I should firstly confess that I booked because my first choice of hotel (some distance away and complete with spa) was full. Sometimes fate gives you a lucky break.
It can be gard to surprise a jaded business traveller, used to the usual run of 4* hotels .... Orles Barn managed it!! This is a "love it or hate it" option. .... and I loved it.
If you want Travelodge style, go elsewhere because from the moment of arrival this experience is personal, raher than the slickly distant approach of most hotels. Small, with just 8 bedrooms, the owners describe it as "a restaurant with rooms", . . . but they do themselves a disservic, it is more a breath of fresh air in the trail of 'same old; establishments
Two well behaved friendly dogs offered welcome, swiftly followed by smoothly efficient owners Richard & Kelly. Within minutes I was installed in an upgraded room ("its not booked tonight so you may as well enjoy the extra space") and on my way back down for acuppa - offered, without prompting, as I checked in.
This is the point at which one discovers that the downstaiis is a home from home. A large light and airy dining area hides a small and intinate bar with comfy sofa's and an easy atmosphere..... and owners happy to chat, and tell you that the Barn is not only their business, but their home. One does indeed feel like a houseguest. Nothing is too much trouble and this hard working pair have a good instinct for when one may like to chat, and when they should leave you to it.
Dinner was excellent, and the newly awarded AA 4* restaurant status is deserved. The menu is relatively limited but well constructed with a strong element of local produce, and was perfectly executed (as was breakfast!).The winelist was acceptable (I settled for a Sancerre)
The bedrooms are clean, with simple decor and the beds wide and comfy.
Downsides? If one wished to be ultra picky ...it is close to the dual carriageway, but have to say I didn't hear any traffic noise once I was in the hotel. The bathrooms are in need of a revamp - but the plumbing functioned, the water was hot, and one is inclined to be forgiving on hearing that new bathrooms are due for installation this winter, after a two year programme of updating throughout.
Other than that ..... it is hard to find fault, and the only real difficulty is in deciding quite where Orles Barn fits, as it has neither the feel of a B&B, nor of a standard hotel. Quirky, quaint, and charming, with owners who bend over backwards to please .... this is definitely one that you should try!
(and if the owners should read this ...... I hope all goes well for January 15th!!)
- 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