I am going to start in a roundabout way and say I would probably return. Maybe.
And knowing what I know now would probably be able to add a star to two to the ratings. So much of our stay was outstanding with a couple of mystifying exceptions.
1. Dear Traveller, regardless of what is painted on a large sign on the outside. Refreshment are NOT served all day other than of a liquid sort. So when we arrive around 3pm on a scorching day with fond, innocent fantasies of a cool shower following by some sort of bar snack it was a bit of a shock to be told that whilst cool shower there was, lashing of liquid refreshment by the gallom waiting for us to but indicate our choice food choice was either a bag of pork scratchings or a bag of posh crisps. So we enjoyed our nice cold drinks in a beautiful bar whilst out stomachs rumbled in an alarming fashion that we thought might scare the cattle that wandered past from time to time. But nary a sandwich, muffin or anything else was forthcoming so we sadly drove down into Nailsworth and purchased a couple of rather grotty sandwiches and sat on the end of our bed in our beautiful bedroom, looking at the beautiful view nibbling crappy chain store snacks. There were at least three staff members knocking around - I cannot see how it was beyond their ability to knock up a cheese or ham sandwich. I would imagine a fair proportion of their guest have driven down the M3 to arrive dusty and hungry... Had there been any mention of this in their details I should have either arrived earlier to catch lunch service or detoured of one of the other fine eating establishments in the neighbourhood (luckily we know the area pretty well as we have visited friends in the area for many years) In fact, one of the local testaurants Tubby's does my husband's just about all time favourite foods - an amazing mushroom strudel that 20 years later he still fondly asks after. But I digress. Back to 2013. We relaxed in comfort in our room until our friend arrived and we went off for dinner. We arrived back around 11pm and gained the safety of our room and spent a perfectly wonderful night. The bathroom was spotless, the towels soft and fluffy, the drinks tray amply provisioned.
The next morning I went to pick up friend to reunited her with her car parked outside, and to have her join us for breakfast before we parted ways again. Other than a 20min Mexican Stand off with a herd of black cattle up on Rodborough Common this was accomplished. I had checked with the very amiable manager that there would be no problem accomodating an extra for breakfast and we arrived back at hotel in good order to find that the lure of real food had proved too much for other half and he had already eaten.
Maybe this is what completely confused the very sweet waiting staff because my breakfast was a complete shambles. (and that's being nice about - well it was a beautiful morning) Juice glasses were there none, I had to 'borrow' a cereal bowl from another table and it took around 15mins to get coffee. Warning to the universe - Do Not Get Between Me and my Caffeine early in the morning.I ordered my breakfast undyed smoked haddock with poached egg(funny, I though fillet meant they would have removed some of the bones... SILLY me and the egg was way overcooked. Not quite to hard boiled/poached or that would have occasioned a full blown tantrum - eeerg. What IS the point of hard boiled eggs. Gotta have a runny yolk guys.) and despite repeated pleading my toast only turned up after I had finished my fish and butter? What butter? We just stole from another table that left a pat... Yet other half swore his full english was wonderful (and he got toast and butter in good order - in fact it was a couple of his left over pieces that kept me going and prevent mayhem. and our friend was in awe of the rhubarb yoghurt and thought it was one of the best she had ever eaten. And her croissants were hot and fresh and fabulous (Although also sadly lacking butter too and the promised preserves. Butthe coffee was fab - 'pokey' was the agreed description. Which is as it should be.
If your kitchen staff can't be bothers to stick a couple of slices of bread in a toaster then invest in another one and leave it on the cereal table with a few slices of bread so guests can make their own.
But my question to the Amberly management, should they ever bother to read their reviews is simply - What is WRONG with your kitchen? Your other staff are friendly and helpful but for heavens sake give them something to work with. The lack of any food outside 'service' hours is ridiculous in a 21st century world that has freezers and fridges - People are willing to pay money for this y'know, but if you'd rather send them to Tesco's be my guest,
And as for the complete debacle that was breakfast? The only thing that prevented that becoming a bloodbath was the niceness of of your waitresses and the fact that there were enough tables that had already left for me to scavenge from.
Here are a few simple pointers to running a breakfast service: (which by the way, in my distant past I HAVE done)
Firstly - make sure ALL the tables are set properly with ALL expected crocker/Cutlery (doing it the night before after dinner has been cleared would be my suggestion)
1. Guest enters - Tea or coffee? Then bloody get it NOW. People will forgive much if they have something in front of them.
When delivering toast (preferably at the same time as the food) check that simple things like butter and jam are present
You bring coffee? Check there are enought cups and milk for the number at the table
Also - hang around until you are certain that the guests have all their meal. It's lovely to chat with guests about your summer plans, no really it is. But to do it in front of hungry, increasingly irritated unserved guests might be considered risking life and limb.
This is NOT rocket science
The business of a hotel is simple. I give you money, you give me a nice room for the night and a modest level of service. I am normally polite and grateful. Everyone is happy.
Also - whilst it is a nice touch to provide free newspapers - I am sorry but The Daily Mail is hardly my newspaper of choice. I would have been pefectly thrilled to pay for the newspaper of my choice to be at my table when I arrived (Sunday Telegraph, thank you for asking - oh that's right, you didn't bother)
You might want to consider what sort of business you are really running... If two hungry guests check in looking for some sort of sustenance, which surely cannot be uncommon, would it be beneath them for a member of staff to knock up a cheese or a ham sandwich?
You might want to thing about this when (or if) you wonder why decided to go to The Old Lodge for dinner. And this was BEFORE the shambles of breakfast.
And you should be grateful my husband settled the bill whilst I finished my very late arriving toast because I feel I should not have been so amicable. And tip there would assuredly have been none.
Would I return? probably, maybe, depends if The Bear or Egypt Mills have any vacancies to be honest. Which is a pity because so much of our stay was wonderful
You need to take a long hard look at what is going on because with so little extra effort it would have been 5 star.As it is you barely scraped three.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A fine example of a traditional Country Inn situated in the heart of the Cotswolds. Only ten minutes' drive from J13 of M5, The Amberley Inn sits proudly overlooking the famous Woodchester Valley in an area of outstanding natural beauty.Recently refurbished and under new management, this Cotswolds hotel makes the ideal location for Gatcombe Park, Badminton, Cheltenham, Tetbury, Nailsworth, Cirencester, Stroud and for those who wish to explore the Cotswolds. Located a just a seven iron from Minchinhampton Old Course, the Inn offers Golfers complimentary rates at all three Minchinhampton courses. Our restaurant serves local seasonal food to an excellent standard, with an extensive wine list to compliment the dining experience. Wireless broadband available in all of the rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Amberley Hotel Amberley