Driving up the long winding driveway to the Manor, our excitement grew, as we looked forward to an evening in front of the fire in the lounge, but it sadly dribbled away within the first half an hour or so.
To clarify: I booked a Deluxe Double room through Superbreaks, quoted as £250 per room per night, currently on offer at £49.50pppn including Breakfast. I upgraded to Half Board paying an additional £48 for full 3 course evening meals.
On arriving there was no Reception to speak of, and a warm welcome was lacking. Reference was immediately made to us having booked through 'Superbreaks' when we were asked if we were eating in the evening and advised it was a Gourmet evening. We expected them to know our booking requirements, so this sounded odd but we didn't think much of it at the time. Just as we were taken to our room we noticed a board on a table in the hallway that apologised for any disturbance/inconvenience during refurbishment. We soon found that the lounge with an open fire was not open due to this work, and that half the dining room was closed due to re-decoration. 2nd lounge was nice and newly painted but didn't make up for a roaring fire if that's what was part of the attraction on booking!
We were in 'Warwick' room in a separate building across the car park. Room was up a small staircase in the eaves of the building, with a skylight window in the bathroom, and another in the bedroom. Also another small window overlooking the carpark towards the main building. The room was comfortable and very peaceful and the bathroom was ok, though taps needed a good scrub from limescale. Shower was a hand held device which we weren't expecting. Seemed clean though tired and faded and certainly far from the quote of 'individually decorated & featuring antique furniture and fine fabrics'. Bed was large and comfy but it was 2 singles joined together. Most disappointing of all was no tea/coffee making facilities in the room, which we expected for a £250 room. I did ask the staff but it wasn't an option.
Pool facilities were a definate plus, good sized pool, very warm, and the sauna and steam were great. Towels also provided in the changing rooms.
Not long after settling in our room, reception called to advise Chef was cooking a 7 course Gourment meal so we would have to pay an additional £15 each. Surprised and a little irritated at the manner in which this was put, we suggested this a little unfair as there was no mention of it on booking or on their website. Reception therefore referred back to Chef and it was agreed they would give us a 3 course option as we booked.
Now to the Dining experience.....Most pleasureable! Restaurant staff, compared to front of house, were great. Knowledgeable, courteous, polite and friendly, service and attitudes were great. Food was mouth wateringly tasty and well presented. The Head Waiter was marvellous and was most apologetic for the previous meal confusion. It seems every last Thursday of the month is their Gourment night - so why isn't it promoted on their website?!
On check out, reference was again made to 'Superbreaks' and we were presented with a bill for our evening meal and extras. Soon rectified when it was found we had infact booked and paid for Half Board.
On returning home and doing a little research we now doubt that we were given a 'Deluxe Double' room even though we booked and paid for one. One website states there are 3 Deluxe Double rooms offering wonderful views of the countryside, some of the rooms being in the Manor House. We had no 'wonderful views of the countryside' from the Warwick room. Reference is also made to early morning tea and a paper all included in the price - sadly not received.
All in all, lovely location, wonderful building, but lots of gaps in lots of areas, leading to an overall feeling of poor value for money and disappointment.
I can't help but wonder that had I not booked through Superbreaks, but through the Hotel direct, our whole stay and experience may have been of a higher standard?
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- Also Known As:
- Charingworth Manor Chipping Campden, Cotswolds