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“A pleasant stay but shame hotel is so overpriced & a little tired in places”
Review of The Bell Hotel

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The Bell Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Sandwich
Certificate of Excellence
London, UK
Level Contributor
47 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“A pleasant stay but shame hotel is so overpriced & a little tired in places”
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We spent two nights; 25 and 26 May over the Bank Holiday weekend, at the Old Bell hotel which is owned by Shepherd Neame brewery.

Although the hotel has about 8 parking bays in front, it really is pot luck if one is free. Otherwise there is one hour free parking in the side roads (unlimited stay in the evenings or at weekends) or in the public car park (5 minute walk away) for £1/hour.

The exterior of the hotel is beautiful with a very impressive lobby and stunning original tiled flooring. The reception staff are all pleasant but be prepared to be asked to pay for the stay on arrival, as sadly there have been some guests who 'stay and run'!

A majestic staircase takes you to the first floor, there are no lifts, and then more stairs at various levels, some very windy, depending where your room is. Some of the walls and bannisters needed a lick of paint and were badly bashed.

We were in Room 33, one of their larger rooms with a lovely river view. There was plenty of storage, including a blanket box, and a number of mirrors but it would have been better to have the flat screen TV wall mounted instead of on the dressing table, and have one of the mirrors there in its place.

There were two comfortable armchairs. a king-sized good firm bed with cosy cotton sheets, bedside tables and lamps. There was also an ironing board and iron, folding luggage rack, kettle and tea & coffee making facilities. There was a beautiful window seat but shame about the badly peeling paint here and around all the other window frames.

The bathroom was spacious, but hardly any space to put toiletries; just a small shelf above the basin. The brackets of the toilet seat were not fixed in place when we arrived and although this was mended temporarily while we were there, it came totally apart from the toilet and the lid cracked too.

We had a delicious cream tea there on the Saturday in the modern bistro area. The scones, clotted cream and jam were amazing and with a pot of tea each, reasonably priced at £3.25 pp.

Next door to the hotel is a fish n' chip shop, Italian restaurant and Greek restaurant with deafeningly loud music playing till very late on the Saturday night.

Breakfast was taken in the new area or in the restaurant between 7-10am. The staff were pleasant and there was a wide range of food choices; cereals, good quality juices, ham, cheese, granary toast, pain au raisin, pain au chocolat or croissant with tiptree jams. There was then the traditional cooked breakfast - nice sausages but the bacon was a bit fatty, kippers were tasty but the scrambled egg was very watery and smoked salmon had an overly strong taste.

Other than the pretty harbour and the historic buildings, including The Guildhall and museum which can be visited in 10 minutes, and the old city walls, there is not much else to visit in the town.

There are plenty of nearby pubs for dinner which the hotel is happy to suggest.

As far as visiting one of the Cinque Ports, Rye has far more to offer visitors; more upmarket with its eateries, buildings, tea rooms and gift shops.

We enjoyed our time in Sandwich and the hospitality at the hotel, but the accommodaton at £150/night was way over priced and the qualiy of the breakfast disappointing.

Room Tip: River view. But check beforehand how many stairs and staircases there are to each room. Shop aroun...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank awmw2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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681 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (191)
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English first
London
Level Contributor
93 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Hotel itself is in a great location and is clean and comfortable. Room 19, however, is above a barbecue restaurant and it's impossible to have the windows open. Bar food is not always available as they suspend it if the restaurant gets busy.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sharon1506
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitstable, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Booked this hotel at the last minute as we were having dinner there with my eldest daughter & her fiance . What a pleasant stay! The staff were wonderful. Great food in the restaurant at reasonable prices. Spacious room with all mod cons. Will be staying here again. I highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Stayed in room 18. Large corner room over looking river with king-size bed. Large bathroom
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Colin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IdF Ouest
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Sandwich is a truely lovely small town. The Bell Hotel is very quiet, excellent service and nice staff. Rooms are modern (except bathroom where you still have one cold water tap separate from the hot water tap: we are in 2013 !).
Restaurant is fine cuisine, good choice of wines and beers. Beautiful dining room. The Bell is very pleasant to stay when its raining !

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tetrodon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
219 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2013

A pleasant hotel, but with rooms that were too clairaudient. Our stay was negatively impacted by a child crying in a close-by room that kept waking us up every couple of hours.Rooms were clean and well appointed, good beds. Outstanding staff at breakfast.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sol500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sevenoaks
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Lovely hotel/pub accomodation. Reception and its staff very friendly, (thank you Tracey), room very comfortable and clean.
Our only critisim was the service at the bar/restaurant and breakfast staffing. It was a Bank Holiday weekend which I know can be difficult to staff it but was not so terribly busy. Nobody was on the ball enough.Our bill was also incorrect but was corrected.
Nobody seemed to know what the other was doing. The food was all ways extemeley good when it arrived.
We did stay another night as the overall experience was lovely.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kent
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

The bell hotel, is pretty much on my doorstep, i decieded to book a package for dinner stay and breakfast, for a treat for my partners birthady. we had our first date there.
When i called to enquire and the guy was very helpful ++, i explained what i was looking for, he advised of the package deal that they did and because it was within 24 hours(nearly):) that for £145 you can ck in @ 3pm have a 3 course meal 1 nights stay and breakfast. I also ask to add a bottle of wine to be in our room on arrival, the guy reccomended a nice chilian saugvian blanc Great!!!
On arrival the staff where very welcoming and every member of staff spoke to us with a "good afternoon". The room was small but comfortable clean and well decorated.
After we dropped our bags in and enjoyed the chilled glass of wine before strolling down the river.
MEAL ***** i was so impressed with this.
The staff were friendly and attended to us without fail. The food was great all 3 courses very well presented and delisious.
Breakfast ***** the staff agaoin were great.
The variety of buffet and juice was very nice ceral, cheese, cold meats, pastries ect.
also avaliable was a choice of hot cooked breakfast inc full english poached eggs smoaked salmom.

This stay was very enjoyable and i am so pleased we went, and with out a doubt will be returning.

P.S forgot to mention there was a wedding on that same day and evening, and we were not neglected due to this fact.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kirby26
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

Property: 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 #2 of 4 Hotels in Sandwich
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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