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“beware of dinner prices!”

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Billesley Manor Hotel
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“beware of dinner prices!”
Reviewed 5 April 2011

We stayed at the Barcelo Billesley Manor for two nights in March 2011. The room was very spacious with a dressing-room area.

Beware of dinner – we were asked on checking in if we’d like a table for dinner. Having travelled several hours we didn’t want to get back in the car and go out again so agreed to a table for dinner. We sat by a lovely log fire with a G&T while looking through the menu - no prices on it (gives a clue perhaps!) When we asked the price it was £37.50 per person for three courses. Normally we would only eat two courses but this was three courses, no other option, so we went for it. The food was OK, quite average but nothing to write home about, so to speak. The service was good although almost every member of staff is Polish – nothing against this, don’t get me wrong, they were wonderful and all spoke excellent English and were extremely attentive, and smart and professional.

So, dinner, to sum up was £37.50 each plus a bottle of wine, the cheapest at £18 odd made a bill of best part of £100!!!! There is a pub less than half a mile away that would undoubtedly have cost a lot less and indeed a Wetherspoons in Stratford where we ate the second night for less than £15 for the two of us including a pint of Guiness and a glass of merlot and was excellent.

Our room was in the outbuildings, previously a barn I imagine. The night’s sleep was good in a lovely comfy bed, a “Hypnos” bed, well known for quality and comfort apparently. Ours was a “zip&link” so two 3ft beds zipped together with a very thick, cosy mattress protector on top, superb!

A major disappointment was a large old-fashioned TV that only had the basic five terrestial channels, archaic really! Wi-fi was available but not free. The plumbing was extremely noisy when we turned on our cold tap – in fact it was possible to play a tune on it but I’m sure our neighbours didn’t appreciate it! To be serious, we had no noise whatsoever through the walls or ceiling, it was remarkably quiet (apart from the plumbing!).

Now we move on to breakfast – this is buffet style with cold plates and lukewarm food, mushrooms of the tinned or frozen variety, eggs well congealed, bacon – what bacon? “Oh sorry, we ran out of bacon so chef has gone to the local shop to buy some, it will be ready in a few minutes”!!! It wasn’t though … toast was served along with lukewarm tea and coffee as soon as we were seated. In balance there was plenty of cereal, croissants (excellent!) and fresh fruit on offer so you would never leave hungry.

We used the spa - pool, sauna and steam room only – all no problem, very pleasant. Perhaps the best feature of this entire stay was the Adonis-like male member of staff who draped himself about around the pool while off-duty, reading the paper and taking a dip –mmmm – certainly made my stay worth it!!!

Would I recommend this hotel? Yes of course, especially when it’s on a special offer (as it was for us) such as two nights for the price of one – even better, look out for the offer that includes dinner on the first night!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KLK1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (546)
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English first
Essex
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2011

We came to this wonderful hotel around 2 years ago now. (I catching up in all my travelling lol)

We had a luxurious barn, huge and very very nice !

My husband had a drivers dream day just 30 minutes away so this hotel location was perfect for us.

The hotel itself is old but very beautiful and romantic. The staff were lovely too as nothing was too much bother. At dinner, well probably one of the best meals of our lives, trully yum !

If you are going here for a romantic break, you will love it, we did.

Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank amanda-tony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Livingston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
107 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2011

Stayed here for a couple of days due to a business meeting at the hotel so I wasn't paying the bill for the room or food. Found the hotel to be a bit out of the way if you wanted to venture into Stratford and roughly 10quid for a taxi one way.
The room was reasonable but a bit too old fashioned for me with flowery bedlinen and curtains. It was a reasonable size with the usual facilities you'd expect, trouser press, tea/coffe facilites and a desk.
The hotel itself is a very impressive stately home with a spa, small pool with a sauna, steam room and gym. I did like the feel of the building and it does take some time to get used to where things are. I thought the service was excellent, from the reception staff to the breakfast/restaurant staff to the bar staff. All provided a very high level of customer service. The food was of a high standard and was well presented. Although I didn't organise the meeting I thought the facilities were pretty good.
The hotel did have wifi but there was a charge which was slightly disappointing.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Antho909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter, United Kingdom
1 review
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
Worcester, United Kingdom
1 review
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
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
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
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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
#10 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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