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Duke Hotel
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Reviews (84)
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41 - 46 of 84 reviews
Reviewed 9 August 2014

First of all let me say I have stayed in lots of places over the last year, some not that good but none as awful as this B&B. It was so bad I felt compelled to warn others about it, especially as its website gives the impression of quite a smart, well maintained establishment. Brilliant marketing!
Alarm bells started ringing when we arrived and were asked to pay up front straight away.
This is a Pub with rooms, not an hotel. To be fair the Pub part is fine and the beer good. The first impression of the place is scruffy and uninviting. The beer garden is messy with solar lights just lying on the ground and discarded cement bags. It would take minutes to tidy up but the owner seemed more interested in sitting around chatting with his wife or on his laptop.
On our way up to our room we passed dog bowls filled with fly covered food and a kitchen which reeked of old cooking fat and looked a bit tatty. We made up our minds there and then not to eat there that evening. Especially as looking at the menu it was obvious nothing would be home-cooked from scratch.
Once in our room I asked if they had any decaff coffee, which they didn’t. I thought this odd but had brought my own so thought no more of it. In its favour the room itself was large and the bathroom new, spacious and clean. No individual toiletries and meagre offerings on the tea, coffee and milk front. The floor needed a hoovering, TV was half hidden behind wardrobe, sticky tabs still stuck on the door, curtains hanging off rail and tissue thin as we were to discover that night when every car that went by shone straight in our faces. It is a busy road but that can’t be helped by the owners, but be aware. One good thing is that there are bus-stops directly outside with a frequent service into Calne, and back, up to 11.30pm.
We were not looking forward to breakfast but having paid in advance, felt we had to have it. I can honestly say it was the worst cooked breakfast we have ever had. It was mean and poor quality. Two tiny “cash & carry” style chipolatas, one piece of bacon, half a tomato, greasy hash brown, broken fried egg, grease splashed all over the edge of the plate. Scrambled egg at least wasn’t microwaved and was OK. Tea stewing in a teapot on a side table. No choice of tea or coffee, no choice of spread, no sweetener, no clearing of plates, no service. We were ignored, not told what was on offer or where anything was. We noticed others had left their food uneaten.
All this for £80 per night! Terrible value for money. Had it been £20 less we wouldn’t have felt so cheated or aggrieved. Other B&B’s we have stayed in have made ten times more effort and proudly provided local, well cooked food, for far less money.
The owners appeared completely disinterested, which is such a shame as the place has so much potential, it is a lovely building. It would have taken little effort to rectify the failings. We could have recommended it to a couple of groups we belong to but wouldn’t be able to as it is.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank Bart_ollie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
johnwilliams455, Owner at Duke Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2015

Well it's been one year next week since we took over a run down empty Pub/Hotel called the Duke, we have worked hard over the last 12 months to make the duke a great place to stay, yep we have made lots of mistakes over the 12 months, but I am sure that we have learned a few lessons along the way, after all we were new to the pub and bed & Breakfast business, in our 1st year we have refurbished the ladies and gents toilets, decorated and changed the seating in the bar and dining area, cleaned up the pub in general, decorated some of the bedrooms, cleaned up a disgusting kitchen after several other landlords, thrown away food and drink that was well out of date, (yes we have learned a few lessons along the way) the beer garden was ok, with 3 dangerous steps leading down to a broken patio area with loads of weeds growing out of the cracks in the old slabs, now we have built a new raised decked area for summer of 2015, this was built by John, not outside contractors, the view from the garden as been opened up by cutting out the 10ft stingy nettles and brambles, so in the last 12 months we have done more work than any other landlord in 30 years, so I am sure when the reviews are read about us by potential customers, we can be forgiven for our few mistakes in our 1st year at the duke

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

We stopped here for lunch, it was a spur of the moment decision. As it was 1340hrs we asked if lunch was still being served, the man at the bar did not lift his head out of his hands and nodded. We sat at a table in the restaurant and whilst we were looking at the menu a lady came up and apologised saying they had a big party booked in at 1400hrs and we couldn't sit there. We left. I must say the menu was very basic, burger and chips, fish and chips etc at a high price too. Will wait until there are new owners before venturing here again.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Primatrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
johnwilliams455, Owner at Duke Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2015

Well it's been one year next week since we took over a run down empty Pub/Hotel called the Duke, we have worked hard over the last 12 months to make the duke a great place to stay, yep we have made lots of mistakes over the 12 months, but I am sure that we have learned a few lessons along the way, after all we were new to the pub and bed & Breakfast business, in our 1st year we have refurbished the ladies and gents toilets, decorated and changed the seating in the bar and dining area, cleaned up the pub in general, decorated some of the bedrooms, cleaned up a disgusting kitchen after several other landlords, thrown away food and drink that was well out of date, (yes we have learned a few lessons along the way) the beer garden was ok, with 3 dangerous steps leading down to a broken patio area with loads of weeds growing out of the cracks in the old slabs, now we have built a new raised decked area for summer of 2015, this was built by John, not outside contractors, the view from the garden as been opened up by cutting out the 10ft stingy nettles and brambles, so in the last 12 months we have done more work than any other landlord in 30 years, so I am sure when the reviews are read about us by potential customers, we can be forgiven for our few mistakes in our 1st year at the duke

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

Booked as usual after taking advice from trip advisor but the choice was limited so we plumped for this one. Although the "new management" flag did worry us a bit the revues were favorable. They were also conservative. John and Lesley are trying to and succeeding in providing a friendly welcome, decent clean rooms and very respectable food in a lovely old building. To be honest there is still a little work to do. The TV didn't work (I didn't want to watch it, I just had 5 minutes to kill). The bathroom was scrupulously clean but could have done with a vent (although this may have something to do with my diet!).
These are critiques. The hosts genuinely want to make sure that you want to come back. The rooms are clean, the bar is under used but very acceptable and the food (Home made. No Boil in the bag rubbish) is both highly tasty and RE£MARKABLY good value.
Book with confidence.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Rob D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We stopped here for a cold drink on a very hot day, we where greeted by two very nice people behind the bar, we had a bite to eat and it was lovely. Owners very friendly, garden very peaceful, drinks cold. There is accommodation and there is going be a new shower block for campers soon, Families welcome, bikers welcome. Will return again when in the area, it was very nice.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank LondonBerd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Booked for 2 nights. Website makes it look decent. Booked a family room. Arrived early evening, received only grunts from the owner. It was like being dropped into a nightmare. Immediately I wanted to turn and run but they'd taken HALF the money as deposit! I would have been happy to lose a bit and move hotels, but half had already been paid. Dogs running around, dog food in hallway. Very old tired bedroom - nothing like on website. Children had airbeds. No hangers at all in wardrobe. Used cup n saucer on tray and opened milk pot!! Freezing cold. We asked for heating on and we were given an electric heater. At tea time the stench started creeping up the stairs. Smelt like month-old black chip fat/oil. Disgusting. Breakfast. Sticky dirty table, dogs hairs EVERYWHERE. Owners hardly managed a word. We ordered a full(!) English. Tiny portions, even less the second morning. Owners just should not be in the hotel industry. Feel awful writing this but I feel we were well and truly ripped off and conned.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
4  Thank gemima74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
johnwilliams455, Manager at Duke Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2015

Well it's been one year next week since we took over a run down empty Pub/Hotel called the Duke, we have worked hard over the last 12 months to make the duke a great place to stay, yep we have made lots of mistakes over the 12 months, but I am sure that we have learned a few lessons along the way, after all we were new to the pub and bed & Breakfast business, in our 1st year we have refurbished the ladies and gents toilets, decorated and changed the seating in the bar and dining area, cleaned up the pub in general, decorated some of the bedrooms, cleaned up a disgusting kitchen after several other landlords, thrown away food and drink that was well out of date, (yes we have learned a few lessons along the way) the beer garden was ok, with 3 dangerous steps leading down to a broken patio area with loads of weeds growing out of the cracks in the old slabs, now we have built a new raised decked area for summer of 2015, this was built by John, not outside contractors, the view from the garden as been opened up by cutting out the 10ft stingy nettles and brambles, so in the last 12 months we have done more work than any other landlord in 30 years, so I am sure when the reviews are read about us by potential customers, we can be forgiven for our few mistakes in our 1st year at the duke

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