Newest Review: ... an equally enormous door which sucks all the heat out of the building. Despite several archaic radiators and an enormous open fire one min... more
Looking for the splendour of a country hall hotel? Look elsewhere
Northop Hall Country House Hotel (Flintshire)
Member Name: Siuz
Northop Hall Country House Hotel (Flintshire)
Advantages: Free car parking, pretty green grounds
Disadvantages: The room, the waiting on staff
Some friends were getting hitched in Northop in Flintshire, and although we're not a million miles away, we decided that we'd book a hotel for the night so that we didn't need to bother to drive (and also have a couple of celebratory drinks...).
If you've ever tried to book a hotel in this area, then you'll know that they're not exactly overrun with choice. We didn't want to spend too much, given that we'd be pretty much dumping our bags, going to the wedding, then crashing out. Just a clean room for the night with good shower facilities would be fine.
I booked the hotel via Late Rooms after skim reading the reviews on Trip Advisor (a fantastic website). The reviews were lukewarm, but I figured it was a step up from the local Travelodge. It was about £50 for the Travelodge for room only, but about £75 for the 'nicer' hotel - and with breakfast to boot too.
The hotel itself is located on pretty nice spacious grounds - quite pretty surroundings for a wedding, I thought (although the wedding that we were attending wasn't held there). The drive in is quite pleasant... and the car park is free. A good thing. I hate it when you have to pay to park at a hotel.
After the pretty views of the grounds, my first impressions of the hotel were... um, very average. This is not a grand hotel (it's 3*, incidently). It looked a bit on the run down side. A little bit shabby, but not 'shabby chic', sadly.
As we entered the main entrance, we found that we couldn't move any further. There was a bridal party having their photos taken on the staircase! Unfortunately, there aren't any alternative routes to reception, so we waited patiently until the wedding party had dissipated a little to allow us room to slink through. Not that I was bothered - I love weddings!
The check in process was easy enough and the receptionist was very friendly and polite, giving a warm welcome. We were given our key card and we went up to our allocated room.
From reading some reviews, I think that some of the rooms had been renovated and others hadn't. Seeing the wedding party dashed my hopes of getting a decent room. I was sure that the wedding guests would get the best, newest rooms...
This was confirmed when I opened the door. Shabby. It was decorated in 'country hall hotel' style, but it looked like the décor had seen better far days. For example, the carpet looked worn; there were marks on the walls, everywhere looked like it needed a damn good clean. The bathroom also looked the same - a bit grubby looking. I noted the smears on the mirror... Hmm, I knew looking at it that I'd wait until I got home for a shower.
Fortunately, because of the wedding, I didn't need to spend too long in the room, basically just crashing and then waking up in the morning and getting ready.
In fairness, the restaurant area where you have breakfast is nice... airy, bright.... this is a new addition to the rest of the old hotel (which actually dates back to 1872). Service was very average and some waitresses seemed to lack experience. If you're veggie, don't expect any 'special' treatment (me: 'Can you do a vegetarian cooked breakfast?' Waitress (after checking with chef): 'no'. Me: 'right'.). Then, I noticed that there was a table with silver tray thingys on. Ah, that'd be breakfast then. Coffee and toast is brought out to your table, but most of the cooked breakfast options are offered as buffet-style. In the end, I had scrambled egg and toast with beans.
Checking out was a smooth and painless process, but by then, I couldn't wait to get out to the fresh air. Partly to do with the after-effects of booze, but also to do with the gloominess and 'oldness' of the place.
I was pleased to get in the car and leave.
In fairness, my opinion of the hotel might've been different if I'd stayed in one of the better rooms. However, all in all, I would say this is one to avoid.
Summary: Not shabby chic, just plain old shabby
More reviews in the field of Hotel National
- Premier Inn (Charing Cross, Glasgow)
- Mermaid House (Lyme)
- Mercure Bristol Holland House
- Hotel Ibis (Elstree, Borehamwood)
- Holiday Inn (Sandy Bedford)
- The Twice Brewed Inn (Hexham, Northumberland)
- Sandman Signature Hotel (Newcastle)
- Ibis Hotel Luton Airport (Luton)
- Premier Inn Newcastle Metro Centre (Gateshead)
- Lancaster Holiday Inn (Lancaster)