I will hold my hands up and say that I used to be skeptical of vouchers as a present, I’d always been under the impression that voucher offers tended to be for places that weren’t very popular, and so when buyagift asked me if I’d like to review for them, and I chose a hotel stay, in all honesty, I was a little unsure that it would be all that nice. Read on to find out why my misconceptions were totally wrong, and I mean totally!
Scrolling their website initially, before I’d decided on a stay, I struggled to narrow it down, there are balloon flights, afternoon teas, spa days, driving experiences, you name it, it’s probably on there, with venues all across the country! I had a date to meet my best friend in the diary and it occurred to me that maybe I could use this review opportunity as a chance to turn our day meet into an overnight. I started looking for hotels that were easy for both of us to get to. I discovered this voucher for an overnight stay at The Vineyard Hotel in Stockcross, Newbury and it included a 25 minute spa treatment for two, a double or twin room and breakfast the next day. I looked at the website and it looked incredible, it was a 5 star hotel! The voucher really is a great deal, because it would be considerably more if you booked everything separately via the hotel.
My voucher arrived very quickly and came in a lovely neat, glossy gift pack with a photo of the hotel, details of the package, a sheet with the ts and cs on and a gift card. Booking the hotel was very straightforward, you log into the voucher holder area of the buyagift website and it comes up with the details of your package and how to claim it, in this case, it was a phone number and email address to contact the hotel and book your stay. I got in touch with the hotel and found them incredibly easy to deal with, very friendly and efficient. I was still a little unsure of what it would actually be like when we got there though, it couldn’t really be all that good and offering packages could it?
When I arrived at the hotel, I was genuinely blown away, to be completely honest, it was even a bit too fancy, I wasn’t dressed for the occasion for a start, in a t-shirt and skirt. There was a supercar pulling out of the car park as I pulled in, which should tell you all you need to know! I think a top tip would be to have a look at the prices on the hotel website for things like food and bar before you go, you can always go into town to eat but it would involve a taxi or drive and so if you wanted to eat and drink, let me just say that forewarned is forearmed! Maybe with a platinum credit card! 😉 Saying that, if pure luxury is what you are looking for, you will find it here. (There are also many other hotel options on the site, to suit all budgets.)
The room was absolutely gorgeous, and the pillows and bed were the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in. This was our first night together as best friends, not mothers, in 8 years, with no men or children and it was so needed. We spent time in the spa, relaxing in the steam room and taking up residence on some of the comfy loungers around the indoor pool, catching up on each others’ lives in a way you just can’t do over the phone or when four children are present.
We had asked in advance if we could extend our spa treatment times and they were very obliging and gave us a price to make them longer and so we both enjoyed blissful 55 minute facials. We both left feeling relaxed, reconnected and refreshed. I can honestly say that I would 100% use buyagift in future and I think it’s a wonderful way to give a gift to someone when you want to give them a ‘thing’, like a hotel stay, but you don’t have to try and liaise with them about when they can go or just give them an envelope with some cash in, which just doesn’t feel as special in my mind. This way, they get a little package through the door with a description of what they are going to be doing, with a photo and the freedom to log in and book whenever is best for them. It also arrives quickly and is perfect if you have left it a little late to get something for your visiting in law! 😉
I had the best time ever with my friend, we really reconnected and felt so looked after and pampered, both returning refreshed and revitalised to rejoin our families again. It’s something we definitely need to do more of and hopefully now the kiddos are getting older, we will be able to!
**We received this voucher free of charge in exchange for this review, I don’t have to write nice things as all views here are my own, but I can hand on heart say that I will use buyagift in future for presents for friends and family.**