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“Lives up to the Hype!”
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
UK
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Lives up to the Hype!”
Reviewed September 2, 2007

This is a genuine old fashioned coaching Inn in the lovely Welsh village of Hay-on-Wye, if you are going to explore this little village with it's myriad of bookshops and castle then this is an idillic place to stay while doing so.

Just one word of warning the ceilings are low, and the floors can be uneven, if you are tall like me (6'2") then keep your head down or you will be hitting it a lot in the rooms. However this is a consequnce of living in such an old building and for a place this nice, I'm prepared to stoop a bit.

The rooms are nice, simply decorated and comfortable. My wife and I stayed in the Cromwell Suite which was really lovely fully decorated to match the tone of the place with a lot of period furiture and obviously a great deal of time to get this, "just right". My brother stayed in a standard double room which was a little small for a double and had a closet which was a little "off" with the rest of the room and furniture in that it was obviously modern and clashed. However overall the pub, restaurant, corridors and rooms are generally very good.

The food is truly excellent, absolutly faultless presentation, wonderful flavour and perfect portions, all accompanied by local draught beers, cider or an excellent wine selection. If you can't manage to stay here but are in Hay-on-Wye then I would definatly make sure you eat in the restaurant!

Service was good, friendly and helpful with a very personal local feel which felt much more like a genuine welcome.

Overall it's great, not just a night in a hotel but an experience you'll remember and enjoy.

  • Liked — Building itselft, Food is Awesome!
  • Disliked — Low ceilings.
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Owen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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265 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
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  • Any
English first
York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2007

We really liked this place and would definitely recommend it. The bedroom was comfortable and had everything we needed and, like the rest of the place, was spotlessly clean. The meal we ordered in the bar was excellent and good value and the breakfast was lovely. All the staff were friendly and obliging and the car park was free which was great as it was a busy, hot August Bank holiday weekend. Couldn't fault it.

  • Liked — Very convenient and exceptionally clean
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Roombud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ridgewood, NJ
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2007

Good clean hotel. Antique charm. Good pub food. Friendly staff. Great
place to stay.

  • Liked — Charm
  • Disliked — Damp smell
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tcdf080305
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cardiff
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2007

I booked to spend new years eve at the Old Black Lion with my partner. We had visited Hye in the summer and thoroughly enjoyed our meal there.
When New Year came we had a wonderful suprise,that my partner was in The Queen's New Year Honours List! She had been awarded an M.B.E.
The pubs owner, Dolan Leighton, really took care of us, and everyone else, making it a very special New Year.
The food was excellent, the staff coped with a very busy night, with ease.
The night went on for quite a long time with Dolan being an excellent host.
I was served breakfast the next morning, even though we had a bit of a lie in..........Dolan was already up and working hard.
Thank you for for making a special night even more special. nigel lynch.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank niglyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wales
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2006

We stayed at the Old Black Lion for one night on the 7th October ,We parked our car in their car park at the back The greeting we received was friendly and welcoming , and after checking in were shown to room number 2 which overlooked the front of the building . The room was large clean and well presented, there was also a small flat screen TV .The bathroom was also very clean with a corner shower ,toilet and washbasin. We had booked the dinner bed and breakfast package £135 for one night .On arrival we booked a table in the restaurant for Seven thirty .The restaurant was full but had a cosy atmosphere, and is very well presented .There is a large and varied choice on the menu, and also on the specials board .We had an excellent meal, I had rack of Welch lamb, and my wife had the Venison. All the food was hot and cooked very well with a wonderful taste, the service was good and the staff were very attentive . After our meal we spent the rest if the evening enjoying a drink in the bar .The Old Black Lion has a very friendly atmosphere, and we felt very much at home. Our breakfast was enjoyable and well cooked . We would have no hesitation on recommending The Old Black Lion .and will defiantly say there again .

  • Liked — Wonderful food in a lovely old Inn
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank maryh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2006

We have just returned from a two night weekend stay at the Old Black Lion in Hay -on-Wye. We were there to attend a wedding. The hotel itself is a lovely old coaching inn and the bedrooms were quaint but very comfortable.The staff were very helpful and pleasant.
My only criticism was the quality of the food. We were a party of fourteen and they had also booked a table for another large party to celebrate a sixtieth wedding anniversary, plus there were quests at several other smaller tables and they seemed to have trouble coping with such a large number.The food was nicely presented but was cold. Also at breakfast the scrambled egg must have beened poured over the toast.(I wouldn't like to tell you what it looked like!!)
On the whole we enjoyed our stay - the only fault being the food and perhaps we were just unlucky that the restaurant was so full that night.

  • Liked — very old and quaint
  • Disliked — bedrooms
  • Stayed October 2006
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hopi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pontyclun, S Wales, UK
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2006

We came across the Old Black Lion on the internet when planning a last minute trip to Hay. It was the third place we tried to book into but we were glad that the other places had no availabilty. The staff were all very friendly and welcoming and the owner was a very welcoming lady who was very happy to chat to guests and make them feel welcome.

We were given room no.4 which we were more than happy with. As one review has already said, you may have trouble with this room if you're very tall as the toilet and sink are down some steps in the bathroom and there's not a lot of head room above the steps.

The building itself is really nice. It dates back to the 17th century and has many of the original features - hence the low ceiling in the bathroom. This all adds to giving the place an authentic feel.

The last thing to note is the breakfast which was very enoyable and also the bar meals which were very nice. I would thoroughly recommend staying here if you are visiting Hay. It may strike you as being a little expensive, but that's the going rate for Hay!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Beti_Mal
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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