We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lost the focus and the detail!!!”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel
Ranked #2 of 14 Alston B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 April 2012

We booked in for two days12@13th after reading previous comments it was a mixed bag, on the approach to the hotel the drive is FULL of potholes that need attention. Upon arrival at 3pm we were told the room was not ready ( did they not know the guests are coming?) and waited for 30 minutes for the room to be completed, that is room 15.
Well after that much time you would expect the room to be like a shining pin, well think again!! The bedroom was dusty ( I even wrote in the dust which was still there on the day we left, under the bed and areas have not seen a hoover since I don't know when , opened the windows to let some air in and both surrounds are full of muck and cobwebs??
The bathroom was in poor condition with BLACK mold around the walls,ceiling and corners,and the extractor fan was FULL of dust. this could only be beaten by the shower , when I went to take a shower the head seemed on to let out from half the outlets this is because the head is full of dust and it wants removing to be cleaned!!!
The bedding and bottoms sheets marked, the chair needs repairing..... it goes on and on..
The view out of one window wasn't bad but this was poor in the otheras the view of the bins and general rubbbish( Maybe a screen would help the view???) was what you got.
The focus seems to be on awards and maybe they have lost focus on what is/was really important or maybe how it was along time ago, since it states ' this is a hotel we like to think of home' sorry my home is 100% on what was given to us.
The decor is needing a uplift and the carpet in the main dining area is in need of cleaning..... the one thing that was done well was the food. Service was ok and for the prices they expect their asking OVER the odds for what you are served up...... trust me. I took photos of all the issues to back up just what is in this review.
Sorry we will not be back and you will get Higher standards for less money in the nearest Travelodge - so dont go to room 15 you have been warned!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
28  Thank Keith G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2012

Well, where do we start. The first thing we must emphasise, as we have stated elsewhere, is that we will be repairing the drive soon. This is a problem following the winter and, provided you do not use the drive as a race track (as some do!), then it is acceptable.

On to the room. As far as we are concerned all our rooms are ready by 3.00pm. We think there is some "stretching the truth here" ...and you know it is so easy to criticise but according to our independent assessors of both the AA and Visit Britain our housekeeping is of a high standard. Now my guests who do you believe? There are many guests who have written quite the reverse so It must be very confusing to you..

Something went very wrong with these guests for us to receive such a damming report. and we may never get to the bottom of it. Yes we will make mistakes and yes you can stay in a Travel Lodge, locked in and out by a receptionist who never ventures beyond their desk with no other facilities, no bar or restaurant. If you do want breakfast then pop accross to some greasy spoon. And yes it will be cheap but will never have the choice or quality we have. But if you want to stay in a property with a bit of charachter you can stay at a hotel like ours which may be a bit quirky (including ourselves). If you do encounter a problem, then please let us know and we will try and put it right there and then. If necessary we will offer you another room. Don't sneak off withour saying anything and then spill vitreol over a review site.

Oh yes, one more thing....before you comment on the dinner (expensive or otherwise), please, please, unlike these guests, have one before you criticise!

These are the type of reviews that givel trip advisor a bad name.
Peter and Marie Haynes

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (698)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

595 - 601 of 698 reviews

Reviewed 9 April 2012

We have just returned from a two night stay and want to share the experience with anyone who wants a tranquil break in a beautiful setting. We were allowed to check in really early which is always a bonus and were made to feel very welcome from the start. Our room was clean, comfortable and overlooked the garden. The view from the main entrance was fabulous taking in the river, the flora and fauna on its banks and the pretty bridge. We ate there both evenings and have to say we found the food to be outstanding and the service was marvellous - nothing seemed be be too much trouble and the staff were very pleasant and courteous. Above all the thing that stood out for us was the attention to detail, as seasoned travellers in our opinion those extra touches far outreached our expectations and made our stay all the more special. A big thank you to Peter and his team, looking forward to staying there again in the very near future.

Room Tip: This is a country retreat and might be difficult to get to if you do not drive.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Caterina17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Having just returned from a 1 night stay at the Lovelady Shield, I wanted to write while it was still fresh in my mind as it was quite incomparable to any hotel I’ve ever stayed in before. I absolutely loved it. It was everything I would expect from a Country House hotel...and then some. Within seconds of walking through the door we were made to feel welcome. It really does feel like home away from home – just the added option of being waited on hand and foot.

I can highly recommend room 9 - so pretty, spacious and with views to die for. My personal preference is for a duvet and not sheets and blankets but when the bed is such a gorgeous 4 poster and so comfortable I can easily overlook that! One thing – some of the grout in the shower looked like it had been missed with the cleaning cloth – an oversight I suspect and to be honest, everything else more than made up for it.

People talk a lot about the food – I will simply say it was fabulous – even for a fussy eater like myself! And Peter was clearly in his element talking about the wines on offer. One suspects this aspect may well be his first love!

All of the staff were superb. Nothing was too much trouble for any of them.

Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this place to anyone looking for somewhere to stay to get away from it all. I can’t wait to return.

Room Tip: Room 9 if you like a 4 poster
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank LadyJayneG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2012

We would like to sincerely thank your reviewer, particularly the comments, not only for the food but also the wine. In the light of the previous review it does make us think we are doing some things right.

Thank you so much and we look forward to welcoming you back to Lovelady soon.
Peter and Marie Haynes

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2012

We had an overnight stay in March on a DB&B basis which included a tasting menu and paired wines. We take a lot of short breaks and so are able to compare our experience here with others elsewhere. In all respects this stay was a very mixed experience. Overall we liked the building and the setting. Yes there were a few maintenance issues, but we found the public rooms nicely furnished and our bedroom likewise. It was also very clean which given the fact the carpet was beige, was quite an achievement! On the negative side, the shower was seriously underpowered, albeit the water was hot enough. We felt this was probably a consequence of the system not being able to cope with the demand on the hot water when several people were showering at the same time. We found the bed uncomfortable and the towels were rather tatty and frayed around the edges with a hole in one, although they had been properly laundered. The view from one of the windows was lovely, although the other was onto gas tanks and bins which we felt could have been screened or otherwise dealt with differently.
The food on the whole was good or better with minor exceptions. The tasting menu was very acceptable and although another reviewer has correctly observed that it wasn't Michelin star standard, the owners have also quite rightly stated that it doesn't purport to be so. We found it varied, tasty and well presented. We did think that the wines were rather unremarkable although they were perfectly drinkable. Breakfast was generally very good. I could not fault my fruit or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and my husband said his full English was one of the nicest he has eaten which is praise indeed as he has eaten plenty. We both thought the freshly squeezed orange juice was disappointing and it tasted to me as though it had been watered down, although I am not suggesting this was actually the case. My husband said his pain chocolat was very poor, although by contrast my croissant was excellent.
Service was really the big issue for us. When we arrived we were shown to our room by a woman we took to be the owner who was perfectly pleasant. All of the staff we engaged with were very friendly and helpful which spoke well of both them and the selection/training processes. All of this made my experience checking out the more surprising. When I went to settle up the bill, I didn't particularly notice the two men in the hall as we were preoccupied with bags etc. Consequently I rang the bell before I realized that a man I took to be the husband of the woman who checked us in, was checking out another guest. I went back into the corridor when he was finished and gave him my room number. Although we had a perfunctory exchange of pleasantries, I did not find him particularly friendly. I wondered afterwards if I might have irritated him by ringing the bell when he was busy with someone else. Anyway, I asked for the bill which he handed to me. I opened it and it was as I expected i.e only the cost of my husband's pre-dinner beer, as everything else had been paid for in advance. Seeing how much it was I said "I have the right change" and handed him coins to the correct value. His response was to say rather sourly "I have no idea how much it is" I was somewhat taken aback by this as a response, as I have never been handed a bill anywhere where the person taking payment didn't know how much it was, and the implication seemed to be that it may not be for the amount I had given him (£3.50). As it was such a small amount I felt as though it was being suggested that I may not be paying the full amount, so I held the bill up to him in order that he could see I had given him the right amount, and added by way of explanation that it was only for a pre-dinner drink and everything else had already been paid. When I did this he looked uncomfortable, which in my view was as it should be, since it was a very inappropriate way to treat a guest and it certainly soured our experience of staying there, which was a shame as there was a lot to like.
After we left I spent sometime reflecting on why he had behaved as he did and felt it was unlikely that he meant to be as offensive as he was. However I couldn't escape from the fact that either he was not trying to be polite and hospitable (perhaps because I had rung the bell and annoyed him), or else he did not appreciate how badly judged his conduct was. Either way it left a sufficiently bad impression that we would not stay there again or recommend others to do so. A big part of a short break is the atmosphere you encounter at all stages in your stay and to be left with such a bad taste really spoiled what would have otherwise been a mainly agreeable experience.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JanDurham_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2012

Well, we suppose things were going too well....

First, we are not going to reply to the nit picking comments except to say that we must tell Deli France that their croissants are good but their pan au chocolates aren't, must tell the oranges not to be so watery and to the owners of Chateau du Mallet, winners of a gold medal for their 2010 Bordeaux that their wine is unremarkable.

Having got that off our chests we believe that the real dissapointment to these guests was the check out procedure and for that we do give our genuine abject apologies. It is never our intention to make guests feel that we are snubbing them. Quite the reverse. Our guests are the most important people, without which we would not have a business. Most reviewers attest to this so we are puzzled as to what went wrong.

It is true that we pre prepare the bills either the night before or in the morning, place them in a presenter folder for onward transmission. We do this to speed up a busy check out procedure in order for guests not to be kept hanging around or waiting in queues. It is difficult to remember or know each account in a busy check out nor do we believe it to be necessary. The most important issue is that the account is right. Guests simply then settle the account either by credit card or, rarely, by cash as this guest did.

We hope readers will appreciate what we are trying to do to avoid delay and hopefully, your reviewer will understand and will again accept our apologies.
Peter and Marie Haynes

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

A country house hotel with aspirations. Terrific, friendly owner and staff but the room we had was in need of a little upgrading. Small details which indicated that the maintenance could have been better - no handle on the bathroom light pull, settee needing its cover repairing. We opted for the Tasting menu with Wines and the choices of wine were rather excentric but enjoyable and the food good but not wow. The food on the second night was actually better than the first and very imaginative and well presented. Lovely grounds and a great place to go for a short break. Would certainly go again and might try the self catering units which looked to be of very high standards

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank flossie1947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2012

Once again everything was lovely, in fact the setting and everything here just seems to get better and better each time we come- the food is superb, dinner was excellent and breakfast superb, the gardens are peaceful to sit in and stroll around and for walkers there are plenty of challenges near to hand, go left to visit Nanthead or go right to walk into Alston along by the river.

Room Tip: can strongly recommend the luxury doubles which overlook the river.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank cag65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

Spent an overnight in this lovely hotel, the owners have kept it like a big house, you immediately feel at home. The staff are all friendly, and some comedians amongst them make it special. The food cannot be praised enough, it was perfect in every way. The intimate dining room added to the lovely atmosphere. The hotel is in 3 acres of ground, next to the river Tees, lovely walks from the hotel in fact the whole experience was perfect - even the weather in March was perfect !!!

Room Tip: Not many rooms, ours No.10 overlooked the garden and river, spacious and lovely room
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank cal1944
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Alston
0.4 mi away
Nent Hall Country House Hotel
11.1 mi away
Langley Castle Hotel
Langley Castle Hotel
#1 of 1 in Langley-on-Tyne
1,193 reviews
2.5 mi away
Cumberland Inn
Cumberland Inn
#2 of 2 in Alston
121 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
18 mi away
The George Hotel
The George Hotel
#5 of 11 in Penrith
931 reviews
24.8 mi away
Macdonald Leeming House, Ullswater
15.6 mi away
The Beaumont Hexham, Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel

Address: Lovelady Lane, Alston CA9 3LX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Alston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Alston
Price Range: £86 - £127 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, LateRooms, Ebookers and Odigeo so you can book your Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Lovelady Shield Country Hotel
Lovelady Shield Country Alston
Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel Alston, Cumbria

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing