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“Girls away break”
Review of The Bell Inn

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The Bell Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Brook
Kent England
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Girls away break”
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Disabled elderly mother, aunt, sister and I have just returned from three nights at The Bell Inn. Very enjoyable stay - excellent staff always helpful and cheerful.Mother and I had Forest Room which is larger and has own parking place. It is across the carpark away from the main hotel and was extremely comfortable. Breakfast was good as was the quality of the evening meal. Just one negative - the very small portions, particularly vegetables. Maybe we have larger than average appetites but I am pleased that my husband did not accompany us!
Despite this we had a great time but would probably not dine there in future. We had a mid week offer which included a reduction in the price of the evening meal so we felt obliged to eat in.Would suggest that they provide larger portions of vegetables which, after all, are not the expensive part of the meal.

Room Tip: Forest room is very quiet but more expensive.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Translocator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier C, Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
Dear Translocator,

Thank you for having taken the time to post a review following your stay with us at the Bell Inn. I have passed your compliments to my front of house team and they were pleased to see their hard work and positive attitude appreciated. The portion size of certain of our dishes is an issue that we have now addressed. I would like to think that you will re visit in the future, and hopefully have an even better experience.

Regards,

Didier
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698 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 (180)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

The food is the best thing about the Bell, so long as you're not in a hurry! It was good quality but service was very unpredictable. Had to wait 40 minutes for a steak and burger meal when it wasn't especially busy.One group just upped and left the table without being fed. A real shame because the dinner menu is good.

The bedroom was OK but being in the front (despite asking for a quiet room) was extremely noisy from about 630 every morning with traffic on the busy main road outside. Whether these rooms are reserved for internet bookers I don't know, but I would recommend insisting on a back room when booking if you're a light sleeper.

One final point is that I don't expect a buffet style breakfast and having to make my own toast in a hotel of this quality.

Pleasant, friendly and helpful staff.

Room Tip: Insist on NOT being at the front!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank greensnapper05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier C, General Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Dear Greensnapper05,
I was very pleased to see you enjoyed the food our team of dedicated chef prepared for you. I am obviously concerned by some of the points you raised. Having a group leaving without being fed is bad. At the moment I am still investigating this incident as none of the members of my front of house team to whom I have spoken to about this have any recollection of such an incident. 40 minutes wait for a steak and a burger is too long and I have raised this issue with the kitchen team. Having made a request for a quiet room you should not have been placed at the front of the building. We always endeavor to accommodate our guests requests regardless how they booked their stay with us or if they are on a special package. This is one of the ways the staff here is helpful. I hope we get another opportunity in the future to look after you.

regards,

Didier
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2013

My wife and I usually make an effort to stay and dine at the Bell Inn twice a year as it was where we first met, as a location to meet it is subtle and welcoming. In all honesty we usually look for a deal midweek during a holiday period but we really like it there. The rooms are well presented and very tidy. The bar is small and friendly, afternoon tea is pleasant but one scone per person is a little tight. There are 2 menus - the bar menu and the restaurant both are nice. The food is usually very good quality. They use alot of local produce - if ever there is mushroom soup on the menu, try it, in my opinion it is the best I've ever had, the same goes for the scallops, lamb and pork belly. Breakfast can be ordered to your room or you can have it downstairs in the restaurant where again this is very good.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MarcI629
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier C, Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear Marcl629,
Thank you very much for having taken the time to write a review following your most recent visit to the Bell Inn. Your positive comments regarding the rooms, food and general feel of the place have delighted me as well as my entire team. We are constantly reviewing the experience we offer our guests and looking for ways to improve it. One of the results of this continuous self analysis is that we have come to agree with you that one scone per person for cream tea is not enough. Therefore we now offer two of them.
I hope we get the opportunity to welcome you two again this year.

Regards,

Didier
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West Byfleet, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

My husband and I had a lovely stay at The Bell Inn. We have two young children and the staff were very helpful in accommodating us. The restaurant food was excellent. Our superior room was extremely high quality, warm and cosy with a parking space outside the door which made our lives easier. We would recommend this hotel and will stay here again.

Room Tip: Worth upgrading to superior room.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jok75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier C, Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear Jok75,

I am delighted to see the four of you had a pleasant time with us. Almost all of our bedrooms now have been refurbished to the high standard you experienced. We believe this must be an ongoing process as we are a busy hotel who wishes to retain the warm and cosy feel you mentioned.
I hope you do stay with us again and that we manage to please you again as much as we obviously did on this occasion.

Regards,


Didier
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
92 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

This was our second Travel Zoo visit to the Bell Inn at Brook. Having had such a good experience last year, we went as a party of 6 with 4 friends having told them of our great first experience. On arrival, the staff were welcoming and our rooms excellent so we were full of anticipation for the weekend. First impressions are important and sadly the cream tea did not live up to our previous experience with only one small scone per person and artificial cream - not the real stuff! - to accompany. Disappointing to say the least. Having asked for another scone, it was explained that this could be provided at an additional charge.

We were asked to provide advance menu choices for the evening which we were happy to comply with. However, nibbles of olives & bread were an additional £3 per head as were extra veggies @ £3 per portion. On questioning, the waiter assured us that veggies were provided with the meal and that this was for those requiring additional portions.

At dinner, the starter of duck confit terrine was not accompanied either with bread/toast/salad garni which made it heavy to eat and detracted from enjoyment. The main courses although delicious, were somewhat meagre with the meat carefully arranged on the plate and the 'veggies' consisting of an artful smear of mashed potato and one of spinach, leaving even those of us with smaller appetites feeling a little cheated. This was a pity as, with a party of 6, we would have expected to linger over dinner enjoying a couple of bottles of plonk and coffees and had intended to eat in again the next evening. Instead, we retired early for the night and the next night dined in the pub down the road where the food was excellent and much cheaper!

Breakfast on both days was a chaotic affair with only one hard pressed waitress to look after a busy dining room, and service the hot breakfast buffet. It also seemed as if she might be doing the cooking as well (!) because on both days, the buffet was not kept stocked and guests were unable to make a complete breakfast without waiting for more food to come. On our first morning, there was a queue of 8 guests who waited at least 10 minutes for bacon/sausages & eggs to all be present at the same time! A very poor show! On politely raising this with reception, we were assured that this must have been a one-off and was not the norm. Sadly, this did not prove to be the case with a repetition of the previous morning and we left the Bell after our two day stay feeling that having had a successful first foray into the world of Travelzoo in 2012, it appeared that they had either had a change of management or simply jumped on the bandwagon by sacrificing quality & customer satisfaction to increase profit. All in all, we had a very pleasant weekend in the New Forest but felt responsible for encouraging friends to join us at a venue which fell short of our previous expectations.

Room Tip: Rooms 15 & 16 are large and comfortable.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Carol B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier C, Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear Carol B,

First of all I would like to let you know that I am sorry that despite your generous four star review we failed to match the good experience you had with us last year. We always aim to delight our guests. The cream tea offering when you came last month I must agree was not as good as people were expecting and this has now been rectified with every one getting two scones and clotted cream.
Regarding dinner, we constantly look at what we offer, aiming to strike the right balance between classics such as sausage and mash and more intricate dishes. Our menu evolves constantly, in the few weeks since your visit the duck confit terrine has disappeared, replaced by a chicken liver parfait, served with toasted brioche.
I must also admit that yes we have had some breakfasts when the service was chaotic. We have now put measures in place to ensure the buffet is replenished more efficiently and enough members of the team are there to look after our guests.
I hope you still choose to stay with us on your next visit to the New Forest and that you see that customer satisfaction is still our most important priority.

Regards,

Didier
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Nice country retreat with calm, quiet atmosphere.
Room was average appointed, lovely large bathroom. Dinner & breakfast were very good quality, even considering we were using a voucher. The only disappointment was the cream tea. Only one small scone each and not real cream! Come on, not a lot to ask. I had expected a bit more and have had much better elsewhere, it didn't spoil my stay but it definitely have made the difference.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MaureenB365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier C, General Manager at The Bell Inn, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear MaureenB365,

First of all I would like to thank you for having taken the time to write a review of your recent stay with us. Your compliments regarding the room, dinner and breakfast are very much appreciated.
Since your visit our cream tea offering is something we have looked at and improved. It now includes 2 scones and the traditional clotted cream. I hope we get the opportunity to welcome you again in the near future.

Regards,

Didier
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
86 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We pulled in to the car park over the Easter weekend at 9pm and hoped they had a room free for us as we didn't book. The staff at reception were lovely, they really made us feel welcome.

We were told that the restaurant usually stops serving food at 9.30 but the reception spoke to the restaurant to ensure we'd get fed as we were starving!

The room was decent - quite large with a good size bathroom. We could hear the music from the bar but it wasn't loud. We ate at the restaurant and were impressed with the standard of the food which was very good. We went back to the room at midnight and the music was still playing but it was at a low level. The bed was very comfortable and we slept very well.

Breakfast in the morning was a little chaotic but we managed to eat as much as we wanted, even if it meant waiting for some of the hotplates to be refilled.

All in all a nice place to stay for a night or two.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank faceman01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Bell Inn

Property: The Bell Inn
Address: Roger Penny Way, Brook, New Forest National Park Hampshire SO43 7HE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > New Forest National Park Hampshire > Brook
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Brook
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Bell Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dating from 1782, The Bell Inn combines period features with contemporary style. We're located in the heart of the New Forest National Park in the tranquil hamlet of Bramshaw, yet we are only one minute from the M27! We specialise in looking after small numbers of guests, whether a golf group, a few friends on a short break, or for a business meeting. Our reputation for quality cuisine and wines is growing all the time. Our chefs are dedicated to using locally sourced food and follow the principle of sourcing a significant amount of our produce from within the New Forest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Bell Hotel New Forest

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