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“Not my last stay”
Review of Austons Down

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Austons Down
Ranked #1 of 1 Claverdon B&B and Inns
Reviewed 6 May 2014

This was my first stay here and my first in a Wolsey Lodge. It won't be my last at either.

Austons Down is a refreshing change from the corporate bed factories in Warwick and Stratford. I stayed here because the bed factories were full and I'm so glad that I did. Like so many of my business trips my big regret is that yet again I got to stay in such a superb hotel without my wife.

The house is impressive. The welcome is warm (but the tea on arrival is hot!) The rooms are comfortable and well furnished, with a bed that I could have spent many more hours asleep in if my schedule had allowed. The bathroom was excellent - large, light and with a wet room-style shower. If I have any criticism at all it is that the shower needs a bit more pressure, but given that this is a private house not a purpose-built hotel you can forgive that very small niggle.

Breakfast was superb and my poached eggs, which I always use as a benchmark for hotel comparison, were perfectly cooked.

I look forward to going back, perhaps with my wife next time...

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank MikeyTheBikey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucy H, Owner at Austons Down, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2014

Thank you! I am pleased you liked the Wolsey Lodges concept. It is always reassuring when we get positive feedback for inviting people into our home as house guests. Best wishes.

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33 - 39 of 55 reviews

Reviewed 6 April 2014 via mobile

We were lucky enough to spot Austons Down on trip advisor and decided a rural retreat was just what we needed to celebrate our anniversary, we were looking for countryside views, peace and quiet and something special in addition to a hotel chain, we didn't know what but we just knew we wanted something special.
We were so pleased to find that we had all of the above, we booked The Stratford room which had beautiful dual aspect sash windows overlooking the lovely gardens and countryside, very comfy huge bed, high quality fresh and clean linens the room was traditionally decorated in the manor of a Queen Anne home so we were not disappointed everything that had to be spotless was, and the bathroom was a joy !!! A modern en-suite of massive proportions, the bath was a deep tub and the shower was easily big enough for two or three or four !!! We found the Hosts to be charming and sociable but not intrusive, our time was very much our time. Lucy prepared a lovely welcome tea, and breakfast the next morning was delicious. Her home made jam is something I will always long for when making toast !!
We previously read some negativity about the dogs but I have to speak as I find my hubby and I not once felt that there was anything to complain about, the dogs were kept separated until I asked for a pet and they were lovely and friendly.
This was our first stay in a B&B like this and we were not sure if it would be to our liking as we have always stayed in modern chains but we were so thrilled with the location the grandeur of the home and the kind hospitality that we really think we will be booking again especially as the seasons change.
Thank you very much for a very pleasant stay

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Beckgriff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucy H, Owner at Austons Down, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2014

Thank you so much for your kind review. We are part of a group of B&B called Wolsey Lodges. Wolsey Lodges are family homes which offer B&B. The ethos is that the guest id treated like a friend and welcomed into the home.

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Reviewed 7 October 2013

Needing somewhere to stay when crossing the country from Somerset to Norfolk, this seemed like the perfect spot, it was. Just off the main roads we used to get there, my husband met us there and he had come from the London area and yet in the countryside and very quiet. Beautiful house, very comfortable en-suite rooms, very welcoming hosts, well behaved welcoming dogs and a very much appreciated pot of tea on arrival. Everything added up to a perfect overnight stay. We ate at the New Inn, a few minutes drive away and enjoyed a good pub meal. Fully recommend. And I forget to mention the excellent breakfast.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sophie040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucy H, Owner at Austons Down, responded to this reviewResponded 29 October 2013

Thank you very much indeed.
We are lucky being quite close to the M40/A46 Junction as this is pretty much in the centre of the motorway network.

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Reviewed 17 September 2013

I stayed here mid-week whilst on business. All the usual hotel options were full and I found this place on Tripadvisor. Driven mainly by the impressive looking exterior property pictures, I booked it online taking the last available room.

From the outside the property is imposing and immaculately presented. It is modern but built in the Queen Anne style and I had to drive around the circular driveway outside a couple of times, to savour the experience of arriving at somewhere so fantastic. I was greeted at the front door by the very charming Lara, who was looking after the property whilst the owners were away. She was very polite & welcoming, inviting me in and offering me tea or coffee. This was served in the drawing room downstairs and after a long day's work, was most appreciated.

The property consists of three letting rooms and I had booked the Stratford. The room was huge and being a corner dual aspect, had windows on two sides that made it feel very light and airy. The windows were very well insulated and being a sash design, opened at both the top and bottom.

The room was beautifully decorated and had a very homely feel to it. The room was equipped with what you would expect; a massive bed, coffee table & chairs and a dressing table. It also had a reasonable size flatscreen TV with Freeview and a built-in DVD player. There was a walk-in wardrobe with ironing board & iron and a good amount of hanging & storage space. There was tea & coffee making facilities and complimentary bottled water.

The bed seemed quite soft to start with but was very supportive and provided a good night's sleep.

I've got to mention the bathroom as it was huge (almost the size of my house), with a walk-in shower at one end and twin basins opposite the bath. The walk-in shower has to be one of the best I have experienced; apart from being cavernous - you could have fitted 4 or 5 people in it - it had a decent power shower with very good water pressure and plenty of hot water. I think that the shower head had some form of valve in it, the kind that interrupts the water flow to create a pulsing/massage effect. Whatever it was, it was sheer bliss. It was also good to see that even though the shower area only had a glass partition over part of it, no water spilled or leaked out onto the bathroom floor. How many times have you had a shower in a B&B or hotel, only to get out into a small lake on the bathroom floor?

The bathroom was very modern and I am guessing was done when this room was converted to a B&B room. Looking at the quality of the finishes and the fittings, it is clear that a lot of money was spent on it and that the owners are serious about offering a premium guest experience.

I worked in the room for an hour or so and was able to access a very quick, free wifi connection. Faster than many hotels in fact.

When I arrived, I was asked what time I would like breakfast and I said 7am, hoping it wouldn't be too early. I was told that was fine, as another of the room's guests were eating at that time. I came down for breakfast to the lovely smell of cooking and discovered Lara cooking breakfast to order on an Aga in the kitchen. In the breakfast room there was a good selection of cereals & fresh fruit, as well as fruit juice.

Whilst waiting for my cooked breakfast, I got chatting to the other guests, over the large cafetiere of coffee in the centre of the table for everyone to share (and which was replaced with another one in good time before the first one was empty). Both other sets of guests were in the area for a sheep dog trials event and it was wonderful to learn about something new from people who were clearly incredibly passionate & knowledgeable about it.

This kind of conversation between total strangers is almost non-existent now in society; if a stranger says 'hello' when in a queue next to you, you find yourself thinking 'why me?'. It is a pleasure to be able to strike up a conversation with others and this was a perfect environment; all of us sat around a lovely dining table, sharing the most delicious home-cooked breakfast.

I gather that most of the ingredients were local and they were cooked with skill and care. It was a superb breakfast - a key component in B&B - and a great way to start the day.

Austons Down reminded me of Moresby Hall in Cumbria. This is also a premium B&B in a beautiful, distinct property. It is run by a couple who have clearly been very successful in business, travelling internationally and having built up a great understanding of how to deal with people. I would imagine that the owners at Austons Down are similar; the scale of the property suggests that they aren't doing this for the money (with just three rooms, you would be hard pressed to make any money out of it, regardless of how much you charged) but rather are doing it because they want to or simply because they can.

I don't tend to stay in B&Bs, partly because my requirement is usually for city central business hotels and partly because my historic experience of B&Bs isn't good; like many people may recall, they used to be a necessary chore that you tolerated on the way to your summer bucket&spade holiday at the seaside. They were usually freezing cold as the landlady refused to turn the heating on and you ended up shivering under the dralon sheets that sparked every time you brushed against them!

Austons Down is the antithesis of this. It is a modern property that is beautifully presented and luxuriously appointed. 'I've stayed in worse hotels' is too simplistic and a more accurate comparison would be 'I have paid more money to stay in hotels of much lower overall quality and value'. If it wasn't for some of the homely fabric patterns and carpet, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were in a country house hotel.

I paid £110 which I think is brilliant value. Granted, my benchmark is a business hotel rate and some of the reviews I've read on here have intimated that they felt the prices were a little high for B&B. I would disagree; for the quality of the overall guest experience, £110 I think is excellent especially as I think I had the biggest/best of the rooms. This is not a budget B&B and if you want cheap, I would go stay somewhere else. Everything about this place says quality, luxury & excellence and the owners have every right to charge more for that premium offering, not least to make a return on the money they have clearly spent on their guest proposition.

It is the kind of place that Alex Polizzi would never visit as it isn't a dilapidated circus run by freaks & idiots, which is a shame as this place shows how B&B should be done.

Thanks to John & Lucy the owners for a wonderful stay. Thanks also to Lara, who was a very professional and capable host in their absence.

If I ever win the lottery, I want to come and buy this place. Have no hesitation in staying here, it is wonderful.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Propaganda_Machine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucy H, Owner at Austons Down, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2013

Thank you for your very kind and detailed review. I am pleased you liked the bathroom as we renovated it last Christmas. This level of review gives us fresh impetus to keep our standards up!

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Reviewed 15 September 2013

A first class place to stay. John and Lucy (brilliant chef) were ideal hosts and we had a most enjoyable dinner together with the other guests staying that night. The standard of the accommodation was faultless with the bedroom very comfortable and the en suite bathroom fitted with high quality features. We could only stay one night - we wish we could have stayed longer! Disregard the comments of another reviewer - the dogs were very well behaved. We would love to stay again when in the area.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Frank B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucy H, Owner at Austons Down, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2013

Dear Frank and Margaret,

Thank you for your very kind review. It was great fun the way all our guests got on so well. This is what the ethos of Wolsey Lodges.

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Reviewed 15 August 2013

This was such an enjoyable B&B to stay at with excellent host & service and an wonderful breakfast. It is located only a few miles from Stratford-Upon-Avon and the amazingly beautiful Cotswolds. We will definitely stay here again if we are anywhere in the area. We could not find fault with any aspect of our stay.

Room Tip: The Stratford room has amazing views & a king-sized bed.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank PaulineJean19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucy H, Owner at Austons Down, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2013

Dear Pauline,

Thank you so much for your comments. It is always nice to hear when someone has had a good stay.

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Reviewed 3 August 2013

I hadn't read the reviews placed on here before going to stay at Auston Downs, as it was a surprise, but having read some of them since I think they are completely unfair.

The 'scary' dogs were not in the least intimidating for anyone who has ever owned a dog. The Jack Russell came to see us, and then wandered off unfazed, the black lab barked but it was clear that it was more scared of me and so barked nervously, but not in a vicious way. The remaining dog I met the following morning at check-out, she was so vicious that she sniffed and licked one of my sandalled feet, before presenting herself for a fuss. Do not be put off by the silly comments of those who admit they're scared of dogs - the dogs are not scary.

Anyway, back to my review...Auston Downs is set amongst lovely grounds in a quiet hamlet, and so its really is very peaceful. The welll-appointed room we had at the front of the house, gave views on two sides of the property so that we could see the grounds. The bathroom was huge, with two sinks, an enormous bath, and a shower that would accommodate even the most portly of people.

The bed was very comfortable indeed, and due to the quietude I slept like the dead! There was all the usual things you'd expect in a good hotel, as well as ironing facilities in the room's closet.

Breakfast was delicious, and the hostess very warm and welcoming without intruding upon one's privacy.

The only down side is that people who have mobility issues would struggle as the room are on the first floor. But the rooms themselves would accommodate mobility issues due to their size. All considered, I'd stay here again as it is within good distance of Stratford-upon-Avon. Very enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Perambulare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucy H, Owner at Austons Down, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2013

Thank you so much for such a reassuring and thoughtful review.

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Additional Information about Austons Down

Address: Saddle Bow Lane, Claverdon CV35 8PQ, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Warwickshire > Claverdon
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Claverdon
Price Range: £88 - £144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Austons Down 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Austons Down Bed and Breakfast is a modern Queen Anne style family home set in 100 acres of the Arden special landscape area.Situated 25 minutes from NEC and 10 minutes each from Shakespeare’s Stratford upon Avon and historic Warwick the accommodation is ideal for visitors to the Midlands area of UK.National Trust members will find many historic houses in close proximity and Nasby, Edgehill and Bosworth battlefields are within reachThere are many beautiful walks just a step from the front door, whilst Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick Castle, Kenilworth Castle and NEC are only a short drive away. Visitors can walk around the farm and inspect the flock of Jacobs Sheep, horses and chickens in the pasture surrounding the house.Classic car enthusiasts will find a warm welcome and easy access to Gaydon Heritage centre, National Motorcycle Museum, Coventry Motor Museum and Stratford Armouries.Available for the business traveler as well as the holiday visitor Austons Down B&B offers a warm welcome in a relaxed family home that has been awarded a Silver Accolade from Visit Britain. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Austons Down Warwickshire/Claverdon

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