Advantages Over 300 Malts and Exceptional Disabled Facilities
Disadvantages Its' not the most inexpensive place to stay
The Bell in Driffield is part of the Best Western Chain. Best Western is an international group of independent hotels, it is probably the largest brand of hotels in the world. I've never stayed at an overseas Best Western but have stayed at quite a few in the UK. They tend to be 3* hotels all with individual features. Not the standard big chain (with standard room sizes and incredibly boring….). Best Western Hotels tend to have lots of character and that traditional hotel ambience. In the main they are fairly small hotels (usually under 25 bedrooms - there are a few larger but not many). Best Western has an excellent website www.bestwestern.co.uk that regularly has some extremely good deals. Often 3 nights for two. At the moment there is a 2 nights for 1 offer on selected hotels, it ends on the 28th of February. There are 290 hotels in the chain, the offer applies to 120 of them, I think it applies to the Bell in Driffield. There is also a central booking number for all Best Western Hotels 08457 747474I stayed for two nights at the Best Western Bell in Driffield last year. I was on a stag weekend and Best Western had a similar promotion, 2 nights for the Price of 1. The Hotel has 16 bedrooms, a combination of singles, twins and doubles. The main reason I booked it is the Bar, The Oak Bar, which carries over 300 different types of Malt Whisky. Current room rates range from £95 (single B & B) to £150 (double/twin) although as with most hotels they are negotiable. It is not the most inexpensive hotel on the market but I thought it was worth it.
Apart from that I knew very little about the place until I arrived. I have to say it is a really nice place. When I got there I discovered that it was an 18th Century old Coaching Inn slap bang in the centre of Driffield. Lots of free car parking. I checked in to discover really helpful, friendly staff, nothing was too much trouble and a hotel really nicely furnished with antiques. The Hotel has lots of character. The place is a lot bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.The hotel itself, all the public rooms, was spotlessly clean and well maintained. The hotel has been extended. My room was located on the ground floor in part of the new (well it's probably early 1980's - but in terms of an 18th century building that's new…)next to the car park. Basically the rear of the hotel is a bit like a quadrangle with hotel on two sides, a leisure centre (I'll come to that later) and the car park in the middle with the road on the outside. Purely by chance I'd parked my car directly in front of my room. The hotel also had a beauty salon, but I'm gorgeous enough so I didn't bother with that.
The Room itself was a really big twin, at first I couldn't understand why it was so big. With two very comfortable beds with lovely bedding, very tastefully furnished and decorated, a couple of comfy chairs, wardrobe, drawers, some quite nice pictures on the walls. The room was spotlessly clean and had all the usual facilities, TV, Internet, Hairdryer, Trouser Press, 24 hour room service etc . The door to the room seemed quite a bit wider than normal hotel rooms. The bathroom was huge. It was only then that I actually twigged.The Bathroom was fully adapted for disabled use. You name it, every possible aid was installed from a walk in shower to fully equipped toilet to special taps. I was chatting to the barman later that evening and was told that the hotel has won awards for its' disabled facilities. I can well appreciate why. I am not disabled I just happened to get the room because it was a free twin. Looking at the corridor outside the room it was wide with ramps to facilitate wheelchair access. Indeed once I realised I made a point of looking around the rst of the hotel, it is clear that great thought has gone into making it as disabled friendly as possible.
The Hotel has its' own leisure centre with pool, nautilus gym, Jacuzzi, Sauna, Solarium and flotation tank. Now I've never been in a flotation tank and to be honest I wasn't totally sure what one was - so of course I had to visit the leisure centre to inspect the facilities. The pool was quite nice, not too big (but then hotel pools seldom are) I had a dip, the temperature was about right, warm enough but not too warm. The Gym looked very well equipped. The Flotation tank was a fibreglass cylinder full of water with lots of salt in it. The idea being you got in it, closed the lid and relax in the dark. You have to book and pay extra to use it. I thought about it and bottled it. I'm not too good on really confined spaces, don't mind the dark or silence, so I didn't do it.I spent a bit of time in the bar, as you do ,no I'll tell the truth I got absolutely hammered in the bar. It has a really nice atmosphere and seems to act as a local as well as a hotel bar. So you don't pay hotel prices, which is a bonus. I was a bit disappointed with the Malt selection. Yes they've got a lot, and a few I hadn't tried before but they only really have average Malts, the sort of stuff that costs under £30 a bottle. I was hoping to try something really good that I hadn't tried anywhere else. They also, or so my mates told me, have a good selection of very well kept hand pulled real ales. I don't know as I was on the Malt. The bar also serves quite a nice selection of home cooked bar food. I had the Cottage Pie which was really lovely, clearly home made with lots of meat and fluffy real mashed potatoes.
The Bell has a very impressive looking oak panelled Restaurant. Unfortunately I didn't eat dinner in it, we weren't there to spend hours eating, food was in the main of the more liquid variety (if you know what I mean). That said I had a quick look, as you do, at the menu. It sounded really good food, nothing too fancy. I did eat breakfast. Help yourself to cereals and juice, Full English cooked to order. The Full English was exceptionally good, very fresh local produce, a good plateful. Breakfast set me up for the day. If the quality of the breakfast is an indication of the quality of the Restaurant food generally then the restaurant is going to be good.So where is it. Driffield is a little market town in the Yorkshire Wolds not far from Beverly and York. The Hotel is slap bang in the town centre on the Market Place. Incidentally there didn't seem any real town centre noise actually in the hotel. The Hotel is at Market Place, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 6AN (Tel 01377 253228). I think it would be a great place to stay and use as a base to explore the whole of that area.
Would I stay there again. Most definitely. It is a really good hotel with lots of character and individuality. I would recommend it to anyone,although I'm not sure how child friendly it was - I didn't see any families with children.. If you have a disability the facilities are exceptional
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