The hotel really is tucked away, up a very long drive, and as others have said the access, signposting, and finding your way to the entrance on a dark night isn't simple. Don't think you can just wander out to a local pub as an alternative to the on-site catering, especially when you find that on a Sunday night nowhere seems to be serving food for mile around.
The new Crowne Plaza hotel is aimed at the corporate events market, with a number of conference rooms and a large tiered theatre, but as independent travellers we didn't feel overpowered by this. We got an upgrade to an Executive room which was particularly nice, with both a walk-in shower and a bath in an immaculately presented bathroom. They appear to have quite a number of "shower-only" bathrooms, and if they are fitted to this standard this shouldn't put you off, as long as you don't HAVE to have a bath.
Wi-Fi access is free in the public areas and very reasonable (£9 for 24 hours) by hotel standards in the room. As a Priority Club Platinum Elite member this was complimentary, which was a nice plus, as 3G access was impossible from Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and Three.
The bed was huge and very comfortable, though, as I've experienced elsewhere, the sheets weren't big enough for the bed and kept coming untucked. Pillows were very good and we got a really good night's sleep, despite a noisy party until 3AM in the function suite. I still can't understand why anyone puts a TV on the wall at head height. It makes it impossible to sit and watch the screen without getting a stiff neck, though the "chaise short" was a touch odd as the only comfy seat in the room.
Breakfast was the usual fare with a good selection, and the bacon and sausages full of flavour. Even at a pay-in-advance discounted rate breakfast felt expensive, but because we got the room at an excellent a 2 for 1 rate, I felt that the total B&B rate was very good.
We didn't eat in the restaurant but had a light bar meal one evening. This was excellent quality with good portion size and decent value for money, but we had to get out of the bar area to avoid the overpowering showing of Eastenders on the two TVs. With sound plumbed in to every corner of the bar and turned up quite loud, there wasn't a quiet area where you could sit, relax and chat.
Would I go again - probably, as long as I got a similar rate again and wanted to visit in the area. Otherwise it's too isolated unless you want to get away from it all.
As a reminder, don't confuse this with the Heythrop Park Resort, Golf & Country Club which is next dorr and interconnected. The "Resort" hotel is an old country house with a few magnificent rooms and a lot of small, very ordinary rooms from it's time as a jesuit Seminary and as Nat West's training & conference centre. Probably the ideal location for a wedding or similar, but not what I'd choose for an 'ordinary' stay.
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