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“Character retreat”
Review of Woolley Grange

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Woolley Grange
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 July 2012

We stayed for two nights in July 2012 with our eight month old twin boys, we chose the package that includes evening meals. We stayed in the Groom double room, which has a small side room/annex, where our boys slept. The room was not one of the reburbished ones, but was clean, large and in good condition, and had a very large bathroom. The staff were friendly and helpful. We made good use of the indoor heated pool, and free nursery. There is a brand new spa with cafe. The restaurant food was excellent, and there was lots of children's plastic cutlery, beakers etc to borrow. The hotel needed a tiny bit more cosmetic work (e.g. blinds in the conservatory were worn) but overall this hotel was not half as beaten up as some older reviews suggest. It is expensive, but we made good use of everything and so I think got better value for money. A couple of tips, they do late bookings, so if you ring on a Thursday and there are rooms free for the weekend you can sometimes negotiate a discount. Restaurant gets very busy as locals also eat there - so book your table time on arrival if you don't want to eat late. Overall, if you want a hotel with character, where they make you feel very welcome, and don't mind the price, and a few patched curtains, then you will probably enjoy this place.

Room Tip: All the rooms are different because it is an old manor house. Phone up and they will talk you throug...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank springy100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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433 - 439 of 454 reviews

Reviewed 1 July 2012

We have just returned from a really wonderful two night stay at Woolley Grange. 20 family members celebrating our parents Golden wedding.
As we met up on the first evening each of us commented on our wonderful rooms, every one perfectly suited each family.
We found with the den and hen house, and the great range of facilities available, that all family members of whatever age (be they adults or children - ours were from 3 to 16) could have real fun together. However, the real bonus was the chance for adult time and relaxation. The grounds, town and surrounding area too are beautiful,
The staff: Every one of the staff was amazing. Every little request, every change of plan or problem was met with yes we can help you with that. So different from the attitude I have come to expect in most places.
The food was fantastic, the chef even shared a few tips! I would say though even the large children portion probably only large enough for children up to about 6. But there are other menus for older children to choose from .
Finally, everyone here has children, we all love children, and we felt comfortable to relax and let our children enjoy themselves too.
I would love to return to this hotel, and to see if the other hotels in the same group can possibly match our wonderful weekend at Woolley Grange!

Room Tip: Talk to the staff and they will match you to your room for view, space, access, whatever you need, a...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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Thank GIZZIBABE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2012

We stayed here recently for 3 nights & felt completely relaxed by the end of our stay. The room we were given (Balcony Hall) had recently been redecorated (we were told) and the decor with v fashionable but comfy at same time. We loved the fact that we could put the children to bed & then go down to the restaurant for dinner with other adults while we left the baby listening machine on.

The food was great - the children loved everything about the place and the staff seemed v happy and friendly. Definitely recommend it.

Room Tip: balcony hall
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank wolseley185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2012

Stayed for one night (during school term) last week with our 3.5 year old.

Very warm and friendly staff (especially Helen ? on the front desk and the excellent Slovakian lady with the glasses in the restaurant).

We actually liked the fact that it was a little worn and shabby - though they are upgrading the property, I hope they don't overdo it.
Part of the charm of the place is that it is like a friend's country house - which aren't usually pristine and "gleaming" as per the Hampshire Four Seasons Country hotel.

As a result it probably would not suit parents who would only enjoy staying in a characterless "new" hotel.

Food was good - definitely very good potential re. awards etc.

Room had been refurbished - excellent little adjoining second bedroom with a tv and floor cushions for kids.

Child monitoring via the room phone worked very well - other hotels have baby monitors that you take to your dinner table in the evening - not good as can disturb other diners.
Here the lady at the front desk would monitor noise levels from the room (via the phone) and come into the restaurant to discretely tell us our child was looking for us.
A nice "homely" touch.

Friendly little spaniel dog wanders around the hotel - great with kids and adds to the atmosphere of staying in someone's country house - rather than an austere hotel.

Excellent, well designed spa with an indoor pool.

Lots of games out on the lawns (croquet, kids tennis, kids swingball, a huge trampoline and a football pitch with 2 kids goals).

Creche is huge - with lots of toys, teddies and activities.

In the kitchen garden there are 2 wendy houses that were more like chalets - as they were so big !
One kitted out as a shop, the other as a house.
In the kitchen garden there is an old Massey Ferguson tractor to play on and some feathered residents - hens, each of which are named - with their own hen house - very cute for little children to watch.

There is also an outdoor climbing frame and slide area for bigger children and a "hen house" which has got Wii's and flatscreen tvs etc.

Our little guy thought he was "in heaven" (he didn't want to leave) - which meant we had an hour or two to read the papers on the terrace in peace !

One tiny issue with our stay was the fact they let the ladies in the creche go home early while we were still at the hotel.
We arrived at the creche after having had lunch to find it closed.
We were leaving that afternoon, had moved our luggage out of the room, but had not yet paid the bill as we were staying around the hotel to enjoy the facilities and have lunch / afternoon tea etc.
Our little guy was the only one who was around to potentially use it that afternoon but the manager should have checked to see if we were hoping to use it before she made the decision to let the ladies go home early.
It's only a minor point as we enjoyed playing in the grounds with our son for the afternoon anyway.

All in all, we really enjoyed our stay there, the homely atmosphere and children's facilities are the main selling points.

Since our stay last week we have been thoroughly recommending the hotel to our friends and will certainly organise to go down again with other families.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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Thank IrishguyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2012

Having read some of the previous reviews I thought we might be slightly disappointed, but we had a simply fantastic stay. Booked quite last minute and arrived at 2.30 so room was not ready (we had been warned that it wouldn't be ready until 3). Staff were extremely friendly at check in and immediately offered tea/coffee and juices/biscuits for the boys in the lounge which was lovely. Our cases were stored and then taken up to the room for us. We were lucky to get an upgrade to a lovely room at the top. The bathroom did look a little tired (no separate shower, paint peeling in places) but somehow this gave the place some character (I know others will disagree) and did not detract from our stay. Kids (aged 2,4) loved the indoor pool (busy, but very new and plenty of woggles!) and had to be dragged away. Enjoyed helping feed the chickens and playing in the wooden hut/shop and vintage tractor ( having a tractor mad son helped). Kids tea was lovely and staff were happy to accommodate request for ice cream, although not on the set menu. Restaurant was very busy at dinner and we waited quite a while to be brought menus and then get our first course. This was going to be my first negative comment, but then a waiter brought us some complimentary champagne to apologise (even before I had said anything) and all was forgiven! Lovely breakfast in the morning, kids enjoyed playing in crèche and after checking out we were still able to use facilities for another swim/play. Staff were excellent and attentive (without being intrusive) throughout. They also very quickly sent an item that we had left behind in our room, by recorded delivery. We can't wait for our next stay!

Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
Thank Heather G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2012

Stayed recently with wife and 10 month old baby plus dog

Pros:

1. Beautiful period building from the outside with lovely maintained grounds

2. If you have children aged 5+ then this could be a good place for if you do not want luxury, but plenty of children activities and room for them to run around

3. Dog had great time, as could roam everywhere and roam off lead on the grounds except for eating areas of course

4. Steriliser, bottle warmer and a plug in mini fridge provided for baby (the best of the pros)

Cons:

1. This is a 3 star hotel NOT a luxury family hotel yet still charges luxury prices

2. Car parking not convenient for hotel (why is this such an issue you might ask?)

I don't think I have ever stayed at a hotel where they do not ask or help you with your bags to your room. For Woolley Grange this is apparently the norm? As we trundled through reception with bags, child in arm and dog on lead, nobody offered to help. Truly disgusting!

3. The room although officially should not be available until 3pm was not ready until 3:30pm. We specifically decided to arrive at about 2:30pm, as one would normally expect a room that is vacated at 11:30am that morning to surely be ready by 3pm, especially considering we would be arriving with a 10 month old baby and would need to get to a room instantly, either for feeding or changing.

4. On arrival we asked for something to eat - a food and drinks menu I hear you cry!! No chance this is Woolley Towers
"ham cheese or tuna my dear" was the verbal option

5. Room not ready - time to change nappy. Wife went into toilet which was dirty and not the most private downstairs toilet Another guest walked in and then left the door open on my wife changing a nappy - you know who you are, you should be embarrassed as a mother yourself!

6. Arrive in room, no tea/coffee making facilities.

7. No safe for personal belongings

8. No mini bar

9. Although room had been newly refurbished and was clean it was not a high quality and lacked any type of sumptuous feel (vinyl flooring to bathroom - do I need to say anymore)

10. Small bathroom, one sink, no separate shower

11. Communal areas in the hotel (close your eyes and hope you get to your destination in the hotel with minimal visual impact - very tired old and grubby)

12. Drink before dinner, never turned up

13. Food - we decided to take ourselves through to the dining area after waiting to long for a drink that never arrived

14. We were not offered the a la carte menu

15. On putting our baby to bed, travel cot provided had no matress, and simply a liner - luckily they had a spare old wooden cot that did have a foam air flow matress. What was concerning was that they thought the cot did not need a matress and that a liner would suffice? That said the gentleman on duty did sort a new cot out immediately

I needed to leave a day early due to work commitments, (a blessing in disguise). I had to get the bill adjusted twice and explain to them there own cancellation policy, otherwise we would have been charged 100% of the full cost of the room again after the initial 20% deposit for the second night we would not be staying

Two things did make us smile as we left. One, the fact that we were leaving, and two that I spotted one of the chefs walking around with an England team logo on his chef hat/cap, which again reminded me this was not a luxury location but that the euro football tournament was about to start!

In some ways I feel we should ask for a full refund for being mis sold what is apparently a "Luxury family hotel" break - feel free to offer us some compensation!

Simply reminding people that you are slowly refurbishing and looking to improve is in itself an admission that you are not there yet.

Until it is, Woolley Grange should not advertise itself as being the fished article. It should adjust its rating/description accordingly





Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
8  Thank OnlyLuxury O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClareHammond, General Manager at Woolley Grange, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2012

Dear OnlyLuxury O

Thank you very much for your feedback and I am delighted there were some pros for you during your stay.

I am sorry the start of your stay did not go smoothly and we did not manage to rectify these issues for you. Under our new ownership we are working on all areas to move forward the products and services we offer. We have started a guest questionnaire feedback form and the response we are receiving is very positive. During May 80% of our guests who responded said they would definitely recommend us to their friends and 18% said they would probably. Guests tell us the standard is very good and we want to keep improving it. We are actively responding to guests feedback by developing what we offer. For example we are currently trialling better quality travel cot mattresses and these will be introduced as soon as we have identified the right one.

Luxury is intangible and personal and what we offer is a homely experience. For example we do not think mini bars and safes are essential for a luxury break, however we do provide fridges for those who find them useful for baby milk. Attention to detail and quality are important so we have refurbished our bathrooms with Amtico floor tiles. Regretably things occasionally do not go as planned and we try to rectify any issue immediately. For example changing the cot for you.

I am sorry we did not meet your expectations during your stay. We will assess and act on your comments as part of our on-going programme of development.

Many thanks
Clare Hammond

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Reviewed 16 May 2012

We booked this hotel for a lovely quite weekend away; it states that it is a Mr and Mrs Smith hotel so for the price we were expecting a luxury weekend. How disappointed we were, we were upgraded to a superior double room though we would never have guessed. The room was extremely tired and the bathroom had a very small bath and no shower. The bed was uncomfortable which led to a night of little sleep and backache the next day. We have stayed in other Mr and Mrs Smith hotels where the rooms for the same price were so much more luxurious. There was no tea or coffee making facilities in the room and the cost of ordering tea and coffee was expensive.

That said they are refurbishing the rooms so they can only improve, the view from our room was beautiful, the setting is very nice and dinner was lovely, though breakfast was disappointing.

Room Tip: Make sure you ask for a room that has been refurbished
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank j0j068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClareHammond, General Manager at Woolley Grange, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2012

Dear jojo68

Thank you very much for your feedback and taking the time to highlight aspects of your stay with us.

I am very sorry to hear your bed was uncomfortable. Within two weeks of buying Woolley in December, our new owners bought new beds for every bedroom. I check the beds with our Head Housekeeper and the suppier, so we ensure it does not affect other guests.

We have recently introduced guest questionanires so we can understand first hand how guests would like us to develop the hotel. We have received a lot of enthusiasm for in-room tea and coffee making facilities, so we are implementing that in the next month.

As you rightly said we have undertaken a programme of refurbishment and guests are benefitting from that straight away. We are not only improving bedrooms but we have also installed a cinema and are working on other area including the menus and wine list.

I very much hope we can encourage you to return and see how Woolley in developing over the forthcoming months.

Best wishes
Clare

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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 Woolley Grange

Address: Woolley Green, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1TX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Wiltshire > Bradford-on-Avon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Bradford-on-Avon
Price Range: £101 - £242 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Woolley Grange 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A family-friendly hotel, restaurant and spa set in 14 acres of lovely grounds on the edge of Bradford on Avon and the Cotswolds. Freshly cooked food from the walled kitchen garden, comfy country bedrooms, open fires, children's club and ELEMIS spa with two swimming pools. Pets welcome too! Only 15 minutes from beautiful Bath...ideal for a town and country break. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Woolley Grange Hotel Bradford-On-Avon

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