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“Lovely meal - first class service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ancient Gate House Hotel

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Ancient Gate House Hotel
2.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   20 Sadler St, Wells BA5 2SE, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #32 of 41 Wells B&B and Inns
somerset, uk
Top Contributor
234 reviews 234 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 121 cities Reviews in 121 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
“Lovely meal - first class service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

My husband and I live a few miles from Wells and haven't up until today eaten at the Ancient Gate House Restaurant. We booked a table for a Sunday evening as we know how busy Wells can be on a Saturday evening.
We were seated immediately and our drinks order taken - after a short time we ordered our food.
We ordered olives to tick us over until our meal arrived. Both starters and main courses were excellent. Waiter service was very good and our waiter was very attentive. Restaurant had 5 other couples dining and there were two waiting - could not fault the food or the service.
My husband and I will definitely be eating here again.

Room Tip: As we live locally did not stay at the hotel
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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98 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    23
    37
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

The Ancient Gatehouse is just about everything you could want when staying in a beautiful and historic city; woody beams, curly staircases, original fireplaces and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there isn't a ghost or two. Some of the furniture is a bit rickety but nothing to get upset at. The staff are pleasant and very professional, a small problem with the hot water being sorted quickly and without undue fuss. The breakfasts were as good as they get and the views of the cathedral breathtaking. There's a pricey little restaurant and bar attached for those who like that sort of thing. So why the average rating from me?

The problem is not with the hotel itself but the way I came to book it. Staying at the time on a local campsite, we promised ourselves that if\when the rain came, we'd book into a hotel and I checked the price of the Gate House at £80 per room before we set off. Down came the rain (Wednesday), we rang the Gate House and was offered a room at £120. When I declined, the price was reduced to £95. I politely declined this also and googled 'get-yeselfaroom.com', or the like, and the first Wells room to come up was at the Gate House for £80, so we booked it and drove straight down. Yes, you read that correctly, we had cyber booked a room that I had twice been told was unavailable by the Gate House reception! There are 3 possibilities here; 1) Gate House staff were trying to get us to buy an expensive room by pretending the cheap ones were full. 2) They were trying to sell us a cheap room at a high price. 3) The dot.com people knew more about available rooms at the Gate House than Gate House staff did. At best, then, incompetence - at worst, lies and profiteering.

You don't have to read much press to see our hotelliers blaming every factor under the sun for poor business, except themselves. If other customers are anything like me, when they suspect they are being ripped off or manipulated underhandedly into spending money, they close the hatches. I'm not eating at your restaurant, I'm not drinking at your bar, I'm not putting you at the top of my 'rainy day hotels' list again and furthermore, I'm going to tell the world about how you treat perspective cusomers like idiots. If you think that's an adequate way to encourage business, then good luck to you.

Lovely hotel but doing a little homework before you stay could save you £35 a night.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

We went to Wells for the first time this year, and having read that it retains many of its medieval features I wanted to stay in the heart of the 'city'. There is very little choice if you want to do this and I was attracted by the description and photos of this hotel, which in truth is more of a B&B. Of course I wanted the room (No. 3)overlooking Cathedral Green and was able to get it by booking a double room without four-poster through a booking agency (getting £1 off the standard cost in the process) - don't know if I was just lucky. The view of the cathedral across the large green was as good as expected.
To get to the hotel by car you have to negotiate the one-way system, and it is useful to get the directions and suggestions for parking from the hotel's own web site. Parking is very scarce in Wells: on arrival we drove slightly past the hotel and on the left is a lay-by where I parked briefly (despite the yellow lines) to check out the hotel. The entrance is shared with Rugantino's restaurant, and 'reception' is a little counter on the right - the receptionist/waiter was very helpful, giving us a street map upon which he wrote extra instructions to find a parking place. We followed these and found a space in Cathedral Green, only a few steps away from the back of the hotel - this was on a late Sunday afternoon; at other times it could be more difficult.
When we checked in the same person explained clearly the staffing, access and breakfast arrangements.
The room itself was comfortable and recently decorated, although the bathroom was a little cramped with not enough height for a proper shower, but a bath with a hand shower attachment. There were some nice touches, such as complimentary bottled water, fluffy towels and dressing gowns, as well as a description of a circular walk around town, which we followed enjoyably that evening, having dinner in a bistro on the way. (Make sure you take in Vicar's Close - said to be the best-preserved medieval street in Europe - amazing).
Breakfast was in the sister hotel on the opposite side of the street - the full English was OK without being spectacular.
If you are prepared to accept the idiosyncracies and historical origins of this hotel, you should have a good time (we did); if you want a modern hotel with all facilities, look elsewhere.

Room Tip: Room 3 is on the first floor and has a cathedral view
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

Booked room in this hotel for Aunt aged 91 for 2 nights requesting room overlooking cathedral.
Called in to check room 2 days prior but unable to see as occupied

So far so good.

On arrival Aunt taken up to room - first flight of stairs narrow with 90 degree turn and carpet making difficult to see treads- hand rails but diffcult to negotiate - 2nd flight spiral stone uneven treads, handrail? non-runner -- shown another room -on first floor. Manageress said assistance with stairs would depend on availability of staff - and no one on duty before 10am - breakfast to be taken at sister hotel across road.

As a dangerous situation I moved my Aunt - owner insisted that payment be made for 1 night, quoting cnacellation policy. I feel that prospective visitors need to know the nature of this hotel before booking and that management should make the above issues clear at the time of booking

Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We stayed three nights at this hotel on a very reasonable Bed, Breakfast & Evening Meal Deal. The hotel is in a beautiful setting, and although we didn't have a Cathedral view from our bedroom, we sat at the tables at the back of the hotel, sipping our drinks and admiring the view across Cathedral Green. The staff were very attentive and the food in the restaurant was extremely good. Breakfast is served in the sister hotel - the White Hart just across the road, and was very good quality - again with attentive service. The Ancient Gate House is an old hotel, full of character. The only criticism is the old cooking smells which emanate on the stairway, and some of the public areas could do with a facelift, but our room was clean and comfortable. No carpark, but we parked easily on Cathedral Green.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florianopolis, SC
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

Firstly I have to say I have not stayed here but have eaten twice in the hotels restaurant, Rugantino. However I will probably spend a short weekend away here sometime in the future.
The first meal here was on a Saturday in March at mid day and was off the special lunch menu (£11.00 for 2 courses from memory) which despite this was of excellent quality. The resturant is quite small and has a good vibe, the tables have linen table cloths, the wait staff are polite and professional, the house wines are reasonably priced and good, the menu is imaginative.
On the stregth of our first experience my wife and I returned the other weekend and this time we ordered a la carte (the firm was paying) and the bill was still very reasonable under £80 for 3 courses and drinks. We both enjoyed our meals greatly
I have looked at some of the negative reviews and all I can say there are some who can only look for the negative, BOTH of our experiences were VERY POSITIVE, I am sure you would not be unhappy here.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Winchester, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

After many months without a weekend off, we decided to have a romantic long-weekend away and found the perfect place to do so. My Boyfriend grew up in the area and suggested Wells (especially as we are fans of the film Hot Fuzz). After a long journey we arrived and were shown to our beautiful room, in the top of the actual Gatehouse, up winding medieval worn steps it was breathe-taking. The window overlooked the picturesque cathedral green and the room was fully equipped with television, en-suite, tea making facilities etc. but lacking some items a five-star chain hotel can provide, there is no mini-bar but probably due to the lack of space that cannot be helped in a grade listed building! The four-poster bed was a real treat that provided a different but comfortable experience that made the room extremely cosy!
The breakfast was included in the price of the room, it was situated just across the road and provided a great choice of hot and cold foods, choosing from fruit and cereals or a lovely full-English of whatever you wanted and was the best way to start the day with your choice of newspaper that was provided at the cover cost of the paper.
On the second night of our stay we decided to eat at the Italian restaurant within the Ancient Gatehouse Hotel; Rugantino. Simply the food and service was absolutely fantastic. My boyfriend had the seafood risotto, he says it was 'superb' and the best he's had. I had the trio of lamb cutlets served with a potato rosti, they were served medium as I asked and were absolutely beautiful and went perfectly with the side of vegetables and the red wine jus it was served with and would love to go back again.
Furthermore, one person in particular had a great impact on us during our stay who was Damien ( whom we presume to be the manager of some sort) who made sure we had the perfect break. He was the most polite and helpful person with a great amount of time for us and other customers.
All in all, we had a brilliant stay at the Ancient Gatehouse and were extremely surprised at the service and facilities we received and would recommend and DEFINITELY will be staying there again in the future.

Room Tip: The best room is the four-poster double room at the top of the Gatehouse with a perfect view of the...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ancient Gate House Hotel

Address: 20 Sadler St, Wells BA5 2SE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Wells
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 41 B&Bs / Inns in Wells
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Ancient Gate House Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
When you come to the Ancient Gate House in the Cathedral city of Wells in Somerset, you'll feel at home as soon as you arrive.Whether you are staying in one of our recently decorated and beautiful bedrooms, or dining in one of our award winning restaurants your comfort and satisfaction are at the heart of everything we do.The Ancient Gatehouse is a family run hotel and restaurant offering a blend of friendly and professional attention in relaxed yet stylish surroundings situated facing the famous west front of Wells Cathedral and the Cathedral Green. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ancient Gate Hotel
Ancient Gate House Hotel Wells, Somerset

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