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“Amazing food”
Review of The Bell At Sax'

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The Bell At Sax'
Ranked #5 of 22 Saxmundham B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
72 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Amazing food”
Reviewed April 14, 2014

My partner and I had a deal booked for 2 nights. There were not any double rooms available so we had a twin room.
The Hotel is full of character and looks good from the outside. It definitely had quirks, we were in room 8, the wardrobe door only stayed locked by inserting a piece of wood at the top, there were little steps in the room leading up to the fire exit door in the room. The chest had seen better days but suited the room although both the chest and the wardrobe could do with a good wash with hot soapy water and a polish. There was rusty water in the kettle and there was no coffee, milk or biscuit portions in the room. The bathroom was in what you would think to be a wardrobe, how very lovely. Clean with fresh white towels and some shower gel etc in a dirty rusty box with discoloured doilies (yuk, this really spoilt the bathroom's look)

We ate in the restaurant, wow.. amazing food, cannot fault the food at all.
We were not offered to taste the wine, it was just poured and not really cold enough.

Breakfast was a bit weird, we could help ourselves to cereals, fruit, toast (the worlds slowest toaster) and tea and coffee. It was odd that we were not served tea or coffee to the table.
We could chose what we wanted for breakfast, the food was, again, of very high quality and very tasty, although I didn't eat the scrambled eggs, they had an odd taste.

We were unable to lock the door from the inside, this does need to be rectified as soon as possible as I am sure a lot of people would not feel secure.

We did hear some noise, but, that is to be expected.

I didn't sleep so well but my partner did, my bed was too soft.

All in all, I would go back for the food without a doubt.
The place needs a bit of atmosphere, it just felt that something was missing but we did have a lovely weekend.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank whereissummer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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194 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Nottingham
Level Contributor
80 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2014

We stayed here three or so years ago, and absolutely loved it. So we had high expectations of our weekend break.

Sadly, we were disappointed. It's not a bad place, but it fell far short of our expectations. Management/ownership has changed between our visits, and this may have something to do with it. The location is still excellent, and parking is still easy at the station a minute away.

Previously, we'd stayed in a lovely big room full of little luxuries and charming extras such as old and local books to read. This time, our room was tiny and cramped. There was room for only one chair, so we weren't comfortable relaxing in it in the evenings but sat in the bar instead. There were no extras at all; even the hospitality tray was supplied as frugally as possible. We struggled with a shortage of power sockets (and had to put the short-cabled kettle on the floor in order to boil it), until, on packing up to leave, we found a hidden extension unit. If only it hadn't been tucked out of sight!

People who wanted a cooked breakfast were in for a treat. People who don't like cooked breakfasts had to make to with an extremely poor selection of cold items.

A bottle of fizz and a plateful of truffles were included in the Tickles deal we went on. When we checked in, we were assured we would find them in our room. We didn't. We asked, and were told they would be there later that evening. They weren't. We asked again, and were offered them at breakfast the next morning. As we wanted to drive out and about, we didn't fancy doing so on an alcohol breakfast, so asked for them to be put in our room for the evening. In the evening, we had to ask again - and got them!

We thought of eating in - the place does bill itself as a "restaurant with rooms", so we thought it might be good. But the two night s we were there, there were only two items - one meat, one vegetarian - on the menu. If you didn't fancy them, you were stuck. Luckily there is an Indian restaurant (good value) over the road.

Since our previous visit, the interior of the building has been altered a bit, and not in a good way. The cosy lounge we'd been looking forward to has gone. (It's become a second restaurant.)

So, not a bad place, and probably a lot better if you get a bigger room. But not as good as it was. And not luxurious. And disappointing for us.

Room Tip: Ask for a big room.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Boraxwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Felixstowe
Level Contributor
53 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2014

Thanks to Travel Zoo, my wife and I enjoyed overnight accommodation, full dinner with a glass of prosecco and full English breakfast in the morning.
All this for £74.00 in total- not per person.
The proprietor and his partner re opened this establishment mid December 2013 and have already built a reputation of quality food and exceptional service.
The hotel is conveniently located for areas such as Aldeburgh, Southwold, Snape Malting's and other areas along the east coast. It will certainly be an ideal base to explore the surrounding areas.
I thank you for a most enjoyable overnight stay, we will certainly return in the future

Room Tip: Request a room at the back of the hotel away from the High Street
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Allan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitstable, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2014 via mobile

We had seen an offer on Travelzoo for the Bell. Normally our experience of Travelzoo restaurant vouchers are of good quality food . On this occasion it was exceptional food, with very good service. The chef is a very talented man. The food was delicious .

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Dave N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed April 5, 2014

An excellent hotel, friendly staff delicious food, parking not a problem station carpark free and very close. A very enjoyable 2 days, thank you..Saxmundham is a very central place for visiting the different areas of Suffolk, we hope to be back!

Room Tip: We had room 7 very quiet
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank couple1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Faversham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 4, 2014

We've just had a two night bed and breakfast break at The Bell at Sax. We were given a warm welcome by friendly staff and shown to our clean and comfortable room with en suite bathroom. Breakfasts were good and plentiful. We ate in the restaurant on both evenings and the food was very good and reasonably priced - maybe the restaurant lacked a bit of atmosphere. A cosy lounge bar had an open fire. Our only concerns were that our room overlooked the small courtyard at the rear of the hotel which was used by smokers, not always quietly when others were already in bed. And the lack of dedicated parking was a bit of an issue.

Room Tip: Room 2 can be a little noisy from the smokers below
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Durkheim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Benfleet, Essex
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2014

We are just back from spending two nights at the Bell at Sax. When we phoned (last minute) to make the arrangements the lady on the other end was very helpful and very accommodating. We found all the staff to be very helpful and the food was excellent. We had room 7 which was a large room and had a shower on suite with a view down the high street. TV, tea and coffee making facilities, toiletries and nice fluffy towels. Parking is limited in the town but the station car park is free and is only minutes away. We would have no hesitation in staying there again.

Room Tip: We didn't see inside any of the other rooms but we asked for a shower (as opposed to a shower ov...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MacM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Bell At Sax'

Property: The Bell At Sax'
Address: 31 High Street, Saxmundham IP17 1AF, England (Formerly Bell Hotel)
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Saxmundham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Saxmundham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Bell At Sax' 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bell At Sax' is a laid-back welcoming 10 bedroom restaurant-with-rooms, in the heart of Saxmundham, surrounded by the Suffolk Heritage Coast and the stylish destinations of Southwold, Aldeburgh, Framlingham and Woodbridge. Here at The Bell, we are all about good cooking, carefully prepared by owner & head chef Jonathan Nicholson and his team, into hearty elegant dishes, made with fabulous local ingredients from our artisan producer friends around East Suffolk. We welcome weekenders, business travellers, holidaymakers, parties and small weddings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Bell At Sax' Saxmundham, Suffolk, England

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