We went over the half term, two adults and two teenage boys. We have been to the manor previously but never the Ashbury and I hadn't expected them to be so far apart, however it didn't matter. We drove to the Manor only once (for our already booked massages) as there was plenty going on at the Ashbury and as numbers are restricted we found we were able to get5 into all the activities we wanted to.
Yes the rooms and the hotel interior are by no means salubrious, they are functional and clean and very covid aware. A few more more pool tables wouldn't go a miss, but we did manage to get on one each night, which got our boys off YouTube most evenings which is no mean feat.
The food, which I would have described as adequate previously was vastly improved by being served. Bike ride on the granite trail was great, our bikes were taken for us and picked up. I found the staff willing to help and very on the ball with covid regs. I forgot to put my mask on whilst walking about and was quickly and politely asked to rectify, which of course I did. All equipment was cleaned between sessions and wipes were provided at self serve activities e.g. snooker. Check in has been change to make it more secure and this has strangely resulted in it being more convenient.
My 14 year old was delighted with the football pitches, where we went every day and he really enjoyed all the activities, even my very fussy 16 year old said it was adequate, which is high praise indeed.
If you want a holiday that won't cost the earth but includes lots of activities for all, gorgeous country side, perfectly fine food and drink and (sometimes slightly odd) entertainment, where covid rules are actually enforced engendering a feeling of safety then look no further.
If you want to be housed in 5* luxury and be served high end cocktails and gourmet food, this is not the place for that.
The hotel describes itself as "a 3 star hotel with a 5 star service" - I agree!
OK, first off let's get the bad points out of the way:
1. When we walked into our room we found an unwrapped uneaten biscuit waiting for us on the floor by our bed.
2. The decor screams "Welcome to the 1970s!"
3. The saunas weren't working.
And now the good points:
1. You won't go hungry during your stay - there's lots of tasty food & lots of choice, and sensible meal times so there's no rushing about trying to get to the dining room before it closes.
2. Friendly staff - we didn't meet one grumpy person during our stay. The staff always seemed to be busy but were always happy to help when asked.
3. Crafts, crafts, and more crafts - we chose this hotel so we could try our hand at a few different arts & crafts and boy did we achieve our aim! We have already decided to visit again next year as there simply wasn't enough time for us to try everything we wanted to do.
4. When we needed a rest from all the craft activities there was a swimming pool, steam room & a hydrotherapy area, and a well equipped exercise room. All free of charge. (Towels can be borrowed for £1 each, with a £5 refundable deposit, and the key to exercise room also incurred a £5 refundable deposit). The bar was warm & welcoming, and the large TV (with Sky Sports) was in a room next to the bar so as not to annoy those who weren't interested in watching it.
5. Value for money - for all that we did, for all that we ate, for all that we learnt, for all that we made, we really cannot fault the price.
6. The room was clean (apart from the biscuit) and a nice size, and had all the amenities you would expect (kettle, tea/coffee/etc, tv, hairdryer, safe).
We enjoyed our stay, and would have awarded the hotel 5 stars but it loses one star for the biscuit on the floor & the decor. We left with a car boot full of the things we had made, and we are looking forward to our next visit!
We had a great time here using facilities both at Ashbury and Manor House
my kids loved it and want to go back. would definitely recommend, nice pools and lots of great craft activites
I stayed here with my sons and nephews for my youngest sons 18th as they are all sport mad.We had a great time the hotels facilities were excellent. There are different bars so you listen to the entertainment or have a quiet drink and watch sport on the various big telly's. The food was a buffet system which worked well , the menu was not very extensive but the food on offer was very good. There was a choice for vegetarian and gluten free options. The prices at the bar are near enough pub prices which is very good for a facility of this type. All activities were free , even pool table and video games were free. You could also use the facilities at the sister hotel the Manor House which is even more impressive in size. They even had an indoor bowling alley of 4 lanes which was excellent. There was a great choice of activities, a fab swimming pool with sauna and Jacuzzi. I was in a room adapted for disability which was excellent and perfectly suited to my needs. The others in our party also reported that the rooms were very comfortable.I di find one touch of irony with the sign under my TV telling me to keep the volume to the minimum after 10pm, well my room was next to the lounge bar and up until midnight there was considerable noise from passing guests , though I probably would have got in trouble for drowning them out with the telly. The only real negative I found was that there was no visible disability parking or signs indicating where such parking might be. It is a very big car park and I am permanently on crutches and found it a very long walk to reception whilst trying to pull along a suitcase. Perhaps the management could put some in place or if there are any make the signage clear. Might be an idea for the future, I know there is no legal requirement for disbled guests but it would be considerate practice. Apart from that everything else is 1st class and I will definitely be returning.
We normally spend October half term at a Centre Parcs but having heard great reviews about the Manor House we decided to give it a go. You really do get value for money here. All activities are included in the price - just the odd couple of pound to pay if you are doing a craft of some kind (pottery, candle making etc). So many activities to choose from and we tried lots more here than we ever do at Centre Parcs. Yes, the buildings are a bit dated, very 70,s in the decor but that really doesn’t matter. Beds comfortable, food ok - salad or something with gravy most nights but hey ho. Breakfast - plentiful. Lunch - salad or a cooked meal. Would have been nice to be able to grab a tea/coffee during the day from a counter service and not £1.50 from a vending machine. I would say this hotel caters from the age of about 8 for activities. There are soft play areas for little ones but not much else - other than the pool. The biggest negative - we were a party of 17 of which 6 (so far) were/have been struck down with a sickness bug whilst there and since being home. Overall a great week was had by all except for the sickness bug.