The Abbey Hotel Golf & Country Club, Redditch

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The Abbey Hotel Golf & Country Club, Redditch

The Abbey Hotel Golf & Country Club is situated in a 175 acre estate, of land that belonged to the now ruined abbey. With superb modern architecture t...

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Review of "The Abbey Hotel Golf & Country Club, Redditch"

published 04/11/2017 | RICHADA
Member since : 20/06/2004
Reviews : 371
Members who trust : 609
About me :
If my reviews entertain, amuse or brighten your moment in any way, then my task is done! ++ Sadly - Nobody has asked me for £100 yet, I'm not in the habit of giving away money! ++
Good
Pro Bed. Décor. Downstairs Facilities. Event Management. Food. Grounds. (Most) Staff.
Cons Check-in. En-suite. Lighting. Room Required Refurbishment. Sunday Breakfast.
exceptional
Cleanliness
Comfort
Service
Facilities
Value for Money

"ABBEY HOTEL - HOST TO THE CIAO EVENT OF THE CENTURY!"

Nothing much to look at on the outside - here the main entrance.

Nothing much to look at on the outside - here the main entrance.

WHY DID WE BOOK THE ABBEY HOTEL AND COUNTRY CLUB IN REDDITCH?

Oh trust me, you'll like this, this is a good one……

……The very best indeed, we booked this property in order to attend a wedding there, but not just any old wedding, oh no, this you see was a CIAO! Wedding……

……Put the Ciao bride and her groom (who had jointly chosen this as their wedding reception venue), two other esteemed Ciao members plus RichAda in the same hotel, at the same time, and my goodness it had better be good – or else!

I joked at the time that, with four such eminent review writers in house, the Abbey Hotel had a lot to live up to, this review should reveal all on that score, although good or bad, the wedding itself proved such a joyous occasion that the Abbey merely paled into the background. But then, maybe, in hindsight, that is the best compliment one can pay such a venue. The day should be all about the celebration rather than the building it is housed in.

We booked the Abbey hotel for two nights, Friday 20th and Saturday 21st October, we could have driven up from home on the morning of the wedding, but, as the official wedding photographer (I’m open to offers and surprisingly reasonable…..) I wanted to be at the church rehearsal at 5.00 on Friday evening, a feat only just achieved thanks to Friday afternoon M42 traffic!

Guest, photographer in chief, reviewer, whoever said men were rubbish at multi-tasking?

HOTEL DESCRIPTION / OUR PERCEPTION FROM HOTEL PUBLICITY

The Abbey Hotel make much play of their Four Star status and both outdoor – golf – and indoor – swimming pool, spa and dining facilities – but rather less of their accommodation and ninety nine rooms.

We did briefly visit the Abbey Hotel and Country club on a dull Sunday afternoon back in February, familiarising myself with the surroundings in advance of the wedding, so was already aware that there was plenty of parking around this large complex. Even from the hotel’s own publicity one will not be surprised upon arrival to be greeted by a rather 1980’s “corporate” image rather than anything more characterful.

BOOKING PROCESS 10 / 10

It had been our intention to book the room in February whilst reconnoitering the Abbey, Sunday teatime however the two person reception was entirely deserted. I resorted to doing what we usually do and booking through my favourite booking.com site which is effortless, convenient and gives me automatic telephone confirmation. On this occasion however I completely missed the fact that breakfast was not included in the price – we never book a room only rate and here, adding the cost of four breakfasts turned what, initially, looked like a very good value stay into pretty much what I would expect to pay for a weekend away in a, Midlands location, Four Star spa hotel.

LOCATION 9 / 10

If your perceived image of the West Midlands is of the industrial Black Country and less salubrious Birmingham suburbs, then the area to the south of the M42 and to the north of Stratford Upon Avon is going to come as a revelation. Lovely open rolling countryside, picturesque old English villages and there in the midst of this countryside, yet only just outside Redditch, is the Abbey Hotel and Country Club, facing on to its’ own golf course.

Very easily accessible off of the heart of England motorway network, M40 / M42 / M5, the Abbey is ideally located as a spa break destination, or indeed an event venue. Once close to the locality, approaching Redditch, finding it is as easy as following the brown signposts.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS 8 / 10

Nowhere looks its best on a stormy, damp October day that dumps leaves in front of the entrance which, being below road level, is approached by fairly gentle steps down from the car park.

There is no escaping the fact that the grounds are superbly tended, behind the Abbey Hotel complex the golf course is beautifully landscaped and immaculately tended. One’s first impression of the hotel with its slow, only partial opening, electric entrance doors are perhaps a tad less impressive……

CHECKING IN 5 / 10

……ok, perhaps we were in an unusual hurry to check in at 4.40pm on Friday afternoon, but with nobody in front of us, I had just 20 minutes to dump the luggage in the room, go to the loo and then get to the church fifteen minutes away. However, the second time the receptionist disappeared behind the scenes during the checking in process elicited a “where on earth has she gone now?” comment from myself, clearly heard by her colleague at the adjacent work station. The fact that I made the fifteen minute journey in ten minutes was purely thanks to Ulrika, the Volvo on board GPS and the fact that none of the West Midlands constabulary were checking my breakneck speed down the country roads en-route.

During the course of our stay there was also an issue with our key cards, which in spite of approaching reception and the resultant re-programming, remained unresolved…….

……This is also the first hotel that we have ever checked out of that offered us no more paperwork than a credit card receipt, taking paper saving a tad too far that, and the receptionist had no way of knowing that I was not there on business and therefore requiring a VAT receipt which should automatically be issued to all guests, nor was I offered the opportunity to review my bar and dinner bill - one should not have to ask!

ON THE WAY TO THE ROOM 9 / 10

The public areas and passageways at the Abbey are fully commensurate with its Four Star status; the décor is innovative and tasteful. This extends to the bar and adjacent restaurant areas which are well planned, decorated and comfortable.

Our room, 142, was fairly close to both the main staircase and the lift. There is only one floor of bedrooms, but they spread a very long way from the entrance, reception and downstairs facilities. If located at the far end of the corridor you could well be facing a five minute walk to breakfast.

Conveniently the wedding suite rooms are located over the Henley on Arden Suite which has its own staircase access to them. However there is no internal, downstairs access from here to the reception and rest of the hotel rooms, leaving potentially scantily clad revelers, a walk outside to the main hotel entrance in order to access their rooms. On a dark, wet, night this is far from a friendly arrangement.

THE ROOM 5 / 10

The public areas had led us to have relatively high expectations of our room. It was comparatively compact, hardly worthy of a Four Star hotel, with a sloping ceiling and small, dormer, window making it feel smaller than its floor area would indicate. First impressions of the room were not helped by the “out of order” notice on the room safe, having jewellery and camera kit with us, unusually, on this occasion, we had actually intended making use of this facility.

There were plenty of different lighting options, but none bright or suitable enough for Mrs R’s make-up routine, a definite short coming for guests staying in a wedding venue I would have thought.

To the side of the en-suite, under the sloping roof, was a tiny open wardrobe and dressing area, on the end of which was a neat built in beverage station, over a fridge, which was totally silent in operation. Within this rather claustrophobic area was also a portable pedestal mounted fan (indicating that this south face “under the eaves” room gets unbearably hot in summer months) plus an ironing board and iron – no need to ring down to reception here!

Two tub chairs were provided along with a fairly generous desk top area complete with USB chargers and an iPod dock, over which was a large mirror, which should have been ideal for make-up, but wasn’t due to the dodgy lighting.

The room was heated by a rather ancient - and damaged, looking as though someone had attempted to stand on it - panel heater. It did work however taking the chill off the room quickly on our first night there.

THE EN-SUITE 6 / 10

Definitely not up to scratch, although, when newly installed this would have been an adequate shower room. As we found it, there were cracked and broken floor tiles, decidedly less than clean grouting and large chunks of paint missing from the door frame. The bottom edge of the en-suite door also had a jagged edge and was tatty and unhygienic looking.

On the plus side, housekeeping were undoubtedly doing the best they could, the toilet, hand basin and double sized shower tray were all spotlessly clean, the counter top too, although that was far too small for our needs even for a two night stay with two of us sharing the room.

The shower itself was excellent, both offering fine adjustment of temperature and pressure. There was however absolutely nowhere within the shower area to put anything apart from on the floor where it gets soaked. Both shower gel and shampoo are provided along with a tiny cake of soap. The towels provided were soft, fluffy and white.

A particularly good and, in our experience, unique feature in the en-suite which other hotel bathrooms would do well to emulate was the split lighting, two of the lights were a subdued blue colour, which made no sense until I visited the toilet in the middle of the night and realised that the defused light neither fully woke me up, nor disturbed Mrs R from her slumbers.

DID WE GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP? 5 / 10

It is not the Abbey’s fault that there was a storm blowing on the Friday night, however, the fact that one of the two opening windows simply did not seal properly, allowing a howling gale to blow noisily through the window all night is a matter for maintenance or refurbishment. Even with earplugs, I had a very poor nights’ sleep, as did Mrs R who is a much sounder sleeper than I. Fortunately it was calm outside on the Saturday night, retiring after the reception at 2.20am we were so tired we probably would have slept through a hurricane anyway.

Wind aside, the room is also fairly poorly insulated from the corridor outside, conversations being clearly heard between other guests and staff movements from very early, around 6.00am, mean that, along with early morning golfers at first light outside the window, Sunday lay-ins here are not really an option. I guess that is the price you pay here for a wonderful view from your bedroom window.

The bed was very comfortable, providing, like us, you appreciate a firm bed, and made up with soft, fresh white linen.

FACILITIES ON OFFER

By all accounts the facilities here are superb, and, as a hotel guest, you have free access to all of them. We were not here for a spa weekend and I am not a golfer, had it not been for the wedding being held here this is not a hotel that would have attracted my interest, which, whilst disappointed with the accommodation facilities, would actually have been a pity……

BREAKFAST / OTHER MEALS, FOOD & DRINKS 8 / 10

……It may appear mean to drop two points here in light of the fabulous food served at dinner on Friday evening and the very good breakfast on Saturday morning. However, had the only meal consumed here been the Sunday breakfast, this section would have scored a mere two points; it was total disorganised chaos with a forty minute wait for bacon, which apparently had not been delivered by the supplier, by 9.30, as we left the dining room, the bar was full of agitated guests who could not be seated for breakfast due to the backlog the absence of food had caused. Nice as the serving staff were, something clearly had gone badly wrong behind the scenes and we and the majority of others simply did not get what we had paid for on Sunday morning.

I do not intend to go into great detail on the dinner, it would make a good subject for a separate restaurant review, suffice to say here that with such an innovative and perfectly cooked and served meal, seldom has the expenditure of £70 been so much enjoyed.

As an addenda to this section, following the wedding reception, the staff wanted the reception suite back soon after midnight in order to prepare, ironically, for a wedding fair the following day. The bride and groom, along with the few of us still partying the night away, were shepherded into the, by now, rather rowdy “Members Bar” – a very “blokey” environment, seemingly populated by heavy drinking hard-core golfers, some of whom were clearly intent on playing around in an entirely different way. One of our number, a lone female, was intent on ‘one last drink’ prior to retiring, she was the last wedding guest standing! At breakfast on Sunday morning, we were delighted to hear that she had been escorted from the bar to her room by the duty manager – that at the request of the charming young Irish bar tender.

OVERALL VALUE FOR MONEY 6 / 10

Online reviews for the Abbey Hotel generally major on the value for money offered here. In response to that I can only say that we were not only unlucky with our room and en-suite, but also with Sunday breakfast.

Our two night stay, including the breakfasts came to £208. The best value at the abbey was represented by the additional £70 spent on the restaurant meal on Friday evening, at which stage I was commenting that I would return without hesitation. However, having attempted to sleep there, then experiencing Sunday breakfast, that intention had been reversed.

Possibly had we had more time or inclination to make use of the extensive spa or golf facilities at the Abbey, the value for money rating might have scored more highly.

If she chooses so to do here, I will leave it for the bride fill you in on the details of the disappearing wedding cake, which, in spite of the majority of the guests blissful ignorance, also rather managed to cast a cloud over the Abbey’s event venue credentials as far as we are concerned. This was most unfortunate as the whole event had, from a guests perspective, otherwise gone off faultlessly.

(P.S. The bride has also published a very thorough review of this establishment, in which she details the missing cake. The matter has, after some cajoling, which should not have been necessary, been settled to the bride and groom's full satisfaction.)

Redditch is not an area of the country in which we have previously stayed, meaning that I have no experience of other hotels in the area with which to compare our stay at the Abbey. Whilst reasonably priced by Four Star standards - and a £10 a night room upgrade is probably money well spent - we did feel that one too many aspects of our experience here failed to match the cost of our stay.

RICHADA’S HOTEL RATING: 71 / 100

We were undoubtedly unlucky at the Abbey, had it not been for the truly joyous occasion that took us there, this review could well have been even more critical of the accommodation, which - when all said and done - is our priority when paying to stay away from home. The food, when available, and service however are exceptionally good and, if in the area and in need of a quality meal, I would unhesitatingly recommend booking Bramblings Restaurant, which on top of fine dining also offers very attractive views.

Putting that score into perspective are the following, UK, hotels reviewed using the same rating system.

Ravenstone Lodge – Bassenthwaite Nr Keswick – 91% - 2011 Update: Room 9 - 96%
Woodcote House Hotel – Hooton, Wirral – 92%
Halifax Hall Hotel – Sheffield – 87%
Model Farm B&B, Bradford – 85%
Rosehill House Hotel – Burnley – 85%
Innkeeper’s Lodge, Stockport - 83 %
Innkeeper’s Lodge, Chester Southeast (Cheshire Cat) – 82%
Innkeeper’s Lodge, Hull – 81%
Days Inn Liverpool Central - 79%
The Victoria Hotel – Oldham – 78%

ABBEY HOTEL GOLF & SPA – Redditch – 71%

Hotel Viktoria, Cologne – 70%
Chadwick Hotel, St Annes - 63 %
Preston Swallow Hotel – Samlesbury, Lancashire – 57%
Swallow Bower Hotel - Chadderton - 53%
Travelodge Stonycroft – Liverpool – 50%

CONTACT DETAILS:

The Abbey Hotel
Hither Green Lane
Dagnell End Road
Redditch
B98 9BE

Tel.: 01527 406600

http://www.theabbeyhotel.co.uk

info@theabbeyhotel.co.uk
© RICHADA / CIAO - 04.11.2017

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Comments on this review

  • CGholy published 16/11/2017
    Shame about the weather.
  • xd-o-n-z-x published 14/11/2017
    e :)
  • afy9mab published 13/11/2017
    Excellent.
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Product Information : The Abbey Hotel Golf & Country Club, Redditch

Manufacturer's product description

The Abbey Hotel Golf & Country Club is situated in a 175 acre estate, of land that belonged to the now ruined abbey. With superb modern architecture the Abbey Hotel is a great place to stay or visit.

Product Details

Long Name: The Abbey Hotel Golf & Country Club

Rating: 4 Stars

Rooms: 100

Type: Hotel

Address: Hither Green Lane, Dagnell End Road

Post Code: B98 9BE

City: Redditch

County: West Midlands

Country: United Kingdom

Continent: Europe

Ciao

Listed on Ciao since: 14/07/2008