Even before we arrived at The Collingwood Arms I was excited. My granny had told me that it had been awarded 5 stars by the ‘An Inspector Calls’ reviewer in the Daily Mail, which is something he rarely does. And from what my sister had told me about it being a really friendly and relaxed place I knew it would be perfect for us.
If I am staying in a hotel then it is quite often hotel chain; Premier Inn or Holiday Inn or whatever else. I absolutely love unique old hotels that are in listed buildings, but unfortunately they are normally an absolute nightmare for accessibility. At least with a modern hotel chain I can guarantee that I won’t be faced with stairs or narrow doorways or any other problems. But it also means that I am given a boring clinical looking room that completely takes away the fun of staying in a hotel.
So I was very happy when I discovered the Collingwood has made one of its fifteen bedrooms wheelchair accessible. It is on the ground floor along a little corridor and next to the office and what I presumed to be a little staff kitchen. It meant that there were often people in the corridor outside my room, but honestly I couldn’t have cared less; I am just glad they have made the effort to make a downstairs bedroom.
The bedrooms aren’t the most grand and luxurious hotel rooms, but I think they suit the place perfectly. They are homely and classy; not too much furniture to clutter the place up, but there are some nice little touches that make the price you pay seem worth it. They are tastefully decorated and the beds are so comfy.. the combination of the being out in the fresh air all day and an extremely comfortable bed meant that I slept the best I have in weeks.
The bathroom was extremely well laid out and I had no problems showering, something which is usually almost impossible for me in hotels. It was spacious and well equipped with various hand rails without having them absolutely everywhere! There were loads of huge white fluffy towels and little Molton Brown smellies. Oh and I forgot to mention that there were homemade biscuits in the room with the tea and coffee making facilities. They were yum! (I ate them before I thought to take a photo!)
There are a few communal areas in the hotel; lots of different seating with open log fires and lots of books and newspapers around to read.
For eating and, more importantly drinking, there is a really nice bar and Brasserie area. They also have a much more formal Dining Room, which is not accessible, but that wasn’t a problem because we wanted to eat in the more informal Brasserie anyway. The food is locally sourced and very high quality; I ate extremely well for the few days that we were there.
WIthout a doubt though, the best thing about this hotel are the people that work there. They are all so friendly and accommodating and made us feel so welcome. They introduced themselves when we first arrived and would have a little chat when we came in from our busy day. They didn’t mind that we were soggy and muddy and traipsing through the hotel to our rooms. And they were all just genuinely nice people who seemed to care.
I don’t really have a bad word to say about this place! The only negative thing was that I couldn’t reach the plug sockets in my bedroom, but I mentioned it to someone working there and he got me an extension lead straight away and my problem was solved!
I wish this hotel could duplicate itself and be located all around the country, but I guess that would take away how special and charming The Collingwood Arms is. I will most definitely make sure that I return for another stay, and would recommend anyone who is ever up in that general area to make the extra effort to go there.