What is good? The breakfast, the beds and some of the rooms.
What is not so good? The owner (Margaret) lives nine miles from the guest house and also has a day job, meaning she is very busy and only comes to the property when she needs to be. Also, if you book be careful when you arrive that you get what was agreed on booking. There is also a possible risk that ones bank account details would be compromised. More on that later in my review. Finally the housekeeping / room service was lack lustre.
Hexham is seriously short of Guest Houses and B&Bs within the town limits. There are more expensive Hotels such as the Best Western Beaumont Hotel (Ranked by TA as No.3 of 11 Hotels in Hexham). If I had my time again I would have paid the extra and stayed there. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?
Our walking party of five booked well in advance, arriving on a Friday night at 4.30pm for a two night stay. There was no one at the guesthouse when we arrived and the door was locked. I had made it clear when booking what time we would arrive and what time we would like breakfast. There was a mobile number on a card fastened to the door so I rang it. The owner arrived at the property within ten minutes. Three of us were shown to our rooms, in what the owner called “The Cottage”. The booking had been for two double / twin en-suite rooms and one single en-suite room. After showing us to our rooms the owner left quickly to set up the beds for the other two members in our party. After she left we realised the rooms allocated to us were not ensuite, but had shared facilities accessible from the hall. There were no in-room tea making facilities and no flat screen TVs as stated on our booking. In addition the single room had no heating – the radiator thermostat was jammed. We knew this because my friend who was allocated that room is a plumber!
I went into the main house but the owner had left, so I telephoned her again stating that she had allocated us rooms that were not in accordance with our booking agreement. She said she would be back at the house in two minutes, and she was, in a rather stressed out state. On arrival there was no apology, instead she asked us to pack up all our stuff (which we had partly unpacked) and she would allocate us the rooms previously agreed. We followed the owner to two rooms adjacent to the front door, a double and a single. These were to a good standard, being warm and comfortable which we were pleased and relieved about.
The cooked breakfast both days was excellent with quality produce and was served at the time we had asked for. The two extra staff employed and the owner were courteous and we were well served with extra toast, milk, tea etc.
When we returned to the house on the Saturday after walking on Hadrian's Wall our bed and been made, but the beds in our friend's two other rooms hadn't. No tidying had been done in any of the rooms. My wife had left her slippers in the middle of the bedroom room in different places and these were exactly as she had left them earlier in the morning.
When I came to settle the £480 bill for our party the owner explained that a fishing party were staying that weekend and as she had to move us to the rooms previously agreed she had to accommodate them in “The Cottage”. As a result she had lost money by having to charge them less and had also compensated them by way of buying them a case of beer!
Finally, when leaving on the Sunday from the then unattended house, I noticed that the desk diary containing the guests booking details had in some cases their bank account numbers, sort codes etc written against the booking. These details were on public view.
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- Also Known As:
- Hallbank Guest House Hexham, UK - Northumberland