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“A different sort of break”

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Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel
Derby
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A different sort of break”
Reviewed September 9, 2013

Because of the nature of this venue I have set up a different TripAdvisor account in order to review it. I suspect many of the previous reviews have done the same so don't be put off by the reviewers single score.
The hotel itself is clean and the room that I had, a single (room 6) was nicely decorated and had a very comfortable bed.
It is expected that guests service their own rooms during their stay, (the room is ready on arrival) but hey I can shake a duvet so that's no problem.
The whole set up is more akin to staying with a friend than staying in a guest house.
The host, John is very friendly and even invited me into his own space, along with other guests, to watch a DVD on my first evenings stay.
The hotel is for men only. (Its not necessary to be gay or bi-sexual to stay but an open mind is essential).
The weekend that I was there was supposed to be a "naked chill out" in the event neither I nor any other guest actually got their kit off but the opportunity was there to do that and as a clothing optional venue it isn't necessary to wait for a special weekend if that is what you want to do. In fact within the limits of decency you can do what ever you want to and come and go freely as you wish with no constraints on what hours you can be in the hotel.
Meals were along the same lines as the rest of the hotel, plain good food, more than generous portions, cooked and presented excellently.
John, the owner/host is quite vocal and has an opinion on most subjects. It means meal times are not boring. I can see why some people may not get along with him but in truth his eccentricity makes the venue.
Hamilton Hall's location is a short walk out of Boscombe. The area has a bohemian feel to it. Boscombe is shabby chic or just shabby? I don't, know. My favourate part of Paris is Belleville and Boscombe has a simaller feel to it.
So would I stay again? I hope so. Should you book it? Yes definitely if you can open your mind enough to embrace it, otherwise its not for you.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Steve E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slammer9Dorset, Owner at Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Again. A lovely review of Hamilton Hall. Thank you Steve E.

We are the only venue is all of Europe offering as many events and workshops on a huge array of issues for men - and if you wish for a weekend away - and the weather is bad - at least there is something to do other than get bored looking at the rain. With a huge Diary of Events to choose from, we really do work hard at trying to entertain and amuse, educate and sometimes shock... and that is what makes life fun and exciting.

We didn't have many for this Naked Chill Out weekend and I must correct this reviewer though as we did have naked people in the hotel - just not many.
I am aware I have a larger than life personality and that I chatter and laugh a lot with guests and sometimes ( rarely ) people do not like it, and when I go quiet, there is not a sound and you can see tumbleweed blowing through the hotel ;- then they complain no one is entertaining them, and I am aware that sometimes you just cannot win.

Hamilton Hall is a community hotel with personality and as I always say - it is never boring around here. I often invite guests to my private area to watch a movie, listen to some music or just to chat and share and it is lovely to have this wonderful extended family feel where people travelling alone do not have to stay on their own and are welcome to relax, chill out and not feel alone unless they want to.

With an 85% repeat clientele all through the year - I am always very humbled when people return as much as they do - some 5 or 6 times a year - and it means we are offering something a little different that hits the mark with many. Mad and crazy as some think I am... Hamilton Hall has been open since March 2000 and appeared on TV's - 3 IN A BED - to HUGE praise - and I am thrilled to read - once again - such kind and thoughtful words and see that Steve E. enjoyed his stay.

While hundreds of hotels and big business' closing due to the recession, this NOT FOR PROFIT VENUE - through hard work and dedication, love and a passion for what we do here, keeps going, keeps redecorating and renewing and keeps offering a delightful place for men seeking more out of life.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Bath, uk
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

Hi John, thanks for another lovely time at Hamilton Hall. I have been coming to Ham Hall for at least ten years. If you are able to discuss your opinions, ideas and listen to others without getting precious,angry or bored. If you like to meet other Gay men and hear about their lives, their experiences, history and their feelings irrespective of their looks, status or their age. If you like to relax in a quiet, relaxing home. If you like to sleep in nice clean, new bedding and mattresses. If you would like to be able to walk through a lovely local park down to the surfers beach, swim from one of the best beaches in the UK and then have a beer at Urban Reef before walking back to Ham Hall for dinner with the other guests at one big table then this is the place for you. Their are too many other positives to list them all. Go find out for yourself. Thanks again John for all the hard work you put into running Hamilton Hall for our benefit.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SteveBathBath_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slammer9Dorset, Owner at Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel, responded to this review, September 3, 2013
Thank you Steve. Very kind and thoughtful words. This summer at least 85% of the visitors we have had - and it's been a busy summer, - have all been repeat customers - and like yourself, share a great time and thoroughly enjoy themselves.
It was great having you sing for us - and all spontaneously - and it is these things,- these unknowns,- that make it so fun, so magic and so part of a bigger family, when my guests plan and surprise us like this and share their talents and where everyone is welcome and invited to be part of something special, like your evening of songs. It was great and I have had several e mails from people telling me how much they enjoyed it as part of their holiday at Hamilton Hall.
I shall expect to see you on X Factor or Britain's Got Talent soon.

Thanks Steve, for helping make Hamilton Hall a place like nowhere else. With love. John
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2013

It is far away from places of interest, the garden is tiny, the touted home made food is not that good, most of the building is poky but main culprit is the owner. Beware that the "deep conversations" is mainly moaning about previous guest, or anyone else on Earth, who have failed to meet his expectations.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
49 Thank Rachmael B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slammer9, Owner at Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel, responded to this review, August 10, 2013
Anonymous reviews like this just amuse as it is in complete contrast to everyone elses opinions. Just read some of the other reviews to see the contrast. . So I really do not need to say anything else about this review except maybe, I feel sorry for the customer, that he had such a miserable time but then, that really is not my concern - as only he creates his own reality and why - in that case - did he create such a miserable time for himself when all around him were laughing and having a great fun time.

Shame he could not join in with that and leave with smiles instead of what has obviously been a negative - half empty - experience instead of seeing it as half full and more positive.
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Dorchester, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 1, 2013

I would like to say that my stay at Hamilton Hall was fantastic , John & Kevin make you feel at home from the minute you step in the door, there is nothing that is too much trouble for these two guys, tea or coffee soft drinks on hand whenever you feel like it, the rooms are superb and spotless.
The meals are cooked by john and served to you by Kevin and all seated around one big table, which helps break the ice, with other guest's some of which are newcomers and some who come back time and again.

Room Tip: If you travel by train I know its only a few miles from the station
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dappy123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slammer9, Owner at Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel, responded to this review, August 2, 2013
As always, it is great fun when we can have a laugh and enjoy our customers. It always brings a smile and a giggle to me when I know this customer is due as we share a laugh and this is what it is suppose to be about.
Once again, a superb review and this does show that we are doing something right - and that lightens my heart.
This summer ( 2013 ) has been wonderful;- the weather;- the garden;- the beaches;- the laughter and fun shared, and as always, when people respond like this, it makes all the hard work and long hours worth it.

Thanks for the review, Big hugs.
John
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Redhill, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2013

This is my twentieth visit over ten years and to say it is a unique experience is an understatement. You have to be open-minded and ready to ride a roller-coaster of deep and meaningful topics, or alternatively wacky ones. Oh, and filthy ones too! If you are narrow-minded, easily shocked, or judgmental - this is NOT the place for you. Owner John is the kindest man on the planet - also possibly one of the most bonkers when it comes to conspiracy theories - but he can't do enough for his guests. It is a Clothing Optional venue however I actually didn't see very much evidence of that but I am told that it's fine if you want to. The food is great and all home-cooked, the communal eating arrangement fits the ethos of the place, and the selection of free snacks is more than adequate. Communal rooms, lounges and outdoor spaces, are neat, clean and calm - many's the time I've dozed off on a sofa reading my book on a rainy afternoon when the beaches are not for the faint-hearted. The bedrooms are clean and tastefully appointed and all with free Wi-fi.
As other posters have said, it really isn't like staying in a hotel, it's more like visiting an old friend. I agree: very chilled - excellent place, excellent people - Thanks John.

Room Tip: The slight upgrade payment to have a double room to yourself, or the twin converted to a super-king...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Steve M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slammer9, Owner at Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel, responded to this review, August 2, 2013
Bonkers huh ? That did make me laugh as 'raving mad' would probably have fitted better, but I can live with bonkers. Thanks for the review, it is great to read when someone has something positive to share. There are a lot of half empty people around and I really do try and encourage a half full mentality, which can be hard work...
It is always such a reward at dinner to realise that often, 90% of the guests have stayed before and we have a HUGE amount of return customers and I absolutely love that. It says that what we are doing is right and how, bonkers as I am, it would be real quiet at the dinner table if I wasn't there... ha ha - and you have to admit... it gets you thinking ( yes I know - how bonkers is John ??? ) ha ha
Thanks again... See you again soon.

John
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London
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

hmmm ,, Rang to book room .. very odd attitude... gave card details.. after further information (or lack of it )..changed my mind... guy on phone said he would charge my card 15 Quid for wasting his time ( at least 90 second s)... ring bank ,, he has done !! proceedings for recovery commenced !! Buyers beware !

Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
58 Thank Graham48London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slammer9Dorset, Owner at Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel, responded to this review, July 14, 2013
When making a reservation using a credit / debit card this customer accused me of asking for unnecessary information and accused me of fraudulently trying to gain his PIN number when I was asking for the SECURITY number, yet he would not listen and rudely accused me of fraudulent behaviour.
He then would not listen when I tried to explain and he kept telling me I was wrong, which I was not. Then tried to claim he was joking which was childish.

We are a NOT FOR PROFIT VENUE - and this kind of attitude is suspicious and this customer then decided to phone back - KNOWING WE WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF DINNER - Screaming down the phone at me - 7 times and deliberately done to irritate and annoy at a time when HE KNEW WE WERE BUSY. This kind of abusive behaviour I can do without.

I offered to refund this charge if he was able to put this spat behind us and he carried on with the booking- but this was not acceptable to him and as I am not about to sell my soul for a reservation - a charge was made and the charge stands.

Luckily we rarely get rude customers who, because we are a gay venue, assume we will take their abuse - and we are enjoying a sensational summer with wonderful people all laughing and having the time of their lives - and all ATTITUDE FREE. Shame this customer could not have put his attitude to one side and been a part of that. I am sure he would have had a wonderful time just like all our other guests.
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Torquay, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2013

stayed at Hamilton Hall a couple of times, John the owner is really friendly, kind and generous... and has a lot to say about practically everything, but it's all in good fun and very interesting, little hint ... get him on a subject such as conspiracy, sit back and watch the show !

It is a Clothing Optional venue however I actually didn't see very much evidence of that but I am told that it's fine if you want to. The food was really good, plenty to eat, good selection of snacks in the kitchen. The room was of high quality, the bedding was great and with free Wi-fi. ... what more could you ask... our stay there was a nice experience.

It isn't really like staying in a hotel, it's more like visiting an old friend, in fact the weekend we stayed we ended up watching a film in the owners apartment, drinking wine with him and a couple of other guests - very chilled - excellent place, excellent people - Thanks John ...

Room Tip: It's up to you, if you want a cheap weekend choose to share, if you don't then treat yoursel...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank De465
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slammer9, Owner at Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Once again it is always wonderful to read another positive review, and I did laugh when I read about 'watching the show' when you get me on a roll about conspiracy theories - ha ha - we even have a whole weekend booked on our Diary of Events on this very subject.

I do have a passion for what we do here and is the very reason I opened Hamilton Hall, not so much as just another boring B&B - but as a place that made you think, turned your gray cells to ON and a place to share all sorts of alternative truths on life, death and the universe.

I appreciate this is not for everyone, and there are tons of venues where la la music and bland rooms can be found - but if your personality is a little larger than life, or if you are seeking a little more from a weekend away besides a lovely venue and you want to talk and discuss and share and listen and be a part of something - so that when you go home you take back more than a suntan and happy memories,- you have grown as a human being, then thast is what we are here for, and I absolutely love it .

Thanks again. Any time...
John
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Additional Information about Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel

Property: Hamilton Hall Men Only Hotel
Address: 1 Carysfort Road, Bournemouth BH1 4EJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Bournemouth
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Bournemouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As seen on national & international TV. Clothing Optional. Men Only. Retreat style hotel. Some room sharing. Private rooms also. Specializing in events for gay / bisexual men. Very informal & friendly. Like nowhere you have stayed at before. Huge repeat custom. As seen on Channel 4's '3 In A Bed' programme (April & August 2010) to huge acclaim. Open since March 2000 and going from strength to strength. Newly refurbished and decorated - newly double glazed - all for your comfort and enjoyment. Massive Diary of Events throughout the year offering workshops - seminars etc. on Sexual - Self and Spiritual development of mind, body and soul. The only venue like it in all of Europe. Women only events also available. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hamilton Hall Hotel Bournemouth

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