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“Very Homely”

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Aylstone Boutique Retreat
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Martinborough
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Very Homely”
Reviewed 6 September 2012

Very comfortable accommodation and delightful hosts
All necessary amenities and great hosts who recommended a really nice restaraunt for us
Rooms have underfloor heating and electric blankets so we were very warm and cosy
No hesitation in recommending and the continental breakfast was great too

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Pritchp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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128 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

Booked into the Aylstone for a night. Was lovely. Denise, the owner, is super friendly and made us feel very welcome.

Room was large, clean and very warm. Heated floors and electric blankets - was definitely a shock going outside the next morning!

Had a lovely time and would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank liftmeupletmefall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2012

A beautiful stay and escape for a weekend. We stayed here years ago and- with a change of owners and a long time between stays- are so pleased that it's as brilliant as we remember it. Truly 5 stars. It's set in peaceful surroundings, quiet, alongside a neighbouring vineyard. It looks every bit as good as the photos on the website. The owners are wonderful- friendly, not intrusive, helpful recommendations, just lovely people. The restaurant on site is very good (we tried to book but it was full on Saturday night). Breakfast- continental- was excellent, a good range and with a gorgeous flat white. You're a small walk away from some of the best vineyards and they have complimentary bikes on site (also comp wifi). Enjoy!

Room Tip: They are all good. We had the smallest room- even then, it was spacious and charming.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NZEmma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2012

We had a lovely one night stay in a beautifully appointed room with welcome extras such as biscuits and chocolates on the pillow. The host, Denise, was very friendly and welcoming. We used the complimentary bikes and went for a ride around the area in glorious sunshine. The next morning we enjoyed a sumptious continental breakfast & played petanque before departing. We will come again. Highly recommended.

Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Kerploppus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed 7 July 2012

upon arriving in the rain we were made very welcome. Our room was really lovely and the underfloor heating made me forget about the rain. Denise made our stay very pleasant and I hope return later in the year. Everything about Aylstone is inviting, keep up the good work. sue :)

Room Tip: We had room 2, it was a lovely room but we discovered that there was a room directly above, very gra...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sue S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
187 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2012

If you ever drive around the streets of Martinborough you will notice this hotel. Its viewing tower demands your attention. Like many of the hotels I visit this has been on my list of must-do places to stay for a while.

Arriving at the hotel in the middle of a storm is interesting as it makes certain things more important than others. Keeping dry and warm rises up the list! As we arrived we noticed that the driveway was partly dug up, with a section of fencing lying against another section of fencing. We suspect they are adding another room. To the left is what looks like a gift shop, then the restaurant come reception, then the accommodation.

We wandered up to the front and a man walked by us. We entered the restaurant looking around quizically. The elderly chef smiled. The man who had walked by us said "Press the bell in reception (a small room to the right of the restaurant door) and someone will come". We pressed the bell and a small young blond woman wrapped tightly in a coat arrived all smiles. We handed over our docket and were led across the front of the property and down a long gravel path to the rooms. These appear to be constructed from a number of repurposed houses, with two rooms per house. After showing us what appeared to be a sitting room for guests which had the door open and was very cold indeed, she wished us a pleasant say and left. We never saw her again.

We were in room 5. This room has a corner entrance leading to a large room where the beautifully dressed bed and large ornamental mirror opposite vie for your attention. The underfloor heating make this room very warm indeed, more of that later. The bedroom's French windows, dressed with some of the longest curtains I have seen, lead to a small, private, leaf filled courtyard. On the other side of the room is a good sized bathroom. On the same wall there is a set of black rails which act in lieu of a wardrobe.

I felt that the formality of the bed and mirror clashed with the informality of the vast beige linen curtains, but that's just matter of taste. On a more practical note, the sockets were jam packed with plugs and there was nowhere really to plug in the kettle without scrambling around on the floor and eventually finding one beneath the "wardrobe". The very large leather armchairs each side of the large mirror looked very grand on first inspection, but when it came to sitting together or watching TV they were too far apart and facing sideways on to the TV. The TV swivelled on a bracket on the wall, but it was still at the wrong angle and not quite viewable from any chair or bed. On the face of it the room is quite romantic but practically this aspect of the room doesn't work.

I was surprised that the underfloor heating ended at the bathroom door. While the vanity and toilet were of a good standard, the bath and the door (a hangover from its previous life perhaps?) were a tad state house and let the room down a little I felt. The bathroom was large, cold to the foot and with insufficient room to put things down. There were lots of good quality towels but the towel rail needed to be twice as big or the spare towels needed to be placed elsewhere to allow damp towels to dry. We moved them to the "wardrobe". Even then towels needed to be folded widthwise to fit on the heated towel rail. We used all the towels in the end as the towels did not dry.

After dinner in the restaurant, which was excellent, both flavourful and sufficient in quantity we returned to our room looking forward to a good night's sleep. This place has something that many places lack - absolute silence. It's just wonderful. There's simply no noise. Well apart rain on the roof on this occasion. This silence alone would make us return. The great food assures this.

As I lay there drifting off to sleep I began to notice just how hot the room was and so adjusted the thermostat down slightly. I could not sleep under the covers. As the room cooled downdraughts of air chilled me so I had to pull the covers back over again. I have a feeling that although the room feels cosy, insulation may be lacking and this causes these draughts. In the morning the windows, which were not double glazed, were streaming with condensation. We carefully pulled back the drapes to avoid getting them wet. We noticed a hand sized patch of black mould above the entrance (inside the room) which suggests that there may have been water penetration there for some time. We hope this is attended to quickly so that the ceiling does not get damaged further.

Breakfast was continental with an excellent croissant, great coffee, and orange juice. There didn't appear to be a full breakfast option on offer. Unfortunately the orange juice tasted like what I believe is called orange nectar, rather than freshly squeezed, which seemed an unnecessary cost saving.

As we left we didn't know what to do with our key so looked into the restaurant and spotted the man who took our key. He seems like a pleasant enough bloke, but perhaps a little unused to dealing directly with the public. I felt the reception aspect of the hotel needed a little work in this respect. Guests need to be received and farewelled well to create the right overall impression. As it was it was just a simple thanks and goodbye, the sort of interaction I associate with a motel and not a "boutique retreat".

Room Tip: Room 5 is a good option as it is more private that the one next door.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Int_Academic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2012

We stayed with Alystone for 2 nights and will be back!The attention to detail was amazing with Bubbles on ice,chocolates on the pillows and underfloor heating.
The linen was luxurious and views lovely.
Denise was a lovely hostess and made us feel very welcome.
Its a special place
Julie D

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jadmerv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aylstone Boutique Retreat

Property: Aylstone Boutique Retreat
Address: 19 Huangarua Road, Martinborough 5711, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Greater Wellington > Wairarapa > Martinborough
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Martinborough
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Aylstone Boutique Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aylstone Boutique Retreat in Martinborough, just 1 hour from Wellington, offers six boutique rooms with lovely views, classic furnishings and ensuite bathrooms. Aylstone is set among world class Martinborough vineyards offering peace and tranquility. ... more   less 
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