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“Absolutely fabulous place to stay”
Review of The Jester Hotel

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The Jester Hotel
Ranked #3 of 3 Baldock B&B and Inns
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Went to a birthday party here yesterday and stayed the night.. Warm friendly and hard working staff. Room was brilliant with good selection of teas, coffees, biscuits and a bottle of water Lovely cooked English breakfast. Party was also excellent and the buffet was superb. Can't praise this hotel enough and will certainly be visiting again.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank BabeNorfolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 - 101 of 116 reviews

Reviewed May 16, 2012 via mobile

When me and my family walked through the door the first thing they said was "god this place has gone downhill."

I booked a meal for mothers day and was so disappointed. I had to apologise to my parents for taking them! Food was so bland and basic. Fair enough it was a Calvery, but there was no edge to the starters or dessert. It all resembled what I would quickly whip up if I suddenly had company over. Not something I enjoyed paying money for!

Even the decor is bland and boring- it was like I stepped back to the 90s. It's a shame because the building has so much potential but it's just going to waste.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank SusanB88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2012 via mobile

Me and my husband went to the jester a few years back and I wasn't overly impressed. The bar staff were rude and the menu only offered pizza and pasta!
Wow what a difrence! We went again for a family meal and was blown away at how different it is. the food (ham hock and the stuffed chicken) were fantastic and the staff they were friendly and welcoming. I think the jester has new management and they definitely have a new menu. We were very impressed and will be going back regularly as its our new fave place to eat. Massive improvement.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank Sa7ahjan3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2012

stayed on friday attending a wedding food was fabulous staff could not do enough for us the whole day was brilliant would recommend this place ,great place to have a wedding

Room Tip: back rooms are quieter
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank ken g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2012

Travelled some distance to eat at this restaurant after finding their website online and being impressed. Arrived at the Jester with my partner and were greeted immediately by a male waiter (?) who said we could choose a table anywhere and he would be over shortly with menus. Ordered starters - no problem, grilled prawns and baked brie - simple stuff so you can't go wrong. Would of been nice to recieve cutlery before the starters were brought over... The woman (manager?) who served us the starters bolted as soon as the plates touched the table which left my partner shouting after her to request some bread.

The main meals... I ordered the Jester's speciality of Ham Hock with a Ginger Sauce - BIG MISTAKE. Again when the woman put the plates on the table she quickly scarpered.. my partner called after her and she did not return. So he had to go to the bar to request salt, pepper, condiments and a steak knife for the ham. The male server returned with said items and said is everything ok, I said that I was not overly happy with the ham I had ordered and should it be as it was presented. The server said he was not sure what it should look like but would come back in a couple of minutes to check if I was happy. He did not come back and we did not see him again.

The actual food: The said ham hock arrived ensconsed in a thick (1cm) layer of fat and swimming in a ginger sauce, which really looked and tasted like ginger syrup. After passing my plate to my partner who valiantly removed the fat and the meat off the bone (which didn't simply "fall off the bone" as the menu described) it turned out to be inedible anyway. Poor quality meat overpowed by a sticky ginger goo. The seasonal vegatables (cauliflour, brocoli and carrots) looked like frozen veg and were overcooked to the point of mush. My partner's veg was arranged in a terrine, but again was just a prettily arranged pile of mush too. The only edible thing on the plate sadly were the chips... but they hadn't escaped the torrent of ginger slime.

My partner ordered the chicken wrapped in parma ham with wenslydale and cranberries. He requested the three times cooked chips instead of boiled new potatoes. However was given new potatoes. He sent his meal back and it arrived promptly with chips. As mentioned the veg was overcooked, the chicken too was terrible. Dry, tastless, overcooked.

We decided to abandon the main courses and wait for our server to come back. After a few minutes it became apparant noone was returning so we went to the bar. Spoke to the same woman as above and said how the food was and she just said "oh". No apology or any attempt at rectifying situation. All I got when I said the onyl thing I could of eaten was the chips had they not been swumming in sauce was a curt "well the menu does say the dish comes with ginger sauce"...

We paid for half the bottle of wine we had drunk and the starters and left. Service was terrible, uncourteous and rude. Food was inedible.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Laura R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2012

Stayed here recently with family for a nearby wedding, this was not my choice but due to price, location and availability it made sense. My choice would have been the Holiday Inn Express about 12 miles further up the road since it is a more predictable experience and in this case, cheaper. And i think this is what The Jester has to consider when trying to attract new guests, it is clearly not a Holiday Inn but sets itself up as a "Country Inn" and so by doing this is trying to offer a more personal experience than might be available with a chain hotel. However i am afraid to say it doesn't really manage to achieve the necessary standards where country-inn sceptics might go for a potentially more homely, comfortable and warmly welcoming stay.

We arrived on a Friday night to find a very empty bar/restaurant area but were quickly given a key and headed to the room where we were immediately disappointed with its small size, stains up 2 walls (hard to tell when they were, maybe a bottle of Ribena exploded!) , we expressed our concern and were moved to a slightly bigger room. I didnt mention the human hairs in 3 of the desk drawers. Then we can to the biggest disappointment, the bed, it was a very thin mattress (about 6 inches at best) on a solid wood base. This would not have been so bad of the mattress provided any support but it had clearly seen better days. After a particularly bad first nights sleep we ended up asking for another duvet and put this under the sheets for added comfort, this seemed to work.
The bathroom was functional but sparse, some basic toiletries were provided and extra towels were provided on request, The shower was good, powerful and hot. The toliet was a bit wobbly. The only issue was that we had to keep the door firmly shut since steam apparenty caused the adjacent smoke detector to sound....the staff (?) had cunningly overcome this by covering it with a plastic bag !...(see picture). I bet they remove this when the Fire Service come to renew the fire safety certificate.
So what were the positives ?....well breakfast was good, some basic cereals, juice, yoghurt and fruit on a small table then a full English cooked to order. Other positives, the East European lady serving breakfast, servicing rooms and hoovering downstairs, she seemed to almost be single-handedly running the place whilst we were there and was exceptionally pleasant too. Other staff were not bad, just didn't seemed quite so "active" and weren't quite as friendly and welcoming, if The Jester wants to attract more guests it does need a higher "charm" factor.
Overall decor of the rooms and corridors was a simple brown/tan/magnolia inoffensive scheme, the bar area was ok, (served 2/3 real ales) with some nice lounge furniture to relax in. Breakfast was served in a nice conservatory overlooking the back garden, The nearby rail line didnt really cause us any bother either.
Would i come back ? Probably not. Not saying this was a bad place but if your setting your stall out as a Country Inn of "distinction and character" with "Beautifully appointed bedrooms" and "comfortable beds" then i'm afraid it simply needs to up it game a couple of notches. Get comfortable beds.
I would rather not stay in Holiday Inns, they can be soulless and formulaic but at least you know what your getting. Country Inn websites can be rather misleading sometimes......

Room Tip: You may hear railway from most rooms, not a major problem.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Zoom6562
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2012

Booked this hotel quickly to attend a meeting at Royston Industrial Estate in Sept 2011. Good hotel, well appointed. Train noise not as intrusive as some would have you believe.

Didn't eat dinner there as I arrived too late but manageress, who seemed East European and was very good, sorted out a snack. Next morning breakfast was good but staff seemed not supportive of manageress. I had no problem for the few hours I was there, worth checking more recent reviews should you be contemplating going, to check more recent reviews of service levels.

Room Tip: Room 2 was far away from train line ( which is in a deep cutting anyway)
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled on business
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Thank SteevUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Jester Hotel

Address: 116 Station Road, Baldock SG7 5RS, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hertfordshire > Baldock
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Baldock
Price Range: $101 - $117 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Jester Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 13
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Also Known As:
The Jester Hotel Baldock, United Kingdom

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