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“What We Expected With Quirks (and great food)”

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The West Arms Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Llanarmon DC
Certificate of Excellence
Rhyl, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“What We Expected With Quirks (and great food)”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

Book an ancient Coaching Inn, in the Middle of a Lovely Nowhere, and what do you expect?

A lovely warm welcome, a lovely warm fire with a lovely warm room, which set against modern hotels would be bijou but quirky. The bed (a joined twin) was super comfortable and the linen crisp and clean. The towels were white and fluffy and the whole place was pristine.

Lack of a shower was a nuisance but not unexpected given the ancient nature of the structure and spaces. Uneven floors, walls, ceilings and stairs all add to the experience that is not a modern hotel. I wonder what some people on this forum thought they were booking!!?? Do they not read?

Now onto the FOOD, glorious FOOD with great service and a super smile, which was evident throughout our stay. We would come here just to eat, and consider the room a thoughtful gift from the management.

Can't wait to go back. The menu changes nightly, so just go there for a good feed and a reality check!!!!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Go for the best you can comfortably afford
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank MelidenRovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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481 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (141)
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manchester
Level Contributor
78 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

My partner and I (and dog) stayed for a couple of nights at this lovely coaching inn on the travelzoo deal. Even before we got their the staff had been very sympathetic, allowing to change our dates on a couple of occasions. There was a problem with the toilet in the first room we were given. The staff member was unable to rectify the fault and we were moved(up graded?) to an amazing room(10) with stunning views, luxurious big bed and a decent size bathroom.
The evening meal was delicious, I didn't mind paying the supplement for the cheese board for desert which was tremendous.
Breakfast very good.
I had the misfortune to injure my finger whilst staying, the girl on reception helped to provide to suitable materials to fashion a make shift splint and advised us to go to Wrexham A&E.
We ate off the bar menu the following night which was equally good, my partner enjoyed the well kept real ales.
So dog friendly.
Stunning area and village. The Hand is also worth visiting for a wee drink.
Hopefully we will return in the future.
Thanks again

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank mazzaManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Midlands, UK
Level Contributor
106 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

The West Arms is a fine building in a beautiful village with lovely views in a special part of Wales. That's the good bit. The hotel itself was a bit of a let down. Our room had furnishings and fittings remeniscent of a bad Blackpool boarding house in the 1970s. The TV was perched on top of the wardrobe which made for an interesting viewing experience. The wooden windows were rotting. One wouldn't open and the other wouldn't close. The window in the bathroom was covered with mold and had cobwebs.The garden is lovely and tea in the garden was the only highspot of the stay, I went to get drinks before dinner and waited for ten minutes at the unattended bar. Locals tried to call out to summon help for me! We went to go to the restaurant but were told to wait outside for them to take the order. We were given menus and then waited a further 20 minutes for the order to be taken. We were then asked if we wanted the bottle of wine served straightaway in the lounge where we were sitting while the table was made ready. We said we would but the bottle didn't appear. It was, thankfully, on the table when we were eventually ushered in. One of the main courses was billed as "assiette of fish". Now, if you do that, some punter is bound to ask what an "assiette" is and what the "fish" is/are. The waitress didn't know. We ordered it anyway - together with pork tenderloin. The blurb says that they have a "celebrity chef". It would be hard to believe that he was on duty the night we dined. My wife couldn't tell what the fish were when they came (and the second waitress didn't know either). The pork was dry and overcooked, The starter of crab and smoked salmon was OK but then no cooking was involved. Desserts were uninspired. The cooked breakfast was OK although the portion was small. The menu promised "sausages" in the plural but there was only one small one served. My wife's porridge was barely cooked and she left it all. The waitress took it away unquestioningly.The fruit available was just prunes and soaked apricots and dry banana chips. The fruit juice was transport cafe standard. The outside of the building and the location promises so much - the experience was a let down. the owners say elsewhere in response to criticism that they can never understand why people don't complain at the time. But you don't go away to get into conflict situations. If it is apparent you have been left waiting at the bar, if the staff don't know what is in main course they are serving, if they take away uncooked and uneaten food without question, isn't it obvious at the time that the guests are not having a whale of a time?

Room Tip: Apparently they have upgraded some rooms - make sure you get one of those!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank IcebabyWestMidlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geoff and Gill L, Owner at The West Arms Hotel, responded to this review, May 19, 2013
We read your review with interest. You obviously have gone to great lengths to feed back every detail of your stay.. It always surprises us when people go away for a treat and cannot enjoy any aspect of that time spent away, except perhaps tea in a garden which offers amazing views. The culture of today’s visitor (not all guests, we hasten to add) is one which can be likened to the role of hotel inspector, or killjoy? Statistics prove that the less people pay, (such as on the Travel Zoo offers) the more criticism they make. Perhaps that is wholly relevant to the spirit in which people book the deal ….paying a relatively small amount of money for a "standard room" in a 16th century Inn in a rural hamlet, but expecting the sun, moon and stars.
We do actually remember you personally. Being a small establishment and one in which we offer genuine hospitality, we always make a concerted effort to get to know our guests. The staff in question acknowledged that you did not look happy from the point of arrival, and even our renown friendly service could not alter this. We are not going to respond to every criticism you make – as some are completely unsubstantiated, but we would be foolish not to act on the few relevant ones. These could have easily been rectified, had you been bold enough to confront us, referring to your comment that you do not go away to get into conflict situations. If you purchased something in the retail sector and it did not work, surely you would take it back for a replacement, rather than just vilify the store anonymously?
On analysis of the review sites – from a hotelier or business owners’ point of view – they offer a sounding board where comments (good and bad) may be wholly exaggerated, or even completely false and misrepresented, and are after all, only one guest’s opinion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wigan
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Four of us stayed for a two night deal with TravelZoo for a walking holiday, for which the hotel is ideally placed. Our rooms were rather different, one being spacious, well-appointed and modernised, the other being Room 1 with 'character', but space for only one bedside table, bedside lamp and chair, and the carpeted bathroom having the temperamental flushing toilet (mentioned by 'loseapoint', who had Room 2). We mentioned the toilet and were shown how to operate it - this was apparently the first time the hotel had been made aware of it. Importantly, we all slept well because the beds were comfortable and the area quiet.
The three course set dinner menu got a mixed reception (e.g. the hot smoked salmon starter was bland but the red snapper and boeuf bourgignon were good) so we ate in the bar the second night where we could mix and match the set menu with bar meals. Again, this was mixed. The lamb cutlets were delicious, the chips properly cooked but the smoked duck salad was all smoked chicken. We had been asked if we'd mind a mixture of chicken and duck because the duck was running low, but we couldn't find any duck. The English breakfast was faultless with locally sourced ingredients perfectly cooked, but the smoked haddock had been cooked too quickly in the microwave and therefore was on the dry side.
The public rooms were varied and numerous and the staff helpful and pleasant. Overall, we were satisfied with our stay, and we'd probably visit again - given a favourable deal.

Room Tip: Not Room 1 if there are two of you.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank SkylarkWigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southport, England
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

We have just returned from a one night stay in The West Arms following a deal we got through TravelZoo. On arrival we were told "sorry but your not in the main hotel but our bungalow". I though oh no, here we go, but I couldn't have been more wrong. The bungalow was attached to the hotel and had 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, kitchen, 2 lounge rooms and a laundry room. The bungalow was very well equipped and was very well cleaned. The hotel might be in the middle of nowhere but was an excellent base for walking and fantastic sight seeing. The deal we got included a 3 course evening meal which we were told was a fixed menu with a choice of about 4/5 items but that if we didn't like anything then no problem they would make us something else. No need though, the food was superb as was the breakfast the following day. The staff and the atmosphere of the hotel was very good and would not hesitate in recommending it to anyone.

Room Tip: If your going with friends ask for the bungalow.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank McStan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geoff and Gill L, Owner at The West Arms Hotel, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thank you for your great review - we are "chuffed" that you loved the cottage, the area and the whole experience. This is what we always genuinely set out to achieve, with a daily wish to please our clients - and you were indeed a pleasure to look after and lovely customers.

On that sincere note for all those who log in, we wish to make this our final response to Trip Advisor reviews.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, UK
Level Contributor
105 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

It is difficult to see how either the hotel's status for accommodation or food could be justified by our recent experience. The public rooms are OK but our twin room, No.2, was nowhere nearly good enough. Nobody expects modern luxury in a hotel dating to 1570 but there were a number of failings - it was, for example, impractical to use the drawers at the bedside because access was denied by the bedside table, the toilet flush was temperamental to say the least, the shower's temperature so difficult to balance that my wife ended up washing her hair in the sink, the sink's chain was detached and, although it would clearly be difficult given the uneven floor surfaces to resurface the bathroom, I do not believe carpeting in a bathroom is acceptable in this day. As regards the restaurant, our evening meal was disappointing - the food was almost entirely bland and tasteless. With two AA rosettes, and with a price of £30+, we had expected so much more than we got. One final criticism was that there there were 3 choices for each course, except for starters and dessert where an additional choice was offered but with a £3 supplement. My own meal consisted of chicken liver pate, braising steak and cheesecake and I would, frankly, be surprised if the ingredients cost much more than £3 themselves. To demand a supplement on such a restricted menu is surely unreasonable. My posts are customarily positive and complimentary but, with the best will in the world, there is nothing which would encourage me to recommend either hotel or restaurant. A great disappointment - in view of some of the positive posts, I am uncertain whether we were just unlucky and arrived on a bad day!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank loseapoint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geoff and Gill L, Owner at The West Arms Hotel, responded to this review, May 5, 2013
Thanks for posting a review. As you claim anonymity by your Trip Advisor ID, it is impossible to know which of our recent guests you were. It always puzzles us as Hoteliers, when guests display their criticisms, sometimes quite vociferously, on Trip Advisor when they return home, yet never mention any complaints during their stay. The quote "after the horse has bolted" comes to mind. Oh how we wish everyone could be perfect guests too!

In our defence and to clarify a couple of criticisms you make - we do not charge supplements on the Full priced Restaurant menu. Certain choices such as Escargots and Fillet Steak are optional and charged extra ONLY for those people on the Travel Zoo deals. A second point to clarify is that Room 2 is a basic standard twin room, charged normally at £45 per person including a full breakfast - so the price is reflective and competitive. We have Character rooms to reflect greater comfort but these require more payment, which you perhaps preferred not to make? We have refurbishment plans constantly ongoing, (necessary for a 16th century building) and the bathroom floor in Room 2 is on this list.

As you did not find anything to compliment whatsoever during your stay , not even the staff or historic ambience - it is very apparent The West Arms is definitely is not the right place for you to appreciate.
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Shropshire
Level Contributor
50 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2013

This hotel seems to be in the middle of nowhere but is busy which must mean that it's reputation has spread. We stayed for a birthday treat between a visit to Chirk Castle and the Pistyll Rhaedr Waterfall
We were in the Howard room which was lovely with a wide four poster bed in which we had a great nights sleep. It was quiet despite overlooking the road, the room was warm, and clean with more than the average toiletries supplied, and ironing board, iron, hairdrier etc.
Dinner that evening was lovely as was breakfast the next day. The menu was nice, the food was exvellent, the presentation great and the service faultless. The staff were friendly and helpful and it is a good 'hub' to visit many different places in the area.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Carol006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geoff and Gill L, Owner at The West Arms Hotel, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
We loved your review - thank you so much for posting it! We are really pleased you had a great time and look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The West Arms Hotel

Property: The West Arms Hotel
Address: Llanarmon DC | Llangollen, Llanarmon DC LL20 7LD, Wales
Location: United Kingdom > Wales > North Wales > Denbighshire > Llanarmon DC
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Llanarmon DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The West Arms Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The West Arms is a traditional Olde Inn (16th Century) with beams and uneven slate flagged floors, roaring open fires and low ceilings. It offers an abundance of warmth and charm with quirky individuality. No bedrooms are the same. We are a privately owned business with a wealth of experience, offer a friendly informal welcome. We have 15 bedrooms, a superb Chef who has a great pedigree, lovely friendly staff and are situated in a beautiful location. If you want a bland boutique modern hotel with a lack of soul, The West Arms is not the place for you! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
West Arms Hotel
West Arms Llanarmon Dc
The West Arms Hotel Llanarmon DC, North Wales

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