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“Secret Escape”

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Holbrook House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Wincanton
Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
96 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Secret Escape”
Reviewed 11 June 2014

We booked a couple of nights here through Great Escapes and that is just what it was, a great place away from it all. I have stayed in Wincanton a few times when visiting my brother, but didn’t know this hotel existed, what a find. When we arrived we were a little early, but hoped that a room may be ready. The lady on reception was very friendly and eager to please, called the house maid who came down with the key to our room and told us that she had just finished. Great, so we dropped our stuff in the room which was large, very clean and with a very large comfy bed. We then had a drink and a sandwich on the patio in the sun. In the evening there are a couple on nice lounges to sit and have a pre-dinner drink. The restaurant if not over crowded, plenty of room between tables and the food was excellent, as was the wine! Breakfast was good too, in the same restaurant, with self-serve drinks and fruit etc, with a nice menu for the cooked food. The hotel staff were all great. It is well cared for and very clean and quiet. There are some nice grounds to walk in and a spa and pool if you wish.All in all a very nice place to spend a couple of days away. Recommended

Room Tip: Bincombe Beeches,great room.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jim s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
darrenmcginley, General Manager at Holbrook House Hotel, responded to this review, 29 July 2014
Dear jim s,

Thank you for your comments. It is good to receive such positive feedback and I have passed it on to the staff team here at Holbrook.

Kind Regards
Darren McGinley
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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593 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Surrey
Level Contributor
124 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

We booked 1 night on a dinner bed and breakfast basis for a special celebration with my sister and her husband, we were not disappointed. When we pulled up in the car we were pleasantly surprised as the hotel is charming and when we walked around the side to the gardens we were so impressed by the views and how well maintained the grounds were with a look of secret garden nooks and crannies. The rooms on the top floor were spacious and comfortable. Dinner was nice as was breakfast. Our only criticism was the service at breakfast as there appeared to be insufficient staff but that is a minor factor in our overall stay, we all said we would like to return.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AshteadCandS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
darrenmcginley, General Manager at Holbrook House Hotel, responded to this review, 29 July 2014
Dear AshteadCandS,

I am delighted you enjoyed your recent stay with us and managed to make the most of our lovely grounds as well. We do hope that you will make a return visit to Holbrook.

Kind Regards
Darren McGinley
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

This review is a result of numerous requests being ignored by the management at the hotel.

My friend and I went to the spa for a half day pamper experience. The cost was £90 per person and this included a back massage, mini facial, afternoon tea and use of the spa.

When we arrived at the spa we were met with a lady who gave us an itinerary of when our treatments and afternoon tea would be (we did not get a choice of times) pointed to various doors to explain what they were and left us to get on with it. This was not the welcome drink and tour we were promised in the confirmation email.

We then changed into the bathrobe and slippers provided and went for our treatments. The treatment rooms were upstairs away from the rest of the spa which surprised us, but the treatments were good and the girls were friendly.

We then made our way to the pool area. Unfortunately we discovered it is NOT a spa. It is a leisure club used by hotel guests and paying members. There is a steam room and sauna and a pool with a Jacuzzi attached. There is no seating area at all in the pool area so (as I am pregnant and didn't want to use the steam room etc) we were forced to sit in the jacuzzi for an hour until afternoon tea. Several times while sitting in the jacuzzi both my friend and I had to get out to wipe out eyes with our towels because they were stinging so badly.

After a not particularly relaxing time we got out to get dressed. The changing rooms are not at all luxurious and are very much standard leisure centre changing rooms. After wrapping our wet swim wear in our plastic slipper wrappers because there was no bags for wet clothes left on the reel, we went into the Stables for afternoon tea.

We were served by a very young guy in tracksuit bottoms and t shirt who was running in and out. When we were served our afternoon tea it came on a tower with scones, cakes and sandwiches. When we picked our sandwiches up we were disgusted to see that two of the sandwiches had mould on them. We immediately alerted the lady working on reception. She apologised and took the sandwiches away. She then brought new ones and assured us the bread was fresh - clearly it wasn't! She also said there would not be a charge for the afternoon tea.

Unsurprisingly we were not keen to eat the sandwiches and made to get our money back and leave. When we approached reception the same lady said she hadn't realised we had bought afternoon tea as part of a package and proceeded to put two passes into our hands for a 7 day pass to the spa. We politely declined as my friend lives 4 hours away and I live over and hour away, as well as the fact that we would not want to come back anyway! We asked that she refund us as agreed.

The lady then became very sullen and said she did not know the percentage to give back. I suggested the price you would pay for it individually which was £9.50 per person. She then silently lead us to the cafe and handed us back £19 out of the till stating she could not speak to the manager as she was in a treatment and could not be disturbed. We thanked her and made our way to the door. At this point I was already ready to complain to the management about our experience, not knowing it was about to get worse!

As we went to leave she called me back and asked where the passes were she tried to give us. I replied we had handed them straight back to her. She then made me wait there (open mouthed) While she checked the desk to ensure I was telling the truth! She then let us go when she found them.

My friend and I left in utter shock. She is getting married in September and due to my pregnancy I have not been able to be bridesmaid or attend her hen do. This was supposed to be a treat from me to her in lieu of those things but I could not have felt more embarrassed that I took her to that place.

When I got home I emailed Victoria Kingston who is the manager of the spa and listed all of the things that had happened and stated it was not worth the £180 I paid, highlighting my disgust at the way I was accused of taking the passes. Her reply was that she was sorry we had not enjoyed ourselves, blamed the stinging eyes on my pregnancy (my friend is not pregnant and had the same problem) and barely alluded to the behavior of the receptionist except to say she doesn't know why she would have done that. She then offered me a 2 course meal in the restaurant.

I replied and said I was not satisfied with her response and the offer of a meal after being served mouldy sandwiches was not exactly appropriate. I also explained AGAIN that my friend and I did not live nearby and would not travel all that way for food we were suspicious of! I asked for a full refund and waited for a reply. And waited and waited. After just over a week I phoned her and was told she would phone me back. I then phoned again the next day and finally received a call back. She said she had informed the hotel manager - Darren McGinley - and she thought he had been in touch. She explained that he was happy with the offer of the meal. I then asked her to send me a copy of their official complaints procedure and get Darren to phone me. She of course didn't do either of these things.

After waiting for 2 weeks I finally got a letter in the post from Darren and a voucher...For a meal in the restaurant!

I am now sending back the letter and the vouchers and instead have published the abismal service we received at the spa on Trip Advisor.

As I said in one email to Victoria I have no idea if this has been a one off incident or a systematic problem with customer service and APPALLING attitude (I fear the latter) but I wouldn't go near this 'spa' again if you paid me.

Darren McGinley please do not bother relying to this review with an inaccurate justification or vague apology, I am very much not interested.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
15 Thank Amy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014

Booked through travelzoo, dinner, bed and breakfast, very good value for money, room on the top floor was very large and comfy, food was good and breakfast very good, would recommend, and go again, very relaxing.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
darrenmcginley, General Manager at Holbrook House Hotel, responded to this review, 29 July 2014
Dear Tina G,

I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us booked through Travelzoo and look forward to seeing you again.

Kind Regards
Darren McGinley
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014

Driving into its grounds on a clear spring day and seeing Holbrook House was such a delight my car almost collided with a member of the hotels staff. Such a gracious lady and one never to bear a grudge I’m told, smiled at me later and reminded me of that first and almost theatrical brief encounter that led to many apologies. The room I had particularly requested, Pensellwood, was ready and as I walked in, it was as though I’d returned only minutes after leaving some two years before. Staff were also, and as before, accommodating and generous and suggested I should tour the grounds, if I wished, before dinner. The grounds, as is the hotel, are as spacious as they are colourful, a veritable garden of Eden. My exercise over, I returned to my room and gazed out its many windows over the most succulent green I can ever remember. Later drinks and canapés were served in the Morning Room and I so much enjoyed being there that I had little inclination to leave for the dining room. Dinner was superb and beautifully served and marred only by one of my wretched, and hapless, friends telephoning to remind me of some appointment or other. This impertinence only emboldened me to ordering more wine. My only regret is that I had not discovered this oasis years before. Thank each and all of you at Holbrook House. Next time I intend to indulge myself in their spa and other health things that the hotel so famously offers; much like a 21st Century Colonel Blimp..

Room Tip: Try Pensellwod if available...You will love it.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
darrenmcginley, General Manager at Holbrook House Hotel, responded to this review, 29 July 2014
Dear Michael S,

Thank you so much for your kind comments after your stay with us. We look forward to enjoying your company next time you are visiting Wincanton from Australia.

Kind Regards
Darren McGinley
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014

Booked 1 night for our 29th Wedding Anniversary through Travelzoo. Very impressed on arrival with the look of the Hotel. Had a Garden Room which had a nice sunny patio which we were looking forward to sitting in the sun and enjoying a celebratory drink. Unfortunately our room was awful very dirty, a bed that looked like somebody had just got out of, stained and pubic hairs,a dirty knife and spoon in the sink, filthy doormat and a dirty mouldy bathroom. Rang reception to be told the Hotel was full so my husband and I decided we would leave, to which we were then offered an alternative room in the main house, which we accepted simply because it was getting late in the day and we knew we had a two hour drive home and didn't really want to celebrate our anniversary back at home. The room in the main house was cleaner but still had issues. The duty manager dealt with the situation really well but unfortunately the damage was done. The meal in the evening was ok, breakfast in the morning was ok. There was a different set of staff when we checked out and we were not even asked by the receptionist about our stay. It's does make you think that if you have a Travelzoo voucher you are not offered the same level of accommodation as a full paying guest, but then every guest is a possible returning customer.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lindablower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
darrenmcginley, General Manager at Holbrook House Hotel, responded to this review, 29 July 2014
Dear lindablower,

I am so sorry that your stay to celebrate your Wedding Anniversary was not enjoyable. I have spoken to all the staff concerned and can assure you that guests booked through any company such as Travelzoo are treated the same as any other hotel guest.

Regards
Darren McGinley
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Normandy, France
Level Contributor
46 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2014

Ex senior contributor returns.We have just had a Secret escapes break at Holbrook House.From the moment of arrival we were made to feel at home.If you are looking for a character,homely hotel, this is the One.The General Manager & his staff, (Apart from Two) are brilliant & attentive.Health club & spa excellent.Cannot Wait To Return.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Churchfield2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
darrenmcginley, General Manager at Holbrook House Hotel, responded to this review, 29 July 2014
Dear Churchfield 2014,

I am delighted you enjoyed your recent stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back to Holbrook in the near future.

Kind Regards
Darren McGinley
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holbrook House Hotel

Property: Holbrook House Hotel
Address: Wincanton BA9 8BS, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Wincanton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Wincanton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Holbrook House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Holbrook House is a privately owned Georgian country house with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, set in twenty acres of unspoiled woodland and rolling pastures. Surrounded by the abundant nature, wildlife and sparkling rivers of southwest England, Holbrook lies within easy reach of London and the Midlands. Holbrook, a unique home in the country, is the perfect venue for your next leisurely holiday, romantic break, or special event. AA 3 Star (85%) - 2 AA Rosettes ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holbrook Hotel Wincanton
Holbrook House Hotel Wincanton, Somerset

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