did have a nice time but returned feeling somewhat uninspired and disappointed.
We have just returned from a one night spa break booked via 'spa breaks.' It is cheaper if you book with the hotel directly.
Aldwark manor should be a place of rest and relaxation. Although we left having a nice time, it was lacking in areas which would allow 5 star rating.
The hotel is beautiful, but is COLD... For example in the spa area is a coffee area, there was portable heaters and a fire, but it was still cold. The dining area in the evening was cold too, and we had to wait for a very long time to get food or drinks- it was over a hour before we got our starter. Also most of the mains do not come with sides, which after waiting for almost two hours, I ate the meat before a helpful waiter could bring a side! I must say the staff in the bistro seem to work awfully long hours, but are excellent and will do anything to help you.
On arrival we were told it was a buffet- which had suitable amounts of choice but was obviously left for quite some time and was cold. I chose the salmon which was undercooked in the middle and cold.
The evening meal was lovely, I could not fault it apart from the starter being a little cool and the wait- but delicious and tasty.
The breakfast was superb- cold choice and hot choice, with items cooked to order if asked.
The spa- could do with more 'sunbeds' as people were guilty of being Brits abroad and reserving the 5 or 6 beds whilst swimming etc.
There was a lady teaching children to swim near the relaxing area which was a little off putting for a few hours, nice in a public pool but if you have paid a few hundred pounds- not the best!
The swimming pool and sauna were in okay condition and had nice views over the golf course.
The treatments- fantastic and very professional staff. The spa reception staff were a mixed bag- hard to describe but almost like they did not really like their job and you were interfering, not that they did anything wrong in particular- but they gave a vibe that felt like they couldn't be bothered. Also our treatments were over two days, the first we were given a gown to wear, and then left them in the dirty towel/gown bin after being all wet etc. On the second day when asking for a gown they said one per customer and when I said we had not got them it was kind of 'tough.' Again, we would have saved them if we were told this and again it is a bit cheap not allowing a dry gown when you have spent a few hundred pounds and having to go to a treatment in jeans- not the best.
The rooms were in the new part- okay- clean and tidy, but could have been anywhere in the world- I think the older rooms seem a little more unique. They were nice rooms, but do not live up to the hotels grand exterior.
The main gripe I had with this hotel was that it seemed to have a lack of something. I felt that it needed a bit of an 'oomph!' I feel that a little bit more attention to detail would then make it worthy of 5 stars- ie, a more flowing service with all aspects of the hotel acting as one- the spa, bar, reception and bistro acted like separate businesses with an interconnecting corridor. More signs etc (ie that the drawing rooms were for everyone to use and that games were available in them as we didn't realise until our departure!)
More heat, Snappier, friendlier (genuinely) service, no public swimming lessons and the odd chair needs replacing. All these points seem finicky, but it is good, just could be soooo much better.
I am to get married soon- I was hoping to take a group of ladies here for a night or two but if it were to stay as it was now, I would sadly look elsewhere to spend my money. If the reviews perk up I may give them another chance!!
All in all not a bad place at all and very beautiful- you must pop to York and have lunch, well worth 30 minute drive.
I have stayed at Aldwark Manor twice and on both occasions had a fantastic experience. The first time I stayed here was a surprise trip that Mr Lools booked for our 5 year anniversary. Because we had such a wonderful time we returned six months later for a weekend break and our second visit was just as good as our first.
Aldwark Manor is located in Aldwark in North Yorkshire. The hotel is set in tranquil secluding grounds and has its own 18 hole Golf Course. The hotel is 13 miles away from York City Centre which takes around 30 minutes to drive, either by car or taxi. The nearest railway station is York City Centre
The hotel is easy accessible by car and is a 10 minute drive once you have left junction 47 on the A1m. Please note that there is a toll bridge on the approach to the hotel with a 40p charge.
The hotel is also 17 miles away from Harrogate which takes around 30 minutes to drive
Leeds Bradford is the nearest airport which is 30 miles away, a short 45 minute drive from Aldwark Manor.
Aldwark Manor is described as a "lavish 4 star hotel" set in it's own grounds which include a golf course and spa. The hotel is a grand Victorian House built by Lord Walsingham. The hotel has been extended which from the outside looks part of the original Victorian House but inside has ultra modern design. The hotel is split into two parts, the old manor house which is very traditionally decorated and the new section of the hotel which is decorated contemporary modern but still in keeping with the character of the hotel.
The Hotel has two dining areas. The Terrace is a relaxed bistro which serves drinks and food and an outdoor area. The Brassiere is a more formal restaurant perfect for dining on an evening. There is also the Squadron bar for pre or after dinner drinks.
In addition to the golf course and the spa the hotel boasts a swimming pool, fully equipped gym, sauna and steam room.
***Booking/ Checking In/ Checking Out***
I booked our second stay at Aldwark Manor online through the Q Hotel website (the chain of hotels Aldwark Manor is from). This was a case of entering the date and number of nights that we wanted to stay and the various options and room rates
The room rates are fantastic the charge for breakfast is only £10 per room on top of the room only price and Dinner Bed and Breakfast only £50 added onto the room only price.
Mr Lools also found it extremely easy to book when he booked the surprise trip for our first stay. When it comes to booking online he is a bit of a novice but managed fine. He also was able to ring up after he made the online booking and add a bottle of champagne and strawberries on arrival to our room rate. These were waiting for us and were perfectly chilled and appeared like they had just been put out rather than left standing for a while. Mr Lools won't tell me the exact price of this stay but for one night stay including dinner bed and breakfast in a junior suite and the additional champagne this came to under £200. I think this is excellent value as I know the Champagne and strawberries were in the region of £40 and a 3 course dinner for two £50.
It is also possible to call the hotel direct and book a room although the hotel does not offer as many special offers this way.
Checking In and Out was very easy and quick. As we had no extras to pay on the bill on both occasions it was a case of just handing our key back. The reception area is located in the old manor section of the hotel and the only negative point I had about the hotel was the reception area was tiny. The desk is only a very small window on a hallway. Luckily there was only one other couple checking in before us on one occasion, but if there had been a number of people waiting this could have been extremely cramped
A standard room rate varies at the hotel. Weekends are generally around £90 per night (Room only) for a standard room. Weeknights rates are around £70. Sunday nights are slightly cheaper and cost around £60.
On our first stay was in a junior suite. This was located in the old manor section of the hotel therefore the décor was very traditional. The room had a seating area and also a king sized four poster bed. Usually I am not a fan of four poster beds but the design and dark wood of the bed was lovely. The room was extremely clean and although the bathroom was traditional in design the fixture and fittings were new. The room had a large window which had a stunning view over the golf course and grounds.
Our second stay we booked a Deluxe room. These rooms are larger than standard rooms and include bathrobes and fruit on arrival. For a one night stay for two people on a Sunday night which included dinner bed and breakfast cost £120. The room was completely in contrast to the first room we stayed in. This room was very nice and extremely modern in its design as it was located in the newer part of the hotel. The bathroom was immaculate and was also a decent size, but had a shower bath rather than separates. The room was extremely light and airy but as the room was located on the top floor of the hotel in the new area of the hotel the window in the room had a roof window. This mean you could not look out of the window at the surrounding views unless you stood on the sofa and looked out.
The main facilities at Aldwark Manor are the spa and the Golf Course. Neither Mr Lools and I used the 18 hole golf course but as a keen golfer Mr Lools did have a walk around the course and said it looked "great". Price wise the price per person for a round varies based upon the tee off time. For the more popular lunch time tee of times the cost of a round is £19.
I visited the spa on my second visit for a manicure. The modern spa area was extremely clean and modern and the staff very friendly but professional. There were a range of treatments available, manicures, facials, massages, mud wraps and the prices were very reasonable and what you would expect to pay in a city centre salon. I opted for a manicure and polish. This cost £15 for the treatment which lasted around 30 minutes. I was very impressed with the treatment.
Alwark Manor also has a gym, swimming pool, steam room and sauna. These are located in the new area of the hotel.
Mr Lools and I did not use the gym on either visit but did take a peek through the window. The gym area is of a reasonable size and through the window I could see weights machines, rowing machines, treadmills cycling machines and cross trainers. There were about 4 of each piece of equipment.
The swimming pool is only small but it looks out onto the grounds of the hotel with floor to ceiling windows so this area is very light and airy. The steam room is also located in the swimming pool area. This is for use by both sexes. The male and female changing areas are separate however the ladies changing rooms were a reasonable size and immaculately clean. Towels are provided for hotel guests. There is a sauna in both the male and female changing rooms.
Mr Lools and I did not dine on either occasion in the Terrace bistro but did have a few drinks. A pint and a single vodka and diet coke came to £9.50 which is quite expensive.
The main Brassiere restaurant has been rewarded two AA rosettes. Our evening meal on both stays was included in the price of stay.
The restaurant is located in the new section of the hotel so décor is extremely modern and contemporary and is split over two levels. The tables are spaced apart generously and the restaurant feels light and airy as there are floor to ceiling windows at the front of the restaurant.
There is a three course menu which has around 5 items to choose from for each course. This menu was different on both occasions that we stayed although there are a few items on the menu that carry a supplement.
The quality of the food was fantastic and the food tasted amazing. I had steak one of the times I dined here and it was cooked perfectly. The portion sizes were perfect for my liking in fact the main courses and desserts were very generous. The starters were quite small portion wise, and Mr Lools commented that he would have preferred a larger sized starter.
Service in the restaurant was brilliant. There was not a long wait between courses but courses were not rushed either.
Breakfast was fantastic. The main choice was a buffet full English breakfast. Usually buffet style breakfasts have poor quality ingredients and are dry or overly greasy. At Aldwark this is not the case. The sausages and bacon are cooked perfectly and are excellent quality. There is only a small quantity of each item of food under the hot plate which is restocked every 10 minutes so food is guaranteed to be fresh.
There is the choice to pay a supplement for other breakfast meals such as kippers.
There was a large choice of pastries, cereals, and fruit on the continental buffet in addition to the Full English.
I would definitely recommend this hotel. It's location is tranquil but not too far away from York if you want to visit the attractions in the city. The hotel is set in beautiful grounds and is great for golfers or those who want to visit the spa. The food in the restaurant is gorgeous both evening meal and breakfast. The rooms in the hotel are spacious and extremely clean, and are provide a mix between traditional and modern design. For a such a good standard 4* hotel the room rates are priced very reasonably I think I will be dropping hints to Mr Lools to book another stay at Aldwark Manor.... ASAP!
Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel
Tel: 01347 838146
Fax: 01347 838867
A 4 star Victorian house hotel situated in the countryside of Yorkshire.