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“3rd visit--not our last” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Mermaid Inn

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The Mermaid Inn
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Rye
Certificate of Excellence
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
62 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“3rd visit--not our last”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2014

We stayed at The Mermaid for 2 nights in July of 13.

We can't seem to visit England without spending time in gorgeous Rye, and The Mermaid Inn.

As before, parking is easy--either by driving up Mermaid St and squeezing through a narrow archway to get behind the Mermaid Inn or by driving up a back street that takes you directly to their parking lot.

On this third visit, the owner--a beautiful, vivacious woman, gave us a personal tour of the property--which is full of history and incredible anecdotes. What a pleasure!

Read my previous reviews for details about The Mermaid--but realize that they are full of superlatives about the place. We simply love everything about it and Rye, and will never be able to visit England without stopping in this magical town--usually towards the end of a long driving journey before heading back to London and then home in the US.

Thanks for always making us feel pampered, special, and happy!

  • Stayed July 2013, 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?
1 Thank ancestralvoices
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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870 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (203)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
655 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 486 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2014

Once we visited Rye and discovered the Mermaid Inn by chance. I know it is famous but often we tried to visit places without checking on purpose. We were astonished by the architecture, ots history and all the charms so we determined to come back one day.

I booked a room for our anniversary and planned a weekend getaway from London. As I booked early, I got a good rate including breakfast and assigned a historical room.

The bed was classic one with 4 pillars and lace hanging from its top. Closet was tiny but well designed for its purpose not to ruin the ambiance. Bathroom was like another room by separating from the bedroom by wall which happened to be a door.

I was hoping or expecting something would happen as some websites claimed that the room is also haunted... But nothing happened during the night.

it's a great getaway and one can enjoy a lot if interested in history and architecture.

As others described, there are certain points can be improved but for the experience, we really enjoyed staying at the Mermaid Inn.

Room Tip: Book early to get a good rate and historical room.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Normadroaming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rye, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2014

For the second year running I spent a week in the Mermaid over Christmas. The building, the ambiance and the staff made it a wonderful experience. The five-course Christmas lunch was terrific, the huge bar and log fire are truly welcoming and the setting in Rye is perfect. Don't come here if you want a chain hotel experience, it is an inimitable place with old world charm and modern service. I've stayed four times in the last twelve months. Enough said.

Room Tip: Talk to the staff before you book and tell them your requirements - four poster bed, historical roo...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • 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 John J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bury St Edmunds
Level Contributor
94 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2014

A great place to go and spend a Christmas and be really well looked after. We stayed from the 23rd to the 26th December in this wonderful old Inn. The Festive package was well put together with great food and just the right level of decoration. The staff are well trained and the Mermaid must have the highest staff to guest ratio I know outside London.
I did not find the bar too full; plenty of local traffic but we could always get a seat near the huge log fire if we wanted. At other times you could just sit in one of the lounges and order a drink from one of the many 'pot boys' to use the old phrase.
OK - it's a very old building and you have to allow for narrow stairs with uneven treads and a few cold draughts through the windows but if you want air con and lifts then just go elsewhere. The staff do all the bag lifting for you.
We will definitely go back.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the oldest part of the building for the 'real' experience!
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  • Stayed December 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Simon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kent
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2014

The Building is a must to visit , but just pop in for lunch or for a drink because that is what most people do, stay in another better Hotel nearby ,no private area for residents to go and relax and don't bother trying to get into the bar full of visitor's .Evening Meal is over priced for the type of food they are trying to serve it just does not come over , go to the ritz same price but a whole lot better, although lunch fish and chips was really nice . service not that great not attentive enough training issue's i think .reception staff ok but don't bother to get out of chair ,,Maybe she cannot i don't know.Night porter was asleep at 1pm when i went down stairs to ask for something he was snoring in one of the lounges on the chair i had to wake him,no outside line telephone working told to use own mobile i said what about if you had an emergency he said well they have not had one in the 6 or 7 years he had been working there ,but he could manage to work out my bill at 330 in the morning that would not be a problem.as we had to leave then as i was feeling very unwell due to something i had eaten and wanted to call a Dr but was unable to on my mobile so we just left.
This B&B is very expensive for what it is , maybe two star at a pinch,we felt like we were in a film set/museum because thats what keep people coming just the building , we would never go back .Room was ok but very noisy as its an old building Room 1.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank carter555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2013

My husband and I stayed at The Mermaid Inn over the weekend of 14th/15th September to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.

Firstly, I adore the building. It really is like stepping back in time to an age of smugglers, rouges and gentlemen. The thrill of being able to touch a hand to timbers, which have stood in place for almost six hundred years, gives the experience of a stay here the feel of being inside a museum after hours, when all the curators have gone home and we may creep through the public spaces unhindered.

Its ambience is alive with the thrum of history and the resonance of all who have passed through the leaning, narrow passages, supped from tankards at the bar and hatched villainous plans in any one of the shadowy nooks.

That we, as mere tourists should be allowed to stay within such walls is an experience to be cherished and savoured.

However, and from here in on, should my comments be construed as either uncharitable, pernickety or downright pointless is for you to decide. I offer my views only in defence of a building, which, were it permitted, is more than able to breathe on its own merit, without the hindrance of fussy, cheapening detail. It’s much more about “taking away” than adding anything.

Indulge me and let’s pretend The Mermaid Inn is under my charge. Here’s what I would do differently.

1. Remove the countless, ageing celebrity photographs. I’m already there, I’ve booked the room and I don’t need to be “wowed” by the fact that Jan Leeming once graced the hallowed ground in her sensible court shoes and immaculate coiffure. Likewise, the revelation that anyone from David Jason to Pierce Brosnan have been guests is of no importance to me except to detract from the wonderful features hidden behind the myriad of mis-matched photograph frames. Perhaps I’m missing the point and there is an enthralling and immersive game based on a sliding scale of celebrity to be had by browsing the famous (and not so famous) faces? From the blond-haired unplaceable TV presenter, climb the ladder of notoriety right up to Donald Sinden, folks!

2. Rip up and burn the pub-style carpets found throughout the public areas. Okay, okay, I know they go some way towards assisting with the soundproofing but, underneath those garish swirls lie a feast of flagstones and luscious, creaking boards, or, at least, one would hope. Good rugs and runners, studiously applied with considerations to trips and slips, managed by many other similarly appointed establishments, go a long way towards contributing to the authenticity of somewhere like The Mermaid.

3. Remove many of the cheaply-framed mirrors and “artworks” found throughout. Our room had an awful pre-Raphaelite poster in a gold plastic frame, as well as a couple of mirrors, which looked as though they’d been picked up from boot fairs. I understand that the mirrors may have been employed in an effort to bounce some more light into the low-ceiling, very dark room, but, really, they’re not necessary. The building is very low-ceilinged and dark in some areas, that’s the point.

4. Tighten up on service. Now, I’m not saying that the service was “bad”. In fact, in one or two respects, it was very good. It’s just not “tight”. Here’s a couple of examples:

a. The receptionist didn’t get up out of her seat when we arrived to check-in. She told us we were too early for the room (in a pleasant enough manner), but didn’t go to the trouble of coming out from behind the high divider that screens off the back part of the reception area, nor offer to have our bags taken from the car and looked after until the room was ready.

b. The night duty manager stalked unsmilingly around the bar and lounges in quite a purposeful way before loudly ordering the barman to inform the guests still sitting in the bar at 11pm they were required to take their drinks into one of the lounges. I didn’t get the impression that customer service was one of his strong suits.

c. The candle was missing from our dinner table. Everyone else had one. We felt left out. Such a small thing, but it's the little things and attention to tiny details that set a truly great hotel apart from merely a good one.

I really hope I don't come across as a whiny old bag for this review. It's just that I used to love The Mermaid, but, the older I've got, the more I've started to see her flagging.

It wouldn't take much at all to give this fine old lady the presentation she truly deserves.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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 pastiche005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
u.k.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2013 via mobile

Loved every minute despite the weather it was so cozy inside and rooms lovely. Room 22 was very nice, nothing bad to say... Daughter stayed in another room and had an "experience" during the night.... Lol

Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank jules69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Mermaid Inn

Property: The Mermaid Inn
Address: Mermaid Street, Rye TN31 7EY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Rye
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Rye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — The Mermaid Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Originally, dating from 1156, the Mermaid was rebuilt in 1420, much as it still stands today, as the principal Inn of Rye. The Mermaid now caters for those who appreciate tradition and charm, coupled with the modern facilities required by today's guest. So, from a picturesque cobbled street; step back in time to experience the unique atmosphere of one of England's oldest and loveliest Inns. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Mermaid Hotel Rye
Mermaid Hotel Rye
Mermaid Inn Rye
Mermaid Rye
The Mermaid Inn Rye, East Sussex

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