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“Dirty, Tired, Not Worth The Money”
Review of Bruern Cottages

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Bruern Cottages
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Chipping Norton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 May 2011

Let me begin by saying the location of Bruern Cottages is lovely, the garden and large lawn was enjoyed by our family and the indoor pool was very clean. HOWEVER...when taking into consideration the actual accommodation we were provided, this is a very expensive place to stay and not at all worth the money.

We stayed in Sandown Cottage. What the website and the booking manageress fails to mention, is this cottage has another located above it. The constant noise from the upstairs guests walking around is ridiculous! Additionally, you are lead to believe the cottage furnishings are high-end, with designer fabrics. This may have been true 8 years ago, but we found stained, ripped, tired fabrics, mouldy sealant in both bathrooms and there was a decent size hole in the sofa!

We notified both the manager as well as the company with whom we made our booking (Baby Friendly Boltholes) or our dissatisfaction. Not reply was received from either of them, but they certainly can't say they weren't aware of our comments.

I can't comment on any of the other cottages at this facility, but we certainly won't be returning to try any of them.

  • Stayed: April 2011
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14  Thank YankeeDo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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68 - 74 of 87 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2011

...but the beds were horribly uncomfortable, with a lumpy sagging mattress, the pool was cold - far too cold for babies and there were just so many things that really grated on us:
- some staff were surly - one even told my son not mess the toys up!
- no towels in the pool area, and only one set of pool towels for our whole stay
- frozen meals were ok but very expensive - we much preffered stocking up at Daylesford Organics, only a short drive away.
- limited toiletries and toilet paper - we nearly ran out!
- there was never anyone around to ask for more of anything - phone at the office was never answered
- the food / drinks in the "welcome pack" could also be better

Given the price charged for the accommodation, we felt that the owners are trying scrimp and scrooge where they can possibly get away with it, which is such a shame because overall the cottage was well appointed and in a good location.

These all seem like such easy things to fix: buy new matresses, heat the pool an extra couple of degrees and be a little more generous with the towels, toiletries etc ...

Room Tip: bring wetsuits for your little ones
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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8  Thank splash2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2010

If you have always wanted an idyllic cottage in the Cotswolds minus the aggro', hassle and commitment then THIS is the place for you.

Just under two hours from London, three miles north of Burford, you arrive to a warm, toastie cottage, fire laid but not lit. A fridge full of champagne, butter and milk. Enough tea and coffee to last the duration of your stay. Fluffy towels, piping hot water, Sky Movies and Sports, wifi, glossy magazines, scented candles. Get the Picture? So good in fact, you get just about everything and anything you could need for a weekend or holiday week just short of an Ocado delivery.


You also get a key to the heated indoor pool.
Bruern is more than just kid-friendly. It caters for nippers in the nicest way. There are bikes, trikes, karts and a whopping games room for the young to safely play billiards, ping pong and table football leaving you in peace to enjoy all on offer in the stunning gardens.


Bruern is a magical hamlet tucked right in the middle of the Super-Cotswold triangle of Burford, Stow and Chipping Norton. It IS David Cameron country. It IS the Land of Jeremy Clarkson so beware swerving SuperCars and Flying Polictians.

The complex of 10 or so cottages/houses is right next to a super-dooper golf course at Lyneham.
It is where the good and great live so do not be surprised if one of them is sat next to you in the local pub. Archie Orr-Ewing's King's Head at Bledington and Swan at Swinbrook are both Ace pubs. The Plough at Kingham is OK, but service somewhat grumpy and noses are put most out of joint if you have the audactiy to arrive at 1.45pm when 'the kitchen's are about to close'. NOT my idea of a relaxing Saturday lunch.
 But then again this IS the English countryside.

I LOVE Bruern. It is the perfect place to enjoy all the Cotswolds has to offer in style and luxury. And when it's time to leave? Why you just close the door and take the keys back to the office and everything is taken care of. The super-organised get an Ocado van to deliver all they need as they arrive. We love going to Sam Cam's favourite butcher's in Chadlington, which has the best grocery store next door full of excellent cheeses and smoked meats, sitting next to homemade pies and fantastic veg'.


Go there.
You will not regret it. 
Bruern puts The Mark on Self-Catering and I've got a feeling it has become as much a part of our family life as the aforementioned Cottage In The Cotswolds, minus the leaks, damp and resident mice.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank skoolrunmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2010

We first discovered Bruern in 2002 and have been back every year since! We usually stay for 2-3 weeks and once we've unpacked we feel so at home we never want to leave!
We've done day trips as far afield as Kent, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Birmingham and Wales as access to motorways is so easy from Bruern's central location.
Although the initial cost of a cottage looks high, being able to do our own laundry and cooking means the trip is eventually much cheaper than hotels or B&Bs. And being able to spread out in so many rooms makes it so much better than hotel accommodation!
The "cleaning fairies" come in and weave their magic once a week (more often if you request it). Wireless broadband makes keeping in touch with home so easy; the pool and spa add just that little bit of extra luxury.
If the weather is good, trips around local sights and a quiet day in the garden is perfect.
Since 2002 we've stayed in 5 different cottages (some twice or 3 times!) and have brought grown up children and grandchildren with us on occasions and it's been a perfect place for the younger family members too!
And nothing is too much trouble for the staff.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank manieril
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2010

I can whole-heartedly recommend the Bruern cottages. We arrived late and were welcomed very warmly. Then, and this is rather embarrassing, immediately set off the fire alarm, which droned on, forcing everyone else out of their cottages. The staff was so nice after this incident, which imprinted a good impression on my mind. The cottages themselves are decorated in the typical cottage style, not necessarily my thing, but exactly as I had imagined. They are equipped with a washer/dryer as well as TV, DVD, wi-fi service, and telephone. We were five people and fit quite comfortably into the three upper floor bedrooms, though I believe they offer cottages for up to 8. The complex includes a health club and spa, and is within very easy driving and good walking or biking distance of nearby villages. I can absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a relaxing week away from it all, but with easy access to Oxford, small town and train stations.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Calypso007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2010

My husband and I had a short break here in February. We stayed in Cope which is for 2 people but has space in the living room for about 30! We've wanted to stay here for a few years but never been able to afford it. We managed to get a half price deal at the last minute.

I would say for half price is was very much worth the money. They have refurbished this paricular cottage since they took photos for the brochure and website and it looks much better than those pictures. We don't know why they haven't updated their photos as they've really improved the look of the place.

The bed was incredibly large and confortable, and the linen was incredibly soft. The bathroom was small but had everything you needed, and it was lovely to have bathrobes to use.

The kitchen is meant to be used by a chef when cooking for large groups who can dine in the large living room but I don't think it was fully equipped for proper cooking - there were no scales for example - but if you are not planning on cooking anything clever then it is quite well equipped and the fridge is HUGE!

The living room is a luxury, having that much space for 2 is incredible and the books in the library area are diverse and in good condition so you shouldn't need to bring a book with you if you like reading! It was good to have free wi-fi as well.

The whole cottage was incredibly comfortable and really quiet considering it's near the office and joined to the games room. We never heard a thing from the games room, so it's well insulated.

There isn't much in the way of outside space, but there's enough for 2, which is fine.

We had a really relaxing time here and couldn't really find fault with anything, and we're usually very picky! You could argue that there could be more in the welcome food basket and the signage is very poor in the complex but those would be the only negative things we could say about our stay.

If we had paid full price we might not have thought it worth the money, but that's because we can't really afford those prices so it would never be worth it. If you think it's an ok price to pay to stay somewhere special, then you should enjoy it.

It's in a good location for exploring the area and there are plenty of places to eat out a short drive away.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank flameangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2010

This is our second visit to Bruern, this time at their largest, Weir House, for a family gathering. It remains oustandingly good, from the friendly and efficient contact during the booking phase to the simply wonderful gardens. The house is tastefully furnished and extremely comfortable, nothing seems to have been forgotten for family comforts. The children simply adore it. Yes some of the toys are old (as a previous reviewer complained) and its not a like a modern 5 star hotel in every respect but the kitchen and bathrooms are modern and if you are prepared to pay up for the fairly unique top quality self catering environment it cannot be bettered.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank JonB_SA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bruern Cottages

Address: Bruern Stable Cottages, Chipping Norton OX7 6QA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Chipping Norton
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Chipping Norton
Hotel Class:5 star — Bruern Cottages 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of the Cotswolds, between Chipping Norton, Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford, Bruern Holiday Cottages are one of the few holiday rentals to welcome guests just as a hotel does - for a single night or for eight weeks, both during the week and at the weekend. Even though Bruern is self-catering, you are not expected to entirely provide for yourself on your first night, so when you arrive, there are essentials like milk, butter, eggs and sausages waiting for you, along with a few little luxuries like champagne, homemade cakes and local artisan cheese with biscuits. Twice National Winners of VisitBritain’s England for Excellence Award, and current holders of EnjoyEngland’s Gold Award for quality, Bruern Holiday Cottages set a new benchmark for self-catering when Judy Astor first started converting the properties in 1992, at one time comprising eight of the properties holding VisitBritain’s top grade awards, has compared with only 132 for the whole of the rest of Great Britain. Bruern offers the comfort and attention to detail of a good hotel, combined with the privacy, independence and space of home, amidst the civilised ease and style of English Country House living. However, there are four things that really set Bruern apart from other self-catering holiday rentals. Firstly, it is a paradise for children, with three playgrounds, a play cabin, a wendy house, who, toy cars and bicycles for every child and in every size - and above all other children. Lastly, there’s a games room with, pool, table tennis and table football, for older teens (and maybe older-than-teens), for whom the above are a little too babyish. Secondly, there is the decor, which eschews the monotonous orthodoxies of minimalism, being unashamedly English Country House style – the atmosphere is elegant yet comfortable, and all the properties have log fires, and canopied or four poster beds. Thirdly, the gardens, which are a blend of formal and informal elements, feature topiary, cutting gardens with box hedges, gazebos, little orchards, statuary, a wisteria tunnel, and a vast hundred yard herbaceous border. There is barely a square foot of the entire estate that has not been planned out with a passion for landscape and an eye for detail. In 1999 Bruern’s gardens were even awarded a marking of 100 out of 100 by VisitBritain that neither we nor anyone else has ever bettered; and nor will it ever be bettered, unless the laws of arithmetic change. Finally, there is the indoor swimming pool, gym and spa, which looks out on to a separate Italianate garden and terrace, with a classical portico to sit beneath in the shade. Cited by Tatler in 2009 as one of the “101 best spas in the world”, here you can book reflexology, massages, pedicures, manicures and facials. All in all, Bruern is a place that is simply unique – over eighty percent of our business comes from returning guests, and of new guests the majority come from personal word-of-mouth recommendations. We haven’t had a review score on TripAdvisor of less than 5/5 (Excellent) in 3 years – if you read the reviews, you’ll see why. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bruern Holiday Cottages Hotel Chipping Norton
Bruern Holiday Hotel
Bruern Cottages Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

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