on October 10, 2012
We wanted to stay overnight close to Alton Towers and had quite a search to find suitable accommodation. We had stayed in the on-site hotel in the past, but fancied a change this time. Lots of the offerings close by are guest houses or B&B's - lots seemed to have very negative reviews, but then we found this one. It had excellent reviews.It is in Cheadle, a nice little market town in Staffordshire, about 20 minutes drive from the theme park. It was once an old rectory, built in 1758.They claim a 4 star rating and state that although they are not a hotel, they have the facilities and more.The building is lovely, a big, old, red-brick house in the middle of the little town. Parking was a bit of a squeeze, but we managed in the end and got the last space. The room we had - a triple family room, cost £95.00 for the night and included breakfast.The small reception desk was at the back of the hall in the house. The man there dealt with our reservation in an efficent and friendly manner.Our room was not in the main house, but in what seemed like it had been an old stable block or some type of outbuilding in the past. It was at the back of the main house. The garden here is beautiful - lovely plants, wonderfully colourful and tranquil with a large pond full of enormous koi carp.Our room was on the ground level - very dark and the little, old-fashioned window let in barely any light. My first impressions were that it felt really cold in the room and smelt musty and damp. It was spotlessly clean, but the door had a bit of a gap underneath and a draught blew under. The window also let in draughts and the room just was not well enough insulated. I can't imagine staying here in winter, if it felt like this on a hot day at the beginning of September. I was very disappointed.There were 2 single beds and a double bed. The room also had a modern television and tea/coffee making facilities. The bathroom had a shower, was freezing cold and very old-fashioned, but again very clean. There was free Wifi in the room. They provided lots of white, fluffly towers, but the shower was extremely temperamental and impossible to control - one minute freezing cold, the next minute boiling hot. I did not allow our 9 year old to use it.We had dinner in the guest house. There is a small bar area in the main house and about 8 tables where they serve meals. The barman was very chatty and friendly and the atmosphere in this area is very charming. The dinner menu was good - about 6 offerings each for the starter, main course and dessert. I very much enjoyed my meal, my husband found his a little bland. They also had a good children's menu. For dessert we shared a chocolate fondant - it was heavenly!When we went back to the room and went to bed, the beds felt a little cold and almost damp. It was ok when we warmed up but definitely not ideal. It felt cold in the room during the night and our son needed to use an extra duvet.Breakfast next morning was reasonable - a choice of cooked breakfasts but only a couple of cereal choices and not much else. On check-out, the lady got our bill wrong twice before she came up with what looked like it was correct!All in all, we were disappointed with our stay here. The staff are really lovely, the food is good but the room was just not up to modern standards. I felt at £95 for the room, it was not good value for money. I would neither stay here again nor recommend it unless a major renovation took place to modernise the rooms.
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