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“Not Good” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Brook Red Lion Hotel

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Brook Red Lion Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   43 High Street, Colchester CO1 1DJ, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 20 Hotels in Colchester
Bramley, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Not Good”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

No Car park. Hotel opposite 2 night clubs. Flight of stairs to go up before you even get to the reception. Another flight of stairs to get to the room. Room looked great when we first entered. Unfortunately the room was very tatty and needed some serious maintenance and tender loving care. Went to take a shower and there was no hot water. Called the reception and they came up and sorted straight away. This didn't last of course the shower was hot, then cold, then hot, then cold!!!! The shower curtain rings were all broken except 2. The sink was coming off the wall. The mirror was already dirty when we arrived. The towel rail was hanging off the wall and did not work, which meant our towels were still wet from the night before. The light switches had dirty marks on. The head board on the four poster was all ripped. Every floor board in the room creaked, that was probably the worst thing in the room, no matter where you walked. Breakfast was not great, which was not included in the room price of £130. We actually paid £151 for one nights stay. We will never stay here again. Worst hotel we have ever stayed in!

Room Tip: Do not stay in No.7
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RLHGeneralManager, General Manager at Brook Red Lion Hotel, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
After reviewing your feedback on TripAdvisor I would like to draw your attention to our website because as a city centre Hotel we do not advertise car parking but do have a arrangement with the local NCP which for a town such as Colchester is a great deal. Although opposite a night club and a bar, Colchester Council and the police do have strict guidelines for the possible noise from such venues. Room 7 is not near the night club and you certainly cannot hear the noise from this particular room. The hotel is over 500 years old and Grade One listed with a great deal of character. As a coaching inn , the entrance is over the original coach arch and some would say this first staircase is both a quaint and important historical characteristic of the building . Respecting the Grade 1 status the Hotel has to adhere to conservation guidelines regarding both structure and decor , it is a shame that you did not appreciate this type of character and decor but interpreted it instead as needing some TLC. Many other visitors come time and time again to The Red Lion purely to experience this history . I have looked at the issues you have raised regarding Room 7. The sink is not coming away from the wall and the fact that some floor board creak is part of the character again dating back some 500 years! Even though you have posted a harsh review I am sorry that you did not enjoy your stay ...it is obvious that on this occasion such an Historic Building in this particular location was not suited to you .
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224 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
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English first
Colchester, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We had a number of guest stay here during the Colchester Film Festival. All were extremely complimentary of the hotel and its excellent customer service. The centre of town location was also perfect for the festival which took place at the Firstsite Arts Gallery. We will definitely be recommending the hotel to our VIP guest filmmakers and actors next year as the place to stay during next year’s festival.

Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RLHGeneralManager, General Manager at Brook Red Lion Hotel, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Tom C,
Thank you for your kind words and feedback. It was an absolute pleasure working with you all in bringing such a great event to Colchester.
We look forward to welcoming you all back to the Red Lion Hotel in the near future. Good luck with all future events, should there be anything we can assist in, please do not hesitate in contacting us.
Kind regards,

Warren Browning
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Milton Keynes
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

We booked this hotel for a special night away for our wedding anniversary.
Before we stayed, I was very impressed with the level of customer service. I received a call 2 weeks before we stayed to check if we needed anything prior to our arrival. As it was a special occasion, we booked the 4 poster suite. When we checked in and went to the room, we were reasonably happy with the room. It was small (definitely not a suite!) but it was cute, and had lots of character. We then went out for dinner, returning at around 9pm - and that is when the problems started. On returning to the room, it was clear that there was an event going on in the bar - and the music was very loud. I called reception and was told that there was a party going on and that there was nothing that they could do until it finished at 11pm. (as we had already told them we were booking for an anniversary, I can't believe that they didn't warn us!) We tried to put the TV on to drown out the music, but as the TV's are locked past a certain volume, we couldn't hear the TV. I called reception several times and eventually they came up to the room. We were offered another room, but that was also directly over the party. Eventually we were offered a room at the other side of the hotel, which was a BIT quieter. By now, I was getting upset - this was meant to be our anniversary!! The room that we were moved to was best described as 'filthy'. The shower curtain was yellow, there was mould on the bathroom roof, thick dust on the pipes, stains on the carpets and it smelled of damp. By this time it was too late to move to another hotel, so we just had to sleep there. The next morning when I checked out I was told that the manager was not available, and as I had pre-paid for the room, I would have to wait for him to call me to arrange a refund. I then spent 4 days chasing the manager until he finally returned by calls. Despite their best efforts to convince me that I should pay for the room, I insisted on a refund. I received no apology for the fact that they had effectively ruined my wedding anniversary.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RLHGeneralManager, General Manager at Brook Red Lion Hotel, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
I am very disappointed and surprised by your decision to post on Trip Advisor as I felt your complaint was dealt with sympathetically and professionally following your stay. It was my understanding you were satisfied with the outcome as we had made every effort to overcome your disappointment by not only accommodating you in an alternative room but also settled privately and amicably providing a complete refund. The Red Lion is popular and obviously hosts many weddings and celebrations, I am sorry that on this occasion it affected your stay. The function was booked after your room booking was taken and the entertainment ended at 11pm sharp. We make every effort to ensure that when such functions are held, we respect the privacy of other residents by adhering to the strict time guidelines that limit the playing or music beyond a reasonable time of 11pm.
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Schweiz
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

A stunning old hotel with very welcoming, competent and friendly service, perfect food and wonderful beds.

Whenever we return to Colchester we will definitely loge in the Brook Red Lion Hotel again!

Twin-sisters from Switzerland

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
RLHGeneralManager, General Manager at Brook Red Lion Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Dear Twins,
It was an absolute pleasure looking after you all during your stay and we look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

The Red Lion hotel is a very charming quite grande deceptively spacious large olde worlde place.
A charming 14th century coaching Inn the hotel boasts wonderful genuine tudor period features,loads of real oak beams lots of portraits and books and houses a perfect 4 poster bedroom- great for honeymooners/couples. It is an ideal atmospheric fine old tudor building; quite suitable for the businessman though it charges for wifi and leisure seeker alike. I suspect aswell as being a delightsome watering hole for the locals to sample the discerning guest in mind would not do too badly to come here. I am sure it does well as a birthday christmas or summer house party venue other events aswell.

The Red Lion does have ghost tours.( Enquire on the website or by phone.) It houses a spacious quiet,relaxing ambient of a traditional good restaurant where the huge original old red brick fireplace greets you as you enter ,(not lit as it was far from cold when we arrived) the muted lighting is warm and welcoming.
Charming polite orderly staff are friendly, but discreet, and at the momment offers a very british menu which isn't extensive by any means, but does offer the boozers amongst us the usual extensive wine list. - As for the simple straight forward menu we enjoyed a salmon starter with seeded rolls, (we were starving and as food is cooked to order from fresh,we asked for more bread rolls to tide us over- all served more at no extra cost ) Main course was a very succulent roast belly pork beautifully presented with delicately seasoned spring cabbage, and other vegetables, followed by a scrumptious cream brulee, or trio of icecream.
My only gripe was that they had run out of chocolate brownies ...arrgh! and at the last minute upon a warm welcome at arrival, were told our room had been swapped! On account of problems with the bathroom, and though that threw us a bit, we didn't mind at all when we went to investigate our bedroom and found everything was in order and surpassed our expectations. Both in size cleanliness and character. One whole wall was taken up with two double windows with good views of the town street below was charming fragrant clean and well polished with a mahognay spotless desk dresser,comfy chair with roomy sitting space a stool wardrobe and nice en suite, traditional pretty curtains, with matching headboard (looked new) of a high quality and cleanliness.

If like us you book a room and like your cooked breakfast and dinner as extra- you get 3 courses for £15 dinner, with a full English and Continental if you want it and the full cabosh including gorgeous tasty Kippers,cooked english,plenmty of fruits cereals hot and cold milk; I had hot poridge with honey, all the coffee and tea you want, and I do feel breakfast was very well presented and prepared and of great value in the added on price. I think £7.00 with the rate we paid gave us a discount.

All in total £120 in all including bed and dinner well worth it for that, as food is fresh tasty and delicious.

The Red Lion used to be a Coaching Inn and is huge. It still has a cellar which needless to say we didn't venture anywhere near incase the ghosts came out to play! Being Colchester and on the high street there is some night noise/revellers which these days you have to expect but we slept quite well due to the gorgeopusly well sprung comfortable bed. You can always ask for a back room off the front of the high street if you are a light sleper.

Oh what a difference a night in an unpretentious yet relaxed quiet charming bolthole/ watering hole makes. If you are looking for friendly yet unobstrusive staff,a good central location minutes from the osborne car park £4.50 per 24 hours which you get a token in exchange from the one you recoeve at car park from the hotel, and seconds from all the shops,local amentiies Priory shopping precninct, odeon cinema, holywell museum,parks and of course Colchester castle & Musuem etc and there are so many other activities and other amenities on your doorstep; helpful accomodating "can do" professionalism; a well presented freshly cooked to order good british food; a fantastic breakfast, and clean comfy bedrooms at a reasonable-ish price,- then this is where it's at!

Our only regret is one night being no where near long enough to explore the whole building and read the history book abou tthe place as one would have liked.
Take no notice of the reviews about the plumbing. Our bath and shower was both plentiful and hot. (Maybe we were lucky for a change?!) Whatever, I cannot fault it.

If 14th century history does it for you then do stay! There are many fascinating infamous stories about its long and interesting past,including the fact that it can boast of being the very place where Oliver Cromwell once held parliament,and what with its numerous ghosts to learn about, you will not be dissappointed on the remarkable history to be discovered. - If romance is your thing, then you have come to the right place. So book a night at the Red Lion as soon as you can. If you are worrying about ancient plumbing and want piping hot plentiful water then mention it before you book and ask for a refurbished bed/bathroom if you can.

As soon as I mentioned the plu mbing mentioned on ehre numerous times we rwere switched to room no 6 on the first floor. Rather than thre twin room zip and link double bed of room 24. It is deceptively spacious inside. The oak beams are numerous and well maintained as are the beds all furniture, mirrors and chandeliers. I saw nothing of wear and tear in our room. Double windowsed aspect and the squeaky floors and uneven walls and flagstones just adds to itys appeal and charm. The best thing of all was the breakfast really plentiful and huge for the price. The cosy comfy firm matress, spotless clean bed linien,good quality tables and furnishings and several historical portraits and pictures attached to thre fascinating and creepy history of the Inn's past all adds to its charm and features speak volumes of a well run, very orderly and polite yet relaxing ambience.
My husband and I genuinely enjoyed a night here, and we were bowled over by the quality of the place the atmosphere and the charming attentive staff who work hard to make your stay a comfortable one..
I have no hesitation in recommending this establishment and we hope to return very soon.

Room Tip: park in opsborne street 6 min walk away...hotel has a deal with them. Its a NCP car park.Room 6 DOES...
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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 Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RLHGeneralManager, General Manager at Brook Red Lion Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank you for your very kind words in this review, we do strive to be the best. It was an absolute pleasure in welcoming you to our hotel and hope you will return soon to Colchester and stay with us again.
Once again thank you.
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Merthyr Tydfil
Top Contributor
339 reviews 339 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 149 cities Reviews in 149 cities
227 helpful votes 227 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Just spent 3 nights here bed breakfast and evening meal for £291. I loved the history of the place, it was built in 1465 and looks amazing. The dining room called the Parliment Restaurant was once a banqueting hall and Oliver Cromwell held parliment meetings here. Lots of exposed beams and creaky floorboards, my idea of a perfect hotel. Parking was a bit of a pain and cost 4.50 a day the hotel has a deal with the NCP car parks. Excellent location right on the high street.

We had room 10 which is supposed to haunted by a ghost called Alice Millar a chambermaid killed by her lover in 1636, unfortunately she failed to turn up the 3 nights we were there. She has also been seen in rooms 5 and 6 if you believe in this kind of thing. There is also supposed to be a monk haunting the hotel and a small boy who has been seen in the restaurant. I don't believe in ghosts but it makes staying in a 'haunted' place more fun.

Our room was lovely, medium sized but not luxurious. The bedspread was dirty and the curtains around the bed although lovely did not look like they had been washed for a long time.
I hate saying things like this but its the truth, apart fropm that we were happy. Problems with the hot water are well documented and we could hear the hot water system all night, take ear plugs with you. We were at the side of the hotel but it is still noisy, there is nothing the hotel can do about it I believe they are looking into sound-proofing but this is obviously difficult with the age of the building. We found breakfast fine, perfectly adequate to start the day. We found the staff very friendly and hard working and I would like to thank Danielle especially for trying very hard to make our break special.

The only big negative to this break was our eveing meal, I wish we had only paid for bed and breakfast. There were only 4 choices of eveing meal, 1 vegetarian choice and 3 other choices, pork, fish and chicken. My husband who is not at all fussy does not like pork and the fish was boiled which he was not fussed on so he had to have the chicken 2 nights in a row, and fish the last night. The soup was the same on Thur and Fri but thankfully changed on the Saturday.
I honestly cannot be bothered to write about my lack of choice again, I am totally fed up being treated like this, I always knew chefs dislike vegetarians but I am starting to think they hate us with a passion. After complaining about my lack of choice they bought me vegetarian sausages for the last night and I was overjoyed that they had made the effort to give me something I enjoy. This was short lived as soon as they put them in front of me I knew they were meat. They looked like meat sausages, I cut into them and heard the noise of cutting into skin, I looked inside and it looked like white meat, but I still tried them and it was as I remember meat (I have not ate meat for 29 years). I gave one for my husband to try and he said it tasted like a meat sausage. I was mortified and embarrassed, the waiter suggested getting the packed from the kitchen to show they were vegetarian but this could not be found. He brought the chef out who said he bought them from a sausage shop in good faith, and he offered to cook me something else. I am not blaming the chef, I do not know what happened I just know I will never pay for bed. breakfast and evening meal again. It is better for me to go to the places I know cater for me, chinese restaurants, harvesters etc. I never want this to happen to me again it has horrified me and spolit what was otherwise a lovely trip.

I recommend the hotel if you are into history you will ignore its short comings but only pay for bed and breakfast there are plenty of eating places near by unless a limited menu suits you.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

Well what can you say... A great historic building in the heart of this great old town, unfortunately that is where my love affair ended.
Stay away from room no 9 no hot water, mould on the shower cubicle in amounts that the inventor of penicillin would be proud of culturing.
The cold shower had the pressure of a child's plastic watering can and the chintzy wooden toilet seat wobbled and slid at every opportunity.
The room has characture subsidence from all levels, quaint for such an old building but sickening and uncomfortable as the flat 1960 sprung worn 2 inch mattress in places and a rather peculiar smelling quilt to boot.
Don't believe the a la carte menu..... They give you a warmed microwaved bread as starter and the starter of soup looked just as defrosted and ready heated... You have a choice of a piece of fish or chicken or lamb which is either described as baked or pan fried????? All served with carrot,peas,new potatoe or uncooked cauliflower all the aforementioned are tasteless from freezer to microwave I'm sure of it, thank goodness there was salt and pepper.
Now breakfast was woefully described as full English breakfast disguised as a disgusting hardlly unedible gut cramping and fat engulfed grease laden montrousaty.....a spolge of 3 day old baked bean, two thin greasy uncooked tasteless bacon rashers an egg firied but it might as well have been boiled, one half of pretend grilled tomatoe oh and one sausage, the sausage was not bad actually it was slightly warmer than the ice cold toast they served.
Great building of historic interest should be valued and kept as part of the heritage but not to the ost of offering such a poor customer experience.
Someone more devious than Basil Fawlty runs ths titanic to be?
Tourists beware and stay clear !!!
The worst hotel I have stayed in since 2000... And I have stayed in them all!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Brook Red Lion Hotel

Address: 43 High Street, Colchester CO1 1DJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Colchester
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Colchester
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Brook Red Lion Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Red Lion Hotel was built in 1465 and is in the centre of Colchester, Britain's oldest recorded town. The historical building has original Tudor features, including wooden beams.The Red Lion Hotel is one of the oldest inns in the area. The hotel is a short walk from the shops and Colchester Town Rail Station is 500 metres away. Hotel Rooms: 24 ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Lion Colchester
Colchester Red Lion
Brook Red Lion Hotel Colchester, Essex

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