Overall this is one of, if not THE cheapest place you will find to stay in Castleton, outside of the nearby Youth Hostel.
The welcome was very warm and I was made to feel at home. The owner has a very friendly Labrador who is sometimes overly affectionate so if you don’t like dogs you won’t be particularly pleased with her jumping up on you as she does.
My first impressions of the room were much better than I was expecting for such a very low price. I had a double bed, en suite shower-room etc which was OK. The place all looked clean and I had complimentary bottled water, biscuits, and Tea and Coffee making facilities, and a TV with freeview. The bed was very squeaky indeed but also very comfortable. All in all I was very happy….
On the second day I took breakfast elsewhere and went off walking with friends as planned, and upon walking back into a mobile phone signal area my phone had about 9 missed calls and several voicemails, all from the increasingly angry and agitated owner. Owing to a mistake by a third-party in the booking, the proprietor believed I was only staying for one night, and I had consequently done a runner with his door keys without paying my bill. This was in stark contrast to the information I had given his cleaner that very morning when I made it quite clear not to clean my room as I was staying for 2 nights.
The owner was very aggressive and shouting down the phone at me when I returned his call. He was not interested at all in hearing my side of the story and the fact I was now effectively ‘homeless’. When I returned to the hotel 45 minutes later to sort things out, the owner had got his cleaner to enter my room, pack up all my personal belongings into bags, and brought them downstairs which were dumped in a hallway where a very angry proprietor was waiting for his money. I truly felt like I had been VIOLATED! I was furious at this action especially as I had told the owner not to enter the room as I would be back in 45 minutes. In actual fact I had some personal items which were not packed away such as toothbrush and deodorant from the bathroom, so I had to purchase replacements. I am still not happy about this.
The situation was defused once I’d paid for the one night I stayed and the ‘new’ residents of the room I had booked for 2 nights arrived – the owner quickly reverted to his standard welcome spiel, but between the four of us and cleaner it was a very uncomfortable atmosphere. I even had the indignation of removing the room and door keys from my pocket and handing them to the next guests! (they probably thought “Blimey this place even provides complimentary deodorant and used toothbruthes!”)
I did manage to source alternative accommodation for the second evening but at great inconvenience to myself (slummed it in the Youth Hostel). On leaving, the proprietor did obviously feel a little bit of remorse for my situation and offered to let me crash on his settee with the stinky Labrador. I politely made my excuses and left. After all, if you lie down with the dogs, you wake up with the flees.
I played some of the voicemails the owner left me on speakerphone in the pub that night and my friends were howling with laughter at the language and level of aggression he used. “WHERE’S MY KEY?! WHERE’S MY BLOODY KEY?! GIVE ME MY KEY –NNNNOOOOOOOWWWWWW!”
Still, don’t be put off. For the money it’s a really good find and if I ever had major plastic surgery to change my appearance, I would stay there again.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Priceline, Booking.com and Odigeo so you can book your Fern Cottage reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Fern Cottage Castleton, England