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“Great base for exploring the Wye Valley”

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The Saracens Head Inn
Ranked #1 of 6 Symonds Yat B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great base for exploring the Wye Valley”
Reviewed November 29, 2009

We really liked the Saracen's head. It's not fancy or pretentious - a simple pub with rooms. The food was excellent - local produce - well prepared and tasty. The service was great. The staff were helpful and friendly - giving lots of tips on things to do and places to see nearby.
The room was small but it had a lovely view of the river and was very clean.
The location is really good we were there on a cold and wet November weekend but we were able to fill our time with short local walks and time by the fire with the papers in the pub/restaurant.
Would love to go back in the summer.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SusieBlue75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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581 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (143)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2009

I guess I should say, by way of disclaimer before I start writing this review, that I love the Saracens Head Inn and it has been a favourite of mine ever since I first visited four years ago. That's not to say it's perfect, but I've always thought it was uniquely, almost magically, lovely.

At £79-89 for a room, it's not the cheapest stay. The rooms themselves are pleasant but not amazing - furnished in simple pine/oak, carpeted, etc. It's all tasteful and comfortable but not showy and the rooms are definitely on the small side. But the amazing thing that you are really paying for is the location and the beautiful view out over the Wye Valley! It is just so beautiful to look out at in the evening or when you wake up in the morning. It is the most romantic place to stay - just magic to wake up and lie in bed looking out over the misty river with the 'ancient hand ferry' (I am sure it is but this description always makes me laugh) being pulled across. We've stayed in rooms 7 (very small), 8 and 10 - all with lovely views - and this is a firm favourite for a romantic outdoor weekend.

The negatives? Parking is not easy, especially in the summer when Symonds Yat East is crammed full of people. This is a real restriction of the location, so if you are coming in a group I'd advise you to share a car if possible! We have always found somewhere to park but it can be a bit tight.

I'm genuinely very surprised by the recent negative comments about food. In all of the times we have visited the Saracens Head we have always enjoyed the standard of the food - this stay was no exception. I'm a vegetarian and my partner is very much a carnivore so we see both types of food. We eat out at nice restaurants quite a lot and definitely feel that the Saracens Head punches well above its weight. On this occasion I had the very best risotto I have ever had - goat's cheese, vegetables, lemon truffle dressing. Really lovely, moist and flavourful. Delicious olives and bread to start. My partner had bangers and mash, which he raved about, and we shared a very taste dessert of rose petal jelly with lemon cream and raspberries. Breakfast was also very good.

All in all, one of my favourite places to stay and I will definitely be back. Great walks nearby, whether along the river or up to the scenic views from Yat Rock. Good opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, or other outdoor activities. Provided you are realistic about what to expect (it is just above a pub, in a remote riverside location with limited space) then I think it is an absolutely brilliant place to stay.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gabrielle_o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gloucs
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2009

We stayed in one of the other guest houses nearby to the saracen's head - we were put off staying here by the high prices of the rather mediocre-looking rooms. we had dinner here (in fact i'm using their wifi to write this review, we've just finished eating) and although the restaurant seems very popular I would not recommend it. I was looking forward to tasty local produce, great ambience and so on that they advertise, to complement the absolutely fantastic location. unfortunately we were extremely disappointed. the place is a little like Hollyoaks - lots of yoof running the show and no obvious adults in sight. Consequently a lot of things seem to be allowed to slide - just details, but the things that make a difference.

We ordered and paid (you have to pay before you eat) only to be told once we sat down by staff member 367 that the table was reserved but that they hadn't had enough 'reserved' signs! Or presumably, enough biros and bits of card. I explained that since I'd paid I'd be keen to have my meal - we were thankfully reseated around the corner.

Unfortunately when my 10 oz Herefordshire sirloin arrived, and my partner's Moules Marinière, they were both totally tasteless. How can you go wrong with such simple things? The chips were frozen oven chips too. The ambience was nothing to write home about, with a lot of noise. Also - if you want a napkin and a place mat, it seems you have to make a reservation, for some reason.

The prices were not cheap either. I'd look elsewhere if you want real quality, or real value.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank gloucesterlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton
2 reviews
Reviewed August 17, 2009

We visited the Saracens Head for an evening meal. The Fish and Chips were priced at £15.95. Bearing in mind we were sitting on a patio that did not look like it had been swept all day and with wasps flying around the bins, despite the wonderful views I thought they were taking the mick! We ended up having sea bass with a crab tagliatelle which had little flavour. The children had fish and chips £5. (to be fair portions were generous so would recommend ordering a childs meal!) We requested Ketchup but had to collect it ourselves! Disappointing meal. Great location though and staff friendly enough.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
Helpful?
Thank CarrieSouthampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staffordshire
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2009

Went for a birthday celebration and we were disappointed. Firstly at around £80 per night it felt somewhat expensive for the small room. There was some noise from pub goers below and there were thin wooden blinds on the windows meaning that the sun streams in and wakes you up early in the morning. Also parking is difficult. I would not have minded so much if the place was cheaper. Worst of all was the meal which was very salty. However we did manage to negotiate a partial refund for the meal. We understand that the usual chef was away that night. The advertised free WiFi did not work! On the plus side, the inn is set in a a wonderful location by the river.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sniffingmoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2009

We have been visiting the Saracens Head for at least ten years, it's our favourite 'chill out place', everything from food to rooms is brilliant, and the staff/owners we regard as friends.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BazzaCrewe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
201 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2009

We stayed in room 12 above the boathouse, and the room was great - large, clean, well heated, TV, lovely view of the river. The bar was quaint, with a good selection of beers wines and snacks. The restaurant was well run with staff who were just the right amount attentive and very informed about the good quality food on the excellent menu. Other reviews have mentioned slow service, we didn't find this at all - we couldn't fault it. Breakfast was even better, with a lovely guy serving. Great walk to Monmouth and back in the snow, and they work the rope ferry in any weather, as long as the rope's not actually frozen!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Emma_Andy100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Saracens Head Inn

Property: The Saracens Head Inn
Address: Symonds Yat East, Symonds Yat, Ross-on-Wye HR9 6JL, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Herefordshire > Ross-on-Wye > Symonds Yat
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Symonds Yat
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Saracens Head Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Saracens Head Inn has stood for centuries in its spectacular position on the east bank of the River Wye where the river flows into a steep wooded gorge, on the edge of the Forest of Dean. Popular with walkers, cyclists, canoeists, fishermen and fans of good food and real ales, the Inn has a relaxed ambiance throughout, from the flagstone bar to the cozy lounge and stylish dining room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Saracens Head Hotel Symonds Yat
The Saracens Head Inn Symonds Yat, England

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