We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Disappointing” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel
Harpenden, UK
Level Contributor
40 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2014

My wife and I booked a long weekend away at Bowden Hall on a deal that gave us two nights bed and breakfast with dinner of the first night. We had stayed there once before on a similar deal about seven years ago and had enjoyed it that time. The deal was good in that it included £22 per head for the dinner. This could be used to have the limited set menus, or you could use it against the full brasserie menu. Looked like we couldn’t go wrong.

The location is good for a weekend away as it is in the countryside very near Gloucester. I can see that it is probably frequented during the week by conferences and by wedding parties at the weekend. There was a wedding the weekend that we stayed. I must credit the hotel that as a non-wedding party guest, we were not pushed to the margins; however we did not eat in the brasserie on the Saturday night. It does look like a good place to get married, as it is quite picturesque.

On checking in early on Friday afternoon, we were met by friendly reception staff. All of the staff were friendly and helpful. We were told that by checking in early, we were allocated with a room with a view. We thought: should be good as this is a 4 star hotel. In reality, it disappointed. The view was OK, but the room was nothing special. It had one rather empty corner. It seemed that there was something missing. As there was a spare power socket in that corner, I guess that there was a standard lamp missing. If that’s not the case, then I suggest a standard lamp is added.

The room looked rather tired, however the bed was comfortable. There were no biscuits of any type with the tea and coffee. I expect something with my tea, especially in a 4 star hotel. Only one set of towels were out, the second set were in the wardrobe. Things were starting to grate a bit now. There was only one small tube of shower gel and one of shampoo in the bathroom. It was a bit of a struggle to make the stuff last for two people, especially if you wanted a shower in the evening and then another in the morning. It did get replaced when the room was serviced. I have been in a number of other hotels where this does not automatically happen.

There was no information of any type in the room. Upon asking in reception, we were told it was on the TV. Well, it would be helpful to have that information on a card in the room. Also, there was no information about what TV channels were available; you had to flick through them all. I’m sorry, but this is not what I expect from a 4 star hotel (sorry to keep on repeating it).

Now, let’s get to the subject of Wifi. In this day and age, when you go to a “fine establishment”, I expect free to use and fast Wifi. Well, we were given a password, but it was not needed. Why? Then when we logged in, had to put in room number and name, then presented with a limited free option, and two paid options. It should be free for guests! I get free Wifi in independent B&Bs and hotels and other chain hotels. Why do some chain hotels think that they can get away with charging? After some use we were eventually logged out as our free sessions had run out. Not impressed. Also, why is the home page after logging in the hotel website? I’m staying already and I really don’t need any more information about the hotel as I can get it on my TV (once you know).

Dinner in the brasserie on the Friday night was pleasant. As I noted before, we could choose from the whole brasserie menu and make up the difference in cost. This is what we did. Before ordering, we were told that there was no steak and that one of the salads would come with Feta cheese. Fortunately neither of us wanted steak. Having no steak is not good. The service was good and the food was average, but nothing particularly special.

Breakfast was average, but again the hotel was lacking items. The menu on the table mentioned cooked meats and cheese; none to be seen. The fried bread on the Saturday morning could have been used for foundations within a building. It must have been out for ages without anyone checking that it was still OK.

My wife ordered a hot chocolate, but the waitress said she could not operate the machine, and the supervisor, who could, was servicing a room. No hot chocolate arrived as we had finished before the supervisor was back. Strikes me a double booking staff, and wasn’t there anyone in the kitchen who can operator a drink machine?

Breakfast on Sunday was busier as the wedding party had got up early. The cooked breakfast items were fresh, but this was probably because of the fast turnover as there were a lot of people eating. The niggles this time were that there were no plates out for toast and pastries, and that the hot chocolate did arrive this time, except it could be, at best, described as lukewarm chocolate.

Around the hotel, there were a number of things that showed disrepair and not up to standard. We saw four different non-matching and somewhat clashing carpets, a beige/ brown striped one in reception and the public rooms, a patterned green carpet on stairs, and two different patterned blue carpets on floors. They really did not go together. I noticed that the lining of the curtains in both the brasserie and the lounge were falling apart and frayed. The sofas in the lounge were OK, but looked tired.

Something people of limited mobility should be aware of is that there is no lift in the hotel. There is a stair lift on the first flight of stairs out of the reception area, but you are requested to get the help of staff to use it.

So the overall experience was one of disappointment. Most of the niggles are easy things to fix, and hopefully the management will fix them. It just was not what we expected from a 4 star hotel.
Then the real icing on the cake was when we were checking out. The hotel had added a £6+ gratuity to the bill. Fortunately we noticed that and got it removed. There was nothing anywhere about a service charge, and a gratuity is something that the customer gives, not something that the service provider adds on!

This hotel needs some money spent upon it to tidy it up and bring it back up to a 4 star hotel standard, but not by adding on hidden gratuities. If you stay here, check your bill carefully.

In the end, a weekend that slightly disappointed due to apparent penny pinching.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank The_Quiglet
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, 13 April 2014
Dear The_Quiglet

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

747 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    264
    247
    139
    71
    26
See reviews for
109
385
17
81
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (177)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2014

We got Married this month and we would just like to say what a lovely Wedding we had.

I have read many review with regards to Bowden Hall and any criticisms I total disagree with. We could not have been happier with the whole day from the excellent staff on reception to Rachel who rang our wedding who was fantastic you were all friendly and helpful and made the day stress free.

The food was excellent on the day and for breakfast the next day as well, I would recommend and we will be back in the future.

My only criticism that I did mention on the day was the heating it was on full blast and was a tad hot for everyone.

So would finally like to say Thank you to everyone

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Crownof C
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, 25 March 2014
Dear crownofcrucis

Many thanks for your kind review for the Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall.

We were most pleased to hear that you had a wonderful wedding here with us! It is always lovely to read such lovely comments and of course we love to know when couples who have experienced their special day with us went to plan.

I will definitely pass on your compliments to Rachel who, along with the rest of our team, work tirelessly to ensure that our guests are made to feel welcome and that all needs are met.

Bowden Hall is a spectacular backdrop for wedding photos and the ample and spacious rooms provide comfortable and affordable accommodation for all guests so we are glad that everyone had a great time and that the food was to your satisfaction also.

May we take the opportunity to wish you both our warmest congratulations on your wedding day and we look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel next year for your complimentary overnight stay to celebrate your first anniversary.

Kindest regards

Rebecca D Thomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
277 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2014 via mobile

The hotel is set in a quiet area on the outskirts of Gloucester. Driving to the hotel felt a bit like I'd gone wrong as it is at the end of quite a small winding lane - arriving in the dark I was glad for the illuminated Mercure entrance sign!

Reception was friendly and very helpful, organising taxis for our group, and efficiently sorting check in/out.

The hotel dinner wasn't cheap but was relatively good for the price. The steak I had was ok but wasn't the best cut of meat I'd ever had for the price. The drinks were expensive at approximately £7.50 a large glass of wine. Considering that you are pretty much a captive audience in the hotel unless you drive out or get a taxi, the drinks could be cheaper. Taxi to and from
Cheltenham was approximately £20 - be sure to confirm the price with the driver prior to setting off as we had to negotiate several times!!

Room was ok, but nothing special.

Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank ianedmunds
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, 19 March 2014
Dear ianedmonds

Thank you for your review of the Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall hotel.

We were pleased that you enjoyed most aspects of your stay with us recently.

The hotel is indeed in a rural setting away from the hustle and bustle of town therefore it can be a little harder to find than most but most Sat Nav devices will guide you to our hotel. We are, however, glad that you found us.

I will pass on your kind words onto our Reception team who continue to make us proud of our staff here. Friendliness and a warm welcome is what every weary traveller deserves when checking in.

Our dinner and drink prices are keeping in line with the market for a 4 star hotel and you will find that the quality of the food and wine will also have been reflected as we receive many compliments on our meals. We hope it was to your satisfaction otherwise.

Taxis into Cheltenham are not the cheapest form of transport particularly if you were staying with us during Race Week where they are at their busiest. However, at the bottom of the lane where we are situated, there is a very regular bus service that will take you into Gloucester or Cheltenham for a much smaller price.

Overall we do hope you had a comfortable stay with us and that we see you again in the near future.

Kind Regards

Rebecca D Thomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gloucester
Level Contributor
274 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 200 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

We were given a voucher for afternoon tea at this hotel as a gift. Rang and booked, very polite on telephone and this carried on with warm welcome from receptionist and waitress who showed us through to our table, both very smart in their uniforms too.
Strangely although it was Sunday afternoon we were the only people in the large dining room so did rather lack atmosphere. The dining tables were all beautifully set and we had a table in the big bay window overlooking the lake.
Finger sandwiches with traditional fillings, smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese and egg and cress were tasty as was the fresh scone with generous portions of jam and clotted cream. The cake selection, fruit cake and sponge slices and mini victoria sandwich were rather dull and not home made, however suited me as I do not eat cream. Waitress was attentive and courtesy checked half way through.
Decor is dated but in keeping with the style of the building and certainly not shabby or dirty.
The imposing white building outside gives an impressive first impression and the quiet setting beside the lake was ideal for a post meal stroll.
This hotel is local to us and well used for special events by many people we know, have never heard a bad word about it as a venue. We enjoyed our tea and the only reason the rating isn't higher was the lack atmosphere due to being the only people there and the fact the cakes were very Mr Kipling like!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank earthtravelller
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, 14 March 2014
Dear earthtraveller

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of the Afternoon Tea you had with us recently.

We were pleased to read that you enjoyed most aspects of your time here at Bowden Hall. Our staff are certainly attentive and friendly and the hotel grounds provide an impressive view from the lounge where you dined.

After speaking with the duty manager on the day you were here, I do believe that there were other afternoon tea bookings that had been and gone around 1pm and 2pm and that yours was booked for 4pm hence why it may have appeared quieter. It was simply that others had booked earlier in the day.

With regards to the cakes, we do not advertise that they are home made and therefore they are bought in but are of a decent quality and we have received compliments on them in the past.

We do hope that the overall experience you had with us will encourage you to return to our hotel in the future.

Kind Regards

Rebecca D Thomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sussex
Level Contributor
79 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2014

Having read the negetive reviews then I am afraid that I am in total disagreement. Stayed weekend last month, down to watch the rugby with my wife & can say that whilst the hotel needs a bit of 'tlc' which understand being addressed at present time, the bed may be hard ( but haey only for 2 nights ), the twin room was excellent size, plenty of towels which had NOT seen better days, unlimited hot water and a kettle!!. Breakfast was excellent, choice & hot. All staff whether waiting, housekeeping or reception were very good and courteous ( specially Alison )
and a credit to the hotel. Ideal location and only 5 mins walk from the bus stop ( nos 5 ) to Gloucester. Only downside is the bitter beer in the bar, who drinks Boddingtons??

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank minesabeer
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 March 2014
Dear Minesabeer

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your recent stay with us here at the Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall.

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed every aspect of your weekend.

All of our beds have brand new mattresses which the majority of guests have found to be most comfortable. As you pointed out, we have recently re-carpeted the entire downstairs public areas which both brightens and freshens the look of the main areas in a modern way.

The hotel is ideally situated for Gloucester, Cheltenham and the Cotswolds yet hidden away suitably to ensure peace and tranquillity for a restful break.

I will be sure to pass on all your kind comments to all those involved in making your stay such a pleasant one, particularly Alison who receives many kind compliments. We were also glad that you had a plentiful supply of hot water, clean towels and enjoyed our wonderful breakfast service.

Should you wish to return to Bowden Hall then we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Kind Regards

Rebecca D Thomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014 via mobile

Stayed here 24th feb (2 nights) under the Love Promotion. Hotel absolutely lovely. Staff were very friendly and helpful. Dinner on the first night was superb. The room to which we had been upgraded was very spacious with an extremely comfortable superking sized bed, certainly no prob sleeping. Would highly recommend.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Carol P
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, 4 March 2014
Dear Carol P

Thank you for your comments for the Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall.

It was exceptionally good for us to read that you had such a wonderful stay with us! It is always heart warming for us to read when our guests have such a pleasant time.

We are extremely proud of our hotel especially the staff that work tirelessly to ensure that guests have that all important welcome and that nothing is too much. Comfort is very high on our list of priorities also and we are glad that you enjoyed a good night's sleep.

I will pass all your kind comments on to all our staff involved in making your stay such an enjoyable one as I know they will appreciate it.

We look forward to welcoming you back to our hotel should you wish to return in the future.

Kind Regards

Rebecca D Thomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ripley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

Here on business, the hotel looks impressive as you approach, the staff were welcoming and friendly and very efficient. My room was pleasant, clean and warm on a chilly day and breakfast was pleasant, again accompanied by attentive and friendly staff. Everyone did all they could for us, very welcome. The only issue is that behind the grand facade, the hotel itself is showing the signs of age and use and generally looks very tired. Retaining features is very welcome in this day and age of bland hotel chains, but some TLC wouldn't go amiss.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rob S
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, 4 March 2014
Dear Rob S

Thank you your review.

We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your recent business trip with us and that the staff were friendly and welcoming and your room was comfortable and warm.

Our hotel certainly is a grand old building which requires constant TLC to keep it looking good both on the outside and the inside. We recently had a new carpet installed on the ground floor for all the public areas which we feel freshens up the hotel and makes it look warmer and brighter.

Thank you for your comments regarding our staff and I will be sure to pass them on to those that ensured you had a pleasant stay.

We do hope that you decide to stay with us again in the future.

Kind Regards

Rebecca D Thomas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Upton St Leonards
4.8 mi away
Hatherley Manor
Hatherley Manor
#1 of 1 in Down Hatherley
4.0 of 5 bubbles 778 reviews
1.4 mi away
Hallmark Hotel Gloucester
Hallmark Hotel Gloucester
#11 of 21 in Gloucester
3.5 of 5 bubbles 1,471 reviews
6.5 mi away
DoubleTree by Hilton Cheltenham
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.2 mi away
Hatton Court Hotel
Hatton Court Hotel
#2 of 2 in Upton St Leonards
4.0 of 5 bubbles 1,215 reviews
7.6 mi away
Stonehouse Court
Stonehouse Court
#1 of 2 in Stonehouse
4.0 of 5 bubbles 625 reviews
25.0 mi away
Mercure Bristol North The Grange Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Odigeo, Lastminute, ACCOR, Superbreak UK, Priceline, Agoda, Hotel.de, HotelsClick, HRS and Ebookers so you can book your Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Ramada Upton St Leonards
Ramada Hotel Bowden Hall
Ramada Gloucester
Gloucester Ramada
Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel Upton St Leonards, Gloucestershire

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing