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Reviewed 11 June 2021

We enjoyed a return visit after 7 years - the main draw is still the beautiful location of course with superb views over the valley and towards the Cotswolds.

Staff very pleasant as ever, and very careful to observe Covid protocols.

Date of stay: June 2021
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank daktari_on_safari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2021

Lovely hotel in a stunning location. The staff are all so friendly and helpful, creating a real family feel to the hotel. Rooms are spotless and the restaurant food was outstanding. The hotel has AA recognition for its Covid hygiene practices.

Date of stay: June 2021
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank 590gaylew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2021

I've got a lot to say, so I will just go through the points in chronological order (and I'll try to be brief).

1. When making the booking about 6 weeks prior, I informed the hotel that I was vegan.
2. On arrival, parking was very difficult. It's not clearly marked where to park, just seemed like a free-for-all.
3. The reception desk gave us a pleasant welcome and we were checked in very quickly.
4. Getting to the 'Cosy Room' (No. 5) was annoying. There are a few places where you could hit your head, but no warning signs - I hit my head having to duck through doors twice during our stay. The room itself was definitely cosy (small), but seemed to have everything required.
5. The sliding door to the bathroom had a horrendous squeek to it, like metal scratching on metal.
6. The views were of the rooftops, but we weren't that bothered. However, having the windows open just meant listening to the huge extractor fan from the kitchens.
7. The first evening, we had some drinks in the bar. The service was slow.
8. Breakfast. Having been told 6 weeks ago that I was vegan, and the receptionist confirming it upon checking in, you would assume that the breakfast staff would be prepared to advise what was vegan, or offer a vegan alternative. Wrong - they had no idea. I asked if the sausages from the vegetarian breakfast were vegan or vegetarian, they didn't know. I said 'would you be able to check', and she said 'do you want me to check now?'... We were both confused by this (like, yes, please check now so I can eat a breakfast?!). Annoyingly, the restaurant does not state on their breakfast menu what is vegan or gluten-free, which makes it even more annoying when the wait staff don't know either. I also asked if they had any vegan/dairy-free spread for the toast, I was told 'no', so I had to eat dry toast. This was very disappointing. I would forgive it if it was still 2009, but when plant-based foods and vegan alternatives are now so readily available, it seems the Cottage is stuck in the past.
9. Dinner. The only vegan option of the dinner menu was a slice of baked cauliflower, for the bargain price of £18.50!! After the disappointment of breakfast, I cancelled our dinner reservation. We instead went to The Inn at Welland, which I could not recommend more highly, everything was perfect (and they had more vegan options than just a wedge of cauliflower - how uninspiring).
10. The outside area. Another big disappointment. The upper level has just three tables, while the lower level has about four. The furniture is the most uncomfortable, hard wood. The tables and chairs look aged and tatty, with a mixture of painted iron chairs (also incredibly uncomfortable), the horrible hard wood, and cheap looking Ikea knock-off chairs. By comparison, The Inn at Welland has very comfortable rattan furniture, with cushions, throws (for when it gets chilly), outdoor rugs, candles on tables. The outside area at the Cottage looks like it's not been thought about for 20 years. I have seen Wetherspoon gardens look nicer than this. There is a terrace seating area direcly outside the bar area, which looked reminiscent of a Blackpool seafront ice cream parlour rather than an upmarket countryside hotel in the Hills. Unimaginative and ugly, obviously done on a shoestring budget.
11. The bar. During our stay, it was obvious there was favouritism of guests. While we had to go to the bar to order our drinks, we then had to wait because the only bar man was delivering champagnes to a table of toffs. This happened multiple times during our stay - some getting table service and friendly chats, while we were effectively shunned, having to wait at the bar for up to 10 minutes waiting for a server. The one person on the bar was preoccupied delivering the champagne, but further had minimal knowledge of the bar contents - we had to point to where things were.

Unfortunately, this hotel is such a wasted opportunity and has so much potential that is so easy to rectify.
- Firstly, some signage advising of where to park would be helpful.
- Show photos of all your rooms, so guests have full transparency of what they're paying for.
- If you are going to welcome people with dietary requirements, then update your menus accordingly. In 2021, trying to serve a vegetarian or vegan a wedge of cauliflower for close to £20 is offensive.
- Buy some dairy-free butter, it costs £1.40.
- Highlight what breakfast items are suitable for different diets on the menu. Then train your staff.
- Paint the outside furniture, give it a second life. A few cushions and throws, alongside candles on tables will create a beautiful ambience, and might attract more people to come and enjoy the views over an afternoon tea.
- If you're going to offer table service, offer it to everyone, not just the ones you think will give the biggest tip.

The plus points:
+ The toilettries provided actually were vegan! They were lovely.
+ The views are spectacular.
+ There is really easy access to pick up the Hills trail straight from the hotel.
+ The hotel interior is very pleasantly decorated, including rooms.

We won't be returning and won't be recommending, at least not until the aforementioned improvements are made.

Room tip: Avoid any rooms near the kitchen.
Date of stay: June 2021
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank SayHelloToDanny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2021 via mobile

Lovely stay. A beautiful setting with exceptional views. Set in the Malvern Hills with walks straight from the hotel. Nice touches and retro/modern twist to room - very tasteful decor. Outstanding food. Excellent service and really nice staff. We will be back.

Date of stay: May 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Hughreviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2021

Hello,

We had a good stay at the Cottage in the Wood. The location is fantastic. Malvern is a great place to relax.

As for the rooms, I was told that the room can accommodate three people (that is how the Great rooms were advertised on your website). However, we found out that the bed can take only two guests. This meant that I had to sleep on the floor for all days. My recommendation will be not to advertise something that you cannot deliver.

Similarly, the food in the restaurant was generally good. The breakfast and the afternoon tea were quite good. The picnic lunch was nice as well. However, the dinner was a disappointment. The lamb was not cooked well at all and the cutlery in use seem to be from 1919. We could not cut through the meat portions at all. The menu also was a very limited one. I am sure you can improve a lot on this front and not rest on the laurels from the past.

Overall, I will give it a 7/10 rating.

Thanks
Delvis

Date of stay: June 2021
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank DelvisRoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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