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Hotels England 14 day tour

I see in the comments fairly negative remarks about the hotels on the 14 day England tour. What is the real scoop? Is it just character or people wanting the Ritz ? Thank you

Posted by
465 posts

I look forward to responding when I get back from the tour the first week of October.

The hotels look quaint and well located and that's fine with me. A decent shower and a reasonably comfortable bed are all I need.

Posted by
16358 posts

If you're talking about Tour Member reviews on that tour web page, I note that the more negative comments I see were from travelers in mid-July, whose experience may be colored by the heat wave in the UK at that time.

Several forum threads this spring also touched on this topic, in longer reviews from a few travelers. You should be able to find those using the Search box.

Posted by
73 posts

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If you're talking about Tour Member reviews on that tour web page, I note that the more negative comments I see were from travelers in mid-July, whose experience may be colored by the heat wave in the UK at that time.
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Hey Laura there were comments posted by TravelingMom back in 2018 that kind of painted a less than satisfactory picture of the exact hotels on our Sept 15 tour BoE. Can I assume that any issue that have come up about them you have already address for this year. We are looking forward to our up coming sixth trip and anticipate it to be as good as all the others.
Don

Posted by
16358 posts

Don & Cyndi - Yes, TravelingMom and others who were on the same trip wrote the extended Travel Forum threads I refer to. You must be correct that it was last fall rather than this spring. I did not look back far enough in the regular online ratings to see if they were also reflected there.

One of their less favorite locations was the Brooks Guesthouse in Bath, which we've used for many years and continue to use. New readers can find that discussed in the threads. I have not checked what upgrades the hotel may have implemented this year, but our tour team did work with the hotel on feedback. My mother and I stayed in this hotel in fall of 2016 and had no issue with it.

Posted by
273 posts

I was taken aback by the response I received from Brooks Guesthouse when I reserved extra days in advance of the tour. I asked to be placed in a room where we could remain when the tour started. They told me that could not promise to do that because "we don't know how many people are included in the tour". I don't understand why the number of people in the RS tour group would require them to move us when the tour starts. That seems rather odd as we've never had any issues staying in one room before.

Posted by
704 posts

Javlouid, you'll find two schools of people on these boards. The first tend to agree with Rick's back-door hotel philosophy and like mom-n-pop places, dislike chains, want local ownership and authenticity, and find quirks in the rooms a fun part of travel. Then there are others who want predictability in hotels, prefer chains so as to leverage loyalty and use/earn points, and find hotel quirks to be irritating, not endearing. I tend to fall in the second category of people. I absolutely love Rick and have read his books, watched his shows, and been on this board for years, and I find him dead-on when it comes to his recommendations for restaurants, museums, hikes, transportation, and other tips....but his hotels are just not my cup of tea. Give me a nice "bland" Marriott any day. :)

Posted by
1083 posts

I went on the Best of England tour in September 2017 and enjoyed the tour and the hotels. The Brooks Guesthouse was lovely. There is a huge amount of stairs to climb just to get to the front door and with luggage it is a bit difficult. But it is just twice you have to do that with luggage. I was lucky, my room was lovely and on the same floor as the lobby. There are a lot of stairs in the hotel and down to the breakfast room but if you are fit and able to do stairs it is not an issue. As for the hotel itself, I enjoyed it and would not hesitate to stay there again. I loved the breakfast room and the breakfast.

The Castle Hotel in Wales was beautiful and I loved it. Excellent dinner there with the group in a beautiful dining room and nice breakast in the same dining room. Hotel is well located and my room was charming and the bathroom huge. Loved it but the second night I could not take a shower as there was no hot water only cold. I told the hotel personnel and they said there was nothing they could do about it as the pipes were old. I think the hotel is wonderful, all antiques, bar area, dining room, very charming hotel but I could not recommend it because of the cold water only issue. First nite my shower was fine but second night it was just cold water.

York Minster was in a good location and the room was fine. Nothing special but fine. Hotel was ok and again, two nights only and that was ok. Would not stay book a room there but only because I was not impressed by the hotel. However, it was fine on the tour and nothing to complain about.

Radisson Blu Kensington in London was wonderful. Excellent breakfast, large room ( I traveled solo on this tour) and great bathroom. Had an elevator. I wanted to stay there after my tour but it was too expensive so I stayed at the London House Hotel.

All the hotels on the tour were fine or really nice and I was interested in a good bed, good shower and a nice breakfast which was provided on the tour at each hotel.

I would not be put off my the hotels on this tour. Tour, sites, location of hotels are all excellent.

Time and again RS explains that going on the tours you need to be fit and be able to do stairs and walk. This was needed on the Best of England tour. There are stairs in each hotel and if you can do the stairs then your fine.

Posted by
273 posts

One review noted that they had no hot water in their room. A cold shower is just awful and would force me to violate the "no grumps" policy. Perhaps another person in the tour group might be kind enough to lend their shower when they go to breakfast!

Posted by
97 posts

I last stayed at the Brooks Guest House in September 2014 on the BofE tour and had no issue with it. It clearly isn’t a Marriott. Yes it had steps- so what.

Ummmm very difficult topic, RS tours seem to be exploding in terms of tours undertaken each year over the last 15 yrs with an ever aging audience. It needs to be remembered that RS started out hauling 20 something adventurous types around Europe in a van.

The tour descriptions still list physical warnings—carry your own bag for blocks (some buses can’t get close to hotels), be able to stand for a couple of hours, be able to go up and down stairs.... it does appear that more and more travelers are not really paying attention to those warnings.

If I recall correctly most of those long posts about the issues with the Best of England tour of a few years back centered around some bad restaurants (Indian), hotel steps, and a guide that maybe wasn’t as atentative as he should have been. But on the flip side no one on that tour seemed to step up and approach the guide with the issues while on tour.

Travel safe,

One Fast Bob

Posted by
2296 posts

One Fast Bob wrote,
"But on the flip side no one on that tour seemed to step up and approach the guide with the issues while on tour."

Bob, what makes you think this?

Posted by
97 posts

Rebecca- the gentleman who sat in the Indian restaurant who reported being upset over lack of food while the guide (so he reported) sat distant from the group and never checked on them. That OP was asked bluntly by other posters why did didn’t get up and talk to the guide. He provided “reasons” for not doing so. He also indicated other issues but I see no benefit of revisiting those issues at this date. If I recall correctly later tour reports seemed to indicate the food/restaurant issue had been resolved. And if I recall correctly you were also on that tour.

I have also personally stayed at the Brooks House, walked its steps, and it clearly fits within the physical requirements that RS lists for that tour. And yes, country or non-chain hotels generally do not have AC in England. If you Tour Europe in the summer a heat wave is a risk you take, along with steps.

Posted by
2296 posts

Bob, correct. I was on that tour.

To answer the OP's question, "the hotels on the 14 day England tour. What is the real scoop? "
My opinion is that all the hotels are excellent.
javlouid, you will have a great time. This tour is excellent.
We were comfortable in all the hotels, and our favorites were the hotel in the Cotswolds, in Conwy, Wales and in the Lake District (Keswick). The hotel in York was a favorite also.

The Brooks Guesthouse in Bath was excellent, with an outstanding breakfast served every morning. It is an old residence converted into a B&B, so the rooms vary as far as size and decor, which I found to be charming.

Posted by
3350 posts

but the second night I could not take a shower as there was no hot water only cold. I told the hotel personnel and they said there was nothing they could do about it as the pipes were old.

I would never have accepted that response. What does the age of the pipes have to with the ability to deliver hot water? My pipes are old, the pipes in my previous house were 19th Century yet they were still able to provide me with hot water whenever I required it.

It sounds like an excuse for failing to invest in a sufficient system for providing hot water to all guests. If a hotel cannot provide such a basic service it doesn't deserve to remain open, claiming that the building is old is nonsense.

Posted by
386 posts

I took my first RS tour in May, but it was France not England, but I assume the quality of hotel from tour to tour is similar. I was torn on my opinion, I would have liked a few more amenities than most had, but the locations were so fantastic that I'm not sure if I'd be willing to trade more amenities if it meant being further away from the sites. I believe I read that 30,000 people signed up for RS tours last year. That means that if even 1% aren't happy you'll get 300 negative opinions. My rule when reading reviews is to read many and decide for myself if the negatuve comments are about something that's important to me or not.

Posted by
2296 posts

We loved the Brooks Guesthouse, too.

Another big plus for the hotels on this tour. All were very clean. Sheets, towels, bathrooms, bedrooms vacuumed daily, breakfast rooms, china and silverware, all immaculate. This is a big thing for me, and these hotels passed with flying colors.

Posted by
2249 posts

Check TripAdvisor reviews for those hotels to see what they say. When reading any review keep in mind that some people will always say a place is great, while others will nit-pick and complain about anything. You need to sort which are valid complaints and which are being overly picky.

While I haven’t done a RS tour, the Radission Blu in Kensington, on Cromwell road is our go to hotel in London. We’ve stayed there numerous times.