My partner and I have stayed in some beautiful B&Bs, that were very reasonably priced. And so perhaps our view of what is "excellent" is distorted.
We stayed 4 nights at Lancers House, and while we DID enjoy our stay, we felt the numerous "excellent" rankings on Tripadvisor were misleading and would disappointment well-travelled souls.
Here are a few of the good things that we appreciated:
- accommodating hosts: Nic and jayne are very willing to help, they're attentive and quick to find the answers to any questions you may have.
- a good breakfast centred around their homemade bread and their own free-range eggs. But to make the breakfast excellent and above average, freshly squeezed orange juice, as well as more fresh fruit and nuts would help (there was a fruit bowl with a few bananas and an apple, but this area is renowned for berries and other fresh fruit like plums).
- good walking area. Just a few meters from the house you will find a bridal path, in one direction, and small country road leading through truly beautiful farm lands, in the other direction. You will need, however, to go a short distance along the very busy A30 to get to these.
Here's why we feel the ranking should be average:
- unreliable hot water. While Jayne was very apologetic and we understood her explanation that there was a full house with everyone trying to get ready at the same time, we feel hot water is the one basic for a place to be ranked excellent.
- no cupboard with hanging space from dresses and other items (you hang clothes at the entrance on the coat rack, which feels disorganised for stays longer than a single night), although they provided a chest of drawers with three drawers and a few drawers in the smaller bed-side tables.
- we booked an executive superking room. Compared to other places we've stayed in, we felt the wording and pricing left us expecting something much larger than it is and perhaps better presented. While it had three windows and was clean, there was really only enough space to walk around the bed if you don't include the narrow entrance hall and the decor is a little impersonal. So good, but not exceptional.
- little but important details like ensuring the toilet seat stays up (my boyfriend had to piddle with one hand holding the seat up), or providing enough towel space in the bathroom for two people (two hooks on the back of the bathroom door would quickly solve this problem). These are such tiny issues that are easily fixed, but make a difference. I'd suggest that Nic and Jayne sleep at least one night in each of their rooms, pretending to be guests with packed bags, to help them understand some of these little frustrations.
- The shower fixture was also unusual - you can't regulate the strength of the flow of the water, and to get to hot water you swing the handle through cold first, so to switch off the water you're forced to finish with a blast of cold water. It does, however, provide a very powerful blast of water.
- The location can't be helped but we felt they're trying to create the impression of a country-retreat. While the eggs and home-baked bread help, the A30 runs directly outside the house and you can definitely hear the traffic most of the day, early morning and evenings if you have a street facing room (despite what some of the other reviewers say). In fact when trucks pass, the room vibrates. It means the establishment is better suited to businessmen staying one night, rather than those looking for a get-away in the country.
I hope greatly that anyone reading this will take it in good spirit - Nic and Jayne are doing their best, but we also feel that guest who have waited all year for an "exceptional country escape" and paying their hard-earned salaries will be disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lancers House is an elegant, licensed guesthouse set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in rural Wiltshire, nestling in 3 acres of its own grounds and benefiting from stunning views across to the downs and over the historic Fovant memorial badges and is conveniently located off the A30.Our rooms are all individually designed and decorated and because we know how important a good night's sleep is, we have supplied all our rooms with beds of exceptional quality ranging from Memory Foam or Relyon to Millbrook and Vi-Spring. Each room has an LCD television and access to all the digital channels, a hairdryer, alarm clock, sewing kits, tea and coffee making facilities and bottles of filtered water come as standard. Every room has its own en-suite shower room complete with heated towel rails and a range of toiletries.We don't believe in hidden extra costs such as parking and have therefore built our own free on-site car park which provides enough space for up to two cars per room. Wi-Fi is available and again this is supplied with our compliments, mobile signals are exceptionally good across the range of networks.When it comes to our award winning breakfasts we try to bring you a piece of "The Good Life" with a large cooked menu to compliment the diverse continental offering. Our breakfast offering includes various vegetarian options as well as homemade produce including marmalade, preserves, sausages and our butter is even home churned. The eggs come from our own free range hens that can be spotted foraging around the grounds and we bake a variety of breads on a daily basis.Why not relax in the guest lounge which is equipped with a TV and comfy sofa's. You could even enrol in one of our artisan bread making courses.Lancers House offers all the comforts of a smart hotel but at bed and breakfast prices and backed up with our personal service.Lancers House is a great base for exploring the South and South/West of England. Just a short drive will enable you to visit the World Heritage site of Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, The New Forest, Wilton House, Sherborne and it's two Castles, Longleat Safari Park or even the Jurassic coast. ... more less
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