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“Just about acceptable, no more than that.”
Review of Rudloe Arms

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Rudloe Arms
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Corsham
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Just about acceptable, no more than that.”
Reviewed October 28, 2013

Stayed here for a long weekend on a Marco Pierre White "gourmet package" and paid extra for an upgraded room. It was quite clear that package guests are treated poorly and disdainfully by the hotel. Our friends stayed in the pretty awful "upgrade room": it was quite dirty (eg, mouse droppings on the bed canopy and an army of dead flies on the carpet - which didn't get cleaned up during the weekend); strangely kitted out with thrift shop items. Though it did have a nice view.
We stayed in the new wing: soul-less, cheaply furnished, bizarrely designed.
The big complaint, however, was the food. The gourmet package consisted of an average breakfast, and a choice at dinner of fish and chips and sausage and mash. If I were MPW, I would not be proud to put my name to this food. And he is clearly a proud man as there are hundreds of photos of him everywhere in the hotel.
The very nice guy who appeared to be general manager apart, the staff are at best efficient, but often disinterested and avoiding contact with guests - I fear they are used to complaints.
Best thing about the hotel was the bar - which is quirkily and interestingly decked out and a fun place to spend time in the evening. Downside is that there are bedrooms directly above and so the fun stops pretty early with the staff turning down the music to an inaudible level and encouraging guests to go to bed.
Disappointing. If I'd paid full price it would be two stars. As it was the package was average value and overall a very average experience.

Room Tip: Avoid the new wing, which despite a lot of space, are completely characterless. But inspect the roo...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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2 Thank ChookNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Coventry, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
384 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 274 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2013

We spent 2 nights at the Rudloe Arms on a Living Social "Gourmet Getaway" deal. The deal included bed, breakfast and two three course meals - one at the Rudloe Arms and one at the Pear Tree Inn in Melksham, which I have reviewed separately. The short version of this review is - this is a million miles away from a gourmet experience and I could not recommend the hotel or its restaurant, or the Pear Tree, to anyone at any price.

The long version is as follows. The hotel has apparently been refurbished. The public areas may have been done up but the room we stayed in (room 6 in the main house) was grubby and shabby with stains on the carpet, bizarrely two horrible mattresses (one on top of the other) on a bed frame, a miscellany of table lamps but no central light, odd bits of old furniture including an armchair which was falling apart, scuzzy taps and wastes in the bathroom (although the bath taps had been replaced), a wobbly toilet seat, a mirror hung on a picture hook above the basin, and a tiny flat screen TV with an aerial lead which kept falling out of the socket. There was no toilet roll holder in the bathroom, no soap, and no glass to rinse with. The lack of soap and a glass was remedied after we mentioned this at reception. The location of the room was actually very good having beautiful double aspect views from the windows and no problems with noise. However on the first morning, a very strong smell of cooking pervaded the room.

We didn't bother with the bar which looked glitzy and too "corporate". The receptionist was lovely and friendly, but without wishing to be hurtful, was not dressed professionally. On all three days she was wearing a vest top with bra straps very evident. The other staff were also friendly but I think had to work in less than ideal conditions.

Breakfast on the first morning felt chaotic. The very limited choice of cereals (weetabix, muesli, corn flakes and all bran), together with unidentified jugs of milk, a basket of yogurts and another basket of jams, and fruit juices (no continental breakfast here), was set out on two trolleys in the narrow corridor between the stairs and the dining room. I had read other reviewers description of this arrangement but even so wasn't prepared for how down market this looked. It would have been more appropriate for a pre school breakfast club than a "celebrity" chef hotel. While we were trying to serve our own cereals and juice, the staff were constantly squeezing past with trays of hot drinks and toast and cooked breakfasts.

One thing I do want to clear up is the question of cooked breakfasts. There is a good choice of cooked breakfasts including fried, scrambled or boiled eggs on toast, crumpets, waffles and kippers, none of which attract a supplement, so the complaints about paying an additional £4 for a full English breakfast may be a little petty. However, the quality of the cooked breakfasts we had was poor. My husband had poached egg on toasted crumpets but the crumpets were barely tepid. I had scrambled eggs but these tasted as if they were made from powdered egg. The orange juice was bitter and I really can't believe was freshly squeezed. Rather odd was the presence of a radio in the dining room tuned into a commercial station so breakfast was punctuated with jingles and interminable Twinings tea adverts.

Breakfast on the second morning was less of a shambles. Hubby's fried eggs and bacon were fine, my warm waffles weren't and neither were they made in the kitchen.

We ate dinner in the restaurant on the Saturday night which was my husband's birthday. I had already advised the receptionist of this. We were seated in the dining room at 8:00 although there seemed to be some uncertainty about our reservation. We were brought a large jug of tap water which was encouraging - but then it all went downhill. The limited menu offered fish and chips, ham and eggs, sausage and mash, or an unidentified "butchers steak" at a £6.50 supplement (animal? cut? source?). This barely qualifies as average pub grub in my book so I was incredibly disappointed. My husband struggled to choose anything but eventually went for the fish and chips. I opted for sausage and mash. Hardly a celebratory meal. We normally buy a decent bottle of wine when we dine but we both felt that we didn't want to put any more money into MPW's pocket. The starters were "ok" but not special. The fish was a joke - not much bigger than an oversized fish finger and served with a tiny bowl of the ubiquitous triple cooked chips and another small bowl of mushy peas. By contrast, my plate offered three rather large Cumberland sausages and a gigantic dollop of somewhat solid mash served with a pot of buttered peas (courtesy of Bird's Eye I suspect). The fish and chips were average, the sausage and mash over salted in the extreme. I just couldn't eat more than half. We proceeded to desserts, rice pudding for me, salted caramel ice cream for hubby. The ice cream was teeny tiny. The rice pudding was tepid but ok until I discovered a lump of congealed and uncreamed rice. And all the time, any ambiance in the dining room was completely destroyed by the dratted radio playing jingles and Twinings adverts. As my husband so accurately summarised, it was like waiting for your car in a Kwik Fit depot. We ended up joking "Mr White in the Dining Room with the radio". I wish.

We did speak to the very forebearing restaurant manager who very kindly offered a drink by way of recompense for the over salting (I refused by the way) and was at great pains to point out that MPW philosophy is to go simple and that all of his dining rooms have radios. Hmm. I would like MPW to review his definition of "gourmet". Mine goes along the lines of - "using the chef's skill to blend quality ingredients with clear provenance into a harmonious dish with subtleties of flavouring difficult to replicate in mass catering". This has not been achieved in the Rudloe Arms offering. In fairness, the manager also stated that the limited menu was derived from the a la carte menu and that we could have requested an alternative - but this wasn't pointed out when we were ordering.

I am a fan of simple cooking with great ingredients but I cannot see that buying a few sausages and serving with mash is a worthy output from any chef worth his (dare I say) salt. Looking at the menu, the only potatoes on offer were chips or mash, and the only vegetables were peas. Hardly challenging.

On the "radio" issue I'm afraid that to me this smacks of the arrogance of a celebrity chef - it's a reverse pretentiousness which is itself pretentious. MPW - take down all the dreadful artworks propping up your considerable ego and think about giving your customers a memorable experience for the right reasons.

Go again? Not on your life! Be warned DON'T BUY THIS AT ANY PRICE.

On the plus side, I feel hugely happier about my own cooking skills and will be applying them to producing a proper celebration meal for my lovely husband next weekend.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Rachael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Essex
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Back in its day I heard that Rudloe Hall was "the" place to be in Corsham and when I turned up you can see why. Since the hotel went in liquidation MPW has since taken it over and added his touch to it, the style is a little surprising, but I understand after all why have another typical old English house with open fires ? ! The hotels main building needs a lot of love, but the potential is huge. The newer style courtyard bedrooms are probably the best, the main building rooms are quaint, but dont have that luxurious feel to them. Breakfast was good, but we ate dinner at the Methurn Arms, no particular reason other than thats where our colleagues had booked it.

Room Tip: Courtyard rooms are newer, the main hotel rooms are quaint, but some dont have proper showers and yo...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank simoncroft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baldock, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Just returned from a 2 day break at Ludloe Hall. After reading reviews we were really worried but on arrival we were very impressed. We were given room 5, excellent room, one could moan about decoration but it's an old hall, what do people expect, the room was fantastic. Staff, brilliant in a word, couldn't do enough for you. Food was excellent, tasty, hot, we were happy with the variety though me claim it was not enough variety. We went to the Pear tree Inn as part of the living social deal, again really impressed, staff great, food great and again enough variety. Overall a really great two days at Ludloe Hall, thank you for making our anniversary special, we would definitely return

Room Tip: Ask for rooms 5-7 in the Hall.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Petermcdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2013

My husband and I have just returned from a 2 day getaway bought through Living Social. Having read previous reports I was really worried about what awaited us. What a relief! This is a typical coaching inn and apart from some odd wall decoration, does not pretend to be otherwise. On entry we were overwhelmed by quite the most ghastly decor we had ever seen. The whole reception area is bedecked by photographs of Mr White in a variety of narcissistic poses. Whoever is responsible for this and the decor in the dining room, which is even worse than the entry vestibule, seems to have completely lost the plot, but maybe his intent was for it to emote much discussion from visitors; it certainly did between my husband and I if only to agree how awful it was, but this does not spoil one's visit. Our room was ready and we were given our key although we arrived before booking in time. It was clean (apart from the squashed insect on the wall) and the decor was very much of its time (unlike the public rooms) and had seen better days, but completely serviceable. My only small complaint would have been that the hairdryer was pretty useless and the only socket available was nowhere near a mirror, but hey-ho, did that spoil our visit? No. The tv was small but there was an enormous one in the bar if we really wanted to spend our time watching tv on a weekend away from home; hopefully most people would take the opportunity to do something else! And there was plenty of opportunity to do just that with several pool tables, a dart board, bar billiards, croquet and beautiful gardens to stroll in.
Visits were to Corsham Court - good for art lovers. Bath is an easy drive and proved to be a highlight of our stay and finally, Lacock Abbey and Fox Talbot Museum which was wonderful.
Our first evening dinner was at the hotel and proved to be a perfectly adequate meal if not a culinary masterpiece. The fare was simple and little choice but you just have to consider what you have paid and the fact that there is no washing up afterwards. The following evening we ventured down some very dark country lanes to the Pear Tree where again, there was little choice but the meal was absolutely fine. Service, at both hostelries, was good and the waitresses friendly and helpful. Breakfast was the best of our meals with more than enough to fill even the most hungry of bodies. Yes, a full English would have cost us extra but with cereal, fruit, yoghurt, toast + many computations of egg, bacon, sausage, tomatoes and waffles there was a good selection for all appetites.
Sleep was a welcome end to a long first day but did not come easily as noise from the bar filled our room. Again, just remind yourself that this is an old, country inn where acoustics were not designed for today's stereo systems and our room did not have a carpet to muffle sounds. However, it ceased on the dot of midnight and a comfortable night followed. We decided that it is a case of if you can't beat them, join them, so the following evening would have joined in fun in the bar but this was not necessary as Sunday evening was a great deal quieter.
Throughout our stay, staff were pleasant and cheerful. We were more than satisfied with our stay and would repeat it without second thoughts, in fact we are thinking of going up to Norfolk to another of Mr White's hostelries if only to see if the decor is as bad!!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank golfanatic20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights to be in easy reach of my office. First impressions were very good and it is clear that the essence of Wheelers of St James has crept through to the style and decor of Rudloe Hall, this I particularly liked and the building is in good visual order. Additionally it was clear additional investment is continuing - demonstrated by the workmen fitting new street lamps on the approach driveway.

My first night was marred by the total lack of service and after 25 minutes without so much as a glass of water, I gave up and walked out. Although it has to be said the food for the rest of my stay redeemed this and was of excellent quality. Personally Wheelers of St James is one of my favourite restaurants and I was a little disappointed that the menu here is so redacted and not a fish dish in sight.

Overall I found the staff (excluding the lady at breakfast who utterly bucked the trend) very unattentive and I had to chase them for any service at all - This is a shame because it lets the venue down.

The room however was lovely, clean, modern, good bathroom and very good value. Although a larger TV would not go a miss but that is really nitpicking.

Will I stay again? Yes
Will I eat here again? Yes
Would I give the staff some further training? You bet!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Royg3110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2013

Stayed Friday 18th for two nites, was invited into the launch, very very good, but no show from Mr Marco Pierre White, would have been nice to see him. the staff that night did an excellent job, rooms very good, food ok. what they have done in the bar is not to every ones taste, that's life, we thought it was ok. (different), didn't do the grounds as it was peeeeing down, but from our room they look good. No point gong on and on, will defo be returning, hopefully the boss might even buy us a drink.. Thank you all at Rudloe. x

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank T S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rudloe Arms

Property: Rudloe Arms
Address: Leafy Lane | Near Bath, Corsham SN13 0PA, England (Formerly Rudloe Hall Hotel)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Wiltshire > Corsham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Corsham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Rudloe Arms 4*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfect food and incredible, caring staff where "nothing is too much trouble" is what makes this truly unique and boutique English country house no. 1 in the area. With stunning views overlooking the World Heritage Roman city of Bath, in 15 acres of gardens, Croquet and a 9 hole practice golf course, you'll be spoiled indeed! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rudloe Hall Corsham
Hotel Rudloe Hall
Rudloe Arms Corsham, Wiltshire

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