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“A lovely dinner with friends - and a free ride home!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Dolphin Inn

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The Dolphin Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Thorpeness B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A lovely dinner with friends - and a free ride home!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2011

I, the significant other and two friends (staying in Aldeburgh for a long weekend) ate at the Dolphin inn on the Saturday night of 12th November.

No problem booking the night before.

We had a lovely meal: fish cakes, homemade chicken liver pate and duck salad for starts, Skate, steak and one of the best burgers with blue cheese and bacon followed.

Really excellent, well executed food served with cheer. Good wine on offer (2 bottles red, sunk)

We found ourselves last in the bar at the end of the evening and when we asked for a taxi, we were told we'd get a lift. And we did! One of the staff drove us all the way home back to Aldeburgh and wouldn't accept any payment or a tip.

Overall, a lovely night out and outstanding service and friendliness. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MattCooke2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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210 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    125
    61
    9
    6
    9
See reviews for
48
91
6
6
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tonyrefail, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2011

Someone reviewed below that it was a mixed bag.

I left feeling the same? Although I could find no fault with the evening food, or our room, which was exceptionally clean and tidy, and serviced as if by magic when we were having breakfast. We stayed in room 3.

So why have I marked the inn as average?

We'll our main bone of contention was the fact the inn was closed more than it was open during our stay.

We arrived Friday at just after three to find the place all locked up, but we managed to get hold of someone to let us in, after banging various doors and ringing the bell on the guests entrance. My wife got locked out going back down to the car, as I had the key in the room (and her mobile), and had to get back in via the kitchen when she managed to get hold of a member of kitchen staff.

We have since found out the inn is closed between 3-6pm, so I assume if we had arrived fifteen minutes later we would have been stuck until someone turned up for evening opening.

I have gone back through all my emails and booking form and the website, and there is no mention anywhere there or on their website. Looking down the reviews on this site, I see these are "winter hours". I would strongly suggest they incorporate this information into their website.

We had two excellent meals there on Friday night, and Saturday. I cannot pick fault with the evening meals at all. Some may argue a little expensive, but the food was of a quality to justify the charge. Also the choice of ales was good.

Saturday night was the last time we saw the place open to the public. We checked out on Tuesday!

We had been told on arrival that there was no food on Sunday. So we had already made plans to eat out. What was not pointed out was the inn was completely closed from 4pm. We returned to the inn at about 8pm to find it in utter darkness. This was a shame, as we were hoping to have a night cap by the fire.

On arriving back in the Inn on Monday night, only a chance to comment to the owner meant we found out the Inn was closed completely again all evening!

We then had to go back down the road to Aldeburgh, which was really disappointing as we had been looking forward to finishing our stay with what looked like an excellent steak and chips!

The sad upshot of going to Aldeburgh was we found the White Lion Inn, which we would easily chose over going back to the Dolphin Inn, should we return to the area.

For all intents and purposes the Dolphin Inn is a guest house in the winter, and really should state so on it's website. If I had known so, I wouldn't have booked here and booked somewhere else. I have never stayed at an Inn that was closed to guests for most of the time I was there.

What they did, they did well for the first two days, and then nothing.

This review page, and the guest book is full of comments saying it had the wow factor. I am sorry I didn't leave feeling like that. Left with a feeling of that was okay, nothing more.

As I say a real enigma.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PontyCyclops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hitchin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2011

The Dolphin is an excellent inn and base for staying in this lovely part of the world. Thorpeness is a uniquely English village with plenty to do in the immediate vicinity and slightly further afield. The staff are very friendly and the rooms comfortable and spacious. The food, breakfast and dinner, was delicious. Coupled with well kept ales what more could one want?

Room Tip: Only has three rooms, we stayed in 2&3 which were fine.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MLRHitchin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Camberley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2011

Happened upon the Dolphin Inn whilst looking for B&B. Rooms were very nicely decorated and my bathroom (Room 3) was also very nice. It would have been nice to have had a shower that hung up rather than a hand shower but the shape of the bathroom (in the roof-line) made this impossible. I was impressed by the little touches such as cotton wool / buds in the bathroom. We ate in the restaurant that evening and everything was excellent (Great sweet potato mash!). We found breakfast very good and nicely presented. We loved the choice of preserves. The waitress was very helpful and friendly. We thought the hotel was well worth what we paid.

Room Tip: Room 3 was great. My friends had Room 1 and had no complaints.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank suzienowell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2011

Me and my husband stayed at the Dolphin last weekend (21/22 Oct 2011). We stayed in Room 1. The bedroom was, as many reviewers have pointed out, nicely appointed and pleasantly decorated. However, the en suite bathroom was not as clean as I would expect and had seen much better days. The dated bathroom suite was exacerbated by the paint peeling off the walls which compounded the ugliness of the bathroom. There was bath with a shower attachment and no shower curtain. The finish on the bath was chipped. There was no holder for toilet roll and the lino on the floor was old and not terribly clean looking. On closer inspection, the lavatory had not been cleaned properly and there were remnants of excrement on the underside of the seat which I cleaned myself. The bathroom needs at the very least a paint job and a good and thorough clean.

In the bedroom there was a trouser press, kettle, cups with tea and coffee provided. However, the room had an old fashioned 12" portable TV placed on a table in the corner of the room which only picked up 3 channels. I certainly would have expected a digital flat screen TV suspended from the wall, and most customers would expect as much in this day and age, more so given the £90 per night tariff.

The breakfast again was a mixed bag. On the first morning, the breakfast was disappointing. A toaster was provided to make your own toast. The bread took ages to toast and when it was finally toasted, it was as hard as mortar - the toaster obviously had seen better days also. The cooked breakfast seemed to have good quality ingredients, but it just didn't taste as good as it looked. There were flies flying around the dining room and as there were only 4 of us having breakfast, the flies were circling our table. On our second morning, the flies were still in the dining room. I did complain on this occasion about the flies and was told by the restaurant manager that they get rid of the flies every night and there was nothing they could do now because we were having our breakfast. However, if they have a known problem with flies, perhaps they should invest in one of those fly killing machines for the dining room. After the horrid toast the morning before, I asked if my toast could be toasted in the kitchen and they were happy to do this and the toast was much better. I also asked if they would be able to provide generic marmalade (instead of fancy flavoured marmalades) and although they didn't have any in the restaurant, the restaurant manager promptly provided some from elsewhere. The cooked breakfast on our second morning was much nicer and better presented.

When we paid our bill, I thought I would inform the owner know of my impression of our room. When I told him the bathroom paintwork was peeling off and it wasn't particularly pleasant in the bathroom. All he said was "I know". Had I been the manager and, like him, was obviously aware that the bathroom was shabby, at the very least I would have apologized to my guest. Having acknowledged that there was a problem, I certainly would not be promoting that room at the full price until it had been refurbished. I also mentioned about the dirty loo upon arrival to which the manager never responded and again there was no apology. Perhaps I should have said something upon arrival, but I doubt the response would have been any different.

To summarize, the bathrooms, and it was confirmed by our friends in Room 2 that their bathroom was exactly the same, need a total refurb. The rooms were certainly not worth £90 per night - £60 would be a more accurate and realistic tariff for the room we slept in as it stands now. Perhaps with a complete refurb of the bathroom and digital TV, they may then been be justified with the charge of £90 per night.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jessica123London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Weymouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2011

Our first visit to wonderful Suffolk and staying in Thorpeness at the Dolphin Inn,
great location and Inn!
Friendly helpful staff
Comfortable, well appointed room
Excellent food
Thoroughly enjoyed our stay

Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2011

We were staying locally,and looking for somewhere to eat when I last visited The Dolphin it was the old Dolphin that was badly damaged by fire.
I was pleased by what we found a practical laid out public house ,plenty of space to eat without being sat on top of each other. which is often the case these days.
There is a simple menu easy to read , just the odd special on the chalk boards.which is
just what you need ,you tend to find huge menu,s and you know nearly everything comes out of the freezer.....
We had fish from the menu and I must say it was lovely, infact we enjoyed it so much we went back the following evening again just as good as before.The service was first class it is not easy to find young people who do this type of job well but they seem to have found good staff at the Dolphin. There seems to be a nice mix of locals and tourists which is good. We did not have a room at the Inn but i,m sure it would be of good standard

Room Tip: Unfortunately we did not have rooms at the dolphin
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sunnydays071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Dolphin Inn

Property: The Dolphin Inn
Address: Old Homes Road, Thorpeness IP16 4FE, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Suffolk > Thorpeness
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Thorpeness
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Dolphin Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in the unique seaside village of Thorpeness, the Dolphin Inn, a free house, has placed itself in the heart of the community. A short stroll takes you to miles of unspoilt Suffolk heritage coastline and we are a short distance from Minsmeare, a birding paradise hosting some of our rarest wildlife. The Dolphin has three well appointed four star bedrooms, a fantastic restaurant with an enthusiastic chef, a bar that dispensers a large variety of whiskeys, ales, has a superb wine list and boasts a large beer garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Dolphin Hotel Thorpeness

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