All looked promising as we drove into the hall,lovely situation and an undeniably pretty building.
We checked into a rather tired old room caught somewhere between a BnB and a foolish attempt to haul the" guest experience"into the 21st century. Sadly a cheap lcd television of a size that required a telescope to view,[and believe me the room was not a large one] ,does not make for a boutique experience.Neither did the usual selection of teas and chemically induced "instant" coffee, which would not have looked out of place in a travel lodge.I suppose a sign telling us that the chinaware was Royal Derbyshire or some-such,may cause some elderly clients to faint with excitement,however this fooled neither of us into thinking we were being spoiled, as the "heritage" four poster bed turned out to have the consistency of a blancmange with ill fitting sheets of the grimmest quality, which later were not surprisingly parted from the bed,due to the optimistic act of attempting sleep on them.
On to dinner.....
Having spent much of the day traveling we decided to eat at the hotel. This is £40 per head without wine for two courses, or £45 for 3 courses and is served by a sweaty waiter in a room best described as a stylistic confusion.We can only guess that at some point some cravat wearing interior designer from the locale turned up painted it puce hung up a mirror,relieved the management of their wages bill for the month and said "go ahead .. put your rates up now..."
The food itself was not worthy of a cafe,tasteless, anaemic and furthermore the wine at £25 a bottle no different to a 4 euro bottle available in any supermarket in Spain.
While Riber Hall groans under the weight of it's gastronomic pretensions it sadly does not deliver.Any gastro pub would not survive the month if it served up this rubbish.
Breakfast was adequate but understaffed,a request for ketchup
was met with a terse "ovver there ont'table" response.
Sorry is it just us? or is a "one moment I'll get you some" too much to ask.Tellingly at either of our meals nobody asked us if we had enjoyed them,or indeed at checkout where we were relieved of around £260 for dinner ,bed and breakfast.
What it comes down to is value for money...had the service been
good, the staff up to the mark and indeed the experience a treat,
then this would be fair enough.Riber Hall may well be trading on past glories however the modern customer is no fool,is well travelled,and in this case will not be returning.
With some effort this could be a fantastic hotel,however there is much to be done in order to justify these kinds of prices .
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- You can book 1-10 bedrooms 9 of which are four posters exclusive hire comes with use of kitchen/dining room with marble tables and conservatory both reach through the walled garden either down some stone stairs or over the lawn ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Riber Hall Hotel Matlock
- Riber Hall Matlock