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Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort
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Reviews (1,393)
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Reviewed 28 May 2012

Stayed one night at a stopover to break the long journey back from Cornwall; took them up on what looks like a fairly popular deal with a room, dinner for two and breakfast for about £200 - I get the impression this price moves around a bit. Looks like a fairly new build hotel but doesn't look out of place; the upshot being the hotel is smart, clean and well looked after. Set in a large country park/golf course its very quiet; had an excellent sleep. Rooms were immaculate, with a decent sized bed, good quality linen, and a bathroom with both a separate shower and bath. The "balcony" rooms aren't quite what you expect...the balcony is a small 2 foot ledge you can stand on rather than somewhere to sit out; we paid more for this type of room, which was a waste.

The bar was OK, made infinitely better by the outside terrace catching the sun all day and into late evening. Service at the bar was a little hit and miss.

Two types of dining (with difference prices); the Brasserie or the Shelburne Room for 'fine' dining. We picked the Shelburne Room option which offered three courses, from the full a la carte menu, drinks not included in the price. Food was good, supported by a decent but not silly wine list. Service was efficient and relatively informal; helped to provide a setting that was suitable for couples as well as family/friend groups. Children were noticeable by their absence (I don't think they discouraged them, but the guests were a mixture of older family groups, friends and couples).

The spa was a little bit of a disappointment... wasn't horrible or anything but given all the space and the gorgeous weather would have been nice to be able to lounge outside; a small courtyard with cafe tables/chairs was all there was. Pool was nice, with a small jacuzzi attached, along with steam and sauna rooms. And just in case you're wondering, the aromatherapy shower is a poolside shower that smells.

All in all a good hotel which I'd recommend to others.

Room Tip: Don't bother with the balcony; its not worth it.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Shaun D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2012

A group of us visited the spa for a friends 50th Birthday. A good time was had by all. We were made to feel welcome on arrival and robes, slippers and towels were provided. You need a £1 coin for the lockers.
The gym is well equipped with modern machines and free weights, kettle weights, palates balls ect. Something to suit all. The view from the gym is beautiful, all be it on a sunny day it makes you want to abandon the gym and run around the grounds of the hotel.
The pool was great. The temperature of the water is just right and the pool although not big is suitable to swim lengths in.
The whirlpool attached to the pool is hot and relaxing. There is a dry Swedish type sauna and a steamy aromatherapy one, both were great. I won't spoil the fun of the shower in this area but its a must do.
The changing rooms provide body wash and moisturiser and there are hair dryers available.
We had a fruit platter at the beginning of the day and lunch. Both were perfect in presentation and taste.
Our group of six all felt that the experience was well worth the money.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank valashby2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2012

Great location and very pleasant public areas with choice of places to sit and read the papers after a good breakfast - choice could be a bit wider but at least the food is fresh cooked and not those awful heated tureen style things you get in so many places. Staff were lovely although somewhat (very) inexperienced. My major criticism is that golf clubs are 'not allowed' in your room so when you come in wet and bedraggled you don't have the chance to sort your gear out and dry it off. The owner is clearly not a golfer and must be worried we would take practice swings or play in the room ! I play a lot of golf and this is only the second time in many many years that I have had to leave the clubs wet in the car. Would not stay again for that reason.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank aluakea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

We have been to this hotel twice this year, once in Winter and once in Spring. Both experiences were wonderful. We travelled with our 2 young children. Rooms are spacious, with extras you'd expect in a 5 star hotel - fluffy robes, slippers etc - and that included the children too! It is clean, spotless with soft, stylish decor. Staff are super helpful. The pool area nice. The main restaurant is great for a grown up meal. Children are best eating in the golf club bistro or in the library. The kids menu at approx. £5.50 for 2 course is great value. More choice would be good but if you ask they can often cater for something different off the bistro menu. In summer take a complimentary golf buggy ride over to the adventure playground, which is simply incredible for those aged between approx. 4 and 12 years. Really challenging and fun, but also safe. Younger kids are catered too with smaller equipment and a soft play area (didn't check that out). All in all a real gem of a hotel which manages to be both child friendly whilst still feeling luxurious and 'grown up'. Great whether you go with or without the children. We will be back!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Nicki_TJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2012

First impressions of The Bowood Hotel are good. The grounds are beautiful and you get a sneak preview of how wonderful the golf course is. We were made welcome by very helpful reception staff and were delighted with our balcony room. The room was spacious and beautifully presented. The bathroom was great containing both a bath and excellent shower. Robes and slippers are provided. We especially appreciated the home baked cookies on the tea tray and the bottled water. The room overloooked the golf course and park land.
We took advantage of the pool in the spa and they even fitted me in for a facial at short notice. All the staff we encountered were friendly and professional.
The golf course is superb and the staff in the pro shop very welcoming.
So why not 5 stars. This excellent hotel lets itself down on the catering front. The restaurant is pleasant and the staff were lovely. The food however is second rate for such a high quality establishment. You cannot charge these prices and not produce high quality food. The menu was lacking imagination and the cooking not as good as our local pub.
So come on Bowood, get yourself a high quality chef and then your hotel will be unbeatable.
We would go back but would not eat in the restaurant which seems a shame.

Room Tip: Get a balcony room
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CambridgeOwl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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