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“Mixed feelings”

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Otterburn Castle Country House Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Otterburn
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 May 2014

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.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank DingleDaisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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313 - 319 of 673 reviews

Reviewed 20 May 2014

This is a nice looking hotel. The staff were absolutely brilliant. No problem was too much trouble. The only problem we had was the squeaking of the floor boards outside of our room, room 12. They have just spent a lot of money carpeting the whole hotel, but could have nailed a few floorboards down before they did this. When someone walked past the noise would wake us up. We had a great deal through our local newspaper, so we put up with it. We wouldn't have been happy if we had to pay the full normal amount for a nights dinner bed and breakfast. Before I sign off, I must compliment the hotel on their chefs. The food was fantastic. If you do stop here, then please do book the dinner. For £30 per head for a 3 course meal it was exceptional.

Room Tip: Keep away from rooms 12 and 14. Too noisy with the squeaky floorboards.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank John Thomas H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Impressive rooms, and grand country house feel. Furnishings in public rooms a bit drab and could be so much nicer with some colour and imagination.
The food (lunch and breakfast) was good, but not of a very high standard.
Service was patchy as bar staff were difficult to locate in the evening, drinks were expensive and we were advised that corkage would be charged if we bought our own drinks to the rooms (although the Castle appears to be a popular wedding venue when, I imagine there could be problems, such advice was not well given or received)

Sorting out the bill was not so easy (we wanted it equally split between two rooms), there was duplicate charging and we never received a printed copy (system problem).

Nevertheless, a lovely stay and the staff were almost all charming. We would go back but the stay for guests could be improved with just a little effort and attention to detail.

Room Tip: One four poster room doesn't have a four poster bed! The library room does, and is very impressi...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Bob P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

This hotel resembles a posh elderly care home in its layout. They will charge you,without informing you,for taking your own alcohol in to your room. Understaffed which means a long wait for food. Unfriendly receptionist. Over priced meals. Rooms were tatty but we're called 'elite'. Read the checking in sheet carefully, underhanded tactics to charge you without mentioning when you check out. Would not recommend this hotel to anyone. Stay with caution.

Customer after service - very poor, manager refused to reply to my emails or phone calls regarding unauthorised debit from my credit card.

Room Tip: Our room was so called elite in this hotel and it fell well short of the description, so I wouldn...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Gladstone1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2014

Only stayed one night but first class.
The building is very impressive inside and out, newly decorated, fir for Royalty.
The staff are very friendly and genuinely helpful and willing to make your stay as perfect as possible.
The food and service, excellent, on a par with some of the UK,s best and cannot be faulted.
Thank you for a great stay and don,t change a thing. 5 Star service.
You will always get someone who no one can please, that,s just human nature of minorities.
Thank you for a wonderful top quality stay.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank chris s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

The hotel is beautifully situated in a quiet rural area - which is exactly what we wanted. Standard room was immaculate - newly decorated - sumptuous comfortable bed with large bathroom. We arrived mid afternoon on a terrible rainy day but staff made us feel comfortable straight away. Asked for a spot of lunch which was brought to us in the lounge/ bar quickly. Drinks very reasonably priced. We had a 3 course meal in the evenng which was delicious and not hurried and passed a pleasant evening. Breakfast again excellent with plenty of choice. Small number of staff but all doing a fabulous job. I cannot rate this hotel and our stay highly enough. Will definitely be back soon. Great value all round in a hotel situated nicely for sightseeing days.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank twikki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014 via mobile

Booked a late room deal for a SUITE WITH FOUR POSTER bed (which was on my bucket list). Arrived and was shown to a suite with a sleigh bed. Didn't complain at time, as I was unsure of what we booked without checking my e mails. The room we stayed in was lovely, BUT NOT WHAT WE PAID FOR!!! The manager was pleasant, food ok.
When I got home, I checked my emails and rang the manager immediately with my complaint, took 16 hours for him to return my call. Telling me we were upgraded to a sleigh bed room and that there were only two 4 post rooms in the hotel. Offered me a £10 refund, or another 'free' upgrade on a future stay. Didn't seem to grasp my reasoning of why should I pay twice for the room we booked in the first place. Told him I'd speak trading standards about this matter. THIS IS THE LAST CONTACT I HAD WITH STEFAN- the manager.
Have text the number he said I could reach him on, rang the hotel on numerous occasions, no luck. No call back. next step, a solicitors letter for misrepresentation. I WOULD NOT STAY IN THIS HOTEL AGAIN FOR FREE. The website doesn't portray a true description of the hotel. The suite we did stay in has a 4 poster on the website.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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3  Thank ksmith1973
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:4 star — Otterburn Castle Country House Hotel 4*
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 
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

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