Great Britain 2013 Guidebook
Best and worst accommodations:
Best: Ardconnel House, Inverness
Why: Exceptionally friendly & helpful owners; good breakfast, served with background music; TV/reading room available to guests
Worst: Braeside B&B, Portree, Isle of Skye
Why: Ownership has changed. New owner was trying to manage 2 properties at once, so seemed a bit disorganized
Donna Pyle in Boulder, CO USA 11/11/2013
Best: Youth hostel in Conwy
Why: I have never considered a hostel before, but it was great. Truly great views(although the climb up nearly did me in), clean rooms and friendly staff.
Janet in Cincinnati, Oh USA 10/07/2013
Best: The Old Farmhouse Wells
Why: Lovely place with a lovely hostess full of suggestions for her guests, who come ONLY from Rick Steves' guidebooks.
Joyce DeYoung in Suburban Philadelphia, PA USA 09/24/2013
Best: Caer Menai in Caernarfon, Wales
Why: Pleasant, convenient, roomy, moderate price
Larry DeYoung in Devon, PA USA 09/24/2013
Best: Castlebank Hotel, Conwy, Wales
Why: Owners Jo and Henrique were very accommodating, Henrique is a great photographer and the breakfast and bar were quite good.
Worst: Lensfield Hotel, Cambridge, UK
Why: We had 2 rooms rented, 1 for our 20+ kids and 1 for us. They put us in different parts of the hotel so that we had to climb 3 flights down and 3 up to go to each other's room. They did not properly fill out the parking sticker and we got a ticket, they told us there was AC and there was not. Then they sent me a nasty email afterwards!
Bev Adkins in San Ramon, CA USA 09/22/2013
Best: AmarAgua in Edinburgh, Scotland also the Aster House in London
Why: Wonderful host & Hostess. Tony &Dawn-Ann were delightful. The breakfast was beyond wonderful. The room was lovely, comfortable and quiet.
In LOndon it was the Aster House in South Kensington. The neighborhood was quiet, close to the Tube and convenient to many sights. Our room was quiet though very small. The breakfast room was large, bright and uplifting. We would stay there again.
Dianne O'Donnell in Holden, Ma USA 08/26/2013
Best: 23 St. Mary's, York
Why: Great location, quiet yet in town, fabulous hosts with a made to order breakfast and fruit, yogurt etc. on the sideboard.
Worst: Edinborough, Scotland B&B locations
Why: We followed the book and stayed near Dalkeith Road. It was too far from the Royal mile area and we had to ride the bus many times per day. Please try and find some accommodations closer to the old town.
Jeannie Inns in Davis, CA USA 07/29/2013
Worst: Brocks Guest House, Bath
Why: Seems there are new owners, Karen and Rachel. The first morning, we had preordered our breakfasts. They did not have enough food for the 2 full English that we ordered. I also heard them tell another gentleman that there were no kippers, which he had ordered. Our 25 yr. old son was starving after having only 2 very small pancakes. We ended up getting a 2nd breakfast for him at a restaurant in town. Our daughter had only a partial English. There were no sausages. Our room smelled VERY strongly of potpourri. There was a plug in that we had them remove the 2nd day. Still permeated the room & we ended up with headaches.
Pam Clark in Surrey, BC Canada 05/10/2013
Best: Harlech - Wales: Maelgwyn House B & B
Why: Light-filled, spacious rooms with every comfort thought through. Friendly, helpful hosts. Perhaps the best breakfast I had in almost 4 weeks in Great Britain -everything well-chosen and well prepared. Could walk to a variety of restaurants in town and the castle.
Worst: St. Mary's Guest House in York
Why: This place was really not that bad - the rooms were very nice, and the hosts very helpful. The availability of in-town parking at a B & B was also appreciated.
However, two things gave me pause to recommend it to others.
First, the rooms have the old-fashioned skeleton key locks. These were REALLY difficult to unlock when you were trying to get back into the room (when you might need a restroom?) Then, you had to lock the door with the key at night, which could also take some juggling to unlock. the thought of a fire was disturbing in this situation, especially since we were on a top floor.
Second, the breakfast was pretty good except that the cooked items seem to have been cooked in rancid oil. At first we thought it was just something about the mushrooms, but we realized that the sausages, eggs, etc. had the same rancid taste.
With such a nice room and hsots, we second-guessed ourselves to complain, but it would probably look elsewhere as a first choice. Still, we would consider staying here again, and might say something about breakfast if the problem occurred again.
Jan Owens in Racine, WI, WI USA 12/29/2012
Best: Scotland - Edinburgh - Gil Dunn Guest House
Why: Great room, great breakfast, great host. When my husband left his backpack in the taxi, the host arranged for the taxi to return it to us at the train station.
Jann Evans in Henderson, NV USA 11/09/2012
Best: No. 1 Marlborough House, Bath, England
Why: Peter spent almost an hour explaining local sights and dining options. His breakfast was the best we had in UK, including fresh fruit and organic granola. His staff is friendly and helpful.
Canice McLaughlin in Fremont, CA USA 10/13/2012
Best: Plas Gwyn B and B Beddgelert, Wales
Why: Owner was very knowledgeable about hiking and walking in the area. Comfortable, clean room - very friendly. Good breakfast. Would stay there again.
Jay Livey in Seattle, Wa USA 09/27/2012
Best: Bryn B and B - Conwy, Wales
Why: Bryn was very, very good - clean, comfortable (big room), well run and excellent breakfast. We would definitly stay there again.
Jay Livey in Seatte, Wa USA 09/27/2012
Best: The Town House B&B
Why: My room was very nice with a lovely view of Conwy Castle and a Welsh garden down below my window. Alan and Elaine Naughton are the proprietors and are almost as charming and interesting as their wonderful dog Glen who greeted me every morning at the stairs and kept me company while I ate breakfast. Elaine's breakfasts, whether "full Welsh" or her fabulous yoghurt, fresh fruit breakfast sundae were delicious.
Kam in Plano, TX USA 08/15/2012
Best: Brundholme B&B in Keswick, the Lakes District
Why: Great price, lovely rooms (with the promised views of the lake & mountains), and warm hospitality. Our hostess gave me good directions to Castlerigg stone circle, and allowed us to borrow her wine glasses to take there for our picnic supper.
Jane Murphy in Cranston, RI USA 08/05/2012
Best: Badgers Wood B&B Keswick
Why: Badgers Wood provided an excellent comfortable, charming accomodation at good value. The location was great, just a short walk to the pedestrian heart of Keswick. Andrew was a superb host, showing genuine interest in each visitor. Unlike many B&B's, the bathroom was spacious. Great attention to detail with such amenities as a sewing kit and toiletries in our room. I hope to go back to Keswick, a wonderful destination, and stay at Badgers Wood again. Highly recommended.
Win Cahill in Flagstaff, AZ USA 07/11/2012
Best: Bonham in Edinburgh
Why: luxury asnd great service
Worst: Altavona Guest house in Oban
Why: Room much too small and too cluttered so no room for luggage or hardly to move. Bathroom was a closet with room for only one person at a time. After the other great accomodations, this was very disappointing. Just about any hotel would have been better.
Rich Patterson in Mechanicville, NY USA 07/05/2012
Best: Craigroyston House in Pitlochry
Why: It's an amazing place with comfortable bedding, fantastic breakfast and gorgeous gardens. The host, Douglas, stayed up late making sure we arrived safely. The room on the top floor slept 3 adults with plenty of room.
Rebecca Fennell in Hilliard, OH USA 06/16/2012
Best: Kingsway Guest House, Edinburgh
Why: Clean, quiet rooms; inventive breakfasts; friendly and helpful hosts
Amery in La Crosse, WI USA 06/11/2012
Best: Two are tied for best.
Why: Can't decide between Craigside Lodge in Inverness and Glenalmond House in Edinburgh.
Sharon Day in East Kingston, NH USA 06/03/2012
Best: Ambleside in Stratford upon Avon
Why: Lovely room, good breakfasts, excellent hosts, great location. They made reservations for us at local restaurants. We stayed 3 nights and could have stayed more.
Worst: Can't name any one for this designation
Why: All were more than adequate. Some hosts were great others just did the minimum of service. All were clean and well kept.
Thea Welsh in Stillwater, MN USA 05/22/2012
Best: Number Nine, Stow on Wold
Why: Simply delightful, the B&B simply fits the whole Cotswold experience. The owners are lovely.
Why: Unfortunately all the high rated B&Bs in the guide book and the Trip Advisor were full and so we went the Travelodge route in Bath and Edinburgh. Locations were great but they aren't a good value and were both full of noisy student groups.
Stuart Wright in Orem, Ut USA 04/14/2012
Best: Gwynfryn Bed & Breakfast
Why: They were everything you said they would be.
Kelly Hainer in Cleveland, OH USA 02/18/2012
Best: Baytree House B&B
Why: We found ourselves without a place to stay on a weekend where Bath was inundated with visitors for Guy Fawkes. After unsuccessfully searching for vacancies we started calling places recommended in the Great Britain guidebook. We ended up in Wells at Baytree House B&B. Fantastic! Great price, clean room, wi-fi, full english breakfast and such incredibly nice people.
Erica Tomaras in Deer Island, OR USA 12/06/2011
Best: Cornerways B&B
Why: Very convenient location just off High Street, parking for our car right at the home, modern, spacious and very clean. Our hosts Les and Carole were friendly and helped us with small details like bus connections and places to walk.
Don Waddell in Walnut Creek, CA USA 10/28/2011
Best: Dionard Guest House - Inverness
Why: Clean and comfortable rooms, gracious hosts, good location
Peter in Vancouver, Canada 10/06/2011
Best: Abbey Guest House-York
Why: The Guest House was close to the train station, which was excellent. Very close to all of the sights, room and breakfast were just fine and Mr. Alec and Gill Saville were great hosts. Thank you very much for your hospitality.
Enrique in Richmond, Tx USA 10/02/2011
Best: Gil Dun-Edinburgh
Why: Earlier post have given all the reasons for staying at this nice place. We got the room with the double and single bed and it was great for us. Great breakfast, hospitality and quality of the room. Great place, will stay there again when we return. Thank you very much.
Enrique in Richmond, Tx USA 10/02/2011
Best: Brundholme Guest House -Kesiwick
Why: We spent 3 days in Keswick just to unwind, we thought. When it came time to leave, we did not want to leave this great place. The treatment we recieved at this place was just great. Excellent room, overlooking the golf course and the moutains, the great hospitalty, breakfast and warmth of the owners was difficult to leave behind. Great place. Thank you.
Enrique in Richmond, Tx USA 10/02/2011
Best: Marlborough House-Bath
Why: Peter and his staff were just simply great!!! We enjoyed our stay there with them. Great recomendations and assistance on getting to see wonderful Bath. We will most definitely stay there again when we return. Thanks.
Enrique in Richmond, Tx USA 10/02/2011
Best: Gil Dun Guest House, Edinburgh
Why: Can't say enough about the Gil Dun! Bill & Maggie are so friendly & made us feel like family. We stayed in 4 B&B's on our trip, & this room was by far the largest - surprisingly so. (We stayed 3 nights, so that was great.) Large bathroom & shower. Everything was spotless & sparkling. Delicious breakfasts (eggs-to-order, salmon, & cereals etc) Dining room intimate & pretty. On a quiet cul-de-sac. Short walk to the bus stop, & about a 15 minute walk to a great little pub (The Reverie) where we ended up eating every night because we just wanted a light supper of the terrific tomato-taragon soup. Bill arranged taxis for the 2 times we needed them, & that was helpful. Definitely would stay again.
Room Tip: Our room had 2 beds, 1 double & 1 twin. Huge room & bath, & comfortable beds & bedding. Never heard any outside noises at all.
John Reed in Alexandria, LA USA 10/02/2011
Best: Ashness Farm, Borrowdale (Keswick)
Why: Beautiful farm location. Room was very comfortable with a great view of Derwentwater and the farm with sheep and belted Galloway cows. Hostess was charming, friendly and helpful. Food was great.
Craig Steinfeld in Morrison, CO USA 07/30/2011
Best: Ellas Crag Guest House near Keswick
Why: picturesque, peaceful setting; wonderful hosts and lovely home with delicious breakfasts including freshly squeezed orange juice! We requested a lunch to-go for our travel day on up into Scotland, which was great for a picnic.
Gretchen in Winston-Salem, NC USA 07/28/2011
Best: No. 23 St. Mary's B&B in York
Why: beautiful, affordable, easy access to sights etc. great owners and hosts :)
Kim Anderson in North Vancouver, BC Canada 07/11/2011
Best: Luna-Simone Hotel
Why: Great Staff, very helpful.
Nancy Robinson in Nampa, ID USA 06/16/2011
Best: Mellness Guest House, Inverness, Scotland
Why: Joy was a gracious and accommodating hostess. Our room was large, clean, comfortable, and quiet. Breakfast was delicious. We appreciated the tea and biscuits in our room. And, we were a quick walk from restaurants and shopping.
Worst: The Dorstan, Edinburgh, Scotland
Why: The blanket and pillow covers on the bed were visibly stained and in need of washing. The mattress was very old, noisy, and lumpy. The towels in our bath were thin and frayed. In addition, they were still damp upon arrival (we hoped from having been pulled from the dryer too soon). There was lots of mildew around the tub. The hairdryer was broken. Overall a rather sad and shabby establishment but in a building with great bones and lots of potential.
Maureen Oberlin in Tallahassee, FL USA 06/05/2011
Best: gil dun guesthouse in Edinburgh
Why: very comfortable, outstanding breakfast, good location, quiet, exceptional host, good price
carol thibault in vancouver, bc canada 04/29/2011
Best: Both Abbeyfields in York and Badgers Wood in Keswick, Lake District
Why: Abbeyfields was lovely, wonderful hosts and breakfasts. Badgers Wood was the same. The owners of both B&B's were absolutely marvelous people, who could not have been more friendly or helpful!!!
Diane & Rick Steiner in CLifton Park, NY USA 04/26/2011