My husband and I were excited to stay at the Rectory having read some glorious reviews. We are regular users of the Mr and Mrs Smith website and have always had good experiences staying in the hotels they represent. However this occasion has left us with a slightly bitter taste.
Upon arrival we were suitably impressed with the wonderful gardens and striking appearance of the exterior building. We were told we had been upgraded, when we explained that we didn't want an upgrade and that we had specifically booked the 'Nimlet' room months earlier, we were informed that it had been given to someone else and it was too late. We were shown to the third floor arctic room called 'Belas knap'.
This room was a massive let down, it is in desperate need of a refurb. The carpet is a disgrace and the bathroom is in need of an update. The shower head and area was covered in lime scale, and there were blood stains on the wall. The room was very warm with low ceilings and the main window was painted closed. Instead of a double bed, it has two singles pushed together. This did not seem like an upgrade. To ensure that I am being fair in my description I've included some photos to show the main areas described here. I think you will agree that this is a long way from luxurious.
We returned to the reception and spoke to the owner who apologised, he explained that our booking had been moved the previous week due to the possibility of 'Nimlet' smelling of paint. However this was not the case and he arranged for us to be moved into this room the next day. Not ideal, but better than nothing.
The following day we packed our bags, these would be moved to 'Nimlet' once the room had been cleaned. I'm very pleased that we moved, this room was chic and elegant with high ceilings and beautiful large windows. Freshly decorated, it was miles apart from the room of the previous night. This room is above the dinning room, so if you don't intend on getting up early it may not be for you. The bed squeaked a lot, which is hilarious! I mentioned this at check out and was informed that when the room was decorated the bed was dismantled so it probably just needed to be tightened.
Breakfasts were great with a good selection of locally sourced ingredients. Bloody Mary's on Sunday were a nice touch. The hotel bar is a relaxed affair, stocked with the usual as well as a cocktails. The house cocktail went down nicely. The bar and restaurant rooms are chic and shabby. Water marks on the ceiling and some tatty looking dining chairs did not detract from their loveliness. Drink stations are situated throughout the hotel, allowing guests to help themselves to nesspresso coffee, tea and water.
We ate at the potting shed on both nights, which we enjoyed. The staff are very friendly and it's a relaxed atmosphere.
Our plan to pretend to be posh and play croquet didn't quiet workout, as the kit was locked away and no-one on site had a key. The potting shed was holding a festival, so we headed there instead and drank very strong cider, whilst listening to a surprisingly good band. If you're feeling active, you can take a swim in the outside pool or have a game of table tennis.
The staff at the rectory are friendly and helpful. We spoke to a number of the guests and they were all very lovely. Many of which were visiting to book their wedding here.
The final bill was a bit of a sting considering we only got to stay 1 night in the nice room which we had specifically booked months earlier. Our stay would have been significantly better had our booking requested been adhered to. Unpacking, repacking and waiting around for the room is not that relaxing or romantic.
This is not a bad hotel, in fact it has some lovely elements to it. The gardens are spectacular, the staff very friendly, some rooms are wonderfully chic. However other rooms are beyond shabby and if you are unfortunate to find ourself in the latter, you may feel a bit cheated.
- Also Known As:
- Rectory Hotel Crudwell, Wiltshire