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expensive and pretentious
Billesley Manor Hotel (Alcester, Warwickshire)
Member Name: woozle
Billesley Manor Hotel (Alcester, Warwickshire)
Advantages: close to Stratford on Avon
Disadvantages: annexe totally impractical
We had booked a night at the Billesley Manor Hotel for a celebratory dinner. Our plan was to spend a relaxing afternoon at the spa before the meal in the hotel restaurant.
On arrival we asked at the reception where we could get a coffee and a bite to eat. The receptionist though polite, was unable to advise us and suggested room service. This was not what we had in mind and we decided to go elsewhere for refreshment.
We were given a key card that failed to work and we were obliged to trek back up to the main hotel building to get a replacement.
The room was something of a disappointment. We had upgraded to a premier room, expecting something above average and luxury. In fact it was very average in a modern annexe and as such I would have expected a reduction in price for this style of hotel.
* There was no socket close to a mirror in which to connect the hairdryer
* The robe and slippers which were included in the price had to be requested
* The robes when requested, were delivered damp
* When we requested dry robes only one was replaced and it took a further complaint to get the second robe replaced.
* The room itself was so poorly lit that we had to ask for another lamp as there was no central light. The window was deeply recessed and natural light was very limited on a dull November day. We wasted almost an hour awaiting when a very polite and friendly gentleman eventually delivered a standard lamp.
In the event neither of us fancied the walk in the rain to the Hotel Spa as we hadn't packed any outer clothing as we thought we would be spending the afternoon indoors. We resolved instead to look forward to our evening at the restaurant........
On arrival at the restaurant we were shown to a table in a regimented row of couples seated at tables so close together that, had they not been cleverly angled a clash of elbows would have been inevitable. This arrangement seemed very odd as the tables similarly lined up on the other side of the room were totally empty.
Nevertheless we took our seats and tried very hard not to listen to the whispered conversations of the other diners, The other couples looked as uncomfortable as we felt by being in such close proximity in an environment so quiet and stilted. There was some barely audible background music at some point early in the evening, but this had fizzled out before the main course and eventually restarted during desert.
My husband ordered a bottle of Shiraz from the waiter only to be informed that the listed wine was out of stock. Not unduly disappointed my husband asked what other Shiraz was available and was told that there was no Shiraz at all! We settled for a bottle of Merlot that was far less interesting than its price suggested.
The starters were acceptable though unremarkable but the main course was disappointing.
Steak, chips and béarnaise sauce were served with no accompanying vegetables and again was not of a standard expected at a four star hotel.
The deserts were in ridiculously small portions, being served in a glass, something of the size in which you might burn a tea light. My husband's desert was accompanied by a portion of ice cream that was full of ice crystals.
All in all, a meal sorely overpriced in an environment devoid of atmosphere.
Breakfast next morning was dire. There were serving dishes of fruit that were waiting to be replenished but after trying to attract the attention of staff I gave up and settled for muesli. This was little more than the dust that settles at the bottom of the pack and turned to something resembling ready break the minute milk was added. A lukewarm pot of tea and cold stale toast was delivered to the table by a polite waitress. At the hot buffet there were no beans left and my husband was served with an undercooked egg , a runny yolk is one thing but the white, should I think, be set.
On checking out shortly afterwards I was not surprised to find that we were not alone in our disappointment in the hotel, as there were two other guests who had complaints.
I wrote a letter of complaint and eventually had the cost of the evening meal refunded but our evening was at best ruined and our time wasted.
Summary: not worth the effort
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