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“unfortunate” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Monsal Head Hotel

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Monsal Head Hotel
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Bakewell
belper
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“unfortunate”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 May 2014

we came here for an evening meal, whilst staying overnight locally.
It was drastically understaffed the poor girl behind the bar, was barmaid, waitress, cleaner and maître d'.
The menu offered far too much choice, which is often a sign that the kitchen is jack of all trades and master of non. One of the fish meals was horribly undercooked, and nothing was done when we complained.
Choosing wine became a bit of a farce when a taste was offered from the dregs of a bottle that was more sediment than wine. If there had been an alternative to this place we would have taken it.
However the building its self is stunning and the views are some of the best in Derbyshire.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank andy p
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Andyparrybelper,

Firstly I am confused and disappointed regarding your recent visit, you state many things which I will reply to but would like to point out that at no time was I ever aware of your negative points that you have raised and I have spoken with my chefs and they are unaware of any food complaints around the time you visited.

You say we were understaffed on the bar well all I can say is that maybe we had hit a peak of service at the time of your visit and if I were a guest would have maybe had a little complacancy towards the staff member if they seemed pushed after all we are only human, but once again I have spoken with all team members during the time frame of your visit and no one can say it was under manned.

To say a menu has far too much choice is like saying morrisons sells too many vegetables or DVD's, we have a mixed clientelle which ranges from your every day walker looking for a quick sandwich and chips though to your romantic couple seeking something a little more special.

You complain that the fish was under cooked and my Hotel Supervisor that was serving you that evening did state that their was an issue, she did kindly remove the price from your bill and you had the audacity to ask for a full food refund of the whole tables meals, now I am cheeky but I would never ask for a full refund with ladbrokes should my 3.15 horse not won at Doncaster.

You received the refund and apologies as Katie who was serving does not have a bad bone in her body and only ever has the guests best interest at heart and found it necessary to leave a management handover regarding fishgate.

With regards to wine tasters they would only be offered if a full bottle of wine was purchased so if you were tasting due to wanting a glass and not a bottle we are only going to offer what is already open from our house wine by the glass, if you were unfortunate to catch the end of bottles then I apologise.

Now I am going to stop now as people may get the wrong end of my replies but you state that our chefs are jack of all trades and masters of non, well our chefs have seen your comments and have offered you a full day work experience in our kitchen on a bank holiday weekend to see if your comments remain the same.....That is of course if you last the day.

Once again thank you for your feedback and please next time I would be delighted if you would ask to see myself or my partner Hannah should you have a negative experience.

Keith Robson
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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391 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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
Redhill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

My husband & I had our honeymoon 10 years earlier here at the Monsal Head Hotel in August 2004. We loved the surrounding outstanding views from the hotel so much we wanted to go back again but this time with our two children aged 11 and 8. We had a family room double aspect facing out the front of the hotel. Whilst we were there we celebrated my husband's 40th birthday in their restaurant - it honestly was the best meal I have ever had (the lamb). And the breakfasts were pretty amazing too. The children loved the cosy lounge where we played chess and monopoly. The staff were really friendly & helpful. We cycled many times along the Monsal Trail to Bakewell and back again the other way. Will def be going back again one day.

Room Tip: If I was to fault anything about the stay I would say the family room we stayed in could do with a l...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Helen A
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Helen A,

It was a pleasure having your family and yourself staying with us and we remember looking after you all, we would like to thank you for firstly chosing the Monsal Head Hoel for your short break and secondly for your feedback on trip advisor.

You will know yourself that we wear our heart on our sleeves and ara passionate about the service we give and the food we serve, long may this continue I say.

Should you ever be visiting the area in the future please ensure you stay with us or at the very least pop back in for a game of chess or monopoly and hopefully by that time the family room will have had the refurbishment is deserves.

See you all again soon

Keith Robson
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2014

The Monsal Head Hotel delivers superb value for money in a stunning location in the heart of the Peak District. Its Victorian bones are creaky and in need of renovation, its decor basic, but its food is on par with any fancy gastropub-with-rooms and the service levels of its cheerful team equal upscale boutique hotels. New managers Keith and Hannah have only been in place for six months and have been hard at work improving the basics. Hearing their plans for the future, I'd bet this place joins the ranks of posher, more fashionable neighbours in a couple years. Get in now while it's still an undiscovered deal.

Four of the hotel's seven rooms look over a view right out of a travel brochure from cozy, enclosed balconies. (Ours had two comfy wicker chairs; I assume the rest do as well.) The furniture is basic but comfortable. They've clearly paid attention to the one place you can't skimp: the mattresses are good. The biggest difference between this and posher places is the bathroom: sink in the room itself, blocking a fireplace that would have been an attractive design feature; toilet and underwhelming shower in a tiny separate room. This is clearly where renovation is needed, and the managers say it's on the list.

We dined here three nights as part of a great package (included B&B, dinner, half bottle of wine each, easter eggs and one packed lunch for £450 for both of us for the three nights) and were delighted. Somebody's clearly been watching Masterchef. Dishes were modern European with influences from Asia or North Africa. The best dish of the stay was a lamb fillet with hints of Morrocan spice served on a squash puree and topped with parsnip crisps. Starters of chicken liver pate and confit duck leg showed confidence with the classics, and several fish dishes came out perfectly cooked.

If the rooms are slightly below expectations, the dinner is far, far above. If you're a foodie, you'll recognise this place as a hell of a deal.

They also welcome dogs for a small extra fee, which was a critical factor for a long weekend in the country.

There's abundant potential here, and they seem to be on the right track to exploit all of it.

Room Tip: Rooms with a view of the Dale are essential!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BencardsBites
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Elferrara,

I think your review has more than said anything I may wish to add, so I will keep it nice and simple and just say "Thank you".

Please educate the rest of society in commenting in the same way and the whole world will become a better place.

You review is honest and unbiased and you had several days to judge your opinion and I would like to think that when we get it right we savour those times and when we get it slightly wrong we raise our arms and admit it so as to learn for the future.

As for the future I hope we get a return visit so you may see all the amazing changes we have made.

Bye for now

Keith Robson
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lichfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2014

We have a second home in the Peak District and eat out most times when we are there. The restaurant at The Monsal Head Hotel is somewhere we always return to because of the consistent high quality of the food prepared by Rob and his team.
The new owners and management under Keith know that there are things that need to be done to enhance the experience but that is happening ( the new gents toilets for instance should be finished when we visit on Saturday)
The menu delivers exactly what it says and beyond at a very reasonable price.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nick S
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Nick S,

Your feedback is greatly appreciated and you always know that your special table will be reserved whenever you book, you have become part of the Monsal Head family with your frequence of visits and we always look forward to your arrival.

The new toilets in the restaurant are now just 2 days away from being completed and you of all guests will know what an impact this will have on our business.

We look forward to your return visit soon.

Best Regards

Keith Robson
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

The Stable's Bar, next door to the hotel, has a great atmosphere and is minutes away from the Monsal Trail. The outdoor seating area is great in the summer months, and during the winter months and evenings the cosy interior provides a shelter in which one can warm up from the chill. The food is surprisingly very good, as many reviews suggest otherwise. Although pricey, it does maintain a decently high standard, even if the food may not be of michelin standards. There is a wide variety of dishes on the menu, ranging from light snacks to more restaurant-esque options with prices ranging accordingly. Putting the food aside, there are great views and scenery to admire from the outdoor seating area.

I would highly recommend the Stable's Bar to anyone looking for a bite to eat near the Monsal Trail. The food is of a high quality, and the service is very efficient.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sebh96
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Seb H,

Thank you for your amazing and honest feedback that you have left on trip advisor.

I am so happy that you are one of the ones who is quick to praise when things are right and not the opposite.

We have the 3rd most visited tourist attraction in Derbyshire right on our doorstep and we like to match that view with great rustic food matched only by the micro brewery ales we offer to complement the food.

Our staff work hard, infact not just hard they give their heart to the Monsal Head Hotel and Stables bar and I am proud to be called the General Manager of this whole business.

We will work hard every day to ensure all guests receive the kind of visit you received and I hope we see you again in the future and people like you.

Regards

Keith Robson
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

I booked a night here - dinner, bed and breakfast - to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday.

We've been visiting the Stables bar for many years, and as we love the area so much, it seemed fitting to finally stay at the hotel. To focus on the positives, our evening meal was delicious and the staff serving were friendly and helpful. However, the room was so disappointing.

Admittedly the room had a lovely view, but it was in dire need of upgrading and felt decidedly shabby. The 'en-suite' was a toilet and shower cubicle in a cupboard the size of a wardrobe with tiling which had been painted over, and scruffy lino; the 'cracked' sink was in the bedroom; and as much as I love 'period' features and old furniture, the 1970s cane furniture and old faded curtains were in need of replacing.

So disappointing, as its a beautiful old building, but I expected a much higher standard for the cost of the overnight deal.

Unfortunately we also timed our stay with some renovation work being carried out downstairs next to the restaurant, which meant toilets being out of order, dusty floors and tables in the restaurant, and skips filled with rubbish outside. No-one's fault but it added to the general disappointment of the overall experience.

As someone with many nostalgic and sentimental memories of Monsal Dale and the Monsal Head, it pains me to say that I would not recommend the hotel to any friends or family on the basis of our stay. Maybe I should have stuck with the Stables Bar where we've always enjoyed the food, beer and atmosphere....

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Liz G
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, 14 May 2014
Dear Liz G,

Thank you for your feedback on trip advisor, we appreciate all comments and can only move forward by receiving such feedback.

Once again I find myself replying to feedback that is left on this site as opposed to myself in person. You give us so many positive comments regarding the food and the service and we really appreciate that but with regards to the negatives well all I can sy is that we are working on it and if the skip that was full outside the business did not prove this then I do not know what will?

We are an independant hotel which operates on its own cash flow basis and when the time is right we will be investing in all areas of the hotel, but in 6 months of being here as the general manager we have seen 2 rooms receive a full refurbishment and 4 rooms receive light redecoration, add to this a brand new beer cellar install so we can offer the most micro brewery ales in the area and after many years a brand new gents toilets in the restaurant as well as running the businees on a day to day basis I think we are doing quite well so far.

Had we known about your disappointment I believe we would have been able to rectify in in maybe offering you an alternative room which would have resolved your issues immediately.


Once again I appreciate your feedback and when the time is right we will be resolving the negative points you have raised although many other guests do comment that the period features are a quirky added to touch to their stay and we are just sorry that this was not so for yourself.

Kindest Regards

Keith Robson
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Bakewell hotels

1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2014

We would not stay here again as although the room was nice, clean and with a great shower, the service in the restaurant was very slow, the dining room large and with no atmosphere and the breakfast unpalatable after waiting nearly an hour for it to arrive.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank C R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
derbyshirew, Duty Manager at Monsal Head Hotel, responded to this review, 30 April 2014
Dear C R

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay with us during April. I do apologise, but during your stay we were undergoing some much needed refurbishment to our Stables bar, thus resulting in some turmoil during your evening with us and the following morning.

I would like to state that although this refurbishment was being carried out, it should not have had the impact on you that it did during your stay, myself and the team are very troubled that we were unable to provide you with the same level of customer service that we are able to give. I would also like to thank you again for bringing this to our attention, enabling us to make certain that we do not make the same mistake again.

I would like to invite you and your partner to return to us on a date of your choosing, fully complementary as our guests, with a view to regain your confidence and trust that we are able to provide you with a more memorable stay with us

At a convenient time for yourself would you please ring myself on the telephone number 01629 640 250 and I would be more then happy to arrange a date for this.

Kindest regards

Andrew Heron
Duty 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 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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