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“Stunning quiet location and views, good value for money but feels more like a retirement home than a hotel”
Review of Northfield Hotel

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Northfield Hotel
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Minehead
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 August 2014

I hate to write a negative review, especially as I heard this hotel is under new management so feel they should have a chance to put things right. However, I understand they have been in possession of the hotel for 2 years so feel some of the issues I have highlighted really should have been addressed by now. I would like to say there are both positives and negatives to this hotel so I have listed them below so you can make up your own mind.

The positives:
The hotel is set on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and sea. It is a very peaceful and lovely setting with landscaped gardens and the views are stunning. There are some nice communal areas of the hotel, which appear to have been recently redecorated, including the bar and the restaurant. Although, I’m afraid it does feel they are appealing to an older clientele. The restaurant menu looked very appetising although we chose to eat in the bar and found the food to be of a good standard - not Michelin star quality but well cooked. The electric fan in the bedroom was much appreciated and the complimentary wine, water and fruit is a nice touch. Also having the use of nice clean crisp white bathrobes and slippers in the room is great. The swimming pool is nice and set at a perfect temperature for swimming. I requested some fresh milk for my coffee in the room and was given a thermos with milk in to last until the morning so found the staff to be very obliging.

The negatives:
There are 3 grades of room: standard, superior and deluxe - we wanted to go for a bit more luxury so went for the deluxe. All I can say is, if this is a deluxe room I dread to think what the standard rooms are like. The extra touches I mentioned in ‘the positives’ and the large bed are the only redeeming features. The bedroom was at least clean but the decor (with the exception of the bed and bed linen) and furniture are very out of date and it felt like I was in a retirement home. The bathroom - first impression... "ewwww" I have uploaded some photos so you can see for yourself but the best description I can give you is it's like using your Grand Mother's bathroom - it doesn't look like it's been updated for many years, smells damp (despite the staff having left the window wide open - obviously trying to mask the smell). There are disabled grab rails on the walls by the toilet, bath and towel rail - none of which match. The basin has a rusty plug chain and the blue rim of the cold tap is missing. The grimmest site though was two crusty looking old manky beige face flannels rolled up in glasses on the shelf above the sink - Yuk!! Even if the management has to update the rooms slowly one by one (which I do understand), surely some of these small things could be addressed in the meantime!?? My husband and I were only staying for a night and had booked at the last minute with a reduced rate. Had we lived locally or had a choice of moving elsewhere, we would have checked out rather than stay. Had I not had a reduced rate, I would have asked to be moved to an alternative room as I felt this was really substandard. The room was ok if you can overlook the decor and wardrobe door that doesn't close but the bathroom is the probably worst I have ever seen in any hotel I have ever stayed in - truly grim!

On another note the hotel manual in the bedroom states there is free high-speed wireless internet access in all areas of the hotel – great! Not great… both my husband I (who are both in IT and always travel with our tech) took out our iPads and went to connect but as there was no sign of any network under our Wi-fi settings, we called reception – as per the directions in the hotel manual. On calling reception the gentleman sounded surprised I had called and said “you don’t need to do anything it will just connect automatically.” I said no, you need to select a wireless network from a list of those available but there is nothing showing on any of our devices (2 iPhones, a brand new iPad and an iPad mini). At this point the chap on the phone advised me to take my device out into the hotel corridor and it should pick up. He seemed quite annoyed as apparently they have only just installed a brand new router. I did say if it connects in the corridor it’s going to disconnect the minute I come back in the room isn’t it? The chap said “no not always”!? So off we trotted into the corridor and there it was - hoorah, we connected but on going back into the bedroom the wi-fi connection immediately dropped- what a surprise. After several attempts my husband managed to keep his connection if he stayed in the room close to the door but on running a speed check was only getting 1.5mb – not exactly high speed. In the end, we gave up and headed to the bar in order to check our emails but got the impression the staff were not overly happy with us sitting in the bar using these devices – even though we did purchase some drinks. Thankfully nobody said anything to this affect or I think my husband may have lost his temper at that point.

Staying on the negative I'm afraid - The 'Dolphin Club': the hotel has a swimming pool, with steam room and hot tub. This for me was the main attraction in booking the hotel as I love swimming and take any opportunity to use a pool if there is one available. On opening the door to the 'Dolphin Club' you are greeted by a dingy staircase with a very old stair lift running down one side – not the best impression. The changing rooms leave a lot to be desired and there was no way I was going to use the shower facilities in here - Yuk! The pool itself seems to be well maintained and is a good temperature as I mentioned in the positives. The 'steam room', which is actually just a shower-sized cubicle for 2 people, is really unpleasant. I went in and reluctantly sat down but when I looked up at the ceiling, really couldn't bring myself to stay in there. The brown stains and dilapidated condition made me wince and wonder what germs I was inhaling! I am sorry to say but in my opinion, this steam room needs to be disposed of and replaced. The hot tub is ok but again seems to be quite old and a bit neglected - the water level was several inches too low as most of my torso was out of the water and this is also backed up by what seemed to be a faint dark line running around the tub. Come on management - this is a really great facility, it just requires some much needed TLC.

Overall - to the management of the Northfield, I would say I appreciate you have obviously inherited years of neglect and problems, that are going to take some time to rectify but I would have expected you to have done more in the 2 years since you have taken ownership and feel there are things which you should really prioritise.

Would I recommend to others? That is difficult... if you don't care about decor and are looking for a quiet place to stay that is pretty good value then yes. I understand they have renovated 10 bedrooms so I suggest you ask for one of these - I did not see one so can't vouch for them personally, but expect my review would not have been quite so negative had I booked one of these. All in all, if you are a younger trendy traveller, I suspect this hotel will not appeal to you.

Would I stay again? Perhaps once the hotel has been totally refurbished. I do wish the new management lots of luck in renovating, what was without doubt once a beautiful hotel in years gone by! It will be interesting to see it in a few years time when changes further have been made. But for me personally as it stands now... no I'm sorry, I would not stay here again.

Room Tip: The views from the 2nd floor are great but don't pick room 17 if you don't like the look of...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Michelle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris L, Owner at Northfield Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2014

Thanks for taking the time to review us, gosh people in IT must ahve a lot of time on their hands!
The main disappointment that you encountered was with the wifi which I ( gentleman in reception)
was frustrated that just having hard wired up to the top floor our connectivity would improve, unfortunately I am a technophobe prefering to get out and have a life and enjoy Exmoor and the surrounding coastline.
I agree with some of your comments but not others so will just direct readers to our 2 previous reviews (as well as most of our others) one was from a family the other from a regular who liked that we are changing things gradually, we are in Minehead which likes a slow pace of life and change.
Butlins and Premier Inn have plans to build hotels in Minehead so will offer identakit rooms with no personality, for guests requiring that.
Oh and on the top floor rooms 12, 15,16 and 18 all have new bathrooms (14 and 17 are planned for November) and the stairlift is 6 months old as are the flannels! We do not have a bottomless pit of finance for re-furbishment.

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202 - 208 of 255 reviews

Reviewed 16 August 2014

I stayed in this hotel with my friend the night before her wedding. The location was perfect for us, just a short walk from the beach, the town center and next to a large, peaceful park. But removed enough to enjoy the grounds of the hotel without the noise of the town. The exterior, gardens, and ground floor rooms were all beautiful and maintained to the standard you'd expect for the cost of the stay.

The service we received was very good. Upon arrival we were greeted by a very helpful and friendly receptionist. We saw this member of staff often throughout our stay and nothing was too much trouble for her. Other members of staff we also very accommodating, including a maid who had the foresight to move all the trolleys out of the corridor so my friend could get through with her dress. Many staff members turned out to see my friend as we left for the wedding and wished her well which was a really special touch to our stay.

The views from our room were really beautiful taking in not only the beach and the town but the countryside as well. My friend really loved this as it's so unusual to see such a varied landscape from one view point. The room itself was adequate but a little disappointing. The bed was really clean and comfortable, however, the room was a little cramped and the bathroom needed updating considering the price. I don't mind old fashioned fittings if they're high quality and well maintained, but the bathroom just felt dated, cheap and the shower wasn't powerful enough. Having said that it was clean and nothing was broken so it was adequate. The TV, teas and coffees were good, but a fridge would have been useful. I had also paid extra for a room with a view and welcome fruit and sweets. These were very disappointing. The banana and oranges was over ripe and to be honest I was expecting something more luxurious than bananas, apples and oranges. And the sweets were cheap too. They just seemed like an afterthought, which I felt I needed to eat as I'd payed extra for, but didn't even enjoy. It made me wish I'd saved the £30 and not bothered, although as I have said the view was pretty which I suppose is what I was mostly paying for.

Lastly, the pool, steam-room and sauna. These were all situated downstairs. The room was well laid out with access to an outside veranda which I'm sure on a sunny day is a wonderful space to enjoy. The pool was well sized but was a little on the cold side. I think the entire room could do with being heated a few more degrees so you can enjoy the coolness of the pool and also feel comfortable to sit in a wet costume at the poolside. As it was we mostly spent our time between the jacuzzi which was great and the steam-room which again could really do with updating (like the bathroom in our room). The changing rooms were nice, but the gym was a bit dingy. All in all the spa facilities were good and we enjoyed them. However, they definitely felt dated, the room needed heating more and were on the whole disappointing if you're expecting the luxurious feeling you often get in a spa hotel.

To summaries, I would be more than happy to stay at this hotel again but would only pay for the cheapest room option, but would be more than happy to pay the extra if the facilities were updated. Big thank you to all the staff, who made our stay clean, welcoming and personal.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank AllyFarrFarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2014

I stayed at the northfield hotel with my children and dogs again and I would like to say that from the very friendly staff to the well maintained pool and great food it is still amazing value for money.
It is worth spending the extra on a delux room as you get amazing views of the beach and sea.
Afternoon tea is also included in the price with delicious home made cakes.

Room Tip: Delux rooms have sea views
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank michhill1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

This was our second trip to the Northfield within twelve months. The new owners have clearly invested in updating the Hotel and the changes which have been made are subtle but stylish! The beds were very comfortable and clean. We had a new bathroom and our view from the room was incredible - overlooking the beautiful gardens and beach beyond. The menu covered everyone's taste and the staff were all very friendly and helpful. The swimming pool was a complete bonus and much appreciated! Looking forward to our next visit!

Room Tip: rooms with a view of the sea.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank 135Lucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

This is not our first review of the hotel but the first under the new ownership. Unlike many hotels where new owners want to make an impression, changes at the hotel are taking place but are subtle and not frightening away regular customers, of whom there are many. My wife and I have been coming here for the last 25+ years so we see instantly any changes. The first we were to find out was that the hotel is no longer listed as a Best Western hotel - so no more BW points! Having said that we still found many of the staff are still there and still greet you like long lost friends. The bedrooms are gradually being upgraded together with the lounge area and finally the meals are still the same - good food well prepared and served by the friendly staff. We cannot wait to return again next year.

Room Tip: Upgrade the bedroom to the superior ones - 25 to 29 are excellent.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Avroman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

The hotel was spotless and comfortable although quite old fashioned.......the receptionist (I think she is called Trina) was excellent......room was noisy due to being up above a pub or party...but what the hell it was guys enjoying themselves.
Breakfast.....food good....staff diabolical.....abrupt, rude, inattentive, I had my son and his Fiancee with me and I felt quite embarrassed at the attitude of the staff.
The cost of the room was i think too high, i travel to quite a lot in both UK and Europe and for only a few pounds more get much, much better accommodation, also just thinking about things the loo seat was cheap plastic, squeezy jars in the shower that smelled quite toilety .....when i wen to pay there was a slight error on the bill that was easily rectified although there was a gentleman in a check shirt who said very little standing behind the reception desk, he seemed quite nervous.
Needless to say won't be staying there again....No i didn't say anything at time as the receptionist was busy and i didn't want her embarrassed!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris L, Owner at Northfield Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 2 August 2014

Many thanks for taking the time to review our hotel obviously we take some consolation that you found us spotlessly clean and comfortable and enjoyed the food and welcome at reception.
The noise we believe must have been coming from a neighbouring property, we are resident at the property so wish you had brought it to our attention so we could have silenced it, our bathroom toiletries are Gilcrest and Soames and we have never had complaints about them before.
We have renovated 10 bathrooms last winter and continue this Autumn but do take on board about the toilet seat.
We apoligise if the staff were rude at breakfast this was very out of character as the majority of reviews praise the staff, hopefully it was a one off and they did not get any sleep the night before either, as for our manager Roger he has been called many things but never nervous?
Hopefully on reflection you will think us not quite as bad as a two star review and give us a chance to redeem ourselves.

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Reviewed 19 July 2014

This Hotel is in a very pleasant situation near to the harbour and beach,
The room we had overlooked the very nicely kept garden and was light and airy.
The food was of a good standard with a number of main course choices..
It is a nice little bonus that afternoon tea is served every day at 4.pm.
and I would certainly like to revisit this Hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Brien H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Northfield Hotel

Address: Northfield Road, Minehead TA24 5PU, England (Formerly BEST WESTERN Northfield Hotel)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Minehead
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in Minehead
Price Range: £111 - £137 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Northfield Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Minehead's Premier Hotel Accomodation for rest and relaxation. Located in the heart of Exmoor's National Park Minehead offers a delightful harbour setting with sweeping sandy beaches and the rugged Quantock Hills. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Minehead
Minehead Best Western

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