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The Priory Hotel
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Reviews (442)
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Reviewed August 24, 2011

My wife & l stayed here on friday 19th August as was a birthday gift from my brother , originally we were going for an evening dinner for 2 round £100 , but on looking at their website they had a July / August Special of Dinner / Room / B&B for £100 per person , which was a bargin as rooms start from £200 - £415 depending on what night you stay. As my wife has her birthday this month we decided to take up the Special deal and make a weekend of it. Deal was for a Courtyard room which was fine. On arrival the staff knew our names , very impressive & advised us we had been upgraded to a Superior Room , The room was on split level , finished to a very high standard of furnishings & spotless , Bed very comfortable & a quiet Room ( Durdle Door Room No.21 ). We then went down for Dinner and had our pre dinner drinks outside in the rear gardens as such a beautiful evening , our drinks arrived with Canapes , then our order was taken & advised chef will call us down to the Restaurant when ready , Shortly we were escorted to our seat in the vaulted downstairs Restaurant where we enjoyed a 3-Course Dinner ( food was 1st class & of good portions ) Staff were lovely , helpful but unobtrusive , our Polish waitress was very nice. After our meal we had option of Coffee in the Restaurant or Lounge , we opted for the Lounge & was soon served a large pot of coffee & Home Made Petits Fours which finished off a Perfect Evening. The following morning we had our coffee freshly delivered to our room at time requested as no in room coffee / tea making available which was areal treat. Then down to Breakfast which offered a large arrangement of Fresh fruit salad , cereals & full English Breakfast which was cooked to order. After check-out we were told we could leave the car in the car park if we wanted to view the gardens which we did and enjoyed a hour wandering through stunning flower beds , past pond area and along the River Frome.
All in all a First Rate stay for one night with great food & choices and wondeful staff from every department. Would stay again even if the deal we had wasn't available. You can just use the Restaurant which is £42.50 per person for the Sumptuous Canapes, 3-Course Dinner with Coffee & Petits Fours , for the price well worth it.

Room Tip: Room 21 is split level , quiet , comfortable & views of rear garden & river & Priory Church from Bathroom.
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank eyelevel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2011

We booked a two night weekday break in a superior double room. On arrival we found we had been 'upgraded' to the Swan Suite in the boathouse. A very welcome surprise. I would imagine this likely to be one of their top level suites.

Value for money
To some people room rates of £250 to £400 per night may seem excessive but considering the level of service and comfort provided these figures do represent good value for money.

Staff.
One word, faultless. The staff are well on top of their game and no request is too difficult.

The Hotel
As reviewed elsewhere the location is an idyllic riverside position with lawns and gardens sweeping down to the river. In the warm August sunshine the patio and surroundings were ideal places to sit and soak it all up.

The Swan Suite.
On the ground floor of the boathouse and consisted of a living area, bathroom and bedroom. All decorations were first class and the bathroom spotlessly clean. Doors opened out onto a riverside patio with table and chairs which we made full use of in the evenings whilst sinking a bottle of wine. Perhaps the very closeness of the river and the number of passing canoes and boats may put some people off but to us exchanging jokes with the passers by added a level of friendliness to the whole scene.

The restaurant
We found the undercroft restaurant to be, perhaps, a bit gloomy with very few windows casting any natural light into the area. The food quality was good and of sufficient quantity. A few items carried a supplement but nothing outrageous.

The negative comments
I am loathe to write any negative comments but in fairness, as a review, I should include any niggles. But really these are more a personal view and others may disagree, some are outside the control of the hotel. The dinner menu did not change on the days we were there. I would like to see the menu increased from its current 7 or 8 main meals to perhaps 10 or 12 from which the 8 are selected variously on different days.

Be prepared if you have the riverside suites to be the centre of attention for passing holiday makers. The hotel and church behind make a wonderful photo opportunity for passers by and you will inevitably be 'in the corner of the shot'. In high season there is a public river bank about 100 metres upstream that can create some noise during the middle part of the day, but the public leave around tea time and things return to tranquility again.

Would we go back.
A definite yes and we are examining our diaries for the next opportunity.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank Scruggs1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2011

We have just returned from a very enjoyable 3 night stay at The Priory Hotel. The hotel is in a wonderful location by the River Frome and the large gardens surrounding the hotel are absolutely beautiful. Had the weather been more settled during our stay ,we would love to have had lunch or afternoon tea on the terrace, watching the boats go sailing by - a very civilised way to while away a couple of hours! Our room in the roof was very comfortable with a large bathroom and a fantastic view of the river. However, as this hotel is so expensive, I would have expected the carpet in Room 22 to be in a better state and both armchairs were rather shabby. I also think that better quality blinds which don't let so much light through would be a good idea for the 2 windows in the bedroom . The food in the restaurant was good but we were surprised that the starters and main menu did not change at all over the 3 nights we ate there........ and 4 of those choices carried an additional supplement! That was the most disappointing aspect of an otherwise very relaxing break

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank siriol58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2011

My wife and I stayed in the Kingfisher suite (top of the boathouse) with lovely views over the river and fields beyond. It was our wedding anniversary and the hotel was suitably romantic. The gardens are stunning, a real pleasure to walk through and admire. Service was good, food was good but not quite michelin star standard. Loved the location. Bird life was fantastic and we were treated to the sight of a couple of goldfinches in the tree right next to the balcony. Definitely a place to return to.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AQuinsman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2011

My husband and I have just returned from a break at this lovely hotel. Although in the centre of the market town of Wareham in Dorset, you feel as if you have stepped into a Thomas Hardy novel as the hotel is situated beside the church with beautiful lawns and gardens leading down to the River Frome. We felt sublimely relaxed as we breakfasted and lunched on the terrace, watching the sailboats and small yachts wend their way down the river. Our bedroom at the top of the house was very nicely decorated with both modern and antique touches, and what a luxury to have a pot of coffee (excellent coffee) and the daily newspaper delivered to our door early each morning. Our evening meals were served in the Cellar Restaurant, which was both atmospheric and relaxing - our compliments to the chef as his food is to a very high standard and we thoroughly enjoyed every course with the 'piece de resistance' being an excellent cheeseboard. Although a comprehensive wine list was offered, we were rather disappointed to find that quite a few of the better wines were unavailabe, which is a shame, as we felt this let the wonderful food down. However we had a most relaxing break and were warmly treated by all staff, in particular Lorraine in the Cellar Restaurant and Yasmin upstairs. We would highly recommend this wonderful hotel to anyone wanting a peaceful break with good food and service.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Mariem60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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