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“Splendid location but rather lacklustre”
Review of The Shelleys

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The Shelleys
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Lewes
Sussex
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Splendid location but rather lacklustre”
Reviewed 30 June 2014

We have stayed at the Shelleys before and felt that on this occasion the standard, although good, was not quite as high as previously. This is a lovely building in a splendid location and with delightful gardens but I felt this hotel was starting to lose its country house hotel ambience and the price charged was not reflective of the standard one would expect for the price.
Small details matter. So it was not impressive to have to request toast three times at breakfast before the lone waiter served us. The room, although clean, had a slightly odd smell - stale air freshener? Reception was rather lacklustre.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Herodotos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this review, 2 July 2014
We always like hearing from senior Trip Advisor reviewers though were sorry to learn your stay, on this occasion, did not match your last visit. For this we are truly sorry and I know that our manager, Natalie, would like to reach out to you and learn more about your experience

Shelleys has a great deal to offer but you are right to say the 'little things' make a big difference and we are working diligently on this aspect - for example renovating the soft furnishings and turning our attention to the garden together with an ongoing focus on delivering an unmatched individualised service

Your conituned support is much appreciated
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374 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I booked Shelleys sometime before our stay as it looked convenient for Glynebourne. We are a well travelled couple in our 60s and have stayed at numerous hotels all over the world. However, this is the first time we have reviewed for trip advisor.We arrived to find this small hotel was hosting a wedding. Unfortunately, the reception was under our bedroom. Had we been informed about the wedding, we would not have booked to stay. The hotel was completely taken over by wedding guests so after being taken to our room we left to see the town. We'd had a long drive and would have liked a rest in our room but the noise was too loud! We were told the disco planned for the evening, would be turned off at 11 but at 11.15 my husband had to ring down to complain. It was turned off. However, the fire doors and room doors banged until late as the hotel has poor noise installation.
Sadly, the poor reviews below are, in our view, accurate. Shelleys is a beautiful building in dire
need of some renovation and updating. The curtains in our room were coming away from their fittings and there was a broken window pane. The bathroom curtains looked as though they had been borrowed and slung up as a temporary measure! The room was clean but had a strange odour that wasn't pleasant. The breakfasts are poor - my husband's red fruit compote had clearly only just thawed out. He asked if they had any croissants on our second morning but when they arrived they were stale. On a positive note, the staff on at breakfast were polite and charming and my boiled egg was fresh. Sadly the toast was of the cardboard variety- there are so many decent breads around these days! The fruit juices are almost certainly from cartons of some sort!
The garden also looks as though it would benefit from some professional gardening. The tired patio needs weeding and the planting is unimaginative. Debris from the wedding was still in evidence the next morning when we looked round the garden. I do not expect a response, other than defensiveness from management as this seems the tone they have taken with any criticism. This is the closest to Faulty Towers we have stayed in! Shame, as it is in a good location.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank caroline s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this review, 25 June 2014
This review and the one preceding it are clearly linked and while we are sorry these guests found aspects of their stay challenging, regrettably we cannot identify nor agree with the thrust of their critique

The majority of our guests are very satisfied - we delight in hosting them and welcoming them back year in year out. It is clear that we would have struggled to meet these guests particular expectations, regardless of what we did, which is truly disheartening
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London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014 via mobile

We stayed at this hotel for one night after a lovely evening at Glyndebourne at the end of May. I would urge you not to stay here. Reception was poor, we were superseded by a local taxi driver, the room was all right but we could hear noises from the next door room through inadequately soundproofed walls, breakfast was shocking. Very slow service, undrinkable coffee, leather toast, the people next to us on both sides had to wait even longer. The poor young girl and young boy could do nothing, it was all a bit like Fawlty Towers. We forgot our toothpaste so asked if they had a tiny tube, but apparently "their supplier hadn't delivered any this week". I doubt whether they have such a supplier. But they should have, given it is supposed to be number 2 best hotel in Lewes according to trip advisor! Their problem is one of complacency - they know they will get the business because of Glyndebourne demand. Too cynical of them by far.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank helen p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this review, 25 June 2014
The review and the one following are clearly linked and while we always welcome hearing from senior Trip Advisor reviewers, equally we would expect more balance

Natalie and her team are in no way complacent and greatly value genuine guest feedback as it gives us the opportunity to learn. Regrettably these guests did not make their concerns known to the hotel management during their stay which denied us the opportunity of reaching out to them

We continue to invest in the hotel - renovation works are now in course in respect of the curtains and soft furnishings while we are delighted to confirm we are working with a young and talented landscape gardener. However as parts of the building date back to the Sixteenth Century and the Shelleys is Grade II listed we have to bare this in mind at all times
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Bawtry, England, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

We have just returned home to Yorkshire from our daughters wedding at The Shelleys. The staff were attentive and most helpful in catering for my husband who is disabled.Our room was very comfortable with a huge bed and fine quality bed linen.The bathroom was spacious,clean and contained everything we required The food was delicious and great care was shown by all the staff setting up the rooms for the wedding,so that they were exactly as we had envisaged. The Shelleys is a wonderful historic building,with a delightful aura of faded splendour...... which is just the way it should be. A stay at The Shelleys proved to be cosseting,,calm,unhurried and reminiscent of a bygone age. If you want flat pack furniture and buffet meals then I suggest you book in at a Travel Lodge !!! We had a marvellous weekend ,the sun shone and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.Natalie was kindness itself and couldn't have done more to make our special day perfect. I think she deserves a rise !!! Thank you all.

Room Tip: No ground floor bedrooms and no lift, Room 4 is the nearest room just at the top of the stairs. Plen...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank grannyang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
We were humbled to receive such a thoughtful review and thank you so much. Needless to say, Natalie and her team were delighted that they could contribute in such a positive way to your daughter's special day

Shelleys has a great deal to offer and hopefully we can see you back before too long as we cannot wait to host you both again. You were stellar guests
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Budapest
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2014

The location of the hotel is close to the Castle and on the extended High Street. However, it is quite a walk uphill from the station and a taxi is recommended if a train is used. This is a small hotel in a period building ...obviously once a grand private residence...with ample parking and a spacious lawn. Inside it becomes dispiriting and unwelcoming with poor quality furnishings and pictures in the publication areas. Only the fine stone floor gave hope of better things above. The bar is especially uninviting although the young German waitress was friendly and helpful. The bedroom we were allocated was acceptable although American guests would certainly find the double bed small. The adjacent bathroom was dated but clean and functional.

We asked about things to do in the area but the advice given on times for visiting the Castle...almost next door...was wrong.

The real disappointment came in the morning when the breakfast was very poor. And then, to cap a disappointing visit, when checking out, the manager denied all knowledge of loud noises from an adjacent room which affected our room in the late evening and early morning. This was rather like a mixture of an industrial scale coffee grinder mixed with a faulty old gurgling washing machine jumping up and down and on its last legs, and must have been audible in the reception below as well as our room. This hotel was not full and we should obviously have been put into a better and quieter room.

We left resolved not to return. This was not a happy hotel in spite of the valiant efforts by the waitress.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms at the back
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BudapestDavidandKim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this review, 20 June 2014
While we always appreciate hearing from senior and such prolific Trip Advisor reviewers naturally I am disheartened to read some of your comments. Unfortunately on check out you were not able to speak with our general manager Natalie so she was denied the chance of reaching out to you and gaining a better understanding of your concerns

The Shelleys sits comfortably in her surroundings and being a Grade II listed building, dating back to the Sixteenth century, she has her secrets and it may be that a temporary air lock was at play regarding the plumbing. Room Three however is one of our most popular and we must perhaps take issue with your remarks regarding the furniture as the overwhelming majority of guests say how well they accessorise the building

Feedback from guests is always valued and the opportunity it gives us to learn
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2014

A stunning georgian building on Lewes high street. The staff couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful, particularly the lovely lady on reception who made me feel so welcome when I arrived.

Beautiful building and lovely large oak panelled bedroom. Comfy bed. Fast free WiFi

Very good breakfast with helpful friendly waiter.

Excellent value for money - I paid £90 for the room with free parking. A really good grand old English hotel in a beautiful location. Thank you. :-)

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 634Ian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this review, 11 June 2014
Goodness me, what a wonderful first review for this month and thank you so much

Jacque on reception is absolutely tickled pink and really nice to have such positive feedback from a new Shelleys customer. Hopefully we can see you back before too long as both the hotel and our beautiful town have a great deal to offer

Renewed thanks
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Brighton
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014

This hotel was a bit on the pricey side but was nice. Friendly staff and very helpful. The room was a bit dark, nice big windows, it was just the impression I got, perhaps the furnishings were a bit on the dark side. Bed comfy which is the main thing I guess.

Breakfast was lovely, good choice but it's one of those hotels where you feel you have to be quiet despite the super cheerful waiter.

Nice hotel just not our cup of tea.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michelle T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this review, 5 June 2014
Many thanks for your feedback and really pleased you enjoyed your getaway to Lewes

As you say, the Shelleys has a great deal to offer and benefits from 19 individually designed bedrooms so please let us know the style of room you would like to try when you next visit. We want to make your next visit even better

Renewed thanks for your custom and kind words
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Shelleys

Property: The Shelleys
Address: 135 High Street, Lewes BN7 1XS, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Lewes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Lewes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Shelleys 4*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step off the historic High Street in the beautiful county town of Lewes and into the peaceful tranquility of The Shelleys; an elegantly sublime 17th Century, family-run, country house hotel. The Shelleys offers discreet service, with high standards, within a uniquely calm ambience, with friendly staff who anticipate your every need. With nineteen luxury boutique rooms, all en-suite, each designed and decorated to reflect our Georgian origins and fitted with a television and Wi-Fi access; The Shelleys perfectly combines English tradition with contemporary luxury. Dating back to 1588, The Shelleys is a grade II* listed property – falling into the 4% bracket viewed as a “particularly important building of more than special interest” by English Heritage… Located close to Brighton and Eastbourne, this East Sussex hotel is the perfect venue for a change of scene. Whether it’s a weekend of rest and relaxation, a romantic break, or a base from which to explore the surrounding historical town and South Downs, you’ll find your every need is anticipated at The Shelleys. The a la carte lunch and dinner menu is available in the stylish award-winning Apostrophe Restaurant or on the brick-paved terrace overlooking our beautiful gardens. Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea, Drinks and Bar Lunches are also available throughout the day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Shelleys Hotel Lewes
Shelleys Hotel Lewes
Hotel Shelleys
The Shelleys Lewes, East Sussex

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