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“Really dissapointing”

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Billesley Manor Hotel
Reviewed 23 February 2014

Despite good first impressions when driving up to the Manor - beautiful grounds and house, our experience went rapidly downhill from there.

The reception staff were unfriendly, we were not greeted with a smile and at one point we're asked tiredly "what do you need to know?" when running through the usuals - breakfast time, check out etc.

We overheard that the pool was closed that day from another customer and had to enquire as to why. Reception did not apologise for this or offer any alternative, simply stating there was a chemical problem and were looking into fixing it. Only once I'd visited the spa section of the hotel, was I informed that we could visit another hotel in the chain nearby for free. No compensation was offered, such as paying for travel costs to get us there and back. The pool remained closed for the duration of our stay.

The room itself was situated in what was called the 'Cedar Barns' on the website. This turned out to be a building external to the hotel, also housing meeting rooms for corporate events. As a result, the entrance felt very unglamorous (in contrast to the grand Manor), with loud carpets, harsh lighting and two whirring servers at the door. The room felt no different to a Travelodge - cheap furniture and bedding, no character and little natural light. The hotel website gave the impression of a cosy room with exposed beams which is misleading.

The quilt was stained and the tap in the bath kept falling off. The water temperature in the shower was also very temperamental, going from icy cold to boiling hot within seconds for no reason.

I found the hotels choice to limit the bandwidth unnecessarily mean although they did boast '24 hour wifi', as though this were a benefit.

The breakfast service was over stretched with not enough places to sit and lots of customers milling about waiting. The cooked food was cold, the toaster took 3 goes to toast the bread (after it had stopped catching fire to crumbs and filling the restaurant with burnt toast smell) and the croissants were greasy. The waiting staff themselves were polite and tried their best to accomodate people.

All in all, I was hoping for a luxury break, cosy room and a few nice swims in the pool and was sadly disappointed.

I have left two messages with reception requesting a portion of money back to reflect the fact the pool was not available for use during the stay - one of the main reasons we booked. Having left a message with reception when we checked out, I was assured someone would contact me an hour later; it has now been over a week and I have not heard from anyone. When explaining the issue to reception, I was told that I had paid a 'cheap rate' for the stay. I found this suggestion insulting, as though I should be so grateful for how cheap the rate was (£86.10 for one night, including breakfast), I shouldn't be complaining about the pool, despite the fact that the rate included use of all facilities.

I have spoken to someone today, a week after our stay and have been told again that the Manager will ring me back. This feels like a simple matter that should have been resolved at the time, not requiring me to chase them up. I hope the general Manager will respond helpfully to this review and contact me to refund part of the cost of our stay.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Amy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,414 - 1,420 of 2,214 reviews

Reviewed 21 February 2014

Having booked the hotel as a special treat for my wife I was very disappointed with certain areas of the hotel. One of my reasons for booking this hotel was an expectation of excellence, this was not fulfilled. The window frame in our bedroom was covered in black mould, this was only noticeable when the net curtains were pulled back, which we did to open the window. The bottom bed sheet had a tear in it, The Swimming pool was unavailable for use; while I accept problems happen we were misled regarding how long it had been closed and how long it would remain closed. Whilst there were good points in staying at the hotel, sadly the bad points outweighed them which results in a poor rating.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TrevSher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2014

Thank you for your post in regard to your recent stay. I am sorry that there were aspects which did not meet your expectations on this occasion. I have shared your comments with the Head Housekeeper in regard to your room.

We did experience an issue with the pool during your stay and we relayed as much information as we had at the time, however it is now fully operational.

I do hope that you would stay with us again in the future.

Kind regards

Jason

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Reviewed 21 February 2014

I had a room in the Manor which was the old part of the hotel and I was hoping for something a little charming but I didn't really get that. The bathroom was tired and there were issues with the hot water. The bedroom also needed a makeover and was starting to look very tired.

I though Breakfast and Dinner were average. I was disappointed as the the hotel itself it very impressive from the outside but my experience didn't live upto that. I also though the service was distinctly average. The free WIFI service is also very poor at the hotel.

Perhaps as I was on business my experience was a little worse than other people who have reviewed but I wouldn't return for a leisure visit given my experience.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Veejnas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2014

Thank you for your review following your stay in January. I am sorry that we did not meet your expectations on this occasion in regard to your room and your dining experience.

I do hope that you would consider staying with us again in the future.

Kind regards

Jason

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Reviewed 20 February 2014 via mobile

We have visited Billesley on several occasions since it was acquired by the Barcelo group. This sojourn was one of our most pleasant stays.

The staff are friendly and particularly the restaurant staff who couldn't do enough to make our experience special. The good was excellently prepared nothing was too much trouble especially as this customer has good allergies. Alternatives and freshly made slightly altered versions of the menu were served without fuss and much appreciated. Breakfast was good on the second day the cooked option was a little cold and it became very busy towards the end of service where many of the latecomers became disgruntled at the lack of fayre.

We were offered a Deluxe upgrade as premier club customers and the room was delightful if a little tired. The hotel is in need of a spring clean and update as much of it's decor does look as old as the building itself.

Our only disappointments were the pool was out of action and we didn't find this out until we had changed and walked down to the pool itself. Coupled with 2 days of continued power cuts were we were left in the dark for many hours.

These aside we had a lovely stay albeit busy at times we will definitely return to our favourite rural retreat.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank DaftD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2014

Thank you for your most positive review following your stay this week. I am really pleased to read that Billesley is your “favourite rural retreat”. I am sorry that the pool was closed during this stay but am glad to say is now open once again. The team here regularly read the reviews so thanks for the kind words about the service levels and the quality of food.

I do hope that we will be able to continue to improve and that you will look forward to returning very soon.

Kind regards

Jason

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Reviewed 19 February 2014

Just returned today from a lovely 3 night break at Billesley Manor Hotel. Reception staff are friendly and helpful. In fact all the staff are so well mannered. We stay here at least twice a year and always look forward to a return visit. We enjoyed an evening meal in the restaurant which was superb. The Arundel Family.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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Thank karen a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2014

Thank you Arundel family for your fantastic review, it is always great to receive such feedback from regular visitors, and glad to note that we are your favourite hotel and we hope to remain so.

See you all soon.

Kind regards

Jason

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Reviewed 19 February 2014

Location for Stratford upon Avon is good. £172 for the two of us for two nights through Secret Escapes is good. For that we got a room in one of the new buildings, not in the manor. Our room, No 52, was adequate, very clean and very quiet. It had a hanging rail for clothes and an ironing board in the corner against the wall. When we checked in a couple were complaining that there was no wardrobe; we didn't see it as a huge problem.
Plenty of very hot water in the bathroom though the over-bath shower was tricky to set to the required temperature. Annoyingly though the mirror behind the hand basin is about three feet away from you because of a deep setback to the wall. Also my wife found no socket near the mirror in the bedroom to see while drying her hair.
Unfortunately the pool in the spa was closed as they had a 'chemical problem'. A spa nearby had agreed to let guests use their pool but we didn't bother.
The free wifi worked on the day we arrived but not the next two days. No big problem - we can cope without it but our 3G network did not work there too.
Breakfast is in the manor which has character with wood paneled rooms. Breakfast was good except on the first day they ran out of bacon, sausages and fried eggs at 09:00 so there was a wait and even then only a small quantity was brought which was quickly taken by waiting guests. The next day we went to breakfast at 08:00 and it was much better.
Good overall but not excellent though we would happily stay here again.

Room Tip: Go to breakfast early. It is from 07:30 to 09:30 and hot food runs out later.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank exfordy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2014

Thank you for taking the time to post a review and the photos of your recent visit to Billesley Manor. I am sorry that the pool was closed during your stay, but is now once again fully operational.

I have shared your comments with the team here at Billesley and I very much look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Kind regards

Jason

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Reviewed 19 February 2014

Have stayed at this hotel three times now over the last few years. it's been taken over by a new chain. The hotel is a wonderful place to stay, the grounds take your breath away! The gardeners do a fantastic job with the Yew.
Breakfast outside is great in the summer, have always had a great meal with good service. The rooms are well equipped and very comfortable beds, which is always a MUST for me. No complaints anywhere. Highly recommended hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank doglover4444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
billesleymanor_gm, General Manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2014

Thank you for your recent review and yes we are very fortunate to have such a wonderful setting so near to Stratford-upon-Avon. The gardens are amazing and in such a relaxing environment.

I very much hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back again very soon.

Kind regards

Jason

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £65 - £460 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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