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“Great. Would visit this hotel again.”

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Billesley Manor Hotel
Exeter, United Kingdom
1 review
“Great. Would visit this hotel again.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2011

Staff charming, polite & welcoming. buffet style breakfast, fresh hot and lot of choice. Plenty of choice for the evening menu. Lovely atmosphere in the restaurant.
Hotel also catering for a wedding while we were there but this had no impact on the quality of our stay.

Room Tip: remember to book table time for evening
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sophielisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (538)
Date | Rating
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English first
Worcester, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2011

Having been let down by another venue we managed to arrange our wedding at Billesley within one month.

Naomi, the Event Coordinator was really helpful and introduced us to someone who sorted the flowers and the cake at short notice.

The day went really well, everyone we came into contact with was really helpful and everything happened exactly as we asked.

The weather was a special bonus too!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nizel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Diss, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2011

It could be so good, an interesting building in the heart of Shakespeare country (30 minute walk to Mary Arden's house etc) but completely squandered by a penny pinching attitude and a complete lack of management. The biggest problem is the lack of customer service. The few staff there are just going through the motions. I did not see anyone taking charge over a 4 day period. The food was very poor, bland, cold and expensive. At this level I don't expect to serve myself either. I am not a great technophile but a hotel aimed at this segment of the market should have up to date TV, iPod dock and free WiFi as standard. If someone doesn't take charge and raise the game there will be yet another management change in the near future. Either way I will not be returning or patronising any other Barcelo hotels.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sunbeam577
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2011

Where do I begin? I've been toting with leaving this review for the last 5 months since getting married here. Guess I was hoping time would be a healer, but it hasn't.

We booked a wedding package here that at the beginning seemed lovely, the wedding coordinator was helpful and my husband and I trusted her. Then she left! I chased for her replacement to get in touch as it was only a few months to go. Eventually after speaking to her I was assured that everything was in place.

The day arrived and the farce began. for starters the wedding coordinator was not there!

The bridal suite can only be described as a hole. Worn carpets and ripped curtains. I was brought a breakfast tray which was something at least.

My husband arrived an hour before the wedding only to be told that there were no rooms available for him and the rest of the wedding party to get ready in so they had to do so in reception and the toilets.

The master of ceremonies was hopeless and had to be found by the photographer who also had to track down my flowers. When he eventually arrived to take me to meet the registrar I was 10 minutes late for the ceremony.

At least the ceremony went without a hitch, it was wonderful.

Wedding breakfast was also nice but the staff failed to put the wedding favours onto the tables so they had to be given out at the evening reception meaning there weren't enough. We also couldn't find the cake as wasn't in the room where the wedding breakfast was being held.

The evening reception was also less than acceptable. Master of ceremonies was like the Scarlet Pimpernel and had to be tracked down when we wanted to cut the cake, have the buffet served. Because of this many guests didn't get any cake. Even though there was a clear event schedule that the staff were supposed to work to, they obviously weren't told they had to actually read it.

The DJ was told to set his equipment up in front of the only fire escape in the room and when he refused staff were rude to him.

There was no table for wedding presents and when I asked for one there was a huff and a puff before they relented.

Bar prices were extortionate! Many guests had to resort to drinking water they were that high and one guest had to barter to get a 30% reduction.

Most of the staff were very rude and when my father went robots room ill he was disturbed four times by them telling him he had to move rooms. They put him in the wrong room in error. This was the final draw and I had to intervene. Surely not the role of the bride on her wedding day.

The following morning we were woken by room service at 8am demanding that he had to clean the bridal suite there and then. He had no room service trolley and when we refused telling him to come back after we had checked out he became insistent. Needless to say he didn't get in. When we questioned reception about this they were a few red faces. Reading another review about the stolen laptop I seriously doubt his authenticity as a member of staff.

Breakfast service was also appalling. 20 minutes for toast and tea after asking 3 member of staff.

And the finale...we discovered that our wedding gifts from the evening before had been left in an unlocked room all night so to this day we have no idea if all of them were there.

All of the above was discussed at length the following day with a very embarrassed wedding coordinator and her superior and eventually we had a part refund. Nevertheless this does not alter the fact that the staff and especially poor management of staff needs to be seriously addressed.

I have recently received an email from the Billesley asking me to reccommend a friend to get married there and we will get a free 2 night break. I have not got over the sheer cheek of this yet to reply. Needless to say it will be a decline.

There is nothing that the management of the Billesley can reply to this to make me feel any differently about our experience there.

All I can say is find a different venue as the gorgeous location is all it has going for it.

  • Stayed October 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank MissyJLR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2011

This property has potential to be great, but it is a far cry from a genuine luxury hotel.

Was booked into a Premium room at a good rate, but was told on arrival that the rate was for standard room. This was a very basic, hostel-like room, so we felt forced to accept a deluxe room at a £40 supplement. The deluxe room was like a decent Marriott, but nothing to get excited about... just the basic standard of comfort in my opinion.

Television was terrible. Only 5 terrestrial channels which is such a poor offering to guests in this day and age.

Internet was chargeable and expense.

A Bar meal for 2 was outrageously expensive (cost £98.00) and was basic and bland. We only had 3 drinks, two meals and a shared salad. The steaks were tougher than old shoe leather, full of gristle and completely unpleasant.

The staff are harried, not particularly friendly, and do not convey any warmth or sense of hospitality.

This is not a fine hotel. They add too may extra charges to your bill and left us feeling quite ripped off. Won't stay again... and will have to seriously consider before patronising Barcelo hotels again.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelProCambridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2011

My partner and I stayed at the hotel which was excellent. The staff were very friendly and the food was amazing; the best chicken ever. My partner said the shoulder of lamb just fell apart and the beef was cooked to perfection. The reception staff were wonderful and quickly resolved a query over a bill. The hotel is set on magnificent grounds and we could walk to Mary Arden's House (Shakespeare's mother) in about 45mins.

The hotel was spotless with a friendly yet 'classy' atmosphere.

We had booked the spa package and booked in for four treatments in advance however when we arrived at the spa, there was no record of any of our treatments. The staff at the spa were not that apologetic and the issue was only resolved because we could be flexible with our times. If you had only booked a spa day or were only staying one night I don't know what would have happended. It was also made known to us that the therapist was new and it was her first day and this was not reassuring. It later transpired that we were not the only people to have no record of their booking.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MarcCook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2011

Barceló Billesley Manor, If you are thinking about booking don't bother, its glory days are well and truly behind it. My partner and i were excited to get away on a midweek spa break and tried hard to enjoy this place but would have to give it a final grade of F for Fail!

I will start with the positives. The waiting staff were friendly and professional, pretty much the only element that lived up to a 4 star billing. The massage and facial treatments were also good, with decent, friendly staff... The gym is small but adequate. The pool is small and busy, though it has set times for children which was a fair enough compromise. The bottle of Jacques Cartier bubbly (£5 wholesale) and chocolates upon arrival was a nice touch.

Now a litany of Barceló Billesley’s many failings we encountered in our two nights there:

Firstly I will make a general observation: I'm not sure if all spas act like this but Barceló Billesley Manor feels like it always has its hands in your wallet; not very conducive to relaxing... The room was festooned with tacky cardboard stand-up advertisements for the in-house services “Only £38 for a message”. The first thing I did was gather them up and place them at the back of a low shelf. The wi-fi was unsecured but only as far as a 3rd party site that wanted your credit card details to access the Internet. I was under the impression that wi-fi was free as standard in all leading hotels? I guess the lack of competition in this out of the way country nook leads the proprietors to consider their guests as a helpless captive market? The “Too far from Starbucks” syndrome?

Disappointingly the TV had no satellite channels and lacked half of the free to air channels advertised. Fortunately I had a good book.

The room was generally clean but the sink which was a semi-transperant round basin had a ring of dark brown mould clearly visible at its base. I am not blaming the staff, it’s just a bad design, impossible to thoroughly clean. It has no place in a modern 4 star hotel, but it seems to me that the Barceló Billesley ceased caring about such details a long time ago...

The dinner was quite tasty however was let down by the meagre portion size; is being hungry after three courses common in spas? We felt lucky to have brought a few snacks and fruit rather than go to bed hungry.

I can confirm our room was generally too cold as other reviews have also reported. It was basically the same temperature as outside, we stayed there at the beginning of a particularly chilly March.

Shower temperature was a joke, all over the place, difficult to get hot enough. There was hot water in the sink tap but the shower seemed to have too much cold to rise above tepid.

The walls in our room, which was built fairly recently and tacked onto the original historic building, were too thin. We were slightly disturbed by our neighbours returning and able to hear movements and muffled conversation. Fortunately they weren't too rowdy.

The swipe card to our room suddenly stopped working mid stay necessitating a frustrating trip back and forth to reception.

The one lunch we had there was ridiculous and overpriced. On the package deal they give you £10 credit towards lunch but that doesn't go very far. A steak was £16, which is not unreasonable for a good quality. However I didn't get to find out about the quality as first they were out of steak... then they were out of lamb... then they were out of salmon... honestly the poor waiter was back and forth to the kitchen like the Monty Python cheese sketch. So finally I had to settle for a burger which at £14 pounds was ridiculously overpriced and with attendant fries was totally contrary to the healthy rational for attending a spa.. I am used to inner city prices and you could get the same or better for around a fiver at most pubs. To add insult to injury, my partner had the £12 bean burger which again was hideously overpriced as it was suspiciously similar to a Linda McCartney vegetarian 200g patty, which retail at £1.19 for four, that's a whopping 4000% markup! This was at 1:15pm on a Friday, so as it seems highly unlikely that this busy kitchen actually suffered a post apocalyptic food shortage, I am forced to assume the kitchen staff just couldn't be a%sed to cook a slightly labor intensive meal and break their preparations for the evening service.

Our final dinner was slightly marred by 2 extra drinks being added to our bill, luckily we spotted these in time. The wait staff were fine about taking these off when we noticed them and we only signed an amended docket. However the final straw came the next morning when we went to check out and 4 more drinks had suddenly crept in! When we scrutinised our invoice we also noticed an additonal £8 mystery phantom charge with no corresponding receipt. We were forced into the embarrassing situation of debating the minutiae of our expenditures with several sets of onlookers accumulating behind us waiting to check out. After about 5 minutes of us denying these phantom expenditures, she suddenly “found” the actual docket we had signed and started to remove all the bogus charges. It was all highly suspicious and I can think of three possible scenarios to explain:
1) Other guests started using a room number which was not their own. Their tab system is shockingly lax, I was able to order drinks at the bar by merely stating my room number and not showing any form of ID. It wouldn't take a criminal mastermind to figure out a way to scam this foolish system...
2) Staff treated themselves to a few drinks at our expense. Having worked in hospitality myself this is a widespread occurrence in this most underpaid of professions. I never practiced this myself but if you are working in hospo yourself, perhaps at the dreadful Barceló Billesley Manor, I have it on good authority that groups of drunks and wedding parties make far better targets than couples who are only ordering a single glass of wine!
3) There could quite possibly be some deeply sinister “creative accounting” going on at the hotel management level. As my partner wasn't drinking I guess we didn't meet their unofficial minimum spend and I wouldn't be surprised if someone’s bonus probably depends on the hotel meeting some such arbitrary profit target. There are certainly enough trusting souls in this world just signing off on any old invoice to make slipping on a few extra charges here and there a very profitable scam. The mysterious £8 without a docket leads me to conclude this is the most likely scenario. If true, this is a sure sign that the Barceló Billesley Manor is sliding into the whirlpool of disrepute.

This situation was finally resolved after 10 minutes of painful public nit picking. We managed to pay for only the goods and services we had used, halving our initial bogus bill!

Needless to say, we will would strongly recommend against anyone staying in the appalling Barceló Billesley Manor. The points I have made above clearly illustrate their systemic lack of concern for their customers experience, and a possible criminal conspiracy to overcharge....

This spa holiday was supposed to be relaxing but ended up stressing us a great deal.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank slymagpie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Billesley Manor Hotel

Property: Billesley Manor Hotel
Address: Billesley | Near Alcester, Stratford-upon-Avon B49 6NF, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Warwickshire > Stratford-upon-Avon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon
#9 Luxury Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Billesley Manor Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 16th Century, four-star Billesley Manor Hotel has 72 bedrooms and sits in 11 acres of beautiful countryside just outside the medieval town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. Visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, discover the myths and magic of Warwick Castle, then enjoy a quiet moment in the hotel’s library, where legend claims that Shakespeare penned As You Like It.A beautiful country retreat with a Health & Leisure Club that features an indoor pool and outdoor tennis court. The hotel also has a listed 100-year-old topiary garden and fountain. The 2 AA Rosette Stuart Restaurant serves modern British food made from seasonal, local produce. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Stratford Upon Avon
Stratford Upon Avon Barcelo

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