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“Excellent dinner and a good breakfast”
Review of The Old Bell Hotel

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The Old Bell Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Malmesbury
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent dinner and a good breakfast”
Reviewed 4 November 2013

We would have stayed two nights had there been space on the Saturday but we were content with our one night stay in a small suite to which we were upgraded, 32 in the stable block. We went for the fine dining DB&B package and dinner was excellent with wonderfully attentive and welcoming service and beautifully presented food accompanied by a good recommendation of wine by the glass to match our choice. Breakfast was good and there are comfortable lounges though, with the cooler weather having arrived, it would have been good to have the open fires burning ... Only one was and only in the evening - a good one in bar before dinner.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DrAdamScott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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527 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (156)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Norwich
1 review
Reviewed 3 November 2013

On Monday my friend and I booked lunch at The Old Bell to celebrate my friends birthday. As it was a special occasion I emailed ahead to arrange some champagne on arrival and also a celebration cake for after the meal. This was arranged perfectly! And upon arrival, we were shown to the cosy lounge just off the main entrance where a log fire was going and we had a good view of the street outside.

Vincent, who was hosting lunch, came across with the two glasses of champagne I had pre-ordered and was exceptionally friendly. Once we had ordered and were promptly shown to our table, which was in the Brasserie once again over looking the street outside, we were served promptly and the food was exquisite!

The duck rillets and black pudding salad was amazing and my friend claims the chili jam which came with her fish cakes was the best thing she has ever eaten! After this the main courses were just as good, the Haddock was cooked to perfection and my friends beef dish looked (and apparently was) absolutely mouth watering. The portion sizes were just right, making us comfortably full and ready to relax - added to the cocktails and champagne we had already had we were both ready for a nap.

Vincent came across after the main course and asked whether we would like the desert menu, discreetly throwing me a wink, knowing what had been planned. I quickly ushered my friend out of the restaurant and we took a seat once more in the lounge.

The coffee was quickly served and the cake brought out. The cake was beautiful and in all honesty we felt quite guilty having to cut into it. But it was delicious and as we were unable to finish it they kindly wrapped it up for us.

Everything was perfect! Both Vincent who served us and Humberto who helped arrange everything were wonderful and I would definitely recommend it to everyone!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TravalinBabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2013

Being from Australia, we were really excited to be staying in England's oldest hotel. So much so, I "splashed out" and upgraded to the best rooms in the hotel. they were definately not worth it. The room was tired and my side of the matress had gone. The hotel itself is lovely and the staff were great - it's just not worth 250pounds a night. We were at the hotel as we had a wedding nearby, otherwsie I wouldn't have stayed here anyway. Shame, as some of he communal parts of the hotel are lovely.

Room Tip: Don't go for the top rooms, they're not worth it.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KatieIzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2013

I think I have given the hotel 4 star because the building itself is beautiful and atmospheric. We had a good sized room in the original part of the hotel, overlooking the front - and the street. Because there is no double glazing, you can hear every sound from the street right through the night. If you want quiet, you might be better in the annex at the rear of the property. The bed was large and comfortable, and came with a teddy bear, and the room was clean. The price was quite expensive, but we were there during the History Magazine Weekend, when I'm sure demand was high. The breakfasts were very good, with a help-yourself buffet of cereals etc, and hot food cooked to order. We ate one night in the brasserie. My broccoli soup was lovely, but the batter on the haddock-and-chips was soggy, which was a shame as it let down an otherwise good meal.

Room Tip: Front rooms next to street are not double glazed and you hear all the sounds from people and traffic...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2013

The outside of this hotel is gorgeous and there are a couple of communal room downstairs which are really lovely. Stayed in the Coach House part of the hotel and the room was very average, more B&B than cotswold hotel. The staff were pretty disinterested although not rude. Breakfast was good. Eggs benedict were perfect and full English was tasty, although not a stomach filler if that's what you are after. Something lacking about the whole place, which is a shame because it could be wonderful.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BristolBibsygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newbury, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 October 2013

After reading various TripAdvisor reviews, and because there are few places to stay in Malmesbury, I booked a single room in order to go to the BBC History weekend. What a disappointment. I had been prepared to pay £89, as the website was so seductive, but I was staggered to find that my small, shabby room in the annexe could be so expensive. As soon as I arrived I had to ask for the room to be hoovered, and even once it had been done it was obvious that it hadn't had a proper clean for months. The furniture was rickety, shabby and dirty, and there were various broken fittings - all very downmarket. I was looking forward to a little bit of luxury for my one night away and was disappointed. The one positive point was that the bed was comfortable.

Room Tip: Don't choose the annexe!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank catie c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Grinstead, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 October 2013

Stayed here for two nights and on first arrival we were blown away by the charm and setting of the hotel and it's exterior. The downstairs had several small sitting rooms, a bar and a large resturant plus bistro area. being part of the old abbey it was very atmospheric but it needed a little TLC, investment and good management to put the wow factor back into it. On arrival there was no-one on reception, manning the bar or resturant and after 10minutes, I had to go into the kitchen to find somebody to check us in.
We had the deluxe room at £275 (I did not pay that) and on going into the room it was huge and appeared very comfortable and it was with all the accessories (superb comfortable bed, sofa, flat screen and DVD player - there are DVDs in reception- bath and shower, ironing board and iron, fridge, free WiFi and tea and coffee) you would come to expect but just looking a little deeper and you saw that there were large chips in the enamel bath, tiles that had come away and had just been propped back, grout missing from the floor, wallpaper coming away, only one half of a lock fitted and chrome screws used on black ironwork.

These small niggles continued throughout, frayed carpets, un hoovered carpets, chipped paintwork, bulbs missing from lights and most important no welcoming roaring log fire in any of the public rooms. It was this attention to detail that let the hotel down.

We had a meal in the bistro which was pleasant and quite good value for money. The staff, when about, were helpful and quite attentive but lacked that fire to make your stay truly memorable. Breakfasts were great and cooked fresh to order, the full english was lovely.

I was told that the manger is only there between 9 and 5 weekdays and that there probably lies the problem. This hotel could be so much more, it is perfectly adequate but I would not pay full asking price. Please somebody do something before it is irretrievably lost.

Room Tip: The rooms in the oldest part have more atmosphere/charm but cost more.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lewis_ar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Old Bell Hotel

Property: The Old Bell Hotel
Address: Abbey Row, Malmesbury SN16 0BW, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Malmesbury
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Malmesbury
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — The Old Bell Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 33
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Classic Hotel Old Bell
Classic Hotel Malmesbury
Malmesbury Classic Hotel
The Old Bell Hotel Malmesbury, Wiltshire

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