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“gourmet food” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel

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Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel
Ranked #3 of 13 Alston B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“gourmet food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2012

We stayed on a travel zoo voucher which I found offered escellent value. The staff were courteous and friendly. We arrived early and were welcomed with a hot chocolate and biscuits (as we don't like tea or coffee) as the log fire was lit. Our bags were taken up to our room once it was ready. The room was large and nicely decorated the beds were comfortable, my only quibble would be the pillows which I found hard (but it have to confess a preferance to feather pillows) and I do realise if we asked this could have been remedied. (however wouldn't have wanted to disturb people in the middle of the night when I found out about the pillow!) The food on the tasting menu was excellent as was the breakfast, and I would say possibly some of the best food I've had in a long time. (to put this in perspective I've been in 5 hotels in the past 5 months)

Room Tip: room 16 is near the pump that services the showers which you can hear when people are running water...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rapeat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 18 April 2012
May we thank you for your kind comments. Yes you are right we would have changed the pillows-you only had to ask but we are grateful you didn't in the middle of the night!
Thank you so much, it really does mean a lot to us.
Peter and Marie Haynes
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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602 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (140)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
cheshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2012

We were very much looking forward to a relaxing weekend away in a 'magnificent' country hotel. What we experienced was anything but. On arrival the owner was not overly welcoming but quickly showed us to our superior room. On entering the room it is not an exaggeration to say that we were horrified. The owner asked us to ignore the huge stain on the grubby 'white' carpet as a guest a week earlier had spilt a bottle of wine. I looked around the room to discover that the kettle was not clean; the toilet was not clean and unbelievably, when I sat on the bed, discovered that there was no duvet provided just felt blankets. I was quite upset by this as was my partner. We quickly brought our concerns to the attention of the staff who explained that none of the superior or better rooms have duvets just blankets. They did provide us with a different kettle and offered us a different room, which unfortunately was smaller and still had a grubby carpet, so we remained in the room provided. The staff did try to improve our situation as they explained that they themselves would not sleep with felt blankets, so managed to get us a double duvet which just fit the super king size bed, very much appreciated. The room itself was very old and tired; an old grey TV, bed side tables constructed by two pieces of chipboard placed together and a radiator which would only work as certain times of the day and night, so at all other times it was freezing. The saving grace of this hotel is indeed the restaurant, we had a four course meal and two breakfasts during our stay. The food was superb, fabulous choice; they certainly do have an excellent chef and fantastic waiters/waitresses who were very helpful. Overall i would not recommend a stay at this hotel but certainly a meal.

Room Tip: The rooms do have excellent surroundings so if you do visit, any room should give a fantastic view.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank s k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 18 April 2012
First may we thank your reviewer with regard to our cuisine. it certainly seems we get that bit right!

Now onto the rooms. Yes, it is true that one of our rooms carpets have been stained by a previous guest who spilt red wine over one it. To rub salt into the wound the wine was not even ours, they did not tell us about it when it happened nor did they inform us on departure. We do really wish there was a trip advisor for hoteliers to name and shame guests! However, having landed us with the problem we cannot magic up replacement carpets over a busy Easter periods. Have you tried getting a fitter? Most guests have been understanding under the circumstances.

What is not forgiveable is bathrooms that are not cleaned properly and for that we give our unreserved apologies. Usually this is also something we usually get right. We will be bringing this to our housekeepers attention, rest assurred.

Finally to the dressing of the bed. We have been praised by independent reviewers for having Egyptian cotton sheets togeter with blankets. They dress the bed so much better and allow a more comfortable nights sleep, particularly in summer. Now it might not be to everybodys taste but then again neither are duvets. You know we can never win. In this instance we did replace the blankets with a duvet and we wonder what more we could have done? In point of fact this is the very first guest to have ever complained. It is true that some guests have requested duvets prior to arrival as have people asking for blankets.

Who would be a hotelier?

Peter and Marie Haynes
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
40 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2012

Have just returned from a two night break and would highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a peaceful and very pretty location, with great service from the staff and fantastic food. Bedrooms were very comfortable and the public rooms were exactly what you would expect in a good country house hotel. Both breakfast and dinner were an extremely high standard with lots of choice. Lovely walks direct from the door also. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mlne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2012

We booked in for two days12@13th after reading previous comments it was a mixed bag, on the approach to the hotel the drive is FULL of potholes that need attention. Upon arrival at 3pm we were told the room was not ready ( did they not know the guests are coming?) and waited for 30 minutes for the room to be completed, that is room 15.
Well after that much time you would expect the room to be like a shining pin, well think again!! The bedroom was dusty ( I even wrote in the dust which was still there on the day we left, under the bed and areas have not seen a hoover since I don't know when , opened the windows to let some air in and both surrounds are full of muck and cobwebs??
The bathroom was in poor condition with BLACK mold around the walls,ceiling and corners,and the extractor fan was FULL of dust. this could only be beaten by the shower , when I went to take a shower the head seemed on to let out from half the outlets this is because the head is full of dust and it wants removing to be cleaned!!!
The bedding and bottoms sheets marked, the chair needs repairing..... it goes on and on..
The view out of one window wasn't bad but this was poor in the otheras the view of the bins and general rubbbish( Maybe a screen would help the view???) was what you got.
The focus seems to be on awards and maybe they have lost focus on what is/was really important or maybe how it was along time ago, since it states ' this is a hotel we like to think of home' sorry my home is 100% on what was given to us.
The decor is needing a uplift and the carpet in the main dining area is in need of cleaning..... the one thing that was done well was the food. Service was ok and for the prices they expect their asking OVER the odds for what you are served up...... trust me. I took photos of all the issues to back up just what is in this review.
Sorry we will not be back and you will get Higher standards for less money in the nearest Travelodge - so dont go to room 15 you have been warned!!!!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
28 Thank Keith G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
petermartinhaynes, Owner at Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 19 April 2012
Well, where do we start. The first thing we must emphasise, as we have stated elsewhere, is that we will be repairing the drive soon. This is a problem following the winter and, provided you do not use the drive as a race track (as some do!), then it is acceptable.

On to the room. As far as we are concerned all our rooms are ready by 3.00pm. We think there is some "stretching the truth here" ...and you know it is so easy to criticise but according to our independent assessors of both the AA and Visit Britain our housekeeping is of a high standard. Now my guests who do you believe? There are many guests who have written quite the reverse so It must be very confusing to you..

Something went very wrong with these guests for us to receive such a damming report. and we may never get to the bottom of it. Yes we will make mistakes and yes you can stay in a Travel Lodge, locked in and out by a receptionist who never ventures beyond their desk with no other facilities, no bar or restaurant. If you do want breakfast then pop accross to some greasy spoon. And yes it will be cheap but will never have the choice or quality we have. But if you want to stay in a property with a bit of charachter you can stay at a hotel like ours which may be a bit quirky (including ourselves). If you do encounter a problem, then please let us know and we will try and put it right there and then. If necessary we will offer you another room. Don't sneak off withour saying anything and then spill vitreol over a review site.

Oh yes, one more thing....before you comment on the dinner (expensive or otherwise), please, please, unlike these guests, have one before you criticise!

These are the type of reviews that givel trip advisor a bad name.
Peter and Marie Haynes
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyne & Wear
Level Contributor
63 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

We have just returned from a two night stay and want to share the experience with anyone who wants a tranquil break in a beautiful setting. We were allowed to check in really early which is always a bonus and were made to feel very welcome from the start. Our room was clean, comfortable and overlooked the garden. The view from the main entrance was fabulous taking in the river, the flora and fauna on its banks and the pretty bridge. We ate there both evenings and have to say we found the food to be outstanding and the service was marvellous - nothing seemed be be too much trouble and the staff were very pleasant and courteous. Above all the thing that stood out for us was the attention to detail, as seasoned travellers in our opinion those extra touches far outreached our expectations and made our stay all the more special. A big thank you to Peter and his team, looking forward to staying there again in the very near future.

Room Tip: This is a country retreat and might be difficult to get to if you do not drive.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Caterina17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel

Property: Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel
Address: Lovelady Lane, Alston CA9 3LX, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Alston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Alston
Price range (per night): ₹ 6,512 - ₹ 15,945
Hotel Class:3 star — Lovelady Shield Country House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Lovelady Shield Country Hotel
Lovelady Shield Country Alston

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