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“Last Minute Break”
Review of The Luttrell Arms

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The Luttrell Arms
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Dunster
Certificate of Excellence
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Last Minute Break”
Reviewed 13 July 2014 via mobile

We had been recommended The Luttrell Arms and decided to try it on a last minute break. Because we booked only a couple of days before arrival we only had a choice of a standard room however there was nothing standard about our room. It was beautifully decorated with plenty of room and storage space. It was on the front of the hotel and I was concerned about the noise level during the night having read other reviews. However we too experienced a warm evening meaning we had our window open but did not experience excessive traffic noise - which of course cannot be the fault of the hotel! The staff we found to be extremely polite, attentive and friendly. Being a dog friendly hotel we took with us our black lab and we were delighted by how "dog friendly" the hotel was from the offer of providing him with a bed to him having access to all areas of the hotel (with the exception of the restaurant which is totally understandable). The hotel itself is stunning with many of the original features being kept, restored and complimented by some very tasteful decoration. The covered seating gallery overlooking the courtyard and leading to the gardens was a delight. The garden was vast being spread over several levels and had plenty of seating available and from what we could see some of the rooms had their own secluded courtyards or access to the gardens. All in all the hotel is definitely somewhere we will return to BUT the only thing that lets The Luttrell Arms down is the food. We only experienced the bar food but found the menu choice very limited and a little over priced for the quantity and quality of the food. However that said it is not a "deal breaker" for us and we will return, hopefully soon.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Neal710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Becca W, Manager at The Luttrell Arms, responded to this review, 30 July 2014
Thank you for your review. I am really sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the food on offer in the bar, we regularly review the menu selection and acting upon your comments we have expanded our daily specials menu to ensure that there is more variety on offer. We do have a new brigade of chefs in the kitchen and we are hoping to put our newly refurbished restaurant, Psalter's on the map as a fantastic dining location, so we are really working hard to ensure the menus offer the finest local ingredients, freshly prepared and cooked, and reasonably priced. I hope that when you return you will see a marked improvement.
Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you soon
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676 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Cardiff, Wales
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014

I have to firstly qualify this review, by saying that the rating I have given applies only to one aspect of my experience at the Luttrell Arms, namely the food. The hotel itself stands in a lovely position in Dunster, very close to the castle. I visited the Luttrell Arms with my husband as part of their Super Sunday Deal at the beginning of June 2014. We went for an upgraded feature room, which was delightful. Staff on reception and in the bar were also generally helpful. However, our evening meal, booked for the Sunday evening was another story altogether. I have read several reviews lately which criticises the choice available for those eating on the Sunday evening, some of which have stated that they were "only" offered the Sunday roast. May I say how lucky you were! We were given the menus and promptly informed that both choices on the Sunday roast were not available as the hotel had run out after a busy Sunday. This meant a very poor choice of food, much of which I did not like, was on offer. In the end, I opted for something off the bar menu. The service provided was not at all professional. One part of my husband's meal was dropped on the floor by the boy who was serving. He looked nonplussed until he was told by another member of staff to get another from the kitchen. Although there were bread plates and knives and butter on the table, no bread was offered. There was a bread basket (empty) which at an early point in the meal was removed to the kitchen and not seen again. The wine was also served with little finesse. Breakfast on the Monday morning was rather chaotic, but good when it did arrive. The Sunday deal we were offered was very good value indeed, but I cannot see how you can expect people to turn up and have the two main items on the menu which people are likely to choose, unavailable. Is it beyond the capability of the chefs to monitor the consumption of food throughout the weekend and either order or purchase and cook more, knowing that hotel guests will be arriving expecting to eat what is on the menu. It might have been more acceptable if new menus had been printed omitting the roasts altogether, thus saving the waiting staff from embarrassment and disappointed guests. Other reviewers have made it clear that action needs to be taken with regard to the Super Sunday Deal, specifically in relation to the food offered. I would recommend the hotel, but would not consider staying on a Super Sunday Deal again until the hotel has sorted out its kitchen, waiting staff and food availability issues. Come on, Mr. Way! This is definitely not what we are used to in the delightful Royal Castle in Dartmouth.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gillcardiff357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Becca W, Manager at The Luttrell Arms, responded to this review, 30 July 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. It appears that you encountered a catalogue of disasters on what was an exceptionally busy Sunday. Firstly may I apologise for your experience in the restaurant; Since your visit we have reviewed the menus on offer on a Sunday and have also had extensive staff training! I don't wish to make excuses but a busy Sunday does occasionally become a little chaotic, we are relying on deliveries arriving on time and unfortunately due to our gorgeous location there are some suppliers who don't service this area on a Sunday, therefore if we are unexpectedly busy or run out of some ingredients on a Saturday we have to make do without it on the Sunday; this isn't an ideal situation i can see, but we pride ourselves on using fresh produce, locally sourced and freshly cooked to order and don't wish to compromise this by stocking a freezer full of fish and meat for occasions like this. I hope that you will give us another opportunity to redeem ourselves and visit again.
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Ross-on-Wye, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2014

We joined friends who have stayed at this hotel every year for the past 20 years so it came highly recommended. They had chosen a Super Sunday deal and invited us to join them. The hotel itself is lovely and we were very happy with our room. The reception staff were delightful. We had been e mailed the evening menu and asked to book a table so were looking forward to a delicious meal in the smart restaurant. However, when given the menus we discovered that the meal was to be a Sunday roast or salmon or a vegetarian option. The food was awful. My crab and mackerel pate had pieces of shell in it - I thought I had broken my tooth! The roast lamb was dry and tough. The roast potatoes were dreadful-quite obviously reheated left overs from lunchtime. The vegetables which arrived without serving spoons consisted of lots of rock hard broccoli and cauliflower and 2 tiny carrots per diner. We were unable to eat our main courses. When we asked our waitress to take the food away she was thrown into a quandry as our meals were part of our Sunday package. The desert I ordered, fig and frangipane tart, had one tiny piece of fig in it and my friend's white chocolate parfait was a brown chocolate mousse! Oh dear. Our waitress told us we would not be charged for the £17 bottle of wine we had ordered - frankly we would have preferred a decent meal. It was a surreal experience to be served the worst meal I've ever eaten in such luxurious surroundings. We won't be returning and have written it down to experience!

Room Tip: Front room noisy from traffic
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jenny R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Becca W, General Manager at The Luttrell Arms, responded to this review, 30 June 2014
I am sorry to read that you have had an unsatisfactory stay. We pride ourselves on our great service and food but evidently on this occasion we have let ourselves down. It is clear that service and food on that evening was not up to scratch and thanks to the feedback from everybody we have been able to act upon this. There has been a distinct reshuffle with the staff and we now have a new menu for Sundays as it is clear it did not previously meet the high standards we set ourselves.

Once again I apologise for the experience you have had and we endeavour to make sure this kind of calamity is not replicated.

Kind Regards,

Tim Waldron
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 June 2014

We have just returned from a short break to celebrate our Silver Wedding. Overall the hotel is a lovely old country hotel, with beautiful gardens. We found the staff to be welcoming and friendly and overall a lovely ambience. We stayed in room 16 - a lovely room at the front of the hotel- on the bend of the road. It has been the warmest period of time this year so windows were wide open all of the time - we were however not prepared for the noise from the traffic (and the church bells through the night). As another person has suggested fans would be helpful.The bar food was excellent - good value and high quality ans all bar staff were lovely. Sadly we shared the sunday evening restaurant experience as told by another reviewer. We actually thought it was a 'Fawlty Towers' experience rehearsal - the arrival of food we had not ordered and an unopened bottle of red wine plonked (literally) on the table and the waiter promptly left for the kichen - in one way it was amusing - but we suspect there were new people working who were insufficiently perpared. The food that evening was very disappointing and did not represent good value. There was no choice apart from the sunday roast. Thereafter we ate in the bar. The breakfasts on two mornings were excellent - high quality fresh produce. The service on our second morning was exemplary. But the same cannot be said of that on our final morning with tables not cleared/ fully laid up and the breakfast not a patch on the previous day -one of us had ordered the same breakfast- but definite inconsistency in portion control and warmth of food. We had to ask for crockery on several two occasions - some was forthcoming, but the rest we had to find ourselves.

That said however we would return for it was a pleasant hotel in a beautiful location. It was a welcome break in our rather chaotic professional and family lives.

Room Tip: Rooms at front may be noisy in warm sunny weather when it is necessary to have windows open.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SDWatts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Becca W, General Manager at The Luttrell Arms, responded to this review, 30 June 2014
I’m sorry to read that you have not had a wholly fantastic experience. It has been duly noted that the food and service on the Sunday was not to the standard we are so proud to uphold here. Since reading all the feedback from residents that evening it was clear we had to make significant changes and we have done so. There has been a serious reshuffle with the staff and we have now introduced a brand new Sunday menu which is far more appropriate for the restaurant.

We would love for you to return and to allow us to redeem ourselves.

Kind Regards,

Tim Waldron
General Manager
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Dorset
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

Arrived as expected and as arranged a bottle of Prosecco and chocolates awaiting in room 12. Lovely old hotel, full of character. My husband has had 1 year of chemotherapy and has a break in treatment and as also his birthday and not able to travel far I booked from 20 - 22/06/14, I advised the hotel of the same when booking and that this was a much needed break! The room is lovely and looks out on to the main street, but not noisy. This room has a 4 poster bed which was very comfortable, however I would say if you are 6ft tall or more you will struggle as the bed is built for 'short people'.
We ordered lunch on arrival which was very good and ate out for dinner the first evening. Reception ask what time you wish to eat in the restaurant for evening meal, which you don't necessarily want to commit to on arrival. Breakfast very good, timely and nicely cooked. Next day again we were asked what time we wished to eat in the restaurant, and rather than commit to a time, advised that we would eat in the bar, however we later learned that you are not able to order the restaurant food, if sitting elsewhere, which was not made clear, however staff rang back and agreed to find a table in the restaurant for us. Lunch on the 2nd day was not so good, slow service, limp rocket accompaniment, no dressing or other salad with my husbands meal a bit 'thrown together' this time. Lovely garden, it would be a definite improvement for the hotel to provide sun loungers/steamer chairs to enable guests to stretch out and read their books, there is a very nice decked area, which has very comfortable chairs, however this is at the same level as the extractor fan exiting the roof, and you therefore are subject to cooking fumes/smells on occasions. It was also evident that cooking smells came into the bathroom through the extractor fan, not strong but evident. Evening meal in the restaurant was a bit chaotic, as we ordered prosecco as an aperitif and wine for later with the meal, however the wine arrived, then the starter and we had to ask twice for the prosecco, which arrived after the starter. I would recommend this hotel for it's character and charm, the staff are friendly and the manager professional and accommodating, assisting me with carrying, as I have recently had surgery on my hand. However the problem for us was that the room was stiflingly hot - (admittedly a particularly hot weekend) so much so that my husband was unable to sleep which was much needed. There was a fan provide, but this was not sufficient to cool the room. I asked 4 times throughout the day advising of my husbands ill health but was told on all occasions that there were no more fans available, which was very disappointing - buy more fans!!!

Room Tip: If you are menopausal or don't cope well with heat, check fan availability! If you are tall, che...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HarperDorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Becca W, General Manager at The Luttrell Arms, responded to this review, 30 June 2014
I’m sorry to read that your stay has not been as perfect as we would have liked it to be. As I’m sure you understand with a building of this age, we aren’t able to install air conditioning so sometimes the rooms can get rather hot which we know is not ideal. However each room is individual so I should think we would be able to find you a more suitable room if you were to return – and we hope you do.

We are always striving to improve and I like to think that if you were to stay with us once again you would be more than impressed with the improvements we are constantly making.

Kind Regards,

Tim Waldron
General Manager
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Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

Set in the lovely village of Dunster this very old hotel was a place we had not previously visited. Our room was on the second floor which was reached by 28 quite steep stairs. The room overlooked the main street with the bathroom window overlooking the castle. A quirky building with creaky floorboards and a floor on the slant. Food was reasonable, not huge portions but very nice. The staff that we spoke to were polite. The garden area is a gem, a lovely place to sit in the afternoon sunshine enjoying a refreshing drink in tranquil surroundings. A nice hotel.

Room Tip: Room 3 has a bathroom window very near to the kitchen extractor fans so a lot of cooking smells came...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul7628
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Becca W, Manager at The Luttrell Arms, responded to this review, 2 October 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. It is always nice to hear how people (and their pets) have enjoyed their stay with us. Dunster is a lovely village and a great location for walkers, come back this winter to make the most of our winter sales and log fires!
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Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 June 2014

Booked our room on line, on arrival it did not match up to the photos. However, clean and tidy. Lovely dining room but the food was not as good as it might have been. Sunday evening meal was a total disaster. The menu was the same as the Bar Menu and the Lunch Menu which is not what you expect for an evening meal in the Restaurant! The food looked and tasted as if it had been hanging around since lunch time or had been warmed up. We sent ours back, including my soup, which is the first time we have ever done that. Diners we spoke to at three other tables were dissatisfied with their meals as well. The dining room was clearly under staffed and those that were there were not up to scratch. The service was poor. We were really disappointed because it is a really nice hotel and we went for our Wedding Anniversary, but if the menu choice and Sunday staffing is improved we are likely to return as Dunster is a beautiful Village and the Castle and grounds are delightful.

Room Tip: Avoid room 24. It is small (including the bed), backs onto garden level, so privacy is a problem, a...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Becca W, General Manager at The Luttrell Arms, responded to this review, 30 June 2014
I am sorry to read that you had a less than enjoyable experience in the restaurant on the Sunday. We feel that the service and the food really fell short of all expectation and did not match the high standards we set ourselves. Since then we have reshuffled the staff and put in place a brand new Sunday menu in response to the feedback we have received from yourself and others. We pride ourselves on our excellent service and food so with these measures put in place we are sure that such a horrendous evening will not be replicated.

Once again I am sorry that you had a poor evening and I hope you will allow us to redeem ourselves.

Kind Regards,

Tim Waldron
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Luttrell Arms

Property: The Luttrell Arms
Address: 32-36 High Street, Dunster, Exmoor National Park TA24 6SG, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Exmoor National Park > Dunster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Dunster
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — The Luttrell Arms 3*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Luttrell Arms is a 3 star, 28 room hotel. Set in the medieval village of Dunster with its many interesting buildings, under the shadow of the Castle and within the Exmoor National Park. The privately owned 14th century Luttrell Arms is surrounded by beautiful countryside making it the ideal destination for that weekend break or midweek getaway. Stroll around the village, walk the moor, or just sit by a log fire in a building where hospitality has been a way of life for hundreds of years. Heritage "If you could bottle the air in the bar at the Luttrell Arms and sell it you'd clean up" so wrote a local journalist. The smell of logs burning on the fire, a hint of hops from the pints of ale, add to this the smell of something aromatic being cooked in the kitchen, and the most essential element - the smell of history, it oozes out of the walls which have stood for 800 years. There are many outstanding architectural features, the medieval hall with its hammer beam roof (room 17) and twelve light window. History seeps out of the blackened frames, which had their glass rattled loose as Cromwell’s gunners laid siege to Dunster Castle from a defended strong point at the end of the garden. Cromwell’s Commander, Col. Robert Blake walked the corridors of the hotel, it was then called the Ship Inn and was used as his headquarters throughout the siege of the castle. Also of note is some very fine plasterwork on the ceiling of the lounge downstairs, and the plaster over mantle in room 12, showing Actaeon being devoured by hounds. The Arms of Luttrell that we use today carry us back to a Gentleman of 1261, the crest takes us only back to 1621, but the supporters are directly derived from one of the Barons who coerced King John into sealing Magna Carta. A more modern visitor is Hercule Poirot. In "The Cornish Mystery" he confronts the murderer in one of the hotel’s bedrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Luttrell Arms Hotel Dunster
Luttrell Arms Hotel Dunster
Luttrell Arms Dunster
The Luttrell Arms Dunster, Somerset

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