Others have commented that this hotel is difficult to find, and we can confirm that, having driven through a number of arches in the cathedral area of the city before finding the right one. But it has to be acknowledged that the setting of the Old Palace would be tainted by the presence of signs advertising the entrance to the hotel. Once through the front door to the reception – also unsignposted – the reception area and the communal corridors and areas are beautifully decorated, totally in keeping with what would be expected from a former Bishop’s Palace. We were in the adjacent lodge, the former chapel, which has been converted to a high standard, but nonetheless retains a strong ecclesiastical feel, not least in the common sitting/reading room area with its high ceiling and decorated arches. The rooms are smaller than we had expected but very comfortable, with, as a feature, an arched chancel window set low in the wall. We had a very comfortable night – the bedding was ample and clean and the mattress firm, which was to our liking. The breakfast was very generous and the egg poached to perfection. As to the staff, the gentleman who showed us to the lodge was extremely helpful, and the restaurant staff friendly and attentive The only possible negative was that while there is ample private parking in the Palace courtyard, it seems to be always very busy, and guests may at certain times find it difficult to find a legitimate parking space. And public parking in the surrounding area is very much at a premium during the working day. The hotel is dog-friendly as it claims – we took our collie and had no problems; you just need to be aware, however, that a surcharge of £30 is made for a dog. Nonetheless, overall, we would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel to our friends, simply because of the comfort and unique ambience.
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