Admittedly, having booked less than 24 hours prior to leaving London, we hadn’t looked closely at resort and all it had to offer – so it’s pretty safe to say that on arrival, we were blown away by the sheer size of the place!
With three golf courses, a spa, indoor pool, mini golf course, seemingly endless corridors filled with event and conference rooms, two restaurants, a fancy bar, a club house, lodges that are screaming out for hen parties and on-site night club; this resort is massive!
..oh and a Starbucks. A Starbucks!! My second home. I mean, it wasn’t very nice as they burnt the coffee and it was extortionate, but still.. How could I miss that off the list!?
Our room (2309) was really close to the reception area and though it was compact, it was cosy and comfortable enough but it didn’t blow us away. The view from our window looked out onto the mini golf course, but considering it was dark when we arrived and there was mostly torrential rain throughout our stay, that didn’t bother us too much.
We were impressed to find a fancy Dyson fan on the table; it was very warm in the room so this was functional, but it also made a great makeshift tripod for the photo below!
I must admit, I was slightly disappointed that there weren’t any of the all-important fluffy white robes and slippers that one would expect from a spa hotel, however the gorgeous ESPA toiletries in the bathroom and comfy, firm bed quickly made up for that.
Can we agree that there’s nothing worse than paying to sleep in an uncomfortable bed, and waking up with a sore back?!
One of my pet peeves with hotel rooms is the lighting. I find that the fancier the hotel, the worse the lighting is, and it was particularly terrible in our room.
Considering we had bad luck with the gloomy great British weather, there wasn’t much natural light coming in either, so I’m pretty sure I spent the entire time we were there walking around with unblended eyeshadow, patchy foundation and unflattering contour stripes across my face! *insert eye rolling emoji*
Ravenous and having made no dinner reservations in advance, Rocca’s Pizza Pasta extremely busy with over an hour’s wait time, so we were left with no other choice than to dine at Ryder Grill. While the restaurant decor is beautiful, and the staff extremely friendly, the menu was pretty poor for vegetarians, and even worse if you’re vegan. Everything was labelled with ‘contains dairy’ – including a cucumber salad which looked at though it was coated in mayo. Gross.
If you follow me on social media, you may know that I’m mildly lactose intolerant (with the exception of butter and cheese) so I fall somewhere between the two, but if I’m paying £35 per person for a buffet, I want something more substantial than just vegetables swimming in butter.
Breakfast however, the following morning, again at Ryder Grill was delicious. It was self service and there was plenty of choice available; from all the usual continental and full English favourites!
We hadn’t booked any spa treatments as we’d inadvertently chosen to visit on Mother’s Day weekend, so as I’m sure you can imagine, it was fully booked. I had hoped to use the pool, but while the rain had temporarily stopped, we ventured outside to go exploring as Jass obtained a map for a woodland walk.
It’s safe to say that we were pretty underwhelmed!
We (wrongly) assumed it was much bigger than it actually was and because of the weather, we didn’t actually see any woodland animals! If you know me, you’ll know that’s not actually a bad thing though! I’m not an animal person and all creepy crawlies freak me out, so I’m not entirely sure how Jass convinced me to go on this little adventure with him in the first place!
He quickly got over his disappointment when he discovered the adult fitness area though, and we spent far too long trying to take ‘the perfect’ Instagram boomerang here!
The pool was packed after our little excursion so we decided to go leave the resort and head to a nearby retail park to buy a smart shirt for Jass and have dinner elsewhere before getting ready go out to The Bel Air club that evening.
If you watched the vlog or my Instagram story that weekend, (I know I keep referencing Instagram a lot, but I really am addicted to the stories feature, so I’d love it if you gave me a follow there if you aren’t already!), you’ll see that there happened to be an Indian wedding taking place at the resort that evening and we could hear the music really clearly from our room. After a few drinks and an appearance from #DrunkNishi, I ran a poll on my story asking whether we should gatecrash the wedding, and well.. the majority of you (an astounding 98% of you!!) made me pluck up the courage to gatecrash!
If we’re being pedantic, the two people that voted ‘no’ to gatecrashing DM’d me immediately to say they clicked on the wrong button, ha! You’re all such bad influences, but at least it made for some interesting vlog footage!
Though our stay at The Belfry was slightly unconventional to say the least, we had a great time in each other’s company – partially fuelled by countless glasses of prosecco!
We didn’t use any of the spa or golf facilities, so I can’t comment on those, but we both agreed that we weren’t particularly ‘wowed’ by the hotel in terms of the level of service provided and our room considering we’d paid a pretty penny for it. All of the reception and bar staff appeared quite frosty and unfriendly, while the waitresses at Ryder Grill were faultless and so so lovely – we just got a bit of a weird vibe from the place.
By way of comparison, our stays at Oakley Court and Wyboston Lakes were much more pleasant, slightly more wallet friendly and the service was impeccable. These are two hotels I would highly recommend to anyone, but unfortunately I wouldn’t visit this one again.