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“Good for Glyndebourne but a bit tired and run down”
Review of The Shelleys

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The Shelleys
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Lewes
Reviewed 19 July 2014

Nice location. Comfortable rooms but a bit down at heel. Needs (several) licks of paint and a general refresh. Has that musty smell you used to get in old hotels 20 years ago. Garden is somewhat unkempt we did not try breakfast or any other meal.

Room Tip: Avoid ground floor room overlooking garden as smoke from garden terrace can be annoying
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Toby B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this reviewResponded 20 July 2014

This was a disheartening review, more so given the substantial and numerous programs running across the hotel in terms of various improvements. These works include an important overhaul of the garden, attending to the soft furnishings throughout the hotel to upgrading the guest WIFI in the ground floor guest areas

While Shelleys is perfectly placed for Glyndebourne, the hotel has a great deal more to offer and we greatly appreciate the support of our longstanding patrons

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175 - 181 of 393 reviews

Reviewed 7 July 2014

It was all nice enough, however what we really noticed ( we were two couples) was the boiling hot towel rail. It churned out heat even through the night, and made everything hotter than we would have wished. I am sure the management could save loads of cash , which could then be spent in refurbishing some of the slightly threadbare carpet. It was a nice hotel with decent staff, and just right for Glyndebourne.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank MoandEric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

We always appreciate hearing from senior Trip Advisor reviewers and were really pleased you both enjoyed the Shelleys and Glyndebourne - they make a perfect combination

The towel rails are linked to the hot water system and this is something which has our attention albeit juxtaposed against the issues of working with such a historical building and legacy plumbing systems

Hopefully we can see you back at the hotel before too long when you will notice further improvements

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Reviewed 4 July 2014

I paid £100 for a night for a friend's wedding, I believe for a wedding it is a beautiful setting if you hire the whole building. Rooms are large and feel spacious, unfortunately on the Sunday morning there was no hot water, the concierge had to turn the boiler back on which has cut out, I guess a quirky feature of the hotel, but you would expect more for the price. Breakfast was a disappointment, a long wait and cold toast, this may have been because there were a large number of people to cater for, but they should either know how to cater this or manage it by doing sittings.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank LovingOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hugh C, Manager at The Shelleys, responded to this reviewResponded 5 July 2014

We like hearing from Senior Trip Advisor reviewers and sadly on the day in question, there was a minor outage with the boiler which was quickly corrected. Even so we apologise for the challenge this caused

We were delighted the wedding was such a success and since your stay in March, Natalie and her team have made sound progress on all fronts so we are confident next time you visit you will notice further improvements

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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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: £85 - £188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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