We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Must be better establishments around”
Review of The Old Bell Hotel

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
The Old Bell Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Malmesbury
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Booked two rooms for two nights for my wife and myself and two friends, were advised that main restaurant was closed (Sunday & Monday) on the two nights we were there. At time of booking receptionist asked if we would like to make reservation for the Brasserie as otherwise they could not guarantee a table. I said I would check with our friends and call back which I did. Three days before visiting I received a call asking agian if we wanted to reserve, I explained I had already called so they assumed the message had got "lost".
As it happened on the Sunday night in the Brasserie we were the only diners - so much for "we can't guarantee a table".

The food was very ordinary from a limited choice and so we cancelled the Brasserie for the following evening and had a very nice meal at the pub in the town square. The Old Hogn I think.

As to our resrvation although I had paid a £200 deposit they only had my wife and I in for two nights and our friends for one night although I had e-mail confirmations with me for the two nights.

When we were due to leave, as I had paid the deposit I asked for the whole £200 to be taken from my bill and any other expenditures the four of us had had (drinks and the meal in the Brasserie) was to be spilt equally and 50% charged to each bill.

Guess what on coming to pay-Yes - the deposit had been split and all the other extras charged to one room.

The rooms were very ordinary (although the beds were very comfortable) and you couldn't swing a cat in the bathroom. I thought we had paid for better rooms (Principal) but after the administrative issues I simply couldn't be bothered to investigate.

Also in the lounge one genrally had to go looking for staff to man the bar, although the foreign gentleman who did attend was very polite and obliging.
Someone needs to get a tight grip on the running of this place particularly administratively or it is going quickly to the wall.

Room Tip: Ask but then double check when you get there if you decide to go.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank ClavsDipe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (538)
There are newer reviews for The Old Bell Hotel
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

363 - 369 of 538 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2012

We have stayed in many three star hotels over the years and have to say that this was probably the worst! For the first time we have decided to write a review.
First the good news - We considered the dinner (in the main restaurant) to be excellent on both nights; both food and service.
Now the bad news - a) We had pre-booked for four nights dinner, bed and breakfast (Friday to Monday) and were therefore very surprised and disappointed to discover (only by reading the hotel room guide on arrival) that the main restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays! Relatives were planning to join us for dinner on the Sunday night! OK, you can go to the Brasserie but the choice is rather limited for "fine dining". The closure on Sundays and Mondays really should be made clear at the time of booking for dinner, bed and breakfast!
b) Our room (which turned out to be "Standard Main House") was extremely cramped (for example the shower was a hazard for anyone over 5' 6"!) and was seriously in need of a major redecoration (or even a lick of paint!). We had actually booked a "Principal" room (as stated on the confirmation email) and only discovered that we had been in a standard room when we got the bill showing the lower charge - another admin failure!
c) Breakfast was not a great experience - as other reviewers have said some of the male staff seemed to want to be somewhere else. For example the tea was obviously not freshly made and therefore "stewed" and then when we asked for burnt toast to be replaced it was removed in a rather surly fashion and never reappeared!
The management really need to get a grip on this hotel in several respects!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank HowardP279
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Decided to push the boat out for a celebratory night and chose - based on its previous positive reviews- to dine in the main restaurant. Initially the hotel and restaurant seem characterful, warm and very well organised however this first impression quickly vanished with the less enchanting reality. Sadly the charm of the building was not reflected in the staff, they seemed disinterested, got our drinks order wrong- TWICE- and appeared generally very bored. Whilst the food was faultless and worthy of its expensive price tag (3 courses for £42.50) the service really let it down and made it a disappointing visit.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank flupsoid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

We booked a room overnight as we were having a dinner party at the hotel for our End of Season Polo Club that evening. Although parking was a little tricky, we managed to find a spot right outside the hotel. Check in was very easy and we were shown up to our beautiful room in the old part of the hotel (Room 17). Beautifully decorated with a massive, extremely comfortable sleigh bed and stone windows overlooking the abbey grounds. The bathroom again was stunning with roll top bath, separate double shower and two windows - one overlooking the Abbey next door with a window seat and one overlooking the back gardens. It was one of those hotel bedrooms you walk into and smile - it has a real wow factor!

Dinner that evening was taken in the main restuarant. The tables were beautifully laid up, the food delicious and service excellent. A few of us stayed up to the small hours afterwards, chatting in the comfortable chairs in the main bar area and not once were we asked to move on and someone remained at the bar to serve us.

Breakfast was very good - a huge selection of fruit, local yoghurt, cereals, toast as well as cooked.

For us, this was a very pleasant stay although too short so we will defintely be returning to sample and explore more of the delightful town of Malmsbury too.

Room Tip: Room 17 - huge, great views and bathroom!
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank surfnirvana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

Called in to The Old Bell Hotel for lunch. Beautiful day so decided to sit in the garden. Surprised that the tables & chairs seem to have been left just where they were from the previous night. Nobody seemed to have made an effort to tidy up. Considering the prices, this is the least I would expect! The patio needed a good sweep & the plants need a bit TLC. Very few people in the hotel on what should be a really busy Sunday. Wandered through the hotel to see if we were missing something....nope. Decided against dining and went elsewhere.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Alexloveseatingout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

Fabulous hotel, friendly staff, lots of atmosphere, good location next to the old Abbey and lovely food. Seemed good value and was well placed to explore the southern Cotswolds. Would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Simon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2012

we have just returned home after a 2night stay at the Old Bell. we had only planned one night but it was so nice we decided to stay for another. we,d booked a standard room (number 35) in the coach house on the 1st night,then room 31 on the 2nd. The hotel is full of charm,and we felt as if we had step back in time. i had read the reviews from some people that said some of the staff were offhand etc but we didnt experience that at all. the staff were friendly and pleasant. breakfast was included in our stay and it was lovely. Compliments to chef on his delicious pancakes,yum yum ! the only minor grizzle we had was that room 31 wasnt as spacious as 35,and didnt have a coffee maker,also the bath was smaller. But most important to us is that a place is comfy and clean and it was. the beds and quilts are so comfortable,we could have stayed in bed all day ! id recommend the Old Bell and we will definately be returning one day im sure. I was disappointed not to see any ghosts,but never mind...maybe next time?!

Room Tip: all the standard rooms are in the coach house which adjoins the main hotel so if you want something...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank pippa1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Malmesbury
2.1 mi away
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa
Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa
#1 of 2 in Malmesbury
811 reviews
3.5 mi away
Best Western Mayfield House Hotel
4.5 mi away
The Ormond at Tetbury
The Ormond at Tetbury
#6 of 6 in Tetbury
512 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.7 mi away
The Hare and Hounds Hotel
4.5 mi away
The Close Hotel
The Close Hotel
#1 of 6 in Tetbury
403 reviews
4.4 mi away
Snooty Fox Hotel
Snooty Fox Hotel
#5 of 6 in Tetbury
664 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to The Old Bell Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about The Old Bell Hotel

Address: Abbey Row, Malmesbury SN16 0BW, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cotswolds > Malmesbury
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Malmesbury
Price Range: $153 - $243 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Old Bell Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 33
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Cancelon, Agoda, Priceline and TripOnline SA so you can book your The Old Bell Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Classic Hotel Old Bell
Classic Hotel Malmesbury
Malmesbury Classic Hotel
The Old Bell Hotel Malmesbury, England

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing