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.
- 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