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“Unforgettable English eccentric charm.”
Review of Rectory Hotel

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Rectory Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Crudwell B&B and Inns
Reviewed 4 July 2014

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from my stay at The Rectory. The words rough-luxe and shabby-chic and London tainted style trends watered down the social media descriptions and with me as i drove into the provincial heartlands of this beautiful part of Wiltshire.

Arriving up the gravel drive the house makes an immediate impression and the view of the quaint village church would have Bill Bryson sparring with Wordsmith to paint in words a picture perfect English country scene. The church bell even tolling for that truly authentic English experience.

The hotel itself really does feel like you are staying at your rich Aunt's country pad. The receptionists seem to live in a boot cupboard and check in took all of about 20 seconds. No fancy computers, no trace of any modernity. Instead there are some green hunter wellingtons, cricket bats and croquet mallets in wicker baskets.

Unlike say Cliveden or more upmarket stately home hotels, The Rectory has no pretension about it, it is a take it as you find it place- warts and all. If you come in expecting a refined, impeccable hand on foot service and a general air of decaying stuffiness look elsewhere. And more fool you.

Let's get some of the possible negatives out of the way, like your such Aunt's house in the country the house has it's share of idiosyncrasies- my room on the 1st floor was called Sudeley- it was large, airy with a huge bathroom- yet there were a few (literal cobwebs) and yes as some others have commented maybe it could do with a small touch up here and there. There were also the inevitable flies that flew around the room a little disconcertingly at times.

Yet, and here is the thing, quibbling over these details seems to be missing the point of this place. In in it's favour the hotel is put together and run (by a small number of seemingly endlessly multi-tasking staff) in a way that offers a pretty unique and unforgettable experience.

I stayed for three days and felt I had the house to myself, the breakfast was sublime, the view over the gardens in the morning sunshine a wonderful start to the day, then out to the pool- which reminded me more of a boho-chic school pool (the sort you would find at a rather well endowed prep school in Norfolk but left on it's own to mature for a year) than a luxury spa, slightly frayed round the edges- but again it was heated and there was a hammock to one side where I lay and read a book (laid out for guests on each floor to borrow). It was charming- truly. You can order drinks from one of the hard working invisible elves, who bring it to your hammock.

For the three days I was here felt I was having the house, pool and grounds to myself whilst my rich aunt was away on her holidays- looked after by people who seemed to have one purpose of making my life a bit easier.

To explain the sort of service you can expect, I was working in the evenings at the theatre in Swindon and back late- each night the chef (or no doubt one those hard working (did I mentioned smartly dressed) elves) left me a sandwich and bottle of beer in the fridge on the landing. It was nice sandwich and a cold beer- after a hot day dancing on the stage of The Swindon theatre- neither has tasted better.

I had some of my friends from the theatre to come and enjoy the place as my Aunt still had not returned, the elves were fine with this and happily furnished us with a jug of Pimms filled with fresh fruit and served on the Croquet lawn.

You have a lovely bottle of water served each day next to the joys of a Roberts digital radio and a view over the gardens which can be enjoyed in my particular room- with a his and hers window seat.

The pub opposite run by the owners of the hotel is also a great place for lunch, super food, lovely ales and lots of quirky gins- you can put it all on your room as well. Which I did. I spent more this way as well, so it's win win all round.


In short you are left to your own devices to make the most of The Rectory, extend your imagination and you will have a stay you will never forget, you make your own trip up as you go along. If you start complaining about the cobwebs you should just walk out and leave and take your money with you as you are depriving someone else of something that little bit special. Go and stay at the Hilton outside Swindon by the M4.

I wish only I had the chance to eat in their restaurant and have a drink in the quaint hotel bar- but these will have to wait until the chance for a return visit…which I will try and time for another time when my rich Aunt is away on her holidays again.

Room Tip: Sudeley was a joy- the bed is seriously- no seriously- comfy.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
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3  Thank alastairwhatley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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67 - 73 of 216 reviews

Reviewed 2 July 2014

Birds chirping , church bells ringing , smell of fresh air what a way to wake up in the morning. Myself and my husband stayed at rectory hotel for two night while we visited the Cotswold and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff were friendly , polite and welcoming. Food was excellent. Would recommend to anyone . And defineatly would stay again.

  • Stayed: July 2014
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Thank Tashnf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We attended a family wedding at The Rectory and were very impressed with the location, beauty and atmosphere. The room was lovely (although watch out for the showers without screens or curtains), the food was delicious (although a little salty at times) and the staff were friendly.

My cousin and his new wife were overjoyed at their wedding venue and the day as a whole. Unfortunately there do seem to exist a few silly policies... My parents were unable to book three rooms for the night before as the hotel did not allow more than six rooms of wedding guests, yet we had three rooms on the day of the wedding (tip, don't say you're with the wedding party); we thought it may be that the rooms were taken, but there were at least 2 empty rooms the night before the wedding.

My sister did not enjoy her vegetarian meal as much as the rest of us enjoyed our choices in the restaurant and called reception for some fruit as she could not sleep. The night porter informed her that she could not have anything as the kitchen was closed and the chef had gone home (he retuned at 8am, the first of the staff it seemed). All staff appeared to be absent, including to let another couple in after midnight and visitors for the wedding party in first thing in the morning - I would hope as they were busy organising the Big Day.

For a couple's trip away, it would be perfect; for a wedding as the bride and groom it is beyond perfect; for guests, just look over a few details and be prepared for some oddities before reaching the perfection.

It is a shame that a few silly policies should dampen a guest experience, but I hope the hotel may review these to avoid further guests experiencing any disappointment.

Room Tip: Ask for one on the far side of the building as the bells from the church next door kept some guests...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jennie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheRectoryHotel, General Manager at Rectory Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 21 June 2014

Dear Jennies,

I am so pleased that you enjoyed the wedding you attended with us. Weddings are an essential part of our business and we all work very hard to ensure that the day is enjoyed not only by the happy couple but also by all of the guests attending.

However, we were distressed to hear that you think we have some 'silly policies'. Our policy regarding limiting room bookings for one party is a policy which we are incredibly proud of. We do offer wedding couples the opportunity to book the night before their wedding exclusively at a discounted rate, If they decide not to do this then we do limit the room bookings for their party to a maximum of six. Imagine if you booked a room, sometimes months in advance for a special night away, or a table in our restaurant for an anniversary or special occasion and you arrive to find that the hotel feels like it is being taken over by a larger group or a wedding party. This is not just our policy for weddings, it is also our policy for any parties and something we will definitely stick to.

With regards to the overnight issues you mentioned. Unfortunately as a small twelve bedroom hotel we do not offer a 24 reception or 24 hour room service. Reception is open from 7am-12pm (8am at weekends). As stated in the guest information folder the phones are transferred to a duty manager overnight, however, this is primarily for guests safety.When you called at 1.30am to ask for some food, you were rightly informed that this would not be possible. We would of course been happy to bring you some fruit, however before we were able to find out which room you were in you hung the phone up.

The guests that needed letting in were in fact the brides hair and make up team. Had we been aware that they were arriving at 7.20am we would definitely have arranged to be there to meet them.

We are pleased overall that it didn't affect your enjoyment of what was a wonderful weekend that we loved hosting for Concetta and Matt.

Kind regards
Jenna Tomblin
Operations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

My husband and I had our wedding at The Rectory and we are so pleased we decided to have the happiest day of our life there. From the first time we walked into The Rectory 18months before the day itself we were blown away with the quality of service from the staff and the beauty of the old building.

The decor of the house is charming, unique and quirky, yet everything blends in perfectly. There is a very welcoming and cosy feel in all of the reception rooms. The house and all of the rooms are kept spotlessly clean (which is more that can be said for other hotels we had previously visited!). There is a bit of damp damage in the hallway but things like that are to be expected in a building of that age. This did not detract at all from the beauty and character and there were signs detailing that repair work was due to be carried out. The rooms were lovely and the bed sheets, duvet and pillows were of a wonderful quality. As a coffee snob I loved the nespresso coffee machines in the landing areas.

The food was superb during the wedding breakfast. We had selected ham hock for starter, sirloin with dauphinoise potatoes for main and triple chocolate cheesecake with baileys ice cream for pudding. All was incredible!! For our evening buffet we had chosen the trio of butties (chip, bacon and posh fish finger) which went down very well as people had had a few drinks by then. Breakfast the next morning was delicious as well. There was a choice of different things but the overwhelming favourite was the full English, although there were healthier options for those who might have wanted it.

I would like to say a huge thank you to ALL of the staff, but a special mention to Charlie (events coordinator) and Jenna (manager). Charlie had been a wonder throughout the whole wedding planning process, dealing with our many enquiries with ease. Jenna was a gem and ensured the day went off without a hitch. Thank you for making the wedding planning as easy as possible.

I thoroughly recommend this hotel, whether it is for a big occasion such as we experienced or if it is for just one night away. The staff will do all they can to accommodate your every need and nothing is too much trouble.

Room Tip: We had Leckhampton which was the bridal suite and was beautiful!!
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Louise G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2014

My mother, my two aunties, my cousin and I (along with my 6 month old baby) visited in April to celebrate my aunty's 60th.
We had a lovely stay, and I will list the overall good and bad points, but what could be a very good hotel is let down by its need to have a general touch up and update throughout. In all of our three rooms there was paint chipping off the walls and it was shabby in places, and all the of the bathrooms definitely need to be updated.
However, overall we had a really lovely time. The good points were plentiful - excellent food in the restaurant, friendly, professional and attentive staff, the rooms were very clean and the location and grounds are lovely. The potting shed pub across the road is also great and the hotel organised a wonderful babysitter for me. Do note though that neither the hotel-provided baby monitor (which was kind of them) or my own worked in the dining room, the wall is just too think to get any reception. The hotel also organised in-room spa treatments for us which we're very good and good value.
I would highly recommend staying here if you can turn a blind eye to slightly shabby areas. However, we all said that if the hotel was given a lick of paint and the bathrooms were updated we would happily stay there again and pay more for the privilege.

Room Tip: If you have trouble with steep stairs ask where your room is located in the house - all three of our...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank chocolatebenji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We have just returned home from a two night surprise wedding anniversary stay arranged by my husband. The hotel is lovely set in beautiful gardens with a good mix of the old and the new with its decor and furnishings. We stayed in the Nimlet room which was lovely, I thought we would miss not having tea making facilities in the room but on the landing was a Nespresso coffee machine and tea making facilities which you could use as much as you want a really nice touch. The staff could not do enough for you and are a real asset to the hotel.
We ate at The Potting Shed just over the road on the first night and the food and service could not be beaten, well worth a visit. The second night we stayed in the hotel, the food was excellent and so was the service. What a wonderful hotel to spend our wedding anniversary in and we shall be back as well as telling our friends to visit.

Room Tip: Nimlet is lovely with no road noise
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank debra c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

This hotel is so cute and charming. I love all the antiques and other more modern, but funky furniture too. The dining room is beautiful, the food was great and the gardens are amazing. For the money, it's great value. You aren't getting a 5 star completely polished, sterile environment - rather one with dog biscuits on the reception desk, wellies in bright green in the morning room, fantastic, quality coffee, home made cocktails, individually designed gorgeous rooms, fab interiors magazines to flip through - the list goes on. The staff are all incredibly friendly - it feels like a small, personal hotel where the people who run it care passionately about the experience for the guests.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank lucy s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rectory Hotel

Address: Crudwell SN16 9EP, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Crudwell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Crudwell
Hotel Class:3 star — Rectory Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
Rectory Hotel Crudwell, Wiltshire

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