My brother and his family's 46th birthday present to me was a four-day pilgrimage to the Ypres Salient, to explore where our grandfather fought in the First World War as a Captain in the Royal Scots Fusiliers in the Third Battle of Ypres (wounded three times, our Grandad survived the war, and died in 1986 aged 92 just in case you were wondering!). My brother and I spent three nights in a twin room in The Old Tom.
My first impressions were that the single wooden staircase was steep (there is no lift nor any other exit route in case of fire), the bannister very wobbly, and the paintwork chipped. Our room, on the third floor right at the top of the hotel, smelt strongly of drains, so initially I wasn't impressed. But after we had flushed the loo a couple of times and opened a window the smell went, and I started to fall in love with this tatty hotel.
The staff were utterly charming and helpful, and although they were Flemish-speaking, all were very happy to speak to us in English. The population in this area are notoriously unfriendly to French-speakers, but we witnessed someone ordering a drink in French and being treated with politeness and replied-to in French.
Our room was basic and clean, and the en-suite bathroom was modern and hygeni (once the smell had gone), and the hotel's free wi-fi was strong and very quick.
Breakfast consisted of coffee, bread rolls, cheese and cold meat, which was great, and later in the day when the hotel turned into a restaurant /bar (I'm guessing that this is their main income) the food was simply wonderful, and the house-wine was so good that initially we thought that they had made a mistake and a given us a thirty euro bottle, instead of a ten euro one.
Virtually every visiter to Ieper goes at least once to the daily 8pm Last Post sounded beneath the vast Menin Gate, and you may like to know that the buglers (who are mostly local firemen and policenmen) often go for a drink or a meal with their wives afterwards, and it is the Old Tom that they go to. So if you want to meet them then this is where you go - they were having a birthday party when we were there, and they kindly invited us to join them.
My overall impression - if you are a group of chaps visiting battlefields then this hotel is perfect; my feeling is that if you have ladies with you then you might like to try somewhere smarter and more expensive. But I loved it and will stay there again next time I visit.