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“Highly recommended” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Old Black Lion

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Old Black Lion
4.0 of 5 Inn   |   Lion St., Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AD, Wales   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 34 Hay-on-Wye B&B and Inns
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
103 hotel reviews
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321 helpful votes 321 helpful votes
“Highly recommended”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2006

The Old Black Lion is a historic old inn centrally located in the book capital of the world. Not only is it easy to find, it also has plenty of parking.

The rooms are small as you might expect from a building parts of which are practically medieval, but they are nicely furnished without resorting to tweeness. A sweet addition is the inclusion of a bear in each room!

Anyone taller than 5.11 might want to avoid our room four whose en suite was down some steps and has very low ceilings.

The restaurant and bar were busy both nights, in fact turning people away, understandable considering the quality of the food on offer. We had booked a two night stay with breakfast and evening meal included for a very reasonable price over a bank holiday weekend. However past experiences were that these deals usually resulted in mediocre food froma limited set menu and our plan was to find some where else for the second night. The Lion confounded expectations by offering a full menu incorporating local produce including great lamb and beef wellington. We enjoyed both evenings and there was a comprehensive wine list.

My only suggestions to the kitchen would be to offer a better cheese board- There are some great blue cheeses sold locally so why serve Dolcalette? Also in a town full of delis' I was surprised to find pimento stuffed cocktail olives in my goats cheese and olive salad!

Finally praise must go the the landlady who is always present to make you feel welcome. She also goes that extra way to offer exemplary customer service.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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162 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2005

The place itself is lovely, very, very comfortable and cosy and warm. The rooms are done to an exceptionally high level of quality, with thick draped curtains and antique furniture.

However, our restaurant meal was extremely disappointing. The Welsh lamb was actually virtually inedible, consisting mostly of fat, and when we complained we were not offered a replacement, merely a refund.

Since then we have eaten at the restaurant again and not had a repeat of that incident, so perhaps it was a one-off. But it's a pity it happened: a truly professional chef would not risk his reputation by allowing something like that to leave his kitchen.

Most of the 'public' space of this hotel is given over to dining, and therefore there is very little genuine bar area in which to enjoy a relaxing drink. Therefore, it can feel quite formal and sedate, and so is probably more for the older visitor to Hay.

Stayed November 2004
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2005

Boyfriend and I found this little gem after leaving a disappointing B&B down the road. Old, classic country pub house, with local ales, better than average meals and a first class breakfast. Each room has undergone a modern refurbishment set within old features - low ceilings, beams etc. Fantastic bed and shower. It has just switched owners and the new landlady is lovely. We would definitely return. Restaurant is slightly overpriced - but then eveything in Hay is. Hotel is not.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Black Lion

Address: Lion St., Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AD, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Hay-on-Wye
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Hay-on-Wye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Old Black Lion 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled within the market town of Hay-on-Wye, this colourful 17th Century Inn exudes historical charm and atmosphere offering quality home-cooked food, luxury accommodation and free Wi-Fi and parking. With parts of the original building dating as far back as the 1300’s, the Hotel subtly blends the elegance and whimsy of the past with the comfort and convenience of the present. Indeed, it is even reputed that Oliver Cromwell once stayed at the inn whilst the Roundheads besieged Hay Castle, which was then a loyalist stronghold. Sympathetically refurbished, exposed timber beams and roaring log fires help to cultivate a homely environment and a famously warm welcome.The Inn features 10 high quality en-suite bedrooms, all of which are individually and tastefully decorated in a style reminiscent of the buildings historic past. All rooms include free Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TV, hairdryer, direct dial telephone and tea & coffee making facilities. They offer a choice of Single, Double, Twin and Superior room options.The Old Black Lion is renowned for the quality of its food and has received a host of rewards and accolades including a coveted AA Rosette. The menus, which are changed frequently, use only the best of British produce wherever possible including locally reared meat, fresh seafood from Cornwall and seasonal vegetables. The oak timbered bar with its scrubbed pine tables and comfy arm chairs is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the fantastic selection of local ales (including their own namesake ‘The Old Black Lion’).The Hotel is located in the heart of the Welsh market town of Hay-on-Wye just a short drive from the A438, it also offers free on-site parking for guests. The city of Hereford is roughly 35 minutes away and offers excellent transport links to the rest of the country. For those flying in, Cardiff International Airport is about a 95 minute journey from the Hotel.The Old Black Lion is situated just a three minute walk from the centre of Hay-on-Wye. Renowned internationally as a Mecca for bibliophiles the town offers over 30 bookshops, many selling specialist and second-hand books. It is also home to the annual Hay Festival, Europe’s premier literature and arts festival. The town lies on the east bank of the River Wye and is within the Brecon Beacons National Park, just north of the Black Mountains. Offering some of the most breathtaking scenery in Wales, the surrounding area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with both the Offas Dyke Path and Wye Valley Walk passing through the town. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old Black Lion Hotel Hay-On-Wye
Old Black Lion Hay-On-Wye, Wales

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