Victoria House – Caernafon

victoria-house-b-bIf you’re staying in the historical town of Caernafon then you’ll probably be wanting to stay inside the walls. That’s no problem if you stay at the wonderfully conventional Victoria House B&B, with their spacious and uniquely decorated rooms (reviews have commented on the ‘interesting decor as well as lots of attention to fine detail ‘). Only a short walk away from Caernafon Castle, the gorgeous sea views afforded to some of the rooms are worth the trip in itself. Taking a glance at some of the 396 ‘Excellent’ reviews (from a possible 404) its clear that customers are also taken with the place.

Although the ‘spotless accommodation’ and ‘perfect location’ may have tourists pretty pleased with their decision, its the high quality of service and hospitality that owner Jan, and her small team, deliver that seems to consistently impress visitors. Countless mentions of Jan’s ‘warm and friendly manner’ as well as her ‘polite and hard working’ staff paint the Victoria in a very good light indeed. Add to this a generous plethora of complimentary goods including ‘anything you may need or have forgotten’ and the Victoria House seems like the logical option when staying in Caenarfon.

victoria house interiorIts worth mentioning here that there are cheaper options in Caernafon, however from the endless positive reviews on TripAdvisor, it would seem unwise to at least not consider this classy establishment. This last anecdote from a satisfied customer sums up why you would feel truly at home in this W
elsh B&B:

‘The landlady Jan was welcoming and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble, including inviting our daughter and granddaughter for breakfast one morning and they weren’t even staying there…’

Maryville House – Belfast

Maryville House is a beautiful Victorian gentleman’s house that has been transformed into a delightful B&B on the skirts of Belfast. It’s got a fantastic, beautiful tea room that will win over anyone who is lucky enough to step inside. In a quiet neighbourhood Maryville house is a peaceful retreat, with on sight parking and luscious grounds visitors can relax in. Close to some of Belfast’s best boutique shopping areas and supplying some of the best traditional food in the city, this is a B&B not to be missed.

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One of the highest rated accommodation locations in Belfast, a lot of people have good stuff to say about it: ‘This little gem is absolutely amazing! The rooms are spacious and the staff are the friendliest people you could meet.’ “Should be the top B&B in Belfast!!” “I cannot emphasis enough what a beautiful B&B this is.I stayed as a solo female and was made to feel completely at home. They even sent me on today with a sandwich for later as I have a long journey home” which all just sounds lovely. Not all positive though: ‘You will not get a space in the carpark if you arrive before 5pm due to the busy tea room, although there is some street parking. The breakfast was average, but plenty of options on the menu.’ ‘after my husband complained they did not charge for the food it was still very disappointing and sad’ ‘We ordered the full breakfast and two coffees. the coffees arrived but the waitress said it would be at least 30 – 60 mins before our breakfasts would arrive. We asked why and she said the chef was at a meeting and she didn’t know how long it would last.’.

Mixed bag, but it looks like a nice place!…

Soccer Suite – Liverpool

Thousands visit Liverpool almost every weekend to watch football at one of the cities legendary football grounds- Liverpool FC’s Anfield and Everton’s Goodison Park. Fan’s travelling from far away or for late need to find a place to stay for the night. There are many giant hotels, all the big chains, around the city to choose from. But that’s a load of crap. What you want is a small place, close to the ground, with a local welcome that will complete your experience in the city. And that place is Soccer Suite. A family run guest house literally next door to Anfield and a 15 minute walk from Goodison, the whole place has a nice welcoming atmosphere and a football theme with shirts ranging from Totti to Liverpool legends on the walls. Licensed bar for after game drinks, heated patio, nice rooms. It really is the perfect match day stay.

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They’re doing very well are Soccer Suite on Trip Advisor. Of their 80 reviews on Trip Advisor 61 are ‘excellent’, 14 are ‘very good’, 2 are ‘poor’ and another two are ‘terrible’. The negative reviews are from about 7 years ago, and it seems to have come on leaps and bounds since then. People are saying “We had a FAB time in Soccer Suites”, “The staff are amazing. Suzanne is lovely and the Lovely Sharon was BRILLIANT and we really enjoyed her all weekend. She’s a legend!”, “Perfect location, great service, affordable, and clean and tidy”, “Want to thank the staff at The Soccer suites for their lovely welcome and friendly chats and all the helpful info, nothing was too much trouble”, “This was my first trip to Anfield to watch Liverpool play. The location of the Soccer Suite could not be better it is literally a stones throw away from the ground! The atmosphere was fantastic.”. “I had a large cooked breakfast waiting for me in the morning by a very enigmatic chef, I forget her name but she had me in stitches!”.

Click here to be redirected to their Booking.com page

All in all it seems a fantastic place when visiting for football, and also to experiance a Liverpool welcome from the lovely people running the place. Soccer Suite, it seems, is a credit to the city of Liverpool.…

Happy Guests Lodge – Warrington

Options are somewhat short in Warrington but one independent Bed And Breakfast stands above all the rest. With exceptionally clean rooms, good food and an ever growing and impressive list of free facilities the place really glows amongst its competition. Free gym membership, free discounts, free continental breakfast, free wifi access, free guest parking, free route planner.  Now that’s a lot of free stuff.

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It is the highest rated accommodation of any kind in Warrington, according to travellers the place is “helpful in every respect”, “Always spot on for service and cleanliness, very friendly proprietor”, “A great place to stay for work”, “Hidden gem!”,  “Personl, friendly and very comfortable stay” and “Dave Roberts”. A man had a “Good two night stay in this funky hotel”. And another saw “Happy Guests at the Happy Guest Lodge”.

But definitely not racist TripAdvisor user ‘AA’ said there was “Bad customer service, grumpy and rude chinese lady”. Apparently “The chinese lady was very rude and kept stopping me when i was coming in and out with allways a negative comment. Bad experience due to bad manners.”. Whilst it is unclear who the Chinese lady is, what she was doing there, what her role was at the hotel and what it was that she did that was so aweful, and why here being Chinese matters, it is clear that she is a real problem. On reading the B&B’s response however, the plot thickens…

“This Guest is not as stated on their Trip Advisor profile a women, but a local man and Trip Adviser have been informed. This local Guest, for reasons we can only guess, seemed motivated to try his best to disrupt our business during his stay and then damage it afterwards…On his first night after being told at Check-in that Reception closes at 10pm he called the hotel using his mobile phone at 11pm… he then went to the Reception Desk and rang the emergency bell in order to get attention. The urgency of his late night request, was to order room service, in order to have his breakfast delivered to his room each day, which we did.”

So far he certainly seems an awkward customer, but then it really picks up and the accusations start flying…

“On the morning of his final full day he told our House Keeper, that the Manager had left instructions that the cleaner should change his sheets and ordered her to do so – this was total fiction. The reason he made this story up was because he wanted his sheets changed as he planned to entertain a lady friend most of the night, when only paying for a single room.”

(See full review/response here: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g2163277-d1473117-Reviews-Happy_Guests_Lodge-Dutton_Warrington_Cheshire_England.html) And it is here that we get a glimpse into the soul of Warrington, the consist references to him as a ‘Local man’ or ‘local guest’: “It is just a real shame that local Guests like this, with questionable motives, can con sites”, “Not a women, but a local man”, “this local Guest”, “this local Guest booked the wrong dates” and ‘local reviewers like this, whose only motive is to damage our business, just make us so sad!!’. What is this obsession with the locality of the man? Is there a self-hating streak in Warrington identity? Is there a class dynamic here? Are the B&B owners ashamed of their Warrington location? Perhaps their superiority as the best accommodation in town has led them to perceive themselves with a degree of separation from the local population, and now hate to be reminded of the community they are truly part of. They so enjoy hob nobing with those who pass through, is it the knowledge that those business people they meet will indeed hold locals in contempt, and the owner trying to stay on the right side of their prejudice? Or perhaps simply using it to blind them to a potentially problematic Chinese lady? Who knows, this ones a real can of worms…

TOP TIP: Very strange local fact, but there are a string of fantastic Warrington orangeries and conservatories in the area which you’ll notice as you take a walk around the place. They really stand out, you can’t miss them!

Drinkstone Park Bed and Breakfast & Gardens – Suffolk, England

Award winning Bed And Breakfast (aren’t all the good ones award winning? But, like, what was the award? Was it the local newspapers ‘best Bed And Breakfast’ Award? How many competitors where there? Still means something I guess…) with the amazing addition of three acres of beautiful gardens and parkland, A wonderfully quiet and peacful getaway that sits not to far from the A14.

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It is the highest rated B&B in Suffolk. Out of it’s whopping 423 reviews on TripAdvisor 421 are excellent and 2 are very good. Pretty stunning! People are saying “Leave behind the cares of the world”, “Excellent B&B”, “Home from Home”, “Perfect in every way-again!”, “We love coming here!” and “Excellence in all things”. Others call Drinkstone “A place to enrich your soul”, “A wonderful English country getaway!”, “A delightful B&B in the Suffolk Countryside” and “Tranquil and comfortable stay”.

Apparently there are some problems with table hight: “The only thing we felt our room lacked was a flat surface at waist height. We had to bend down uncomfortably to the little, low tea-table and even lower table next to it – not good for those of us with bad backs!”. But that seems to be the only compliant ever made about Drinkstone, not a bad track record!

Top Tip: The park itself is such an attraction, but the park and the area also have a fascinating history that will interest enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike.…

Verdene Hotel B&B – Manchester, England

With views over the quite beautiful Whitworth Park the Verdene is not any sort of over the top experience, it is a simple place with simple goals and it achieves them wonderfully.
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It’s the highest rated proper B&B in Manchester. It has 155 reviews on TripAdvisor 59 of which are excellent, 61 of which are very good, 26 of which are average, 7 of which are poor and 2 are terrible. People are saying “Lovely place to stay” and “Very cheap and very nice b&b” and “Clean and cosy” and “great and comfortable hotel”“very warm welcoming” and “Perfect” and “Excellent” and “Little Gem! Above expectations!” and “cosy, quiet and friendly” and “perfect stay to visit Manchester!” and “unpretentious, wonderful little place” and “Fantastic stay” and “Lovely family run B & B – would highly recommend” and “Great value and a warm welcome” and “Would return any time” and “All round very nice experience” and “Very friendly warm welcome and not too far from centre!” and “Really friendly and cosy B&B” and “Lovely stay at a lovely B & B.” and “Friendly staff and clean hotel!”. So pretty good!

Also however… “Unfriendly Greeting. Shabby Tired Hotel.” and “Awful breakfast” and “No meat?!” and “Did not enjoy stay, was glad to leave.” and “Spirit level and ruler needed” and “Sadece idare eder”. Erm, yes.

Also.. “Rained on.” and “An overall disappointment”.

Top Tip: If heading out to the airport, as most probably are, check out this handy Manchester Airport Car Parking or Liverpool Airport Car Parking helper to avoid the notoriously heavy parking fees out there.…

Bed and Breakfast by the Beach — Bournemouth, England

Just 200 meters away from Bournemouth’s beautiful (and apparently award winning) 7 miles of beech lies one of the UK’s most highly thought of Bed & Breakfast establishments: The Bed and Breakfast by the Beach in Bournemouth, England.

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This place has 336 reviews on trip advisor. 334 of those rate it excellent (the highest rating, equivalent to 5 starts). People say things like: “Absolutely perfect. Room spotless, beautiful, attention to the minimal details ( still water, sparkling water, home made muffins, tv, dvds, books). Breakfast astonishing, wide choice. We had delicious blueberry pankcakes and eggs with salmon. The B&B By the beach is a good excuse to visit again the area” and “BEST EVER Bed & Breakfast” and “What a find!” and “The perfect b&b” and “PERFECT!” and “Perfection” or how about “No Other Place compares”“Perfect in every way “Wonderful – You really cannot ask for more” and “No other place compares”. So… pretty good.

Or, according to the average review: “We expected a bit more. We (my wife and I) stayed here for some nights in August this year. On arrival Chris and John welcomed us and Chris showed us our room. We found it/this all a bit ‘chaotic’ from their side. Our room was large enough but the bathroom was a bit dated. Als the cleaning of the room and especialy of the bathroom could (and should to our standards) have been a bit better, because there was a lot of dust! Breakfast was ok with lots of fresh fruits and the new conservatory was very nice. We expected a bit more… (but maybe we were spoiled by our other b&b’s we visited).”

But hey, can’t please them all…

But also, according to Bethiejude: “’……….Probably the best B & B in the world……’!” WOW!

Top Local Tip: Get some surf lessons over at Bournemouth Surf School.…

Welcome!

Welcome. Welcome those who love staying in Bed & Breakfasts. Welcome those who refuse the Air BnB. Welcome those who refuse the 5 Star hotels. Welcome those who turn there noses up at Couch Surfing. Welcome to those who know a simple fact: there is no more relaxing place to stay than a good Bed & Breakfast. Ernest Hemingway once said that he only ever wanted to write one true sentence. Well Ernest, I think I just managed it…

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An AirBnB is no home from home. It is an empty home from home that is neither home nor holiday. It is an empty place you have to learn and then leave. A hotel is not a truly welcoming place, everything has a price tag on it, you’re ushered in and ushered out like every other lonely soul. You are up against the hotel. It is your advisory and you are inside it. It wants to take as much from you as it can and you want to give it as little as possible. You are inside Moby Dick, and you are being asked to enjoy it.

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A Bed & Breakfast is a place where you are welcomed and wanted, people who run Bed & Breakfasts want to work in the Bed & Breakfast. It was their dream to run that B&B. You are, when staying in a B&B, sharing in someone’s dream. Isn’t that wonderful? Some people may dream of being a hotelier, but they don’t dream of looking after people, they dream of running the big thing and making all the money and being a big dog, that is not the dream of the Bed & Breakfast proprietor. Ohhhhhhhhhhh no.

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There dream is to create a place where you want to be and they want to be. That is why Bed & Breakfast’s are beautiful, and that is why you should stay in them.…