Thursday 26 January 2017

Ayuda House B&B, Cheshire Review: Hidden Gem Award Winner 2016

Ayuda House B&B, in Bowden near Altrincham, Cheshire is the winner of the Hidden Gem North West award from eviivo - and as soon as you arrive at this huge family home tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac corner, you know that description is perfect.

Ayuda means 'Helpful', and I honestly believe that is the owner Melinda's raison d'etre. Before we even set off, we'd been warned via text message where roadworks were so that we could avoid a 20 minute detour, and offered a sandwich when we arrived. It wasn't far for us, so not necessary. Ayuda house is incredibly easy to find, 4 miles from Manchester Airport and 10 miles from Manchester city centre.

Melinda and her partner Derek were ready to greet us, and spoke to the children as well as the adults - something I'm always impressed with. The boys were anxious to investigate, so we were shown the downstairs shared areas.

There is a really large shared lounge with sofas, plus a glass dining table for 4 and huge TV with Sky. A downstairs WC (which my 6 year old thought was adult code for 'Private - keep out') and the dining room. You really couldn't ask for a more sunny room to walk into, it's a lovely place to eat breakfast.

Melinda bakes fresh bread each morning, so the house smells divine and your tummy rumbles. Included was a truly excellent breakfast. A selection of cereals and fruit, hot toast with a good choice of spreads, as well as tea or coffee, and a cooked breakfast of egg or bacon with 2 sides. Melinda's cooking is superb.

For an extra £5 you can order the Big Ayuda Breakfast. I think it's well worth it if you want to spoil yourself. Every poached and fried egg was perfect, and there wasn't a drop of oil on any of our plates. My partner was delighted with his sausage, bacon and black pudding, and said the tomato was a real feature, not a garnish.

Melinda even happened to have a vegetarian sausage - although I think that was luck! She does understand vegetarians and vegans though, as her daughter is vegan.

Ayuda House has 5 bedrooms upstairs: 2 singles with shared bathroom, 2 doubles with an en suite, and 1 double with shared bathroom. We were booked into two of the doubles. There are also a bedroom downstairs which is occasionally used, and a self-contained flat-style suite.

The Single Classic with Shared Bathroom

All rooms have reliable Free Wifi, and excellent large flatscreen TV with Smart TV, Sky or Freeview. There is filtered water, plus tea, coffee and hot chocolate making facilities. Each room has plenty of electrical sockets, bathrobes and huge, soft towels, as well as a hairdryer and plenty of lighting choices.

Small Single with Shared Bathroom

Melinda has pets, a dog and two cats, and if you don't want to meet them, you can say so - we were asked as soon as we arrived. My boys are more than happy to play with any animals, so we did not mind at all. We were the only occupants in the main house, so the pets were allowed free reign, but did not at any point try to actually come into our rooms.

Comfort Double Ensuite

Something which delighted us is that hot drinks were not limited. The most I've previously had supplies for is 6 hot drinks per double room. When you have young children and they may be in bed from 8pm, yet still get up at 5.30am, that is barely enough.

Ayuda House give each room ample tea, coffee and hot chocolate supplies in small jars, plus there is extra downstairs if you should run out, as well as biscuits for the peckish and fresh milk in a fridge in the dining room, to pour into the jug from your room. You need never actually disturb Melinda to ask. It was bliss...

Deluxe Double Ensuite

We were in the Deluxe Double Ensuite room, which was immense. Bigger than any hotel room I've ever stayed in, with an ensuite to rival any. The king sized bed has a Tempur mattress which you slowly sink into and the day's aches and pains float away. We really are converts.

Deluxe Double Ensuite using a fish-eye/wide angle lens.

The boys were in the Double - Classic with Shared Bathroom. A fair sized double perfect for them, with a double bed that they adored and touch lights on the bedside cabinets, as well as a large flat screen smart TV and a small trunk full of toys. It didn't take long for them to settle in...

Double Classic with shared bathroom

The Double - Classic has its own sink and mirror, and uses the shared bathroom. We were lucky as the only other visitors were in the self-contained section, so we could leave the room door open. We were expecting to split up and share with a child each, but it wasn't necessary. A good night's sleep was had by all. More bliss...

The definition of coziness is "a warm snug comfort". Ayuda House has a perfect mix of coziness and autonomy. Our stay really did feel like a retreat to an old friend's home, with the independence of a hotel.

The house is on a quiet suburban cul-de-sac, so guests are asked to respect the neighbours, and we didn't hear a thing but the wind all night. There is space for 5 vehicles on the frontage, and use of a garden when the ground is drier, as well as a barbeque - we didn't fancy that in the light snow!

There are just the right amount of decorations and ornaments to make the Ayuda House feel friendly, and the colour coordination in the rooms is incredibly tasteful and warm. The rooms all have good ventilation, and heating which turns off late at night - we were very comfortable, but never hot. Rooms have heavy curtains or blackout blinds to prevent extra-early Summer wake ups.

I can't think of anything I'd want Melinda and her partner Derek to change, including themselves. Melinda clearly gets great joy from making people happy, and my boys had cookies and cuddles with the dog and chatted away, and felt they'd got new friends. We really have had a truly lovely weekend break, and the accommodation and service at Ayuda House left absolutely nothing wanting - for less than the price of a hotel.

All reviews have to find a negative, and we've struggled. The best we can do are tighten up the mixer taps - they are a little wobbly, and I would have benefitted from 2 sockets each side of the bed, as it's handy to be able to plug a phone in without losing the table lamp, and my partner took the side with 4 sockets...but really, it didn't matter at all.

Ayuda House B& B is the winner of the eviivo Hidden Gems North West Award 2016, and is in Bowdon, near Altrincham in Cheshire. They accept overnight bookings and longer stays. Handy for visitors to Manchester (roughly 10 miles away - there is a tram from Altrincham) and Manchester Airport is only 4 miles away. Rooms start at around £41 per person per night.

You can find out more or make bookings on the Ayuda House Website.

We've also reviewed the Bistrot Pierre Restaurant in Altrincham.

Our stay was free of charge for review.


  1. That looks amazing. The boys look like they had a fab time.

    1. It is not like any B&B I have stayed in previously. I've paid more to be put in a room full of some poor teenager's belongings! :D

  2. This looks like an amazing B&B, sounds like you had a really relaxing and enjoyable stay with an amazing breakfast! There's nothing worse in my opinion than a greasy fry up but this looks and sounds really fresh and appetising and love that you got a veggie sausage!

    1. It was all of that! It really has altered my image of B&B's, and their uses actually! I really wouldn't have thought to spend a weekend away so close to home - but it was a proper holiday! :)

  3. Oh wow, look at it! I WANNA GO! So family friendly too and the breakfast looks amazing! x

    1. It was great. The boys honestly thought it was brilliant. They will be so disappointed unless we go to another gem next time we book a B&B :D

  4. It looks so bright and airy there and you can tell from your photos that its a welcoming environment. How refreshing to have unlimited hot drinks. It drives me mad when we stay in some places and my son doesn't even get a cup, let alone a one drink allocation. Sounds fab as does that breakfast.

    1. It was lovely Mary. There was a cooled filtered water machine downstairs and we allowed the boys one cup a day or they'd have played with it all day I think :D

  5. This looks wonderful. What a fab place to visit and an amazing breakfast. Love it x

    1. It really was Susan, such a beautiful house and I daren't try and make a poached egg because I know I'll be nothing like as good :D

  6. Nice to see that there's enough tea and coffee on offer - I always seem to run out when I stay in a B&B! Looks v handy for Manchester Airport too.

    1. It was a brilliant feature. It is so close for the airport, I think it's used quite a lot for overnight stays before or after flights. Be a bit better than trying to catch a few hours on an airport bench!! :D


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