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“Beautiful hotel, stayed with 2 dogs, great service!”
Review of Matfen Hall

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Matfen Hall
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Matfen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 May 2014

We stayed here with the in laws for their 40th wedding anniversary. 3/4 of the party are golfers and we had 2 Dalmatians to accommodate.

The hotel confirmed they were "dog friendly" and non noisy dogs could be left in rooms unattended whilst dining etc. We were a bit concerned as to how dog friendly they were. All staff were more than weylcoming of the 2 dogs but to be truly dog friendly (if they do want to attract this clientele) the hotel should consider;
- more dogs bins, only one we found was on entrance to woodland walk
- we were exceptionally lucky to have glorious weather which meant we could sit outside keepers lodge with dogs for lunch (average but ok toasties/sandwiches, made good by newly introduced homemade chips)
- again able to sit outside conservatory for drinks/good food with dogs, and when I attended on my own whilst the rest of the party were golfing I called up through patio doors (as dogs are not allowed inside as they serve food and opt not to allow dogs) and they without hesitation served me outside which was done without feeling awkward.
-the hotel has many public/separate rooms. A "dog friendly" room other than reception where people could sit have drinks from other areas, read etc would vastly improve "dog friendliness" had we not had good weather I suspect our review may have been v. different.
- lovely setting, grounds and local walks (map provided by reception was great other than our bad map reading skills- perhaps consider marking out the different coloured routes for the useless map readers! )

We had booked on a 3 night dinner bed and breakfast deal in a superior balcony room and the value for money was exceptionally good. Reading other reviews I can understand if I had paid the guest wedding rate for bed and breakfast in a standard room I may have been disappointed.

The rooms were very nice (we upgraded), only minor issues were quite warm (had to sleep with patio doors open) as we looked onto the church yard the bells at 11pm and 6am did wake us if in occupation but on saying that this did not bother us as outlook from balcony was delightful and we are early risers.

We did on arrival report TV was not working correctly. This was not rectified and as others have reported I tried to call reception 3 times without response. If this had if been of great issue I would have gone to reception directly so just a point to note re reception and not a fair complaint as it did not detract from the positives of our stay.

Golfers report good facilities/golfing.

Having read previous reviews about weddings having found out on arrival there was a wedding on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday we were a bit anxious about the impact of this on our weekend however we experienced no problems whatsoever that would cause us to complain. Due to the location of our rooms we experienced no noise, only issue we encountered was on rising early (7) and walking dogs in grounds on 1 day only lots of broken glass near area guests use to access outside to smoke. This was only 1 day out of the 3. Also wedding guests complaining about breakfast service, being asked to pay on checking in which they were complaining about at breakfast-this was not our experience. Interacted with wedding parties in communal areas but this added rather than detracted from our experience!

Food and service in the restaurant was excellent. We were told on arrival due to weddings we would be in the drawing room rather than the library. Having never seen the library this was not an issue for us and the drawing room was very impressive however if you are expecting to be in the library and then are moved this may prove a disappointment.

On the second evening realising we were dining for 3 evenings the manager said if we wanted anything not on the menu for the third evening he would arrange it with the chef. We did not require this as the menu despite the same for three evenings contained enough choice for us all for three evenings. Steak cooked different ways amazing! Portions good. Venison- great, broken mojito dessert stunning! Service was great- exceptional on the third evening when served by Lewis who gave exceptional professional service, finding decanter, sourcing nut free amuse bouche signposting new wines! Stand out service throughout with great food. Champagne requested for breakfast which we changed our minds on and saved for dinner!

We thoroughly enjoyed breakfast too. (I think complaints re breakfast seem specific to groups/weddings as service we had was second to none! But at anytime there were no more than 8-12 people in the drawing room) minor point- no complaint but on day 1&2 we had good sized flavoursome sausage, on day 3 same flavoursome sausage but half the size. Not something we needed to complain about as we found the breakfast good and substantial but can perhaps understand other comments on this when paying wedding rate for room and breakfast only.You do get half a mushroom and half a new potatoes but given sausage, very good quality bacon tomato, eggs we thought the quality, taste, quantity was more than adequate and of very good standard.

We didn't use spa so can't comment other than no external treatments available so recommend you book at time of booking which I fully understand they can't keep spaces just in case guests want treatment.

Would we visit again?

Yes with dogs if we could guarantee good weather (impossible) or if the hotel provided inside area
Yes for non dog stay
Yes for food/stay/golf - if on same deal
Yes for dinner only

As dog friendly hotel I would give 4 stars with good weather - only 2 stars without the weather for dog friendliness only!
Location 5 star- check out brewery, black bull, local farm restaurant/shop
Rooms - on our balcony room 4 stars
Restaurant/ service throughout 5 stars!

We really had a lovely time so thank you and hope the honest feedback is welcomed!

Had a lovely weekend - certain staff were stand out in the welcome /service offered! We would return dependant on above re dogs but definitely as a couple on DBB deal.

Room Tip: Children activities and spa not rated but trip advisor will not let me am mend so just marked as ave...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Michelle P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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788 - 794 of 1,538 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2014

This was our first visit to the north of England, so I can't confirm Matfen Hall is the best. But it would certainly make a top 10 list. Check-in and check-out was the only time we saw the reception staff, and unlike some of the comments I've read, we had an excellent experience. No pre-payment. In fact, we were back home 3 or 4 days before our (overseas) account was debited.

The room was much larger than seen in chain hotels, bordering on suite size in places such as Hilton or Sofitel. We had room 2, a premier room in the original part of the building featuring a bathroom with sufficient space (although not huge), a lounge area overlooking the golf course, mod cons of a tv, free wi-fi, coffee/tea making, and a large closet. The bed was spacious and comfortable. Althougether it was an enjoyable room which is good because the weather in that part of the country will probably see you indoors for some time. This was a getaway from a hectic professional life so we enjoyed reading, not only in our room, but also in the beautiful lounge room on the ground floor. Drinks and afternoon tea are served there, and I would say the only interruption to a quite time (people sit there reading the newspaper, a book or work on their laptop) are the occasional parties of 4-5 (there was a couple planning their wedding of which the groom was still drinking eventhough already a few bottles past his threshold and the bride needed to inform the whole room she was of an all girls private school class, and then there was a party of business men who came in for a power meeting before heading back into their negotiations elsewhere in the building).

The staff serving the lounge area and the breakfast/dinner room were great; friendly and helpful. One evening my wife asked about the great hall where the weddings take place and were shown a private tour of the hall and surrounding meeting rooms with explanations of the architecture and history. When she apologised for keeping the waiter from his job his reply was that his job is to make sure guests enjoy their stay, and that was what he was doing. As an employer myself, I was quite impressed. Both breakfast and dinner are of good quality. Although portions of the warm breakfast and dinner are note huge (for our norms) it allowed us to help ourselves to the abundant continental breakfast, or multiple courses for dinner. Traditional fare such a game from local produce are on the menu and the waiters are well trained to provide advice on winepairing. of special note was a dessert we had twice; a warm chocolate tart, with chocolate icecream and a sauce of exotic fruit. Delicious and we would return just for this.

We didn't use the golf course, although we did use a map provided by reception of a walk around the grounds. Expect mud, cows, sheep and cross country wallking.

All together it was a most pleasant stay and certainly worth returning.

Room Tip: There is a dining room for large groups next to the lounge, our room (2) was above it and one night...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wayne19747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

This is a lovely and fascinating building. The grounds and garden etc. are also super as for the rest well were do I start. Checking in was fine as we had prepaid on a special deal. Room was average and acceptable for what we had paid but I would have been very disappointed had I have paid the full amount. Bathroom was smallish but adequate.
Dinner was not included in the deal so should have been the 'fine dining' experience promised by the hotel. What a disappointment, the food was ordinary and certainly not fine dining as promised. The service was very poor, had to de cork and pour our own wine, never got the glasses topped up, was asked if we would like water but never got it and had to request it again twice. The general service was not only poor but also slow. Breakfast service was not the best either, never got asked if I would like more coffee ran short of space on the table because plates etc were not cleared away. Food was OK and of good quality but portions were a little on the small side.
This is a four star hotel in location and surroundings only I have had better service in a two star hotel and better food in a three star hotel. The normal price is double what it should be. Would not go back.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Robert A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BernieBloodworth, General Manager at Matfen Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 14 May 2014

Dear Guest

It is always disappointing to read when our guests have not enjoyed their stay at Matfen Hall, as we are very much a family business and our ‘home from home’ service is something we pride ourselves in.

I was surprised to read your comments regarding your ‘dining experience’, especially the food element, as my Head Chef and his team regularly gain great praise for the food they prepare. On learning of your comments, my Head Chef, would like to offer his own personal apologies for any disappointment you experienced. With regards to the service itself, I have asked my Restaurant Manager, to review the whole ‘customer journey’ with his team, to ensure our usual high standards remain.

I do appreciate all feedback and shall use the comments you have raised constructively going forward.

Yours sincerely



Bernard Bloodworth
Managing Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

Went to wedding last weekend at Matfen Hall. Wedding great,Setting Great, Food Great, would I return? NEVER.
In my many years of staying in some of the best hotels in the world I have never been told that I must pay "up front" for my stay, this offended me, then they give you a card to put services on your account!!!! It was explained that they had had some experiences in this field and anyhow it speeds up check out? No hot water for showers the next morning, nobody cares, the so called duty manager could not cope with the volume of complaints, the General Manager was not on duty,so we just left the assembled body of complaining customers to their own devices.
No help with luggage, I am disabled and felt mocked by the staff watching me struggle with luggage, the general staff were OK, the reception staff,watching from behind their office door, were at the best unhelpful, the duty manager was beyond doubt way, way out of his capabilities.
How they got a four star rating I know not.
On the plus side, beautiful building and views, well organised wedding, a bit slow between courses, but the food was good.
This experience was ruined by a small number of people.

Room Tip: If you want a good room do not stay here.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KentCenturian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BernieBloodworth, General Manager at Matfen Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 14 May 2014

Dear Guest

I was sorry to learn of your disappointment with particular aspects of your recent stay at Matfen Hall and would like to respond to the comments you raised.

It is the industry norm to either, take deposits, take pre-authorisation of the accommodation element of the account on check-in or take pre-payment of the accommodation element of the account on check-in. As explained in the previous trip advisor review, all major hotel companies throughout the world, operate these systems and it does aid a more efficient check-out experience for guests.

I apologise for the inconvenience caused with the lack of hot water and whilst this was out of our control, I do appreciate the frustrations this can cause. I was pleased to learn that you did receive a discount with regards to this matter.

We always endeavour to assist all guests on check-in and check-out, with their luggage and I understand from my Reception & Sales Manager, who checked you in on the day, that this service was offered and you declined.

On a more positive note, thank you for your kind words regarding the wedding you attended and indeed our beautiful house, which could easily have been overlooked due to the circumstances.

Yours sincerely


Bernard Bloodworth
Managing Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Came to stay for a friends wedding. Grounds are absolutely beautiful and the golf course looks incredibly impressive. Sadly, the room and staff fall well below! There was only one helpful person that I believe should be mentioned, and that was a gentleman who kindly helped me take my bags upstairs. The room I can say for the money we paid - was NOT worth the nearly £165 price tag. I at least tried to tell myself that it was a good job breakfast was included for that amount. The room looked tired, old and shabby, and to top it off there was no hot water.... My joy about breakfast being included was eventually disintegrated when we got downstairs the next morning. The woman who served us looked utterly miserable, and if you didn't respond to anything you asked her within a 5 second time frame, she disappeared. It seemed like such an effort for her to have to do anything for you. They had run out of glasses near the buffet - juices had also run out - and the toast that they brought us twice was soggy and cold. The breakfast I can only describe as an anorexics dream - 1 fried egg, 1 tomato, 1 small sausage, 2 small new potatoes and HALF a cooked small mushroom. I was starving after breakfast, and considering it wasn't busy in the morning - we waited for a considerable amount of time.
Due to being VERY unhappy at having no hot water, I was not paying the full amount for the room (which the hotel wanted payment for me as soon as I arrived). A few of our other friends who had the same issue with the water also were unhappy about paying the full rate. When the gentleman on the desk was asked about this - he became rude and said we could pay for the room and someone would contact us as his manger was away for the next few days. I was not happy about this. It was explained that an acting manager should be in charge to which he disappeared into his back room probably in hope we'd pay the amount and leave. After nearly an hour and a half to check out (just what you want) the man explained his boss would offer either a complimentary night (why would I want that when the staff have been awful and no guarantee the room would have hot water...?!) or 20% off. We took the 20% off as we couldn't be bothered to wait any longer and did not want to keep dealing with the guy on reception. Such a shame as a beautiful venue for a wedding and to play golf at - but If I was ever coming here again (due to someone else having a wedding here), I'd rather inconvenience myself by not staying at this hotel and driving myself to Leeds in the car.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Nusy77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BernieBloodworth, General Manager at Matfen Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 14 May 2014

Dear Guest

I was disappointed to read your review on trip advisor, following your recent stay at Matfen Hall, however, thank you for your kind comments with regards to the hotel setting.

I thought it was prudent to answer some of your queries raised during your stay and therefore can assure you that it is the industry norm to either take deposits, take pre-authorisation of the accommodation element of the account on check-in or take pre-payment of the accommodation element of the account on check-in. All major hotel companies throughout the world, operate these systems and we are no different.

I am sorry for the inconvenience that the hot water system failed temporarily on Sunday morning. This was a combination of unfortunate events, with the initial problem being out of our control, which have now been rectified. I understand from my Operations Manager, you did receive a refund for the inconvenience, but I do understand that this would have impacted on your stay.

I was concerned to hear of your aggressive behaviour towards a young female receptionist and whilst I appreciate your frustrations, feel this behaviour was not warranted.

Yours sincerely


Bernard Bloodworth
Managing Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

Not only is the hotel set in the most wonderful golf course grounds but every window overlooks the course. The rooms are delightful. The bathroom we had was so large it would have done well for a party! Walk in shower and bathtub separate. Excellent. Beautiful linens and attention to detail. The restaurant was very good. Service at dinner was excellent due to our waiter. Breakfast service was shambolic. But all in all, a superb place to stay. Just be sure about walking the stairs. There is only a lift on the newer side of the hotel and we stayed in the older original side. Much worth the effort of the stairs even on crutches. Not cheap but certainly worthwhile.

Room Tip: We got upgraded to the most wonderful room so can't say about the 'normal' ones but pres...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank OAPsfromSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

'Dog friendly', however, the dog waste bin was a long distance from the hotel for a lame dog and involved a partially muddy walk, so not very dog or dog owner friendly!
Otherwise, an excellent stay. Food lovely. Service good. Room large, well furnished and well maintained. Pool luxurious, decorated well and well staffed.
The area is beautiful and the hotel well placed for visiting the roman wall and good walking.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank J C G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Matfen Hall

Address: Near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Matfen NE20 0RH, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Northumberland > Matfen
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Matfen
Price Range: £118 - £204 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Matfen Hall 4*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Matfen Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa winner of Large Hotel of the Year 2015 at the Visit England Awards is located just 15 miles west of Newcastle in the charming village of Matfen and is the ancestral home of Sir Hugh and Lady Blackett. This stately home is set in 300 acres of parkland and has been a hotel since 1999. Enjoy true Northumbrian hospitality at Matfen Hall Hotel. The Hotel offers 53 bedrooms, individually decorated in traditional and contemporary styles. Our golf estate includes a 27-hole course, par 3 course and driving range. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Matfen Hall Hotel Matfen
Matfen Hall Newcastle Upon Tyne
Matfen Hall Northumberland

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