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“Christmas Family Lunch”
Review of Masons Arms

Masons Arms
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: British, Pub
Description: We are a cosy pub in the middle of the Cotswold water park area - We have a country bar with open fire in the winter and tables on the village green for those sunny summer days.Greg (Chef) and Vicki bring to The Masons Arms 20 years experience of running pubs and take pride in amazing food and customer service with Greg creating some classic but delicious pub favorites from Pork belly to local venison and a great vegetarian selection - and of course our mouthwatering burgers.
Restaurant details
Description: We are a cosy pub in the middle of the Cotswold water park area - We have a country bar with open fire in the winter and tables on the village green for those sunny summer days.Greg (Chef) and Vicki bring to The Masons Arms 20 years experience of running pubs and take pride in amazing food and customer service with Greg creating some classic but delicious pub favorites from Pork belly to local venison and a great vegetarian selection - and of course our mouthwatering burgers.
Reviewed 30 December 2023 via mobile

Booked in plenty of time, so not to he disappointed.
Understand they were fully booked and had a wait list, just in case anyone had to cancel.
Fabulous meal all the trimmings. Exceptional service (always is)
Will be looking to book for next year.

Date of visit: December 2023
Thank TraceyGS66
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviews (168)
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4 - 8 of 168 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2023

Fabulous spot. Great food, value for money and lively staff. Have been 4 times in the last six months.

Date of visit: August 2023
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Alan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 19 September 2023

We enjoyed our Sunday Lunch so much that we also went there for an Evening Meal a few days later.

On both occasions the staff were very polite helpful and efficient.

This place is an olde world Cotswold pub. The place oozed local ambience and character. It is a pleasant place to go for a meal.

There is a good choice of menu available on the two occasions that we visited. Prices were slightly higher than I would have liked but the quality, the standard and servings were good.

The meals were nicely presented and tasted delicious.

Car parking is on street. There seemed to be plenty of places to park without any problems.

I was happy with my visits and will go there again when I am next in the area.

Date of visit: August 2023
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jennifer259
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 12 September 2023

Stayed with family Sep 2023 for a wedding, so did not get to spend anywhere near as much time in the pub/hotel as we'd have liked. The village setting is idyllic and the cosy pub and hotel are exactly what you'd expect from an old, grade II listed cotswold stone-built establishment.

While we spent minimal time actually in the hotel, the team were very friendly and did everything they could for us, from getting rooms ready early for us to change in before the wedding to assisting with a taxi service. One of the kids left airpods in the room which were found and returned by post quickly and efficiently.

Breakfast was superb; locally produced and hearty full english.

I really hope to be back sometime soon.

Date of visit: September 2023
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank roger b
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Tanya Callow - Trujillo, Other at Masons Arms, responded to this reviewResponded 16 September 2023

Dear Tripmember09102014,

Many thanks for taking the time to review our Inn. We are delighted that you had a great stay with us and very much hope we can welcome you back again sometime in the not to distant future and that you will have more time to spend with us!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2023

We stayed here for two nights in August as we were going to a wedding locally. I feel bad writing a negative review given they're a small business, but equally I think people should have an honest idea of what to expect when staying here because it is hugely overpriced for what you get. For the record, I've not written a TripAdvisor review before so I'm not one of 'those' people who seem to do it as a hobby.

If you want to stay overnight, don't be fooled by the 4.5 * rating on here - it's because of the restaurant. The 'hotel' is sadly 2* at best.

Firstly the pros:

- Lovely restaurant / pub downstairs. We only had breakfast, but the vibe is exactly what you'd expect from a cosy Cotswolds pub.
- Breakfast was good - all freshly cooked, not a buffet situation so make sure you allow time (we had breakfast included, but if you want any other coffee than cafetiere, you need to pay for it)
- We knew we'd be arriving late after the pub closed, so they arranged to leave our key in a lockbox with clear instructions

Now the cons:

- The rooms are painfully smaller than they look in the photos, and they already look pretty small - it was uncomfortable staying even for one night let alone two (they're dog friendly, but if you have anything bigger than a chihuahua, it is completely unsuitable. We have a small golden retriever and would have been screwed if we'd brought her)
- It is so dark and dingy that I had to do my makeup by phone light (and I fake tanned... you can imagine the results)
- As soon as you walk into the room, there's a really strong smell of damp - even with several diffusers placed around the room
- It is absolutely boiling in the rooms - they'd put a fan in there which helped a bit, but the windows don't open properly and blinds were broken and stuck shut, so it's impossible to get fresh air into the room
- They advertise on their website that there's free wifi in every room, but there's a typed-up, framed sign on the wall in the rooms saying it actually doesn't work in all rooms, and apologising if you're in one of those rooms. Fair enough it's an old country building, but it is really cheeky to advertise something if it only applies to some rooms - both my husband and I needed to do work calls in the morning and weren't able to. We'd have had to book elsewhere if we'd known.
- A few hooks on the wall in the corner is a 'wardrobe', but this is directly over a little corner desk, so not usable
- The toiletries they supply are pretty ridiculous - you get about a shot of shower gel for two people
- The worst part for us - we were woken up at 06:30 on Friday morning (the night after the wedding) because it turns out it was village bin day, and the bins and bottle banks were right outside the room. I'm 6 months pregnant, and we woke up in a huge panic from the bottles crashing, honestly thinking something had crashed into the room. I can't get across how loud it was - my husband jokes I'd sleep through an air raid, but this was deafening and actually a really distressing start to the day - not the "welcome stay for anyone wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy lives" as they describe it.

We were asked at check out how our stay had been, and I mentioned the wifi and bottle banks. The lady said "yes the wifi is terrible isn't it? It's the same for the whole village. Sorry about that." Sort of missed the point that they're advertising having something that doesn't work.

With the bottle banks, she said again they know how awful the sound is and that it's actually the same in every room, but it's not their fault it's village bin day. Again missing the point, so I explained we were obviously not blaming them for it being bin day, but if they know the whole building is going to be woken up at 06:30, they should either (i) move the bins so they're not directly under the windows of the rooms, or (ii) if that's not an option, they absolutely need to put a note on the website for anyone staying on a Thursday night to expect it. For some people, it won't be an issue at all, but there will be people (like us) who are looking forward to a nice night away and getting a lie in for once, who would choose to stay elsewhere if they knew. The lady even said the previous owner knew it was so bad they tried to lobby the council to have the collection done later in the day.

Between the size, the smell, the non-existent ventilation, the broken windows and blinds, the lack of working wifi, and the Friday morning noise that is so bad the previous owners tried to lobby the council, it is outrageous to charge £100 a night. If we had known the reality of what to expect, there is absolutely no way we'd have stayed.

PS - I know the owners can respond to these reviews, so **please** do not reply saying there's nothing you can do about things like bin day, or the wifi - that is so not the point. You just need to be honest about what people will experience if they stay with you. If you lose business because of it, so be it. But if you don't share this info with prospective guests, you're withholding it because you know it might make them go elsewhere. I expect in good faith that you'll update your website accordingly to remove mention of free wifi in all rooms, and to include an advisory note about the reality of Friday mornings.

Date of visit: August 2023
2  Thank NatalieHMC
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Tanya Callow - Trujillo, Other at Masons Arms, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2023

Dear NatalieHMC,

Many thanks for taking clearly quite a lot of time to write this very thorough review, but also for recognising and acknowledging the fact that your main gripes are actually out of our control.

Firstly, you are completely correct. The 4.6* rating seen on this page is indeed for the restaurant as you have reviewed on the dining page. There is a separate page for hotel reviews, but we also score 4.5* there too, and not the 2* you suggest.

Thank you for pointing out the positives of your stay. We are glad that you enjoyed your freshly cooked breakfast, using local produce which is served with freshly ground cafetière coffee, and also that we were able to accommodate your late arrival time.

Moving onto the negatives, as you mention right at the start of your review, we are indeed a small independent business, and in as such, when you speak with us on site, you are doing so with us directly, and not to someone who will never get your message across to the necessary people. To this end, it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to have helped you with many of the issues you mention while you were still here, rather than on a review once you have left – we could have shown you how to operate the window and blind if you were struggling with them, we could have provided extra light for you to fake tan in, we could have provided additional toiletries if you needed them – we provide a token high quality offering, as the majority of our guests bring their own.

The wifi, as you have already mentioned, is as good as the service to our rural village setting allows. We have, since your stay, added extra boosters, (an improvement which had already been planned) so that the wifi runs more consistently throughout the inn, as it did before, but now the service is improved and there is less chance of interruption. We don’t claim to have super fast wifi, but for the needs of most of our guests (leisure/wedding/relax) it is adequate. At no point do we claim to be suitable as a business centre.

I’m genuinely sorry that the village fort-nightly recycling/bin day fell during your stay and that you were disturbed by the council workers doing their job, although I must point out that it is highly unlikely to have been 6:30am as the refuse trucks are not permitted to collect before 7am. We have indeed considered moving the bins to a different location, but decided there was little to be achieved by doing so as it is not feasible for us to ask to the other villagers to also move theirs also. If you hadn’t heard ours, you’d have still heard those of our neighbours adjacent to and opposite us.

We are a small, 300+ year old, cosy, country pub. We have tried to capture our rooms as accurately as possible in our photos and purposely show our smallest room on the website first so as to not mislead.

In summary, and as you request in your review, I’m not going to say that the main issues you raise are out of our control, because you have already done so. Repeatedly. What I will say is that I just don’t think we are the property for you. We usually attract a lot of guests from London because we are so far removed from what you might find in London, a welcome to change to the hustle and bustle of city life.

At the (less than) £100 you paid per night (you used the promo code we offer to direct bookings on our website) for an August stay in the heart of the Cotswolds in a trip advisor 4.5* rated hotel, inclusive of breakfast for two, I’d say you got an absolute steal! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your stay with us, I really am, but we can’t please everyone. I’m just glad that, looking at our reviews and speaking to our guests, we do manage to please the majority. I wish you better luck in your future accommodation selections – perhaps steer-clear of traditional pubs with character.

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