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“Poor room, wrongly named”
Review of Crab & Boar

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Crab & Boar
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Chieveley
Reviewed 17 March 2014

My Wife and I booked into this Hotel as part of an annual "get together" we have with a number of friends who all worked together in the past. As most of us are from the South East, we tend to look for hotels/restaurants in this area.

This Hotel is in a lovely location and we were allocated the Zen room, one of their themed "Famous Rooms".

Unfortunately, this is completely the wrong name for this room as it is anything but a "Zen" experience. Firstly it is on the ground floor immediately adjacent to the main road outside and the traffic noise is quite intrusive. In addition, the room above is one of their "hot tub" spa rooms and when this is turned on, it's similar to being on the runway at Heathrow, the noise is quite unbearable.

Also, this room is quite small, with no seating available and the bed has a large frame surrounding it that the mattress is set into. This means that sitting on the bed is also difficult and it makes the bed approx 2' wider and longer than a normal bed, so the space in the room is even more prohibited, making it quite possible (without great care) to easily bang your shins or knees on the bed frame as you try to traverse around it to get to the bathroom.

Immediately outside this room are the store cupboards used by the housekeeping staff. In itself this is OK, but when they all decide to assemble there and chat at 8:00am, this is totally inappropriate. We were advised that this had been reported before, so it's an ongoing problem.

We also ate at the Crab and found this to be an only OK experience and certainly not the Wow expected either by reputation or price.

Despite pre-ordering our food a couple of Months in advance, they failed to fulfill one of our orders as they "had no squid" - shameful for a seafood restaurant. Tables were poorly set, cutlery missing, service patchy and food overpriced. I personally had the cold seafood platter which was surprisingly basic although everything listed on their menu was included, and I was surprised it wasn't served "on ice", just a wooden platter. The effect of this, naturally is that the cold seafood rapidly warms up as you eat it and it becomes less palatable.

We are from the North of England and regularly visit our local seafood restaurant "The Bridgewater Arms", which is excellent. In addition, a whole lobster is served in whatever style for approx £24. At the Crab they charge £50 (£25 for half), also the seafood platter is a genuine "fruits of the sea" medley with approx twice the variety, served on ice and charged at £30 - the Crab charges £44. My Wife chose the 1/2 lobster thermidor which she has eaten in many places and has never been served as a small plain lobster and a sauce boat of very thin sauce alongside, inadequate and lazy preparation.

Overall. poor value for money and only average service, thankfully our friends were there and the their company prevented this from being an absolutely rubbish experience. We wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

Room Tip: Don't choose the ZEN room if you want any space, peace or quiet.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Robert P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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375 - 381 of 749 reviews

Reviewed 17 March 2014

I booked the Crab at Chieveley before Xmas for my Fiance's Birthday treat - his birthday was January but we couldn't get a room with a hot tub before March - so we booked up and waited. I'd heard a lot of hype about this place and was really hoping it would live up to expectations. I had nothing to worry about - it was utterly fantastic. we stayed overnight and chose the themed room "Bird Island" which is an island in the Seychelles. We arrived at 4pm and were shown to the room, which we loved and were pleased to see complimentary water, tea/coffee and biscuits! As well as a proper coffee machine and even a DVD player! It was a glorious day so we spent most of the late afternoon chilling in the hot tub before getting ready for dinner. We had a lovely table in a corner and were pleasantly surprised by how attentive the staff were - nothing was too much trouble. We ordered our dinner and then a complimentary entree from the chef was brought out to us - a very nice touch. Our starters arrived and were delicious but we had to wait a while for our main course to arrive. We felt in no rush, as we were staying there, so didn't say anything. However, just before our main arrived the manager came over to apologise for the delay and said that he would give us complimentary drinks afterwards to compensate for the delay - a really nice touch. My fiance and I both had the sea bass for main course and agreed it was the best fish we'd ever eaten. We're not pudding people but even managed to eat one each and again this was great, I would highly recommend The Crab at Chieveley - even if you just go for dinner but if you get the chance to stay too then do - it was a great weekend.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nicole_Drama_Queen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

My wife and I stayed there for my birthday for 2nights. we had a great time and could not fault the food, it was perfect. BUT we noticed the room had a leak from the back of the toilet. also the shower had no hot water. the bath was ok but for both days we were left without a shower. we reported it twice to staff there who told us maintenance would take a look. but they did not so for the stay we had a towel around the base of the toilet soaking up water that would leak on the floor every time it was flushed. As a plumber by trade this upset me as i understand more than most regarding the situation in our room. hope they fix bird island room before someone else stays there

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank jasper p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

I have stayed at The Crab with my partner 3 times now and absolutely LOVE this place. The rooms have all been beautiful and the food and service is always exceptional. If I had to say a negative word then all I could think of would be the 'check in' time... The earliest you can arrive is 4pm which I found a little late as it doesn't give you enough time to enjoy the hot tub and room enough before dinner but then that really isn't a problem, it would just be nice to be able to check in a little earlier if possible. See you soon Chieveley :-)

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank Courtney-Reigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2014 via mobile

I stayed here recently and had an upstairs room. Fantastic room quality and a very comfortable bed. Room downstairs a little noisy when decided to use the spa at midnight.

Breakfast was to die for, and staff seem very friendly.

Would definitely stay again of I managed the same deal as before, but it's a little overpriced generally.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
Thank Dave B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

We did not have much of a choice of rooms as we booked up quite late with the hotel. We plumped for the 'Gleneagles' as we asked for something away from the road after reading reviews. Unfortunately when we arrived I was dismayed to be shown up a flight of very steep outdoor steps to an upstairs sort of barn conversion. When we entered the room it was very dour and completely dominated by the bed. I asked where the sofa was which was advertised on the website and the receptionist pointed to a hardback dining chair. We asked to be moved and very promptly were shown to a ground floor room( Soneva Fushi) in a modern extension. It was quite a pretty room however it was right next to a very busy road. This room did have a settee and armchair but the chair covers were very tired and the rug was dirty. Our first evening meal was was delicious, with Oysters to start followed by Crab for me and Turbot with Crab Ravioli for my husband. When we happily returned to our room (looking forward to a lovely sleep) we could not believe the noise emanating from the room upstairs. The people in residence seemed to walk around for two hours. The room above was the Banyan Tree and when we looked at the website we realised that the bed was in the middle of the room meaning that Guests had to walk around it to do anything! The creaks and groans were horrible and I think perhaps this needs looking into. The following day we returned from Oxford only to find our room had not been cleaned. When we pointed this out, apparently the keys to our room were missing and they only found them much later when housekeeping were finished. Apparently the receptionist had kindly changed our towels, however the bed remained unmade and the dirty crocks were where we had left them. These were also removed and replaced. We really enjoyed the evening meal of Oysters and fresh Sea Bream but had we booked a table after 8.00pm we heard the waiter telling the table next to us that the Scallops , Lemon Sole and Oysters had run out. This was Friday night. Saturday morning following another noisy night we went to breakfast only to be told that the bacon was off??? We found this unbelievable so we opted for Eggs Royale made with Smoked Salmon. The waiter served our meals with two bacon versions? When we sent back one as I don't eat meat the waiter sent in apologies from the chef. So what conclusion did we reach on The Crab at Chievely. The staff were all so lovely and if things were wrong they remedied them. The food tasted wonderful cooked by a very skilled chef. It was the rooms that we found lacking. Perhaps comfort and cleanliness of rugs ,covers etc should be a priority with something done to eleveate the noise. Lots of toiletries and lovely extravagant bath sheets. Crockery and sundries were excellent and the bathroom was very clean the first night. Large wardrobe with wooden hangers and Ironing board with iron.I would recommend booking a table for the restaurant as it is very popular. We were told when booking that a table would always be found for residents, however when we arrived there were no tables for the time we required. We would definitely book up again because of the food and staff and perhaps next time ask for the 'Bayen Tree' so that we could enjoy a peaceful sleep.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sybilbee23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

We booked a weekend in the Banyan Tree spa room as a treat for my birthday, as we opened the door, it was stunning, clean, well equipped and looked amazing, the bed was unbelievable comfortable, plenty of room the store clothes, shoes and bags without tripping over them constantly, as with many hotels, the bathroom smelt fresh and looked clean, with beautifully laundered towels and robes, plenty of super hot water whenever it was required and more than sufficient toiletries available. The tea and coffee facilities were well presented and stocked too, with the use of a kettle and a coffee machine, there was a great choice of teas, coffees and hot chocolate not to mention delicious home baked biscuits. We ate in the restaurant both evenings, there was a lovely atmosphere with friendly, helpful staff. The food was amazing, I love fish and had a lobster starter followed by halibut the first evening and scallops followed by lemon sole the second and it was all cooked to perfection, my fiancé who has in his career has gained a Michelin star himself was speechless and was dying to be able to find fault, but couldn't and thoroughly enjoyed eating the food that was obviously cooked by someone who loves his job and food. Although the hotel is situated on quite a busy main road, I didn't at anytime find it a problem. We enjoyed a lovely morning of shopping in Newbury. In summary fab place, can't fault it, so much so with got home and booked to go back for my fiancés birthday in September.

Room Tip: I would definately recommend the Banyan Tree room for its style and class, although is next to the m...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Paula P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Crab & Boar

Address: Wantage Road, Chieveley RG20 8UE, England (Formerly The Crab at Chieveley Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Berkshire > Chieveley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Chieveley
Price Range: £89 - £149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Crab & Boar 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the heart of Berkshire countryside, The Crab & Boar is a stunning country pub with rooms offering award-winning British cuisine and 14 country-style bedrooms. Sink into one of our 14 stylish rooms and unwind in your own private corner of the Berkshire countryside. All bedrooms feature antique furnishing, luxury throws, Egyptian cotton linen, flat screen TVs, natural Bramley bath and body products and Tea and coffee making facilities. Some rooms have their own private hot tub. Dogs are more than welcome. The two AA Rosettes restaurant serves beautiful seafood and seasonal game in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Our Head Chef Tom uses locally sourced and seasonal ingredients so you can expect that every plate on the Crab & Boar menu is as fresh as it can be and is expertly crafted with a passion for the local countryside. With an easy access to the M4 motoway, The Crab & Boar is located 25 minute drive away from historic Oxford, 16 minutes from Newbury Racecourse and 19 minutes from Highclere castle. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Crab At Chieveley Hotel Chieveley
The Crab Hotel Chieveley
The Crab Chieveley
Crab & Boar Chieveley, Berkshire

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