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.
- 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