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“Nice staff and breakfast but below average rooms”

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Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bramber
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We had to book a room for Brighton last minute and found nothing under £250 for the night that was half decent. All that was left was horrendously extortionate hotels that had bad reviews. We found this hotel, it had half decent reviews and was under £150 for the night, including breakfast. The lady at check in was very nice and helpful, ordering us a taxi. We went over to the opposite block where we got a slightly musty whiff...and it didn't get any better. The room was clean but we had 2 single beds pushed together. The room was so boring with bland, sparse furniture and a very basic bathroom. We were heading straight out for the evening so didn't care too much.
Breakfast was in the main hotel and was lovely. Lots of cooked items for my husband and yoghurts, fruit and pastries for me! Again great staff.
We've stayed in one or two best westerns and are always disappointed! There is no attention to detail in the bedrooms, ever and they're always a let down. If you really don't care and want to just have somewhere to rest your head then don't let me put you off! It was clean. But I wish this hotel chain made just a bit more of an effort. Their hotels are usually in lovely buildings, but the interior does not, ever, match the exterior. Sorry, but as I've never ever been in the least bit impressed, this will be the last Best Western I book into!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank sassydxb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maggie P, General Manager at Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2013

Dear sassybxd
Thank you for taking the time to write your review. I am sorry to read that you were disappointed with your room - we do however have executive and superior rooms available.
kind regards

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476 - 482 of 624 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2013

We had a superior room which was lovely. We took advantage of the August online offer and had a wonderful carvery for £6.25 per head. I was Ill on the last morning and we were able to extend our check-out time til I was well enough to travel. The staff were great and we would certainly return. Just one little gripe, the minibar prices in the room are far too high. A small bottle of still water for £2.40!

  • Stayed: August 2013
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Thank Nitnatnorah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maggie P, General Manager at Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2013

Dear Nitnatnorah
Many thanks for your excellent review. I note your comments regarding the bottled water - we do however put compolimentary bottles in every room. We hope to see you again soon.
kind regards

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Reviewed August 11, 2013

Was nearly a bit like Fawlty Towers... on arrival our booking couldn't be found, we were then told they were fully booked, which after cycling 35 miles to get there was not great to hear. After a while our booking and a room was found (it had been eroneously cancelled by mistake), and computers had been down due to hotel being struck by lightening the night before. Was offered a twin room instead of double, but were just grateful for anything at that stage. Room was fine, clean and spacious - only issue was feeble shower water pressure. We were really looking forward to a lovely dinner, after hearing so many good reviews, but ended up completely disappointed. For a 3 course evening dinner for £26 we were expecting something pretty nice - starters all looked like they'd been sitting around for a while - and whilst you could pile up your plate, was really a bit 1970s where prawns and melon were deemed exotic, but a bit dated now in the 21st century. Garlic mushrooms too were very bland. Carvery was disappointing too - whilst it looked lovely, I couldn't get a knife through my beef or chew it, so had to send it back. Pork was better. We commented to the hotel staff indicating that we had expected more for the cost. They offered us the desserts for free (~£2.50 worth) and again whilst we could pile up our plates, they were really quite uninspiring. So I'm afraid, although the location was lovely, we'll not be coming back - perhaps we were just unlucky as they had a wedding on also that day, or just have higher expectations and prefer quality to quantity :-).

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tina E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maggie P, General Manager at Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2013

Dear Tina E
Thank you for your comments. We do appreciate our guests feedback as we are always striving to exceed our guests expectations.Unfortunately we did have a severe lightning strike which did put our computer system out of action and additional pressures on the operation. We would very much like the opportunity to welcome you back in the future.
kind regards

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Reviewed August 9, 2013

Stayed in a superior room in the Sunnycroft extension. Very impressed with the room and the standard of decoration, great bathroom. Hotel has a nice olde world atmosphere with excellent customer service. Great location for local cycling and opposite Bramber Castle. Highly enjoyable overnight stay with my wife. Recommended

Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank r1chard311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maggie P, General Manager at Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Dear richard311
Thank you for your 5* review. You stayed in our superior block and I am delighted that you found the room met with your expectations. Thank you for choosing to stay at The Old Tollgate and we shall look forward to welcoming you back in the future.
kind regards

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Reviewed August 4, 2013

We stayed as a family group in 3 rooms. All were spotlessly clean and well equipped. The decor and furniture were traditional and the bathroom, in our room, was fresh and up to date. The shower was powerful and hot water was plentiful. The bed was exceptionally comfortable and had it not been so hot and stuffy (our first decent summer for years!) the sleep quality would have been brilliant!

We ate in the restaurant in the evening and tried a combination of cold buffet and carvery meals. All were of good quality. I tried a main course size of the cold buffet which offered a great selection of shell on prawns, smoked salmon, cold poached salmon, smoked mackerel, quiche, pate and a selection of salads. This was an excellent choice for such a hot sticky night. Deserts were also buffet style with an opportunity to try a bit of everything if desired! I was too full to sample but others in the party were full of praise. Breakfast was a similar set up with both hot and cold buffet; again offering a superb selection of quality food to suit all tastes. The staff were all friendly and efficient and appeared to make an effort to speak with guests/customers.

We enjoyed our stay at the Old Tollgate hotel and would recommend both the rooms and the restaurant and would definitely stay again.

Room Tip: Sleep quality marked down only because of the lack air movement on the room. The bed was 100% comfor...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank BusinessguestDorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maggie P, General Manager at Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Dear BusinessguestDor
Many thanks for taking the time to write your positive review. I am delighted to read that you found your stay to be comfortable and enjoyed your dining experience in the restaurant. I shall pass your comments to all the staff. Please come back again soon.
kind regards

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Reviewed August 1, 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights mid week on a business trip and have only one minor complaint (which nearly didn't get it a 5 star rating!).....and that is the water pressure and feeble showers. If you want a bath plan ahead as it will take an age to fill and I really struggled to wash my thick hair under the shower.
Other than that I thought the Old Tollgate was great. I paid £104 B&B but that was on a fully flexible rate that could be cancelled up to the day of stay - cheaper rates were available and I only booked a week in advance. This seems reasonable compared to other places in the area at this time of year.
My room was spacious with a comfy double (think it was King size) bed, a table and 2 chairs seating area and a dressing table unit that could be used as a desk. Wifi is free in the all rooms and public areas which is great and the TV was a large modern flat screen with freeview digital channels. The furniture is old fashioned by my tastes but it's in keeping with the style of the building. The bathroom was modern and looked like it had been recently refurbished.
There was no aircon and it was hot but I left the window open and slept fine. I was concerned about my room being directly onto the road and thought the traffic would keep me awake but I slept like a log - it's not a busy road and cars only come along occassionally. Everywhere was spotlessly clean.
I ate breakfast and 2 dinners in the restaurant and the food was lovely. There's a great choice of cooked and continental at breakfast and the bacon, sausages etc were good quality and not swimming in grease like in some establishments. The carvery was also delicious - lovely meats and nicely cooked veg (no soggy carrots here!). I thought the carvery was quite expensive but maybe that's the going rate in this area. There was a voucher offer for a half price main course which I used on one evening. You can print additional ones off the website if you need to. I was surprised by how busy it was mid-week which was clearly due to locals taking advantage of the offer so if it's still on I'd recommend booking a table for dinner. A bar menu I think was also available. There's also a Chinese, an Indian restaurant and a pub just a few minutes walk down the road. Or you could walk about a mile into Steyning where there are more pubs and probably places to eat - i went for a run round Steyning wasn't paying full attention to the details!
The staff were all lovely. A warm welcome on reception, staff serving in the restaurant were very friendly, I don't think I've ever stayed anywhere so welcoming. The young girl serving breakfast one morning even apologised because she could remember my first name but not my surname to find me on the breakfast list - now that's customer service when I'd only been there 2 days!
All in all this was a great base for where I needed to be for work. The location is beautiful and there are plenty of places to explore round and about if you're on holiday in the area. I slept well, I ate well, it was easy to park, the welcome was warm, I don't know what more you need really (other than a decent shower!!) :-)

Room Tip: Some rooms are in different buildings and the one I was in didn't have a lift so if you have any...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
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Thank edinem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maggie P, General Manager at Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Dear edinem
Thank you for taking the time to post your fabulous review. I am sorry you had a problem with the shower - we investigated this following your comments and have now rectified the problem. Thank you for choosing to stay with us and we shall look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
kind regards

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Reviewed July 31, 2013

A difficult review to write as so many things were very good but so many were very bad. The best thing about the hotel were the dining room and bar staff who were wonderfully helpful and unusually, very aware of what needed attention. Room was good but a little on the small side but a double bed four-poster was well received, although the pillows were rock-hard. Very large ensuite with an enormous spa bath. Unfortunately there was a sign forbidding the use of bubble bath or bath oil in the bath but no container of suitable soap available.....so no spa bath for us. Rest of the bathroom fittings were good but dated brass handles, taps and shower door with a huge step up into the shower so OK getting in but lethal getting out wet. The room charge for the Saturday was £148 and £98 for the Sunday. Unfortunately on the Saturday there was a wedding function in the hotel and we were kept awake until after 2 am with taxi and minibus doors banging shut beneath our window. It was the hottest night of the year and closing the two small windows was out of the question. I even tried to put the teletext on the TV but that did not work as the TV was analogue!!!!! There was no answer from reception so we had to swallow but the £148 charge was a bitter pill.
Breakfast was buffet-style served by staff over the counter. Very good as you got exactly what you asked for. Evening and lunch-time food was carvery only with a large choice of cooked meats and a cold food bar. We tried the carvery on the Saturday night as it was too wet to walk down to to the two local restaurants and one pub. OK for a one off but the meal ruined by loud mobile phone calls from the next table. In an establishment that charges high prices and tries to show a bit of class it was disappointing to find there were no restaurant rules.
Would we stay there again ....no. Overall it was very disappointing. Shame as the staff, location and appointment of the hotel were very good. We got the impression that the management of the hotel was a bit aloof to the needs of the clients but were rescued by the staff on the ground floor (literally). There are far better hotels at a more realistic price in this area and we will book earlier next time.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Terry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maggie P, General Manager at Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Dear Terry R
Thank you for posting your comments. I am sorry that you did not enjoy your experience here at The Old Tollgate and I would like to assure you that we do take guests comments seriously. We do not however have analogue TV - the local area was switched to digital in 2012. If you had brought your concerns to the attention of the management team during your stay we would have done our utmost to have rectified any problems that you may have had. I am very pleased to read that you found the staff to be attentive and courteous.
kind regards

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Additional Information about Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel

Address: The Street, Bramber BN44 3WE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > West Sussex > Horsham District > Bramber
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bramber
Price Range: $87 - $236 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just 10 miles north of Brighton, the Old Tollgate Hotel is one of the most popular 3 Star Country Hotels in West Sussex. Set within the idyllic Village of Bramber, Steyning at the foot of the Sussex Downs, you can expect wonderful customer service and comfort whilst enjoying the hotel’s old worldly charm. The modern traveller will benefit from Free Parking, Free WIFI and Flat Screen TVs in every guest room.Our award winning Carvery Restaurant offers a superb selection of perfectly roasted joints, a spectacular choice of hot dishes, smoked fish, salads and mouth watering desserts.An idyllic Wedding Reception Venue with a licence to host your Civil Ceremony. The ideal hotel near to the South Coast where you can rest your head after enjoying a shopping expedition in nearby Brighton. Perfect base for lovers of golf, walking, cycling, horse riding and for visiting the many nearby historic houses and gardens in East and West Sussex. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Bramber
Bramber Best Western
Best Western Plus Old Tollgate Hotel Bramber, West Sussex

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