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“Very enjoyable”
Review of The Elms

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The Elms
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Abberley
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 July 2014

We knew we were in our sort of place when we were met by the cat (George) on Reception! And we weren't disappointed. We stayed here at the beginning of July on a Travelzoo deal which included a 5 course tasting menu. Check in was very efficient & friendly & due to my husband's respiratory problems, we were allocated a lovely room just at the top of the stairs with a very comfy bed - we had an excellent night's sleep.

We've read some of the negative comments here & have to say that we didn't encounter any of the problems others state. The drink we had before dinner was served promptly as were the 5 courses of dinner. The standard of the food was excellent (although we do have to agree with another report that a whole poussin on a tasting menu seemed slightly over the top, even though it was delicious)

The breakfast choices are to be commended - my husband's black pudding & mashed potato with fried egg on top was an unusual but yummy breakfast whilst my smoked salmon & scrambled egg was done to perfection. The only niggle that we had was that our breakfast was served in the overflow dining room - where the families with young children were being served. We know that this is a family hotel so don't begrudge them this but as a slightly the wrong side of middle aged couple, we do find that we are not at our best listening to small children screaming through the start of the day.

However, this was a very small niggle in what was otherwise a very enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank superdv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheElmsAbberley, General Manager at The Elms, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Dear Superdv,

Thank you for writing a comprehensive review on your stay at the Elms. We do try to provide a relaxed home away from home feel and I’m pleased George, our resident cat, met with your approval. I was also pleased to read your comments on the food, your room and that we were able to dispel any concerns you may have had prior to your arrival.

Such feedback provides a real boost to the team who work really hard to meet the needs of all our guests.

I hope we have the pleasure in welcoming you back at the Elms some time soon. Once again thank you for your review – it’s much appreciated.

Best wishes

Hayley & the team

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331 - 337 of 669 reviews

Reviewed 23 July 2014

Second stay and it was just as pleasant as the first one. Lovely setting, good food & facilities and the rooms are fantastic. I would recommend the Elms to anyone looking for a quiet break but have also been told the additional child orientated facilities make it a great place for families.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Matt M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheElmsAbberley, General Manager at The Elms, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2014

Hi Matt M,

Thank you for your review and I was pleased to read that this was your second visit to the Elms and it lived up to the expectations created from your first. I hope it won’t be your last and we’ll see you again soon.

Thanks again for your review they mean a lot to the team.

Kind regards

Hayley and all at the Elms

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2014

The Elms Hotel & Spa bills itself as a "Luxury Family Hotel".

Many of the parts of our experiences at the hotel sat well within this claim, but there were also areas that fell clearly short.

I'll start with the less good bits and move on to the great parts.

When you make a claim to be a 'luxury hotel', you need, not only to charge 'luxury' prices, which they clearly do, but also to make every effort to ensure that everything about the guest experience is absolutely 'luxury'.

We booked for 3 family units to attend for 2 nights with dinner on one night for everybody and a second dinner for two of the groups. On the online booking, we clearly stated the special dietary requirements of our party, which we followed up with a detailed and fairly extensive telephone conversation with the hotel.
Subsequent to this, the member of our party that suffers from coeliac disease was rather surprised that there were no gluten-free options for cereal and that the hotel had 'run out' of gluten free bread, meaning toast was not an option. When questioning the waiting staff, the table server seemed to have no idea what was being requested, possibly only a language problem, but definitely a fairly serious training deficiency when such dietary necessities have such an impact on health. The gluten free options for dessert at dinner were also completely inadequate, with ice cream being the only possibility. This is not a difficult problem to overcome. To make 'luxury' hotel status, you need to make sure that there are a range of options for all special diets and even a half-decent chef could quite easily have improvised a good gluten-free desert on the spot.
The only other consideration was that all courses of all meals seemed to take an interminably long time to arrive. When you are trying to keep a family at a table, especially with under 2's, waiting ages for food means things start to go wrong fairly rapidly.

Otherwise, the meals were lovely for the guests without special requirements, definitely well presented and tasty.

There are indeed many different and varied activities for children and families to get involved with and we were delighted to see a tennis court to play on, with rackets and balls available to borrow. I understand the difficulty to replace damaged and ageing equipment, but for a hotel claiming to be 'luxury' and charging for the privilege (~£400 or more per night), we were disappointed to find either bent or broken racket frames with good grips or decent frames with no grips. A weekly check on equipment and a rolling maintenance programme could easily combat this problem and you don't have to break the bank to replace a few tennis rackets, none of the need to be pro standard, but they should at least all be functional and in reasonable condition.
At the same time, the zip on the trampoline entrance was not functioning properly which has safety implications.

'The Blue Room', what a good idea. What a disappointment. Yes, there is a Wii, but for a family hotel, there are only 2 controllers!! Most families with Wii have more than 2 controllers, in a 'luxury hotel', it seems to be less than adequate. The choice of Games was also pretty sparse. The air hockey table had a sizeable hole in the top on one corner, reducing the effectiveness and the edges were all very battered. Again, it's a one-off fairly large expense, but as they were clearly busy and were obviously making plenty of money, a luxury hotel like The Elms should be easily able to rectify this kind of maintenance issue.

I would have liked to have had a lock on our bathroom door and the sash windows could do with some blocks to hold them open as the counter-weight system was out of balance and they just slid shut, which, on a hot, muggy weekend like we had, was annoying and we ended up using empty water bottles to hold the windows open.

Lastly, on the not-so-good side, was a drinks order from the bar which took about 20 mins to arrive. Maybe the bar person was in the middle of something, but he took the order then walked away from the bar without starting to prepare the order, yet promising to bring the drinks to where we were. Not sure where he disappeared to, but they came eventually.

All that said, makes me sound like a whiner and complainer. My point is that, in these small areas, attention to detail to make it perfect would have definitely made the hotel earn the 'Luxury' status that it is close to achieving.

All the good stuff to follow:

The Room

We loved the room, big, spacious, lovely views from two sides and a fabulous, large bathroom with a magnificent roll-top bath. I thought it would take ages to fill but it was deep in a matter of a couple of minutes, meaning bath time for the kids didn't take as long as I had anticipated!
The Bed was very comfortable, the children slept well in their beds and there was plenty of room for the travel cot for the baby.
We used the baby listening service twice and it was flawless, the staff alerting us quickly when the baby woke up.

The Restaurant

Aside of the things mentioned above, we really enjoyed our meals. The flavours were all nicely balanced, portions were good and it was all clearly freshly cooked to order, not re-warmed or processed.
There was plenty of variety (for all those with no special dietary needs) on the menu for all meals and everything we ate was really done well, served nicely and looked great too.

The Spa

We could barely get the kids away from the swimming pool, I think they would have stayed in all day. The pool was just fine, could have done with a couple more not-broken swim aids or play things, there was a half-flat volley-ball which might have not been appropriate if it was fully inflated, so maybe purchasing a couple of light-weight or softer balls for people to use could be considered.
I was the only one of the party to use the thermal suite as far as I am aware and there's nothing bad to say about the appropriately proportioned sauna or steam room which did exactly what they claimed. I was confused by the 'Experience Shower' which just seemed to play odd sounds and have lighting effects with different shower heads spraying water without any instructions or guides to what each button would do. Maybe that's just not my bag! It was a pity that the hydro pool was out of action, I can only imagine that parts were on order or something.
A few family members had massages which they seemed to enjoy and there were no complaints about the cost of those.

The Grounds

It is in such a lovely setting, the surrounding countryside rolls away with unobstructed views. There are plenty of things for the kids to play with too, ranging from Croquet, to a football goal and a little static tractor which our 19 month old was rather taken with.
The children used all the out-door areas with great pleasure and freedom and it was lovely to know that they were enclosed, safe and occupied.

The Staff

Aside of a couple of moments where language seemed to hinder communication or understanding, we felt very well looked after by the staff, all were polite and attentive, ready to answer questions and always friendly and smiling.

Overall, I must say I expected a little more for the big price tag, but we had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend none-the-less.

Would I go back? Well, If I could be guaranteed that the points I raised above were rectified, I might, for a special occasion consider returning, but it isn't the kind of place I would risk without those assurances, purely because of the cost.

Nice, but maybe only a one-off.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank alexgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Witley afternoon tea at £15 per head under a parasol in the garden on an English summer Sunday afternoon near perfect.
Staff welcoming and service polite and efficient.
Tables in front of Spa area could have been cleared sooner and there were napkins in the flower border.
Good selection of finger sandwiches and tasty cakes and scones.
Lots of families staying. We have stopped at the sister hotel The Ickworth so knew what to expect. Setting is to die for.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank araf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

We had a great time at the Elms. On arrival we were told we'd been upgraded to the best room in the hotel, which was superb. Spa and garden facilities were great. 5 course taster menu was excellent and the staff were all really polite and friendly. Later in the evening I proposed to my girlfriend... luckily she said yes! So we'll remember this one for some time :-)

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2014

My daughter and I booked in for a Spa day, on arrival we were welcomed and shown around but unfortunately weren't offered our welcome drink! We used the pool and jacuzzi. The changing rooms and pool area were all clean and tidy. After a swim we decided to go and use the Thermal Suite. We had been looking forward to this. Advertised on the website as Sauna, Steam Room, Ice Fountain and Tropical Shower. An experience like nothing before, or words to that effect!! We sat relaxing in the sauna until we need to cool off. We moved over the the ice fountain/tropical shower which we found wasn't working! I reported this at reception. I was told someone from Maintence would be called over to look at it. This cut short our use of the suite as we need to cool off so headed back to the pool. We then had our afternoon tea. This was a selection of sandwiches, scones and cream and fancy cakes along with a glass of Pimms. Very nice too!! We relaxed a while in the Quiet Room then decided to go and try the Thermal Suite again. Again disappointed as the Ice Fountain/Tropical Shower was not working...
We then went up to the Treatment Rooms for our Strawberry and Cream Body Scrub. This was very relaxing and made our skin lovely and soft for days afterwards. On the whole we did enjoy the day. I reported the fountain/shower again when we were leaving. The receptionist apologised and said she had called Maintence. I wish now I asked for a reduction in price!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jayne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel as a brilliant wedding reception venue; The Elms hotel and it's staff made our day incredibly special. The food was absolutely wonderful, both for the wedding breakfast and for the evening buffet and the team who co-ordinated the wedding from start to finish (Fern, David and Barry) ensured that the whole day flowed without any incident. The hotel also applied for a late license so that we were able to carry on the celebrations until 1am!
We had 18 children come to the wedding as well and the parents literally gushed over the experience and nature of all the creche staff who helped out. The kids were so worn out with the fun that they had, even the most lively of kids fell asleep early!

A very memorable day and one that wouldn't have been as enjoyable without the expertise of the staff at The Elms Hotel. Thank you!!!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Alison W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Elms

Address: 1 Stockton Road, Abberley WR6 6AT, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Worcestershire > Malvern Hills > Abberley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Abberley
Price Range: £97 - £179 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Elms 5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Elms Hotel, part of Luxury Family Hotels, is much loved by children and parents alike. Located in beautiful rural Worcestershire, this Queen Anne mansion boasts a family friendly spa, a fine dining restaurant and complimentary crèche.At The Elms Hotel and Spa, our aim is to ensure your family feels completely at home so that you can relax, have fun with the kids and enjoy grown-up time for yourselves. You’ll find locally sourced food, a family spa, gorgeous grounds and superb children’s facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Elms Hotel Abberley
The Elms Hotel And Spa
Elms Hotel Abberley
The Elms Abberley, Worcestershire

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