Friday, August 9, 2013

Steve Burton Reviews Stouts Hill

I have been looking forward to writing my review about Stouts Hill in England not least because it is my favourite timeshare resort of the many that I have visited in my home country i.e. the United Kingdom.
I would first of all like to say that my review of Stouts Hill is totally impartial not least because I am not an owner there because by the time I first stayed there in the mid 1980's I already owned ten timeshare weeks so I had no need to buy further timeshare weeks even at such a superb timeshare resort as Stouts Hill.
In my view there are three important items that you look for in a timeshare resort and yes I have heard the saying it's location, location and location. However I would say that they are location, quality of the units and amenities/activities. I have visited many resorts where we have two of these and as Meatloaf would say two out of three ain't bad. However in the case of Stouts Hill it has everything and I mean everything.
Let's start with the units:  nine of them which are two and one bedroom units plus one studio are to be found in a Gothic country house mansion that was constructed in the 1740's with five further two bedroom units in a separate block that was constructed in the early 1990's. The units are all of a high standard and I guess its a matter of personal taste if you would prefer to located in the Gothic mansion or the newer outbuilding. In the mansion there is a superb library, drawing room and a dining room. I would like to especially mention the dining room because most Wednesday evenings there is an opportunity to have a meal in the dining room and meet other guests staying at the resort. A four course menu is available with several choices for twenty one pounds i.e. around thirty two dollars. I mention this figure in dollars as I believe that the majority of readers of Timeshare Insights are probably Americans.
I have many American friends due to my extended stays in your country and many of my friends enjoy watching Downton Abbey on TV. Well Staying at Stouts Hill is in my view rather like staying in Downton Abbey such is the scale of the country house and the extensive grounds. The amenities at Stouts Hill are by far the best of any timeshare resort that I have stayed in and they include twenty seven acres of private grounds in which to stroll. In these grounds there are two rose gardens, a three acre lake for fishing, a nine hole pitch and putt golf course, nine hole putting course, croquet lawn, tennis court, swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. Indoor amenities  include a badminton court, indoor swimming pool and a games room which has snooker and pool tables, table tennis and air hockey.
So far I have talked specifically about Stouts Hill resort but not its location so let me say straight away to my American friends that Stouts Hill is located in the Cotswolds which is an area of outstanding natural beauty an area that many would consider to be the most beautiful part of England. It is so beautiful that several of the British Royal family live just miles from Stouts Hill , for example Prince Charles' home is Highgrove in nearby Tetbury. The Cotswold area is as Americans imagine England to be with country lanes, quaint pubs and rose covered cottages. When visiting the Cotswolds it is like going back in time to how England used to be many years ago. I would recommend visitors to Stouts Hill should consider planning day trips to historic Bath, Cheltenham and Gloucester.
A further point I would like to mention is that with there being only fourteen apartments at Stouts Hill you never feel if you are overwhelmed by the number of other guests staying there in the way you may feel when visiting other large resorts such as Orange Lake in Orlando.  I remember staying there in February one year when I did not see any other guests I felt like I was the Lord of the Manor having all that Stouts Hill has to offer to myself. I recently mentioned this situation on the telephone to Maureen the resort manager and she told me that a number of owners and guests had said the same thing to her at the end of their stay at Stouts Hill. I will not pretend that availability is good at Stouts Hill with RCI because most owners don't want to exchange their weeks at Stouts Hill and after staying there on perhaps ten exchanges since the mid 1980's I can understand why most owners don't bank their weeks. However because of the excellent indoor amenities it is worth considering visiting Stouts Hill in the out of season winter months when availability may be a little higher. I well remember being there one February when it started to snow lightly and yet I was enjoying a swim in the warm water of the indoor swimming pool and apart from my friends the pool was all to myself. This is a feeling you get time and time again at Stouts Hill as there is so much to do and so few other guests around. It truly has an exclusive feel to it and I cannot wait to return there next June. I hope some of the readers of Timeshare Insights will have the opportunity to visit this fantastic resort in the coming years.

1 comment:

  1. I’ve always been wary of timeshares, and for good reason, apparently. The upside is that the cost of staying in a hotel includes room service, cleaning, etc – things you don’t get during your stay in a timeshare. I can see how it could be considered an “investment in lifestyle,” but that seems like a wasteful and silly way to spend my money. That’s just me.