“ Address: Beggar Bush Lane / Failand / Bristol / Somerset / BS8 3TG „
I made my visit to the Redwood Lodge Hotel in Bristol just before Christmas last year (2009). Along a long, quiet country lane, the hotel was surprisingly easy to find. However, whilst I expected a quality country lodge in spacious surroundings, based on what I'd read elsewhere, I was greeted by a building that looked decidedly like my old state secondary school from the outside; square and uninteresting. Parking was free, so my boyfriend and I pulled up close to the door and went inside, where we were met by a friendly member of staff at a reception desk to our left. The process of signing in was left to my boyfriend, but appeared decidedly easy, and we then decided to head straight to our room. Maybe 'straight' isn't the right word - the trip there was much like a marathon in itself as we'd been assigned a room at the very back end of the building. The corridors may have been well signposted, but they did seem to go on forever, they still looked like school corridors, and there were extremely noticeable changes in temperature throughout the journey which made me extremely grateful that by the time we reached our room, we were in a warm spot. The room itself couldn't be complained about. The decor may have been a bit old-fashioned, but the bed was comfortable, there was a chair and a desk (and a cot, for some reason, since we'd not requested one!), and a working television. The en-suite bathroom was well-decorated and modern, usual toiletries were provided, and there was plenty of storage space including an in-room safe. Simple, all in all, but everything we could need was there. I'll say now that we'd paid £60 for the standard double room through LateRooms.com. Prices can go as high as £160 for the same, according to their website. Then, we remembered that we'd left something in the car. Cue another ten minute walk back to the car park (to the point that, on return to the building, my boyfriend had to buy an overpriced glass of Coke from the bar near the door to gear himself up for a return to our room). The hotel apparently boasts sport facilities including a swimming pool, but my boyfriend and I saw no sign of these, and can only assume that they were in the other direction (maybe twenty minutes from our room?), and rather than go searching the rest of the hotel we opted to stay in our room for the night and order room service. We ordered two pizzas (his a margherita, mine a spicy), and a portion of chips, and awaited the delivery. When our food arrived, the order was wrong and contained two pizzas neither of us wanted to try. We called again to 'complain', and received replacements with a friendly apology just over 15 minutes later - not bad! The next morning, I got to experience the joys of the shower - a powerful, refreshing device that really woke me up. No complaints there! We then packed our bags (not wanting to make the effort of returning to our room again), and took them to breakfast with us (this was included in the price). Breakfast was excellent, if a little awkward. The large breakfast room had a few lost-looking members of staff milling around, and a few guests at various tables. At 22 and 23 respectively, my boyfriend and I were easily the youngest in the room by at least 30 years, but the mood was quiet and civilised though I couldn't help feeling that I was being watched whilst I ate due to the lack of conversation and the silence around. Food was high quality, and included cereals, various juices, and an excellent hot breakfast buffet selection including hash browns (yum!), sausages, high quality bacon, beans (not my thing!) and various bread and toast products. Staff left us alone, but did strike up conversation with other diners which was in equal measures appreciated and treated with contempt. Saying our farewells and checking out, meanwhile, was an easy process after breakfast, and we left with aching muscles but with a good night's sleep behind us.