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“Hospitality heaven!!!”
Review of The Drawing Room

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The Drawing Room
Ranked #6 of 16 Builth Wells B&B and Inns
Reviewed 4 April 2012

This place is an utter gem! My partner discovered The Drawing Room via the Mr & Mrs Smith website and obtained a fantastic midweek deal. As part of that deal we had to dine in the restaurant for both nights. I can honestly say that this was the best thing to happen to us! We were the only couple in the drawing room for both nights and were treated to Melanie & Colin's gastronomic delights and amazing hospitality.

We stayed in Oliver. The room was beautifully furnished and the bathroom (fitted out with Fired Earth) was of the highest quality. The free standing bath next to a window overlooking the fields opposite was a particularly nice touch. The bed was comfortable and the temperature of the room was just right. There are a few simple guidelines and suggestions about your stay in the welcome file, but they are there to enhance your stay...not hinder it! And if you like peace and quiet and absolutely no light pollution this really is the place to go. Apparently quite a lot of traffic used to pass the house but since the bypass was put in at the end of last year hardly any traffic passes by.

We absolutely love what Melanie and Colin have done at The Drawing Room, and their concept is really not hard to understand....it really is a restaurant, with rooms. I am not entirely sure that the negative reviewers understand what this means. What it meant to my partner and I was that after a day driving through the beautiful Elan Valley (a great suggestion from Melanie) and exploring beautiful Wales, you can arrive back in the late afternoon and have a well deserved cup of tea. Then, when you are ready, it's downstairs for a pre-dinner drink in the lounge next to the wood fire, all the while salivating over the dinner menu (which was different on both nights). Melanie then invites you into the very cosy dining room with exquisitely chosen cutlery, glassware and décor and some light music playing in the background. You can then choose from the very well put together wine list which Melanie will gladly help you with should you require assistance matching food and wine. The food really is phenomenal and could rival any top restaurant in my opinion. Service from Melanie was exceptional; friendly and relaxed, yet efficient and attentive and NEVER rushed. The dishes were delicious, locally sourced, beautifully constructed and presented. Coffee and petit fours are extra, but my goodness, the coffee is delicious and you get cream with it, not milk! Heaven! The petit fours are also hand made and to die for. Well worth the extra few pounds in my opinion.

I cannot stress enough what a wonderful couple Melanie and Colin are, and Melanie's hospitality was extremely professional but incredibly friendly. My partner and I cannot understand the negative comments (all be it very few) about Melanie or her service. If you want to sit in your room all day watching TV and surfing the internet, this place is not for you. I disagree with a previous negative comment comparing The Drawing Room’s prices to London prices. I think it is extremely good value for money and in any case, nowhere in London would you get the surroundings as well as the exceptional product on offer at The Drawing Room.

Thank you both for a truly memorable stay. We are already planning our next visit already!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Paolo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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63 - 69 of 110 reviews

Reviewed 27 March 2012

I stayed in October 2011. Only reason I didn't write a report earlier because I felt I had nothing to add to all the raving positive comments.
However I just read the one negative comment and feel it deserves setting straight.
I have experienced nothing but friendliness and a great stay at the Drawing Room. Melanie, the owner is correct she openly states everywhere the difference between her and Colin's house and a regular hotel or B&B. It is just not the same having a hotel or having guests stay in your private home. I don't understand what is so difficult about respecting opening ours? The requirement of being downstairs 30 min. ahead of the booked dinner time appears only logic as it is not in place to scrutinize guests but to allow both Melanie and Colin to supply the exquisite standard of care at what they do. I very much appreciated this attention to detail and have to say this policy resulted in a much shorter waiting time than is to be expected with this calibre of cuisine! If you have ever attempted to cook on a high professional level you will understand that what Melanie and Colin manage to offer between just the two of them requires a high level of organisation and discipline as well as skill. Most places operate with unqualified staff which is often underpaid and as a guest what you deal with is a level of motivation and service that matches. Here you're being served masterly by the owners themselves. If you can not see the difference or decide you are unable to tolerate what little inconvenience (I'd rather call it respectful guest behavior) this special setup needs you can easily stay away because the hotel describtion is 100% true about these details. Writing a rude review is indeed not fair and leaves a totally distorted picture far from what I've experienced. I would recommend the Drawing Room to anybody with an appreciation for great food and an impeccable room without the stiffness most 5 star hotels come with. I wouldn't bring my children as I'd be afraid they'd harm the interior or disturb the quiet atmosphere. More a place where you can enjoy yourself on your own or with a friend or partner. Most definitely this has been the best travelling experience I've had thus far. Based on all the raving reviews my expectations were high but the experience was still exceeding them. I'll try to be back! A special treat was the great selection of DVD's. The location was perfect for me due to the proximity to Builth Wells where I went to attend a sale.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Kareen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2012

My wife and I chose the Drawing Room as where we would celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and it was a decsion well made. From the outset, arriving after a visit to the nearby red kite feeding station, we were made to feel very welcome and enjoyed a very welcome pot of tea and cake. We stayed in the Oliver room, which was beautifully decorated and furnished and had a magnificent roll top bath with a view from the bathroom window over green fields. The set up whereby you arrive downstairs 30 minutes in advance of your prebooked table time for dinner works really well as you can have a long chat over the menu with a drink and sets off the mood perfectly. Both evening meal and breakfast the next day were superb. A highly relaxing and memorable stay!

Room Tip: Oliver is a great room!
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Bristolcitytillidie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Stayed here with my wife for a getaway evening. The house is very tastefully decorated and has a really warm and cosy feel about it. The food is fantastic, well deserving of the two rosettes and amazing value for money (£35 per head for 3 courses, a bargain in my book). The wine list is almost exclusively French (at least the red wine seemed to be) which is a shame but nonetheless what is available is all very good. We didn't get to sample breakfast as we had to head off early which was a shame but Melanie was very accommodating and gave us coffe and toast early doors. All in all a lovely place and top notch food, recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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2  Thank BennyRS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2012

A weekend in a beautiful home in Wales. We arrived to a lovely welcome and a weekend of wonderful food. I am so glad we stayed for two nights. Dinner each night was a feast of local ingredients beautifully cooked and presented. The wine list is comprehensive, Mel was very helpful and attentive. Breakfast was equally good.

Another reviewer has complained about set times for dinner. Do not be put off by this. Sitting in the lounge for half an hour before we had booked our table was a wonderful opportunity to have a predinner drink, unwind and choose from the great menu.

Our room was lovely, with an ensuite overlooking open fields, a wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing bath.

We will return and recommend this to our friends

Room Tip: We chose the Oliver room, overlooking the garden from the bedroom and open fields at the front.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ann_Andy101009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

We arrived at 3.50pm to find the front door locked. Not realising we were ten minutes premature the welcome was extraordinary. 'You're too early, we don't open until 4. I'll have to get my wife'. Door closed. The wife wasn't there, we offered to come back later, but were grudgingly allowed to enter. What a great start to our relaxing break in Wales.
We know it's a restaurant with rooms but really, a cup of tea at 4.30 with no possibility of a piece of cake or even a biscuit? Does that make sense? Dinnertime is pre-booked and you'd better get down there 30 minutes beforehand, as directed, or there will be cursing in the kitchen. Ours was booked for 7pm, no options, so that meant getting down for 6.30- really? Yes, definitely.
That said, the food is fabulous. The diners from their their very few rooms have to enter the space at their allotted time, so that means eating alone in the main if you're the first ones in. Still, it was beautiful.
Breakfast, slightly more relaxed, though not so you can't have porridge and scramble as they are both main courses. Not without a debate that is.
Then there's the closed door policy; you can stay in the hotel after 11am, but you can't come back in until 4 or get even a coffee. So don't go thinking this is anything other than an upmarket B and B. They need the time to prepare the rooms and the dinner so guests, out during daylight hours. Isn't that a bit like Blackpool?

Room Tip: Otis is very small and very Laura Ashley.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Carolyn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ownerWales, Owner at The Drawing Room, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2012

How sarcastic and rude!

This "review" perfectly demonstrates how this couple were towards us, our business and home. The contempt Colin and I felt from this couple from the first encounter until they checked out was palpable.

They have been extremely liberal with the truth about timings here. They arrived at 3pm. (by the way our front door is locked until 4pm, because that's when we open). I was in the laundry room outside working. Colin answered the door and explained we don't open until 4pm but would get me anyway to check them in. The door was not closed on them because when I arrived they were in the lounge waiting?

When guests book they are encouraged to reserve the time they want dinner in advance and we space the timings. This is sensible because otherwise it's possible that everyone will arrive for dinner at the same time. We simply cannot serve drinks, cook and wait on tables all at once. We ask that if guests want drinks in the lounge and look at the menu before going to the table then please come down half an hour before they are booked.

The condescending questioning of everything and susbsequent disparaging review from this couple was just not called for or fair.
We are not a hotel, b&b or guest-house. We are a Restaurant with Rooms.
Our terms and conditions and what's on offer and what is not is clearly documented everywhere.
Melanie Dawson

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2011

Well last Saturday (16th) we stayed at the Drawing Room again. We have been visiting now for five years I think, either staying overnight, or over the last 2 years since they re-opened just having dinner as we have moved close enough to warrant one of us not drinking for the evening to sample Colin's excellent food. The food and service were top notch as ever with the usual warm welcome, wonderful food (if you are a vegetarian please tell Melanie when you book because Colin really does have some specials up his sleeve, but it does help if they know in advance) and some very reasonably priced champagne. What we would mention is that as well as changing the dining room round (very nice it is too) the Cwmbach bypass has now been completed so it is now much quieter. We stayed in Oliver (as usual) and we couldn't believe the difference it has made. This made the visit even better than before, it really is a treat to have such a lovely place to escape to!

Room Tip: Oliver is the biggest room, and now the bypass has opened nice and quiet too.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank mark h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Drawing Room

Address: The Drawing Rooms The Drawing Rooms Cwmbach, Builth Wells LD2 3RT, Wales
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Builth Wells
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Builth Wells
Price Range: £67 - £138 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Drawing Room 5*
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
The Drawing Room Hotel Builth Wells
The Drawing Room Builth Wells, Wales

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