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Best Western Rumwell Manor Hotel (Taunton)

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1 Review

Rumwell / Taunton / Somerset / TA4 1EL / England / Tel: (01823) 461902 / Fax: (01823) 254861.

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      29.03.2007 10:52
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      A Great Place for a base to tour the South West

      Rumwell Manor Hotel, a 3* hotel, is part of the Best Western Chain. Best Western is an international group of independent hotels, it is probably the largest brand of hotels in the world. I’ve never stayed at an overseas Best Western but have stayed at quite a few in the UK. All in all I’ve stayed at around 30 different Best Westerns over the years and never had a problem. They tend to be 3* hotels all with individual features. Not the standard big chain (with standard room sizes and incredibly boring….). Best Western Hotels tend to have lots of character and that traditional hotel ambience. In the main they are fairly small hotels (usually under 25 bedrooms – there are a few larger but not many). If I’m paying for a hotel (unless its’ a special occasion or unless work are paying) I tend to stay in Best Westerns’ Best Western has an excellent website www.bestwestern.co.uk that regularly has some extremely good deals. At the moment there is a 3 nights for 2 offer on selected hotels, it ends on the 30th of April. There are 290 hotels in the chain, the offer applies to 120 of them, I've checked and it applies to Rumwell Manor. There is also a central booking number for all Best Western Hotels 08457 747474 Rumwell Manor is located just under two and a half miles from Taunton. If you stay here you either need a car or be able to rely on taxis. I spent three days here whilst in Taunton on business. Rumwell Manor was chosen more by luck than judgment (the other side were staying at the Castle – the local 4*). So I and a colleague stayed at Rumwell Manor. We travelled by Train to Taunton and used taxis to and from the hotel. It is a lovely hotel. It even has chocolate connections, it was previously owned by the Cadbury family. It is a Georgian country house set in acres of really well maintained gardens with some really nice views. It had been built as a Country House for the Cadbury (of chocolate fame) family. It only has 20 rooms, a mix of singles, doubles/twins. The Rooms are either standard or superior. The Hotel has an annex, the Courtyard which is about 6 feet from the main hotel. The Standard Rooms are located in the annex. With the superior rooms being located in the main house. My colleague and I both had rooms in the main house, so I didn’t get to see a standard room. The Superior Rooms are all on the first and second floor. No lift. Room rates vary from tremendously, depending what room, there is a business tariff as well as a standard rack rate. Superior double rooms are currently £118 per night, B & B. Rumwell Manor is one of those hotels which gets 3* because it is small and as such doesn’t have the extras that make it to a 4 or 5*. It only has limited room service, there are no leisure facilities, whilst the restaurant is excellent it only has limited opening (breakfast is 7.30 – 9.30 [mon – fri], 8.30 – 10..00 [weekends] : Dinner is 7.00 – 9.00 [mon-sat] 7.0 – 8.30 [sun]), reception only opens from 7.00am until 11.00pm. That said the quality of service, of rooms and food is very high. As good as the average 4*deluxe. I arrived by taxi, took around 10 minutes from Taunton Station on the Sunday evening. The Receptionist was really pleasant and helpful. I arrived after 9.00pm. Fortunately I’d eaten. If I hadn’t the Restaurant had already closed (which wouldn’t have been particularly helpful). I was very proficiently checked in and restaurant times etc explained. Reception also booked me a taxi into Taunton for the following day. I then headed to my room to dump my bags before finding the bar. My room was great, excellent decor. A really large airy room with lots of individual character. Lovely furnishings. A four poster bed, its’ the room in the photograph on the hotel website. It had a really soft and comfortable double bed. Good quality furniture, a desk and chair, a couple of very comfortable armchairs. There were also the usual furniture, Wardrobe, chest of drawers and, desk. The whole room was colour coordinated, everything matched. The ensuite was as good. Large bathroom with a full sized bath with overhead power shower. Really lovely, soft fluffy, towels together with the usual range of free toiletries. Both the room and bathroom was immaculately clean and obviously well looked after. Apart from not having a four poster bed my colleagues’ room was as good as mine. Both rooms had the usual internet access, TV, hair dryer, coffee making facilities etc. After dumping my bags, having a nosy around and after doing my ET routine (phoning home). I headed back downstairs The bar was quite small with a cosy lounge with really good quality comfortable furniture. It was, as were all the public areas, very clean and clearly well looked after. Bar prices were no higher than any other hotel I’ve stayed in. My colleague arrived and we had a few drinks, as you do. Breakfast is served in the restaurant, Blackdown. Its’ relatively small and very nicely decorated. Breakfast is part buffet with cereals and juices and the full English cooked to order. I have to say that the Full English was very tasty, plentiful with good quality ingredients and substantial. Dinner was excellent. I ate in the restaurant on a couple of nights. Either a table d’hote or a la carte. The Menu was fairly limited in the sense that there were half a dozen starters, mains and desserts. That said I am a great believer in a restaurant having a small menu but cooking the food well rather than a huge menu cooked poorly. Here the food I ate was extremely well cooked. The menu was fairly classically based with one or two nice twists. My favourite starter was a smoked duck salad with a chocolate and vinegar dressing, anything involving chocolate has got to be good. On the mains my favourite (in fact one of my all time favourite dishes) was Lambs Liver and Bacon in red wine. My colleague had a fillet steak that he raved about. Puddings (sorry desserts). My favourite, cos I love Bread and Butter Pudding, was a marmalade and Cointreau Bread and Butter Pudding. It was delicious. Everything was clearly homemade. On our way to Taunton on the first morning our very friendly taxi driver pointed out a pub (it took under ten minutes to get to the centre of Taunton at “rush hour), just over the road from the hotel. An easy amble in fact. the hotel bar was a bit limited we tried the pub. A really great little pub, a traditional local. The routine was set. Taxi in the morning, Work in the day, Taxi back to the hotel, a bit more work at night, dinner in the hotel, gentle amble to the pub after dinner. Heaven. Who needs a car. Rumwell Manor has a really pleasant relaxing feel to it. It is not the most inexpensive hotel I have ever stayed in. Indeed its’ pricing is comparable with many 4* hotels. It, however, has loads of character, not to mention an excellent little restaurant which produces extremely good quality food cooked to a high standard. The quality of service from the staff generally is exceptional On the downside the facilities are limited, there is no swimming pool, no leisure centre, no air conditioning but it is located in a really beautiful part of England where there are lots of things to do. Historic Taunton is a few miles down the road, the gorgeous south west with its' history, its' beaches is literally on the door step. If there had been a deluxe gym or a pool would I have used them, probably not, it was nicer to eat and to go to the pub. I didn’t see any families, but there again my stay was out of season, so I don’t know how family friendly it is. I also didn't see any pets. I don't think that pets are allowed. The disabled facilities appear to be limited. Would I go again, definitely, would I recommend it. Of course I would, it was great.

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