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“Good for the price, beautiful old hotel with nice grounds”

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Billesley Manor Hotel
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
130 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Good for the price, beautiful old hotel with nice grounds”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2013

I have just returned from a one night weekend stay with friends at this hotel. We enjoyed our stay, I think we had good value for money with our package, but there were a number of frustrations with the hotel which, to me, indicated a lack of strong management.

On arrival around 10.30am on Saturday morning, my first impression of the hotel was very good: a well signed entrance, the drive surrounded by fields, then the first view of the beautiful old manor house, with a topiary garden, tennis courts, a smart front lawn with plenty of outside tables to enjoy the sunshine, then I parked and went in to be greeted by friendly staff. I wasn't given a great deal of information about the hotel, where to find things, but wandered around and discovered what I needed to know. Inside, most of the public areas of the main hotel building are very old and quite warren-like with narrow twisting corridors and steps here and there. It is beautiful inside with oak panelled rooms, beautiful ornate fireplaces, tapestries on the walls and lots of historical character.

My friends arrived and, not knowing the area, we decided to have lunch at the hotel. We sat outside in the sunshine and the staff from the bar were very nice and helpful, bringing us a jug of iced water, as well as our drinks from the bar. However, the food was average and expensive: basic sandwiches with crisps on the side for £8; I had the meal of the day, which was smoked mackerel and potato salad which turned out to be a starter size portion, which was £12. Later, we returned to sit outside and ordered a bottle of prosecco. This was £30 for the bottle, which I think unjustifiably steep, and despite there being two staff in the bar, neither offered to open the bottle nor carry it outside to our table for me.

There had been a wedding on the previous day/ evening, so on Saturday morning the staff were seemingly getting straight from the night before. However, when I wandered into the topiary garden on Saturday afternoon, there were still glasses and plates from the previous evening which had not been cleared up. The next morning, I again wandered into the topiary garden and the same dirty things were still there.

My friends and I had booked a package which included use of the spa and treatments. My half hour massage was fantastic and the pedicure nice, too. The spa included a gym, pool, sauna and steam room. We enjoyed these facilities, but the pool area was less than tranquil with kids allowed in the pool in both morning and afternoon sessions. This made the pool a great facility for local members and visiting families, but might not appeal to some adults. A further irritation: on Saturday, I asked the spa staff what time it was open on Sunday morning as we planned to use the pool and gym before breakfast; I was told it opened at 8.00am. At shortly after 8.00am, I found the spa shut and the cleaning staff waiting outside to get in. About 8.15am, I went to reception and I was told the hotel could not open the spa due to 'health and safety' until the spa staff arrived and the hotel seemed to be unaware that the spa staff had not arrived. Then, someone from the hotel came and unlocked the spa, so we could get in.

Our package also included dinner. The restaurant is attractively old and old fashioned in style. The staff were nice but seemed to lack a strong maitre'd. We were brought an 'amuse bouche' which was something fruity in a shot glass but the waitress did not know what was in it and had to go away and find out when asked. Our package included 3 courses from a table d'hôte menu, which looked perfectly nice. Some in our group stuck to this; others selected items from the carte. My friend found a tangle of hairs in her pork cheek starter (hopefully animal, but not definitely so and not pleasant); she didn't make a fuss, but did tell the waiter, who rightly looked shocked but took away the plate without further comment from him or the kitchen. A scallop starter was very good, sea trout from the carte was very nice, although this and a few other dishes had been garnished with dill whose overpowering flavour dominated and some disliked it. A slow cooked lamb dish from the carte was a large portion and very flavoursome. Afterwards, one friend had cheese, which was fantastic and a really generous portion, too. Puddings were a little less successful: rhubarb and custard cheesecake was ok, although not at all like cheesecake; a 'strudel' of pecan and banana served with peanut butter ice cream was a heavy, pastry concoction that was not at all like strudel and did not work, whilst the peanut butter ice cream was bland and a missed opportunity.

We had three rooms between five of us, as they could not offer us a triple room. One friend was quite happy to have a room to herself, but it was a bit of a shame that this room was some way from the others and also that it was above a function room in which there was a party and live band on Saturday night. I don't believe the hotel was full and even if it was, this room would have been better given to someone staying over from this party. My room was a good size, it looked nice, as did the bathroom, which worked fine; but unfortunately the hair dryer did not work at all and the bed I slept on (we had two single beds pushed next to each other) was almost broken and therefore sagged really badly and I had to sleep on the edge of the mattress where it was at its firmest.

Overall, I liked the hotel and would consider returning if I had a similar package and could ensure I
had a decent bed to sleep on! The historic building and beautiful setting were the biggest draw. It is also just 4 miles from Stratford upon Avon, so you could base yourself at this pretty, country hotel and take in the local sights.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SlapstickBeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Thank you for your extensive review of Billesley Manor. I think the bed you mention has been located and replaced as another guest brought it to our attention too. Please accept my apologies that this was a problem during your stay. The points raised have been discussed with the team and improvements will be made were necessary. Kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (537)
Date | Rating
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English first
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2013

We enjoyed the break, which we booked through Superbreak. However when we got to the hotel they had no information about our booking and we had to wait for quite some time to get things sorted, then to get our rooms set up. This was very disappointing!

I also felt that we should have been informed that the swimming times for children were restricted. We had promised the children could swim when we got there, but the children's swimming times were early evening. This information should have been passed on at the time of booking.

Having said that the hotel was lovely. It was clean and characterful. The rooms were comfortable and spacious and had everything we needed. The breakfast was fantastic - plenty of choice a lovely buffet. The pool and changing facilities were great too. The grounds of the hotel were beautiful and we would have spent more time out there had the weather been better.

Dining in the hotel was very expensive - but this was not a problem as we just went out for dinner.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the main building.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rbecksr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Thank you for you review. Please accept my apologies that your room was not ready on arrival. The swimming restrictions for children are in place to ensure that all of our guests needs are satisfied. Dining at Billesley Manor is competitive to simular 2 rosette establishments, however there is a lot of choice locally and I am pleased you found something to meet your needs. I hope to welcome you back soon. Best regards
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Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2013

We have just returned from a three night family break here. We were pleasantly surprised as it was a last minute booking. Hotel has lots of character and pleasant grounds, including an old cedar and a listed topiary garden. Location convenient for Stratford (use the nearby park-and-ride). Had a large, quiet room with a very comfortable bed. Dinner was enjoyed by both our kids and us (though price-wise make sure you book DBB), staff very friendly with prompt service. Leisure facilities excellent, particularly swimming pool and tennis courts.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Morris873
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review, I am pleased that you all enjoyed the facilities and service. I hope we can welcome you back soon. Kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2013

On arrival we were meat by probably the most unfriendly and surly receptionist we have come across in years - The Staff attitude was truly awful
We were allocated a bedroom in the Barn it was awful - Very small, bathroom on a different level and poorly laid out. I thought it was inevitable that someone is going to trip and injure themselves

Room Tip: Refuse to go in the barn annex
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Toby W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Please accept my apologies for the poor welcome you recieved and for the room not meeting with your expectations. The Guest Rooms in the Cedar barns vary in size and style, they have all recently been redecorated, for a room in the main house you can upgrade to a premium or deluxe. Kind regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2013

We have stayed here several times and always enjoy our stay. Lovely location, attentive staff who were helpful and considerate.
We have now had a variety of rooms and my only 'complaint' would be that I failed my intelligence test and couldn't open the bedroom window and it was quite warm in the night!
We will be back.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank G590D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Thank you for your positive review, I look forward to welcoming you back soon. Kind regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baldock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

I recently stayed here for a romantic weekend. We stayed two nights, Sat and Sun. As it was a chance for us to relax we paid extra for a deluxe room - the Sat night alone cost over £200. We were not told in advance, or at the time of check in, that there was a private function in a room directly below our "deluxe" bedroom. Until midnight it was like we were inside the speaker at the function. We complained and the staff were not really interested. I emailed the General Manager 12 days ago and haven't even had the courtesy of an acknowledgment never mind an actual reply. I can forgive the tired nature of some of the building as it gives it character, but it is truly shocking that companies think this is an acceptable way to treat their guests.

Room Tip: Check where your room is in relation to a function if you want to relax before midnight!
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Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Richard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Please accept my apologies that you were disturbed by the function. The team do their best to allocate rooms away from any noise, however on this occasion a mistake must have been made. I do not recall recieving any communication as i would have responded within 72 hours, if you would like to resend your email I can contact you directly. Kind regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

We stayed here for my Nans 70th the place is very nice rooms and grounds we also used the spa facilities but this was spoilt when we went to the restaurant in the evening we waited 2 hours for our main course which was very annoying when there was people arriving after us who had all 3 courses yet we were still waiting for our main. Yet when we asked we were left waiting with no answers and found staff and management ignorant as no one even came over and apologised about the wait and still no explanation. Overall lovely place but the restaurant lets it down.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shell_c87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Thank you for your further comments regarding the delay with your dinner during you stay. I would like to once again apologise that you had to wait around an hour for your main course on the busy Saturday evening and that the team did not apease the situation with good communication. If I can further assist please do not hesitate to contact me. Kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Billesley Manor Hotel

Property: Billesley Manor Hotel
Address: Billesley | Near Alcester, Stratford-upon-Avon B49 6NF, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Warwickshire > Stratford-upon-Avon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon
#9 Luxury Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Billesley Manor Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 16th Century, four-star Billesley Manor Hotel has 72 bedrooms and sits in 11 acres of beautiful countryside just outside the medieval town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. Visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, discover the myths and magic of Warwick Castle, then enjoy a quiet moment in the hotel’s library, where legend claims that Shakespeare penned As You Like It.A beautiful country retreat with a Health & Leisure Club that features an indoor pool and outdoor tennis court. The hotel also has a listed 100-year-old topiary garden and fountain. The 2 AA Rosette Stuart Restaurant serves modern British food made from seasonal, local produce. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Stratford Upon Avon
Stratford Upon Avon Barcelo
Billesley Manor Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon, England

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