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A Cosy Cotswold Country Retreat That Serves Charming Classy Cuisine.
The Broadway Hotel (Broadway)
Member Name: chrisbriers567
The Broadway Hotel (Broadway)
Date: 30/10/12, updated on 30/10/12 (133 review reads)
Advantages: Very cosy during winter and the restaurant is superb.
Disadvantages: The rooms are quite small and sometimes the finer details are not quite as polished as possible.
The Broadway Hotel is located in what the hotel describes the as the 'jewel of the Cotswolds', the village of Broadway. The hotel has an interesting history and is packed with old world charm. The restaurant is much more modern and serves hearty traditional English cuisine. The Broadway Hotel is part of a larger chain of hotels called the 'Cotswold Inns And Hotels' group which owns seven hotels covering the most popular tourist hotspots in Worcestershire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. I am paying particular attention to the Broadway Hotel and I believe it is an ideal time to tell everyone about my stay because I think it should be considered as a great hotel for an autumn or winter break in the lead up to Christmas.
The Broadway Hotel is located near to Cheltenham Racecourse and therefore the hotel has allocated names of Cheltenham Gold Cup winning horses to each room, such as Mr Mulligan, Kauto Star and rather amusingly L'escargot. This is a nice touch and shows how in tune the hotel is with the attractions in the local area, it goes a long way in proving that although the hotel is part of a group it is far from an impersonal Travelodge. The hotel is over four hundred years old and therefore the rooms are on the small side in comparison to many much more modern hotels.
My room was on the top floor of the hotel and it was a standard double room, this is the lowest grade of room but is very adequate, there are three different levels of bedroom and the other two are the superior double rooms and also the junior suites. The Broadway hotel has thirteen standard double rooms, three superior double rooms and three junior suites. Having looked at the superior double rooms I was not convinced that they were any better than the standard rooms, the only difference was that they had slightly more space, all of the facilities were exactly the same. The junior suites are more elaborate because they have a king size bed as well as a seating area and a better view out over the village green. One room that is certainly worthy of a mention is the Abbots room which is arguably the best room in the hotel, it has the least obscured view out over the village green and is filled with character features that have remained since the sixteenth century.
My room was booked as a late weekend break and therefore I had to settle for what the hotel had left at that stage. When I entered the room I was generally pleased with what I saw, the room was very clean and the bed was made properly rather than just thrown together. A luggage mat was provided in the bedroom for the purpose of unpacking. My only suggestion is that there needs to be more space to hang clothes in, there were at least ten different draws all around but only one small cupboard, this was not a problem for me but for women who perhaps prefer to wear long dresses that they don't want to be creased I can imaging it potentially creating problems. With regard to the bathroom I had enough towels and these had been placed on a heated towel rail. The bathroom was compact without feeling cramped and the shower was excellent, the strength of the spray could easily be changed. I had no problems with getting hot water out of the taps which was good and can sometimes be a problem on older hotels that have prehistoric plumbing systems. The only design flaw was that the radiator was covered by the curtains at night meaning that it was useless to have on overnight.
With regard to the facilities in the rooms it had all of the usual assets such as a flat screen Samsung television, hair dryer, radio alarm clock, tea and coffee making facilities and a telephone. One luxury touch is that all bedrooms come with Molton Brown toiletries, these are large bottles of hair wash (shampoo), hand wash, bath and shower gel and also hand lotion. These are quite expensive and are very nice to use. When it comes to bedrooms the proof of the pudding is in the nights sleep and I can report that the bed was very comfortable and the sheets were thick which was good on a cool night. The rooms are quiet although I suspect that the dividers between them are not all that thick because I could hear the noise from the television of the room next-door at times.
The Teddy Bears
You're probably wondering if I have gone a bit nuts but I can assure you that this is no joke. Each room in the hotel comes complete with its own teddy bear and they are absolutely gorgeous, they make the hotel a bit unique in my view. This quirky touch seems to get mixed reactions on review sites such as Trip Advisor but I think it gives a real homely touch. There are apparently three different bears, one of which sits in each room and they are called Edward, Toffee and Floss. If you do happen to visit the hotel make sure you remember me to them! As you can see I am a bit of a softy on the inside!
In this part of the review you would expect me to start with the dinner as it is generally the high point of any hotel stay but in this case I am going to concentrate on the breakfast. The Broadway hotel breakfast is a winner of the Visit England breakfast award and it is not hard to see why. Upon entering the restaurant you are greeted immediately and almost always taken to the same table that you had for dinner, orders are then taken for what toast you would like as well as tees and coffee, this is all normal for hotels but when you visit the buffet it becomes well above the average breakfast. The choice is extensive with all the usual cereals as well as other specifically local products such as the local mixed berry compote, the hotel claim that where possible all of the ingredients are always fresh are sourced in the Cotswold region, when you taste the quality of the berries it is very hard to question that! The staff also take orders for grilled items and the full English breakfast which is priced at £13-00 (mouth-watering in more than one sense). Portion sizes are considerable but the presentation is top of the range, the restaurant staff pay great attention to detail such as asking if they can get any more orange juice amongst other things.
The evening meal at the Broadway cannot be faulted either, it is certainly substantial. The meal consists of the traditional three courses and is served at a nice speed, it doesn't feel as though you are being rushed through. In my opinion it is a very good idea to book ahead even though you do not strictly need to as it is always busy, this is especially the case at around eight in the evening which is when most people want to start their meals. Tattersalls Brasserie, the name of the restaurant, is open from 7pm to 9:30 every day. With regard to the menu it is quite wide ranging although the focus is defiantly on meat and in particular steak with no less that five different types on offer, all costing about £20 and all are accompanied by two homemade onion rings, watercress, eight vine tomatoes and a large pile of delicious chips. I think that when drinks are added it going to be hard to escape with a bill of less than £45, which is no cheap to say the least but I can guarantee you will not be disappointed with how much food you get and also the quality of it.
This is certainly not the strong point of the hotel although I have decided to regulate my criticism due to the fact that the hotel is much older than my of it's competitors therefore it is less likely to have the most modern amenities. Two common facilities in other hotels are swimming pools and spas, the Broadway has neither. The focal point for the hotel is the restaurant which dominates the view as you enter through the front door. There is also a large bar area that has all of the original beams in the building on display. I love the fire which is a proper log burner that is in the far corner, it is great to go and sit near on a cold and frosty morning. There is also another much smaller and equally cosy lounge area that has a large range of different newspapers. My only criticism is that the hotel does not employ a night porter and therefore the fires are put out during the middle of the evening, this means many of the lounges can get quite cool especially late at night. The Broadway hotel has a car park that can only be used by guests, hence there are always spaces even at peak time when the rest of the village is buzzing.
The Broadway hotel does not have a strict policy on children although I think that they would agree that it is perhaps not the most child friendly hotel out there. When I stayed, there were several families with children aged 8 and older but no toddlers. Some of the corridors within the hotel can be quite narrow so it is not ideal for push chairs and furthermore with the rooms not being all that large I can imaging it being a problem to store pushchairs and cots in one room. The restaurant does not provide a specific child's menu so it may be a good idea to eat out of the hotel if you have children under the age of eight, this would be my view on it.
The location speaks for itself in many ways, the Cotswolds. Attractions in the vicinity include the touristy village of Bourton-on-the-water which is the home to the motor museum that houses the famous children's car, Brum. There is not an awful lot else in the village but there are many waterfront cafes as well as some nice pottery shops. Stratford-upon-Avon is about sixteen miles from Broadway and I don't think that place needs any real introduction! The three closest cities of any real note are Gloucester, Worcester and Cheltenham. The Cheltenham race course is famous for holding the Cheltenham Gold Cup but there are events all through the year, this could make for a fantastic family day out during the summer. Worcester has a beautiful cathedral in the centre of the city as well as some delightful little shops which are worth a walk around. Gloucester also has its own cathedral although personally I prefer the one in Worcester, I have no idea why but I do! It is worth noting that you do need to drive to get to all of the main attractions as public transport in the area is not all that frequent and the nearest railway station from the hotel is over five miles away.
Cost And Value For Money
The cost of a stay at the Broadway hotel ranges from £80 per person per night for a standard room during the week through to a maximum of £120 per person per night during the weekend for a junior suite. Whether you consider this to be value for money very much depends on you perspective but I thought the rates were quite reasonable. The hotel does not try to pretend to be more than it is and considering that it is set in a prime location in the Cotswolds it is not too damaging to the wallet. The hotel is ideal for a two or three day winter break due to how comfortable and cosy it is, it is always worth a try to see if you get it cheaper especially during the off peak season time.
The Finer Details
When I was thinking about what to write in my Dooyoo review I was questioning what it was that means the hotel is not in the four star rating category and other than the lack of facilities I have deduced that it could do with brushing up on the finer details. To put this into context when I arrived in the room I noticed it was quite cool, there was only one radiator so I assumed a spare heater would be stored in the room but this was not the case. However I later found out that the room next-door had a powerful portable heater. I asked reception if they had a spare heater and I was promptly supplied with one, upon plugging it in I realised that not only was the back of the heater covered in layers of dust but also it was only producing more cold air. I again asked for it to be replaced and this time I was given a pre-historic infrared heater, this seemed to take years to warm the room up but I really didn't have the energy for another call to reception! I just think that if you are going to provide a modern heater in one room it seems obvious to do exactly the same in another room, maybe I'm expecting too much.
I have decided to award three Dooyoo stars to the hotel, the restaurant is easily worthy of five stars but it is sadly bought down by some of the smaller aspects to my stay which could have been more polished. The village of Broadway is delightful and packed with charm and character. I would recommend the hotel for a short break of perhaps two or three days especially during the winter because it is charming and cosy. I was very close to awarding four stars but I'm not sure I can really justify it.
This review may also be published on Ciao under the username chrisbriers567.
Summary: A good, cosy , country retreat in a fantastic little Cotswold village.
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