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“Not 'a relaxing rendezvous'”
Review of The Belmont Hotel

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The Belmont Hotel
Ranked #6 of 40 Hotels in Leicester
Certificate of Excellence
Stoke on Trent
1 review
“Not 'a relaxing rendezvous'”
Reviewed 27 July 2012

Wife and I stayed at the Belmont overnight on Saturday 21/07/12 on a £89.00 bed, breakfast, 3 course evening meal and a cocktail promotion. Room 116 was small but clean & the bed comfortable however, mould was coming through the ceiling paint in the bathroom (not good, but not sufficiently bad to complain as we were only there for 1 night). Dinner was included in Jamies Bar and Lounge (advertised as 'a relaxing rendezvous') and we had booked a table for 7-30 a couple of days prior to our arrival. At 7.00 we presented ourselves in said bar for our cocktail. We were surprised that, despite only a few guests, there were 5 or 6 staff behind the bar. At 7-30 we were seated in the dining area and had ordered starters of egg Benedict and steaks for our main course. By 8.00 we realised the reason for the surfeit of staff, as a 100 plus wedding party arrived in the bar so that the function room they were using could be prepared between their afternoon and evening sessions. By 8-15, the bar and dining area was heaving with wedding party and our starter had not arrived. Not daring to move, lest our table was taken over by wedding guests, I phoned reception and complained to the duty manager. Within 15 minutes our starters arrived along with, by way of apology, a complimentary glass of wine. Dishes were collected and main course was promised within 15 minutes. 30 minutes later, not only were we surrounded by hearty wedding guests but their children were running around. At this point, we admitted defeat and left our table, only to meet the Duty Manager with our steaks on our way out. Before we could say any thing, he took us through to an oasis of calm called Cherry's restaurant where there were 8 or 10 other diners and loads of spare tables (why he couldn't have done this earlier I do not know). Admittedly, the steak was very nice as were the sweets, coupled with a complimentary bottle of wine and apologies from the staff, however it was 10-30 before we had finished eating (3 hours) which, as we intended going out into Leicester, ruined our evening. Whereas I would not dissuade anyone from staying at the Belmont, I certainly would not recommend them dining in 'Jamies Bar' on a Saturday evening because, for us, it was definitely not a 'relaxing rendezvous'.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelmontHotel, Manager at The Belmont Hotel, responded to this review, 30 July 2012
Dear Tim H
My apologies for the delay on your food, sadly on the evening you dined with us one of our chefs brigade called in sick (Our problem to deal with I know) and we were not able to arrange adequate cover in time. This was the cause for the delay in your meal as this chef would have been dedicated to brasserie dining, where the rest of the team were busy managing the wedding party. I'm pleased to hear my duty manager, arranged a complimentary drink for you as an apology, re-located you to a quieter area, and arranged for a complimentary bottle of wine by way of a further apology, I'm sorry that you felt that this was 1 star service.
As a family business we take all feedback with the seriousness it deserves and endeavour to keep improving all aspects of the Belmont.
My apologies once again.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Bangor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2012

Firstly, it is probably a good idea to start with the positives of the The Belmont Hotel, which are numerous, but not quite enough to allow me to confer a 4/5 or 5/5. Most importantly, the staff that work at the hotel are utterly lovely, helpful, professional and make the whole experience a great deal more enjoyable. I hope the owners of the hotel realise that their staff are a credit to the company as a whole, and that they are spared a huge amount of come-back or complaints based on their interaction with guests. Another positive is the location, sitting smack-bang in the middle of New Walk, a short distance to both Victoria Park/Queen's Rd and the centre of the city. New Walk is something of an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Leicester, which can be quite a stressful, noisy and smelly place. Next, within the hotel you have a choice of sitting in the surroundings of either the main bar, a gastro-pub style brasserie, the main restaurant, or, weather permitting, outside at tables that sit next to New Walk. Myself and Mrs Beoirgra ate twice in the pub, thanks to a splendid offering of vegetarian food that would compete with even the most dedicated veggie cafe. The sweet potato and pimento burger is stunning, and we came back the following day to order it again! Delicious. On the subject of food, the breakfast is an excellent array of cereals and fruit, plus some useful offerings of vegetarian breakfast fare, with eggs, hash browns, toast, beans, mushrooms, etc. I try veggie breakfasts in most places I visit, and this was exceptional. There is nothing quite like being set up for the day with a healthy and substantial defecation to lighten the step, and the Belmont certainly aids in that endeavour.

Some negatives:
- We negotiated a low rate for three nights, and because of this we assumed (correctly) that we would be put in one of the hotel's more basic rooms. However, given the photos the hotel uses to promote itself, I wasn't expecting it to be quite THAT dated and basic. The room seemed quite forlorn and stale, and it is quite obvious that it is usually used by business people who smoke in there rather too much. We tried our best to prop open the windows to air the room, eventually resorting to a coat-hanger to use to keep the bathroom window open. Not very luxurious.
- A lack of air conditioning made the room unbearably warm, and we were forced to prop open the door to enable some through-air to relieve the heat. Not very good for privacy and therefore Mrs Beoirgra saw fit to deny me my marital rights.
- On the first night that we ate in the bar there was also a wedding reception. The staff were clearly very stretched, and after 45mins of our food not arriving we called reception. The duty manager came to smooth things over, and we eventually received the meal and drinks for free. Again, the staff handled the situation so well that we were quite happy to come back the following night to eat when we knew it would be quieter. However, I'm not sure everyone in the bar waiting for food were quite as satisfied with the situation, and there was a palpable sense of frustration.
- The biggest negative, and an issue that casts The Belmont in an incredibly bad light, is the lack of free Wi-Fi! Guests are given a complimentary 2-hours free (on request) but then must pay for Wi-Fi access. I was quite shocked to find that an independent hotel was employing a money-making technique that you would expect of an Ibis, or similar. Free WiFi is a basic requirement of a hotel these days, especially one that is as expensive as the Belmont. I hope that this is rectified soon, as it ended up being something of a pain not being able to check online for certain things like shop opening times.

The location and staff make this a 5/5, but the other issues are significant enough to knock a couple of stars off the score. If the more basic rooms are refurbed, including air conditioning, and free WiFi is offered, this would be a perfect hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a good deal on the cheaper rooms.
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SeamusBeoirgra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelmontHotel, Manager at The Belmont Hotel, responded to this review, 26 July 2012
Dear Seamus Beoigra
Thank you for your review of the hotel, which contains so many positives about your stay, I'm very pleased you enjoyed the Pimento burger.
The heat over the last few days has been a real issue, and as you can imagine retro-fitting airconditioning throughout the hotel is a massive cost, where possible we have begun to fit individual units in a few of our rooms. The Wifi network was provided to us by the Cloud network, we pay them a monthly fee for access, and the cost we charge to guests goes some way to covering this cost. Our contract ends with the Cloud in August and prices for a new network come in between £15-£20k the top end being the same amount we would spend refurbishing 2/3 bedrooms - It's a challenge to work out where to prioritise the money especially when the trading is tough.
I fully recognise the strength of my team, I have invested a lot in them, and am very proud of them, especially when their skills are recognised by our guests.

As a family business I can assure you your comments do not go un-noticed and please be assured I am working to improve all aspects of the Belmont as quickly as funds allow.

Thanks again for your review, and my sincere apologies that your expectations were not matched on this occasion.
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Berkshire
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2012

I have just returned from staying at the Belmont last night and had to revisit the website to remind myself why I had booked this hotel in the first place. Aha, obviously there are a few rooms which have been refurbished....but if you only see the dated corridors and unrefurbished rooms as we did, you're in for a shock. When I booked to stay with my husband and three children I enquired about our rooms decor and was told it was one of the more 'traditional' rooms - so I wasn't expecting one of the splendid rooms as shown and the room was only £99 with breakfast. So it was very disappointing to check into this room to find it had not been cleaned very well and it was a total shock to see the dated bathroom with its avocado suite, black toilet seat and black bath panel. The bath had stains and the shower head was barely hanging on. When I reached for the loo paper the loo roll holder fell off and I didn't want my children to walk on the bathroom floor with their bare feet. I am shocked that this independent hotel would want to welcome their guests with these standards. The receptionist was very helpful and offered us complimentary drinks whilst the room was cleaned and also took £30 off the bill - he could not have done more. We had booked a table for dinner in the restaurant - I wasn't feeling well so skipped dinner but my husband said the food was good though service was very slow. Late in the evening I realised our room was at the front of the hotel over the entrance so it was very noisy with road traffic and guests leaving the hotel after an evening out. I awoke wishing I was at home as I had to face the bathroom again but made our way to breakfast which was lovely. Loads of cereals, fresh croissants and delicious scrambled egg. I have given the hotel 2 stars - one for the staff and one for the breakfast - but I feel the bedrooms on the website totally misrepresent my Belmont experience and I find it hard to believe I actually stayed in the same place.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nic040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelmontHotel, Manager at The Belmont Hotel, responded to this review, 26 July 2012
Dear nic040

Thank you for providing feedback on your stay with us, and yes as you spotted not all our rooms are yet refurbished to the modern standard of the ones shown on our website. We do state in bold on the rooms page that this is the case.

After VAT you paid £10.50pp for a room, breakfast and round of drinks, which is I think why you have given us 4 stars for value, and I was also pleased to read that you enjoyed breakfast and felt looked after by my team.

I'm very sorry that the room you had did not match your expectations, we are refurbishing 2 more rooms in August (We had wanted to refubish 6 but after diabolical trading in April we are now not in a position to do this)

You mentioned the noise you heard in your room, we are a city hotel and some noise is to be expected from outside particularly on weekends, we do provide ear plugs for guests from reception.

Once again my sincere apologies that you didn't enjoy your stay with us, each day we endeavour to keep moving forward, sadly this process has been slowed by the difficult trading climate.
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
72 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2012

This hotel is reminiscent of old world character and service. The building is simply gorgeous and historic. The staff are almost entirely wonderful. During my 6 stays there totalling 20 days during the past 3 years I only had one bad staff experience and the manager dealt with it promptly and perfectly. Restaurant and bar are great and the food excellent. The value is very good both for the rooms and service. The wi-fi is not the best and they only give you 2 hours for each night's stay. That's a bit on the cheap side. The hotel is strategically located near the University of Leicester and New Walk and also not far from downtown, Highcross Mall and other shopping or restaurants. I would highly recommend this hotel as the place to stay in Leicester.

Room Tip: ask for a large or king room as some rooms are quite small
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank YYZ-RiskMgr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fleet
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2012

I stayed here for one night on business and found the hotel to be absolutely charming. Staff could not do enough for you and dinner in the evening in the bar area was very good value for money. They have an A La Carte Restaurant which I am sure on a more formal basis would be good. The area around the hotel was really pretty with lovely walks along the park and was very quiet. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone be they staying for pleasure or business.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Beverley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
127 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2012

I'm very mixed about this hotel as it has pros and cons. I stayed two nights but didn't see the sign till day two.....Here are my high and low points:
High points:
It's on New Walk. This is the magical and mostly secret part of Leicester, which takes you into the centre of the city in 5-10 mins, and to a park and the university in 5-10 mins in the other direction. It's a super-highway of the soul, somehow calm and encouraging quiet strolling or jogging if that's your thing. Also the premier museum is 5 mins away on this walk, and the station 5-10 mins.

It has family rooms, with a large windowed cupboard with a bunk bed for kids. A real advantage.

Location, location.

The service, and breakfast service try really hard. They work hard at service here and it shows. People are friendly and want to help.


The downsides for us: the room- mainly the bed. It felt like a jumble of twanging springs connected by a couple of sheets. I slept really badly and my husband and I both had aching backs. We're not 'fussy bed' people. This was uncomfortable (we spend maybe 50 nights away each year. This bed was bad!!) And noisy. They need a new mattress. I woke 1 or 2 times because of people walking down the creaky corridor right behind our heads (it's noisy) and 1 or 2 times with noise on New Walk. Who knew it echoed? The room was also warm and as the window sash was broken we could only jam it open to get any air. Our room decor was nothing like what appears in the photos. We had the old room. Not too much mould round the bath, but old carpets and sanitary wear and droopy wallpaper. Net net, I figure the point of a hotel is to let you get sleep and if it doesn't there's a problem. On night two I saw the sign, got the ear plugs and slept through. The bed was still horrid but I slept on the duvet to insulate myself from the sticking out springs and it was much better. I'd take a sleeping bag next time. I wouldn't say 'never again.' The staff was lovely and the location is unbeatable. Charming and central together. But I guess we got an unrennovated room. Public room are far better. Ours would not be out of place in a Blackpool hostel.

So I'm conflicted. We might have been unlucky with the oldest bed in the hotel. The staff tried so hard and it's a beautiful place. If they just updated that bed I could forgive them anything....now I know about the ear plugs. (Not only for the light sleepers...no one called me that before.)

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank waltonwanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelmontHotel, Manager at The Belmont Hotel, responded to this review, 17 July 2012
Dear Walton Wanderer
Thank you for sharing your experience of the hotel, I'm so pleased you had so many nice things to say about the hotel, despite having such an uncomfortable couple of nights stay. As we speak I am awaiting a quote for the matteress to be replaced and can only apologise that this hasn't happened sooner - I've also added the window sash cord to our maintenance teams job list. I'm really pleased you found the ear plugs, being 150 years old the building isn't purpose built and so in some areas of the hotel it can be quite creaky, that room in particular has it's bed head against the corridor wall so I will aim to change this when we come to refurbish it. Thank you for mentioning what a wonderful location we have and that the staff work very hard to look after our guests, it's something we take great pride in, and hopefully makes up for some of our quirks.
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Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
42 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2012

We booked 4 rooms for our son's graduation. The location was even better than thought- excellent for the university, very close to the railway station and restaurants were at the end of the road. The staff were very helpful and were able to check us in early (we had called in advance) so we could change for the graduation following a long journey. The hotel itself was good, with plenty of different areas for us to sit as a family and have a good chat. The rooms were adequate, though some were better than others. Breakfast was lovely and again, an opportunity for our family to meet together. The hotel was full all week due to the graduations but the staff coped very well.

In all, I feel very pleased with myself for choosing this hotel. It's in a very nice part of Leicester and it would have been nice to have explored the area more. I most probably will not be visiting Leicester again as I have no reason to, but if I did I would definitely choose The Belmont.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nb333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Belmont Hotel

Property: The Belmont Hotel
Address: De Montfort Street, Leicester LE1 7GR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Leicestershire > Leicester
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Leicester
#4 Romantic Hotel in Leicester
#9 Family Hotel in Leicester
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — The Belmont Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stylish family-owned hotel in the heart of Leicester. Pretty, leafy location, minutes from the station with free parking. Character Victorian Town House, stylish bedrooms varying from modern to traditional, with latest in WiFi access. Well located for theatre breaks (minutes from De Montfort Hall, & close to Curve theatre) and shopping at the fantastic new Highcross quatter. The place to stay in Leicester. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Belmont Hotel Leicester
Best Western Leicester
Leicester Best Western
The Belmont Hotel Leicester, Leicestershire

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