Chose this hotel based on location - we needed an overnight stop halfway between the home counties and Cornwall. Price was good and we figured worth paying the extra to guarantee an executive room with sea view - seeing as this hotel is 'perched' on the edge of a cliff, at the side of the Severn Estuary!
Firstly, the grounds are beautiful. We arrived just after 10pm on a midsummer's night with clear sky, so you could still see even at that time that the gardens and outside are well-kept. Lovely garden with wooden furniture that would be great for sitting out on a long sunny evening, with a fantastic view over the water to Newport.
Reception and main public area - you know you are in a very old building but seem very well kept - old but classy! We both had a large bag each (being on our way to a full week away) and asked if there was a lift, and were told there was. But....the doors look more like doors to a wardrobe - it seems like a VERY old fashioned lift, and even my normally trusting OH was dubious, so we carried our own bags down the single flight to our room.
Once on the floor below you really become aware of the building's age - it feels like you've stepped back in time, very narrow corridors - everything feels a little old and tired. After a struggle to open our room, we got in and the room itself was lovely - four poster bed facing the window which had a spectacular view over the Estuary. But you could really tell that those window frames desperately need a lick of paint, inside and out!
A lovely surprise to have the four-poster but as a bit of a shorty (5' 4") I actually found the bed somewhat of a struggle to get into!! The promised complimentary wifi was very patchy and for the most part I just could not get connected. There was a bluetooth speaker available but neither of us could get it to work (and we're both quite techno-savvy) and no instructions.
We slept fairly well after initial reservations that the mattress was very very firm, but were disturbed from quite early on (5-6am?) - the kitchen and restaurant for breakfast were directly above our room, and when the staff were in there - and, from 7am, fellow hotel guests - the noise of footsteps and chairs being moved transmitted to our room below.
In its day, this would have been a fantastic hotel - but we felt that now, it really needs a bit of TLC to bring it up to date....with that done, it would be AMAZING! less