It is very difficult when you have had a really lovely stay, a most enjoyable time and were treated with great assistance, to criticize. But this lovely established little treasure really needs some serious attention as its standards are slipping.
The positives are numerous. The position is outstanding – minutes from Broadway’s magnificent chocolate box village, quiet and set in wonderful gardens.
Our room was an absolute delight. Beautiful in fact. Absolutely comfortable with central views across the gardens through a stone framed, leaded original window.
So secure is it that no keys are given to rooms. Doors remain unlocked. I must confess that was a little difficult to adjust to (being from London I can’t believe that I did)!
The bathroom was great. A bath, separate shower, basin, space to put your things, well fitting dressing gowns, slippers. Great TV choices, comfortable bed and pillows. All quite lovely.
But everything lacked a little ‘ chic elegance’ – that magic ingredient that sets Relais & Chateaux hotels apart.
For example, the staff are wonderful and helpful but a little surly. They simply don’t ‘think’, they only smile or speak when spoken to. As charming as they were they were sloppy. Particularly in their dress. Some staff were a little 'scruffy. Shoes weren't clean. Simply not 'bandbox'. And the service lacked the professional smoothness that is expected.
I seriously cannot remember what we had for dinner. Only that it was ‘edible’ but nothing outstanding. And it was not served well. Not a good sign, really.
Breakfast was a serious let down. The weather was beautiful and guests were sitting outside. There was no-one to greet us or tell us what the routine for breakfast was. We sat ourselves down. After 10 minutes my husband had to find someone to ask for some service.
We were steered inside to take our fruit and cereals, only to find the bowls depleted. Again we had to go in search of someone to replenish them.
My husband ordered the full English breakfast and I the grilled whole kipper (a particular favourite). We asked for both brown and white toast of which white only arrived 10 minutes before the breakfasts. We asked for more, which arrived 10 minutes after we finished. The Kipper arrived complete with an overly acidic and unpalatable lemon sauce (not mentioned on the menu). I had to wait another 15 minutes for a simple grilled replacement. What arrived was a much smaller fish that had curled from cooking too fast. It was awful.
This is not an inexpensive establishment and to maintain it’s Relais entry it needs seriously re-thinking. If nothing changes I will be tempted to believe that Relais & Chateaux listings are bought, not earned. And if that proved to be the case I would think twice before using the guide in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the most elegant country house hotels in the Cotswolds, Buckland Manor is tucked away in a tranquil corner of the village of Buckland, next to the old village church. Set in 10 acres of grounds, which blend seamlessly into the village, the beautiful manor house is unmarked by the passing of time; it is an idyllic setting from which to enjoy an exceptionally warm welcome, tantalising menus lovingly crafted from the ‘market garden of England’ and breath-taking Cotswold scenery. Buckland Manor truly encapsulates the feeling of being at the home of a friend. A very good friend who produces afternoon tea on request, fine aperitifs before dinner, suggests the perfect wines and doesn't mind how late you get up before serving a hearty breakfast. We kindly advise that Buckland Manor offers quality time for family and friends, where staying and dining is a more adult affair, so we ask that children are aged ten years and over. ... more less
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