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“We were served by the friendliest team I can think of”

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Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“We were served by the friendliest team I can think of”
Reviewed 5 December 2013

This hotel may be old with limitations on certain facilities and soundproofing etc, but this is out-weighed by the charm, grandeur and character of the building, especially from the outside. Our stay overall and the food was excellent, and we enjoyed the location and atmosphere very much so will definitely be back.

The best part of the stay, however, was the service. All the staff we spoke to were excellent, but I would like to make special mention of Sue on reception who was exceptionally polite and helpful from the moment we arrived until departure, as she is a real credit to the hotel with her can-do attitude. Sue couldn’t have done any more to make our stay perfect, so thanks for a job very well done.

When you compare the prices of similar hotels, I think this place is excellent value and very comfortable. Having experienced so much bad service all over the country, when we find a team that put in the extra effort to make us feel welcome and relaxed then we tend to return as we rank good service above mod-cons.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GuyK024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BowdenHall, Guest Relations Manager at Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel, responded to this review, 11 December 2013
Dear GuyK024

Thank you very much for your review of our hotel.

We were glad to read that you enjoyed your stay with us.

It was kind of you to point out that the age and style of the hotel along with its location and setting was appealing to you and added to your enjoyment. We feel its grounds and situation definitely add to that tucked away tranquil feel that many guests seek and it is perfectly located for exploring the idyllic Cotswolds, the city of Gloucester and the regency town of Cheltenham.

Thank you also for the comparison to other hotels of a similar calibre. As you point out, what makes a hotel stand out from the rest is the staff member s, comfort and good quality of food.
I have passed on your kind comments to our receptionist Sue. We are extremely proud of our team here at Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall and we aim to continue with the level of service we provide for all our guests that ensure their stay is unique and memorable.

We are pleased that you will be returning to stay with us again and we very much hope your next stay is as pleasant as this one was.

Kind Regards
Rebecca D Thomas
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

My partner and I recently stayed at the Mercure Bowden Hall during the weekends racing at Cheltenham.
The hotel from the outside is a grand looking building, when we approached reception we were met by a lovely welcome.The room was fabulous and the bed comfy.
The breakfast was hot and plentiful, my only criticism was that the decor looked a little tired and the carpets didn't fit properly.
I must also add that I would like to say a big thank you to Alison who was on the reception, she was the best thing about the hotel. She organised our paper, taxi, she advised on where to eat in Gloucester then saved us a huge Taxi fare by advising us to get the train to Cheltenham where a coach was waiting to relay us to the race course. She also checked us and our friends out in a fast and professional way on a busy morning, a complete star. Thank you Bowden Hall and Thank you Alison!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank tsb53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BowdenHall, Guest Relations Manager at Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel, responded to this review, 22 November 2013
Dear tsb53

Thank you for your review of the Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall

We were pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay with us and do hope that you enjoyed the wonderful racing at Cheltenham.

Our aim is always to provide comfort, good service and a hearty tasty breakfast and we are glad that all three criteria were met and experienced by yourselves.

With regards the décor, we are beginning refurbishment next year starting with the carpet in the public area.

We will certainly pass on your kind words to our receptionist Alison. Where possible our staff members try to be as helpful as possible so we do hope that this, along with your comfortable stay mean that we will be welcoming you back to our hotel in the future.

Kind Regards

Rebecca D Thomas
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Bolton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2013

I am sorry to say that this has been the worst experience of a hotel for many a year. I have stayed in 2 star hotels in Turkey that could knock this place into a cocked hat. Yes the first impression is great but after that things go downhill quicker than Eddie the eagle!
Reviews on here have multiple responses from "managers" who are happy to apologise and bring these matters to attention, yet another year on and no change.
Decor is flaking, dated and carpets besides being stained or getting to the state that Injury Lawyers for You will be having a field day.
Refused requested restaurant booking times for first two nights as there was "a large group in". I was under the impression that customer service applied to all, regardless of size, race, gender etc, etc.
Then the next thing to come and smack me in the face was indirect racism, your staff really need some cultural awareness sessions. I am not saying this was overt but to completely ignore me when the bill was asked for because I obviously had the white, anglicised name then to ask my Bengali and African colleagues which one they were was totally unacceptable.
I will be feeding back to our corporate bookings that this venue should not be used until the changes that have been needed for so long are implemented.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
5 Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BowdenHall, General Manager at Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Dear Mark S

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write a review during your stay with us at the Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall Hotel.

Since joining Mercure and Jupiter Hotels over a year ago we have invested heavily into the hotel and feel that Mark S comments do not justify what work has been completed and the work we have completed has gone un-noted.

1) New beds throughout the hotel
2) Introduction of ‘Privilege’ and ‘Superior’ rooms
3) Free Wifi throughout the hotel
4) New duvets and pillows been delivered this week.
5) 14 rooms re-decorated

As I have previously commented to other reviews, the carpet throughout the public areas of the hotel has been signed off by our head office for replacement. We are now at the mercy of the supplier for a delivery time - they are indicating it to be 8 weeks so we are hopeful that this will be completed early in 2014.

Our Restaurant is no different to other restaurants in the world. We operate a booking policy like every restaurant I have visited and I am sorry that Mark S has taken this personally. We do this to ensure that we give the best customer service over the busy periods and therefore stagger dinner reservations.

If Mark S had as he states taken the time to read the other reviews fully he would have seen that our staff our often commented upon their great customer service and are by no means racist which is what he was implying.

My staff would not ask any guest their nationality they would simply try to identify which room they were in to ensure that the bill was posted to the correct room for billing purposes.
I am sorry that you took this comment in such a way that you found them to be racist.

It disappoints me that you feel that you need to feed back to your corporate booking service regarding the above. We have a long standing relationship with both your company and the booking agent and they often wish to stay at the hotel over the other hotels listed on your booking channel because of the great customer service we deliver.

Kind regards

Gavin Jones
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Stansted Mountfitchet, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

At the time I wasn't sure if it was my Tom Tom having a laugh or whether a tour of the local lanes is part of the mystique of this venue. After a couple of trips to Gloucester I did find a more urban route but it certainly is a country retreat! Allocated a lovely room and had a peaceful nights sleep but you can't help noticing that everything is a bit worn (chipped paint on doors and skirting, repaired tiles, taps that have seen better days and windows whitewashed out). My booking company (Hogg Robinson) still show a pool and gym but apparently this shut down some time ago. Don't get me wrong the staff were great, the food good but as a Mercure shouldn't it be in a bit better nick?

Room Tip: Don't expect a pool or gym
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank MisterBrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BowdenHall, Guest Relations Manager at Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel, responded to this review, 20 November 2013
Dear MisterBrian

Thank you for your review.

The hotel is located at the outside edge of the Cotswolds near a village so narrow winding lanes are the only way to access the entrance. Many guests enjoy this ‘tucked away’ feel as it adds to the peace and tranquility that they are looking for to enjoy a quiet night’s sleep. Sat navs will take you a few routes on a bigger roads until you arrive into Upton St Leonards itself.

We are pleased that you enjoyed a peaceful night’s sleep. We pride ourselves on the comfort and service we provide. With regards to the décor, the hotel is currently about to begin refurbishment of the public areas at the start of next year. The bedrooms are also due to receive updating in terms of beds and bathrooms. As long as everything in your room worked and that you were comfortable as this is our priority.

We apologise that you saw advertised that we still have leisure facilities. When the leisure club was closed earlier this year, we endeavoured to organize removal of any adverts of this online. However, with the number of web pages we appear on, this was going to take some time so we are sorry if this affected any aspect of your stay with us.

Overall we are glad that you found the staff helpful and the food to a good standard. We do hope that you will re-visit the Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall in the near future.

Kind Regards

Rebecca D Thomas
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Mansfield, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

I had occasion to attend a reunion in Cheltenham and arranged to stay with my wife at Bowden Hall, as her brother lives in Gloucester. While I was out for the evening it was arranged for them to dine together at the hotel. The very large room we were provided was excellent - 4 poster, TV, Sound System, DVD, Wifi and 3 piece suite in the large bay window - as nice a room as you would wish to stay in. However, when it came to dinner there were problems. Wrong starter selection served and pate with sliced bread ! All sent back - returned with bread toasted, but no change of pate. Theywere informed that the order to the butcher had gone awry and there was no steak available - so my wife had to eat fish and chips! On the plus side this hotel has probably the best receptionist I have ever come across in an English Hotel - well done to her ! Recommendation - room yes - eat in - no ! By the way, there are no lifts and our room was on the 4th floor - so there may be a problem for the elderly or the disabled.

Room Tip: 4 poster is essential - if you can cope with the stairs !
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank colinallum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BowdenHall, Guest Relations Manager at Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Dear Colinallum

Thank you for taking the time to write a review for our hotel.

We are pleased that you liked your room and enjoyed all the facilities within it. We do indeed have some beautiful rooms with stunning views and we hope you were comfortable. Our grandest rooms are on the fourth floor. Due to the age and style of the building, we are unable to have a modern lift within the hotel however we do have a platform lift to the first floor for the elderly or guests with mobility issues.

I have spoken with the General Manager regarding your food order on the evening. It would appear there was a mix up with the order to one of our suppliers which meant that the menu couldn’t be fully available to yourselves that evening. We sincerely apologise as this very rarely happens and we do hope that the food that eventually was ordered was of a high standard.
The receptionist you have mentioned during your stay was Alison. We are glad that she was helpful and friendly and we will be sure to pass on your compliments to her.

We do hope the reunion in Cheltenham was a success and should you wish to stay with us again in the future then we look forward to welcoming you back.

Kind Regards

Rebecca D Thomas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2013

The exterior impression of Bowden Hall is very impresive but this should not be confused with what is really a very moderate establishment at best.

We used the hotel for a relaxing break whilst visting Cheltenham racecourse. Unfortunately our brief stay was anything but relaxing.

The rooms are not soundproof. For example every time guests in neighbouring rooms visited their respective bathrooms we could hear them urinating. Furthermore, when the toilets were flushed (also very audible) it sounded like the water was running through the walls of our room.

To compound problems the heating system in the room was unbearably hot. Even though we turned off the radiators and half opened the windows (windows would not open fully) our room was still reminiscent of a sauna.

Every time a neighbouring room door was opened or closed the slamming noise would reverberate down the corridor and there was rowdy noises from the other occupants in the adjacent corridors.

All of the above problems were coupled with the most uncomfortable bed possible (so hard that the floor would probably have been more comfortable) which resulted in ourselves getting very little sleep during our stay.

In addition, the other facilities were looking drab and dated. As there was a large wedding party, we were unable to get a drink in the main bar and were sent to the 'quieter' bar which was more like a waiting room than a bar....totally characterless and shabby. Service was poor and drinks expensive.

We conveyed our disappointments to the duty manager whilst checking out who rather patronisingly offered us a £50 reduction on our bill. We feel he missed the point completely.

Room Tip: Look at alternative hotels first!
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MarkTM66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BowdenHall, Guest Relations Manager at Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Dear MarkTM66

Thank you for your review.

We were sorry to read that you did not find your stay with us very relaxing.

Bowden Hall is a very old building with winding corridors and old style windows and typically of a building of this age, noise can tend to reverberate more than in more modern hotels. The rooms have not been soundproofed but we have so few complaints about the noise levels that we do not feel this is necessary.

Had you however, contacted Reception at the time of your stay, they would have done their best to either move you to a different room or at the very least bought you a fan for your room. The same applies to noise from other guests. If it is reported at the time, then the duty manager will then speak to them.

With regards to the bed, all of our beds have recently been replaced with new mattresses. We have had many positive comments about these new beds since they were put in place so we apologise if they were not to your usual comfort level.

Our public areas are due to be redecorated in the next year as we are aware that they need updating.

It can often get extremely busy at the bar during a wedding or a big function at the hotel. We endeavor to make sure that there are sufficient staff members to cope with the demands at the bar, however in very busy occasions, the other bar will be opened for non-wedding guests which will inevitably be quieter. If any member of staff was not courteous or helpful, please do let our General Manager know directly. The bar prices are in keeping with a 4* hotel and the local market place. As you were offered £50 off your final bill, we do hope this went some way to making up for any discomfort or displeasure you experienced whilst staying with us. However should you still feel this offer was not appropriate then please feel free to write to our Head Office.

We wish you well with your future travels.

Kind Regards

Rebecca D Thomas
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Barnstaple, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2013

Some Mercure hotels are great, some are mediocre. This hotel falls into that category unfortunately.

When looking at the map it looks fairly close to the M5, but it's a very lengthy drive all around the houses (literally) and down narrow country lanes to get there. On arrival there are acres of well maintained grounds and the hotel certainly looks impressive.

A prompt and friendly check-in, advised that there was a coach party in so should eat after 8pm which suited me. The room was relatively easy to find but the hotel is a maze of winding corridors that all look the same.

I paid for an upgrade to a Privilege room as I often do with Mercure. The modern orange/brown decor stood out on the website against the dated pastel blue/green decor of the standard and superior rooms. When I opened the door there it was, a dated bedroom with dated furniture, dated, bathroom and tiny window with no view. All the stuff was in there that was meant to be there according to the spec and the room was clean and comfortable but it was not what I was expecting. Whether it was the photos that are misleading (I checked before writing this review, they are still there) or they overbooked their Privilege rooms so made an inferior room up with the extras to be one, I don't know. I didn't complain, I simply won't use that hotel again.

I went down for dinner at 8.15pm as suggested, the coach party occupying the restaurant were still in full flow and looked far from being finished - I typically avoid hotels which I think may have coach parties in them. So I ordered a drink and waited at the bar. I kept seeing if the coach group had finished but still kept on waiting, eventually asking if I could order and eat in the bar since the hotel was in the middle of nowhere and didn't really seem many alternatives. In all the customer service in this hotel was more 2-star than 4-star, that's what is the real measure of a hotel's rating and why I've scored this hotel as 2 Poor rather than 3 Average; the latter applies to the hotel generally but was not impressed or delighted by any aspect of the stay.

At check-out a charge had been added for a newspaper, well above its normal rate. Now I wouldn't have minded except I was asked at check-in if I wanted a paper and I said no, but one was delivered anyway which happened to be the Daily Mail, which I find a very vulgar publication. I complained and it was removed from the bill, but I should not have needed to and it further makes me think that I was put in a superior room paying privilege prices. Whichever I do feel that I was conned and wasn't given what the website showed.

I've not been back to Mercure since, I am going to stay at their Bristol hotel next week and it's rather make or break as to whether I cash in my Accor points on a free stay and quit the brand or keep on going.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kpd1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BowdenHall, General Manager at Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay in July at the Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall Hotel, but I was very disappointed to hear that your experience did not meet your expectations. Please allow me to express my sincerest apologies.

At Mercure, we strive to provide a superior service experience for every guest and your feedback is very important to us. I would like to confirm that we are taking the appropriate measures to address your concerns and prevent future occurrence.

We appreciate your feedback, and I hope that you will give us the opportunity to welcome you back to the Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall Hotel and provide you with a genuine hassle-free experience.

Yours sincerely,

Gavin Jones

General Manager
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Additional Information about Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel

Property: Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel
Address: Bondend Lane Bondend Road, Upton St Leonards, Gloucester GL4 8ED, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Gloucester > Upton St Leonards
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Upton St Leonards
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classically-styled country house hotel with Regency decor; amenities for business & leisure guests; situated on beautiful grounds. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ramada Upton St Leonards
Ramada Hotel Bowden Hall
Ramada Gloucester
Gloucester Ramada
Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel Upton St Leonards, Gloucestershire

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