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“Better than expected” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Monsal Head Hotel

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Monsal Head Hotel
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Bakewell
North Tyneside
Level Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Better than expected”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2013 via mobile

We held our wedding reception at Monsal Head 24 years ago. The food then was unusual but plainly cooked and plentiful and the service was friendly and unpretentious. We have been back a couple of times, caught a couple of decent but perhaps over ambitious meals, seen a not entirely convincing makeover from chintzy English to Mediterranean, and always regarded it as special to us, but generally rather quirky.

We chanced by yesterday, with the car parks and local lanes packed with families enjoying the Indian Summer. It seemed impossible there would be an unbooked table - but in fact there was only one other table taken in the main restaurant. Later a number of families arrived, but with so many on the doorstep, and with food of the quality of that we had, it seems extraordinary that the main restaurant is not busier. I can only think of a couple of things - the pricing could be offputting (we overheard a couple say 'we aren't paying those prices' as we arrived'), perhaps because expensive and modest are intermingled on the menu of both restaurant and bar, and service for families seemed a little slow - but perfect for our leisurely lunch. Anyway, our food was excellent value, and stunningly cooked and presented. The soufflé we shared was imaginatively paired with sweet, young beetroot, plump raisins and tangy orange curd. The main courses - homemade beef and potato pie in a light, crisp pastry, loaded with tender, slow-stewed beef, and a varied, punchy and filling bouillebaisse, were perfect. We again shared a dessert of lime posset, sorbet and rich, tart forest fruit compote. A really excellent value high quality half bottle of champagne was an anniversary treat that helped it go down. Yes, the loos were scruffy (memories of my best man being sick in there all those years ago were not erased);yes, we spent an hour and a half eating; yes, we spent £60 on lunch for two. But this was consistently the best food we have had in a long time, the service was informal, helpful, and knowledgeable, and the location has few equals in the world. Maybe the issue is that Monsal Head can't quite decide what kind of restaurant it is. Bless it for that - next time it might be burger and chips we want after a long walk. But, one way or another, we will be back.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Whitleywanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
derbyshirew, General Manager at Monsal Head Hotel, responded to this review, 1 October 2013
Thank you for your excellent review it is a personal compliment to see that my team looked after you in a manner that you would expect and that the food was to your liking.

As the new general Managers myself and my partner Hannah are aware that there are areas of the hotel that require a little more attention than others and the Toilets in the Longstone restaurant are on that list. There is to be remedial work taking place very shortly with a full refurbishment to take place next year.

We are very glad that you chose the monsal head hotel for your dining experience and definately welcome you back in the hear future wether it be to the restaurant or just for a coffee and a quick bite to eat in our stables bar.

Kindest regards
Keith Robson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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391 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
145 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2013

What a shame that we had to wait over an hour between courses for our lunch on Sunday.
We were on a family day out and this really made the end of the day quite sour as we had to rush to get back to our various appointments.
There was no real apology and nothing was offered to compensate.
Only offered one drink in the two and a half hours we were there!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Mrshallam79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
derbyshirew, General Manager at Monsal Head Hotel, responded to this review, 30 September 2013
As the new general manager of the Monsal head hotel I would like to pass on my personal apologies for your believed shortfalls in service for Sunday Lunch. We appreciate all feedback and can only improve once this feedback has been given.

I have also investigated with my colleague who was working shift that day and they have commented that the restaurant was extemely busier than anticipated on your visit and although there were several delays they were not as extensive as you have stated.

If ever visiting the area again please do not hesitate to contact myself personally and I will endeavour to ensure you have an enjoyable return visit.

Keith Robson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ludlow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 September 2013 via mobile

Views across Monsal Dale were the saving grace of our room. The "en suite" shower was in a cupboard and the room in need of refurbishment. In short, at £110 a night it was overpriced.
The Stable Bar has better atmosphere than the restaurant - the menu was the same in both.
Superb area for walking.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RonVic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
derbyshirew, General Manager at Monsal Head Hotel, responded to this review, 30 September 2013
Thank you for your feedback, Having been the new general Managers of the Monsal Head hotel with my partner we have had the opportunity to troubleshoot certain areas within the hotel that require our attention over the last few weeks.

We have put in place a light refurbishment for 5 of our rooms and this will take place in mid November. We have also completed 2 full refurbishments of bedrooms which includes walk in power showers,electronic radiators and modern accessories.

I am slightly disappointed that nothing was stated at the time of your visit. Should you ever be returning to the area I would be delighted to showcase to you our newly refurbished rooms which may restore your confidence in our hotel once more.

Keith Robson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lyme Regis, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
207 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2013

We recently stayed at the Monsal Head Hotel with our two Border Terriers. We were all made very welcome. Our room had been recently decorated and had a lovely shower. It was a small double but very comfortable. Next time we would book direct with the hotel and ask for a room overlooking Monsal head itself - we booked the last room so it wasn't possible. Food in the restaurant was excellent with the best fish soup this side of France.

The " Full Monsal" breakfast was excellent but the size of it defeated us - you don't need to eat all day. Dogs can stay with you while you eat in the Stable Bar but it is very popular in summer so get there early

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view Great footpath along the railway line to Bakewell
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ktpcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
derbyshirew, General Manager at Monsal Head Hotel, responded to this review, 30 September 2013
Thank you for your wonderful comments regarding the Monsal Head Hotel. As new general Managers myself and my partner take pride in the service we give and also in the food we serve. Dog friendly in the countryside is a must and this is the way we will always remain.

Hope to see you again in the near future.

Keith Robson
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2013

The Stables Bar of the Monsal Head Hotel was an original stable and certainly manages to retain the grubbiness of same. There are sticky tables, cobwebs and lots of flies. The swatted wasp on one of the windows clung on throughout out five day stay. They do however serve some decent beer from the Wincle Brewery. The head - splitting Undertaker Bitter and the more sensible Waller Pale Ale. The food is basically good and my ribeye steak was pretty tasty, as was my wife’s bouillabaisse. If you don’t like flat leaf parsley ask them to cut it out of the latter dish. I didn’t think much of the Thai fish cakes, which were more like fishy dumplings, nor did the drizzle of chilli jam come up to expectations. More of a watered down chilli sauce in which the whole dish was swimming.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 456Alfred_g456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Midlands
Level Contributor
55 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2013

My husband and I had our evening meal here 2 consecutive nights. We were served by a very friendly and professional deputy manager - Sarah. The food and wine were very good. I would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank AmandaJoyCox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Altrincham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 September 2013

A return trip for us, a great location to be appreciated when quiet. Particularly when the daily visitors to the viewing point leave, either late at night or at the crack of dawn. Best visited on a weekday too as weekends can make the location very crowded.

Had Room 4 on this occasion, and have previously stayed in room 1, both have Monsal views and both can be described as slightly dated but its only cosmetic to walls and carpets, and all other décor is a reflection on how old the building is. Both rooms are very clean and spacious. Room 1 has the better views.
Both breakfast and evening meals are of a very high standard and service was excellent.

Already a special place for us (we had our wedding reception here 3 years ago) after marrying in Bakewell.
We were sat on the balcony of our room looking out of the window in the evening of our visit and spotted a chap proposing to his partner outside. How lovely!!

Room Tip: Room 1 ideal views, Room 2.3.4 as a follow up option.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Monsal Head Hotel

Property: Monsal Head Hotel
Address: Monsal Head, Peak District National Park, Bakewell DE45 1NL, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Peak District National Park > Bakewell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Bakewell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Monsal Head Hotel is situated at the peak of the Monsal dale. The hotel itself is steeped in history whilst the Stables bar which has stood the test of time for over 200 years still holds the quirky values today as it did then. Offering a fine selection of beers supplied by local micro breweries. Food is of the highest offering with everything from light bites to hearty meals with an enphasis on good quality local produce all made on the premises. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monsal Head Bakewell
Monsal Head Hotel Bakewell, Peak District National Park

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