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“A disappointing stay and no response to our comments”
Review of Bell Hotel

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Bell Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Charlbury
Reviewed 19 September 2012

We stayed at The Bell on 7th September, and before putting a review on Trip Adviser, I emailed the person I'd booked through at the Bell. Ten days and still waiting for a response! It took me 7 tries to book the room, with promises that people would phone back and take messages. We had stayed at The Bell for our honeymoon 33 years ago, and it was far better then! It didn't in any way live up to the (fairly recent) Trip Advisor reviews, apart from very good food. We arrived at 6 on a Friday evening, and had to wait for the person serving at the bar to be free before he could show us to our room. The room, which apparently had had a royal visitor earlier in the year, had the handle missing from the bathroom door, which couldn't be shut. There were no chairs or seats in the room, so the only place to sit was the bed. Although the evening meal was excellent, the wines we chose weren't available, and we had to select from the list of wines that were already chilled. We asked for extra teabags before going to bed, and because they weren't immediately to hand, were told they'd be delivered to our room - they weren't. When I asked again in the morning, I had a limited choice of decaffeinated or herbal. We weren't offered any choice at breakfast - full English or components of it, and the coffee was instant. There were staff working, but nobody apart from our waitress came to ask if we were all right or had had a good stay. When I checked out, I was asked if we'd enjoyed our time there - I said that we hadn't, and prepared to elaborate, but the member of staff who'd asked just said that they were sorry! I have stayed in places for the same cost which were better value for money, offered better choice and service and cared about their customers more.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Pypers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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125 - 131 of 206 reviews

Reviewed 18 September 2012

Website got us excited about staying in this little hotel ('fine dining'...tempting photos). We were disappointed....they did not meet their own promises...lack of attention to detail being the main problem. The rooms are very well decorated, but lacked the promised tea, coffee, water & biscuits...when you need something you have to wait at the pub bar along with the regulars ordering their pints, to ask for what you need for your room. We had no teacups, but did have 2 filthy dirty saucers. No shower gels or toiletries in what was otherwise a great bathroom. No alarm clock/radio in the room. No telephone in the room. No Wi-Fi in the room. Very limited TV channels available on a miniscule wall mounted TV. Had twin room, shared with sister...the duvet was so tiny on the single bed that I couldn't keep covered up during the night. Lots of dust, especially on the heated towel rail, felt the room needed a damn good clean. The promised 'lots of fluffy towels'...was 1 towel each.
The room was next to the family room, with an adjoining door that allows the two to be combined into a suite...and it really needs some sound proofing, there was indeed a family next door...an all-night crying baby and an early morning 'can we play now daddy' toddler..with parents who were clearly past caring about the noise....one of the worst nights sleep I can recall..hence we were up extremely early the next morning & anxious to get some hot coffee (not the Nescafe sachet in the room) & something to eat.
We were told that breakfast started at 8am (Saturday morning) & this info was repeated in the in-room literature. We were downstairs at 7.57am & found the pub in total darkness...had to switch on the lights ourselves. Found another couple waiting and more soon turned up. Ended up going into the kitchen & calling until someone showed up, looking rather put out...he said breakfast is at 8.30 on Saturdays...no apology for the misinformation we had all been given. He made a phone call & about 15mins later a flustered girl showed up & started asking people what they wanted to drink (tea / coffee) promising to get the drinks going & then to go round & take breakfast orders.....she then got sidetracked for ANOTHER 15 minutes arranging a check-out for another couple, while we all waited....hungry & annoyed. BUT I had my eyes on the shiny barista machine & the coffee cups printed with LAVAZZA....my fave coffee & I longed for a top cup of coffee, which would render all forgiven.... remember their website desribes the place as "FINE DINING"....can you imagine my horror when I watched the young lady tipping a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee granules into a coffee pot for me??? THAT WAS THE LAST STRAW & TOTALLY UNFORGIVEABLE. I cannot recall the last time I was served instant coffee anywhere...even McDonalds does better.

Room Tip: Avoid the twin room or the family room (unless you book the two as a suite). We were kept awake by t...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank LOUISE H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2012

We had a 2-night break here as we were visiting Heythrop. The rooms were large, clean and comfortable and we had an excellent modern shower room. The food was of a very high standard . The staff were welcoming and very helpful.

Room Tip: Rooms in the annex are quieter.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank pashkaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2012 via mobile

We were cruising on the Avon and had moored by the ancient Eckington bridge. The village and pub are just a half mile walk away. The pub is smart, clean and stylish, with a large dining area, lounge, garden, and a more traditional bar (the Farmers Bar - dogs allowed).

We ate in the Farmers Bar, as we had a dog with us. We started with the seafood platter (shared between three), then I had the BBQ pork loin steaks with chips & salad. The food was pretty good I thought (although one of our party wasn't so impressed by his fish & chips). It is good quality gastropub style. Not excellent, but better than most pub food.

Contrary to some recent reviews, we found the service polite, friendly and professional.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank Highrise61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2012

The Bell at Cropthorne is one of my favourite pubs and this would be a number one choice for a meal with friends, however this was not open on a Monday so we decided to go to the Bell at Eckington as it is owned by the same people. The food was good quality generally (despite the gone off strawberry on a pudding and hair on one of the parties plate) however the service was very poor. We waited a long time for the pudding menu which after 20minutes we went and got ourselves. We waited a long time for the bill which when it came was incorrect. When we told the staff we were not happy with the service, especially waiting for the pudding menus one of the party was accused, by the staff of "giving them dirty looks". This is completely untrue and furthermore unprofessional. The restaurant only had one other party eating and the waiting time was unacceptable. The member of staff who i presume was a manager was rude and could perhaps benefit from customer service training. It is a true shame we had such a bad experience at this pub as we will certainly not be returning. Service or poor food is something customers experience; however an apology from the staff is something that can easily resolve this, not rudeness. I look forward to returning to Bell at Cropthorne but not Eckington.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
5  Thank KJR2050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thebell2, Owner at Bell Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2012

This Review has received my details comments on the prior review (Same Party)

However some additional pionts need to be highlighted: We are not affiliated with
The Bell @ Cropthorne.

As I clearly explained to your friends review my staff are a major part of what we do and trusted 100%, The attitude displayed to them was unacceptable, Apologies if the shock of being spoken to in such a way was responded to in a slightly negetive manner, however the judgment of our senior staff is trusted as they are very well trainied and have high standards of customer service.

Apologies for the wait on your dessert menus and the billing error, human error mistakes can easily be rectified with good communication.

We have no recollection of any feedback regarding hair/strawberries however please be assured that our kitchen staff are highly trained and please be assured that our fruit is supplied fresh on a daily basis.

To this end please do not hesitate to contact me direct for a more detailed conversation
Regards
Kerry Leighfield

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2012

Nice hotel and a pretty room with nice appointments. Only a shower ensuite but it was good and hot. Evening food for good - excellent fish pie and good chips. Breakfast food poor for the price. White bread, flabby toast, over salty sausages and instant coffee. Given the price, location and other aspirational food - could do better for breakfast.

But charming staff.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank pangolin5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2012

We vistied for a meal only. The food was good value and tasty however the service was poor (long waiting times for plates to be cleared up and had to wait 20 mins to get the desert menu after being asked) when this was mentioned to the manager, she was very rude and made us feel very unwelcome. Other staff were very polite. We have used this pub regularly before but after last night we will not be returning again.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Kelly L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
thebell2, Owner at Bell Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2012

The Bell at Eckington
We have been in the Businness for nearly 7 years and many of our staff have been part of our team for this time and indeed worked alongside us prior to this. Our team members are an extremely important part of what we do.

The Review I am responding to lacks some vital infomation, The dessert menus were indeed forgotten for which we apologise.

My staff member dealing with this was spoken to in such an aggresive tone and manner, she was left extremely upset for which I believe to be totally unreasonable and unnecessary.
My Senior staff member dealing with this issue was subject to similar rudeness.
All our staff are highly trained in customer service which I think shows in our many other reviews however, the team are here to provide good service and sometimes we make mistakes.

I apologise once again that your dessert menus were forgotton. Please also be aware on our policy regarding aggresive / unreasonable behavour towards our team.

Regards
Kerry Leighfield

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bell Hotel

Address: Church St, Charlbury OX7 3PP, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Charlbury
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Charlbury
Price Range: £59 - £85 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bell Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
Bell Hotel Charlbury, Oxfordshire

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