I must say, I am torn about what to think of this hotel. I'm aware it's going through a "transition" period, but I do feel a little jipped that so many people were there on a special deal and I paid full price for a place that wasn't fully prepared.
Let me start by saying, the food, staff, and downstairs reception/seating/meal area were lovely. The staff was always very friendly, and everything in the dining area was nice.
We were not told that there would be renovations on the hotel during our visit, so there was a mess at the front both days that we stayed from someone painting etc. I realise this is a necessity, but seems an odd thing to do on the weekend when it's in plain sight.
We had breakfast both days, and it was one of the nicest breakfasts that I've had in my entire time of living in the UK. That being said, my review would be completely different if I was just visiting for a meal and not paying to stay in the rooms.
Our room was located on the second floor, and it was above the kitchen (which meant we could smell everything) and our windows opened up to the courtyard (which meant we could hear everything and also had smoke drifting into our room). The room was very tired and we had a very small fan that was noisy and on the end of it's days. Because it was so hot, we had to keep the windows open (curtains drawn as there were no nets) and the fan did not help to beat the heat. We had to leave our room first thing in the morning because it was unbearable to stay indoors as the rooms just weren't equipped for any sort of heat.
Another thing that I'm unsure of is the fact that there is no staff there overnight. If you come back after 11:30, you have to use a key to enter through the back garden and walk through a pitch black lobby and upstairs to your room. My one problem with this is that there is no security, and anyone could allow someone to come into the hotel that shouldn't be there. It was very eerie, and if I were with a group of girls or on my own there is no way I would have been comfortable to walk from my car to my room. The car park is at an abandoned railway station, and you have to walk through the dark to get to the back of the hotel.
I do not think I got what I paid for with regards to the room because it seems that they need an update to match with the lovely downstairs. This begs the question, is this a hotel AND a restaurant, or just a restaurant? I think this place is a diamond in the rough if they put the same TLC into the rooms that the put into the downstairs area.
Again, my review is very mixed as I think it could be a superb place, and I would visit again. But, currently I would not visit to stay at their going rate. Once it's updated, if that's the plan, I would happily try again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Bell At Sax' is a laid-back welcoming 10 bedroom restaurant-with-rooms, in the heart of Saxmundham, surrounded by the Suffolk Heritage Coast and the stylish destinations of Southwold, Aldeburgh, Framlingham and Woodbridge. Here at The Bell, we are all about good cooking, carefully prepared by owner & head chef Jonathan Nicholson and his team, into hearty elegant dishes, made with fabulous local ingredients from our artisan producer friends around East Suffolk. We welcome weekenders, business travellers, holidaymakers, parties and small weddings. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Book Direct Rooms, Priceline, Odigeo, Hotels.com and Agoda so you can book your The Bell At Sax' reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Bell At Sax' Saxmundham, Suffolk