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“Beautiful setting, excellent food, but...” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pelham House

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Pelham House
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Lewes
Brighton
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting, excellent food, but...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2013

Firstly, Lewes, the historic town where Pelham House is located is something very special in my opinion. It is in eclectic mix of traditional Sussex life, fascinating history, interesting people and an arty and vibrant backdrop. And Pelham House, a stunning 16th century town house is perfectly situated right in the middle of it, a stones thrown from both the well connected railway station and the main High Street.

I actually took advantage of a promotion and got a special deal on the 'superior room, 3-course meal and breakfast for two and without disclosing the specifics, that represent very, very good value for money. The only date we could make the superior rooms were not available so I paid to upgrade to their Executive (Best) Room.

We were advised parking was available but that it could be tricky so we opted to park on the street and charges are unjustifiably high in Lewes so that in hindsight i'd have paid the £6 or so to park on the forecourt. Check in was very good and first impressions of the room were good too. It was a very traditional room with various original features and the decor was pleasant enough with a large comfortable bed. The bathroom was nice too although showing a few signs of wear.

I was surprised to see an old style TV too, not that we even turned it on but the cost of a flat screen TV is so minimal these days it's hard to fathom how a hotel's best room could not be worth the investment. It was also very dusty under the main desk unit and radiator owing the the floorboards and a clear area missed by the hoovers. But overall it has character and this made up for the shortcomings.

Dinner was fantastic, the food easily compared with any of the better restaurants in nearby Brighton and it was well worth the £25 offer they have on for 3 courses. We were made to feel comfortable and at home by the waitress, allowed to pick a table and the food was delicious, the wine was equally good. The £3 supplement for the local cheese board was also money well invested in my opinion.

After dinner we went to the bar area where they have a decent cocktail menu and I ordered a Cosmopolitan which was well made indeed. You can also order a good menu from the bar area should you prefer a more casual dining experience. I must confess there was a slightly grumpy man on some form of duty that night between bar and restaurant but his apparent mood wasn't bad enough to spoil ours!

The sleeping was not so great because the room was so hot. We turned the old fashioned radiator off but it seemed to stay on and even with the Window half open in the middle of Winter the room was still hot. Breakfast was absolutely excellent both in terms of service and food. The Eggs Benedict was sublime, good coffee and plenty of nice toast too. Anyway, checkout was easy but having left in a rush owing to the street parking situation I hadn't noticed that i'd overpaid on the bill. However, in fairness to the Hotel, when I contacted them it was immediately refunded.

Overall I wanted to absolutely fall in love with the Hotel as it's stunning and Lewes is amazing, I didn't fall in love with all of it but the food and the setting are great and i'd definitely go back to eat. I also think it would be a lovely setting for a wedding.

I would definitely return to the Hotel to eat and probably stay too. If you are visiting Lewes, it's a great place to stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Josactually
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PelhamHouseLewes, Reception Supervisor at Pelham House, responded to this review, 21 February 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to provide these comments. Guest feedback is of upmost importance to us and so we very much appreciate this review of your recent stay.
I am first of all delighted to hear that you too were charmed by our little Lewes town. Your poignant description highlights what I love about Lewes so I very much enjoyed reading this.
I am happy to hear that you found the offer to be of good value - we run various promotions throughout the year and often rerun those which receive good feedback so this is good to know. I am however, sorry to hear of the shortcomings that you found with the room and I can assure you that we take such comments on board entirely and I will look into the issues raised. I am particularly saddened to hear that your night’s sleep was disturbed by the temperature of the room and I offer my most sincere apologies for this.
I will be sure to pass your comments on to the staff – especially the restaurant, who will be thrilled to hear of your enjoyment at both dinner and breakfast.
I very much hope that you will return to Pelham House again in the future as I would very much like to opportunity to welcome you back and perhaps even sway you to fall in love with the hotel on your next visit.
Once again, thank you for your feedback.
Kind Regards
Olivia Birnie, Reception Supervisor and the Team at Pelham House
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719 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (192)
Date | Rating
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  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2013

I must admit that I was expecting a great deal from the New Year’s Eve package offered by Pelham House. The cost per night of bed breakfast and evening meal on the 30th and 31st Dec was rather beyond anything I would generally consider even for a special occasion but with the 3rd night offered more cheaply it was still expensive but a bit more acceptable for a festive treat - at £680 for 3 nights in a nice room, 2 gourmet dinners (one with canapés and a glass of fizzy) and 3 breakfasts for 2 people. Check in time at 3pm seemed late but earlier costs extra as does parking on the premises (even if any is available – as it was not when I booked 2 months before our stay
Here's what I thought:
Plus points:
o Excellent food! My favourites: the pigeon breast with pickled shallots, pork loin with mini tarte tatin, Hot chocolate fondant with salt caramel inside and mocha icecream on top
o A huge comfortable bed with a great view.
o Friendly bar staff
o Helpful staff when I sought their help after vandalism to my car (see below)
o Great location for exploring Lewes and walking the South Downs
Quibbles
o There were at least 2 weddings at the hotel during our 3 night stay. These guests sometimes were significantly overwhelming (as at breakfast one morning, when their conversation could not be ignored).
o The upholstery of the chairs in the dining room used to be beige suede but most are now extensively stained by their previous occupants.
o The hotel has very restricted parking and so if you don’t arrive by public transport, you have to leave your car elsewhere and feed meters. Mine was left in the British rail car park at a cost of £5.30 a day and was vandalised therein.
o The price tag suggested luxury but this wasn’t quite there for us: our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, a plug was missing in our bath, the bathroom products were disappointingly ordinary, our room wasn’t serviced until after 4pm one day, the TV was old and scarred , we had an iron to press our clothes but no board.
o Perhaps most importantly of all, although this is a moderately small and independent hotel, I felt the staff had no interest in me as their guest and although we were given a card on our departure offering us a cut rate deal if we chose to return in the next month or so, I shan’t be rushing back

Room Tip: Room like ours on the south side would have views towards the downs
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ChrisArmstrong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dusseldorf, Germany
Level Contributor
472 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2013

A nice cute hotel, friendly staff, breakfast ok, some rooms are droll, BUT: since I spent 2 days there I get mails and mails and mails about everything and nothing. I asked them twice to delete my data but nothing happened and they lavish me with newsletters.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AlJarreau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PelhamHouseLewes, General Manager at Pelham House, responded to this review, 5 January 2013
I glad happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us but am sorry to hear of your difficulties with our mailing system.
I would like to offer my sincere apologies for this and to try and rectify to situation for you as quickly as possible.
We have an automatic mailing system which gives an option to ‘unsubscribe’ at the bottom of the email so if you requested to be removed via this link I can only expect there is an issue with the system which I will investigate. If you have contacted the hotel directly to do this then I apologise sincerely that this request was not completed.
If I could ask you to contact me personally at the hotel with your name and email address then I can assure you that I will personally ensure your data is deleted from our systems.
Kind Regards
Paul Morgan, General Manager (paul@pelhamhouse.com)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Lewes hotels

Gloucester
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2013

Attended a family wedding and stayed the night.
Fantastic wedding - good food and venue - helpful staff
Rooms very pricey for very small box room with basic furnishings and old TV etc....
Drinks expensive and lack of parking unlesss you prebook limited spaces

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank grahamandwendy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PelhamHouseLewes, General Manager at Pelham House, responded to this review, 5 January 2013
Dear Graham and Wendy,
Thank you for your feedback on your recent stay.
I am very glad to hear that you had a fantastic night at the wedding and am glad to hear your lovely remarks on the food and staff.
I am sorry however, that you felt the room, prices and parking put a downer on your experience of the hotel.
We are passionate about food and beverage and as such use only the best products for all of our drinks and regularly compare prices against other similar quality hotels but I am sorry you felt this is be expensive and I hope this didn’t hinder your enjoyment of the night!
Our car park is only very small and therefore difficult so I completely understand your frustration on this limitation. To avoid issues at wedding we ordinarily give all the spaces to the Bride and Groom to allocate them selves and then we can advise this to all guest booking with us so I am sincerely sorry that this information did not reach you.
I hope that you may return to us again in the future whether it is for another event of a leisure stay.
Many Thanks again for your comments
Kind Regards
Paul Morgan, General Manager and The Team at Pelham House
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2012

My wife and I and two of our grown-up 'children' thoroughly enjoyed our four nights (including Christmas) at Pelham House in the historic and beautiful town of Lewes. All the staff, without exception, were attentive, efficient and friendly. The food in the restaurant as well as the bar food was outstanding (and the Christmas Day lunch was what Michael Winner would have called historic). The breakfasts are really superb, with lots of nice up-market touches, catering admirably for the health-conscious without skimping on the Full English and all the trimmings. My wife's and my room in the Annex, just across the small car park from the main building, was sizeable and comfortable, although it could have done with more shelf or drawer space -- apparently modern travellers are happy to live out of their suitcases, but we haven't yet learned that knack. It was easy to adjust the room and bathroom towel rail temperatures (contrary to a strange recent complaint in TripAdvisor by another recent guest -- indeed the two or three critical reviews on this website seemed to be describing a completely different place that we didn't recognise at all).
We spent a lot of time relaxing in comfort with books, Kindles and laptops in the bar, without being harassed by the staff to keep buying drinks, although once it was dark outside the lighting in the bar was barely enough to read by.
Altogether a memorably good experience. If ever we want to return to Lewes, it will be to stay at Pelham House.

Room Tip: The Annex rooms are apparently more spacious than some of the rooms in the main building, and most o...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PelhamHouseLewes, General Manager at Pelham House, responded to this review, 4 January 2013
I am thrilled to read this review and am so happy to hear that we were able to help make this Christmas a memorable one for you and your family.
We at Pelham House were very excited about the festive season and the whole team here worked hard to make Christmas as enjoyable as possible for all our guests. Your lovely comments especially on the friendliness and efficiency of the staff and on Christmas Day lunch will be well received by all and I will be sure to pass them on to the team.
You remarks on the shelf and drawer space are fully justified and this is certainly something we will be looking into in the New Year. Likewise I would like to thank you for your point on the lighting. It is through this feedback from guests that we can identify such things which need to be looked at.
I hope that we will see you again soon.
All the best for the New Year
Paul Morgan, General Manager and The Team at Pelham House
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2012

I stayed at Pelham house just before Christmas 2012. Having stayed in similar high quality hotels across Sussex and the UK, I was expecting luxury, comfort and relaxation. On arrival, the hotel is beautiful and check in was smooth. However, this is where the pleasant experience ends. My room was right at the top of several steep stair cases, with no lift. The room was unbearably hot, with the temperature gauge in the corridor reading 32 degrees! This facilitated the need to sleep with the window open. The twin room was tiny in comparison to other luxury hotels I've stayed in. The window frame leaked in heavy rain and there was a lot of background noise from the road also adjacent hotel rooms. Breakfast did little to improve the experience. The toast was minimal, and eggs royal - stone cold. This really was a vey disappointing pre Christmas experience for me! Most of all, pack summer clothes if styling in this hotel!!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BR1ghTn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PelhamHouseLewes, General Manager at Pelham House, responded to this review, 6 January 2013
Thank you for taking the time to provide these comments and I am sorry to hear of your disspointment with your recent stay. We have contacted you directly to offer a personal apology and to try and recify the situation. Please do not hesitate to contact me at the hotel should you not receive this or wish to discuss the matter further.

Kind Regards
Paul Morgan, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seaford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2012

Our daughter's wedding was held here. The weather was awful but the Hotel is so warm and spacious that we didn't even notice the weather. The ceremony was held in the Hotel as well.The Wedding Manager Steve was excellent, always there when you needed him but not in your face. The panelled dining room was lovely and the staff were excellent, 22 of us had individual meal choices and there were no problems. The Menu is original and very appetising, we all enjoyed it. Prices are reasonable. We stayed in a room big enough to be called an apartment it was very comfortable. we felt we had five star treatment at a very reasonable cost.
Thouroughly recommended.

Room Tip: The annexe rooms are more spacious I think and book parking if you can.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 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 Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PelhamHouseLewes, General Manager at Pelham House, responded to this review, 4 January 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this lovely review. I am thrilled to hear that your daughters wedding was the perfect day (despite the weather of course!) and it gives me great pleasure to know that you enjoy each aspect of your stay.
I hope that we will have the pleasure to welcome you back again soon.
I wish yourself, your daughter and her partner all the best.
Kind Regards
Paul Morgan, General Manager and The Team at Pelham House
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pelham House

Property: Pelham House
Address: St. Andrews Lane, Lewes BN7 1UW, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Lewes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Lewes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Pelham House 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pelham house offers 31 individually designed bedrooms that blend the best of modern fittings and comfort whilst preserving many original historic features of the building. All rooms are fitted with contemporary handmade oak furniture, remote controlled TVs, phones and high speed data points and have en-suite baths or luxury showers, a range of natural toiletries and comfortable beds with crisp white linen. Most bedrooms overlook our pretty south facing garden, framed by views towards the South Downs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pelham House Hotel Lewes
Pelham Hotel Lewes
Pelham House Lewes, East Sussex

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