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Member Name: Coxy1974
Best Western Webbington Hotel (Axtbridge, Somerset)
Advantages: Excellent food and service, decent pricing
Disadvantages: Paying is a nightmare, lumpy bed and rooms need updating
I stayed in this hotel when I went down to Cheddar Gorge to do a days worth of training. I travel all over the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man providing IT support training on Microsoft Office Packages so often spend a couple of nights a week in hotels.
I explained about the Best Western brand in my previous review about the Ullesthorpe Court Hotel and Golf Course in Leicestershire but will quickly recap on this for you.
This is one of the worlds largets hotel chains boasting over 4200 hotels in 80 different countries. The majority of the hotels are individually owned and use the Best Western brand as a branding tool to attract more people to them. You can also become a Gold Crown Club member and earn miles towards free nights at Best Western Hotels.
To view more information about Best Western visit their website at www.bestwestern.com or www.bestwestern.co.uk.
The Webbington Hotel is situated in Axbridge, Somerset. It is easily accessible from J22 of the M5. As you approach the junction you can actually see the hotel to the left.
This hotel is a 3 star hotel.
The hotel facilities include
54 bedrooms each of which has a television and hairdryer
On site parking
Indoor Swimming Pool
1 restaurant and bar
All rooms are ensuite
Note Ė there is limited room service available for an additional charge.
On approach to the hotel you have to navigate the windy lanes and it really wasnít easy to find. I was glad I was going with a colleague who was driving and knew where she was going. You pull into the car park which slopes quite a bit but the car park is large with more than ample space.
The front of the hotel is very welcoming being in Edwardian Manor style and has circular steps up to the main entrance and into the hotel reception area. This is light and airy and the reception desk is located to the left as you walk into the hotel. One thing I did find is that as the reception desk is actually behind you on the left it can be easy to become confused and just wander into the hotel without actually checking in.
The receptionist was polite and professional however, I had secured the booking over the phone with a company credit card and then confirmed this via fax also. My company credit card has no pin and at first the receptionist refused to take payment this way even though I had the card in front of me. With no other method of payment we could have been stuck until a quick call to the bank and the production of my drivers licence proved who I was. Slightly annoying but I can understand from a fraud angle. We were then told where our rooms were and given our passcards and also booked in for dinner.
A little about the lay out of the hotel
The main building of the hotel has some rooms in it on upper floors but the ground floor is dedicated to the reception area, the restaurant to your right, a bar further back and a reading room behind that.
The swimming pool is behind a glass wall as you walk into reception and I felt that would make you feel exposed. I had packed my swimsuit but in the end didnít bother with a morning swim as I felt on show.
The rest of the rooms are located in an out building to the back of the hotel. This is nice and secluded but doesnít feel very secure as you have to leave the main hotel building and walk across a courtyard to get to the other rooms. As the hotel grounds arenít very well secured by a fence or anything and the courtyard isnít very well lit, then it felt a bit unsafe being on my own.
After finding my room I was a little disappointed. Iíd booked a single and boy was it small. I walked in the door and was confronted with the bathroom. Turning left you had the main room which contained a small single bed, small chest of drawers and a TV mounted on an arm on the wall. A chair was wedged at the bottom of the bed but you really couldnít have hoped to ever get to sit in it.
There was a mirror on the wall and a hairdryer fixed to the wall. It was one of those cheap ones that never produce much hot air Ė the kind you find in swimming baths that you pay 20p or whatever for. A shelf was placed under the mirror but there was a lack of space to put toiletries. Looking out of the window I had a great view of the M5 motorway and the delivery area of the hotel.
The bathroom was clean but tiny. No bath, just a shower cubicle which was very small. After the drive in the hot weather I felt grubby so turned on the shower and in I got. Not even enough power to wash my hair properly. I was in there for ages. The water down there is soft so I really should have used less shampoo. After 10 minutes of panic the suds finally disappeared from my hair. I felt clean but not invigorated as I am used to a power shower. Off down for dinner I went.
The Restaurant and Bar
You walk into the back entrance of the hotel and through a reading room where you can borrow books. Itís kitted out in leather Chesterfield Sofas and wing back chairs and these are very comfortable. The bar has a small area away from the actual bar for non smokers but this seems like a bit of a hallway too as there is a constant stream of people walking past you to find their rooms or check out etc. Not actually conducive to a relaxing pre-dinner drink.
When we went through for dinner we were shown to our table without fuss and were provided with menus. This is not extensive and changes each day. There were 5 of each course and it was a standard 3 course menu. 2 course dinners will set you back about £15 and 3 course £20. I opted for the 2 course and chose a main and dessert.
I decided upon Beef Stroganoff and ordered a glass of house red. The wine was good and when the dinner arrived it was huge! The plate was brimming with beef strips in rich velvety sauce Ė the only down side is that they had never heard of brown rice. The rice was slightly undercooked being a little hard instead of light and fluffy.
For dessert I had Chocolate and strawberry cup. This was literally a cup of melted chocolate (the cup was also chocolate) covered with fresh strawberries and dusted with Icing sugar. Divine. To die for is how I would describe it. One of the best desserts I have ever tasted. The strawberries dipped in melted chocolate were ripe and juicy. The chocolate cup was bitter to combat all of the sweetness and melted on your tongue into velvet smoothness. Yum! Think you can guess that I enjoyed this!
Another glass of wine later and I was ready for my bed. The bed was a disappointment as it was lumpy and no matter how I tried I couldnít get to sleep. Ended up getting a crick in my neck because the TV was situated too high (not adjustable arm) on the wall, indigestion because Iíd been a pig at dinner and generally felt disgruntled with life and myself.
This was even more of a nightmare than checking in. This time I ended up paying by asking the receptionist to ring work, getting them to fax over confirmation that the company would pay an invoice if submitted and eventually we were allowed to leave the hotel. We were now late for the training course. Luckily the site we were travelling to was not far so we were able to get there and set up by half nine.
The room rates vary from £65 - £105 per night and dinner is extra. You do get full use of all the facilities included in the room price. Room Service does carry a surcharge.
For more information visit their website at www.bestwestern.co.uk/Hotels/Best-Western-Webbingt on-Hotel-83838 or you can access this through the best western site at www.bestwestern.co.uk.
Summary: Not the best Best Western hotel I have stayed in but OK none the less even if just for the food!
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