Located walking distance from Tintern Abbey and affording charming views of the beautiful Wye valley, the Old Rectory is a Victorian B and B well worth your consideration. Ian is a fabulous chef and a fountain of information on Wales and the Wye. Unfortunately we missed Anika, as she was out of town.
If you have the gumption to read through 17 pages of almost uniformly positive reviews, you will gather that the setting is peaceful, the food is ridiculously outstanding and the rooms are charming. This is all very true, and I will add that the bed is very comfortable as well. You also might note that a few reviewers complain about an odor, especially downstairs.
Before reading any further, please re-read my comments above and note that I am rating Old Rectory as a 4 and that a place would have to be nearly perfect to rate a 5 in my book. Also, please notice that the vast majority of people over dozens of reviews do not mention it. That said, here is my take on it:
It is undeniable that the odor exists, but equally obvious that most reviewers don't find it worth mentioning in light of everything else that the place has to offer. Some have suggested that hypersensitivity to household odors is an American trait, so in the interest of full disclosure, I plead "American" from the outset. To be honest, I am one of those people who, for whatever reason, found the odor overpowering on arrival. My wife and I prepared ourselves for the worst, only to find over the course of our stay that we had already experienced it. Everything else--everything--was marvelous, and we only got to meet half of the dynamic duo.
Personally, I think that the description of "pet odor' may be errant. The owners had a young and exuberant puppy who occasionally broke jail and ran out into the public area. As I love dogs, I naturally picked her up and found her smell unoffensive. My wife commented that the smell, while having a note of animal, also seemed to incorporate an element of smoke as if from a wood or corn-burning furnace. It is definitely less pervasive upstairs.
The Old Rectory is indeed an old and quirky house, but I did not feel that it was unsanitary or unhealthful in any way. I was perfectly comfortable eating and sleeping there. Some previous reviewers have commented on pet stains on the carpets. I found none. The carpets in our room bore only the stains of foot traffic that one would expect from a place that caters to those who enjoy walking through verdant valleys.
I don't think a 1790's house is ever going to smell like a Holiday Inn, nor should it. I think if Ian and Anika ever correct this issue (which again, is a non-issue for many), they will collect an endless series of 5's on this and other sites. Prospective owners should know about it and factor it into their decision. The owners should know about it as they are good and honest folk, and clearly (from previous reviews) accustomed to scents that some guest find striking.
In gruesome and perhaps tiresome honesty, I think it is all that separates them from a perfect offering.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Charming, gracious 4 star Bed & Breakfast overlooking the River Wye, on the main road in Tintern Village. Exquisite river views, old-world charm, warm hospitality, lovely en-suite rooms, sitting room, wood fires, croquet & garden areas. Set in the Wye Valley ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’, nearby magical Tintern Abbey, enjoy beautiful, tranquil scenery, legendary walking trails.Delicious, locally sourced breakfasts a specialty, freshly made bread, organic eggs, milk & produce, great bacon, sausage, lovely kippers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tintern Old Rectory B&B Wales