Perfect for a romantic weekend
My wife and I stayed at Hanbury Manor for a couple of days recently. As neither of us is a golfer, or particularly keen on spa/swimming/gym activities, our main reason for going was to have a break from the kids and pamper ourselves with top-class service, a quiet comfortable room and excellent food. We were not disappointed. We did go midweek, when there was only one small (and mercifully quiet) wedding party. You should watch out for larger and more raucous wedding parties at weekends (as with many other Herts hotels, Hanbury Manor is clearly very popular for Essex girl weddings); in our experience they can ruin the stays of other guests.
The service is what particularly marks out Hanbury Manor. The staff were impeccably polite and helpful throughout. One little example: it was no trouble to bring up fresh milk for the tea in our rooms (instead of the little cartons supplied). Also, a rogue charge on my final bill (not suspicious at all) was removed without question. We really felt spoilt.
We initially went for a deluxe room but this was quite small (no separate armchairs) so we upgraded to a prestige room which was enormous with a big window overlooking the golf course which caught the sun in the morning. It was very well-appointed and comfortable. The bed was like a football pitch.
The food was pretty good. The Oakes Grill has a bistro air about it and a few screaming babies and oiks in t-shirts who did not know how to sit in their chairs properly meant that romantic it was not. But the cuisine was well done. This is also where the excellent and impressively wide-ranging buffet breakfast is found. For romance you need to go to the much more atmospheric (and expensive) Zodiac restaurent, where we had a superb meal. The chef checked personally that we were happy, and we were. The veal cheeks literally melted in my mouth.
Hanbury Manor is not cheap. But for a luxurious break from the stresses of life, it is hard to beat. We would definitely go again.
Overpriced with dreadful service - go somewhere else
I stayed at Hanbury Manor with my mum and sister at the beginning of Feburary for a weekend of spa treatments, good food and pampering.
Our accommodation for the two nights had been pre-paid by my brother-in-law. However, we still came away with a bill of £500.00 just for food and wine over the two days and with only an evening meal on Friday night. The service in the cocktail bar was appalling and the waiters only seemed interested in guests who had reservations in the Zodiac restaurant.
There is only really one affordable place to eat - the Grill Restaurant - but even there, expect to pay upwards of £45 pp for a 2 course meal with wine.
The spa area is quite small and on Saturday the swimming pool was full of small, noisy children who appeared to be having swimming lessons!! The whole experience was far from relaxing as a result and I may as well have been in my local council leisure centre.
If you were thinking of getting out and about and doing some shopping in the local town, think again - Ware is a dreadful, empty place, devoid of character and with barely any shops.
A bracing walk around the grounds might also be a nice idea -Hanbury Manor boasts that it is set in '200 acres of Hertfordshire countryside' - However, virtually all of this is golf course.
There was very little to do here and we all felt trapped inside a hotel with services that were very below par. Hugely disappointing. Will never, ever go again.
Upscale and gorgeous.
I was overseas for my honeymoon, and being a travel agent, I looked for the best I could find. This exceeded my desires. Being a beautifully renovated old manor house sitting out in the countryside, this is what you picture when you think of some of the sights of England. Everything about the hotel was top-notch. However, for some, this may be more than you need. In fact, my wife and I felt a little "out of place" at this hotel. I was able to get a great deal for the room, but everything else about the hotel is very pricey. That, tied in with the location being 30-45 min worth of train rides to get to London, may make this a careful choice for most. If you make this your choice, it will be hard to be disappointed. Everyone was extremely nice, and again, the hotel itself was spectacular.
Good for business travellers
We wanted a day and night away to get over the Christmas festivities with some pampering and a nice location to boot. The latter proved impressive for this hotel and the main house was extremely beautiful, grand and fitting for a country manor house. The disappointment came in the room, leisure facilities and prices. Whilst we paid a reasonable room rate it was basic if somewhat small. Light snacks and refreshments were expensive and the leisure facilities tired and in need of some investment. Dinner in the Oak room was fantastic but the modern surroundings, outdated christmas table decorations and a big room with only 10 or so diners spoilt it for us. The hotel seemed empty and would suit business travellers and conference usage.
Surprisingly good value for money
We booked directly with the hotel and paid £170 for one night including dinner. The food was good and the room really lovely, with a spectacular view. We enjoyed the spa and the pool (although the spa bath itself wasn't working on the evening we were there). We felt thoroughly spoiled after only one night.
Cottages in Bluecoat Yard
Cottages in Bluecoat Yard