A group of nine of us stayed for three nights at The Beansheaf which we used as a base for a mountain biking trip to the local area; we are all in our early 30s.
I personally think that 'Inn' probably better describes The Beansheaf than that of a hotel, as it seemed to be a fairly family owned and run business and obviously with the number of rooms is a bit bigger than your average B&B. Despite the 4 star rating on the door, at times felt like it lacked what you would expect from a 4 star hotel.
I arrived at about 10pm on Friday Evening where a member of staff greeted me and showed me to my room. It was a single, located on the second floor at the back of the building. The room was a decent enough size for a single and while very simply decorated it felt nice enough. As other Reviewers on TripAdvisor have commented, the chair (same as used in the Dining Room) was stained and the Desk/Dressing Table does have chips in the wood underneath the glass panel, so you can't really win any points of presentation on that one. The Bathroom is on the small size and is where I'd probably direct most of the problems with the room. Firstly there is no curtain or blind on the window in the bathroom, while I don't think anyone saw me during my stay, its not impossible that it could happen given that there is a car park at the back of the building. There was a heated towel rail, but the bathroom still remained very cold and also had a problem with condensation pooling on the windowsill. It was quite a cold weekend and I found that balancing the room temperature was hard because the heater would quickly make the room too hot. The bed was comfortable and I managed a good nights sleep. However, the walls are thin, I could hear somebody snoring one night, another time I could hear the person next door to me using their bathroom. I didn't really hear any road noise, but I was at the back, I'm not sure I would want to be at the front of the building given that its right on a busy road. I think really they need to install double glazed windows, as that would sort out issues with heat, condensation and noise, probably even save them money in the long run!
The food in the restaurant is of a good standard. At Breakfast there is a choice of cereals, juices and some fruit. The English Breakfast was pretty good, I think the only thing criticism is that they used tinned mushrooms instead of fresh ones. They do have other cooked breakfast choices, but I only saw people have the Full English. I dined twice in the evening and the food again was quite good and the portions are very generous.
Now for the negatives...
The Beansheaf is located two and a half miles from Pickering and there is really nothing but farmland and the main road next to it. Its fine if you are driving, but one evening, we fancied going into Pickering; it proved easy enough to get a taxi there, but every single cab firm we rang said that they were fully booked or would be finished so couldn't pick us up again. As a result, we ended up having to walk all the way back to the hotel. To give an idea, it took about 45 minutes to walk back at a fairly brisk pace, at least there is pavement the entire way.
I've noticed a lot of people in their TripAdvisor reviews have mentioned the state of the carpets. I agree that they are a bit grubby in the reception areas, but I was willing to look past that because of the fact that most people staying are likely doing so to follow an outdoor pursuit, which is bound to bring some dirt in over time. The carpets in the Dining room though certainly were a state, with parts of the flooring even exposed near the walls. It appears they were aware of how bad this looked, as they were actually replacing the carpets when we left, so it should look a lot better in future.
The Restaurant, while also open to people not staying at the hotel, stops service at 8pm, which seems incredibly early, but again I think it highlights how it seems more like a B&B. We discovered this on the Sunday evening, we wanted to dine in the restaurant about 8pm, but when I found the staff all sat reading the papers in the bar, they said that was no good. The attitude they gave off seemed like it was all a bit of a chore for them.
Continuing on with the family B&B ethic, the staff seem to be doing all roles, from being on reception, to in the bar and waiting on your table at dinner. While they were cordial enough, some of them seemed to give off a vibe that they weren't very interested and that it was a bit of a chore; the younger man was the stand out member of staff though and was very friendly and personable.
I had one particularly bad experience with whom I would describe as the oldest member of staff.
When I arrived at the hotel, I was informed that Breakfast was served between 8:00 and 9:30. On our final night, we agreed in the bar, in front of a member of staff, that we would meet for Breakfast at 9:15am. When I arrived at that time on Monday morning, I was rudely greeted by the member of staff with a sharp "Breakfast finished at 9!"
Before I could even get a word in, he walked away from me to answer the phone, he then proceeded to have a phone call with what was clearly the owner, while I stood there waiting for him to finish. When he did so, I asked as to why they had finished serving breakfast when we were told the hours were 8-9:30. He yet again gave me a blunt reply that Breakfast finished at 9am because its not the weekend. When I calmly explained to him that how was I to know that, given that I wasn't informed that the hours would change after the weekend, he quipped that I should have read the book and walked off again. Presumably he was referring to the hotel guide in the room, which I confess I didn't look at, but they knew how many nights I was staying, so they could have told me when I arrived or the member of staff who overheard our conversation the night before could have pointed this out. Fortunately he came back and decided he would order breakfast, however they were trying to redo the carpets while we were eating and he eventually asked us to leave, as we were holding them up. Fair enough we might have been outside of their weekday breakfast hours, but I certainly wasn't informed that they would be doing works to the hotel during our stay.
The small Bar is cosy and inviting and makes a nice place to enjoy a drink. The only downside I felt was that the staff member, which I believe was also the owner wanted us to finish our drinks and lock up the bar by 11:30pm. Its a shame because my experience of hotels is that as a guest, you can usually have a drink until late, but here it seemed like he just wanted to go to bed. The other issue with the bar area being locked up is that the hotel has no other communal area to sit. On our first night, arriving late and catching up with old friends, our only choice was to continue our conversation and planning for the next day by going to one of the rooms. As I said previously, the walls are thin, so that didn't go down to well. I think that could have easily been avoided had the bar remained open longer and/or there was an area guests could sit downstairs when closed.
Overall the Beansheaf is decent enough, but I just think its good to know what you are getting.
My experience of dinning and the bar made me think that I was always stopping the staff from doing what they wanted to be doing, rather than attending to their guests, so its that area I think I'd really mark them down for. Its ok for a nights stay, which perhaps most of their usual guests are, but if you are staying for a few days and want to see a bit more of the local area, you would probably be best off staying in Pickering. Maybe we were just the wrong type of crowd for the hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Beansheaf Hotel Pickering
- Beansheaf Pickering, Yorkshire