Cadbury brings one thing to mind, but is the Hilton by Doubletree Cadbury House delicious? We found out during our South West Bank Holiday weekend tour.
The hotel is located outside the centre of Bristol, around 12miles, in a small village of Congresbury. There is loads to see and do in the local area, from a trip to the coast and strut down an antique pier at Clevedon or a visit to a beautiful garden centre. You’re also ideally positioned for Bristol Airport, around 6 miles away, and a more luxurious stay before your holiday.
A long drive up to the hotel takes you past the hotel’s gym and spa building, known as [email protected] House. This is a large modern construction with a huge range of cutting edge facilities, from a large gym floor with connected exercise equipment and free weights to a large pool with swim lanes and relaxation areas. There is also an outdoor terrace with hot tub, shower and sauna. A huge range of spa treatments are available, including packages featuring lunch or afternoon tea in the cafe, which is one of two venues carrying the Marco Pierre White celebrity chef branding. The whole facility is beautifully appointed and kept, and included for all guests. Towels and robes are supplied, but as the building is a short walk from the main hotel, you will need to dress to make the trip.
Further up the drive you will catch your first glimpse of the beautiful hotel building, an old Manor House with a modern reception connecting to the modern hotel rooms block. The reception has large picture windows and blends well into the old building by being clad in a living wall.
We parked very close to the main entrance, in dedicated ‘Diamond Member Parking’ spaces. I’ve not seen these outside of the US, and this set the tone for the rest of the Diamond member benefits at this property. There was also free-of-charge Tesla electric car charging spaces, ideal if you are doing a road trip.
We made our way to reception, where the welcome was a little underwhelming. No mention of diamond benefits, no upgrade and no real hello. I also asked for a dinner reservation in the on-site Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, which was met with an eye roll and a lot of negotiation on times via the phone. I had booked a Junior Suite and was allocated 201, and in the room key package were two drinks vouchers (yay!) and a voucher for breakfast – served in the MPW steakhouse. We also collected two large, soft Doubletree cookies.
As we entered the room the sunshine was flowing in through the window. This made the room look incredible, with the glass shower box screen being the main focal point in the room, allowing views through to the bedroom area. The bathroom is completely open in this category room, with the toilet being in a separate cupboard. A large sink area is on the opposite side to the rain shower, with the usual range of Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries and nicely laid out towels. There is also a large bath, but I only used the shower which was a large rain style head with good pressure and temperature.
On the left hand side, as you walk in, is a large wardrobe, complete with iron/hairdryer/fluffy robes and slippers. Also in here is a complimentary mini bar stocked with glass bottles of Coke, Diet Coke and Lemonade. Four bottles of water were on the desk, next to a Nespresso machine complete with six capsules. Just beneath was a well stocked tea tray, and let’s rejoice as there were three (yes, three!) packs of biscuits, and further down a small safe.
The desk area would be a good work space, with cute lamp to complete the modern look. Moving forward into the room, the huge bed dominates the room, flanked by two side tables with power and USB charging. At the foot of the bed is a small sofa, with coffee table and large flatscreen TV above; this creates the feel of a separate sitting area. Next to the bed is a comfortable armchair with side table complimented by a selection of local magazines. The room was air conditioned and this worked well, even in the 30oC+ heatwave the UK was experiencing on this weekend.
After exploring the room we ventured out into the vast grounds of the hotel. The grounds are beautifully kept, with a large fountain and lake being the main feature. If you explore further you’ll also find giant chess/draughts, a gypsy caravan, a turkey pen, paddock and ornamental cow. Just below the gym there is also an outdoor assault course/boot camp area. The hotel really has made the most of their surroundings.
After sitting by the lake, we decided to explore the pool and spa area before dinner. We lounged on comfortable padded sun beds on the outdoor terrace, bubbled in a comfortably warm outdoor hot tub and enjoyed a shower with different temperatures and scents. The area was beautifully kept, especially given the number of people using the facility, and it was especially pleasant to see Elemis products in the changing areas.
After our spa time we used our drinks vouchers before dinner, passing the time with a game of pool and cards in the comfortable, opulent (if a little dark) lounge area. It’s also great to see a hotel serving Camden Pale Ale, one of my favourite beers. I am also informed the Prosecco was perfectly chilled and served in a cold glass.
We had been told the restaurant was fully booked at 8pm, and had been allocated 8.30pm. Given the restaurant was 75% empty at 8pm we decided to enquire if we could dine earlier, which was met by a great positive reaction from the waitress. This set the tone for the rest of the meal, the staff were friendly, knew the menu and served perfectly. We were offered outdoors or indoors dining, outdoors being a covered conservatory style area.
We opted for the sharing steak, a little disappointed not to see Chateaubriand on the menu in a steakhouse, but it was still a well cooked cut of meat. It also included delicious triple cooked chips and we added a side of greens. This was washed down with a decent Malbec, it was also great to see a range of wines for most budgets, at fair mark ups for a hotel restaurant. To finish we shared a cheesecake, again well presented with an excellent light but creamy texture.
After sinking into the beautiful Hilton linen and comfortable mattress, with a cool breeze from the air conditioning, we slept soundly – in spite of three wedding celebrations taking place – until 9am. Our requested newspaper of the i was waiting outside the door. Breakfast was served until 11am, with a warning in the welcome letter that it would be busy from 9am until finish. We were seated immediately with a fantastic welcome and tour of the buffet options; again all the staff in the restaurant were friendly and had worked at the hotel for many years.
The restaurant was busy, but the buffet was kept well stocked and tables were turned over quickly. All the usual Doubletree items were there and of good quality. The breads were particularly tasty, especially the sun-dried tomato loaf. Two poached eggs, including micro herbs, were delivered perfectly cooked and hot to the table within 5minutes.
After a filling and relaxing breakfast we reluctantly returned to the room to pack up and check out. Check out at the desk was just as uninspiring as check in, without even enquiring how our stay was.
This is by far the best Doubletree I’ve stayed at in the UK, probably sharing the title with Tower Hill, and in a great location. You should add this boutique hotel to your list of Hilton exploring.