatoes on the vine and a handful of salad garnish. Considering many had not had any lunch this was not welcomed and did not go down great with the group. The other downside was it took around 1 and a half hours to serve of group which seemed very excessive, especially considering the restaurant was very quiet. Personally a set menu with 3 choice of starters, mains and desserts would have made sense and probably meant a quicker, mor emanagble service for their staff to deal with. Having been on similar breaks to the St.Pierre, The Belfry and The Forest of Arden, this was definitely the most disappointing in terms of the food on offer for the evening meal.
However when we came down to breakfast in the morning the choice was varied, (English or Continental choices) and the buffet style service meant there was no long wait. In particular the sausages and mushrooms were delicious. Also a great view over the 9th and 10th on the Lakes course.
I also used the extensive Gym facilities and the Swimming Pool, Sauna, Steam Room and Jacuzzi. All were a great way to relax and unwind. The gym was very impressive and you can definitely see why the Welsh rugby team use the hotel as a base for when they play at home. The Jacuzzi and Sauna were a delight, however I would say the swimming pool was a little cold and we did feel something might have be wrong with the temperature/heating.
Overall great value for money at £99 for the stay, however a few very minor things which meant it did not quite get the 5* rating.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Vale Resort is one of Wales' favourite four-star Resorts. Set in over 650 acres of beautiful countryside, the Resort is home to a luxuriously appointed 143 bedroom hotel, Wales' largest spa, two championship golf courses and an award-winning AA rosette restaurant. Leisure facilities are world-class and provide guests with the opportunity to work-out, relax with a swim or join in one of our many fitness classes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vale Hotel Hensol
- Vale Resort Hensol
- Vale Of Glamorgan Hotel
- Vale Resort Wales/Hensol, Vale Of Glamorgan