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“Great if you like surcharges” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Buckley Arms Hotel

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Buckley Arms Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dinas Mawddwy
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great if you like surcharges”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2014

We overnighted at The Buckley Arms whilst we were exploring the area, the location was good and just what we expected. The hotel itself looks good from the outside having undergone a recent repaint. We received a reasonable welcome and the check in process was straightforward enough. We also had a good nights sleep - and the breakfast was very nice. If only I could leave it there - but unfortunately there were some issues.

Firstly - we had somehow booked the room without breakfast. I'm not sure how we managed this as we had understood that breakfast was included. So we got the ball rolling by having to pay an extra £5 per head just to get something to eat in the morning. I don't object to the price - but given that the place is in the middle of nowhere - there is no realistic alternative but to get breakfast in the hotel. Cynically, £5 felt pitched just right for most people to cough up without too much protest.

The building had real potential, but it didn't seem to be looked after very well internally. Our room was dirty - the doilies on the bedside cabinets had tea stains on them as did the adjacent wall. The wallpaper was peeling off badly above the bed, and the tops of the skirting boards were dirty. For some reason the door to our bathroom was entirely glass and directly opposite the door into the room. If the room door was opened whilst someone was in the bathroom the frosted glass would give very little privacy from the landing.

Upon settling into the room we flicked through the hotel information booklet and were astounded to see some of 'offences' for which the hotel would levy you a charge. If you brought in your own food or drink you would be charged £10 per person, per item consumed per day! Apparently their licence does not permit consumption of your own food and drink on the premises - but last time I checked you did not need a licence to eat a Boots sandwich in a hotel room. This could be the most expensive meal deal you've ever bought! How they determined what you had eaten was unclear - I could only assume that they went through the bin in the room. That being the case we made sure we threw away some wrappers we had in the car from the journey in the bin outside. There was also a five pound charge for removing anything from the breakfast room to eat later - although why this was half the price of eating something you had brought in yourself is anyone's guess. I will attempt to upload a picture of the welcome notice so you can see for yourself.

The tea and coffee facilities in the room were very welcome, and the cups, kettle etc were very clean. However we did find that our packet of biscuits had been open already and one had been removed. Presumably the staff do not check for this.

Finally, breakfast itself was good - the only downside being the dead bird surrounded by flies on the patio outside the dining room. You couldn't miss it whilst you were waiting for the toaster.

In summary - the location / building had real potential. If the rooms were properly cleaned we would have given three stars. If breakfast was included and there wasn't the series of laughable surcharges our rating would have been higher still -I don't appreciate being treated as a cash cow. Having read another review on here of someone's credit card being retrospectively charged we were very wary of these extra charges - disposing of rubbish outside etc and this really should not be necessary in a decent hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
17 Thank SeasonedTraveller929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
buckleyarms, Owner at Buckley Arms Hotel, responded to this review, 7 July 2014
Hello again. I’m so sorry you were disappointed with your stay.

With regard to the charge for breakfast, depending on which site was used to book your room you might not have had the option for breakfast which was pointed out during your visit. We offer a ‘room only’ or ‘bed and breakfast’ choice and not all sites we advertise with have both. On checking it seems you opted for an agent which hasn’t got breakfast included.

Your second point relating to the cleanliness of your room has been taken on board, it isn’t a complaint we are used to hearing, however if we didn’t come up to your own standards I apologise and will ensure our rooms are checked thoroughly after servicing.

The door to the bathroom is of obscure glass and is not visible by others in the room unless they stand directly outside the bathroom. I’ve run this hotel for nearly 8 years and this is the first complain of this kind I’ve heard. However one complaint is enough for this to be looked at for the future.

I’m disappointed that a common sense approach wasn’t taken with regard to alleged ‘offences’ which may or may not be committed by those who stay here. Of course it’s fine to eat a packet of sandwiches or sweets or bring your own drink, it happens all the time – the comments were aimed at those who cook in our rooms, and I do mean ‘cook’, prepare meals and cook them, this may or may not surprise you, however it has happened. Our licence and indeed our insurances do not cover actions of this type, but more importantly it is dangerous and storing uncooked food in the wrong conditions will attract visitors we don’t wish to see, like vermin etc. Our letter clearly states that we do not offer ‘self-catering’ facilities, there is no mention of a packet of sandwiches or similar. However, in deference to your comments I have slightly amended the wording to try to be clearer.

It is unfortunate that a young bird flew into our breakfast room window, more so for the bird, however your stay was at a time when the young were leaving the nest and not so good at navigating, we encourage the birds to visit, we love the wildlife which surrounds us, but sadly during your visit we missed this poor bird.

I’m afraid I am unable to discuss other issues you mentioned however no credit/debit card has ever been charged without prior knowledge.

All opinion sites are great for the customer to air their views, even vent their spleen; however I’m not permitted to be specific regarding anyone who has visited here. I do know that the vast majority of people who stay with us have good visits, but I do think that no matter what I may have done or said it would have been wrong. I’m so very sorry that no matter what I wouldn’t have been able to please you.
regards
Gay Howes
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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59 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Level Contributor
230 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2014

Buckley Arms Hotel was built in 1874 as it says above the door. There are enough original features remaining to create interest but the view of the surrounding mountains is the real star. There was a warm welcome by the owner and the service from staff remained high during our one night stay. The rooms and ensuite bathrooms are large. There may be some road noise at the front but the main reason for paying a small premium for the larger rooms at the back is those views.
An evening meal in the cosy bar was standard pub food but pleasant enough. The resident's lounge was a peaceful place to relax after dinner. There was collection of books and games. Breakfast was the usual Welsh grill but well presented and served. We were blessed with morning sunshine to further enjoy the views from the breakfast room.
This is a good find in a remote rural area of Wales with good walking and cycling in the area. We were there to climb Cader Idris. There are good road links.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back are a little quieter and have the views across the valley to the surrounding mount...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dean-Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gower
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 June 2014

My husband and I stayed here for one night in May 2013, so I am a year late writing this review, but was prompted when I saw the review written by the person who stayed in September 2013 and gave a 3* rating.

We arrived around 5.00pm after a strenuous walk over Cader Idris. It was quite cold and I was so looking forward to the luxury of a hot bath. NO HOT WATER! As we were the only persons staying that night, I thought the boiler may have been just put on, so I waited half an hour. STILL,NO HOT WATER . As we were keen to get some food, I jumped into the barely tepid bath and pretty quickly out again. Although the bathroom was huge and generally clean, there was absolutely no form of heating in that room. No radiator, no underfloor heating (the floor is tiled therefore cold), nowhere to hang wet towels.

Our room was overlooking the back of the house with nice distant views but having been drawn to the window, it was obvious that the painted wooden window frames had not seen any cleaning product for quite some time. There was thick black grime at the base and sides of the window panes which was probably caused by condensation accumulating during the winter months. The same applied to the bathroom window. The tiles in the shower cubicle could also do with refreshing.

.We went down to dinner and were the only diners in the bistro. We ordered curry, which was mediocre, somewhat small in size, with the tiniest amount of mango chutney which we had to ask for. After dinner, there was still no hot water, so I went to see the proprietor. She checked the boiler and said that it had "locked itself out". In the morning it was hot, but by that time it was too late.

I don't eat a cooked breakfast and there was little by way of an alternative. A bowl with two oranges and two (old) apples. No yogurt. I can't remember if there was cereal. I therefore asked for one slice of bacon which I must admit was delicious. There was a toaster where you "do it yourself" but it was very grimy. My husband had a bit more by way of cooked breakfast and he enjoyed it.

I don't think the B&B was good value for money and won't be staying there again. Of course it may have changed by now, I would like to think so.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank GowerGem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
buckleyarms, Owner at Buckley Arms Hotel, responded to this review, 6 June 2014
Hello there, I remember your stay very well. I also remember the fact that the heating (which also heats the hot water) did not restart that afternoon. I can only apologise again as I did at the time. Once I had been told the water was tepid I did investigate and correct the problem, and had I been aware earlier the water would have been hot earlier. I appreciate all you wanted was a hot bath and the problem was dealt with as soon as I was told. I know it doesn't help much now at so late a date, but it is something I have been alerted to for the future.

I'm also disappointed you didn't like our food (although your husband seemed to enjoy breakfast), and for information only we offer 6 different cereals, two types of bread, fruit (which is fresh!) and a full cooked breakfast. With generally only a maximum of 12 guests we find that offering a larger variety of breakfast would put costs up considerably. We can provide alternatives given sufficient notice and would be pleased to cater for special diets. Because we don't have a local shop to call upon for produce we have to travel much further than those catering in larger towns.

However I take exception with your comments regarding our cleanliness, especially the comment about the breakfast toaster. We strive to keep up standards and would ask those reading this and other reviews to make their own judgements based on all reviews.

We do want all our guests to enjoy their stays with us and due to human nature, I'm afraid we sometimes fail as we did in your case. Again, I apologise.
Gay Howes, owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2014 via mobile

I only spent one night in this hotel! Overall it was nice! We arrived late and the owners kept the kitchen open for us, which was very kind of them, since there is nothing around the hotel! The was a fireplace in the pub area, it was nice and cosy! The dinner was very nice, but a little pricy! I spent £30 for 3 courses, but it's a pub after all!

Also the breakfast area was very nice with fantastic views over the countryside a river, sheep wondering peacefully around! The breakfast itself was okeyish!

The rooms, well mine was big, but it felt very old! Not old style, but actually old wardrobe and bed! I felt a little like a granny in that room! No amenities, just the very basics! And I had a room with a view to the road! But my friends had the view of the valley, so I at least know there are better rooms than mine!

In any case there are some nice public areas like the beautiful lounge, where you may feel like Sherlock Holmes with all those objects placed in it!

the location is not fabulous either!

I don't want to be unfair, because indeed the owners are very hospitable! And I also don't know if there is anything better around! Maybe indeed this is the best hotel in the area! So I don't wish to discourage anyone from going there! If it's only for 1 night or 2 it's ok, but I wouldn't book a whole holiday stay there!

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Karandashlm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
birmingham
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2014

After a day off roading on fantastic Welsh lanes, the Buckley Arms Hotel was just the thing. Lovely welcome, nice and warm with a great warming fire and the rugby on a giant screen- magic. Rooms were spacious and warm with lovely big bathrooms and nice hot showers. We had twin beds, really comfortable and a good nights sleep was blissful.
Dinner was steaks, both excellent with a nice bottle of red or two...
Breakfast was great and fuelled us both up for another day of Welsh fun.
Definitely a place to book again!

Room Tip: Romantic getaway? Ask for the four poster room.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CazBirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
97 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

First the good points. We stayed in the Sir Edmund Buckley room. It was spacious, clean, warm, had a good view and was at the back of the hotel away from road noise. We had a well cooked meal at the Bistro but were disappointed that our first choice of fillet steak had run out by 7pm on a Friday evening even though there were few diners in evidence.

The bad points included an uncomfortable mattress which did not do justice to the four poster and a full Welsh breakfast which was nicely cooked with friendly service but apart from one apple and a banana in a fruit bowl there was no fresh fruit or yogurt. But what really caused us to cancel our second night's booking was lack of hot water at 8am. After my wife had run a corner bath there was barely tepid water left for my shower. Thank goodness my wife had not pulled the plug on me! The owner claimed there was one supply for the whole hotel and she had hot water in the kitchen. The insinuation was that we were inventing the problem as an excuse to move out. We felt uncomfortable.

Would we return? Definitely not. We.thought the £110 we paid for bed and breakfast did not offer good value for money.

Room Tip: Choose a rear room as there is considerable road noise
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Twofreespirits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
buckleyarms, Owner at Buckley Arms Hotel, responded to this review, 30 September 2013
I'm so sorry you weren't happy with your stay and I can't fathom why there wasn't any hot water because I checked with all others guests and they didn't have a problem. I have had the bathroom checked and there didn't seem to be any problems. I'm puzzled because even during July and August when we were full we didn't have a problem. It would seem 'a puzzle never to be solved'. I can only apologise again. With regard to the fillet steak being unavailable, I know we weren't very busy, however the diners we did have all ordered fillet steak and being a small hotel we do not stock large numbers of anything because we prefer to serve food as fresh as we can, hence the shortage. We did, however have another delivery from the butcher the following morning. I'm afraid it is difficult to second guess what each person wants and can only stock a limited selection and on this occasion you did not find we suited your needs for which I apologise.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013

We stopped off here on the way to Snowdon. It was clean and welcoming and easy enough to find as it is right on a junction of the A470, the Welsh Alpenstrasse. It is more like a pub with accommodation than a hotel with a bar.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SunriseSuperman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Buckley Arms Hotel

Property: Buckley Arms Hotel
Address: Minllyn, Dinas Mawddwy, Snowdonia National Park SY20 9LP, Wales (Formerly Buckley Pines Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > Wales > North Wales > Snowdonia National Park > Dinas Mawddwy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dinas Mawddwy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Buckley Arms Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Buckley Arms Hotel Dinas Mawddwy, Snowdonia National Park

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