I'd booked Baskerville Hall Hotel for a special treat for my husband's 40th and we've also been together 20yrs so I wanted something a bit luxurious and memorable. I'd asked for a whirlpool bath and a four-poster room, but they said they hadn't got any available, but they did offer me an 'executive room'. It sounded promising. Picture the scene - we arrived after dark and drove up a wonderful avenue of old trees with banks of daffodils. The full moon was shining through the branches of a cedar tree as we parked in front of the grand, triple-arched, porticoed entrance hall. Inside the huge doors, the reception hall had authentic stone flags with persian rugs and oak panelling. Reception told us to wait a few minutes before coming down to dine as they had a large party of people but they would be finished soon. We collected the olde-worlde iron key to the room and went up the magnificent stone staircase. Half-way up the stairs is a mezannine floor with a wonderful fire-place flanked by two leather, buttoned high backed chairs. The staircase then splits both ways and leads you to a galleried, domed landing. We put the key in the lock of our door and switched on the light. We both stood there completely gobsmacked by the style of the furnishings. It had been furnished in the worst possible taste of the seventies. The bed was something that would have gone well with Jimmy Saville's chair - it was basically a mattress on the floor, but it did have a built in car stereo and ball shaped lights (no longer working - melted plastic). Not good for my husband's chronic back condition. The dressing table was a weird tube that opened out and all the furniture was a mixture of tatty formica and navy blue carpet. The carpet was threadbear and table lamp falling to bits. All very tacky and tatty. The room was large though with a separate smaller room with a single bed - separated bay a chinzy curtain that didn't meet the floor. The bathroom complemented the bedroom decor by having a suite in mulberry with gold fitments. Anyway, we were tired and it was only for a couple of days so we laughed about it and went down for dinner. The large party of people (walkers apparently) had finished and we had the dining room to ourselves. Limited menu but actually quite nice food. Next morning we went down to breakfast to find that the dining room had been transformed - no longer separate tables - just two long refrectory tables at which the party of walkers were merrily tucking in. No tables for anyone else. Everyone was helping themselves to food from a food bar and no apparent signs of waitresses. We went back to reception and said we were expecting a table for two. They asked us to return in 10 minutes when the party would be gone and the tables cleared. We returned later and still the two long tables were there. We ate alone at one huge table while an equally bemused couple ate at the other one. We spent the morning out and about. That evening, the hotel was also being used for a private disco that night. Hundreds of teenagers milling about. It got to midnight and we could still hear the boom-boom-boom from below.
It got later and later with no sign of abating so by 2:20am we were completely frustrated and threw in the towel, packed our bags, paid for the one night we had stayed and drove the long journey home. The best part of the weekend was coming home. A very memorable 40th birthday and quite the oddest and most disappointing hotel I have ever stayed in. They haven't got a clue. I cannot imagine why they think they can describe it as an 'executive' room - it was hideous. It was such a shame that such a lovely old building has been spoiled by such dubious taste and that other people will book breaks expecting a lovely country hotel and end up in something more like a youth hostel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Built in 1839 by Thomas Baskerville, this historic building still displays the oak panelled dining room, ornate cornices, heated indoor swimming pool and restaurant, two bars, many outdoor pursuits set in 130 acres of Welsh countryside.Executive style rooms with four poster beds to Standard accommodation.Hay on Wye is just over a mile away, renowned for the numerous second hand book shops and its Literary Festival.Great walks, Offas Dyke and The Wye Valley Walk to name just two with magnificent scenery in the Brecon Beacons and Blackmountain National Park. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Baskerville Hall
- Baskerville Hall Hotel Hay-On-Wye, Wales