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Best Western Dolphin Hotel, St Ives

3.0/5  - basé sur 470 notations.
London Road, PE27 5EP, St Ives, Great Britain - See map

Best Western Dolphin Hotel boasts (in its own humble way of course) 67 luxury bedrooms, a beautiful restaurant, bar areas and a wonderful location perched on the banks of the Great Ouse in the picturesque town of St Ives in Cambridgeshire. With spectacular views of beautiful meadows, the river and the amazing historic 15th Century bridge, you’ll have everything you need for a relaxing retreat.

Best Western

Dolphin Hotel

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Hotel advantages

  • Air conditioning
    Air conditioning
  • Cocktail lounge
    Cocktail lounge
  • Free parking
    Free parking
  • Outdoor parking
    Outdoor parking
  • 24-hour front desk
    24-hour front desk
  • Sauna
    Sauna
  • Multilingual staff
    Multilingual staff
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Guest reviews

In partnership with tripadvisor fr
based on 464 guest reviews
NOTE ISSUED
Excellent
93
Very Good
118
Average
110
Poor
73
Terrible
71
REFER TO NOTICE
Business Business
82
Couples Couples
126
Family Family
134
Friends getaway Friends getaway
83
Solo travel Solo travel
22
SUMMARY NOTES
Cleanliness
Location
Rooms
Service
Sleep Quality
Value

"Sunday lunch"

4
14/09/2018

The Dolphin in need of a major refurb but some work has started on the out side the inside is a bit tired Sunday roast is the best thing in my opinion it is a cavery so have a bit of everything and after sit with a brandy and watch the river go by chill.

"Oh dear!"

2
28/08/2018

Stayed at Dolphin 3 nights. Upgraded to refurbished room. Bathroom no complaints. Nice and fresh. Bedroom a disaster. Bedding was clean . The rest was not. Breakfast consisted of cheap products. Plenty of it though so could pick and choose. Staff amiable enough. Location wonderful. Come on Dolphin. Get your act together. Your housekeeping leaves a lot to be desired. Photo's of bed base filthy! Chair arms and seats filthy. As was the carpet in places.

"A nice break"

4
27/08/2018

We had a lovely stay, welcomed by the receptionist very friendly and wanting to help. It is a very pretty location, some of the hotel could do with a tidy but not unacceptable. We did not eat here in the evening but had some drinks at the bar. They breakfast was nice and good for a buffet style breakfast.

"Tired but good service"

3
26/08/2018

Stayed a couple of nights. Arrived after a long drive and asked if we could check in about 13.15. No, that's it!!!! The rules say check-in 14.00 but perhaps this could have been conveyed in a more friendly manner. Asked for a quiet room, upper floor and view of the river and that's exactly what I was given. Very large room, bit tired but clean and comfortable. Breakfast was buffet, but Davina made sure each item was kept supplied but not in too much quantity that would spoil the flavour. All the cooked breakfast was very tasty, well done to you the cook. Overall I would stay again but could do with a lick of paint.

"Could do Better"

3
22/08/2018

Used the hotel due to visiting family locally. Everything on Website looked great but the reality was disappointing to say the least. On checking in we were allocated our three rooms booked as "together". Our room was supposed to be a twin but there was only one single bed. Reception apologised and reallocated another room which was upstairs away from the rest of my family. Nothing really wrong with the room, reasonable clean and comfy beds. But it needed a little care and attention or probably a makeover as it was looking a little "tired". After an early sample of the bar area our return to the room was further irritated by the keys not working. Had to go back to reception for "new" keys where I met my brother who had encountered the same problem. Admittedly a small problem but irksome to say the least. The patio area outside was pretty good overlooking the river with its boats and great scenery, but I don't think the hotel makes enough of the resource and could really make it a special area with a little more though and very extra pennies. Right on the banks of the quintessential English village of St Ives it deserves to be just that little bit better. The breakfast was average with the food spending too much time under the heaters. I did complain twice about a couple of the items on offer and to their credit fresh food was offered and in once case actually delivered. There was a disco on in the bar area on Friday night which for us "oldies" was a little disconcerting and slightly out of keeping with the image of the place. I understand that the hotel tries to attract business at a weekend for a more "youthful audience" but hey-ho it wasn't a major problem. Would I stay there again ??? - Perhaps I would purely for the location but would need a little more persuasion for the actual hotel itself. Be careful where you leave you care - there is carparking but I am led to believe the overflow carpark is on a flood plain (?) Location is everything for this hotel and not enough is made of it

"Visiting family"

3
20/08/2018

Came down from Newcastle to visit relatives and plumped for the Dolphin purely on the strength of its location right on the river overlooking the beautiful English village of St Ives. They really ought to make much more of the patio though.That's as good as it gets really. Didn't get the rooms we asked for, doubles became twins and my brother and wife were given a single bed for the two of them. Having said that, rooms are clean and spacious if a little dull and need of a lift. The buffet breakfast suffered from being under the heaters too long, paucity of choice later in the morning and coffee wasn't good. Bar area is ok, cask beer awful and the bar is given over to a younger clientele at weekend. Would have given 2.5 but couldn't, so an extra half for the location.

"Great job for our wedding"

5
19/08/2018

We had our wedding here on the 18th August and were very happy with the service we received. There was a problem with the pipes in our original room which was solved within minutes and we were given another room and a hamper for the trouble as well as a free stay of our choice. The food was brilliant, staff were excellent and Kyle made sure everything ran smoothly. Can not fault them at all. Left with great memories of our wedding day.

"Such a shame!"

1
10/08/2018

Have visited this hotel on many occasions over the years and it has been in steady decline. It seems now though it has officially hit rock bottom! To the point that the bar staff cannot pour a pint of Guinness correctly even after being advised how to do so by the customer. The garden and patio are the only redeming features of this establishment and the sunset over the meadow from the garden is spectacular. Just a shame that the catastrophic lack of quality in terms of staff, food hygiene (scored a 1) and decor let this ideal location down.

"Very disappointing"

3
07/08/2018

We found this hotel to be in a great position in St Ives however were very disappointed with the standard of the accommodation. Carpets needed vacuuming in the main areas Also we booked a double room and got a twin. The beautiful terrace area is marred by being very scruffy with dirty cushions on the chairs and discarded refuse left in corners. Breakast was meadiocre. The lady at reception was very friendly though. Great Italian restaurant nearby!

"On route stopover"

4
06/08/2018

Lovely location side of the river nice size room friendly staff.breakfast was a cooked buffet style.large public rooms and large outside space they have a good choice of drinks but the menu from 12 noon was not very inspiring.

"Above & Beyond Expectations"

5
06/08/2018

So pleased I didn't look at reviews on here before booking... was greeted at reception by a very friendly lady, who was extremely helpful, & informative of where everything was & offered us breakfast, which we kindly declined as I'm not a breakfast person. She directed us to our room which the manager had given us a free upgrade as it was our 5th wedding anniversary... wow that was an unexpected delight... the room was fabulous, 4 poster bed, a huge modern bathroom with a huge free standing bath, large walk in shower & his & hers sinks, might get hubby to do mine like that!!! Hubby now looking grumpy at the sheer thought of ripping the bathroom to pieces! ?? The view from the balcony was amazing, there were sheep on the field opposite & a few boats moored alongside the pub, plenty of ducks swans & wildlife The room had a large tele, 2 seater sofa & armchair, dressing table with large mirror above, loved the diamanté ceiling light, yes I know I'm a strange woman who looks a ceiling lights! We strolled round the town which has lots of big names shops, a few quaint boutiques & a few restaurants, a lovely Italian along the river, Chinese & Cantonese, Indian, also various takeaways. We booked for 1 nite but wish we had booked for 2, will definitely be booking for our 6th anniversary next year. A special thank you to the manager, bar staff & receptionist, u all made our stay a pleasant & enjoyable one.. we will see u again x

"Not bad at all..... but probably could do better"

4
05/08/2018

This particular late sunny afternoon, the two of us fancied a drink whilst reading the papers. Alongside the river seemed ideal. Wonderful seating, lovely location, great scenery. I have to think the young staff member, exceeding pleasant, manning the bar, was rather new. Getting a gin & tonic, & ale was quite a task; & took time. However even when there appeared to be 2 members of staff available nothing changed. I wasn't in a rush but I dread to think what the service might be like, if this is the norm, & the hotel was busy. Which it wasn't this mid-week afternoon. Would visit again in hope?

"Nice staff, nice view, bad food"

2
02/08/2018

The staff were very nice and accomodating, and the setting was lovely. The food however was bland and subpar. The menu was extremely limited with not much choice for alternative diets (e.g. vegetarianism). We waited a long time for our food considering what we had ordered, paninis and chips. The experience was very disappointing, and the food desperately needs improvement to match the quality of the location and staff.

"Nice view bad food"

2
02/08/2018

Visited here a few weeks ago hoping for a nice lunch beside the river. Wish I hadn't bothered! Myself and my partner opted for the Dolphin because of the amazing views of the river and the fact that it was a really sunny day. It wasn't in fact the first choice of places but due to another riverpub having their kitchen closed we thought we would try it. I've been here loads of times over my life but mostly just for drinks in the garden which I cannot fault. Asked at the bar for a menu and I was handed a piece of paper with a handful of options (only sandwiches and panini's) both ordered a beef sandwich and chips. The food was reasonably quick to come out to us which was good as the garden was full and a lot of people had ordered food. Shame the sandwiches were tasteless at best with very little on the plate for the price of it. The bread was going hard and the beef had no flavour to it. Would recommend the kitchen staff went on a basic cooking course as they clearly shouldn't be anywhere near a chopping board at the moment.

"A lovely stay in a beautiful location."

4
02/08/2018

We stayed at the Dolphin Hotel for one night and had a lovely time. We had booked this hotel through Groupon and had bed, breakfast and a bottle of Prosecco. We upgraded to an Executive room which was spotless and big. The bathroom had a huge walk in shower too. The bed was comfy, the breakfast delicious and all the staff were very friendly and helpful. The location is stunning and I would definitely stay here again.

"Not worth the money "

1
27/07/2018

£110.00 a night. Paid for a midweek stay. In my world that's a lot to shell out for one nights stay and for that kind of money I'd expect something really nice. What I got was........ A very basic, poorly furnished and grubby room. No air conditioning or even a fan in the July heat. The shower was rubbish and water barely dribbled out. The carpets in the room and throughout the hotel are wearing very thin. The breakfast was a buffet and not a very good quality one. The "continental selection" was very poor. The little pots of yoghurt tasted like how I imagine liquid rubber to taste. The breakfast room is very tired and looks like the furniture came from the titanic after it had sunk. If it only cost me £40.00 to stay here I'd think fair enough I can't complain because you get what you pay for and it's just about worth £40.00. Come on though, £110.00 is taking the micky.

"Not what I was hoping for with such a beautiful location"

2
24/07/2018

I have stayed in most of the hotels in St Ives now as the whole area seems extremely popular. I stayed at the Dolphin for 1 night recently after flying in for meetings at our office in the area. To be honest during the stay there just seemed to be a lack of interest all round. Checkin was not a welcome more of a chore, the room really needs some work, two single beds not long enough for an average sized person etc It served a purpose but really could do with some work to make it a pleasant place to stay... Everybody has an opinion but when you walk up to the rooms and you see dirty mattresses leaning up against the walls you do wonder if anybody in management is taking a look around each day. I find it expensive for the room I got but after staying in the other hotels it was about average. Pleaseant setting to have a drink especially in the nice weather and could be a lot more with a bit of reno for staying...

"Save the hassle stay, stay elsewhere. "

2
15/07/2018

For the price you would expect a higher quality. We paid £115 per night and stayed 2 nights. We stayed as a family, 2 adults and 2 (1yo and 4yo) children. We had room 16. We arrived and the staff at the front desk could hardly be bothered to help. Our room was on the 2nd floor, with a flight of stairs in our room. We have been told by the owner that they don't have bell boys or porters to help with luggage, at the room price you might expect someone to help with getting your stuff and kids up 3 flights of stairs. The cot was filthy, luckily we had a travel cot with us. The windows don't have catches to stop them fully opening, in the children's room one bed was hard against the window, so we had t leave their window closed. In the heat, 28c, being on the top floor was a serious problem. Food was poor and breakfast on the second day was dreadful, so much so we didn't eat it, neither did many of the other guests, my brothers and sister didn't bother. The hotel is in serious need of refurbishment, gaffer tape on the floor to hold the carpet down! The only saving grace was the young man called Kyle and the night staff Gabriel, they actually cared and did what they could too help. The owner expects his staff to dress formally, shirt and tie, but he can't be bothered and turns up in tracky bottoms and trainers! Honestly, I would try the other hotels in the town.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Dear James We did receive your previous complaint addressing the same matter at reception during your stay. As explained to you, the wedding party which you were attending reserved all 4 of our family rooms and you were allocated the room based on instructions given to us. We could not move the other wedding guests out of their family rooms as you suggested. It is unfortunate you were not given one of the other family rooms but due to the limited number of family rooms we have available and the large demand for them at a wedding, it is allocated based on whomever books it first. You do complain of an elderly reception lady not helping you with your luggage. I find that preposterous that a young man in his prime would want an elderly reception lady carrying his luggage. You will find bell boys to help you in the higher priced hotels but at that point, you got to make a financial decision whether you want to pay the £300+ price and get the bellboy service or pay £115.00 and do without it. You complain of the owner expecting a dress code of his staff but wearing trainers. For your information, Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, actually dressed in old jeans and a tattered pair of boots while driving a 1979 F-150 pick-up truck while being the richest man in the world. He also had a dress code for his staff. It's not how someone dresses but who he is that matters. Lessons you will learn when you buy a business. In regards to the temperature, it is rare for such a long period of such good weather and I would appreciate more of the same. I am one who will not complain about good weather especially after the winter we had. The temperate in the room is warm due to the weather. We no have central air conditioning but do provide fans. I did check the windows after your complaint and the window in the child's room does have a safety latch. You complain of the 115.00 price. It is a reasonable price and if you do check this area, you will not find a family room for that price, especially after factoring in the free parking, high speed wifi, and the use of an extensive fitness suite. The cot was checked by the housekeeping. You received a brand new cot out of a box. You say you will try the other hotels in town. You are free to do so but they also do not have bellboys, do not have 4 family rooms, nor offer the extensive free wifi, parking and fitness suite that the Dolphin offers. Gabriel is the night porter. I will pass on your comments to him but do find it strange that a concerned father with all the claimed issues in the room would not be with his family in the late hours of the night.

"Wedding disappointment"

1
14/07/2018

The setting of this hotel on the river is beautiful, unfortunately it's in dire need of updating and organisation. The wedding we attended was beautiful but sadly let down by a complete lack of attention to the needs of such a party. Despite being the hottest day of the year no fans were placed in the wedding ceremony room, the meal was poor with service being so slow the first guests had finished before the last were served. It took ten minutes for the bar staff to put together a jug of Pimms, an obvious lack of training and skill. The rooms are adequate but in need of refurbishment,and as for breakfast well that was on existent at the point most of the guests arrived to eat. All trays were empty and despite waiting at least ten minutes to be replenished, with a curt ,' it's the chefs fault'from a staff member we gave up and went home. This venue could be so nice but severely needs good management and enthusiastic staff. Thankfully the bride had a wonderful day and the weather made it.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Dear Suepyke, We do apologize for any inconvenience you suffered, Due to the good weather, we do get hundreds of people visiting us to sit and drink on the patio next to the river. During these times, there will be a wait to get served and drinks. That is probably why it took 10 minutes to get your order of Pimms to you. The breakfast is a buffet breakfast buffet and we attempt to make it fresh throughout the morning. On this day, the chef did get caught unprepared since all the wedding party arrived at the same time. All items were replenished within 10 minutes but we apologize for hte inconvenience. I am glad that the bride had a wonderful day and all the feedback we received from the bride and groom was positive.

"So much potential"

1
13/07/2018

As a local we love nothing better than to sit outside of the Dolphin Hotel for drinks due to its prime location. However, the service is extremely poor and tables outside always full of empty bottles and glasses. The tables are all for a larger group of people and no tables for two people to sit at without sharing with others. The outside would benefit from heaters on a cooler day or evening as the attraction for us is sitting outside looking at the amazing location. This place is really missing a trick!

"Overlooking river"

4
13/07/2018

A very good reception with helpful staff who supplied a spacious room which included a king size bed plus a settee and a wet room. There was a restaurant on site but we had normal pub type food which was not fussy or pretentious and enjoyable; especially sitting outside overlooking the lovely river Ouse. A fine stay.

"Rude Staff, dirty dated bedrooms"

1
12/07/2018

The rooms were dirty, there was stains on the carpets, very dated, the windows you could open wide without a lock so anyone could climb in, no air con in the whole hotel. Breakfast was minimal The staff were rude and arrogant and not helpful at all apart from 1 a young lady on reception who was lovely. Would definitely NOT recommend staying at this hotel!!

"Rather poor"

2
12/07/2018

Frequented the bar (not the main hotel) a couple of times over the weekend of the AFD and parade. The bar was poorly staffed. Service was slow. No CO2..! But the redeeming feature was sitting by the river...

"Definitely not 4 star"

1
11/07/2018

Went to a wedding here and stayed the night. Not enough staff for the wedding, late food, tables not cleared,no breakfast in the morning residents queuing for it to be delivered. Bedroom carpet badly stained and no aircondition in the whole building. Would not recommend this hotel for staying orfunctions

"Rude customwr service"

2
06/07/2018

The Dolphin has a lovely locatuon and I was there on a bright sunny day to meet some friends. When we entered there were two people behind the bar and there was an elderly couple in front of me being served by the barman.They were quite slow and I tried several times to catch the attention of the otherperson behind the bar- a young lady. She totally refused to engage with customers or the drink serving role. Once we were finally served and joined our friends others commented on the poor quality of service. As we left I asked her about how to get a car park token- she looked at me said nothing and left by a side entrance. I wont be going back.

"Relaxing break"

5
30/06/2018

As one of the other reviewers said it's subjective our stay was a midweek tonight stay the hotel is good the staff were also great. On our second evening in the bar we had great fun watching people complain about the lack of soft drinks due to a country wide shortage of CO2 which of course was nothing to do with the hotel nor the staff and was handled very well by the staff. All in all the hotel is great for the money. St Ives is a truly lovely little market town the no hustle and bustle of city life it's almost like slow motion so so relaxing, with some lovely restaurants, tea rooms and bars. A couple of places to recommend would be zzohanna Indian restaurant amazing food and nuts bistro great afternoon tea. So if you looking for some where to relax it's right here.

"Hotel with so much potential but lacking in customer service!"

2
26/06/2018

I had read the reviews on trip advisor, and was wondering, if I should cancel but decided to go. The hotel is in a beautiful location and yes as the reviews said tired looking but our room was spotless, freshly painted and a beautiful view! Room 65. Upon arrival, the lady on reception ( Not full of the joys of Spring). Told us we had £75 to pay, I had paid £99 on groupon. She realised her mistake but just said someone should have told her. She said if we wanted to eat go through to restaurant, they were serving lunch but they were busy as there was a wedding on. We went and sat in the garden, overlooking the river. Just beautiful!!! When we went to order lunch they were too busy to serve us! Their loss we went across the bridge to a riverside cafe! The restaurant in hotel wasn't open in the evening. Again their loss. 2 o clock in the morning the fire alarm went off. So we all congregated to the car park. Fortunately to be told someone at the wedding had set off alarm. No apologies! Breakfast the next morning was a free for all albeit what we had was good. No staff around to show you to a table etc: dirty tables! On checking out we were once again asked for £77 I know this was a groupon voucher but what a waste of a hotel that could be so lovely in such a pretty Town!

"If you value your life don't stay here."

1
25/06/2018

Have stayed here several times before so was surprised to have such a shocking experience, our first since the change of ownership. Asked for ground floor room and was told one was available. On check in given 1st floor room but wife has a crumbling spine and stairs are a problem. Bit the bullet and stayed anyway but my wife stayed on ground floor until we retired for the evening. The restaurant was closed but we hadn't been told so had to have bar meals for dinner. At 2.30 am fire alarm was set off so we had to evacuate only to be told by hotel staff that it was a drunken guest attending the wedding that day and she couldn't be bothered to go to reception to get another room key, instead choosing to activate the fire alarm. We returned to our room but because it was the hotel staff and not the fire service (which we are sure is a legal requirement) who gave the all clear we didn't get another wink of sleep. Tried to take this up with the hotel in the morning and they weren't interested instead asking us to contact the hotel director who has not responded to several emails and telephone messages we have left.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Dear Guest, We do attempt to accommodate our guests who request ground floor rooms. However, without a reservation, if they are allocated, we are unable to move other guests. The restaurant does close at 4:00 p.m. but the House Menu is available until 9:00 p.m. The fire alarm did go off due to a drunk guest. That incident was reported to the policy who will look at prosecution. The night security did check the source of the alarm, confirmed with the guest that she did pull the fire alarm, and made sure there was no actual fire per our central system which does identify the source of the alarm precisely. The fire department was called and notified that it was a false alarm and after receiving the go ahead, we did ask guests to re-enter. I am sure you can appreciate that a working fire system is essential. Sometimes, there is an inconvenience but that has to be balanced against guest safety. This was explained to you in the morning when you requested a full refund. Unfortunately, we cannot give a full refund in these circumstances.

"Lovely relaxing break"

5
24/06/2018

Apart from a blip with our reservation, which was sorted out immediately by very helpful staff on the front desk, we had a blissful stay. Clean comfortable room, nice breakfast and stunning views... with the added bonus of beautiful sunshine. Would definatly recommend.

"Next to the river"

4
18/06/2018

lovely place to stay in St Ives near the city of Cambridge Also some lovely local tea shops or take the guided bus to the city full of culture and take a trip punting with a guided and see the universitys in there glory .

"Very Disappointed"

1
13/06/2018

Oh Dolphin what have you done your bar food it is not up to standard. We visited today ordering cod and chips, scampi and chips and a ham and pineapple salad. The cod had anaemic looking batter as if it had been taken out of the freezer and micro waved, we gave it 1/10. The fish inside the batter was edible but the presentation poor as the fish was upside down on the plate! I did not think you could go wrong with fish and chips, but you have. The scampi was passible, but the peas could have been better, try Petit Pois much sweeter. The ham and pineapple salad. Well if I had been a rabbit I would have been ecstatic! Far too much lettuce, but only half a tomato cut in half again, five pieces of cucumber with some onion, did the ham have to be cut in small pieces as if I was a child, but you were very generous with the pineapple. Admittedly the salad was all fresh, but it could have been presented much better. No one asked if the food was to our liking especially seeing we had left food. Unfortunately we won't be visiting again and one of our party was going to visit again with a party of eight, she is going to cancel. I know you are undergoing refurbishment but your food is letting the past reputation of this hotel down, Weatherspoons is probably better. The Dolphin is in a prime position and should be the main attraction of St Ives, Come on Best Western this place could be a goldmine.

"Monday lunch."

1
11/06/2018

We have been coming to the Dolphin for many years, it was always our favourite place to eat. We have noticed previously that since it was taken over by new owners that service and food have been disappointing. Today we visited at lunch time. The bar service was very slow due to shortage of staff. We had to wait 75 minutes for our food and only received it after we complained after an hours wait! There was no salt in any of the condiments, no salad cream for the salad or mayonnaise. We were told eventually that the delay was because there was only one chef in the kitchen! What happened to the carvery, at least we could have served ourselves! We will not be returning.

"Disappointed"

1
10/06/2018

We have been coming to The Dolphin for a number of years and returned today for Sunday carvery. Staff non existent and when eventually they came to seat us we were shown to a table not laid up and had to get our own cutlery. We asked for two drinks and these were wrongly delivered. The restaurant was not even busy. The presentation and lack of food was astonishing. The food on offer was cold and lacked taste. We even asked for new veg and this should of been hot surely? The lack of staff taking an interest meant we could of easily left the restaurant without paying. This venue has so much potential but the strange atmosphere and lack of customer care means we will not be returning or recommending.

"Much worse than 6 years ago. A comedy of errors!"

3
05/06/2018

We lived in Cambridgeshire until 2014, and The Dolphin was always a lovely well-managed place to eat, in fantastic surroundings next to the river and its ancient bridge. This time I was visiting old friends that I worked with in Cambridge 30 years ago. We had booked a room in the hotel a month ago, also lunch for 3 people, and evening dinner for four. The carvery Lunch was only OK. (Under the lights too long). We moved to the bar. We overheard there was a breakdown of the beer pumps, and only one of the three ales were available. Then the restaurant manager found us to check our dinner booking, but said that they had run out of food (!!!) so couldn't serve the full menu. They booked us a table at the Italian restaurant opposite. There was a wedding on and a party of others in the bar. When we and our friend returned later, the rising barrier to leave the car park had jammed, and would not go down. An employee came to let him, and three other cars out. However, our room was lovely, and we slept extremely well. My comment would be that there were no staff except very young people about. It needed responsible managers throughout the day.

Ravi G, Guest Relations Manager at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Hello Tim, We apologize for inconvenience you had at the hotel. While it is true that we had an issue with the beer pumps, the problem was simply that we are moving to another supplier and we were in the process of refitting the pumps to the new supplier's taps. In regards to the ales, we only have 4 pumps for ales and three were working. Again, we were attempting to use up the stock of our old supplier so we will run out of the old stock and then replace it with the new brands We did close the restaurant that evening because we were engaged in two functions which required the attention of all our chefs. The car park barrier was not jammed. It requires a token to exit and the lead vehicle had deposited 2 £1.00 coins and the machine only accepts a parking token or a £2.00 coin. Once the £1.00 coins were ejected and the proper token deposited, the barrier went down and all cars exited Lastly, I do appreciate the kind comments regarding the hotel rooms and the quality of the bed.

"Lovely hotel and fab place to spend a few days"

5
03/06/2018

I understand that reviews are subjective, but I do also think that some don't tell the whole picture. We were initially concerned about staying here after reading some of the reviews on this site, but were delighted with our stay - the room overlooked the meadow and was beautiful. The bed was extremely comfortable and we were able to totally relax in the peace and tranquility of the location. We had an evening meal and breakfast - both were fabulous. The staff could not have been more friendly and helpful - in fact we've stayed at way more expensive establishments where the staff just treat you with disdain! We would definitely stay again and would have no hesitation in recommending.

Ravi G, Manager at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. We look forward to having you back with us.

"Kent"

2
30/05/2018

Disipointing...smelly room 31. Moved to 78 which was far better but the bathroom is tired and dropping to bits. Communal areas are tired and poorly decorated. Fixtures, fittings and door handles painted over as the decorator Carnt be bothered to remove them when painting. £250 for two nights not worth the money at all. I pre paid £30 meal allowance on top of my room bill but when arrived at the restuartent at 8:30pm it was closed. Reseptionest denied I had pre paid for my meals but after fumbling about she located my invoice which confined my payment. Until the facility is revised and invested in I'd look else where for accommodation.

"Quick drink "

3
29/05/2018

Have been going here for about 15 years mainly in the summer as it has the best beer garden bar none. But and here's the thing since it has changed ownership we have had to walk away to another pub because of a lack of seating yes there's a lot of seating and mostly new ,but there is still not enough and most of it is for 4 or 6. We need tables for 2 please! There is a vast green garden !

"Nice place "

4
17/05/2018

Great location. Hotel staff were very helpful. It's a nice place to spend a relaxing weekend and has nice garden area. Breakfast was decent. Hotel lawn area is great to spend evenings. Accessibility is great as well.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Hello Jayakrishnan Thank you for your remarks. They will be passed on to staff who will appreciate the feedback.

"So much potential but delivers do little"

2
13/05/2018

I booked this hotel for one night and spoke to the receptionist to ensure a wheelchair accessible room was available. I stated that although a wheelchair user, I did not need an adapted room, just as long as I could get into the bathroom. I had to change the date but was allocated the same room. When we got there the receptionist was chatting to a lady (certainly a member of staff) and we had to interrupt them to get checked in. The receptionist asked for £140 which I queried because I was quoted, and agreed to, £100 for the room. She looked at the screen again and said “oh yes, there is a note here, did you not want breakfast?” (Breakfast would have been £10 per person which we had already stated we did not want). She then told us there was no food as the restaurant had shut at 3pm. We were given keycards and directed to our room across the courtyard (no. 61). We went to it but there was a step up to the room. Also, the keycards wouldn't work so my wife went back to reception. The receptionist then came with the same cards and tried them herself (obviously guests are incapable of operating the keycards themselves. She then went back to reception and came back with the master key for the room next door which she said was the same. The room was actually really nice, spacious, well appointed and clean. The bed was like a board though. It had patio doors out to a balcony but you had to go back to reception for the key! The big problem was that the bathroom door was quite narrow so I couldn't get into the bathroom. It was late and I'd had a long day so I gave up and went to bed. When we checked out my wife tried to explain the issues we had had and the morning receptionist apologised. For these reasons I cannot give more than a 2. The location is beautiful, the hotel looks really nice, but too many issues let it down.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Dear Mr. Clauson I have received your complaint and fully investigated the matter. We do acknowledge that you did ring the hotel and request an accessible room and one was available and reserved for you at the time of the original booking. However, when you changed the dates, the accessible rooms were no longer available on the changed date. We did not receive any further communication from you asking whether we did have an accessible room for the changed date or we would have notified you that we did not. We did try and accommodate you with a room type based on what was available. Unfortunately, we have a limited supply of ground floor rooms and the room which you were given was the only ground floor room available. I am sorry that you felt uncomfortable with the conversation. We have tried to emphasise to staff to make conversation with the guest so that we can make the stay more guest friendly. The questions asked were in the nature of where you were from, what brings you to the area, etc. These are routine questions we ask. Staff would have stopped making conversation had they known you were uncomfortable. We apologise to you for making you uncomfortable I am sorry that you feel that the receptionist was trying to rip you off. That is certainly not our intention. In relation to escorting you to your room to try the key cards, you have taken it in the wrong way. We routinely escort guests to their rooms as a service, not because we presume they cannot use the door lock. Your presumption on the intentions of the receptionist are completely wrong. Again, I would like to emphasise that the accessible rooms promised to you were promised on the initial date of booking and when you changed the date, these rooms were not available. If you had kept the initial booking, you would have been given the accessible rooms. I trust that you are satisfied with my investigation. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me at the hotel. Sincerely, Ravi Gupta

"Great location"

5
13/05/2018

Booked as a base to attend a wedding at Slepe Hall. Ideal location. Lovely to park the car and walk over the bridge for drinks before walking over to Slepe Hall. Staff very friendly. Very happy with the stay and the bed was excellent. So much so we didn't wake for breakfast. If I stayed again I would bring a sleep mask as it was a bit bright at 5am.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for your comments regarding your stay. We do hope you return and stay with us again.

"Get -together with friends celebrating our 70 th birthdays this year."

4
12/05/2018

This hotel was chosen by a friend who has stayed previously and it was chosen because there are disabled friendly rooms of which we need two.It is situated right on the river with lovely views and pleasant surroundings .They do not have an evening restaurant ,only bar meals ,but as we have two wheelchairs ,they set up the table for us in the restaurant in the evenings and were very attentive .The breakfasts are really good ,plenty of cereals ,fruit and cooked food. There are nice walks in the area and we were recommended a lovely tea and cake shop in the town but it was not wheelchair accessible.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Dear Pam Thank you for the review of your stay at the BW Dolphin. Your comments will be passed on to staff who will really appreciate the feedback. Thank you.

"Terrible place"

1
11/05/2018

Every year my RAF friends and I have a reunion, as we have for the last 20+ years, and several times we have stayed at the Dolphin. This year the Dolphin has been taken over by new management and the standard has dropped significantly. We had been trying to book in for many months for a pre arranged function but received no reply regarding rates, many friends were given various rates but most received no response at all, because of this we booked elsewhere. We did, however, meet our colleagues at the Dolphin and realised very quickly we had made the right decision. The staff seemed to not know what was going on and appeared very unprofessional. Various rates had been charged to our colleagues for comparable rooms for no reason. On approaching the bar one member of staff had clearly an odour issue which was clear from a distance, the bar was not clean and all real taps were closed leaving only lager available, I was assured that this would be remedied by the evening but that was not the case. The toilets were disgusting, one bowl overflowing and the other cubicle with no lock. The rooms, I gather from my friends were not too disappointing, although I did not visit them. The overall impression I had was of a hotel in chaos, with an inexperienced management and staff, shame, as our previous visits left happy memories.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Dear Ivorl188 Thank you for taking the time to review the Dolphin Hotel. We apologise for the level of service which you experienced. The failure to reply to emails is not excusable and changes will be made. While it is true that the rates were different, we do have different rates for different room types. However, this group had a negotiated rate and at check out, all group attendees were charged the same negotiated rate. We will make changes and the issues you have identified will not be repeated.

"Great location.Dissapointing stay"

2
07/05/2018

We stayed here for one night. We arrived 45 mins before a wedding reception we were due to go to. On arrival we waited a good five minutes at reception. There was a festival going on in the grounds so whilst waiting we were subjected to lots of drunk people two of whom were having a heated argument next to reception exchanging swear words. We evetually were seen to and given a key. No mention of where breakfast was served or at what time. However we were handed a key and off to the room we went. On arrival we opened the room only to find it still vacated! Husband went back to reception and we were told they would move us to a vacant room. After 3 different attempts we were told we would have to settle for a twin room although we had booked for a double. Running now late for the wedding we reluctantly agreed. Later when we got back to the hotel they did reply locate us to a much bigger room. Although a little tired looking it was clean and comfortable. On check out reception tried to charge us again for the room! This hotel has an amazing location but unfortunately the lack of organisation let's it doenables massively.No one seems to know what's going on.And the £127 price tag for our stay really did'nt feel justified.

"Disappointing"

3
06/05/2018

I stayed here on my own in a single room for one night. The room was fine as a single and was in reasonable condition but the bathroom had been refurbished and was pretty good. However, the bed was dreadful. It was lumpy and was past its sell-by date. Other than that the room itself was fine but nothing special. I didn't get a lot of sleep though before 1am. There was a lot of noise with the staff contributing to it! The noise insulation must be pretty poor and people shouting at midnight from a wedding didn't help. Breakfast was buffet and pretty good... I had the full English. Overall a disappointing hotel in my opinion.

"Lovely stay"

4
06/05/2018

We stayed in a recently refurbished suite at the Dolphin Hotel and it was really nice. The decor and amenities were good and very clean. We had a good night's sleep despite being close to the road. The staff are friendly and go out of thier way to help. We were on the 2nd floor and there's no lift unfortunately. However, reception did offer to relocate us to the ground floor if we'd wanted to. The location is beautiful, right at the side of the river and a stone's throw from the main shopping area. All in all a great weekend and we'd visit again. Gave 4 stars instead of 5 only because we didn't eat in the hotel so couldn't judge the food.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Dear Sue, We enjoyed having you as our guest and thank you for taking the time to submit feedback.

"Lunch Time Visit"

1
06/05/2018

Along with my wife I visited the Dolphin on Saturday 5th May. As it was a a lovely sunny day we managed to find a table on the terrace and I went to the bar and ordered drinks and asked for the lunch time menu which and was pointed to one on the bar. I took drinks back to table and after studying the menu we both our choices and I went back to the bar to order only to be told that they were no longer serving bar food. This was about 12.30 pm, probably the height of lunch time trade. This is despite menu's being on the bar and a board on the wall displaying lunch time options. I was told that there was food in the restaurant but it had to be eaten in the restaurant. While this was going on a waitress came out of the kitchen carrying a plate of sandwiches which took to a customer on the terrace. When I queried with her why this customer could receive bar food and I couldn't I was greeted with a shrug of the shoulders and she walked away. We left the Dolphin and walked across the bridge to the River Terrace Cafe where we sat on the terrace, received brilliant service and wonderful food. If in St. Ives ignore the Dolphin and go to the River Terrace Cafe.

"Lovely hotel - Exceptional staff - great food - convenient location."

4
27/04/2018

My wife and I stayed in the Dolphin Hotel for 5 nights recently. It was a lovely stay - nice and quiet, lovely room, convenient for the amenities in town, friendly and efficient staff. Our breakfasts were cooked individually due to the paucity of guests for a couple of days, and were lovely. Even when the restaurant returned to buffet-style breakfasts, the quality was exceptionally good. The staff were unerringly helpful and polite, especially the receptionists, who adopted a "nothing is too much trouble" attitude and helped us whenever we had a query or issue. The only noise we experienced was ducks and swans and one refuse lorry on an isolated occasion. Our room was clean, and our bathroom was well-maintained and efficient. The light did keep going on and off though - perhaps the sensor was too sensitive? Overall, we'd thoroughly recommend the Dolphin and would definitely stay there again.

"Disappointing"

2
24/04/2018

I booked an Executive Double room but what got was a room that clearly hadn't got to the top of the refurbishment list, was hot and very noisy.....and only had a single bed....not quite what I was expecting. I did get the promised river view but I wasn't there for the view. The room was clean but due to the age of the room didn't necessarily appear so. Having a room at the back of the complex I thought it would be nice and quiet, how wrong I was. It was right beside the gate leading to the public footpath which clanked every time someone used it which on a lovely warm evening was used a lot. Unfortunately as I had been running late and had to go out pretty much as soon as I arrived I was unable to trek all the way back to reception to sort out a different room. I was only there for one night thankfully, but disappointed I didn't get what I'd ordered and do feel that it was overpriced.

"Memorable week"

4
24/04/2018

Last week my wife and I came to St Ives for a reunion with friends (26 in all), based at the Dolphin. The weather was excellent, the location was stunning and the hotel did us proud. Our room (no.78) was comfortable (had a good night's sleep), with an impressive view across the River Ouse and the flood plane. The rooms were spread out long and low, rather than high-rise, though this presented no problems. Very quiet and peaceful. The food was tasty, plentiful and with a good menu selection that suited everybody. All the staff we met were friendly and helpful. The hotel is well situated for the town, which is just a few yards over the historic bridge. All in all a most enjoyable week.

"Cheap overnight halt"

3
19/04/2018

The hotel is in a picturesque setting and looks nice from the outside. The bar, beer garden and restaurant are big and well appointed. The room I had was not very comfortable to sleep or sit in. There is plenty of parking but most of it can flood and is very muddy, pack your wellies.

"Don't Judge a hotel by a bad review"

4
19/04/2018

Got booked into this hotel on a work stay in the area, After reading a couple of recent reviews on here I was dreading staying here but as with all my stays I go in with as much of an open mind as possible. The weather was nice on our trip here so when we turned up we were greeted with a large car park which looked like it had recently been flooded so great news that the weather was good and the car park was fine. We were greeted at check in by a very friendly lady who couldn't have been more helpful. Got to our room in separate building to the reception/bar area and found a very spacious twin room with a very clean and nice bathroom. We settled in and then decided to check out the fitness suite/gym that the lady at reception had informed us about. This was the highlight of my stay we had the gym all to ourselves and had quite a lot of good and well looked after equipment to use. The hotel itself is in a brilliant location on the banks of the river and a 2minute walk into the lovely little town of St Ives. The bar staff were all friendly and efficient. We didn't eat in the hotel but i'm sure it was nice. As a person who works all over the country staying in a variety of hotels this one will be up near the top for sure. Thanks for a good stay.

"Disgusting horrible Place"

1
09/04/2018

Please Please Please !!!!!!! Keep away from this Dump of a place This is my second visit within a month to give it the benefit of my doubt But my first time around was and should have been enough to put me off Especially when the Hotel have taken money from my Account without my consent after my departure date the first time here. Second Visit here I've had 2 rooms and believe me they're called superior rooms !!! I've had better stables They smell of urine stale beer and cigarettes I went out for a meal into town Upon returning I tried to watch some TV But Failed to get ANY TV reception I Rang reception up and they couldn't find an alternative Room Or an Explanation So I had to sit in this cold horrible room smelling of urine Without a TV. Please Keep Away A Beautiful Location Spoilt by Such a S..t hole Hotel Disappointed to say the least. Well travelled Business man.

Ravi G, Manager at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Hello Sean I have received your complaint from the receptionist prior to this review. My investigation reveals the following: You have stayed with us 2 times. Each time, you booked on booking.com and booked our lowest price room available, which is a single room without breakfast. Both times, you made complaints upon entering the room and asked for a room upgrade. Both times, you were provided a superior king room as an upgrade to the standard single room booked. I apologize about the tv reception. However, the signal is out of our control. Due to the weather in the area, all rooms are experiencing signal problems. The rooms are cleaned daily and all rooms are non-smoking. If housekeeping detects any smoke, they are instructed to do a deep clean. The receptionist did come to your room to redress your issues and found no smoke or urine smell. Nonetheless, you were offered a different room but refused because we did not have a king superior room available and you did not want to move to a standard room. I am truly sorry that you are not satisfied with your stay with us. I will continue to monitor the quality of our rooms to ensure that they are maintained to a high standard.

"Strange visit"

3
01/04/2018

I popped in here the other day for a spot of lunch and nostalgia as it's where I drank when I was younger and it was a great place to hang out. However when I came in this time the bar was unstaffed so I stood and waited. Eventually, a guy appeared from somewhere. He proceeded to stare at me, then take a swig from a coffee from behind the bar, grab a huge rucksack and walk off. I don't know if this is now the policy to serve yourself but in the end after standing about for 10 mins and not seeing a member of staff I decided to leave. I would come back to the hotel as it holds a place dear to me but they really must try harder. Better luck next time.

Ravi G, Director at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for your feedback. I am extremely disappointed with the conduct of the bar staff which you have described. We are open to serve our customers and your experience is unexcusable. I would appreciate it if you could personally call me at the hotel and let me know what day this was so that I can identify the staff member involved, take remedial action and make sure that other customers are properly treated. I can only apologize for the lack of customer service you experienced and will conduct an investigation. Ravi

"The most uncomfortable bed ever"

1
25/03/2018

I am disabled in a wheelchair. The room was a good size & the bathroom was a large wet room which is the only nice thing I can say. The bed was very uncomfortable, the mattress had lost its springs. The room was very warm & the bathroom lights worked on auto sensors but the towel rail was very hot with no visible way to turn it off. You couldn't leave the door open to cool it down & I couldn't use the facilities as I'm claustrophobic. It was the worst £100 I've ever spent.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Dear Wendy I am so sorry to read your review and wish this had been bought to my attention during your stay - it is always difficult to address issues after a guest has left the hotel. Had your concerns been bought to the attention of the duty manager then the heating could have been sorted and we could also have changed the mattress. If you do decide to visit us again may I please ask you to contact me personally. Kind regards James Snell - General Manager

"Never again, go somewhere else.."

1
17/03/2018

I had the misfortune of staying here last week, due to an overbooking elsewhere. I heard the words Best Western, and thought, oh,that will be a good hotel, I was wrong.This hotel is a tip, its falling apart,and should be avoided. On checking in, my room was cold, as the hotel heating does not work,and smelly. The cleaners do not clean, my bathroom bin had dirty tissues and tins of beer in it,from the previous occupant I would imagine. The bath is grubby to say the least. When I checked in Tuesday evening, there were dirty tissues on the floor in my room, they were still there Wednesday and Thursday when I checked out, they are probably still there now, room 63, if the "cleaner" or management read this,you may want to go and move them. On Thursday I returned from work to find my door had been left open all day since the "cleaner" had left, the dirty tissues were still on floor though,and the door left open, I reported this to reception and got an "Oh", in response.The walls are paper thin, and noise levels are high,not much chance of a proper sleep, you get to hear everything from the rooms above you, yes, everything... The restaurant is tired and cold,and the staff indifferent.The "specials" menu is sellotaped to a post in the bar area,and written in Biro.I got a meal delivered to my table, asked for a knife and fork, and was told, "they are over there if you want one" I then asked for a jug of water to go with my meal, and was told,"we dont do them, you can have a beer or a wine if you want". Ordering your food is a nightmare, there is one person behind the bar,and more interested in chatting to "builders" than attending a queue of people waiting. I was told a refurbishment was going on here,the only evidence of this I saw was a painter painting a ceiling in the "restaurant" in the evening. I am very surprised this is a Best Western hotel, and that it keeps this status,we have used this chain all over Europe and the USA,but never one like this,its also quite expensive to stay here, in what is in such a low grade hotel.so I would seriously suggest you stay somewhere else.

Ravi G, Manager at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
I very much appreciate your detailed and frank feedback. We are going through a refurbishment and it is causing considerable inconvenience, which is why we have notices displayed around the hotel inviting guests to approach the duty manager. I cannot trace any formal issues raised during your stay to any member of my team and would ask you to contact me direct to discuss your concerns. I do dispute your mischaracterization of the hotel. We are considered the premier hotel in St. Ives and the hotel refurbishment is almost complete. 50 of 67 rooms are fully refurbished. We invite you back when it is completely refurbished. We do give jugs of water upon request to everybody....this is never denied. If this has happened, we will take remedial action. This is not hotel policy and will not be tolerated of our staff. I am sorry that the hotel you had booked at would not accommodate you. I feel their conduct in refusing you lodging to which you were entitled is the real reason for your anger here. I suggest you contact that hotel and voice your displeasure there rather than take your frustrations out on the Dolphin Hotel. James Snell - General Manager

"Over priced "

2
16/03/2018

Stayed here 4 nights while working away and I feel it's very very over priced half of the hotel is dated and run down and the other half has just been decorated the half of hotel that's been decorated is nice and modern. On site is a restaurant that was never open but there was bar food available. Food was ok nothing special would not stay here ever again. Young lad on reception in evenings is very friendly and so is the young girl on reception I believe she is one of the owners daughters.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Hello Jules I do find it difficult to believe that you would stay 4 days and not leave after the first day if you believed that the rooms were overpriced. The majority of hotel rooms actually are at the mean of the pricing in the local community. We hope you do stay with us again but the choice is yours.

"Voting with our feet"

2
16/03/2018

We have been visiting the Dolphin Hotel practically every Monday morning for our coffee for the past eighteen years. Last Monday we were shocked to find that the cost of our two regular size coffees had risen from £3.90 to £4.80 - a hefty rise of 45 pence per cup. In addition the minimum spend of £3.50 to obtain a token to exit the car park had risen to £5 thereby attracting the spending of another £2 on top of the £4.80 to exit the car park. Fortunately St Ives boasts an abundance of cafes and pubs where it is possible to purchase coffee around the £2 mark, so we shall be voting with our feet and going elsewhere in the town. P.ity that the new owners seem to be going out of their way to turn away loyal patrons.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
We are sorry that you have chosen to take your business elsewhere. We did have to raise the price of coffee to 2.20 due to the cost increases affecting the food industry as is well documented (higher wages, business rates, utility costs, and higher coffee bean prices.) Also, I am disappointed that you feel that you are entitled to free parking. A price of 2.00 for all day parking is quite reasonable. Moreover, if you spend 5.00, you do get the 2.00 car parking for free (which in essence takes a pound off each of the 2 cups of coffee you bought). The "new owners" are not going out of their way to turn away loyal patrons but rather, trying to operate a business and balance the costs, needs of customers, and profit margins in a way as to strike an appropriate balance. If our 'loyal patrons' believe it is too much to get free parking for a 5.00 spend (which in essence allows you to have 5.00 of food for 3.00--which leaves no profit but fulfills our desire to provide a service even if we do incur a minimal loss) and then by all means, hurry up and vote with your feet. I do ask that you do not use our car park when you are taking your business to other places. Please use the parking lots of those businesses where you are going to take your business.

"friendly , efficient staff and excellent food."

4
03/03/2018

I was with a group of 15 who had pre-booked and ordered before our visit. there was a large car park with plenty of space for our cars, The signage was good and the building tidy , well decorated and warm. the bar was separate from the restaurant so people spent time getting their drinks before taking their seats at our two large tables. The waiting staff let us drift in and let people settle. The pre-ordered food was brought to the tables and the staff asked for people by name making the experience more personal. All the food was to the recipient's satisfaction as were the drinks and the service.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you so much for your kind words and positive feedback - I shall ensure all team members read your comments. I very much look forward to welcoming you again. James Snell - General Manager

"Sunday lunch not resident"

4
03/03/2018

The Sunday lunch is a traditional carvery. Choice of starters a dessert and coffee included. Excellent value for money and ideal for families. Restaurant overlooking river and town. Ample parking. Nice bar and helpful staff.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
May I thank you for your kind words which I will pass on to all team members. We look forward to welcoming you again. Kind regards James Snell - General Manager

"Lovely hotel"

5
14/02/2018

Lovely room, staff were wonderful and very pleasant. The hotel is in the perfect spot and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Lovely restaurant inside and bar. We will be returning. Highly recommend to families as well as couples.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
I am so glad you enjoyed your stay with us and I will pass on your kind comments to the team. We very much look forward to welcoming you again. James Snell General Manager

"Carvery"

4
11/02/2018

Just had the carvery in the meadow suite, yes a refurbishment is needed. However, the food was good as was the service. Looks like they'd turned the corner from getting our reviews. Will definitely be coming back in the future.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you so much your positive review and your kind comments which will be passed onto our team - we look forward to welcoming you again. James Snell General Manager

"is the dolphin hotel still open?"

1
01/02/2018

popped over the bridge for a bar meal at the dolphin hotel. waited for what seemed ages for a member of staff to appear. were they all in a meeting, abducted by aliens? couldn't see any customers around either. gave up in the end and went back into town to spend my money. waste of time

Ravi G, Manager at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Hello Myles I am sorry that you did not find anyone at the bar to serve you. We are staffed 24 hours a day including all night with a night porter. If you could phone the hotel and give us the date you came, I could check our rotas and see who was scheduled to be at the bar. Nonetheless, we have full time staff available at the reception and staff in the restaurant during its opening hours. If in the future, you have to wait for service, please come around to reception and the problem will be quickly sorted.

"Disappointed"

3
31/01/2018

Booked on recommendation when staying in the area for work and although the hotel was clean and smelled nice I think overall it just looks a.bit tired. My room was cold and draughty. It was also right next to the car park which was noisy especially at 6am this morning. There was a very large gap under my room.door. I bizarrely had 2 tv's in my room and I can't figure out why. The bathroom has clearly been a recent refurbishment but I found the square toilet very uncomfortable to sit on and the shower/wet room totally impractical. My shower controls were quite far from the actual shower and as there is no shower tray water went everywhere including over the toilet. I also had a lovely frosted window that looked out onto the car park. No one could see details but I'm sure they can see enough to know what I'm doing in the bathroom, a blind on the window would have given me peace of mind. The breakfast was nice but the dining room was so hot I had to leave as it was making me feel sick and when I went to get a drink of Apple juice there were bits floating in it. Won't return

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for providing feedback on your stay and I am so sorry read your comments - I cannot locate any report made by yourself during your visit - should you decide to visit us again may I please ask you to contact me so that I can personally on my email: [email protected] James Snell - General Manager

"Better than expected, very pleasant "

4
29/01/2018

After reading the reviews for this hotel I was very sceptical about visiting. However I am so glad I gave it a chance! I came to st ives on business and stopped over to save travelling. I have nothing bad to say about the place, I specifically asked for a refurbished room and that's exactly what I got. The room was lovely and warm and very nicely decorated. All the staff are very welcoming and very helpful with any questions that I had. The bar menu is very minimal but that is understandable as they are refurbishing, the food was delicious nevertheless. I will definitely be returning whether it's for business or pleasure.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
I very much appreciate your kind comments and I will pass these on to our team - thank you for taking the time to review your visit. James Snell - General Manager

"Unwelcolming"

1
21/01/2018

I only called in to inquire about whether they had any rooms free (they hadn't or I would have booked a room) and they charged me for using the car park. The hotel is located next to the river and very close to the historic bridge and the high street but it appears to be very unwelcoming.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
I am so sorry to read your comment and would appreciate you contacting me direct to discuss this issue. [email protected] James Snell -General Manager

"Need to stop making excuses"

1
19/01/2018

Another disappointing visit to The Dolphin Hotel. Under the old management it may have been a bit frayed around the edges, but it was always good value for money and the staff were friendly. Now the quality is poor, staffing variable and they look like they'd rather be somewhere else. It's worrying that management responses to poor reviews blame the reviewers. Just about all effectively say ‘You should have told us…' Poor standard accommodation is excused with plans for future improvements. Not responsible for noisy passers by, when windows wouldn't need to be opened if radiators could be turned off. ‘Restaurant a shambles - avoid' is responded to with thanks for the positive review??? If the hotel isn't up to scratch because of refurbishment, then SHUT until things ARE up to standard. Certainly, don't charge some of the highest prices in the area. And stop making excuses.??If things don't improve soon, the only hope is the latest ‘management' go bust asap and let someone who knows what they're doing take over.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
I appreciate you being so explicit in your review of our current situation. I will not comment on third party observations as I am more than happy to meet with guests face to face as issues arise. The refurbishment is happening and on going, but it is taking longer than expected due to the previous owners not making routine repairs which has left the new owners, having to replace. Contracts are in hand for the work to be completed, but we are having to wait for this to be executed. A lot of work that has been done is not visible to guests, and I have explained to other reviewers and also, the extent of what has been done. I am confident that all guests will notice the improvements in the not too distant future - I cannot give a date for completion for reasons stated. If you do decide to visit us again may I respectfully suggest that you contact either myself or Kyle Eaton (Assistant Manager) - I honestly wish this work could be done sooner; I will close by saying we are not making excuses and we are moving forward.. Yours sincerely James Snell - General Manager

"In desperate need of new management"

2
15/01/2018

Since I was young I have been coming to The Dolphin Hotel's carvery and bar to socialise with my family and friends. I have many happy memories at The Dolphin, but now find it hard to have a fun relaxing time there. The whole place seems to be locked up in its past, hardly changing from how I remember it to be when I was young and not in a good way. The furnishings are old fashioned and dreary, the restauraunt is in no way inviting. the staff arent happy nor seem to be trained in good customer service, and the set menu I had this saturday gone given to me was the same set menu I was given last year and the year before. Even the food seems to have lost its good taste and now just seems a bit sad. To add, my friend who stayed in one of its hotel rooms said the room was extremely basic and also dirty. Its so disappointing, The Dolphin has great potential to be a fantastic venue... its garden overlooking the river is so beautiful and its wooden beam interior is gorgeous, however everything else is a bit miserable. I think with new management to give the place a makeover with exciting new menus and events held it would be booming with business. I would be so sad to see The Dolphin leave St Ives after so many years, but by the way its going it will leave us before we know it.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
I note you are a new member to Trip Advisor and thank you for giving us, your first review. I am interested to note that you have visited the hotel for many years and you will know that it has been a time warp and I would be the first to agree with you - the previous owners did not do any repairs and very little maintenance so, the new owners have had to replace - to that end we are going through a complete refurbishment - a lot of the work that has been done is not visible - new air conditioning in the kitchen, enhanced security systems with CCTV, updating of the fire prevention systems and the redecoration of rooms (we still have 19 to complete) - substantial investment is being put into the premises to realise the full potential of the location. The Terrace Bar has been refurbished and redecorated and work has started in the lounge bar notably the bar itself and paintwork has now commenced. The furniture is due to be replaced when the decoration is complete. Thank you for your comments on our staff not looking happy and I will deal with this through our own internal procedures. I will not comment on third party remarks passed on by your friend except to say that I am always happy to address any issues of concern as they arise. I hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back at some time and certainly in the summer to enjoy our gardens and riverside location when we will have completed our redecoration and refurbishment. James Snell General Manager

"Overpriced"

3
07/01/2018

Stayed here for a friends birthday party. We paid £125 for an executive room. The room was fine but nothing special. The bed was comfortable but nothing more than you would get in a chain budget hotel. The bathroom was tired and not as you would expect for the price. The communal areas around the room felt a bit like a car park- painted breeze block walls that were cold and unwelcoming. There was also a huge crate of water bottles being stored in one of the main corridors which was odd. The party was in the function room by the river. The room was in a lovely setting and staff at the bar were friendly. The breakfast was as tired as the bathroom, not the best quality ingredients, very average. Staying at this hotel was not my choice. It needs some TLC urgently.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you so much for taking the time to review your stay with us three months ago, although I do feel it is a long time before providing feedback. I very much appreciate you praising our bar staff and will pass on your comments. I am also pleased to read that you found the room acceptable even though the bathroom had not been refurbished at your time of stay. You may recall we had notices at reception advising all guests of the refurbishment in progress. There is no excuse whatsoever for a crate of water to be in a public area and I apologise that this caused you concern. I have gone back through our diary and cannot locate any issue raised by you during your stay. I am sorry that you found the breakfast disappointing, but had you have spoken to our waiting staff we could have remedied that for you. The hotel does indeed have a lovely location and the new owners are putting substantial sums of investment into the refurbishment to realise the full potential. I hope that we can welcome you again in the future and I would ask that you make yourself known to myself or Kyle Eaton, the assistant manager. it is always good for us to have the opportunity to talk to guests face to face for feedback. James Snell - General Manager

"Very disappointing stay"

2
31/12/2017

We were staying at the hotel a we were attending a wedding in a nearby hotel. We were directed to our rooms - which whilst they looked as if they had been decorated recently, there were unfinished areas or areas where corners had definitely been cut! There were wires poking out behind the mirror in the bathroom from the light, the light fittings had been moved, so there were unpainted areas of the ceiling, the door fitting for the catch was missing & the bathroom doors were old & dated in comparison to the rest of the bedroom. We went to the bar late afternoon, but was told it was closed due to the time of year - 30th Dec - Surely this is one of the busiest times of the year for hotels! The bedrooms were too warm - uncomfortably so. We were able to turn one radiator off, but weren't able to turn the other one off! We therefore had to sleep with the window open but the noise - drunken revellers walking home - made it difficult to sleep. We were told breakfast was served from 7.30am to 9.30am. We turned up at 9am and no tables were laid, no staff there to greet us and quite frankly, it was like a ghost town. A member of staff arrived eventually and told us breakfast was a bit of a 'mish mash' - Not really selling themselves! Overall, a very disappointing stay - we definitely won't be returning! Such a shame as the location is beautiful!

Ravi G, Manager at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for reviewing your stay at the hotel – I appreciate your time in doing so. However, I was the on call duty manager for the entire weekend but you do not appear to have requested to speak to a manager or, lodged your concerns with the front desk during your stay – had you have done so, I am sure that we could have resolved some of the issues. It is never easy to address matters after the guests have left the hotel. I must point out that several other guests thought the property to be cold and I do believe that room temperature is very personal and I could most certainly have sorted it for you. I do not accept that we can be responsible for noise from the town if inconsiderate individuals choose to celebrate the New Year off site in the way in which you describe. However I would have endeavoured to move you to another part of the hotel had you spoken to me. Our refurbishment is ongoing as our notices at reception and in the corridors state so, I am sorry that your room was incomplete during your stay. Again, I apologise for the state of the breakfast room and will certainly deal with the member of staff concerned through our own internal procedures if this is what actually happened – obviously I am investigating this fully. I would like to invite you to contact me personally if you choose to visit us again in the future and would like to take this opportunity of wishing you all the best for the coming New Year. James Snell General Manager

"Lovely location but hotel was tired, grubby and overpriced. Food was non existant"

1
29/12/2017

There was no bar or restaurant on the night I visited. I was advised of this ( voicemail after I booked) but it was a surprise non the less. The room was clean and functional but the overall feel of the place was it needed a good clean. The corridor leading to my room was in real need of a clean. The breakfast was very rudimentary, it was a buffet breakfast and for £110 advertised price was not value for money. I will not be going there again unless it improves. Only mitigation I can give them was the area near the hotel was flooded, but there was no excuse as it is a Best Western, who I expect better of.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for taking the time review us. I am sorry that it was not made clear to you on booking that we were operating our bar and restaurant on restricted hours during the holiday season. The hotel is going through a complete refurbishment as our notices at reception clearly state - I am sorry that you were placed in a room that was not completed as we still have 22 out of 67 rooms to finish. Although our breakfast did not meet your expectations, we have received very positive feedback from other guests. Our car park was flooded as it is situated on a flood plain and it floods our car park and surrounding land when the gates are opened down the river at Bedford. It is at the discretion of the environmental agency when this happens; we only joined Best Western branding two weeks ago and we are now in the process with a very precise deadline of completing our refurbishment. The entire management team here at the Dolphin are looking forward to completion of ongoing work. James Snell General Manager

"Nice location"

5
23/12/2017

Went for works Christmas party. Lovely meal and great to have a dance. Staff very friendly and helpful. Will definitely give the restaurant a try in the new year. Haven't had a works party like this for years.????

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you so much for your review and I am so pleased that you enjoyed your evening with us; we look forward to welcoming you again. Happy New Year to you and your guests! James Snell General Manager

"Save yourself the embarrassment!"

1
21/12/2017

Decided to take our guests from America here for lunch as we knew the location was so lovely. Never have we been so embarrassed! The restaurant looked very tired and dated, our table and cutlery were grubby. The waitress who 'greeted' us was very abrupt (we were clearly an inconvenience) and she left us sitting awkwardly at the table awaiting attention. After 20 minutes we had to go and ask for some drinks. The food was almost inedible...the gammon looked burnt and dry, there was no turkey despite it being four days before Christmas and the vegetables were seriously overcooked. This restaurant could and should be a real gem, what a waste of a lovely location!

Ravi G, General Manager at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for your feedback following lunch yesterday. I do apologise for the staff shortage which was due to absence through sickness at short notice. I know that an apology was given to you for the slow service offering you drinks, and we gave you these complementary by way of an apology, which you appear not to have mentioned in your review. Coffee was also offered at the end of your meal, which again was not charged to the guest who accepted this gesture. As we could only offer you one vegetarian choice your two vegetarian guests meals were only charged as one. I have spoken to the staff concerned who you considered to be unhappy and abrupt, and I have dealt with this through our own internal procedures. On behalf of the management team and myself, I very much appreciate you taking the time to review your visit. James Snell (General Manager)

"Restaurant a shambles- avoid"

1
14/12/2017

Our Christmas party of 30 was ruined by the complete shambles of the restaurant. For a start we sat for at least 30mins waiting for the staff to come to us to take our starters order. No one came. In the end we decided to go straight for the main course. Meat ok; broccoli & cabbage fresh, mixed veg frozen. Roast potatoes either frozen or deep fried to a crisp. It's Supposed to be a Christmas menu. Where were the pigs in blankets, stuffing, fresh Brussels (not frozen & mixed with other veg) red cabbage etc? The waiting staff or the lack of them were hardly seen & when they did appear looked thoroughly miserable. We were never asked if we wanted drinks, in the end we went to the bar for our own. The restaurant needs strong leadership, helpful friendly staff & higher quality of food. I'm not the only one of the party who will definitely not be going back. It's such a pity as the Dolphin has so much potential, it's in a great location.With the right management, friendly staff and good training it would be a gold mine. I just hope the new owners take on board these comments to improve the whole eating experience.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for taking the time to review your visit and for providing such positive feedback which is very much appreciated. The hotel is undergoing a complete refurbishment. We are now part of the Best Western group, and as such our staff are currently undergoing a complete training programme. James Snell General Manager

"Great restaurant for family gatherings"

4
06/12/2017

The Dolphin immediately sprang to mind after looking after us so well last year. Right from the start the staff were helpful and friendly, every phone call met with civility and efficiency. Easy to find with plenty of parking, we were greeted by the staff and found the restaurant to not only be well presented with wonderful views of the river, but sensibly laid out to maximise numbers without feeling too crowded. On our last 2 visits every member of the party was complementary about the venue, the quality of the food and the friendliness and efficiency of the staff. This visit was equally complimented. Sunday lunch - 3 courses for £18.50 and a child's option at £12, with service, worth ever penny. The portions were generous with a good selection of vegetables from the carvery, sadly the beef was not up to the usual standard The choice of starters and desserts covered all tastes and included a coffee to finish. The service was excellent, clearing tables between courses promptly but without pressure to hurry. This is our third visit and we have all agreed that this should be a regular gathering for the family at this venue. Thank you to all the staff for making this celebration such a success with a special mention for Chris who looked after us superbly to everyone's satisfaction.

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for your review and my apologies for the delay in responding. I am so glad that you enjoyed your visit and we look forward to welcoming you again. James Snell General Manager

"Aviod the restaurant"

1
06/12/2017

My wife has been to the Dolphin for a Christmas meal for several years and went again in the last few days. The place has changed hands and what a pity! Christmas lunch with NO turkey, No roast beef and NO roast pork. Roast potatoes awful. Very poor selection of sweets. Water jug on table needed washing. Some of the waiting staff need to go on a course at the Waiters' Training School. Never again!!

Ravi G, Owner at The Dolphin Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for reviewing your visit and providing detailed feedback. Your comments have all been noted. James Snell General Manager