Our last visit to Holme Lacy House Hotel was in 2018 and things have certainly changed since then. Our way of life and holidays are different and a little scary, but life has to go on and a lovely weekend away certainly helped to cheer us up.
Will Warners ever be the same again? That was my question. The Warner Leisure Hotels new ‘normal’ is slightly different from the ‘old’ ways but with lots of time and effort they are succeeding.
Our recent visit to Holme Lacy in Hereford, one of the flagships of Warner Leisure Hotels was a pleasant experience after wondering if we felt safe to go to a hotel with the Covid-19 virus still threatening our way of life.
Warner Leisure Hotels have a very stringent Covid-19 safety policy and everyone, staff and customers stuck to the rules. You are greeted at the entrance to the grounds by staff wearing PPE coverings and you are given your room card and told where to park your car and how to get to your room. Also, a programme of events and a map of the building are included.
Face masks must be worn in the corridors and some public areas, but in the bars and restaurants masks can be removed. In your room everything has been cleaned and sanitised so you feel safe and comfortable. This time we had an outside patio, which was well worth the extra cost.
In the restaurants you are given your time slot and taken to your socially distant table and your menu is presented for table service. No buffet for either breakfast or evening meal. As usual the food is very good and if you have a dietary request just speak to your server who is always happy to help.
Warner Leisure Hotels staff have put a lot of time and effort into making your stay comfortable and welcoming. Things have changed slightly at the reception. Plastic shields protect the staff, no cash is the new policy, charge cards only. Walkways on corridors are marked with arrows showing you which is the preferred way for you to walk. The holiday shop isn’t open but some spa features are. You are able to get a massage and go for a swim socially distancing of course and on a strict rota. The paper shop and small gifts can be bought from the reception.
Outside activities are popular when the weather permits and mini golf in the lovely grounds is available, so is the archery which you have to book but this is restricted to a limited number of people due to social distancing. Warner Leisure are being inventive by putting entertainment on outside from films to shows but the British climate doesn’t help the hard-working entertainments team, so many events are still held inside.
Evening entertainment is now restricted to the time you have your evening meal. If you are on an early sitting e.g. 6pm then the entertainment starts at 7.20pm until 9.20pm when the Pavilion Theatre is emptied so that the staff can clean all the tables and chairs ready for the next sitting. This enables the theatre not to be overcrowded and social distancing is achieved. More entertainment is provided in the Blue Room, where singers entertain or a quiz is done.
Sadly, there isn’t any dancing as social distancing cannot be adhered to! But you can sing away to your favourite Abba tune and jiggle away in your seat!
The Holme Lacy magic is still there in the stunning building and its beautiful extensive grounds with a lake that is full of fish waiting to be fed and ducks sleeping in the bulrushes. The comfort and serenity of this hotel just helps you relax and forget – not totally, but for a little while how things were and how things will be in the future. Supporting our British hotels is paramount to keeping them open and staff employed for our enjoyment in the future.
All Warner Leisure Hotels are adhering to the Covid-19 risk assessment policy and I would have no hesitation to visit any one of the hotels, you always get value for money and under the present circumstances, which are difficult for us all, you get a break from the ‘norm’ – oh dear!!! How I wish for ‘normal’ again. Have a lovely break, Warner Leisure Hotels are waiting for you.
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Warner Leisure Hotels. Quote PHC Silver for special member discounts.