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.
- 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