At the end of September I took Raj on a small road trip down South to celebrate his birthday. We had already celebrated with a little shindig with his friends the weekend before, so we just wanted a quiet trip for the two of us to see in the big 3-0!
I had been invited along to the Bishopstrow Hotel and Spa on a review trip so I figured this was a great opportunity to try a new place out and get away for Raj’s birthday. So, on a rather sunny late-September day we pottered down to Wiltshire to check out the hotel and spa.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a stunning hotel. The Bishopstrow Hotel is an 18th century building covered in ivy which just so happened to be turning into autumnal colours. It looked lovely.
We parked up, checked in and were shown to our room. We stayed in one of the suites which is situated in a separate building that looked like it could have been stables at one point. It was just across a courtyard and on the first floor.
It was a large impressive room with a separate living room area complete with television and sofas. The bedroom area was also well equipped with another television, dressing table and a super large bed. Equally impressive was the huge bathroom, which had not one but TWO rainfall showers and a giant bathtub. I do love a good hotel bathroom!
Overall the hotel room was nicely done, I did notice some of the furniture was looking a bit dented or tired in places but that is me being super picky.
The staff at the Bishopstrow Hotel had thoughtfully left us a plate of truffles and fresh fruits along with a birthday card for Raj. I really do appreciate it when hotels make an effort to personalise a trip and that was a lovely welcome to the hotel and the room.
After we settled into the room we took a short walk around the hotel grounds and they really were lovely. It’s not a huge hotel, and the grounds are modest. But the Bishopstrow Hotel is in the countryside, just on the edge of village of Warminster, and the gardens were very pretty.
With a few hours to spare before dinner we decided to hit up the spa, one of our favourite things to do!
The spa at the Bishopstrow Hotel has an indoor and outdoor pool, a hot tub attached to the indoor pool and a small sauna/steam room area. Plus, they have a number of therapists available for spa treatments.
We headed straight outside to try the outdoor pool but I’m sad to say this was disappointing and not quite as glam as it looks on the hotel photos. The pool was tired and old, it was looking a bit grubby and not at all inviting.
To access the outdoor pool was also not great, there was no path as such, so you had to walk across soggy grass in your spa slippers. It was a little strange.
We decided to try the indoor pool, but again it wasn’t so great. The decor was a tad dated, the entire pool area was covered in an unsightly green mat that I assume is because the floor tiles were dangerously slippy. I’m sorry to say, it wasn’t very relaxing or enjoyable. We managed to stay for 10 minutes or so before opting to try the sauna/steam area.
To access the other part of the spa you have to walk back through the changing rooms, along a winding corridor and try not to get lost like we did! It’s not signposted too well. It was all just a little bit odd and I guess this is because the hotel is an adapted old building so the spa has been added on in stages. It just didn’t quite work or flow.
Overall, I wasn’t a fan of the spa facility. I would call this a hotel with facilities rather than a spa hotel.
In the evening we made our way down to the bar area early to have a casual drink before our reservation. There are a couple of beautifully decorated reception rooms to choose from. We placed an order at the empty bar and went to sit in one of the reception rooms. We had given ourselves about half an hour before dinner to have a drink.
But unfortunately our drinks took an inordinate amount of time to arrive. The restaurant manager came over to bring us the menus and we let them know we were still waiting for drinks. She said they were fine for us to be later for dinner and chased it for us.
Eventually our drinks came about half an hour after we ordered them, which is not acceptable really.
We had a 3-course dinner in the Bishopstrow Hotel restaurant. For the most part I would say this was good meal. The presentation was pleasing, the staff were friendly and I enjoyed the wine I picked.
My only criticism is that the food need a bit more oomph. It wasn’t seasoned at all, and my lamb slightly under-cooked. But for the most part it was an enjoyable meal.
Breakfast the next day was good. Again, the presentation was nice but not so big on flavour. My breakfast was not particularly generously portioned – I only got a quarter of a slice of fried bread which I found strange. But overall it was one of the better hotel breakfasts I’ve had.
All in all, it was a pleasant stay at Bishopstrow Hotel. The spa was not really up to scratch, and I wouldn’t call it a spa hotel as such. But for a short stay in Wiltshire, the hotel was pleasant.