Presently at CST (30/11/2013) to celebrate my wife's birthday and sadly can only echo recent comments regarding the 'dwindling' Warner's experience.
So far our 'experience' is but a shadow of the fantastic stay when we were last here at CST.
Sadly, Warners seem to have completely forgotten that it IS the small things that make the difference. As long time Warners 'fans', it really IS a shame the way that Warners are progressively and systematically diluting and dismantling what was a truly successful formula - comprising luxury accommodation, good and varied food, day time activities and great evening entertainment.
While the rooms are still nice, in common with most Warners sites visited over the past two years, both the choice and quality of food continues to deteriorate. Our arrival day lunch (steak & onion ciabiatta) was inedible - full of gristle - and our money was refunded; then arriving for dinner at 18.45 (opens 18.30) - we were (eventually) greeted abruptly with 'all the bread rolls are all gone'! A great start to a luxurious long week-end away?
However, the real disappointment (and not a little annoying!) for us was to be advised that the great Italian speciality restaurant - Fenocchis - was no longer open. This of course despite being advertised in all the publicity blurb sent to us - and as it is STILL advertised on the web today!!! So that was my wife's birthday treat down the tubes!!!
Almost daily e-mails and weekly mail advertising their breaks, but NOT a courteous word about this important change!! In fact apart from the gift shop (!) the whole 'village experience' was completely closed down!
Following the demise of the Concierge Club cards much vaulted (but short lived) benefit of a 10% discount on many things on site, the after dinner tea/coffee is now chargeable, evening carvery has seemingly been reduced to just two roast meat joints, the very handy notepad/pen has disappeared from the bed side telephone, based on the slow (and at times downright rude) meal time service it appears as though staffing has been reduced and the previous abundance of day time activities - especially the indoor craft and involvement activities - have all but disappeared!The 'replacement' of the Concierge Card discount with a few miserly one off discount vouchers effectively renders the whole 'loyalty' scheme redundant.
Following our last visit to CST, the site's general manager was delighted to receive my congratulatory letter to him following what was undoubtedly our best ever Warners break. Based on this earlier experience we considered the long drive well worth it - and we came again. Sadly this time things could not have been more disappointing and we will certainly not undertake a 3-4 hour drive here again - as, for us, Warners cut backs have completely removed the 'special' nature of this once unique experience. My next letter to CST may not be received quite so well.
P.S. It is now Sunday lunchtime - and the droves of 'non-residents' are arriving for Sunday lunch, completely overwhelming the already very inadequate seating in the coffee lounge area. A complete farce!! Just hope that they WON'T all be 'lingering' to swamp this afternoon's panto - but I'm not holding my breath!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A 239 bedroom AA4 star Country House Hotel, Set in stunning Somerset countryside amongst 160 acres of beautiful lakes and gardens. Our adult only policy and 1/2 board packages with nightly entertainment and pool with leisure club make us ideal for a short break. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cricket St Thomas Hotel, Lakes And Gardens Hotel Chard
- Cricket St Thomas Historic Hotel
- Warner Cricket St. Thomas Hotel Chard, Somerset