ST PIERRE MARRIOTT | Chepstow

The land of Downton Abbey and Harry Potter has a traffic problem and it’s not a small one. A great part of the drive from Kent to Chepstow in Wales was on the heavy side and even bumper-to-bumper on many points along the way, I hadn’t seen anything like it in a while. Moreover, some roundabouts are too small to be discernible, while some are to a point almost dangerous for not being clear where they start being roundabouts. We have yet to encounter any road rage incident, thankfully, but I feel it’s going to happen soon if we stay any closer to the cities we drive past along this ambitious road trip. A little over three hours later we made it to Wales, and then to our hotel in Chepstow for the second leg of our trip, and so far the reception is mixed.

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The driveway to and the building where check-in happens is clearly impressive. Very grand statement and evokes a sense of arrival. Beyond that though is where it veers into lower star category. There is again no AC in our room, the second hotel in a row, curiously there is no mini-ref, no standard bedside power outlets – they made the cheeky effort of using specialized power outlets for the bedside lamps – walls thin enough to hear occasional noises from next door, and free internet access that still required a credit card at the front desk. Luckily there’s a bath for Teko, and a view to the golf course that looks appealing.

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Sadly or not I don’t golf – probably last held a club maybe decades ago – but if I did this place would be heaven. One thing that does make St Pierre stand out is having an 11th century chapel on the grounds, beautiful inside and out and evidently the only such church in a golf course anywhere. Now that’s heavenly.

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