Hotels have become a bit of a specialist subject for us in recent weeks. After beginning at Sketchley Grange and enjoying dinner at The Belfry, we headed a little further north for our next experience.
Ye Olde Bell sits equidistant between Sheffield and Doncaster, around an hour north of Nottingham just on the border with South Yorkshire. The drive up from our base in North-West Leicestershire was a pleasant one with the sun shining and the roads nice and clear.
The trip to Ye Olde Bell takes you through some beautiful small villages such as Blyth, a perfect introduction to the English countryside. Approaching the hotel, it looks like the kind of country pub that offers a decent pint and a place to stay. Just behind the hotel is the much newer building that houses the spa. There are also separate buildings for alternative accomodation.
As we parked up and walked past drinkers enjoying an alfresco beer on the terrace, we headed for the reception. We walked into a cosy, homely environment with a large fire (thankfully not lit) and a sitting area overlooked by a grandfather clock. It made a really good first impression.
A friendly smile greeted us at the desk and kindly we were then shown to our room. The hotel doesn’t have a lift but handily there are bedrooms on the ground floor along with the restaurant and hotel facilities for any disabled guests. The hotel is also currently rated as a four-star.
The rooms are completely different to the vintage decor of the hotel reception and corridors. A clean, smart and modern colour scheme along with carpeted floors, open-out windows and a good sized bed, this was exactly our kind of thing.
Then there’s the bathroom. This has the best bathtub that we have ever seen, a large free-standing tub that you’ll struggle to get out of – it’s that comfortable! Toiletries are also provided and there is also a shower if you don’t fancy a bath.
There was a wedding going on in the courtyard down below with music to go with it. Luckily the music wasn’t intrusive and I actually happen to enjoy a bit of Lionel Richie. The one sticking point really with regards to the room has to be the lack of air conditioning on a hot day, a desk fan or something would have made the experience a lot more comfortable.
We loved the free fruit bowl that the hotel kindly provided. The strawberries were some of the reddest and best that we’ve ever had. It was a really nice touch along with tea,coffee and hot chocolate plus shortbread biscuits. We were really enjoying the peace and serenity of Ye Olde Bell, it had been everything up to now that a tranquil spa break should be.
Free WIFI is also included in the stay which is great when catching up on work or just relaxing in the room. A TV with freeview channels is also provided. Despite the sweaty conditions throughout the day, the room did cool down at night with the windows fully open which allowed for a comfortable and peaceful nights sleep.
Ye Olde Bell with its creaking stairs and old-world decor really is a special place to stay. It’s like stepping back in time with a highwayman’s retreat or haunted house kind of feel to it. The rooms are modern and spacious along with friendly service throughout the hotel. We can’t wait to return!
Nearest Train Station: Retford