Pelham House

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

Aug, 2013

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Reasons for trip

Culture / Sightseeing

We made two mistakes when booking our stay in Lewes. The first was to leave it to the last minute and the second was to use instead of contacting the hotel itself. We wanted to stay in Lewes in order to see the town and to visit some interesting houses nearby but we knew nothing about where to stay so we 'Googled' it. The first entry was under and we chose Pelham House which had one remaining standard double/twin room which was offered as 'Room Only'. That was fine – we could buy breakfast somewhere. Then I looked at the hotel's own website and liked what I saw so we booked it through Then I noticed that parking at the hotel was limited and a place had to be reserved at the time of booking. There was a charge of £6.50 per night. I emailed them asking for a parking space. After 36 hours of no response, I phoned them and got no reply. When I did get a response and told them that I'd emailed, the young woman simply said 'Oh right. So which nights are you staying?' I don't think they read their emails very often. Later, talking to Rob, the restaurant manager, I said that we were given no option but to book 'room only' and he immediately changed our booking to 'room and breakfast' which was cheaper than buying breakfast separately. Our twin room was comfortable enough with TV, radio, ironing board and iron and hairdryer and it had a good, modern bathroom but the drawback was that it was on the third floor at the top of 42 steps, the last 20 of these being narrow and twisting – a typical attic staircase. We learned later that there are ground floor rooms but none were available at this time.

However, putting the complications to one side, we enjoyed our stay at Pelham House. The staff who looked after us were friendly, smiling and attentive and the hotel itself is a lovely old town house with a terrace for drinks and meals overlooking a pretty garden with a distant view of the Sussex Downs. Arranged throughout the building and the gardens are some rather good artworks (the hotel has its own art curator) some of which which are for sale.The breakfast room has some wonderful, original oak panelling saved when the house was converted to an hotel There is no lounge as such, just some comfortable chairs in an opened-out, fairly busy corridor but there is a 'reading room' with computer facilities although free wi-fi is available throughout the hotel. Its greatest asset is its location, conveniently just off the High Street, giving us peace and quiet but with just a three minute walk to shops, banks and restaurants. We were warned in advance that the kitchen was being refurbished and that there would be a limited menu but breakfasts were good and the meal we had in the restaurant was excellent with a sensible price structure – all starters at £5.50, all main courses at £14.00 and all desserts at £5.50 – and a good wine list. We would recommend Pelham House as a very good base for seeing Lewes and exploring the countryside but I suggest that you book directly with the hotel if you want to avoid those 42 steps.

Angie Curtis

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