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“Mellow weekend in Suffolk”

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The Stables at Henham Park
Ranked #5 of 19 Southwold B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 13, 2011

My wife and I love this part of the Suffolk coast and we visit regularly. We’d never tried The Stables before, but we’re really glad we did – driving home after a very relaxing long weekend there we both felt it was one of the most charming places we’d stayed in the area. Full marks to Nick for creating a friendly and mellow environment. I would certainly recommend The Stables for those seeking an excellent standard of comfort in a beautiful and tranquil setting.
I’m always keen on unusual buildings, and was immediately impressed by the feel of the place as we arrived (those graceful Georgians, no doubt!); set well back from the road and overlooking a wide expanse of the Henham estate, you won’t be short of peace and quiet here. Nick told me about the large house which used to keep the present B&B company – you can still see some remains out front – and provided me with a map of the grounds: my wife and I both enjoyed long peaceful walks, hardly bumping into anybody, remembering why Autumn is our favourite season.
We didn’t book the largest room on offer, but we loved the clean and uncluttered contemporary style. The interior of the place has been tastefully refurbished, and I was delighted to see it manages to avoid being too slickly modern, opting instead to work with the original period features and keep a more individual atmosphere. There was plenty of space in our room and it was great to fall into a comfortable bed after a day’s exploring the coast.
Oh, and I’d have to salute the breakfast, too – hard though it is to choose a highlight from so many! Thanks, Nick – we’ll see you again!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 - 82 of 114 reviews

Reviewed October 4, 2011

We stayed in the Southwold Room and after the approach to the Stables via a rough and untidy drive we were surprised to see a nice old stable block surrounded by unattractive outbuildings. The room was huge and intial impressions were good. However on closer inspection, we found the finish to be poor and the whole place let down by the poor quality of furnishings and attention to detail. The B&B is advertised as luxury class but the bed was a simple frame with what looked like an Ikea 3" mattress with an ill fitting sheet and low quality bedding.

The towels in the bathroom were very rough to the touch and the bathroom door had a 2" gap around on side. The breakfast was excellent but better curtains in the dining room would help dampen the echoes. The honesty bar was very poorly catered with no tonic to go with the gin and very few glasses. Magazines in the pool/bar room were a nice touch but they were all over a year old.

The owner Nick met us on arrival but we never met his wife and a woman's touch was sorely missing from the place. What a shame as it could be a beautiful place.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Bob W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nick K, Owner at The Stables at Henham Park, responded to this reviewResponded October 13, 2011

We were very sorry indeed to read this guest’s complaint about our bed and breakfast. He was part of a group that stayed at the same time as our only other bad review in 5 years “Saved by the breakfast” and is certainly true that neither of them have enjoyed their one night stay with us unlike our 35 other glowing reviewers on Trip Advisor, the 100’s of people that have signed our guest book including other guests staying at the same time as this party and all of our repeat bookers.

Our bed and breakfast is not advertised as “luxury class” by us, but rather a unique and atmospheric boutique bed and breakfast surrounded by 800 acres of private parkland with converted 18th century agricultural and residential buildings behind it. Some of our other reviewers have called it “luxurious” but this is their subjective opinion. Our pricing reflects the fact that we offer large rooms with vaulted ceilings, beautiful views and a peaceful, rural location. Our fixtures and fittings are not what you would get in a top range 5* hotel, but we think our atmosphere and location surpass 5*.

We do sincerely regret that we were not personally present when this gentleman and his friend checked out the following morning as we could have dealt with their complaints effectively and addressed their concerns, rather than learn about their problems via Trip Advisor.

Our bookings are reliant on this website, and we would sincerely urge readers to continue reading our other reviews on this website.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2011

After reading the excellent reviews we booked a stay in the Milnsmere room at the Stables for one night whilst touring Suffolk. How disappointed we were. The room and bathroom were huge - but that was the only redeeming feature. There was a note on the desk saying that they had a problem with cluster flies. They weren't kidding. The five window sills were littered with flies, they were all over the carpet and on the bed. The owners had provided a fly spray and hand held vacuum for guests to clean them up themselves. An interesting concept of customer service. Each time we went back to our room and before we went to bed we had to vacuum dead flies off the floor, the chairs, the bed and the pillows. Previous guests had obviously had the same problem as dead flies were embedded in the carpet and refused to come up in the vacuum cleaner. The mouse trap behind the wardrobe didn't exactly fill us with confidence either.
We were booked for dinner at the Westleton Crown (excellent - wish we'd stayed there) and decided to have a drink before leaving. The honesty bar was sparsely stocked and the only mixer was Coke. As Nick walked through the bar we pointed this out to him and he seemed unconcerned, didn't offer any assistance so we skipped the drink.
When we returned and we were finally satisfied that the bed was clear of flies we pulled back the quilt to discover that the bedding was too small for the bed. The bottom sheet barely fitted and came off the mattress during the night and the quilt didn't even reach the sides. Needless to say we slept poorly and, if that were not enough, my wife's leg was bitten in two places during the night.
Lights were missing in the bathroom and there was an interesting note saying that each room had it's own hot water supply which was enough for two half baths in the morning or one full one in the morning and one full one in the evening! Not to worry we had specifically booked the Milnsmere as it was the only room with a shower. Sadly the cheap plastic cubicle had black soap scum round the base and then the hot water ran out midway through the second shower.
Breakfast was excellent - the only bright spot in a depressing stay. We wanted to share our views with Nick before we left but he was not present to see his guests leave. One wonders why? Nick - if you know this is a problem you shouldn't sell the room. Not only is it upsetting for guests it represents a serious health hazard.
Needless to say we won't recommend the Stables to our friends.

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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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5  Thank christopher289
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lovingmrcurtains, Manager at The Stables at Henham Park, responded to this reviewResponded October 2, 2011

This gentleman's stay with us did go very wrong and we have offered him a full refund and an unreserved apology. We have taken on board all of his criticisms and addressed them.

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Reviewed September 13, 2011

We stayed in the minsmere room. The room and bathroom were huge. My husband and I went with my parents and we were lucky enough to be the only guests staying there. The stables has a games room with a pool table, honesty bar, games, dvds and books. Nick was very helpful and friendly. Me and my husband had the full english breakfast which was lovely. The surroundings were beautiful and we loved the room. Couldn't fault it and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank icelandgirl261
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2011

We recently stayed at the stables and had a lovely time. There are 4 rooms, we had the southwold at £100 per night and my daughter and son in law had the minsmere for £120. Both rooms were lovely but the minsmere has it's own staircase and is the only room with a shower and also has a gorgeous roll top bath. The rooms overlook parkland and are very quiet and peaceful.
We had the place to ourselves and Nick brought us a tray of tea when we arrived. We enjoyed playing pool and helping ourselves to the drinks, crisps and chocolate at the bar and putting money in the honesty box.
We ordered pizza to be delivered and Nick laid the table in the dining room for us. We could also borrow books, cds, dvds and magazines.
We were given a varied menu for breakfast and placed our orders the night before. The full english was fantastic.
Everything about this place is perfect and nothing is too much trouble, I can't wait to return for another relaxing break.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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Thank wednesday7pm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2011

Visited The Stables for 1 night as a brief getaway from the mundane working week to celebrate my birthday. Off the beaten track you can't help but notice the acres of glorious countryside as you drive up towards the Stables. Upon arrival Nick came out and greeted us with a warm welcome, helping us with our bags and making a cuppa which we could enjoy outside on the benches overlooking the park. The Southwold room is one of the best rooms I have ever stayed in and this includes 5 star hotels in London and New York. I mean this because of the vast amount of space that was available, the character it had, the views, the cleanliness, everything was top notch. The bathroom was fantastic and yes it doesn't have a shower but that didn't bother me in the slightest. It's the little touches which makes trips away seem more special in my opinion. Like the brownies left out for you to help yourself, the honesty bowl in the games room for drinks and snacks (not like those horrible fridges you get in hotels which immediately electronically charge your room the moment you remove it). The fact that we couldn't get a taxi booked into Southwold and Nick offered to run us in himself. The beds are very comfortable and all amenities covered.

Southwold is only a 10-15 minutes away, we went there to the Nelson pub and had an excellent fish and chips before a walk along the pier.

The breakfast at the Stables is fantastic, yes you have to order it the night before, but with so few rooms I don't know what others on here expect? They need to know exactly what people are having so they have the right food in I would presume. It was all very fresh and tasty.

Overall I would highly recommend this place to anyone, it far exceeded my expectations and I would return. I just worry whenever I try and rebook it will be sold out as surely this will get even more popular.

The place is a gem, visit.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank EssexJimwest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2011

We stayed here for the second time last week, a birthday treat for me and some much needed time-out for both of us.

Having been before, I was a little bit worried as to whether The Stables would be as nice the second time around. The answer to that was most definitely yes. Obviously the wow factor isn't quite there as it is the first time; if you have already experienced the awesome exposed beams, the high vaulted ceilings and the peaceful surroundings once, it's very difficult to top them a second time.

Having stayed in the Southwold Room before, I wondered whether or not the Minsmere Room would live up to it but it was just as magnificent! Larger than the ground floor of most small houses these days, there was a king-sized bed, a comfortable single and a sofa - plenty of room if more than two of you are staying, so ideal for families to share as well.

By far the best thing about this room is the bathroom though. For those of you who don't do baths, you don't know what you are missing! (But there is also a shower if you prefer it) and as I reclined in the claw-footed tub and looked out of the window across the countryside, I did feel like I could get used to my surroundings very quickly!

The breakfast choice was again very good, although (to be really picky) we didn't like the sausages as much as last time, but that's an extremely minor thing to criticise when weighed up against the experience of staying there. Staff were friendly and helpful and we were free to wander the grounds at our leisure again - no cows or sheep this time but the back end of a snake was spotted and a herd of multi-coloured deer surprised us!

All in all, this is a very special getaway for you if you want to relax and unwind...we hardly heard or saw a thing during our stay which makes a refreshing change when staying away from home. On the other hand though, there are some nice villages and pubs nearby and Lowestoft and Southwold are only short drives away if you wanted some hustle and bustle at night.

I would highly recommend The Stables for a romantic getaway, a special occasion or just for some chill-out time...I hope we will be able to return in the future when our batteries need recharging again and thank you for having us :-)

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank milk_no_sugar_please
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Stables at Henham Park

Address: The Stables | Henham Park, Southwold NR34 8AN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Southwold
Amenities:
Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Southwold
Price Range: $112 - $182 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Stables at Henham Park 3.5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Retreat from the world at our luxury boutique bed and breakfast near Southwold set in 800 acres of private parkland. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Stables At Henham Park Southwold, Suffolk

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