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“Disappointing and very overpriced”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Old Black Lion

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Old Black Lion
Ranked #3 of 29 Hay-on-Wye B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Disappointing and very overpriced”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2013

The bed was comfortable and the breakfast OK but the paint is chipped and the furnishings shabby and old-fashioned. As it was a special occasion we had asked for a bottle of champagne which was promised but didn't arrive. We did find the previous occupant's underwear still in the drawer though. The facilities in the room are basic and the shaving light doesn't work. There was no friendly welcome and we felt as if we were in the way. Don't be taken in by the claims of "famous" and "award-winning" let alone the 4 stars: it's an OK pub B & B worth £60 per night but charging £99!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AngelaVHy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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259 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    143
    78
    26
    10
    2
See reviews for
24
148
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13
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013 via mobile

What a friendly pub! The Old Black Lion is full of atmosphere, and the locals are friendly and full of advice about days out. But the best part was the fabulous food. Hay makes a great base not just for book hunting, but for exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside. We can't wait for our return visit.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vee3469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, WA
Level Contributor
75 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 14, 2013

The Old Black Lion (OBL) is enchanting. It has the welcoming charm and comfort of a traditional pub but the food rides the fence between classic and gastro. I adore classically traditional pubs and shy away from gastro pubs, but the OBL has the best of both worlds. Plus the beds are comfortable, the water pressure is good, and the place is clean through out. I was most pleased, as were my friends who joined me at the OBL for the weekend. The breakfast was tasty and you had a range of choices between "full English" and grilled kipper, plus the cereal, yoghurt, fruit starters. We ate our evening meals there both nights -- the second night we even did a walk about checking many of the pubs nearby. OBL had the best menu and best feel.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank walking4beer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Troon, United Kingdom
2 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2013

I haven't stayed here for a few years, but the essentials are unchanged. Firstly, the staff are excellent - friendly and helpful. The food is very good as are the local beers.
The rooms need a few health warnings. The plumbing is very noisy, in my single room you could hear when anyone flushed etc as the water made its way through the system. It also doesn't work very well as the bathroom alternated between boiling and cold. No amount of tweaking could get anything close to a happy medium.
I also didn't spot that the single wasn't en-suite. At £50 a night you expect that so it scores badly on value for money. But the beds and pillows were firm as I like them.

You have to remember that this is an old building. Character comes at a price, both cash and comfort it would seem.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dave W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

Just back from Old Black Lion..once again..we cant stay away,stayed here in March this year,its ideal place to stay for relaxing atmosphere,good food and excellant company..the staff are always helpful and Dolan and Jason..we feel like we have known them for years..We were lucky enough to stay in thr Cromwell suite again,creaky floorboards just add to this 400 year old building..it was my birthday during my stay and Dolan brought surprise birthday cake out for me,the pub customers (all strangers) joined in with singing happy birthday to me..it was a lovely surprise that my other half had organised...its such a lovely place to stay...cannot recommend enough

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tanya P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013

We arrived just after two, so suppose the manager was tired but no welcome. The room was so cramped that we couldn't move freely.There was an armchair in front of the wardrobe, and when you moved this to get to your clothes, you could not get round the bed.There was one double socket in the room and this had to accommodate the kettle, table lamp, mobile phone charger, toothbrush charger, and hairdryer, What a palaver.The breakfasts were good, and the evening meals too but very pricey for what they were.The bathroom had cracked tiles and was adequate.
How did this get four stars?

Room Tip: Don't choose room eight.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 479Buster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2013

We turned up during the Hay Festival and wondered if in the busyness of this the service or food would suffer - not at all! All of the Awards it has won are justified - we had two starters and mains and each was virtually faultless; perfectly cooked with a great array of flavours. Oh, and the service was really good too!

Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Steven1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Black Lion

Property: Old Black Lion
Address: 26 Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5AD, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > Powys > Hay-on-Wye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 29 B&Bs / Inns in Hay-on-Wye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Old Black Lion 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled within the market town of Hay-on-Wye, this colourful 17th Century Inn exudes historical charm and atmosphere offering quality home-cooked food, luxury accommodation and free Wi-Fi and parking. With parts of the original building dating as far back as the 1300’s, the Hotel subtly blends the elegance and whimsy of the past with the comfort and convenience of the present. Indeed, it is even reputed that Oliver Cromwell once stayed at the inn whilst the Roundheads besieged Hay Castle, which was then a loyalist stronghold. Sympathetically refurbished, exposed timber beams and roaring log fires help to cultivate a homely environment and a famously warm welcome.The Inn features 10 high quality en-suite bedrooms, all of which are individually and tastefully decorated in a style reminiscent of the buildings historic past. All rooms include free Wi-Fi access, flat-screen TV, hairdryer, direct dial telephone and tea & coffee making facilities. They offer a choice of Single, Double, Twin and Superior room options.The Old Black Lion is renowned for the quality of its food and has received a host of rewards and accolades including a coveted AA Rosette. The menus, which are changed frequently, use only the best of British produce wherever possible including locally reared meat, fresh seafood from Cornwall and seasonal vegetables. The oak timbered bar with its scrubbed pine tables and comfy arm chairs is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the fantastic selection of local ales (including their own namesake ‘The Old Black Lion’).The Hotel is located in the heart of the Welsh market town of Hay-on-Wye just a short drive from the A438, it also offers free on-site parking for guests. The city of Hereford is roughly 35 minutes away and offers excellent transport links to the rest of the country. For those flying in, Cardiff International Airport is about a 95 minute journey from the Hotel.The Old Black Lion is situated just a three minute walk from the centre of Hay-on-Wye. Renowned internationally as a Mecca for bibliophiles the town offers over 30 bookshops, many selling specialist and second-hand books. It is also home to the annual Hay Festival, Europe’s premier literature and arts festival. The town lies on the east bank of the River Wye and is within the Brecon Beacons National Park, just north of the Black Mountains. Offering some of the most breathtaking scenery in Wales, the surrounding area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with both the Offas Dyke Path and Wye Valley Walk passing through the town. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old Black Lion Hotel Hay-On-Wye
Old Black Lion Hay-On-Wye, Wales

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