Last time I visited was about 15 years ago for a company 'of-site' event. This visit was on a personal basis - interesting to see that a number of companies still use the facility for training purposes.
This is still a remarkable place considering that it is 120 years old and started life as a family home. There is plenty of wood panelling and original features (such as fireplaces) on display - all of which is in a very clean condition. There are no musty smells, in fact as you wander around, there are some very pleasant fragrances - especially the odd whiff of woodsmoke from the open fire.
Turning off the A44, the fairly steep driveway is initially shared with the BBC training facility next door (all very discrete). Thankfully, there is a turning circle and drop-off point outside the main entrance with parking for disabled guests (although it was quite noticeable that others parked in the area outside of the identified bays). The main parking area is further up the hill with pedestrian access back down to the main building over a well worn path resulting in some quite deep steps.
A small reception area is just inside the main entrance and we were able to check in ahead of the stated 3 p.m. stated time, without a quibble. We had booked an executive double room as part of a package (which included a brasserie dinner on the first night; breakfast and 25% discount if we pre booked dinner on the subsequent evenings) and were advised that we had been upgraded (but not sure as to exactly what this was). However, the room was on the first floor with double aspect looking out over the gardens to the front and side and Breedon Hill in the distance.
Everything was to a pretty high standard with fairly modern decor complementing the carved fireplace surround. This had obviously been a large room with an en-suite created by forming a boxed in area behind the ample Kingsize bed. This was cleverly done with some concealed lighting to enhance the features and a glazed border at high level to maintain privacy. A step up into this area presented a large shower area with seat and the usual washbasin and w.c. pedestal. Plenty of towels draped on a heated tower rail badly let down by two face cloths which looked a dirty grey as though they'd been used for mopping up the floor and not laundered. Plenty of good quality shower gels, shampoos, etc., were to hand and replenished each day. We never did manage to get hot water in the hand basin and I had to defer showering for 15 minutes as there was no hot water on the second morning.
A couple of easy chairs were provided in the window bay area with a range of quality magazines to sit and peruse with a cup of Nespresso coffee (again, the pods were replenished on a daily basis). The 'normal' tea and coffee facility (with biscuits) was in a cupboard area next to the wardrobe on the way into the room. Bottled water was also provided (replaced daily) with decent glasses supplied.
Lighting was subdued and the only way you could read was using the bedside lights (one of which had a shade with a mind of its own and needed propping against the wall). A freestanding standard lamp in the seated area is required.
The bed was quite high - probably due to a ducted heating system which seemed to come from its base - but was firm and comfortable. Good size pillows were complemented by a duck down duvet - very warm.
Meals were taken in the panelled dining room which was a brasserie arrangement with comfortable chairs, spoiled by some appalling piped music which was supposed to be background noise level but the bass beat could be heard in the bedroom (not sure if this came through the ducted heating system).
In addition to a limited a la carte menu, there was a fixed 3 course menu for £30 (which we were clearly told was the 'package dinner' and that we couldn't mix and match). The quality and portion size was, in the main, good although the pigeon breast served with parsnip as a starter was cool - even though the piece of slate on which it was served was touch warm.
The gardens are well maintained and even though our visit was mid-November, it was very pleasant to walk around. No doubt they are quite a treat when in full bloom and would make a good backdrop for wedding parties.
The young staff were all very pleasant, helpful and attentive - especially the receptionists (we met two) who certainly played their part as 'first impressions'.
Overall, there was just the feeling that the hotel was trying to be something - and was just failing. Whether this was due to sharing the location with corporate training candidates (no doubt necessary income) or the small items such as the poorly laundered face cloths or Robbie Williams (and others) belting out over a (supposedly) leisurely breakfast or intermittent hot water, etc., - but at the rates charged one could expect something a little more exclusive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Wood Norton Hotel & Restaurant , the former home to French Royalty, is a glorious Grade II listed, four star country house hotel. Set in its own grounds the hotel looks over the beautiful Vale of Evesham to the nearby Cotswold Hills.50 rooms and suites with beautiful public areas, large ornate gardens, and public areas. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your The Wood Norton Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Wood Norton Hall Country House Hotel And Restaurant
- Wood Norton Hall Country Hotel