Ok, so first of all, I can understand where the other reviewers are coming from, and if we were gauging this from a typical punter's perspective, the ratings are fair. To understand where I'm coming from I guess you'll have to understand what my expectations and experience was vs what you'd normally expect.
My trip to Saltburn was a surfing one, as I'd heard from the Guardian that it was a great spot to learn (which it is, and can recommend Flow Surf School if you're looking for lessons). The train was delayed by 3 hours so instead of my expected 10:30pm arrival, I was going to be well into midnight by the time the taxi dropped me off. I rang the owner, Mary, and she said it was absolutely fine. She even mentioned she had kept some dinner waiting for me since I was arriving late. Now that's sweet.
The Brydene is very close to the station. If you're training directly into Saltburn, it's a short jolly round a couple of blocks and sits atop the hill, only a trot down to the beach. It is a typical terraced house on arrival, with Brydene above the door. Fairly nondescript.
But upon knocking and being greeted by Sean, Mary's lodger and a nice bloke to boot, I immediately thought I had ventured into a timewarp. Distinctly 70ish wallpaper, furry carpet, 2 even more furry Pekingnese dogs and literally hundreds of trinkets. Everywhere.
Both hosts graciously heated dinner for me, Sean offered me a beer and said I could smoke in certain parts of the house, and we stayed up and chatted for half an hour. He then gave me the key and took me up to the single room, also colourfully mismatched, including the bed linen. A small sink and mirror, a very decent shower inside the room, side dresser and a few coat hangars. One could say it definitely needed a spruce up, but on the other hand the bed was comfy & clean.
Over the next couple of days I got to know Sean and Mary, and at every turn they were very gracious and kind. For an extra £6 I even got a hearty Sunday roast and breakfast was good (but greasy). There was no checkout time when I was there so got to stay a few hours extra on Monday (Bank holiday) before heading home.
So why the discrepancy between reviews? Well, the guesthouse in the name pretty much sums it up. This is definitely Mary's house, and with that comes a few quirks you wouldn't expect in a professionally run business. Her house has odds and sods pilled up in every corner, the house (her mother's) is a throwback from many decades ago, smoking's allowed in certain parts, and Mary's hobby of collecting junk and stripping it is evidenced in a few places. But as such, she's not looking for star ratings, and to be honest I don't think she's too bothered about reviews and such. The website, which admittedly does need an update, is not something that fusses her - she's just happy pottering along, taking care of her guests and dogs, and enjoying the Saltburn air. Which I can relate with.
The Brydene is not a place where you'd have a family holiday, or romantic getaway. It's much more suited to solo travellers, workmen, students, etc or people who can handle quirks such as the above and don't need (or expect) the usual B&B type fare. You could agree that the 1 stars the other reviewers have given are fair if you have standard expectations. The reason I'm giving 3 stars is not because of the furnishings, the crisp sheets, the wonderful amenities, etc but because Sean and Mary made my stay welcoming and enjoyable. And for me, that made it all the more worthwhile.
- Also Known As:
- Brydene Guest House Saltburn-By-The-Sea, North Yorkshire