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“Wonderful base for rambling over the North Downs”

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The Black Horse Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Thurnham
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 28, 2013

I spent a weekend here in the middle of a two-week business trip. It offered a welcome country respite for a traveler weary of travel and cities.

The rooms are really attached chalets, a little like a motel, but with a bit of grass out front instead of cars. The rooms are a little on the basic side, but are perfectly adequate.

What makes this place really stand out is its splendid location. Thurnham is a tiny hamlet on the Pilgrims Way, just outside Maidstone. The Pilgrims Way is the ancient pilgrimage route to Canterbury, celebrated in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. A short walk up the hill from the Inn takes you to the ruins of Thurnham Castle, and the North Downs Way walking trail.

The Inn has a number of maps of suggested walking routes, plus OS maps, to borrow. One of the walks takes one to Hollingbourne, a town a little further down the Pilgrims Way, where Catherine Howard grew up. Hollingbourne also features The Dirty Habit, an excellent pub where James II stopped on his way to France after the Glorious Revolution.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Michael047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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396 - 402 of 589 reviews

Reviewed April 26, 2013

I have stayed at this hotel 3 times and found it to be a very nice and comfortable estrablishment if one is looking for a night in a local pub and acceptable meals at a price. I started to use this establishment a few months ago having myself and colleagues from Germany and Belgium and have found it to be perfectly acceptable if one wants a night in a room with a meal as a tourist. However I found the hotel totally unaceptable when it came to a VAT invoice in a company name which is necessary to quite rightly claim the 20% VAT back. I did mention this to the reception a few times but was given a very poor response stating that I was being a RUDE customer and even saying this to people in the reception area in my presense which I was very unhappy with. So a lovely hotel for any tourist looking for a very basic hotel and food but I would not ever recommend this to any person wishing to use the hotel while on business as it is not what the hotel are looking for or catering for. Gary Arnott

Room Tip: Do not use if not a tourist.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Gary A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
310562, Owner at The Black Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2013

We are able to issue invoices with an overseas address but our on-line booking system was not working properly on the morning of your check out. I understand a correct invoice was e-mailed to you approx 1 hour after check out.

We have many businessman staying with us who provide us with their address for invoice purposes - it should never be a problem!

I am sorry you were so dissappointed with the service you received at reception and I will be taking the matter up with the General Manager.

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Reviewed April 10, 2013

Recommended to stay here by a friend who works nearby. Very glad we took the advice. What a refreshing change from normal options for accomodation and food in and around Maidstone. The room was ideal with good facilities and lots of space. Very clean, comfortable beds, excellent shower, decent hot drinks selection. Parking outside the door of the room which was v handy. We ate diner and breakfast in the pub/restaurant and both were of a very high standard, using quality ingredients and for diner, there was a great choice of specials. We came into contact with 5 or 6 members of staff throughout the stay and everyone one, without exception, was friendly and professional.
Really enjoyed the stay and we will be back. Clearly a well run establishment with a great team.
Thanks to all the staff
PS - we left our heater on medium when we went out for the night, and the room was perfect when we got back later (despite a cold evening)

Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
Thank Mercedes1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013 via mobile

Stay here on a business trip, good food serviced in the pub on the site. Rooms which are actually little chalets, are set in their own grounds, was a little worried about the cold, but actually woke up in the night having to turn off the heating !!!
Shall be back for a family weekend.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank ElvisPhish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
310562, Owner at The Black Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2013

Thankyou for you comments - I will pass them on to the staff, we are glad you enjoyed it.

We look forward to seeing you again sometime.

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Reviewed April 4, 2013

Stayed for a weekend, great location with good local walks with pubs on route, and easy access to Canterbury, Whitstable and Leeds Castle. Food fantastic, went back second night just for sticky toffee pudding. Staff were all great, really friendly and helpful. Rooms lovely and toasty, clean and well presented. Only negative is that need better sound insulation between walls.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank cambridgedave1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
310562, Owner at The Black Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 8, 2013

Thankyou for your comments. I will investigate the room you stayed in and ask the handyman if he can do anything about insulating the wall between the rooms.

We are glad you found the location so useful for your trips out.

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Reviewed March 31, 2013

Just had a 3 day stay here with my husband, son & parents. It's in a nice country setting but only 5 minutes off the connecting roads, with the superb country pub & restaurant set separately to the rooms which are chalet-style with great parking. The pub is exactly what you want from an olde worlde type inn and the food is superb, so it's a great base for going off doing your day's sightseeing then coming back, ditching the car, having a great meal and a pint or ten ( or is that just my family?!). However the real jewel in the Black Horse's crown is its staff, friendly, efficient, warm, and nothing too much trouble. Having squeezed our last minute restaurant booking in they once again moved heaven & earth to move our table from the bar where dogs are allowed as I'm allergic, our off-menu breakfast requests were accommodated & every other request met with a smile & a no-problem approach. You know what I'm like about good service, and that alone would bring me back even without the great location, competitive price and super food.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank Dani-F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
310562, Owner at The Black Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2013

Thankyou so much for your comments. I am so happy to pass on your comments about the staff as they all work so hard to give a service second to none.

We are so pleased you found the location pleasing and were able to take advantage of sightseeing in the lovely Kent countryside.

We hope to see you again sometime for a pint or 10!

Thankyou once again for taking the trouble to write such a positive review.

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Reviewed March 25, 2013

Awful, just awful. Firstly this place is in the middle of nowhere, very hard to find even with Sat nav. The post code quoted takes you about 5 miles from this place. secondly the rooms are outside the main building, so you have to walk outside to check in, back outside to get your room, then outside again to go for dinner, outside to get breakfast and outside again to go check out. This may be fine in the summer but when you arrive in the snow it is very unpleasant. Rooms are not centrally heated, only provided with an electric heater which they refuse to put on before you arrive. i arrived at 9pm to a freezing cold room (it was -2C outside) and no heating on. It didn't warm up that night. The bathroom was freezing cold the next day. cleaners didn't change the towels even though i put then in the bath for changeing, they picked up the wet towels and put them on the bathroom heater and they were still damp the next time i went to use them. rooms are basic at best no alarm clock, no phone, no ability to phone reception if there is a problem, floors are cheap laminate with no carpets which adds to the cold. All in all a very unpleasant stay and one i will never repeat.

Room Tip: Avoid this place
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Thomhazel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
310562, Owner at The Black Horse Inn, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2013

Thankyou for your review. Firstly I must apologise that the heating wasn't turned on before your arrival. This is not our normal practice and usually the heating is always turned on in the afternoon so the rooms are nice and warm.

We do not have centrally heated rooms (or in fact mains drainage) as we are very rural and the rooms are in our peaceful grounds not actually in the 'Inn'. Being on 'The Pilgrims Way' we do attract many walkers and guests with dogs so we prefer wooden floors (not cheap!) to carpet as its much cleaner and carpets would get grubby quickly.

Had you mentioned to the receptionist that you were cold I am absolutely sure she would have arranged blankets and additional heating to help your stay be more comfortable.

Our website and indeed the website you booked through clearly stated we are in a rural location and had photographs of the annexes in our grounds.

I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay but really think our location and rooms in the grounds was not suitable for what you actually wanted.

On checking out you never mentioned any problems with the room to the receptionist so we were never given the opportunity to talk to you about the rooms or compensate in any way.

Once again I am sorry you feel you had an unpleasant stay - I have checked the website you booked through and all the photographs and the description are accurate for what we are which is an 'Inn in the rural countryside with rooms in annexes'.

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Additional Information about The Black Horse Inn

Address: Pilgrims Way, Thurnham, Maidstone ME14 3LD, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Maidstone > Thurnham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Thurnham
Price Range: $100 - $153 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Black Horse Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
17th Century Pub / Restaurant with beams, hops and open fireplaces serving real ales and country wine. 27 beautiful en-suite rooms in the grounds provide a peaceful haven around the duck pond. Ideal for business or tourists. Close to Leeds Castle and only a 50 minute train journey to London. Lovely gardens and outside dining area. Also licensed for Civil Marriage Ceremonies.Fully equiped air conditioned business centre ideal for conferences, meetings and training seating up to 80 delegates ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Black Horse Hotel Maidstone
Black Horse Maidstone

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