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“Amazing restaurant, fantastic service” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mortons House Hotel

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Mortons House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Corfe Castle
Certificate of Excellence
Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
“Amazing restaurant, fantastic service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed overnight on Easter Sunday, having travelled by motorbike in the driving rain. A friend had recommend a pub in the area for dinner, but we were so disheartened from our journey that we decided to just have dinner in the hotel.
I'm really glad we did. The dinner was the most consistently excellent meal that I have ever had. The service was amazing. We were seated by Sam, and when he brought the bread basket over, I (somewhat facetiously) remarked to my girlfriend "That's my butter sorted, but I don't know about you". Sam appeared at the table with another butter portion and mentioned that he'd heard my comment. Brilliant service!
We each ordered something different for starter, main, palette cleanser and dessert, and they were all amazing. Everything that we ordered came from the A la Carte menu, so I assume that the food is always this good.
I haven't stopped talking about the food all week.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Andy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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877 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (221)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2014

Made booking on website on a Saturday for a room in main building. Then was phoned by the hotel early Sunday morning (the staff are up, the customers should be also), to be told (by a member of staff who mistook 'just woken up' for 'hard of understanding'), that the room was not available after all, and the booking had been switched to a Dacombe room in a separate block (with assurances that the rooms are all of the same quality).
The main building itself is delighful, the Dacombe rooms are not. No wifi (despite this being advertised). A damp canine smell to the room, preumably because of the tiny windows making airing difficult. A half glazed door that looks into the main room, presumably as this is the only way to get any natural light in. Definitely not worth the price.
The restaurant was excellent and almost made up for the remainder of the trip. If you can't book a room in the main building then stay somewhere else but eat in the restaurant.

Room Tip: Stay in the main building.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank babycake67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London UK
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2014

This was my third stay at Morton’s house in recent years and I’m sorry to say it will be my last.
I have left two previous reviews from previous Easter stays, and whilst there have always been signs of penny pinching in this place, it’s always been tolerable due to the lovely location in the middle of Corfe Castle.

I stayed with my twin daughters (12 years old) for four nights over Easter, and the total bill came to about £1,000 after a discount of £100 or so when I brought the details of our experience to the owner’s attention. So the first point to note – this is not a cheap hotel. It is an expensive hotel. A very expensive hotel. Our room rate was £210 per night, for the three of us in the “Purbeck Suite”, described on their website and in my booking emails from the hotel as “an ideal family suite”.

As so many others have pointed out, the village of Corfe Castle and surrounding countryside is perfect, chocolate box walking country and the Mortons House building is rather beautiful, so it all looks wonderful. However, I am firmly of the opinion that the hotel trades very heavily on the lovely village and views of Corfe Castle, and the idyllic surrounding area. I have to conclude that this is the primary reason they are able to get away with charging so very much for so very little. If any half decent hotel opened up in Corfe, this place would not be able to continue charging these prices. They are the only game in town.

I booked three months in advance and told them I would have my two daughters with me for a walking holiday. I was assured that the “Purbeck Suite” would be perfect for the three of us with two rooms and a bathroom in between. I assumed that for £210 per night it was going to be pretty comfortable. Wrong.

First thing we noticed was that the sofa bed in the girls’ room was way too small for two people to sleep on. Maybe if they were 4-year olds but not my strapping 12 year olds. Plus, the sofa bed was way past its best and sagged dreadfully in the middle, so extremely uncomfortable for one, let alone two people. It also filled pretty much the entire room width when unfolded (see attached photos) so it was impossible to get from one side of the room to the other to open the window for example, without clambering across the bed. The gap between the end of the bed and the dressing table was about 3 inches.

So I asked where the two girls were supposed to sleep (in our “ideal family suite for three”), and they brought us an old fold-up camp bed with a wafer thin mattress (see photo, one of these costs £50 new on Amazon). Again, this was really uncomfortable but when I asked if it might be possible (for £210 per night) to replace the two fold out beds with two proper single beds, I was told rather sniffily that “There aren’t any other beds, it’s Easter and we are full”. So my kids ended up on very uncomfortable fold out beds for four nights. For £210 per night. It was barely one level above camping, although we have camped before and quite honestly been more comfortable on blow up beds in a tent. £210 for that one room, at 50% occupancy rates, generates about £40k revenue each year. But they can’t afford two divan beds? You work it out.

So then I took a look at my own room which did have a decent double bed, but nowhere to put any clothes (for five days!!). And when I say nowhere, I mean literally nowhere. No wardrobe, no chest of drawers, no shelf, not even a rusty nail in the wall to hang a coat on. Nothing. So I asked the woman to come back again and explain where I was supposed to unpack my clothes for five days, and she suggested I share the wardrobe in the girls’ room. That was about 2 feet wide and had a total of eight hangars (anti-thief hangars, naturally, always such a welcoming touch – see photos of this wardrobe). Of course, two girls with five days’ clothes had already filled up the eight hangars, so it was not possible to share that. Eventually, after a bit of huffing and puffing, they went off and brought back a battered old chest of drawers so I was at least able to pick my clothes up off the floor, although I was still unable to hang anything up like shirts, jackets, coats. And this room costs £210 per night? They reckon that 8 plastic hangers are sufficient for 3 people on a walking holiday for 5 days? They hadn’t even bothered to screw some hooks to the walls or the back of a door where you might hang a jacket after a day out, even that was too much trouble (or cost). What a total joke.

So taking a look around the rest of the place, I noticed that it wasn’t even clean (see photo of the top of the cabinet in the bathroom. Months, maybe years of thick dust, never seen by any cleaner). The bathroom door lock was broken. There was no mirror in the girls’ “bedroom”. A cheap flimsy plastic shower curtain that didn’t even cover the full width of the shower. And all this for £210 per night. These people are roaring with laughter at their guests, all the way to the bank.
At no point during our stay did anyone ask us if we were comfortable, or if the girls were ok on their camp beds, even though I was obviously very unhappy with the standard of the room for this price. When I left, the owner said she had tried to speak to me but she had "never been able to find me". Well, we were at breakfast every morning and dinner every evening, and spent all day Sunday in the hotel as it was raining, but she wasn’t able to find me. You work it out. They couldn’t have cared less. Utter contempt.

We took our dinner in the hotel, and one night the three of us fancied the steak which was highly priced at £22 each. I live in London and so I wasn’t too surprised at that, but I have also been the trading director of a chain of 650 pubs and I know how much cheap cash & carry bulk catering steaks cost, and I know that’s exactly what we were given. It was tough as old boots and when the waitress asked if everything was OK with our meal I told her in no uncertain terms that it was a crime to serve that and charge £22, the chef should be ashamed of himself. She said she would tell the chef, but needless to say I never heard another word. Just another example of charging sky high prices but spending as little as possible on the quality of their product. I can only assume that they rely on the traditional British habit of not complaining, so they continue to get away with this. Not the slightest bit of interest in what their guests think, as long as they pay the inflated prices and then shut up.

The final insult came when we were packing to leave. I know how busy the housekeeping staff are in these places, so I always strip the beds when I leave. What a mistake this was. The three of us were horrified at what we saw – massive blood stains all over the filthy old sofa bed mattress (see photos), that one of my girls had been sleeping on for four nights. She was nearly sick when she saw it. There was no doubt, these disgusting stains had been left over a long period of time and instead of removing the mattress and burning it, it was simply left to dry and replaced on the bed for the next guest to sleep on. It must be one of the most stomach churning things I have seen in a hotel, and I have stayed in some dumps in 3rd world countries. Rather than replace a £50 mattress that had been covered in blood, they simply left it there for the next sucker paying £210 per night. There was the proof, if any further proof was needed, that these people are focussed on spending as little possible on the rooms, whilst charging as much as they can get away with. You work it out. Nothing but contempt for their guests.

So before paying my £1,100 bill, I asked the owner to come to the room and look at this filthy mattress and tell me what she thought about it. Would she be happy sleeping on that? So why did she let her guests sleep on it? Her answer was that she would speak to the housekeeper as it “shouldn’t have happened”. I explained to her that the housekeeper would only be working to the hotel policy, to the owner’s rules. No normal human being would ever just leave that disgusting mattress for someone else to sleep on, clearly the hotel policy was to avoid spending any money at all, even on replacing a blood stained £50 mattress. It was not the housekeeper’s fault, it was hers. She did not apologise, all I got was excuses. “Most of our guests are very happy with the camp beds”, "I can't personally check every bed", and so on. So it wasn’t her fault, it was my fault for being too picky and expecting too much. She could not have made this any clearer, short of just telling me to get stuffed.

OK, she did take about £100 off my bill. She removed the cost of our crappy £100 steak dinner. But for staying in such a shockingly bad and uncomfortable room, with such minimal and worn out facilities, and sleeping on a filthy health hazard of a mattress, I still ended up with a bill of about £1,000. Just think about that. The three of us left in silence as I was too shocked to even discuss it any further with her, and she clearly wasn't terribly interested. Her overriding concern was that other guests might hear me making my views known in quite a loud voice, and she just wanted me out of there. So will I be returning to the Mortons House hotel to spend another £1,000? No I won’t. But if you decide to stay there, I strongly advise you to check the mattresses before you settle in, as long as you have a strong stomach. I don’t know how they get away with it.

Room Tip: Check the mattress for filthy stains
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
40 Thank DMurphyLondonUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devon
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2014

My partner and I had a great one night stay at Mortons House Hotel, mid-April. We arrived earlier than anticipated, but were able to get in to our room to leave luggage and then go down for Sunday lunch, which was lovely - a real treat to have a great lunch and then not have to drive anywhere after! As others have said, the staff were, without exception excellent, and our room was also really comfortable. Can't think of anything even slightly negative about our stay, and we will certainly hope to visit again later in the year once all the summer tourists have been and gone. Should think it will be a lovely hotel in the depths of winter!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GregsGirlDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2014

Called in for lunch on Easter Day and had the roast beef " bar meal " . It was the best cooked beef I have ever had in very pleasant surroundings . If you are visiting Corfe make sure you have your lunch here

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DavidRogers3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2014

The Hotel was very comfortable and clean. The staff were very friendly and made you feel really welcome. I spent one cold morning reading in the wood paneled lounge drinking tea by the fire and it was very relaxing. Would go back again any time, winter or summer.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank gem880
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Austell, Cornwall
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2014

We had a very comfortable one-night stay at Morton's House Hotel. The bed was firm but really comfortable (we always take our own feather pillows), and breakfast was very nice with a good selection of alternatives if you get fed up with Full English! It would have been nice to have a comfy chair or two in the room, rather than sitting on the bed, but I am nit-picking now! Probably paying for the location as I felt it was a little overpriced.

Corfe Castle is a very quaint village with some very pretty ancient buildings. We enjoyed a lovely peaceful walk on the downs.

Room Tip: Our room was in the annex, so was peaceful and away from the main road.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mortons House Hotel

Property: Mortons House Hotel
Address: 49 East Street, Corfe Castle BH20 5EE, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Isle of Purbeck > Corfe Castle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Corfe Castle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Mortons House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
400 year old Elizabethan manor located in pretty Corfe Castle in Dorset. 21 Character en-suite rooms and an award-winning restaurant. The hotel is ideally situated close to the beaches at Studland, Swanage and Lulworth with numerous walks along the Jurassic Coast on our doorstep. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mortons Hotel Corfe Castle
Mortons Corfe Castle
Mortons House Hotel Corfe Castle, Isle Of Purbeck, Dorset

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