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“A very mixed bag...”

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Otterburn Castle Country House Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Otterburn
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 May 2013 via mobile

We also purchased the Travelzoo DB&B deal with an extra night discounted B&B.

On arrival we were shown to one of the downstairs rooms (dog friendly as we had our border collie with us). The room was large & nicely decorated and smelled - of sewage. The hotel was obviously having a problem with the drains. There is a glass-topped recess in the floor outside the lavatories downstairs which shows how deep the dungeons are under the castle - and the recess was filling up rapidly with raw sewage (nicely displayed under the glass). Right outside the gents & ladies toilets and about ten feet from the door of our room. Lovely.

My husband went straight to reception and we were moved without question to room 18 on the first floor. Puzzlingly, the receptionist denied any knowledge of problems with the drains despite the fact there were drain covers lifted in the rear courtyard with hoses down them...why the lie? Totally unnecessary.

Room 18 was better but the drain smell was still there and especially bad in the little atrium just outside rooms 17 and 18.

The room was very tatty and shabby with wallpaper peeling off in the bathroom, paint scuffed off and flaking in places, badly scuffed skirting boards and a dirty- looking carpet. There were only 2 tea bags in the hospitality tray (although there was coffee as well).

We were shocked to read in the room information that we would be charged (fined!) £10 if we wanted to drink the bottle of wine we'd brought from home...it would have been £25 if we'd brought a bottle if champagne...what a bloody rip off.

When we went down for dinner, my husband and I were each presented with a menu...they were entirely different and we did not know which one was right. Turned out one was from the previous night. Hmm.

Dinner was delicious, really lovely food but the portions are tiny!! Tasty and very well-cooked, though.

Breakfast was equally tasty but choosing a table was difficult as all of them seemed to be missing something - several had no menus, several had no butter, the one we eventually chose had menu and butter but no sugar (we had to steal some from another table - sorry). The buffet part of the breakfast was set up in a separate room and the waitress failed to tell us this...we sat for ages not knowing where the orange juice was...!

We decided to have an afternoon drink in The Stables bar...which turned out to be ridiculously chavvy. Expecting a cosy, olde-worlde pub type experience, the Stables is completely out of keeping with the rest of the hotel, it's like a nasty Wetherspoons. Cheap wine bar meets wannabe club venue with big screens blaring out the Sky 'Smash Hots' music channel...I kid you not. Horrendous. It was almost funny...almost.

On our second day, on returning to the room there had been a half-hearted attempt by a chambermaid to pull the bedding straight but the floor had not been hoovered and our measly two tea bags had not been replenished.

Staff were courteous (apart from telling drain-related lies) and mostly efficient and it was a joy to see our border collie enjoying the extensive gardens, he ran around them and had a lovely time, especially round the pond.

It's the attention to detail that lets Otterburn Castle down. It's a beautiful old building...a bit smelly...but beautiful and it desperately needs some TLC.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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2  Thank Itsuslike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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449 - 455 of 678 reviews

Reviewed 17 May 2013

On staying here for my mothers' 80th birthday in April, and having just this morning eventually received a reply back from the management to our concerns I have to say this was one of the worst places we have ever stayed at. Rude staff, appalling receptionist, lousy portions, double-charged meals and general shocking service. Never again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank JackyM707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2013

Lovely building,large spacious room with good sized ensuite,over the bath shower,room was cold due in part to fierce gale force winds. Loved closing the shutters on the windows at night. Pillows and towels need replacing. Dinner in the Oak room was delicious as was our meal on second night in the Stable bar. All staff were efficient and friendly.

Room Tip: room 10 has lovely views over front of hotel and gardens.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank comack33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2013

Stopped in room 18 which was very spacious, my partner thought the bed was was of the most comfortable she had ever slept in. Yes the decor is modern and i am not sure how many channels the tv had, but again you are staying in a castle in the middle of Northumberland, the place and area are steeped in history, many of the stories are told on pictures and writings on the walls, some fascinating information to be found. We found the staff to be extremely helpful, had a few drinks in both bars, the food was exquisite on the evening, all this and a Neil Diamond tribute act in the bar later. We had the Travelzoo voucher and if an offer was on again i would nit hesitate to book up again.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JarraMag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2013 via mobile

We have just stayed the one night bed and breakfast with a travel zoo voucher which also included 3 course meal and a bottle of wine, all for £89
Now I agree with some previous reviews, yeah some touching up and decoration is needed but its not the end of the world like some make it out to be.
Now the tv, I have to be honest, I find it amazing how many people complain about not having a tv or that it only receives 2 channels, so what, is that why you decided to stay in a castle in Northumberland, really?
We stayed in room 15, and yes was a little shabby in places but not to the extent that we wanted to move. Our bed was very comfortable, the sheets and pillows were of a high standard as were the towels in the bathroom. The view from the window was great, a beautiful part of the country, as for the reviewer who complained about the small narrow windows, I think you will find that that was to make it harder for the archers to fire the arrows in, oh yeah it's a castle duh.
The 3 course meal and the breakfast were fantastic, we had no complaints whatsoever, we asked for extra bread, tea and coffee which was no problem.
The staff were some of the friendliest and most helpful I have met, nothing was too much trouble and all done with a smile too which made it even better.
If you want new rooms, large windows and sky tv don't go here. If you want to stay in an ancient castle ran by excellent staff, in a lovely part of the country, do stay here.
The one concern we did have was that the room was haunted. We are both sensible educated people who don't believe in any sort of supernatural activity, but I placed my iphone on the bedside table and 3 times it was knocked to the floor, I made sure it was not on the edge after the first time as I thought it was just me. There was no vibration from anywhere as there were 2 glasses touching so we would have heard, and nothing else was moved, just the phone. Very very creepy.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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2  Thank adrian-73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2013

Our group stayed here for three nights on a dinner bed & breakfast basis. Our room (also Room 8, mentioned earlier here) was very nice and large, with plenty of space to unwind and unpack. The bed was one of the most uncomfortable I have ever slept in and my friends all agreed that all beds were extremely uncomfortable, so for once it isn't just me. One couple asked to change rooms but didn't like the alternative offered so stayed put. In our room the bed and pillows were all rock hard. The large radiators in the bedroom and bathroom came on after we had gone down for breakfast, so we woke to cold rooms, but fortunately the weather wasn't as cold as it has been recently and it wasn't too bad. These same radiators went off well before bedtime. The towels in the bathroom were a mixture of OK and quite disgraceful, with one more or less in shreds - I wouldn't keep it just to dry the dog! But there was a good bath with plenty of hot water and a rubber bath mat supplied on request.

We ate in the main restaurant and in the bar. I thought all the food was good, including good breakfast options. One of our party declared the porridge the best ever. Some of our group were less happy with the meals, and there was certainly a lot of confusion over what was available and what wasn't and then, when the meals were served, what they actually were! For example, two quite different choices came up looking identical, with the waiting staff insisting they were not the same. Things were better the next night, when we were told the head chef was back.

This is a stunning location and the staff are charming and work very hard to please. The hotel is definitely rather of the decaying grandeur style, needing a lot of upgrading, including the (absence of decent) TV supply, as referred to widely here. The rooms need to be decorated and more comfortable to persuade me to stay again, but I thought the food was very good.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Kate F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

Lets start with the positive: Great staff who do not deserve the flack that they have to endure because of the poor accomodation.

Do not be taken in by the exterior pictures and especially the interior on their web site. We were offered room 15 and immediately asked to be moved but were forced to stay as they were full. Shoddy and tatty accomodation, dirty in places with cobwebs on the wall and stained carpets. Peeling wallpaper and paint where the kettle had to be boiled on the window sill at the only convenient plug. Couch (pull out bed) that would not grace a house clearance shop and a ancient TV with only TWO....Yes TWO grainy channels....read the rest of the "Terrible" rated reviews I can vouch for them...met couple after dinner who had checked in earlier and also moved rooms

Cannot understand positive reviews, there must be better rooms somewhere?

We left athe next day early!!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Rameman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Otterburn Castle Country House Hotel

Address: Brierley Gardens, Otterburn NE19 1NS, England (Formerly The Otterburn Tower)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Northumberland > Otterburn
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Otterburn
Price Range: £65 - £95 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Otterburn Castle Country House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A small, friendly Castle Hotel in the heart of the beautiful Northumberland countryside. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Otterburn Tower Hotel Otterburn
The Otterburn Hotel
The Hotel Otterburn
Otterburn Castle Country House Hotel Northumberland

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