The Power of the Ullesthorpe Court Hotel is in the Staff.
The Ullesthorpe Court Hotel is a little gem hidden away in the Leicestershire wilderness. It will definitely be a place you plan to visit, as you are unlikely to just stumble across it. It is set in beautiful grounds (as you would expect as it has a golf course) and is in a lovely mansion house.
The layout of the hotel is somewhat unusual. In Lincoln's bar, the actual bar is in the middle of the room. This can make you feel like you are being overlooked if it is quiet and you are sat on the side that the bar is facing. Also, the restaurant is located to the left of the main corridor to the rest of the hotel, and the kitchen to the right. This creates a crossover of through-traffic of guests and the restaurant staff trying to work.
The rooms are comfortable, the beds are huge and the bathrooms well fitted. The shower has good pressure and there are all the facilities you would expect from a great hotel - TV, coffee/tea making facilities and complimentary toiletries. I found the pillows a little flat and hard and the fan in the bathroom was rather noisy. The first room I stayed in also had a knocking sound that came and went, which I think was the pipes when the room next door used their shower. The rooms (actually the whole hotel) tends towards being too warm, even if you turn the heaters off. This may be due to the typical guest being of an older demographic. That said, I slept well all the time I was there.
The food at the Ullesthorpe is generally of high quality and is evidently cooked fresh. The restaurant food out-classes the bar food. I had an unsatisfying meal in the bar on Sunday night - sausage, egg, chips and beans, and the buffet breakfast isn't the best I've had, but this actually indicates the talents of the chef(s). They definitely do refined food better than processed food. The restaurant menu changes daily to accommodate the fresh produce and is of an incredibly high quality. As I was on a course, we were provided with food throughout the day. We were fed 5 times a day - buffet breakfast, cookies at 11, cooked meals, salads and dessert for lunch, cakes or similar at 3 and then three course meals in the restaurant or food in the bar (or your room) in the evening. The hotel definitely likes to feed you.
The staff are the heart of the hotel. The reception staff are extremely welcoming and warm. They seem truly delighted to greet you and are efficient and friendly. The waiting staff that look after you at breakfast are super friendly and make the effort to chat with you each morning, keeping up with what you have been doing. The evening waiting staff in the bar are engaging and efficient, although one barman didn't seem as delighted as everyone else to be there, whenever I saw him. The restaurant staff are incredibly professional and friendly, with more of an air of formality, which is perfect for a restaurant environment.
I actually ended up staying an extra day due to Storm Doris. The hotel lost power a few times, and the phone lines, internet and central management system were knocked out. Food was on a reduced menu due to the fryers being out of action and the card machines were not working. The staff coped amazingly. It was a very stressful situation, which did show, however they were all still courteous and professional with the guests and still delivered amazing service and food.
All in all a great stay. Worth a visit if you are in the area. less