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“good, but could be better”

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Simonstone Hall Country House Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Hawes
Certificate of Excellence
Lake District
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“good, but could be better”
Reviewed 16 October 2008

Whilst I can't disagree with most of the other comments, overall our experience was positive. If I was looking for faults then it would be easy to get a fairly long list - from the unprepossessing entrance to the tired decor and less than large bedroom. However, the service was good, the food was good (but not great) and the location is ace.

Hawes is a charming little Dales town, with some great walks to be had. The hotel is a couple of miles away high on the opposite side of the valley, giving great open views. Fresh air and peace and quiet are the order of the day, and seeing as we went there to do very little except relax, it fitted the bill. No, there ain't 50 TV channels or wifi, but then we were intending to escape from too much gadgetry and noise.

Good points: Hotel bar - much more atmospheric and intimate than in most hotels. Our bathroom - as big as the bedroom with super views as you lie in the bath. Basic and totally unimaginative bathroom fitting and decor though. Could have been fantastic with stripped floorboards, rolltop bath etc.

  • Liked — lovely tranquil location
  • Disliked — poor decor
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank amblesidian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (143)
Date | Rating
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English first
York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2008

We have just returned from our Anniversary weekend at Simonstone Hall and won't be returning.
The little things that were wrong just seemed to mount up from the moment we arrived and left us disapointed and £500 pounds poorer.
1. The entrance to the hotel takes you past a huge extracter fan blowing out smelly old fat.
2. Our bedroom had a 4 foot 6 inch bed in which was proberbly due to the fact the room wasn't much wider with just enough room to get out of either side. The carpet was marked and the windows in need of an overhaul been cracked and dirty. We had workmen repairing something below us for the 1st afternoon and following morning along with their music blasting from their works van.
3. We requested an iron & board one evening only to be given an iron as they couldn't find a board.
4. The food in the bar on our 1st night was dull and vegetables so undercooked they were raw.
5. The full cooked breakfast was just warm and very under cooked with the bacon & sausage pale and fatty. Scrambled eggs tasted dry and the fried bread had been cooked in the same fat that billowed out from the extracter fan and smelt vile.

My husband had arranged Champagne for our arrival and had also asked if the hotel could arrange some flowers. He was told by the duty manager he would be called back about the flowers. 24 hours later after not hearing anything my husband called back and was told it would be easier for them if he ordered them himself. The flowers arrived and were left in the room all day with no water or vase.

The hotel should maybe consider offering the very small room we had at a lower cost so at least customers don't feel ripped off paying the same as people in the large rooms with full size beds & views etc.

The hotel is in a fantastic position and could be wonderful for every guest that visits with just a little more care and thought put into it.

  • Liked — It made our bedroom at home look huge
  • Disliked — The food
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank YorkMillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham
Level 6 Contributor
80 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2008

We went to a wedding at Simonstone Hall in August, and stayed for three nights.

The wedding was beautiful, and the staff were obviously experienced in helping to make it a great occasion. Not a place for extremely large wedding parties, but great for the one we went to.

As for the hotel as a hotel: the setting in the Yorkshire Dales is fantastic. The hotel is also very comfortable, although the style of decoration (lots of ornate brass, stuffed fish, guns, hunting scenes and deers' heads coming thorough the walls) is not to our taste. The bed was very comfy and the views were wonderful to wake up to. We had tea(including herbal)/coffee and biscuits in the room, and excellent Molton Brown toiletries. Had this hotel been priced at £80 a night or less, I'd have been delighted with it. Even at £100 a night, I'd have been pleased with it. However, it costs a lot more than that, and needs to sharpen up its act on a few things to make it worth its high prices.

Breakfast finished at 9.45. For people who have spent a lot of money to go on a relaxing break, this can be too early. (For people who were, the previous night, celebrating a wedding, it was way too early!)

Breakfast, while adequate, was somewhat lacklustre. Those who enjoy cooked breakfast got the full works (which appeared to swim in quite a lot of grease), but it was disappointing for people who had paid the same amount but prefer cold breakfasts. There were no interesting breads or rolls (only toast made from sliced loaves), no pastries, and - surprisingly for a hotel about two miles from Wensleydale cheese production - no cheese at all and no other local specialities. There were tinned prunes, grapefruit and mandarin segments and a small quantity of fresh fruit, but the fruit selection - for this price - could have been better. There was no choice of milks for the cereals or beverages - again, for this price I would expect at least a choice of full cream or semi-skimmed, maybe also skimmed, soya or goats'.

The television in our room was smallish, old and had only the five analogue terrestrial channels.

Wifi cost extra! At the prices guests had paid to stay, this seemed like an insult. The pricing structure was also bizarre: £1.50 for one or two nights, £5 for three or more nights. So you could be penalised for staying longer. There is no excuse for not providing free wifi at a hotel of this class.

Bedrooms are on the first floor, and there are no lifts. We had help carrying one of our two cases up; no help carrying them down at the end.

For dining, vegetarians are badly catered for. There is little choice, and on one occasion the veggie starter was the same dish as the veggie main. The vegetable soup could have been an option, but was made with meat stock. However, what there was, was good.

On the plus side, apart from the excellent location, I can add that the hotel was very clean, the staff were helpful and the room was spacious and comfortable with plenty of storage. There was a hairdryer and plenty of mirrors and a shelf with a few books.

There was a teddy bear on our bed when we arrived - a personal thing, but I don't like them, so chucked it into the bottom of the wardrobe with the Gideon bible. No radio or alarm clock. No fridge or trouser press or iron. Generally, the room was over-decorated for our tastes (with 13 not very good framed paintings, etc) and a strangely pointless bit of drapery over the bed-head, but others may like these touches.

Would I go there again? Not unless the prices come down or someone else pays! But I would happily return to Wensleydale, which I found very attractive and interesting.

And, as I've said, the wedding was perfect.

  • Liked — The views. Spacious rooms.
  • Disliked — Early breakfast. Priced way too high.
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Boraxwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2008

We stayed here for our anniversary as it is close to where we live and we fancied treating ourselves without having to travel too far. The location is fabulous and the hotel has fantastic views. We had one of the 4 poster rooms which was spacious and attractively furnished. The bathroom could probably have done with updating but the shower was excellent so I was happy. We ate dinner in the hotel and the food was in the main, excellent, although my steak was rather fatty. The chef came out to speak to all the diners to ask if we had enjoyed our meals, and I did the typical English thing and said "yes thank you it was lovely" - I didn't mention the fatty steak!! Breakfast the next morning was more disappointing. It came on a plate swimming with cooking oil and the waitress forgot our coffee and it took ages for us to catch her to remind her. Overall, I loved the location and the room but was less impressed with the food (although my husband thought his dinner was fantastic).

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — The quality of the food was hit & miss
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank YorkshireWildgoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wiltshire
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2008

Great hotel in amazing location, staff very friendly especially Nick in the bar. Room exceptionally clean and had everything you need for a lovely stay. Food well above average and the chef even comes out to say hello and to make sure all okay, which was rather nice. The only downside was being charged a service charge for breakfast, it does say a service charge for dining @10% which is fine, but you would think that breakfast would be free of the charge as booked B & B rate of £140 prpn.

  • Liked — Cleanliness
  • Disliked — Nothing all great.
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Underhills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumbria, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2008

Just returned from the hotel and had a very disappointing stay. The problem is the hotel website is brilliant and oversells the place.

Positives - great location, impressive property from the outside, mostly helpful staff, great website.

Negatives - dated decor, freezing bedroom (although a heater was quickly provided when we complained), average food, staff not always available, way overpriced compared with similar hotels we have stayed in, no atmosphere (hotel virtually empty), gratuity automatically added to the bill.

Our advice would be not to stay here - shop around, there are loads of hotels in this vicinity.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — no atmosphere
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jacquelineroby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northumberland
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2008

My husband and I chose Simonstone Hall as a break away for my birthday and were a little concerned after reading some of the reviews, however our stay could not have been better! When we arrived we were greeted warmly by staff and shown the hotel before being taken to our room. Our room was traditional for this type of hotel, cosy and warm and very clean. The ensuite was comfortable the towels lovely and plenty of them and scalding hot water for bathing. We dined in the hotel both nights once in the resturant and once in the Orangery. On both occasions the meal was beautiful, the service very quick and very professional. The bar area had a very relaxed atmosphere (open fire) and although semi formal you could easily still feel at home in casual clothing. The bar was well stocked and not too highly priced for a hotel. The bar worker was extremely pleasant and she chatted to us making us feel very much relaxed and comfortable. The setting of the hotel is wonderful with magnificant views and well set gardens to sit in (weather permitting). In summery we had a lovely stay at this hotel and will certainly be visiting again.

  • Liked — relaxed informal atmosphere
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank amakr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Simonstone Hall Country House Hotel

Property: Simonstone Hall Country House Hotel
Address: Simonstone Hall Limited | Country House Hotel, Hawes, Yorkshire Dales National Park DL8 3LY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Yorkshire Dales National Park > Hawes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Hawes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Simonstone Hall Country House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Simonstone Hall, once home to Lord and Lady Wharncliff is set at the foot of Stags Fell with breathtaking Views over Upper Wensleydale, the River Ure and the foothills of the Pennine range. This magnificent country house, is privately owned and has been carefully restored, whilst preserving the historic character of the beautiful building. Standing in it's own splendid grounds, the view from the front of the hotel is surely one of the most stunning in the country and can e enjoyed from serveral of the bedrooms also.Simonstone Hall is the ultimate tranquil retreat; it's atmosphere exudes comfort and finery in equal measures. From the moment you arrive you feel welcomed and indulged. A grand staircase leads to the second floor where a selection of elegant hotel bedrooms can be found.Relaxing lounges with log fires provide the perfect haven to relax and unwind. With spectacular views from both the Brasserie and Four Fells restaurant, it's the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed or intimate dinner. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Simonstone Hall Country Hotel
Simonstone Hall Country Hawes
Simonstone Hall Country House Hotel Hawes, Yorkshire

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