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The Master Builder's House Hotel
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Reviews (976)
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601 - 606 of 976 reviews
Reviewed 19 October 2013

I was almost put off booking by some rather lukewarm reviews of this hotel. Glad I went ahead. It was a lovely location and we had a very comfortable stay.The bar food was really excellent and questions about it were answered with knowledge and appreciation. Breakfast was especially delicious.
But the best thing was the staff. They couldn't have been nicer or more welcoming. We loved it and are only sorry we live so far away. Having said that it's the sort of place I would drive some considerable way to revisit.
I'm a grumpy customer who is happy to complain when I think it is merited but honestly we loved this place.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Isabel W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CliveWatts1, General Manager at The Master Builder's House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 January 2014

Thank you for your kind review. I am especially grateful for your comments about the staff who read Trip Advisor constantly and it gives a real boost when such nice comments are posted.

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Reviewed 14 October 2013

Its been a while since we stayed at the Hotel and clearly things have changed. The welcome as usual was good but the service by the restaurant and bar staff in the evening was very poor. Sat in lounge and asked for pre dinner drinks but were told you have to go to the bar and get them yourselves. Food arrived cold, when asked if we could have some more jus for the meal we are informed all the chefs have gone so none available. This is at 8.50pm. Clearly the food was pre cooked and left to keep warm. The waitress tried her best but I wonder what happens to menus for people dining after 9pm ? Breakfast was no better, asked for toast from three different individuals but none arrived. Room was very tired and not too clean, curtains in particular.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Paul N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CliveWatts1, General Manager at The Master Builder's House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2013

Thank you for posting your review.
I wanted to reassure you that we cook all our food fresh to order, so many apologies if the temperature of the dish was not as hot as expected. Your other comments are also gratefully received and I wanted to note that we have a constant and rotating bedroom maintenance and upkeep programme.

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Reviewed 10 October 2013

An excellent package and a great way to visit Beaulieu but the hotel experience slightly marred by the following:
Evening Meal:
The waiter outlined that our meal on the 'package' comprised a full three-course meal; later we discovered some items were not included and incurred extra charge (vegetable side dishes and steak sauce). All menu items were priced al a carte basis so it was not self-evident that extra costs would be borne.
One side dish of 'mixed vegetables' we ordered was a disgrace - comprising about three pieces of broccoli and similar quantity of mange tout. This portrays a 'cheapness' that does not reflect well upon the image of the hotel. Even after a correction to the 'extra' charges I was still charged £12.15 for one side dish of vegetables, one steak sauce and one coffee!

Breakfast:
We sat down at 8:15am (the only people in the breakfast room at that time) and finally left at 9:50am having given up waiting for two 'full-English' cooked breakfasts and one poached egg on toast.
The waiter did profusely apologise when he eventually realised that something had gone wrong. We switched our order to simple poached eggs on toast in the hope that these would be speedy. We were wrong. Another 15 mins-plus went by before these appeared - just as we were about to abandon ship, so to speak. Sadly, it did not end there as all the poached eggs were rock-hard!

I did explain our experience upon check-out and the Reception lady was very sympathetic and understanding. While we were credited with breakfast costs, again the experience did not reflect what we were expecting of this hotel. Our short break, in what was otherwise a wonderful historic location, was somewhat tarnished by these events.
On a more positive note, all the staff were extremely friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Gill K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CliveWatts1, General Manager at The Master Builder's House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2013

Thank you for your review and also your comments about the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. I fully understand your concern about the side orders and supplements charged to our guests who are staying with us on a dinner, bed and breakfast package. Because we offer such a good price on this package, there are some items that are charged extra but that is no excuse for a small portion. I am pleased that our receptionist sorted out the breakfast issue, but sorry you had cause for complaint in the first place.

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Reviewed 10 October 2013

We have stayed at the Master Builders House Hotel on several previous occasions and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, hence a re-visit. After several calls to both the hotel direct and to the owners, Hillbrooke Hotels regarding the possibility of New Year breaks, we received an email on 7 October, announcing the New Year Gala Dinner and hotel package had been released. I phoned immediately (8.30pm) and was told I had gone through to the bar and could I call back the following day to book. I called again at 9.10am and asked to book 2 rooms, 1 Classic for my parents and a Suite similar to the one we had at our last stay for my wife and I and our 8 year old son. The lady I called told me she thought the package was only available to over 18's and when I said the website or email made no mention of this, she said she would need to clarify and come back to me. For clarity, (at the time of enquiry and writing this review) their website advertising the dinner stated "We regret that there will be no children’s rates available over the New Year period". I understand that at premium times, children's rates can be stopped and catering for children can be difficult and smaller guests would have to pay adult rates but we were prepared to accept that. After calling the hotel back twice, it was confirmed that the package was indeed available to over 18's only. The Master Builders prides itself as a family and dog friendly hotel. Indeed, as clarified by the person I spoke to, I could have bought my dog - but not my son! Now - I know everybody thinks their little darlings are the best behaved children in the world (ours is - honest!) but this is easy to police. If your child is behaving in such a way so as to cause aggravation or annoyance to other guests - you will be asked to leave the function and return to your room - simple! My point in writing this is to vent my disappointment at being let down after so many enquiries and phone calls and to encourage The Master Builders to avoid ambiguity - if children aren't welcome, put it on the website. Simple! The Gala dinner (where god only knows what was going to happen if children had to be protected from it!) is a small part of such a break and bearing in mind the area, on the banks of the Beaulieu River and in the heart of the New Forest, close to family attractions, The Master Builders is missing the point - especially when you consider this is supposed to be the festive season!

Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
7  Thank Mike R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CliveWatts1, General Manager at The Master Builder's House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2013

Whilst I appreciate you are not writing a review of your stay at The Master Builders, your comments have been very helpful to us and enable us to provide some clarity on children and our Christmas and New Year's packages.
As you mention our whole group is incredibly family friendly. We also welcomes canine guests with dedicated rooms for them.
We do have a special rate for children, both those sharing a room with their parents and those slightly older who want to have their own rooms. We also have a number of bedrooms with interconnecting doors and some with interconnecting smaller en-suite rooms for children. New Year's Eve hotel guests often bring their children and we provide an earlier dinner for them and fire works at midnight! All we ask is that during our main gala dinner we don't have children charging around...and I know how difficult this can be sometimes with my own ones!
Many apologies if you have not been given clarity on this one.

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Reviewed 8 October 2013

The Master Builder's House occupies a wonderful position on the banks of the Beaulieu River. If you fully appreciate the location you may be able to justify the inflated prices of the rooms. Our room, reasonably standard Travel Lodge fare (modern, medium sized, boring bathroom, cheap loo paper etc), was charged at £140 per night B&B. In any half decent Hampshire hotel, with a less glamorous setting, that room would have been between £85 & £100.
The great location is not the hotel's only asset. It has agreeable public rooms and a mostly polite and attentive staff. We saw two bedroom types, ours and a chic room priced at £180. The mattress of ours was either tired or cheap - it was sunken and the springs were too apparent. Our friends' experience was marred by no hot water to their basin and a malfunctioning shower.
The restaurant service is FAST - so much so they'd give McDonalds a run for their money. And whilst I don't appreciate this, I know increasingly many other people do. But I did draw the line at my poached egg being cooked so quickly that barely half of the albumen had turned white. It was though obliging replaced for a cooked one.
So, a very average and poor value night away - that almost justified by the pre-breakfast riverside walk on a glorious morning.
But when you come to settle up you'll see that they add £2 to everyone's bill for a New Forest charity, something they considerately invite you to decline... if, that is, you wish to be seen as mean. This is an outrage. The deal should be an invitation to add it, not an invitation to remove it. If I had just had the most fantastic hotel experience, I might not have thought twice about such a small gratuity for a cause dear to their hearts. As it was, it felt like rubbing salt into a wound.

Room Tip: The best room would be the cheapest offer available.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Ishkem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CliveWatts1, General Manager at The Master Builder's House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 October 2013

Thank you for your review and feedback. I appreciate your positive comments about the location of the hotel and the staff. I may be biased but would agree that they are both a huge asset to the hotel.
We do try to make sure service is efficient and that our guests do not have to wait long for their food, perhaps in this case too fast.
We do have a difference between the size of some of our rooms and whether they have a river view or not. This is very much reflected in the price of them. However the 'in-room' amenities such as the great cafetiere coffee, range of teas, bathroom products, egyptian linen and complimentary vodka miniatures are the same in all rooms.
Thank you for your comments about the donation to the New Forest, which although is totally optional, we are now making sure that on check-in our guests would like to donate to this good cause.

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