We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Bitterly disappointed” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Bear Hotel

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Save
You added The Bear Hotel to your Saves list
The Bear Hotel
63 High Street, Cowbridge CF71 7AF, Wales   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cowbridge
Swansea, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
187 reviews 187 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
“Bitterly disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

We had heard such good things about this place that when we finally made it we were bitterly disappointed and couldn't wait to leave.

When we arrived we wanted dinner (a bar meal) in the bar, but we were told that all the tables were either occupied or reserved. So we were shunted into the grill room and restaurant, and left alone. Although there were not so many people in the grill room, there were no empty tables, and we had to wait a few minutes until one came available. The place was certainly not busy.

Throughout the time we were in the grill room the staff were watching the Man Utd v Sunderland game (you can tell now which night it was), and they ignored most of the customers, except one, who turned out to be a staff member on his day off. In fact it was hilarious to watch the staff serving people - they never actually looked at the customers as they were so intent on watching the TV

The service from the waitress we had was appalling. She was so off hand, dismissive, and laissez faire about her job. Not only to us but to the other guests too.

The starters we ordered were interesting, but certainly not great.

Our main courses were a very long time arriving, and the waitress just shrugged her shoulders when we asked if the kitchen had a problem. There still weren't actually many people in either the bar or the grill room - we looked!

I had ordered fish and chips for the main course - it was hard to find any fish in the batter - I mean there was not much fish present in what was a large piece of batter. And the chips were awful - I suspect that they were of the so called "reconstituted type", which are made mainly from wheat. I left my chips, as did my son, who had ordered the ale and steak pie. Neither me nor my son could actually eat the chips, they were so lacking in taste. They certainly didn't taste like chips. Again the waitress just shrugged her shoulders when we told her that we could not eat the chips because they were so disgusting.

In fact, although we will never darken the doorstep of The Bear again, we did laugh a lot when we left the grill room and restaurant. Our visit had just been like being in a sketch in an episode of Little Britain - "Whatever!!! - Computer says No!". For that reason alone, our visit was priceless.

In fact, I have waited some days before writing this review as I wanted to reflect on the visit to The Bear before putting pen to paper. It was the right decision to delay writing the review, as if I had written the review earlier I do not believe that I would have been quite so objective.

Our recommendation is "Stay away, unless you want to find out what it is like to be in a sketch in Little Britain".

If the manager of The Bear reads this I can imagine her/him adopting the role of Vicky Pollard and saying, "Oh! Oooo. I can't just believe that you just said that!"

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Write a Review

205 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    77
    76
    28
    15
    9
See reviews for
42
65
6
41
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Pembrokeshire
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

The building is fascinating, with lots of stairs and small rooms. Plenty of fireplaces and other features. Great car park at the rear - a necessity in busy Cowbridge. Excellent reception staff. The room was comfortable and made best use of the old building. However, that meant that the bathroom was small and cold. A new electric mirror and some heating would be a cheap improvement. We could not have dinner, as they were fully booked, but a reservation was made for us at Oscars next door; which is part of the hotel ownership, and was a fabulous restaurant. We did find that the bar areas were noisy, with large groups of local families and young children being allowed to run around. Not the relaxing atmosphere we wanted. The breakfast was fine, but nothing special. I did think the £110 rate was too high and would only return if it was cheaper

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

Relaxed atmosphere, roaring fire and flavour-some food. Went with family for husband' s birthday. Shared meat/cheese and bread platter with extra olives - plenty for 4 as a starter and tasted great. Two mains of Steak pie, chips and pies was huge and the home made pie was delicious - tender steak and mushroom. Fish, chips and mushy pies with bread and butter was also tasty and huge. And finally med chicken was tender with great flavours. All washed down with excellent wine. Very attentive staff (Thursday ev) and we had a great time.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

Visited for Sunday Lunch on January 5th. We requested a Standard Sunday lunch. We received a very slow service. We sat in the bar which was fairly quiet, however I'm unsure how busy the rest of the hotel was. After our aperitif the main course took almost an hour to arrive. A premium price for a sub standard service

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pontypridd, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

We were 2 couples who stayed in the cottage and apartment for New Year's Eve and attended the Gala Dinner. Both accommodations just a very short walk from the hotel and ideal for us to chill and relax in the afternoon before attending the dinner. The apartment was our personal favourite out of the two places, this was because it was more luxurious however both places were lovely and very clean and comfortable. In fact the cottage ideal as I could evict my snoring other half into the spare bedroom :) Bed was really comfortable. The gala dinner was really good, the food was an excellent quality especially considering it was mass catering. A good evening was had by all, despite the very cheesy typical party dated music of the DJ, but that's just personal choice he did manage to play 2 of my requests for something a bit more dance.
Brunch was included, but I was rather disappointed that their version of brunch was really just breakfast, served between 9 and 11, with choice of full English, toast, juice yogurts, so basically breakfast. But never mind it didn't spoil our stay, we had a lovely time and brought in the new year with some lovely people that were there that night. Would recommend and who knows, we might even do it again.

Room Tip: We loved the independence of the cottage and apartment, with full facilities.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

The setting for Weddings is really delightful in this enchanting old Hotel - the elegance of where the ceremony took place was delightful and the beautiful room where the Wedding dinner was served was stunning, the chandlers sparkled and it was a perfect setting.

The food was really lovely and importantly it was piping hot when served - all in all wonderful value.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

Recently attended The Bear for my daughter's wedding, initially there was a mix up over the bar facilities but this was quickly corrected and the rest of the day went like clockwork. Canapes were excellent as was the meal although drinks were pricey. Excellent selection of ales in the hotel bar but unfortunately not in the function suite. Some of our parties rooms were great with four poster beds but other rooms had no heating at all. Breakfast was ok but not great and it was difficult to find any staff to top up tea and coffee. Overall quite a good experience.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to The Bear Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Bear Hotel

Address: 63 High Street, Cowbridge CF71 7AF, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Southern Wales > Vale of Glamorgan > Cowbridge
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cowbridge
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 3 star Bear Hotel is situated on the High Street of the beautiful market town of Cowbridge with origins that date back to the 12th century. The hotel is steeped in history and boasts individually decorated en-suite bedrooms, roaring log fires, a unique stone vaulted Cellars Restaurant, a Real Ale Bar and non-smoking Lounge Bars serving gastro style meals. The function suites are amongst the finest in the area. Weddings are a specialty with the emphasis on personal, friendly service. It also serves as an excellent conference venue with free parking and high speed WiFi in public areas. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline, TripOnline SA and Odigeo so you can book your The Bear Hotel 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:
Bear Hotel Cowbridge
The Bear Hotel Cowbridge, Vale Of Glamorgan, Wales

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage The Bear Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.