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“What a difference a couple of weeks makes!!”
Review of Bell Hotel

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Bell Hotel
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Thetford
Reviewed 16 April 2014 via mobile

As a regular hotel visitor, I've stayed in this one a few times, yet have never left a review. I feel now I need to say what a difference I've noticed in the last two weeks!
A month or so ago on a visit here the staff seemed really not that interested in what they were doing, there seemed no direction management wise. Service was a little lack lustre shall we say! Everything seemed too much effort.

Well... something has happened in the last few weeks to change that for the better! You get a much nicer atmosphere as you walk in, staff seem so much more motivated and interested in what they are doing and as a guest, this makes your stay so much more pleasant.
Breakfast is great and meals in the restaurant are v.good value.the rooms are comfortable and clean.what else could you need?
I believe this change is down to the new manager in place, I think his name was Richard... or though he did say he was temporary. Just shows what a difference a little good direction can make to a place.

Lets hope it stays in place with future management as I for one am very impressed and would now happily recommend the hotel to other travellers. (Something I have never felt quite confident enough in the place to do before!)
To all staff at the hotel... keep it up... I shall return again and again.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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2  Thank scratch36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard D, Guest Relations Manager at Bell Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Thank you for your feedback, I'm glad you found the hotel good value and you feel that you could recommend us. We work hard in all areas of the hotel to provide fantastic value for money. It’s good to hear that you had a positive experience. I will also personaly pass on your comments regarding Paul. Once again thanks for sharing your thoughts about our hotel. We all look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

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339 - 345 of 634 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2014

Been meeting friends and family at the Bell for a few years now and, although the food has never been great, the location and surroundings are perfect for catching up.

However, the last two visits have been particularly bad. Today was the worst and we won't be going back! The service was awful- plates were just left and we had to clear away ourselves- and the good was cold and rubbish. I did complain and got some free coffees but certainly won't go back which is a shame.

  • Stayed: April 2014
    • Location
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2  Thank Vanders79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard D, Guest Relations Manager at Bell Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank-you for taking the time out of your day to share your thoughts about our restaurant. We do recognise that there are certain issues that need addressing. We do take all feedback seriously whether good or bad, It is only with feedback like yours that enables us to improve our offering for future guests. However, it delights me to say a training plan and hotel improvement plan has since been rolled out for both the team and restaurant offering in order for improvements to be made. Rest assured your thoughts will be shared with the whole team. The team and I hope to welcome you back to the hotel in the future to witness for yourself the changes.

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Reviewed 13 April 2014

Stayed here for a week-end break as it is convenient for Snetterton Racing circuit (about ten minutes away) . Booked using a Daily Mail code so two nights B&B for two of us cost an amazing £59.80 - that was cheaper than the local Travelodge was charging for room only!! Lovely building ; room was a fair size , clean , with a comfortable bed , drinks and biscuits tray provided in the room. Breakfast in the morning was very good ....choice of pastries, croissants, muffins, cereals, fresh fruit and fruit juices as well as a very tasty full english breakfast or other cooked choices - but Linda the waitress really made breakfast a pleasure, she was just so bubbly and cheerful and friendly with everyone. We would definitely return again.

Room Tip: Through no fault of the hotels it is next to the coach / bus station. Whilst the vehicles were not a...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cathy F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard D, Guest Relations Manager at Bell Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Thank you for your feedback, I'm glad you found the hotel good value and had the pleasure too meet cheery Linda during breakfast, and your right she does make all the difference. We work hard in all areas of the hotel to provide fantastic value for money. It’s good to hear that you had a positive experience and were able to find such a fantastic deal to stay with us. We all look forward to welcoming you back in the future

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Reviewed 4 April 2014

This hotel is part of the Old English Inn chain of hotels owned by the brewery Green King and having had a very pleasant stay in one of their hotels in the Cotswolds we were looking forward to our visit.

First impressions were that no one was in charge, check in was a bit chaotic and having stayed there for two nights, it seems that everyone has at least two jobs. The staff tried to do their best but they need training and direction.

Our room was very clean, well decorated and the bed was comfortable with clean bedding and the radiator worked. There was an ironing board and iron, tv, tea, coffee and biscuits tray and free Wifi.

The bathroom needed attention. It was as clean as possible, but there were cracked, mismatching tiles and the fitments were wobbly and rusting. Towels were, however, clean, white and fluffy. Hand and body wash and lotion provided but no shampoo.

The public areas were a different matter. The carpets need refitting and cleaning and there were areas of paintwork that were very badly scuffed and needed re-painting. There was a strong smell of smoke/soot from the lounge - did the chimneys need cleaning? We couldn't find the table with the brochures for local attractions - it was out of the way, outside the toilets! It sounds from a previous review as though it doesn't have a manager at the moment and it shows.

We stayed for two nights and ate in both nights. The first night we were asked if we could book a table later as there was a party of 16 in the restaurant. This we did but we still had to wait for an hour after ordering our meal and they had run out of some of the food. The next night there were 8 in the restaurant and we waited half an hour for our meal. The problem was that the kitchen also serves the bar and the staff were busy taking orders into the bar - perhaps we should have eaten in there.

Breakfast on the other hand was prompt, plenty of coffee and the cooked breakfast was good.

The hotel was busy but it is mainly geared towards business people, travelling workmen and people staying for conferences.

After staying at a previous Old English Inn and eating at another one, this definitely lets the side down.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Karen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard D, Guest Relations Manager at Bell Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Thank you for your feedback, please accept my apologies for the short-comings you experienced during stay with us. I will share all of your feedback with the rest of the team. It’s with feedback like yours that we are able to better improve the service we offer to our guests. It’s good to hear that the majority of your stay was positive. I look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

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Reviewed 1 April 2014

Have just come back from a short break at The Bell. On first sight the building looks lovely - a very old building with a more modern extension. We had asked to have a room in the newer part of the building as my husband has walking difficulties and we were advised that the staircase was much better than in the old part. Indeed it was. Our room (No. 18) was quite large, but VERY cold. we arrived late in the evening and were both very tired, so unpacked quickly and went to bed. The beds were very comfy and warm. Next morning the room was freezing, as was the bathroom and all our clothes! After breakfast I told reception about the temperature in the room and they gave me a fan heater. This was left on all day and did warm it up but as soon as it was turned off the room went cold again.

There is a big issue in the kitchens! Each breakfast time, items were off the menu as they were out of stock. We ate in the dining room at the hotel on two nights. The Thursday night, our meals were cold on cold plates! We made a big mistake and ate it and said afterwards that it was cold. The next night we had Grill special, only to be told that 4 out of the 8 choices were not available because the menu had been popular all month and had run out of items. We had steaks, asking for them to be cooked medium - they came up almost burnt! We sent them back and had new meals - steak cooked medium this time but was not a good meal. We were offered a free sweet to make up for it. Our waiter on the Grill evening was Oliver - he was very nice, helpful and apologetic.

Other things that may have been causing kitchen problems- there were only one or max two staff waiting on and they had to cover the dining room and take meals to the bar which was the opposite end if the building. They also had to go and get drinks from the bar if people in the dining room ordered drinks. The whole thing needs re-organising.

The whole place was cold and not very welcoming. The staff were just going through the motions and weren't enjoying their work.

On checkout, I did make our feelings known and spoke to a stand in Manager who had come from Ely. He was very apologetic and said he was at the Bell until new management arrived. He said he would be spending alot of time in the kitchen/dining area to sort out the problems. I hope he can get this place sorted out!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 397ValH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard D, Guest Relations Manager at Bell Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank-you for taking the time out of your day to share your thoughts about our hotel. we do recognise that there are certain issues that need addressing. We do take all feedback seriously whether good or bad, It is only with feedback like yours that enables us to improve our offering for future guests. However, it delights me to say a training plan and hotel improvement plan has since been rolled out for both the team and hotel in order for improvements to be made. Rest assured your thoughts will be shared with the whole team. The team and I hope to welcome you back to the hotel in the future to witness for yourself the changes.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2014

Room on the shabby side, bathroom dirty, mould on shower head and around taps.
Toilet roll on window sill as holder broken, stains on the floor where toilet brush once stood.

Unable to sit in the bar as its small with inadequate seating 1 hour wait at beakfast because they forgot about us others also complaining about lack of staff.

The only saving grace was the waiter, we think his name was Paul who did his best.
We had originall booked a table for 4 for Sunday lunch, but decided that as the service was so poor we went elsewhere

Room Tip: Book elsewhere
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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1  Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard D, Guest Relations Manager at Bell Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank-you for taking the time out of your day to share your thoughts about our hotel. We do recognise that there are certain issues that need addressing. We do take all feedback seriously whether good or bad, It is only with feedback like yours that enables us to improve our offering for future guests. However, it delights me to say a training plan and hotel improvement plan has since been rolled out for both the team and hotel in order for improvements to be made. Rest assured your thoughts will be shared with the whole team. The team and I hope to welcome you back to the hotel in the future to witness for yourself the changes.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

My wife and I stayed for the weekend along with our golden retriever. No charge was made for the dog. Dogs were not allowed in the restaurant and frowned on in the bar but we could sit in the lounge with our dog and eat dinner there. I thought the breakfast and the food were fine and good value. It's not the Ritz but the service was very good. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel for anyone seeking to travel with their pet. Yogi the dog was really made to feel welcome and the other guests liked him as well. There are lots of public green spaces to walk a dog in just next to the hotel so that it's easy to get your pet to do his business before breakfast... We will definitely return. One thing the local dogs are quite aggressive....watch for the 'friendly' Jack Russell owned by a local which tried to bite Yogi's bottom for no reason at all....

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank katrine40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richard D, Guest Relations Manager at Bell Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Thank you for your feedback, I'm glad both you Yogi were made too feel welcome and you both enjoyed your stay. We all look forward to welcoming both you and Yogi back in the future

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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 Bell Hotel

Address: King Street, Thetford IP24 2AZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > Thetford
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 7 Hotels in Thetford
Price Range: £58 - £84 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bell Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 46
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Bell Hotel Thetford, Norfolk

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