Knoll House Hotel

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

September, 2018

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Question: Where did Enid Blyton get her ideas and write her original “Noddy” manuscript?
Question: Where is the largest chair made for an individual?
Question: Where is the, most possibly, smallest bathroom in a hotel?

All will be answered! A lightening break was suggested by Mr. Husband and thinking back to his youth and remembering a hotel of his dreams promptly booked the ‘last remaining’ room available. This was listed as a two bedroom suite on both the hotel’s web site description and ALL the web hotel sites i.e. Unfortunately having looked forward to this it was a TOTAL misrepresentation when we arrived. On bringing this to the attention of the reservations management he actually stated it as being a ‘family room’ only regardless of the information on all sites. We also discovered to our and others consternation that there was such a discrepancy of pricing for their similar rooms. Some paid £360 while others got away with £110 for exactly the same room, breakfast and dinner. Absolute unfairness in tariffs.

The double bedroom more than adequate, the second a small one bed room and the bathroom – well not what you call a bathroom – it was possibly the very smallest bathroom in the hotel without exception. The bathroom door could not be opened fully because the upright radiator was immediately behind it, squeeze in between that and the bath and wriggle your bottom onto the loo! Great fun if you are up for it, which we were not having paid the full room rate for it expecting far better. And the bath plug repeatedly failed to release having to leave the water remaining until the next day when maintenance were available to deal with it. The room was drab, with dirty broken panes of glass in the Crittle windows and cobwebs covering them. At various times of the day and particularly at night, when it woke you, a serious airlock in the pipework system can be heard. We understand this is an old Art Deco building but possibly these faults could be dealt with sufficiently to overcome such seriousness to spoil what could be such a pleasant stay.

The dining room service, while being situated in a lovely delightful setting, was unhappily inconsistent on every occasion. The emphasis seemed to be on the constancy for setting up the tables for the next meals and disregard all else that may be needed elsewhere. On one evening the coffee was so cold in the pot we were offered to “have it microwaved” for us. We declined and walked away. The whole staff seemed to have a lacklustre attitude in their efforts to be of help. The desserts were deliciously displayed and produced, however. Children and games are well catered for, it has to be said, with a games room, Adventure playground, croquet, table tennis, tennis courts, nine hole pitch and putt, together with a swimming pool (supposedly heated but was not while we were there) and a hot tub, also not heated but “reported to the engineer”!

Regardless of all this it was an interesting venue of history. Enid Blyton repeatedly escaped to here, writing the children’s charming “Noddy” stories. There are original letters to and from her on display in frames and even a considerable mini museum of Noddy memorabilia. The largest chair belonged to Irishman Patrick Cotter O’Brien born in 1760. He stood 8 feet 3 inches and weighed 25 stone and died in 1806 after being shown as a freak by a showman. This chair eventually sold for 12 shillings.

A three star hotel pertaining to be four star, but it just doesn’t meet the grade unfortunately – you are paying for the beautiful scenic view and area.


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