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“Came for the music and pizza”

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Pollywogg Holler Eco-Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Belmont
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Came for the music and pizza”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012

Nice Sunday afternoon thing to do when deep in the country. We planned a Sunday family day out just to see the accomadation and get an idea of what life in the outback could be, but we were peasantly surprised to arrive on a day with a live band playing, but perfect weather to wander. They've made a real effort of this place, although pricing it for city folk wanting to experience the great outdoors. Pizza was nice though and the selection of bottled beers was good.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank francisedwards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Rochester NY
Level Contributor
63 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2012

My boyfriend and I went here because we wanted a truly unique experience and the eco-resort, rustic, free-minded nature suits us.
The pros: There's nothing else like it. The Sauna Loft is really neat, and feels like you are living in the Hobbit. Good dinners. We were the only ones staying there on this fall night and the owner's son was interested in making us feel welcome and was generous.

Cons: The biggest con of Pollywog is that it is in DIRE need of some picking up and repairing. Especially for the price. This is a splurge for most people - it's not a cheap eco-resort- and if I'm paying this amount of money for an overnight, then the grounds should look maintained. It's rustic. That doesn't mean there should be old barrels and rusty tools laying around, shoved behind buildings (and not hidden at all).

While we loved the Sauna Loft, we booked the Phantasy Dome - a geodesic dome, all alone on a private pond, with 360 views. It was confirmed.

When we got there, we were told we were being put in the Sauna Loft. It was too cold for the dome and it needed some repairs.
We went with it.

Trekking around the next day we went into the dome. There was no way it was fit for someone to sleep in - the hanging bed was broken. Sides ofthe dome ripped. Water damage. It looked as if it had not been functioning for a long time. So why book us in there?

They knew we would not be able to stay there when we booked and said nothing.

We also booked the package where we would get a wine cellar tour .... to be told that it was not in operation. AGain, after we were there.

Wanted to be alone more than we were. Very gregarious host.

Sunday pizza nights looked interesting and maybe worth a drive down this summer - but until someone ACTS like they care about the place they created and that they want to provide a true experience based on what they claim on the website, no more expensive overnights.

Room Tip: The Sauna Loft is by the neatest place to stay. Confirm you will actually be staying in the lodging...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ayapua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brockport, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2011

After reading as much as possible about Polly Wogg Holler I was truly looking forward to finally getting there and spending some time away with my husband. I made the reservations in May for 1 night with dinner & breakfast. I was told by the owners son that I was the first to reserve for that night so I had my choice of lodging, I chose the Woodshed. When my husband and I finally got there we were very impressed by the craftmanship of the cabins & compound. After meeting with the owners son Mickey we were informed that 2 other couples would be joining us and staying in the Woodshed & the Sugarshack. We were told we would be staying in the Sauna. The Sauna was to small to comfortably accommodate my husband who in 6'3". We ended up sleeping in a leanto. I was told that even though I reserved the Woodshed we got bumped because the other couple bought the more expensive package. This was blatant bait & switch. So anyone that plans on buying the lower price package be prepared to be dissapointed.

Room Tip: will need to pay more
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Insulted49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Belmont hotels

Buffalo
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2009

The sauna lodge,food,wine and the host + helper were all quite enjoyable !

  • Stayed August 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank recreate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2009

Traveling down the dirt road, we started to feel apprehensive. We had been told to “bring flashlights”, which tipped us off that we weren’t staying in the usual motel. We parked in the dirt parking area and went across the street. We were greeted by Bill, looking like what Jerry Garcia would be today – long silver beard and a gentle way.

Not realizing what we were in for, we hadn’t packed for one night. We loaded 2 weeks of suitcases onto an electric golf car and piled in – and on: Bill, my wife, my 8 year old daughter, and me. Off into the woods we went on a muddy track, bouncing and, I was sure, destined to get stuck or maybe hear banjo music. Neither happened.

About 1/4 mile in, we arrived at a delightful group of rustic buildings, each unique and interesting. We were shown to our “Wood Loft”, an accommodation above the wood shop. Built by hand from logs, we had a comfortable queen sized bed with nice sheets, plus a twin bed and a pair of “window seat beds” at the end of the room, in front of a huge recycled steel-framed window, which covered the entire end of the room. There was a stained glass window and many subtle touches, like a branch left on a timber post to form a coat hook.

My daughter immediately claimed the window-seat bed and absolutely loved it. Then she climbed the logs forming the cathedral ceiling and played jungle gym. Heaven to her.

We were shown the essentials – the “Pizza bar”, an open-air room with a wood-fired pizza oven and lots of seating; the “Wine bar,” an open-air room with a cozy wood stove and various fruit wines on the menu, and the “bath house.”

Yes, there is one communal bath house. It has a 2-person solar shower with propane backup. Mickey will heat up the water if the sun hasn’t been cooperating. Yes, there is a “composting toilet”, but it is no outhouse. The room has absolutely zero unpleasant odor. A clever design uses the heat of decomposition to draw air down through the toilet and out a high ventilation stack. The floor is tiled, and the seat is nice wood and there’s a window to look out. It was not in the least off-putting to use, and actually loved it. Of course, you can pee in the woods, too.

Because there was a large family reunion pizza party that night, we ate at the wine bar. While the usual fruit wines were a bit sweet for my taste, Mickey had found a case of great Barolo and was very generous dispensing it to me. I don’t know if a regular production grape wine is usually available, so I wouldn’t count on it. You might bring a bottle of your favorite, or, for that matter, a bottle of scotch.

Mickey started a charcoal fire and fired up a small propane stove to cook us dinner. He set to amusing my daughter, who was having a great time. Mickey has a huge collection of music on his iPod, which feeds a solar-powered music system. He seems able to handle most any request. Our dinner was very good, especially given the rustic surroundings. Yes, we had crudites for an appetizer, but it was fun. Our steak got overcooked because Mickey got a bit distracted, but with such a generous host, I couldn’t have cared less. The Cornish hen was good – precooked and heated over the wood smoke. It’s not “Foodie” food, but, hey, it’s in the middle of the woods. If you’ve been camping, you know that everything tastes better in the woods!

Just because the compound is off the grid doesn’t mean that there isn’t ice and fresh food. They bring in coolers from the road with whatever they need. The salad was cold, as was the wine. This is how they charge their golf carts too.

We struck up a conversation with Ricky, a mason who was trading his work for – well I’m not sure, accommodations, I guess. Ricky took me on a tour, showing me the lean-to accommodations (very romantic and private, for two, as well as the sauna, lodge, stage, recycling center (they recycle everything), ponds, etc. Artwork is everywhere – from “old man winter” carved into the end of one of the logs on the sauna to sculpture of giraffes in the wood, to “pants”, trees cut and turned upside down to give the impression of a lower torso. All very cool.

Chatting with the friendly folks having the Pizza reunion, it turns out we have a connection through my niece. Small world!

The weather had been very wet, but there were no bugs. Apparently the huge number of frogs living in the ponds eat them. We didn’t use bug dope.

We went to bed a bit on the early side (maybe 10 or 11). Conversation was lingering in the bar, and, when asked, they lowered their volume to a whisper. It was a minor inconvenience to have to get up to pee at night, negotiating the rustic steps in the dark. The bath house was lit with torches, an oil lantern, and some candles – very nice actually. I might bring flip-flops next time.

In the morning, Mickey made us a nice bacon and egg breakfast. Yes, the pastries weren’t right from France, but, again, you’re eating them in the woods in a beautiful setting. Mickey brought out some peanuts in the shell, and my daughter had great fun feeding them to “Mr. Nuts”, a trained squirrel. Afterward, Mickey offered to let her drive the golf cart (huge thrill), and took her around. The generosity of the hospitality is a huge attraction.

Two other commenters have noted the cost. They charge per person, but my daughter was free and they made her a special off-menu dinner (homemade Mac and Cheese, warmed on the charcoal grill). Our $220 charge included everything (except tax and tip), including quite a bit of dinner, wine (and in my case, quite good wine), and breakfast. I’m not sure what tip, if any, was expected, but I was so grateful, I tipped generously.

By way of analogy, a Holliday Inn is a dinner that you bought at Walmart. Pollywogg Holler is a hand-thrown ceramic plate bought from the artist. It is definitely not for everyone. You have to enter with an adventurous spirit and an open mind and a flexible mindset. In return you will get an experience that I doubt you will ever forget. That is not something that you can say about a Holliday Inn stay, or perhaps even a stay at the Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons.

Highly recommended if it’s “your kind of thing.” Also, it would be a great family reunion spot. They can sleep about 35 people dormitory style, or 7 parties in privacy. We plan to return.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank EvergreenDan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, NY
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2008

The property is truly unique and really, really rustic. But I agree with the previous reviewer. This is in no way an eco-resort, and the prices charged made our stay feel like we had just been mugged at gunpoint. It could be termed an eco-campground, perhaps. Their website is incredibly misleading. The wine was surprisingly good. The home-made entrees for dinner were of good quality, but were served with convenience-store bread, wilted store-bought lettuce and store-bought salad dressings, generic bagged baby carrots. Breakfast was also bad – frozen mini-bagels, generic store-bought cranberry juice and apple juice, and a very, very small bowl of oatmeal. There are few luxury resorts in New York State that we couldn't have stayed in for the money we were charged for one night at Pollywogg.

  • Liked — Natural setting
  • Disliked — Price paid for what was basically a night of camping out.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ProTraveler14213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
morristown, nj
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2008

Great people, unique accommodations. Good private label wine served from the outdoor bar. A fun experience, but ultimately felt that it was too much money to pay for a place with one communal bathroom that's essentially a glorified outhouse. They charge per person, not by room.

  • Liked — The rooms
  • Disliked — The bathroom
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank superfly9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pollywogg Holler Eco-Resort

Property: Pollywogg Holler Eco-Resort
Address: 6240 South Rd., Belmont, NY 14813
Location: United States > New York > Belmont
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Belmont
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1987, Pollywogg Holler Bed & Breakfast creators Bill and Barb Castle have been entertaining guests at their Eco-lodge with an emphasis on art, nature and being kind to the environment. Now managed by their oldest son, Mickey & his wife Tammy.Book an overnight stay for the full experience, or come by to visit on Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons for Pizza and see the new projects that are in progress ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pollywogg Holler Eco Resort

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