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“Trying hard after management crisis”
Review of Orles Barn Hotel

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Orles Barn Hotel
Ranked #17 of 43 Ross-on-Wye B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 8, 2013

When we called Orles Barn to book our room for two nights we were told by the manager that they’d take a deposit about two weeks before our arrival. However, a month later, when we got our credit card statement, we discovered they had taken the full amount (£360) for dinner, bed & breakfast on the day we made the booking. Not happy with this we called for an explanation and were told that the manager and chef had suddenly left after only two months and that the new management were unable to refund us any money as our arrangement had been with the previous management team. They would, however, honour our booking. So, to cut a long story short, we went.

We had booked the ground-floor suite, Siddington Russett, but on arrival we opted for the upstairs suite, D’Arcy Spice. If you looked closely at the room you could see it was crudely and cheaply put together. The bedroom and sitting room were cramped and the bathroom was fairly basic. Yet the room had every possible amenity you need in a good hotel, the decor was cheerful if not exactly luxurious and you came to enjoy its quirks. However, the entrance to the room was via a grotty fenced-in area and in the hallway was a filing cabinet which seemed to contain the archive of the hotel’s accounts. There was also a kitchen full of junk. The view from the rear sitting room was frankly ugly and, worst of all, was the traffic noise - you got the A40 in your room every minute of the day so we had two rather restless nights.

The public areas are beautifully designed - bright contemporary decor and quite spacious. We had a drink in the bar and then went into the restaurant for dinner. Now, we had paid in advance for two dinners and the amount we paid was more than the cost of the current chef’s menu. Choices were very limited. Our starters were OK - one little fish cake for me, one thin slice of chicken liver parfait for my wife. But then disaster - frazzled salmon for my wife and a chicken dish for me which was quite the worst I have been served in a very long time. The chicken was desiccated, as dry as sawdust. The ‘spring vegetables’ were in fact two sticks of undercooked carrot. The ‘fondant potato’ was a soggy mess. It was inedible so I left all of it and we didn’t risk the desserts. Obviously we ate out the next evening and forfeited a dinner for which we had already paid.

This is an operation trying to recover from a management upheaval in challenging economic times. The place looked a bit empty and abandoned yet the new staff seemed keen and obliging, hoping to fix the damage and recover the reputation the hotel seems to have enjoyed. I wish them well and wanted to do so in person when we checked out. But on that last morning there wasn’t anyone there apart from the chef. And when we needed to formally check out and get some sort of paperwork the main door was locked. So we drove away.

Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Pausanias
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 - 204 of 353 reviews

Reviewed May 12, 2013

When I booked a two night stay here,I was offered the ground floor room because of my height. I was also offered dinner. When I called a few days later to book dinner, I was told it was not available as the menu was being reworked. On arrival, We were told that the ground floor room was not available and had been booked for some time, so were given a room with a large beam, across the middle. The room was fine, well decorated and clean, but the heating was not working (fixed the next day). Breakfast was far from special with only a choice of "full english" or pancakes. Cereals were cornflakes or muesli.
It was clear from the staff that the restaurant will be closed for at least four weeks. It also very much appears that there is a lack of direction and management input with the staff appearing ineffective and lacking attention to normal detail.
Currently this hotel is clearly not operating as a 5* restaurant with rooms.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Devon-coach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Booked a discounted break online for my wifes birthday. Was able to request my room of choice the Pixie Apple by email and was told that because of a restaurant revamp evening meals would not be available. Not an issue because of this was fortunate to find both the Yaks And Yetis restaurant and the White Lion pub.
Spacious room with a large comfy bed and a bath in the room in an alcove area. Would return and recommend to others. Even got to listen to a lecture on daffodils at breakfast on the first day. Will return soon.
Also its an adventure to drive along the access road onto the A40.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jango1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

My fiance and I booked a heavily discounted room at Orles Barn for the Sunday night of the bank holiday. We were eager to eat in the restaurant so rang up and reserved a table after we had booked our room online. When we arrived on the Sunday night, the lady at reception told us that they had had problems with their gas supply all weekend and, as such, would be unable to serve us dinner. I asked why we had not been telephoned about this as we almost certainly would have cancelled, had we known. The receptionist blamed the oversight on staff who were tasked with ringing people with dinner reservations to inform them, saying that they "must have missed us". We were pretty unhappy about all of this and, after pushing quite hard, were given a 25% discount off the room, which we appreciated (we were initially told there would be no additional discount to reflect this poor service as "the room was already so heavily discounted", which struck me as not really being my problem, rather their pricing strategy). The receptionist made us a booking for a comparable restaurant a short walk away for dinner (Wilton Court Hotel, which was absolutely excellent - we'll almost certainly return there in future).

We were staying in the Siddington Russet room, which was OK - although it's looking a bit tatty for a 5 star accommodation, to be honest. We felt the little details that you should be able to expect from this caliber of room were missing: the bin in our bathroom hadn't been emptied after the previous guests, the information book was tatty and covered in tea stains, two bulbs in the bathroom needed replacing, there were stains on the carpet etc. I know it's a small thing as well, but there were no biscuits to accompany the tea and coffee in the room, which seems a bit odd for 5 star accommodation (particularly when they're promised in the information pack).

Breakfasts he next morning (apparently cooked on a temporary oven) was nothing at all to write home about. I was left wishing we'd found a cafe somewhere, to be honest. Again, the details just weren't there - we both asked for no black pudding, and yet black pudding appeared on both our plates.

In short, I can't help but think that a "restaurant with rooms" should probably contact all of its guests when the restaurant is out of action, whether they're booked for dinner or not (most people will eat breakfast at their hotel, after all). The fact that we were booked to eat dinner, but weren't told, is just completely unacceptable. I can accept that the staff were having a very difficult weekend, but I think it could have all been handled better.

I think if you can get one of their discounted £80 rooms it's probably worth it. For goodness sake, though, make sure you ring in advance to check everything's ok before you set off, and don't pay the full £160 a night, as its definitely not worth that!

Room Tip: The Sidington Russett had its own entrance, which was good. We were very aware of the road, though...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Katy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

My husband booked this as a surprise for me after I'd mentioned how lovely it looked when driving past. He booked it about one month in advance of the date and was offered a dinner, bed and breakfast offer which seemed really good.

As it was a bank holiday weekend we contacted the hotel the day prior to arriving just to check all was still okay. He was quite rudely told that the kitchen was currently closed for refurbishment and no food was being offered at this time.

For the hotel not to contact us regarding this is very disappointing, we had been very much looking forward to visiting and I really feel the least they could've done was to let us know the kitchen would be closed. My husband cancelled the night's stay with very little apology from the hotel and with it being a bank holiday we have been unable to find a different place to stay.

Most disappointed that a hotel which looks so lovely from the reviews would have such poor customer services, thanks to this a lovely surprise weekend away has been sadly missed.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
10  Thank GemmaGiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Returned to Orles Barn a few weeks ago to find that new owners had taken over.
Emma and Matthew were the perfect hosts and the food was absolutely fantastic (just like it used to be). Good luck Emma and Matthew. Kelly and Richard are not an easy act to follow but you have our vote of confidence. We'll be back again soon!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MickyFynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

We stayed for 3 nights in the ‘Annie Elizabeth’ room, which was clean and comfortable. The only downside to the room was the bedding needs to be updated, (White Company bedding would be nice) and the heating seemed to go off from around 10am to 4pm, and with the very cold spell we had in March, made the rooms feel very cold and took a long time to heat up!! With regards to the food, we’re in agreement with some of the other guests, food was good (nouvelle cuisine) if you like that sort of thing, just not much of it, and very pricey too!! Good selection of fine wines. Breakfast was very good. The staff we came across were friendly and helpful. On the tea tray in our room on arrival, there was a jar containing some nice home made biscuits, but unfortunately these were not replaced, this would have been a nice gesture, it’s the little things that count! All in all this is a pleasant place to stay, good location.

Room Tip: The Pixie Apple room looks lovely, very spacious!
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Maria C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Orles Barn Hotel

Address: Wilton, Ross-on-Wye HR9 6AE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Herefordshire > Ross-on-Wye
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 43 B&Bs / Inns in Ross-on-Wye
Price Range: $111 - $149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Orles Barn Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Accomodation ideal for everything from a romantic weekend away to a bolt hole from business. Our Grill & Restaurant serves Modern British Local Food in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Orles Barn has links back to the 14th & 17th Centuries and the first floor rooms have exposed beams and character features. The south facing garden stretches over an acre and is ideal for wedding receptions. Enjoy Walking? Around the hoterl area are plenty of walks to hand. after you have finihsed you can relax in our cosy bar/lounge with a local drink or maybe just a fresh coffee. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Orles Barn Hotel Ross-On-Wye, Herefordshire

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