We recently stayed here with an elderly relative as we were dining at the excellent nearby restaurant, The Black Swan.
As with all my reviews I always try to provide a fair, reasoned, and balanced review of anywhere I stay and will try to do the same with this review.
Having driven a long way, we arrived at approx. 12noon of our stay. I was aware that check in was at 1400hrs, but as most people do, I entered to determine whether our rooms may be ready - emphasising that it was okay if they weren't as I knew the policy re: check-in. However, when I approached one member of staff, who I think was the manager, the look I got suggested she knew what I was going to ask and came across as if it was a hassle to her. The welcome I received was luke warm at the best.
After our lunch we returned and we were shown to our rooms. One of our party was in Room 1 (the annex) which is on the ground floor opposite the kitchen's back door (this room has been referred to in other reviews), and we were in a room upstairs in the main part of the hotel. I'll start with our room. It was spotlessly clean, with a nice tray of tea and coffee etc. The bed was comfortable, with nice, crisp linen. Very nice indeed.
One issue I have to raise, which I note has been highlighted in previous reviews, is that of the water temperature. When I had my shower in the morning, the system is trying to balance hot water and cold water via the taps which is diverted through a shower hose. Unfortunately, the water appears to be influenced by others users as the fluctuated between ice and napalm to the point I actually had to jump out to avoid being scalded at one point.
Room 1, the annex, again was well appointed and spotlessly clean - however, even during late afternoon it was very cold. In mid-September, there was no heating at all. No electric fires in case you wanted to get a heat. This worried me for my elderly relative. I can understand the argument that we should have asked for the heating to be turned on, but equally I really didn't think we should have to ask.......No heating all night.
The following morning we came down for breakfast. Again, the reception was 'cool' to say the least. Breakfast was average. In fact, the breakfast was okay - but the reception again was cold. It's such a shame, because the other way around (i.e. food average, but hospitality and friendliness, warm- can make a big difference!).
I can identify with some other reviewers that this hotel appears to have some interesting rules that I hadn't heard of before. However, to be fair, some I agree with,but one I found very unusual. In reference to the hotel being locked up at midnight (as noted by another reviewer), I actually think this is a good rule as it limits noise whilst trying to sleep. However, another rule was that you cannot check out until after 10am (unless you settle up the night before). I hadn't heard of this anywhere, ever.....Clearly this is due to a lack of staff being available to process check outs-perhaps staffing levels are an issue here..........
In summary I felt that if I asked for something -it would come across as if it's a hassle (perhaps preventing me from raising the issue about the heating).
I have to emphasise, this wasn't a terible stay. However, in my opinion, if the manager was warmer, as well as the physical temperature of the rooms, this would be a very nice venue to stay in a very nice village. Two simple, but essential, things that could be rectified easily.
Who knows, maybe it was a bad day....as I can see many of the reviews are v. positive.
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