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“Pleasant surprise”

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Willersley Castle Hotel
Ashbourne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Pleasant surprise”
Reviewed 23 December 2013 via mobile

We stayed at Willersley Castle on Saturday 21st December just for one night but would have liked to stay for longer. Wasn't expecting much based on the price we paid, but we were very pleasantly surprised and will definitely go back, hopefully for longer next time. We paid the extra few pounds for a family room and it was huge. Lovely quiet room with a nice comfy bed, so had a great nights sleep. It isn't five star but fantastic value for money so can definitely recommend a stay here.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Lorraine2209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
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English first
Boston, Lincolnshire
Level Contributor
105 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2013

This was the 5th visit to Willersley Castle for my wife and I. Once again we received a very warm welcome upon arrival. Our 1st floor en suite double room was very comfortable and provided wonderful views over the River Derwent. The 200 year old Grade II listed building is in a spectacular location. The restaurant food was very good - with bottled wines, beers, cider etc. available at lunch or dinner. We find it most enjoyable to share a table and chat with other diners. (as host Betty says: "A stranger is a friend you've not yet met"). We managed a couple of swims in the lovely pool - especially after a 7.5 mile walk along the Cromford Canal and up to Riber Castle on a gloriously sunny day. (It was hard to believe it was only 1 week before Christmas!) The area is great for walking - short or long. If you like bookshops - Scarthin Books opposite the pond in Cromford - is a must to visit! Walk down the drive and around the side of the Parish church to go a short distance along the Derwent and take the path up to the cliff top viewing area - opposite the Castle. A stunning view for a photo shot!
At Willersley we joined other guests for a short act of morning and evening worship, led by resident hosts John & Betty - who also provided evening entertainment in the music room. We really value the Christian ethos of Guild hotels and the shared fellowship available to anyone who chooses to join in. (we have also experienced stays at sister hotels - Lindors and Abbot Hall). I recently acquired a free Hudl tablet with my Tesco vouchers and found that the hall, main lounge and 1st floor landing signal was okay for my needs. Yes a little slow when multiple users are active on tablets, notebooks and laptops. You need to input the password available from reception. I also asked for a router reboot before my device was recognised. Castle walls are thick - so naturally a challenge for any wifi signal! Yes there is a lift to 1st and 2nd floor of main house. We have also previously stayed in the Mews block. Only a short distance up the drive and nearer the swimming pool. A steep incline but if you need it - staff will take you up in the golf buggy!

Room Tip: Rooms at the front of the Castle have the best views but as soon as you walk out the front door - th...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JohnM57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
136 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2013

I booked the Willersley Castle Hotel for a stay last night (13th December) as a present for my lovely hard working partner who I thought deserved a break. The reviews on here seemed good enough and the photographs looked lovely so that's why I chose this location. However, we arrived and were directed to our room. It was right at the back of the hotel in a really small corridor with such dated décor. The room was small and musty and immediately there were bits of fluff and dirt on the carpet. There was dust everywhere - this place had definitely not been dusted for many many weeks. It was everywhere! On skirting boards, on the doors, window sills and don't even get me started on the bathroom that was thick with dust everywhere. The actual walls and doors were full of dirty black, grey and brown stains. There was thick dust round the rim of the whole room - attachment maybe? The towels provided were also dirty, one of them had what looked like a pizza or pasta tomato stain on it??? The bathroom had insulation tape covering a crack in the floor and a crack on the bath. There were greasy black dirt stains and lines down the bath and the plug hole and sides had previous guests hair in it. The final straw was the taps. The taps had an encrusted rim of filth surrounding them and on that note decided we could no longer stay in that room. We went downstairs to the receptionist to hand back the keys and explain and while my partner was trying to explain he was asthmatic and the dust was affecting his chest she just picked up her phone and put her hand in his face signalling him to be quiet. She continued her rudeness, all she said on her phone in a very ignorant tone was "can you come down please". The manager arrived shortly and asked "What seems to be the problem?". We explained again and she said she found this very hard to believe as the Willersley Castle Hotel never gets complaints regarding cleanliness so we asked her to go and inspect it herself and see all the tissues full of dust in the bin where we had attempted to salvage our romantic night away. It gets worse. A professional establishment would have probably offered one of the two options 1. "I'm sorry why don't you take a seat in our lounge and we will sent someone up immediately to clean the room and provide you with fresh linen and towels" or 2. "I do apologise how about we see if we can find a more suitable room for you tonight". We got neither. We got this - "All I can do is apologise if you ever need accommodation again please get in touch". The manager then asked if we had paid for our stay yet but explained on arrival we were not asked for payment so assumed we would pay on departure (like a lot of hotels do plus you have my debit card details). Oh she was not happy about this and firmly stated "Well you should have paid on arrival" spoken to as if we were naughty little children. This was your receptionists fault for not checking this when we checked in. I found this unbelievable they just allowed us to walk out without a second thought and it actually made me cry when leaving. This was a present for my partner and it was thrown back in my face. They obviously didn't care we had driven a long way to get there and then had to drive a long way back, we had taken leave from work, we had paid a fair amount in petrol to get there - what a huge, disappointing, upsetting, disgraceful waste of our time and money. This is the worst hotel I have ever been to in my life which is sad as the location is lovely. We will never be returning.

Room Tip: Do not book one
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank katenorthwest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kevin G, General Manager at Willersley Castle Hotel, responded to this review, 16 December 2013
Dear Guest

Thank you for your in depth review of Willersley Castle Hotel.

The Room you were allocated on the 13th December was the only double room available and although it is in line for redecoration it does get used on a daily basis and this is the first complaint we have had of this nature. The housekeeping team service the room every day and regularly dust the skirting boards and other areas mentioned. If the housekeeping standards were not to your satisfaction I would like to apologise.

With regards to the response you received from my receptionist and Operations Manager, I have asked for full reports from the two team members you wrote about as well as the other receptionist who was behind the partition in reception. As a result I am quite sure that this situation has been mis understood. The receptionists are trained on receiving a complaint to request the Duty Manager straight away, we take customer service very seriously and if a guest is not happy our key objective is to try to rectify any issues. The receptionist in question has been with us for some time and has an exemplary record of guest satisfaction and is fully familiar with our guest complaint procedure thus she immediately called for the Operations Manager.

The Operations Manager to whom you spoke to came immediately and you said to her “ I'm very sorry but we cant stay here as the room is very dusty” you proceeded to explain about your partners asthma. The Operations Manager did apologise but was unable to offer you an alternative room as we were full, it was quite clear that you would not have been happy in this room which is why she did not offer to have it cleaned. You were clearly upset that the room wasn't what you expected and for this I apologise however I have no doubt that if my Operations Manager could have done anything to rectify the issue, she would have done it straight away. With 28 years experiecne in her trade she really is an asset to the hotel as generally she can find a way of rectifying anything that comes her way.

The reason she asked if you had paid was so that she could refund you had you paid, it was in no way meant to have upset you as she was purely trying to assist you.

You mention early in your review that you booked because our reviews are good, this is a true representation of how we look after our guests and although I am not dismissing your complaint I am very aware and lucky with the dedicated customer focussed team that I have which is why we do have good reviews.

It is a pity that you will not be joining us again as it would be lovely to show you that your experience certainly isn't standard at Willersley Castle Hotel, however you are clearly upset and I once again apologise for this.

May I take this opportunity to wish both you and your partner a Happy Christmas

Kevin George
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2013 via mobile

We recently stayed Willersley Castle for my mums birthday and was very pleasantly surprised. The location is lovely and the view from the windows are amazing. I got some great photos of the sunrise.
The staff were all friendly and helpful.
The room we stayed in was a family room and it was absolutely huge. The rooms aren't exactly modern but we thought this made them quite quirky and unusual. They were also nice and warm. There aren't any tv's in the bedroom but there's a room downstairs where you can watch the tv. We also couldn't get the Wifi working and my signal was poor. But we resorted to good old conversations which kept us entertained!
The breakfast was lovely and you could help yourself to whatever you fancy.
Overall great stay in a great location

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrea B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Midlands, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2013

I was looking for somewhere in Derbyshire that was near to some great walking trails but also had a bit of character and, most importantly, a swimming pool. I was a little dubious when I saw the price per night (only £40 per night Fri-Sun) as thought there must be a catch somewhere. There isn't. The hotel isn't luxurious but it was perfect for what we wanted - a base from which to explore Derbyshire.

The welcome was warm and check-in was effortless. We were given room 33. I'd asked for a double bed rather than twins but we actually had both! Room 33 is a family room with two singles and a double as well as a small seating area with three chairs and a coffee table. There was an ensuite shower room and then, beyond this, a toilet in the turret of the castle! The other turret in the room housed a sole washbasin which would be handy I imagine for four people.

The room was't pretty but it had all we needed and was clean. The view was lovely - overlooking the river at the front of the castle and a perfect vantage point for the sunrise over the peaks. The furniture reminds one of a retirement home (indeed, the TV room downstairs has many armchairs all pushed up against the walls). There's plenty of tea and coffee, milk. etc., a kettle, a hairdryer (and not a bad one either), spare blankets, a fan and an alarm clock. The mismatched toiletries in the bathroom were as expected (i.e. soap x2, shower caps, shampoo, conditioner). I would advise them to offer guests three towels each rather than two but this is a minor problem easily overcome by packing a small hand towel.

As there aren't TVs within the rooms, I took a laptop as we do enjoy watching a film on a Friday evening. The Wi-Fi signal was ok but we didn't have the password so we used a mobile connection. When we did get the password the following day, it didn't work. But, as we can certainly manage without constant internet for two days, we didn't mind.

Breakfast was very pleasing. They offer the usual continental and full English. There were even vegetarian sausages cooked to order which delighted me. A table is reserved for you and this may be with other guests or alone depending on the number of guests. The waiters/waitresses were very helpful and pleasant. I did think it a little odd that breakfast is only served between 8am and 9am but I imagine as the hotel has many walkers and other guests taking part in local activities then most guests want to be up and about early.

We asked about walks in the local area and the receptionist kindly provided us with a large folder of suggestions. They were also able to grant my request of a late check-out at 12pm rather than 10am for no extra charge.

We swam in the hotel's pool around 5pm on the Saturday evening and it was empty which was a bonus. It's a lovely little building on a hill behind the castle and very kept. Towels are provided and lockers don't require any change. The pool is 1.4m deep the whole way along and there's a small children's pool to the side as well.

My only negative comments would be that the bed was a bit hard (but then, for others, it may be perfect) and there was someone hoovering at 6.50am on the Sunday morning which was a tad early as the noise drifted up the beautiful stairwell.

I was concerned that, as an atheist and a young unmarried couple clearly sharing a bed, that there might be an air of disapproval being that this hotel is run by the Christian Guild. I needn't have worried as the staff were as friendly and pleasant to us as anyone else.

We checked out a little before 12pm and that was effortless too. We filled in the comment card and did debate about the question of 'would you recommend this hotel to others?' as whilst we'd enjoyed our stay there, we know it's not a place for everyone. It's basic and unusual but then it's also an absolute bargain, clean and friendly so what's not to like?

Room Tip: The staff are very obliging; I asked for a good view and a late check-out and this was quickly agree...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Flicka1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2013

My husband and I recently stayed 2 nights at Willersley Castle. We stayed in the mews slightly up a hill, separate from the main hotel. The atmosphere in the hotel, is very relaxed and extremely friendly. There was a dance workshop , which meant the main hotel was fully booked for the restaurant evening meal. We had bookend bed only, and added breakfast when we booked in. There was nowhere close to the castle to eat, but we were given a taxi number for town, we decided to have a quite night, and just got some snacks from reception. So it may be worth checking restaurant availability in advance if this is important to you. The breakfast was absolutely wonderful, very fresh, very hot and plenty of food buffet style. The website advises there is no TV in the room, some rooms have internet. We didn't have internet on the second floor in the mews, but again you can get the password and use the internet in the hotel. Shower was lovely and hot, the hair drier was one of the best I have used in a hotel. The bed was lovely and comfortable, and quiet location gave us both a very good nights sleep. Our room was narrow but long. A very peaceful hotel stay. What a view.......

Room Tip: Mews is up a hill, and second floor has narrow staircase. So maybe if you have mobility issues you s...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wild55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
derby
Level Contributor
53 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 October 2013

Stopped here for a hot drink ,were a little disappointed on our last visit as to the quality of the tea bags so have been reluctant to go back. Anyhow we thought we would give it a try, We had tea & a cappuccino both very nice and waiter service & a biscuit at a very reasonable price, looking at the brochure they had 1 night in November £50 for two people inc. dinner and breakfast ,how cheap is that !

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gilkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Willersley Castle Hotel

Property: Willersley Castle Hotel
Address: Mill Lane, Cromford DE4 5JH, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Derbyshire > Cromford
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Cromford
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Willersley Castle Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Willersley Castle is a 200 year old Grade II listed building, commissioned by the great industrialist Sir Richard Arkwright. It occupies a magnificent position on the edge of the Peak District, overlooking the River Derwent.Designed in the Georgian style, Willersley Castle stands in 60 acres of grounds ranging from meadows to limestone crags, on the outskirts of Cromford, just south of the spa town of Matlock Bath.It makes an ideal base for exploring the beautiful Derbyshire Dales and the Peak District National Park. With its dramatic gritstone edges and vibrant limestone valleys, Derbyshire is a walkers’ and climbers’ paradise, full of geological gems like the show-caverns at Castleton and the imposing cliffs of Matlock Bath.The area is steeped in history, from the grandeur of Chatsworth House to the elegance of the spa town of Buxton and the rich industrial heritage of Wirksworth, Cromford, and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Willersley Castle Hotel Cromford, Derbyshire

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