My new wife and I decided to visit Raven Hall as we had both been there some years earlier for a birthday celebration and had a fantastic time. We also both remembered the stunning views, which would potentially make it the ideal location for our wedding. Before making the journey to Raven Hall we requested some information based on the rough size of our wedding (~60 - 70 guests) and we received the most comprehensive of responses of any of the venues we tried, including a rough breakdown of typical costs.
When we arrived for our first viewing at the hotel we were greeted with a complentary beverage and taken through an excellent overview of the venue, which included a comprehensive tour. We were shown the Great Hall, which we used as the location for our ceremony and later in the day for our evening reception. It is a long room with big wooden beams, wooden floors, rustic chandeliers, and a big fire place. With a minimal amount of decoration it proved ideal for both purposes. We opted to hire seat covers but the wooden chairs provided are in keeping with the room. It also has nearby bar area that is dedicated to the Great Hall, so that wedding guests can have exclusive use of this facility. In fact one of the key reasons we chose Raven Hall was that it can only really cater for one sizable wedding (e.g. no accidental meeting of another bride in the hallway, which my wife would have been disappointed about) and that the event is somewhat self contained within the hotel so you are not tripping over other residents and vice-versa.
In addition to the Great Hall, we also viewed the King George III room which serves as the location for the wedding breakfast. This is a large, well decorated room with a chandelier at the entrance, which can be configured as you see fit. We had a series of different sized round tables and a top table which used the available space quite well although I'm sure it could have easily accomodated more people without being too crowded. The only disadvantage to this room is the lack of internal PA/speaker system which would have been ideal to play background music during the meal. Instead the venue provided a single speaker unit which was ok, but not ideal given range a volume across the room. In terms of the menu for the wedding breakfast, we were given an extensive range of options as well as the opportunity to give our guests some degree of choice in advance of the day. This worked out really well as it enabled us to cater for differing tastes and probably saved us some money overall. On the day iteself the food was excellent (particularily the beef). It was all very hot and well cooked, although it is worth noting that the vegetables were quite al dente but to our personal taste.
At this point it is probably worth a remark about the service we received. From start to finish Raven Hall were very accomodating about all of our personal requests. The service provided during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast was excellent. Each course was delivered in a timely manner and very professionally, with our guests drinks being replenished regularily. They also did a great job of decorating the Great Hall with the jubilee themed bunting and ballons we provided for our evening reception. We would also recommend the house DJ which we hired at the end of our night - we had a mock casino late afternoon/early evenin which went down a storm. Not only did Tom set-up early to avoid disruption later in the day and let us use his system to play a pre-prepared playlist we had created for the the casino, but he did a great job of playing songs that kept the dancefloor full all night long in keeping with our musical preferences that we'd provided.
During our time at Raven Hall we experienced the lodges and a couple of rooms within the hotel as we stayed over the night prior to the wedding as well as the wedding night itself. My wife and her friends stayed in two of the large lodges the night before and were thoroughly impressed by the accomodation, facilities (they used the kitchen to cook breakfast), and views. I stayed in the main hotel with my best man and was pleased with the room we were given. It was clean, functional (shower worked well, tea making facilties, etc ...), and fairly modern (flat screen tv) with an excellent view over Robin Hood's bay. We could see the roof of the restaurant which wasn't as spectacular, but this is a very minor observation. I would also say that the age of the building means it isn't particularily well sound proofed and tends to creak at times, which isn't always ideal if you're a light sleeper or it's the night before your wedding and you're already struggling to relax! The honeymoon suite in the main hotel, as you would expect, was fantastic. Large, clean and the best views in the house. The bathroom is also spacious, but could probably do with a bit of modernising in all honesty (e.g. lino flooring). The breakfast in the hotel was very nice on both occasions with the restaurant providing panoramic views of the bay in all its glory. There is a reasonable amount of choice, although I opted for the full english buffet both times I ate at breakfast. We did have to wait for some time for baked beans the morning after our wedding (a very minor point), but the food was always hot and of good quality
The one minor disapointment of the venue has to be the golf course which is not well maintained. My father-in-law, a few friends and I played 9 holes on the morning of the wedding which proved to be very relaxing if somewhat farcical at times. The fairways are more akin to the rough and the greens more like fairways, but we knew it wasn't going to be up to much before playing as this isn't the hotels core business.
Overall our wedding was exceptionally well organised and we received excellent service from all members of staff throughout our stay as well as when visiting to make arrangements. We feel it was excellent value for money when compared to other venues we explored. The venue is perfect for weddings and has great character with spectacular views. We would have no hesitation in recommending the venue to others planning their big day or just looking for a weekend getaway. I'm sure we'll be returning for years to come!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Country House Hotel situated on the clifftop overlooking Robin Hoods Bay with Panoramic award winning views, wt in 100 acres of National Park including free 9 hole golf course, gardens, tennis courts and putting also indoor swimming pool and sauna. The main hotel has 54 en-suite bedrooms including family rooms and suites and there are 8 eco friendly log lodges with some self catering facilities within 150 metres. A perfect Wedding venue and ideal for a leisure break or exploring holidays with close proximity to Sacrborough, Whitby and the North Yorkshire Moors. A unique property in an enviable location. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Raven Hall Ravenscar
- Hotel Raven Hall