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The Bell Hotel
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sandwich
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 8, 2012

Nice location with many scenic walks from outside the hotel. Limited parking at hotel front. Forget a relaxed morning in bed if you cannot get a hotel parking space, because you have to buy a ticket from the public car park to put in your car by 9 am. I booked a standard double, but, room 17 is be the smallest double we have stayed in. More like an average single with a small en-suite. Only one bedside table as there is no room to fit two. Bed and towels clean and of a good standard, but the room and en-suite was a little bit scruffy. LCD TV on the wall, the smallest example, more suited to the rear of a car to entertain the kids. Although this was the middle of summer and it was below average temperatures outside, the room was very hot with no fans or air con. This room would be unbearable if the temperatures were at or above the average for this time of year. Service at the reception on arrival and leaving was not that good. A happy smiling face would help, especially when you have been standing around for a few minutes waiting for someone to appear. Cannot fault the breakfast, service at breakfast or surroundings as this was superb.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Martin-Andrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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592 - 598 of 751 reviews

Reviewed July 8, 2012

The Bell Hotel is located in the beautiful town of Sandwich and has a particularly attractive riverside location (the Stour). We had a two night ‘bed and breakfast’ stay as a couple, including dinner on our first night. We enjoyed our stay; we found the staff friendly, the rooms are clean and well decorated and the shower pressure is decent. There are a number of other pubs and restaurants in proximity including the Hotel’s own bar so you are definitely well located here.

It is true that the hotel only has around 8 parking spaces; however there are ample spaces in the public car park directly opposite. You will have to pay however, although we didn’t find this such a hardship considering we were out for most of the day and parking charges only apply 9 – 6.

The food in the restaurant is of a high quality and well presented, with good menu choice. My only criticism would be that there is definitely a lack of organisation and supervision in the restaurant. My usual experience of restaurants is that a particular waiter or waitress is assigned to a particular area of set of tables. This is not the case here which leads to a member of staff taking your order for tea and coffee, followed by another asking ‘would you like some tea and coffee’ and then another one! This also applies when ordering food / drinks / desserts etc. It isn’t the staff’s fault; however it did really become irritating constantly having to explain that we had already ordered. The problem then extended to mix ups with food orders; our poor waitress at dinner and breakfast came to us a number of times with other people’s food! If she had been the same waitress that took our order then I suspect she would have remembered what food was intended for our table! The food was lovely; it was just a shame that prior to the food arriving, there was an extended period of apologies, confusion and general embarrassment due to the lack of procedure or supervision.

The hotel is nice; it can’t not be given its attractive setting, however there are a few subtle changes needed here to make it a boutique hotel as it describes itself, particularly in the communal areas where the carpets and walls look shabby / dirty. The reception staff could perhaps over exert themselves a little more when welcoming guests also. Cheer up!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Thank twoollard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2012

We have eaten lunch a few times at the Bell previously, so we were looking forward to our overnight stay. On arrival we were 'greeted' by an uninterested middle-aged woman who found it a chore to smile and be welcoming.
On the way up the many flights of stairs to our room we were appalled at how filthy the carpets and walls were. We stepped over dirty cups and glasses and sheets on the way, even though we did not arrive until mid afternoon. Clearly the decorators need to come back in, and this sort of hotel needs to keep on top of its house keeping.
However, we were told they had a particularly busy night the night before.
Our room was fine but very noisy due to a very silly layout of bathrooms next to bedrooms. We could actually hear the couple net door farting in the bath!
The style of the hotel falls short of chic. It's the sort of furnishings that look nice from a distance until you get up close and see they are rather cheaply made. Like the wardrobe whose door wouldn't open.
Another shock was that they don't have digital TV. They only have 4 channels, and they take you back to the fuzzy images of video viewing. Not good enough.
Breakfast was served promptly and very politely but my soft-boiled eggs were uncooked and the Full English my other half had was average at best.
All in, the Bell needs to do so much more to keep up with competition. It advertises itself as a boutique hotel but the standard of house keeping, decor and food is not in the same league.
A real shame. It's a beautiful old building in a lovely setting. It deserves better.

Room Tip: Ask for one that doesn't have a bathroom behind your head!
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WaitingandHopeful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

This hotel is in a great location, with friendly staff and good food. We originally booked a standard room, but on arrival we were upgraded to a lovely spacious room with good views. There is also a very pleasant terrace area where - weather permitting - you can eat and drink and enjoy views of the river, bridge and general surroundings. All in all, a great hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank peter l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2012

My wife and I recently stayed here having booked only a few days before online. Had read other reviews and now can see they were true and accurate!! The hotel does show some signs of 'ageing ' despite a very tasteful make-over (few cracks in paintwork, paint flaking off ceilings and main staircase carpet really looking in desperate need of replacing)! But this is all minor compared with the positives. The staff were all excellent and you were made to feel welcome from the start. The room was not disappointing and despite our late booking were given a lovely room overlooking the River Stour. We stayed for the meal in the main restaurant (booked upon check in) and were treated to a very nice meal. Excellent food and service especially from Jonas! I would certainly book again and thoroughly recommend it for a quick peaceful break. Sandwich is delightful and when it's not raining perfect for a quick stroll around (although if you are after a haircut skip Creations in New Street!! )

Room Tip: Ask perhaps for a river view as it was very pretty. Also check that the bed is a double not two sing...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Matt L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

I recently stayed here with a friend the night before my wedding, and then with my new husband on my wedding night. This hotel added so much to the experience, I will not forget my stay here anytime soon.

We arrived late on a Thursday afternoon. A friend was staying with me in the bridal suite, and my mother was staying in the hotel as well. The suite was sumptuous and luxurious, with lots of room, a beautiful balcony looking over the quayside, and huge fluffy towels in the bathroom. We all went down to breakfast together on Friday (the morning of my wedding). There was a huge array of food on offer, I unfortunately didn't manage to sample any due to some last minute nerves. My bridesmaids and hairdresser arrived, there was more than enough room for 5 of us girls, my mum and the hairdresser in the bridal suite, we all had room to spread out. Reception were very courteous and rang up to the room whenever someone new arrived (photographer, car, etc) before sending them up. They were also kind enough to bring up some food platters, ice buckets, soft drinks. Whatever we requested, the staff were quick and very polite.

I returned to the hotel with my new husband on the Friday night, exhausted after a long day, and there was a friendly face to greet us. We had quite a lot of bags with us (cards, etc) and the receptionist offered to help us straight away, as well as getting me a much needed cold drink to take some paracetamol! He helped us bring everything to the room, and I was really pleased to see that the hotel staff had tidied up the room as best they could. I had been worried about this before we left in the morning, I didn't want my husband to have to come back to a messy room, but as you can imagine, I wasn't really in the right frame of mind, or suitable attire, to do it myself! I was really grateful to the hotel staff for this.

The following morning, we went down to breakfast, and I was able to eat! The waitress remembered me from the day before, which was lovely. We checked out with ease, and the reception staff were extremely friendly. We look forward to following tradition, and returning to stay at the hotel for our first wedding anniversary!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank vandrh12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2012

The Bell Hotel is an old-fashioned yet up to date establishment. Although there is no elevator and our room was two flights up, we found a spacious and beautifully decorated room with a large bathroom outfitted with an array of products and large, thick towels. Our window overlooked the Stour River, with an eastern exposure. The dinner included on our stay was well prepared and nicely served. All of the staff was friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sally S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Bell Hotel

Address: The Quay, Sandwich CT13 9EN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Kent > Sandwich
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sandwich
Price Range: $108 - $185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Bell Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A traditional hotel with a chic modern twist. Thirty-seven individually decorated ensuite bedrooms, a restaurant menu which varies with seasonal availability and a choice of two beautifully refurbished function rooms. The Bell Hotel Sandwich is the ideal choice as a leisure destination or as a venue for weddings, conferences and private events.Throughout the year, the Bell Hotel holds events and exhibitions to: support the local arts, to promote the produce of local and regional farmers and growers and to participate in Sandwich festivals and celebrations ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bell Hotel Sandwich
The Bell Hotel Sandwich, Kent

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