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“A good stay with my family”
Review of Bellows Mill

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Bellows Mill
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in Dunstable
Rome, Italy
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A good stay with my family”
Reviewed 25 June 2013

I spent a week here with my family, two small children and my wife. It was the ideal location as, there was room for my children to play in a living room. 2 bedrooms, each with bathroom. Kitchen big enough for 5 to eat in. My kids were thrilled by the hens, that would run up to you the moment you went out of the lounge door and expect breakfast crumbs for their breakfast, that I rather suspect became somebody elses breakfast on the following day. The lake and fine lawn were very nice. Location was good because it was very close to Whipsnade zoo and only a 10 minute drive to Tring train station and a large Tesco. On the whole Racheal was very nice and helped me out with various electric adapotrs. The last night was intersting, as there was a wedding with plenty of people enjoying themselves. Bestman came out to apologise for the noise, and invited us in for a drink... The only thing I would suggest the owners, would be to put a dishwasher in.

Room Tip: Send an email and ask for information and owners will be able to indicate better solution.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Bury St Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2013

Working nearby but living some distance away, Bellows Mill has provided ideal accommodation for me during the week. Not only do I get to enjoy the extensive well-maintained grounds and lake, I can also join in a Pilates class which takes place each night in the small barn, or play tennis on the hard court. Most of the units, either converted outbuildings or small wooden cottages, are self-contained providing catering facilities, and several have separate bedroom and lounge areas. The units are furnished in good quality classic style and all have their own individual features. It is great to turn up on a Monday evening to a freshly cleaned cottage with crisp white sheets on the bed, and I am always made to feel very welcome ! More than happy to recommend to others - particularly if you are looking for an individual touch and not just a standard hotel room.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Sue D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
80 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2013

My husband and I stayed in the self-catering 'The Cottage' at Bellows Mill in May with some friends. We paid £300 between us for three nights.

First the positives.... The cottage was of a good size (kitchen, sitting room, conservatory and two similar-sized bedrooms). It was useful to have two bathrooms as well (an en suite attached to each bedroom). Bellows Mill has beautiful grounds and the view of the lake from the conservatory was lovely. The two children loved spotting the chickens as well as the wildlife on the lake (herons etc). It's in a good location for attractions such as Woburn and Whipsnade, as well as woodland and canal walks etc. It's also close to a village although we didn't actually go there so can't comment on the facilities.

Unfortunately though the property was let down by cleanliness issues. For starters it was not really adequately cleaned (the kitchen floor in particular was sticky, there were cobwebs in the bathroom, everything was generally quite grimy etc). I had booked a cot and was given a travel cot when we arrived; when we set it up we realised it had a dirty sheet on it. Luckily we had brought our own sheet with us but their website does say bedlinen is included.

There were also a few other things that indicated that the house was not very well maintained - no curtain in our bathroom (only a net), for example, and the curtains in our bedroom did not meet properly in the middle (there was a large gap which we had to cover with a blanket). The kitchen was not very well equipped - the oven and hob were very slow to heat up which made cooking meals difficult.

More seriously, there were mice infesting the kitchen. This was a serious hygiene concern for us, especially as we were staying with two young children (a one-year-old and a three-year-old). We even found droppings in the cutlery drawer, so the mice had managed to get everywhere. It was frankly a disgusting state of affairs, and the last thing we wanted to have to do while on holiday was spend a considerable amount of time each morning cleaning the kitchen and each evening trying to 'mouse proof' our food.

Obviously we did raise the issue with the owners of Bellows Mill while we were there but our concerns were dismissed as "what happens in the country" without even an apology; we didn't feel that they were taken at all seriously. They did put some traps down (which eventually caught one mouse although we heard what sounded like several), although they were not very proactive about coming to check them. I noticed that the board under the kitchen cupboards had been pulled back in places so it's possible that they need to put traps down on a regular basis rather than having dealt with the problem properly.

All in all, we were very disappointed with the standards of cleanliness and also the way our concerns were responded to. If they had taken the mouse issue more seriously and seemed generally sorry and keener to rectify it, I would have given my review a higher rating. As it is, I really would not be confident that this problem will be dealt with as they genuinely didn't seem to think it WAS very much of a problem.

I appreciate that a period property cannot always look as immaculate as a new build, but I DO expect it to be clean; I also realise that even the cleanest of properties (which this wasn't!) can get mice, but I DO expect complaints about mice to be dealt with seriously and at the least to receive an apology if not more.

All in all, a big thumbs down and I would definitely advise avoiding!!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank RJB21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rachael H, Owner at Bellows Mill, responded to this review, 27 June 2013
I was very concerned and distressed to read this review and have taken the necessary measures to resolve all the issues raised. Whilst there may have been extenuating circumstances to mitigate some of the complaints, I accept full responsibility for having allowed the standards to drop to an unacceptable level.

Guests who have stayed since have assured me that the accommodation was satisfactory .

I have been running the business for 27 years and am reassured by the fact that dissatisfied guests are the exception rather than the rule. I have a high occupancy rate all year and many guests return on a regular basis.
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London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2013

Stayed in The Cottage and found the quality of the accommodation seriously lacking. The rooms were tired, damp and the decor dated. There were missing light bulbs, furniture held together with blu-tack, dirty carpets, and a pungent smell of damp in the bathrooms, which made bathing unpleasant and the smell permeated one of the bedrooms. The cottage was in need of a complete revamp and repair. Cooking was difficult as the cooker tripped the power every five minutes when heating more than two pans or using the oven and hob at the same time. The clearly visible mouse traps in the kitchen were simply unacceptable as were the mouse droppings in the cutlery drawer. It was such a shame as the grounds and views were very pretty and the facilities such as the table tennis room and tennis court were very good. There is a pleasant village with pub within walking distance. With love and care the Cottage would make a very comfortable and enjoyable destination, but as it stands it was very disappointing especially compared to similar accommodation at similar or lower prices elsewhere in the UK.

Room Tip: Don't book The Cottage. Try another house/cottage in the grounds.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Tara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rachael H, Owner at Bellows Mill, responded to this review, 27 June 2013
I try to keep the décor to a good standard. The Cottage was re-carpeted and redecorated throughout twelve months ago. The hob had one faulty plate and has now been replaced. It is not always possible to get an electrician to come out straight away but if the guests has informed me of their difficulties when they first occurred I could have tried to resolve them there and then. The same applies to missing light bulbs. Guests are always willing to ask to borrow tennis rackets and for extra table tennis balls if they lose them, why can't they ask for a light bulb?
The cupboards and drawers are always cleaned before new guests arrive so I can only apologise for this oversight. It is possible that the offending mouse went in the drawer in between the time the kitchen was cleaned and the guests moved in. There has been no evidence of mice in the last few weeks. The smell of damp has also gone. The only piece of furniture 'held together with blue-tac' was a knob on the wardrobe door and I accept I should have repaired it properly before the guests moved in.
Most rental properties are more expensive at peak times, like Christmas and school holidays. My prices are the same all year round. I question whether there is cheaper accommodation available in the area with the same facilities at half term.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheddar, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2012

Working in Luton I was looking for a smal place where I could cook for myself and enjoy the countryside. Bellows Mill has several different cottages as well as the main house. I have stayed in one of the rooms in the main house, Woodlands View and The Hermitage. The Hermitage is by far my favourite having a small kitchen, open plan sitting area, double bedroom and bathroom.

Rachel is very welcoming & accommodating, happy to recommend Bellows Mill.

Room Tip: The Hermitage is my fav :-)
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andy_Sinclair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buxton
Level 6 Contributor
91 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2012

We wanted to book a room to break a long journey, and when we booked Bellows Mill we thought we were booking a standard type room in a guest house.

However, when we arrived we were surprised to be shown to a delightful wooden cabin complete with ensuite facilities including a lovely warm shower. We only stayed for one night so we don't know what accommodation is available in the main house, but in the grounds there were several of these cabins of various sizes.

The accommodation is situated in the grounds of Bellows Mill. There is woodland, a lake and seats placed here and there so you can sit and relax in the peacefulness of the location.

Unfortunately we left early in the morning and did not take the breakfast so cannot comment.

This was just a short stay because we wanted somewhere to stay to break a long journey, but we will definitely return.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Il76chaser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
stourbridge
Level 6 Contributor
278 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2012

We were searching around for somewhere convenient but less "formulaic" to stay for a couple of nights, taking in an old friend's wedding nearby, and came across Bellows Mill. The owners were very friendly, helpful and relaxed in the booking process, an attitude replicated during the course of our stay and departure- not at all "in your face" but there for advice if needed. Not knowing the area very well we were probably not expecting anything quite so tranquil and pretty, so it was a very pleasant surprise to turn into the narrow cul de sac and see the old MIll sitting at the end, behind the remaining mill pond and its resident ducks, with really beautiful grounds and a large lake to the rear. It was a delightful spot to relax, read and take in the wildlife- we even saw herons fishing (successfully) in the lake. We were only expecting an en suite room on our "B & B" rate (a total £140 for the two of us) so were again very pleasantly surprised to be "upgraded" to the Kingfisher "suite", comprising separate, comfortable lounge and kitchen on the ground floor with a spiral staircase (awkward- unsuitable for elderly or restricted mobility guests) leading to large bedroom ( we loved the fact the bed was not too soft and the duvet was soft and snug ) and well equipped bathroom (with nice towels and toiletries) on the first floor. Breakfast was good- nice juice, cereals, yogurts, fruit etc including a full cooked option. A nice touch was the owners going out especially to buy some decaff tea for our second morning's breakfast when this foible of mine had defeated them on the first morning. In summary very good value and a really relaxing, tranquil setting. Would certainly stay again.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank wart1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bellows Mill

Property: Bellows Mill
Address: Eaton Bray, Dunstable LU6 1QZ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Bedfordshire > Dunstable
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in Dunstable
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 27
Also Known As:
Bellows Mill Dunstable, Bedfordshire

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