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“Reliable performance” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa

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Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 High St, Helmsley YO62 5AG, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Helmsley
Norwich, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Reliable performance”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Service is the greatest feature of this hotel - every member of staff works hard to ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible.
Some features are a little tired, but in this economic climate I see this in many top hotels.
The spa provides a comprehensive array of treatments, all competently delivered.
The hotel s popular with shooting parties during the season,so book well in advance.
The hotel is not perfect,but I return year after year - need I say more.

Room Tip: Book well in advance
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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805 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (183)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

I've stayed in backpacking hostels, budget hotels/motels and luxury hotels around teh world and appreciate you get what you pay for, which is why I was so disappointed with the Feversham Arms (Room 23 to be exact). I wrote this review a month ago, but sent it by letter to the owner of Feversham Arms and gave him the courtesty of a month to reply, but I've heard nothing back. i.e. if the room is scheduled for a major upgrade in the very near future then it would be unfair to post this.

The room cost £360 per night (£260 after the Manager gave us a discount on checkout due to the problems) however I still feel that Room 23 (the only one I can comment on) is worth no more than £100 per night in it's current state of repair.

My wife has wanted to stay at the Feversham ever since I’ve known her but we could never justify spending that much money on a hotel almost on our doorstep (we live in Leeds), however for our 1st wedding anniversary I splashed out for something special not only because it was our 1st anniversary but also because my wife is 7 months pregnant and this would be the last time we would be just a couple rather than a family going away. Below is a list of the issues we found in no particular order and I hope I’m being fair with each.
• The sofa was absolutely knackered, the seating has compressed with age in the middle and is rock hard at the sides so 1 person can only sit on it in the worn depression but it’s not comfortable. We made It bearable for 2 using all the cushions from the armchair, breakfast table chairs and the bed.
• I paid for a premium room to ensure we got one with the log burning stove (always romantic) given the time of year and expected cold temperatures (about minus 2 degrees in the end). However the room was so ridiculously hot that the stove wasn’t an option. We had to put the air-con on to counteract the heating. Turning the wall thermostat’s both down to 15degrees didn’t seem to have any effect.
• The heated bathroom floor is a nice feeling on the feet but it’s on so hot that even with the air con on the heat from the bathroom heated up the bedroom to the point it was too hot quickly. We had to ask reception to turn off the underfloor heating the next day. (it’s controlled by a hidden valve apparently)
• The room was so hot that on the second night my wife slept without any covers which when it’s -2 outside is ridiculous.
• No fridge – surely a basic for a good hotel yet alone a luxury one, we brought some cans of coke and other non-alcoholic drinks with us, but nowhere to keep them cool, (in the very warm room) what do guests do in the summer?
• The mattress needs re-stuffing or replacing, it’s higher in the middle with age, hence I couldn’t even get close enough to put an arm round my wife, so we slept either side of a huge bed, not very romantic.
• The website still advertises that Poolside/Deluxe suites include Room service Breakfast at no extra charge, but we were charged £10 per day – this was removed from our bill when I pointed this out.
• The DVD player is a Tesco Value DVD player which certainly isn’t the high end entertainment system expected from the website or what one would expect at a premium hotel.
• The Freeview is another cheap plug in adapter with a remote control so poor that we eventually gave up and watched BBC2 for 3 hours straight. It wasn’t the batteries because I tried all the batteries in all 5 remotes from the room. It was the operating distance and angle of a cheap product it worked within 3 feet when pointed at exactly the right angle at the sensor.
• A 20” Bang & Olufsen Tube TV may have been luxury when installed 15 years ago, but these seriously need upgrading to maintain premium prices.
• The shower was almost cold on the first day and was mildly warm on the second (but the towel from towel rail was still hotter) when they ‘fixed’ it on Monday morning having complained. We were told on checkout that was as hot as it could go, but the sink tap ran at scolding temperature so you can certainly get hot water to the room, it must be a plumbing fault.
• The plug in the bath is removed with a stick on rubber hook because the proper plug mechanism is broken (a review of Room 23 in June also mentions this). The manager explained this was because the side panel on the bath wasn’t removable to fix it, but it has 2 screws and a crack along the top edge, so it clearly has been removed at some point. Even if it’s a £500 job for a plumber to fix the plug and tiler to re-tile the side, then at £360 a night surely this needs doing and is quickly recovered.
• The soap holder in the bathroom is almost falling off so it was difficult to balance products on it.
• The shower ceiling light has gaps in the plaster around it and water ingress into the bulb, clearly not safe.
• No ventilation in the bathroom so condensation/steam/smells can’t be released.
• The toilet brush holder is only cleaned on the side facing outwards, I picked it up to use and the backside was absolutely disgusting.
• Our bed wasn’t made up in the 2 hours we were out the room Monday morning (11 til 1ish), despite informing reception as we left that room was now available to service.
• The website advertises complimentary wifi, but it’s so weak that the signal is difficult to maintain – when you are connected the speed is great, but connecting to the router is clearly an issue and the manager was aware of this.
• For a luxury hotel again I would expect a master light switch for the bedroom area beside the bed, rather than faff about with multiple wall and lamp switches having to work out the light switch combination to leave just the bedside lamp on.
• We booked the Muddy Boots package because it was the cheapest for a 2 nights stay and it came with a use it or lose it £45 per person per night contribution towards dinner (which starts at £55 excluding drinks), but we didn’t like the menu so that was £180 wasted. Why not just make the room £90 per night cheaper? A lower headline rate might attract more custom. The Package also came with a packed lunch, but the options were stingy to say the least. A micro bottle of water for drink (150ml from memory), a cheese and pickle sandwich and a piece of fruit. We went to a local sandwich shop on the square and got a range of tasty sandwiches to choose from, cakes, crisps, drinks, fruit etc all for less than £10 for the 2 of us.
Finally on Friday before we arrived I booked a Mother to Be Spa treatment as a surprise for my wife, on the Monday. I wasn’t advised that my wife needed to pack a swimming costume (perhaps a little naïve on my part here, but I did specifically ask if there was anything else I needed to know and did advise it was a surprise) and hence when I presented it as a present on Monday morning she couldn’t use it and I phoned reception to cancel and expected to forfeit the £25 reservation fee (as per the room guide) but was informed that I would forfeit the full charge (£76).
If it was a £100 or less hotel I would just accept most of the above points, but I expect much more for £360 a night.
The manager James Wiseman did what he could to assist and I couldn’t fault his seeming desire to help, but I got the feeling he was aware of many of the problems but didn’t have the budget/authority to make the improvements. He reduced our bill by £100 for each night, but that’s still £260 a night & £76 for the spa for a less than special unromantic stay that was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

We won't be back.

Room Tip: If you like a comfy sofa avoid Rm23, but if you like a very warm room all night then Room 23 is the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Derby, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

we read the trip advisor reviews after booking and thought ' oh great its a shed with bad service and we're about to be abused at our expense'. and then we arrived and had the best time, log fires in your room, great restaurant, staff with a personality, shabby chic, blah blah blah. And we sat and read some of the reviews and laughed and thought - these numpties must have been to another hotel....ignore them folks and have a great stay over at Yorkshires best kept secret. We'll be back, chilling in the spa and quaffing a nice bin 54. And for those who have now written us off as easily pleased Premier Inn fodder - we're ex hoteliers, have just travelled extensively from Australia - the west indies, Hawaii etc, stayed in some £600 a night places ' then Grove' etc. And so we say thanks to Feversham arms for proving the critics wrong.........salut.....

Room Tip: ask for a suite with log burner, get the paper, a bottle of red and kick back...
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  • Stayed January 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

This was an impulse night away . The hotel was recomended by two differant friends so we drove up to Helmsley , a very scenic trip from Leeds. The building doesnt shout out to you , it's rather unasuming ,on a corner next to the church . Once inside it's a differant story , every thing about it is first class from the helpful staff to the unique decor . We had a classic bedroom , lots of space , large bed , t.v. d.v.d player , small but okay bathroom . Dinner was enjoyable , small but interesting menu , and very tasty it was . I had cod and my wife the veal .

Room Tip: we stayed in room # 3 up stairs , we would want it again .
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Initially we were put off by poor reviews but, after being assured that changes had been made and all was well, we booked a suite for New Year. Starting with the good points, the hotel is spacious and, unusual for country hotels, has plenty of lounge seating space. The food was generally very good, but not exceptional. The portions were sufficient for us, but there were many complaints from other guests that the portions were tiny.The bedroom/lounge was spacious and comfortable, but more of this later. So, what didn't we like? The hotel was tired, but more than that, was quite dirty in places. Carpets in poor condition, restaurant not vacumed properly between meals and, particularly so on New Year's Day, (when breakfast was served later then normal). The dado rail in the restaurant had obviously not been dusted for days. The service was enthusiastic but lacking in detail, with drinks either not arriving at all or only after being reminded. The bathroom/shower area was very tired with the sealing peeling away. Reception staff showed no real warmth or welcome. Overall, rather disappointing and does not justify its high prices. Must try harder!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Mansfield
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Just returned from a one night stay at the Feversham Arms.
The staff were very welcoming and professional and we were impressed with the service from the reception desk through to the bar and restaurant. We stayed in a petite double, room 4. It was more than adequate and spotlessly clean. It had a great view of the church. The only thing that let it down was that the double bed was actually 2 singles pushed together and the tv either wouldn't turn on or off! Apart from that everything was fine.
We ate from the a la carte menu and would have liked more choice. We both had the scallops which were excellent. I had the venison which was nice. My partner had the turbot and I found it quite bland. The cheese board was amazing you must have it!
Drinks were expensive but I thoroughly enjoyed my pink champagne and wine! I was shocked that the bar was empty at 10pm- where was everyone?
Breakfast was good. We had the Yorkshire breakfast.
We did not go into the pool or hot tub as we were both full of cold but it looked great.
Overall it was a good stay although a little overpriced in places.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We spent a day at the Spa recently. Generally we had a good experience. Most of the staff were great, the lunch was fantastic and the cosy seating area to sit and read was lovely. Our only real criticism was my husband's treatment. We had both booked the same one and a half hour treatment but came out with two different experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed mine but my husband felt that his was lacklusture and even though we went in at exactly the same time he was out 10 minutes before me. Also, when I had a mask on during the facial the therapist gave me an Indian head massage for the duration this wasn't the same for my husband. I did mention our concerns when we left and we emailed the spa the following day but got a very limited and I felt slightly dismissive response. We won't be booking another spa day there.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa

Address: 1 High St, Helmsley YO62 5AG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Yorkshire > North Yorkshire > Helmsley
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Helmsley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in a picturesque market town by the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors, this elegant Hotel boasts superb dining, full spa facilities, a heated outdoor swimming pool and free Wi-Fi. Surrounded by glorious countryside, this wonderfully secluded retreat is a haven of laid-back luxury and indulgent relaxation. Famous for its welcoming hospitality, it blends the traditional comforts of its Victorian heritage with an irresistible boutique design. Beautiful, peaceful and thoroughly unique, one visit is simply not enough. Guests can choose from a range of 33 individually designed en-suite bedrooms and suites each with their own unique decor, style and character. Cosy and intimately homely, they all feature Egyptian cotton sheets, soft exquisite duck down duvets (or cotton blankets), free Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TV, DVD player, luxurious Anne Semonin toiletries, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities. There are accommodation options to suit all purposes, including Small and Classic Doubles, Junior and Deluxe Suites and, for the ultimate indulgence, Luxury Poolside and Spa Suites. Superb food plays a big part in life at Feversham. Here diners can enjoy classically inspired dishes from a menu that draws heavily from fresh local ingredients such as rich Yorkshire game and tasty North Sea fish. It's also home to one of the most talked about cheese trolleys in Yorkshire, traditional afternoon tea in their cosy fireside lounge and an impeccably well-stocked cellar. Throughout the warmer months, dishes can be served poolside on the terrace and gardens. The hotel's award-winning Verbena Spa offers an idyllic haven from the pressures of everyday life. Here guests can kick back, relax and immerse themselves in luxurious indulgence. They offer a range of treatments from manicures, facials and massages through to full spa day experiences. Revitalise and enjoy their famous heat experience with saunarium, aromatherapy room, salt vapour room, monsoon shower, ice cave, foot spa, outdoor heated pool and hot tub. The Hotel is situated in the North Yorkshire town of Helmsley just off the A170. Complimentary on-site parking is available. The city of York is just a 40 minute drive away and it offers excellent transport links to the rest of the country. There is also a local train station at Thirsk, a 25 minute taxi ride away. For those flying in, Leeds Bradford International Airport is about an hour's drive from the Hotel. Beautifully located in the depths of the stunning North Yorkshire Moors the Hotel is the perfect place from which to explore this remarkable area. Yorkshire is renowned as a place of distinct yet diverse appeal, from the majestic Castle Howard to the Gothic seaside town of Whitby, the ruins of Rievaux and Bylands Abbey to luxury designer shopping, Michelin starred restaurants to quaint marketplace tea rooms, there is truly something for everyone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Feversham Arms Hotel And Verbena Spa
Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Helmsley
Feversham Arms Helmsley
Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa Helmsley, England

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