Just got back from a lovely family break away, ideal place for a large get together, especially with 5 children, 2 elderly people and the dogs, no packing up cars to the beach and trying to rally up 16 people! Everything in one place, kids in the pool, cups of tea on hand and no one screaming I need a wee!!!
I'll try and keep this short but sorry if it's long! So yes it's a lovely place to have a large get together especially when the sun is shining you couldn't ask for more but here are few things just to make you aware of, all of these things wouldn't stop us booking again, we would definitely go back!
So the house it's self is lovely, everything you would expect from a dog friendly house! Lots of space, a games room, large dining room and lots of bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 1 bathroom off one of the bedrooms.
Two of the main bedrooms I would say are more families rooms, one with a room off a room, not ideal for us adults if you have to walk through someone's bedroom to get to yours, would be better for a family. The other with a bunk bed and a double bed, again would suit a family better.
My partner and I stayed in the first bedroom at the top of the stairs which had 2 single beds in it, my bed was so unbelievable squeaky, I did not dare turn over incase I woke the boyfriend up!! Also We had a little accident and spilt a bit of drink on the bed so we took off the bottom sheet and mattress protector to wash it and it looked like someone had previously been murdered in the bed! It was disgusting, we flipped the mattress and it was fine on the other side! Also the room was clean but not clean, clean around the skirting boards looked like it hadn't been hoovered in a few years.
A lot of the bending was VERY bobbly and uncomfortable, but to sum up the bedrooms, they could do with a few new mattresses and new bedding and just a bit more of a deep clean, maybe just worth taking a few extra sheets with you, for the odd bits of bedding that are a bit rubbish. All not the end of the world.
So there are 3 bathrooms, I would say the bathroom at the far end of the house is best, not amazing but the better out of the 3! The one at the top of the stairs just had a hand held shower, could really do with a full standing shower, was a bit of a nightmare but manageable for us young ones not so much for the older ones and the ensuite bathroom is very slow no power at all, took a while to wash my hair! There is a downstairs toilet, us girls didn't use it that often as the toilet seat was a little unsafe obviously fine for the men who didn't need to sit down! Also there was quite a bit of mould in there that had been covered with fake flowers!!
The kitchen, well the kitchen/living room was our favourite gathering place, the hub of the house however in all honesty it needs to be replaced, far to small to cater for 16 people and the oven is appalling, worst oven in the world, far to small for the amount of people the house holds and it either took forever to cook something or if you put something on the top shelf it just burnt!! Was a mega task cooking, there is an Ager but you can't use it in summer so I don't know if that's any better! Really needs a double over and more worktop space. I would also recommend taking some of your own cutlery as there is dead on 16 pieces of each, at least one of us every meal time was hunting for a knife and folk!! Only really great thing about the kitchen is the dishwasher, quietest dishwasher I've ever come across!
There is always plenty of HOT water and towels are provided and there is a very good washing machine and tumble dryer, came in very handy as well as the washing line.
As its situated close the M5 you can here a bit of traffic, but it's not too bad, one review on here said it was super loud all day and night and you can't sleep because of it, totally not true, we hardly heard it! It's only a few miles from a 24 hour Tesco which was brilliant as we always needed a hundred pints of milk.
The pool, the pool is lovely I wouldn't say it was heated as it was pretty cold, I think they just keep it at set temperature, so don't expect it to be like a hot tub, but it's very refreshing on those really warm days! Also it only gets cleaned out once a week so by the end of the week it was full of hundred of little seedy things from the trees and a few dead flies, we used the net but that only really got the big leaves! I think if you get there on the Friday like we did it should be cleaned again on the Tuesday! There also seemed to be no outside lights, there were lights in the pools which made it look amazing on an evening but no other lights, there was something what looked like it should be a light but we could not find a switch for no love or money!
So would we go again, absolutely! We had a great time, it's not a 5 star house but we had a 5 star holiday! I think the owner just needs to add a bit of TLC and well we went in the last week of August so it's probably had a lot use before we got there, so you never know a few of the things they may be waiting for end of session to get put right! Don't let any of this put you off, just trying to be as honest as I can! We had a fab time and I totally miss that pool in my life!!!
Oh and lastly I wouldn't recommend the local Chinese, it wasn't great, my nephew who is 7 said it was the worst Chinese he had ever had and well I couldn't correct him!
Unusual booking as we had taken the place for a week for two special parties. The male key holder was pleasant and helpful, the woman was a complete opposite.
Sunday morning one of our guests awoke to a complete stranger and child in the "private" pool, from then on we blocked access which the woman key holder complained about. She also complained about us leaving two outside lights on. We placed a balloon at the entrance as entrance was set back there were complaints about that!
There was not enough outside seating or tables for all the guests.
Beds and bathrooms very clean, the rest was very hit and miss.
Close but no cigar
Norton Grange is a substantial country property on a quiet country lane with views to the Malvern Hills to the west. There were 10 of us staying for a week, which was fine, but to accommodate a party at the capacity claimed in the property details you would need to have several children sharing with parents or be very good friends indeed...one bedroom sleeps 4 or 5 and another one 3 with access to another double bedroom.
There is plenty of room downstairs, especially as the younger members of our group spent much of their time in the playroom. The house has a lived in feel, which I quite like, but there were a number of things which could do with some attention...a split partition wall in one bathroom for instance.
Three things which did detract from the overall experience as far as I was concerned were;
a) road noise...whilst the house is on a quiet country lane it is, unfortunately, about half a mile from the M5. The steady hum of traffic was audible all day and night which for a light sleeper like me is a real turn off.
b) Lighting in the kitchen...there are lots of lights in the kitchen but none of them are where they need to be. One of the joys for me of a week away is having time to do some proper cooking, especially when there is an AGA. Sadly there is no light anywhere near the AGA nor over the sink, table or main worktop area. Were I to visit again, which I won't, I would make sure I had a head torch with me.
c) WIFI...connection covers part of the house only.
Workmen turned up early on the day of our departure to do something in the garden. That, along with the general condition of the property, makes me think the owners have had the house a long time without doing much maintenance or they have just acquired it and will be tackling some maintenance backlog.
We had a lovely break at Norton Grange, it is a lovely house in a good location.
Had a lovely time thanks, really enjoyed it. A fantastic house.