Shame that there is not an option to rate a hotel as" Good " as our experience was better than "Average" but certainly not " Very Good"
We booked on a Friday morning in December 2013 to arrive the same day for 3 nights.
The lady with whom i discussed our requirements was very helpful and provided lots of information about the rooms. I had the hotel's website in front of me as I was talking to her so was able to ask questions about each available room We chose The Rede Suite..She gave me the best available price matching that on WWW Booking.com.
We arrived mid evening and were disappointed by the fact that there were few Christmas decorations about the entrance to welcome visitors even though it was December 6th (Yes, It wasn't Christmas but we hoped given that it was a country house hotel that it would be more christmassy)
The Rede Suite is essentially a large bedroom with an en suite on the ground floor. It was bitterly cold when we arrived but soon warmed up .I really wanted to love it but I just didn't. The seats were very uncomfortable and the room creeped me out a bit to be honest.
Dinner was OK but not great. The Oak Room restaurant was lacking in atmosphere and felt a bit like eating at a funeral reception. Everyone was whispering as the room is relatively small and some tables quite close together.The food was distinctly average and certainly not worth the price we paid .
The following day we had an easy drive to Newcastle for some Christmas shopping Back in Otterburn we hoped to find a local pub in the evening for a drink before dinner but there is absolutely nowhere to go. The only local pub had closed down a while before and apart from a couple of well stocked shops near the hotel there is nothing else to do or see for miles. We had a drink in the bar which looks distinctly makeshift.The sitting room/lounge is nice however with a real fire and we were pleased to discover a lovely Christmas tree.
Dinner on the second night was again just about average and the table next to us sent their food back to the kitchen.
On Sunday we walked over the road to a large shop with a cafe attached and bought a few more Christmas presents before coming back to the Stable Bar and BIstro which has been built on to the hotel. We had a nice traditional Sunday lunch in here which was reasonably priced as was the wine that we chose to go with it.Unfortunately we were the only people there so it was again lacking in atmosphere though the girl who served us was great. We guessed that the lovely Sunday lunch we ate here had come from the kitchen of the main hotel which would indicate that they if they kept the menu simple in the Oak Room Restaurant it would be so much better. This was without a doubt the best meal we had at the hotel.
I had a bit of a mooch about the hotel on Sunday afternoon and asked the friendly and very helpful young woman on reception if I could look at another room. She kindly showed me the Library Suite which,although, fascinating , I couldn't have slept in and the Umfraville Suite which I absolutely loved .Again it's just a very large bedroom with en suite bathroom but was bright and airy and very comfortable. Loved it. This lovely receptionist kindly arranged for us to move into this room for our last night which was very much appreciated as it was my birthday, Wished I'd chosen it for the whole weekend.
Wanting a change of scenery on Sunday night we called a taxi to take us to The Resedale Arms a few miles away.Sadly the pub, although nice enough,was pretty empty and the meal that we ordered was just about OK. It was an expensive (taking into account the well overpriced taxi there and back) and easily forgettable experience.
To sum up , we have booked a castle/country house type break every year for years for my birthday in December therefore know what is reasonable to expect at this time of year.We expect warmth,coziness a sense of Christmas approaching and decent food. We didn't really find this here although with a bit more effort it could be achieved. The lovely young women on reception and in the Stable Bar were a credit to the hotel. The hotel is very isolated so be prepared to spend your evenings there. I can imagine it to be lovely venue for a wedding but not one I would return to for a weekend away.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A small, friendly Castle Hotel in the heart of the beautiful Northumberland countryside. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Otterburn Tower Hotel Otterburn
- The Otterburn Hotel
- The Hotel Otterburn
- Otterburn Castle Country House Hotel Northumberland