Review of Best Western Dower House Knaresborough

We stayed at the three star Best Western Dower House in Knaresborough in North Yorkshire for two nights in July 2012, on a complimentary basis, on my second assignment as a member of the Best Western Year of Get Up &  Go blogging panel. The original Victorian building has been extended. The garden is very attractive but quite close to the road.  There’s a large car park.

Dower House Knaresborough

Best Western Dower House exterior & garden

We were allocated a superior room in the modern wing. The room was large and light with plenty of space for two chairs by a small round table and a good sized desk with another chair. It was decorated in a fairly minimalist style. It overlooked the restaurant roof over towards a high hedge.

Dower House Knaresborough

Our room at Best Western Dower House Knaresborough

There was a king size bed consisting of two single mattresses which was very comfortable. It was quite warm in the room, so I tried to open both windows but one of them wouldn’t stay open. I had to wedge in the Gideon’s Bible in to keep it open. There was a bit of a whiff (I assume from the drains) in the bathroom but keeping the extractor fan on and the door closed seemed to dissipate the odour. The grey bathroom suite, along with grey tiles, made the bathroom feel rather bleak and dated. There was a fair sized crack on the bath panel. The toilet cistern was really slow to refill and the toilet flush handle was loose. There was no hot water late one evening and the following morning. I reported this to reception when we went down for breakfast and it was fine afterwards.

I couldn’t get connected to the WiFi in the room. I phoned reception to ask them if there was a problem; they told me they’d look into it. Fortunately, I had my USB modem with me, so I was able to get online. I had a few more attempts to get connected to the WiFi but no joy, so I phoned reception again. A few minutes later, the receptionist appeared at the door with a router.

The restaurant overlooks the garden. Dinner on the first night got off to an excellent start. My Smoked Haddock and Salmon Fishcake was delicious, as was my husband’s Duck Roulade.

Dower House Knaresborough

Duck Roulade Starter

However, the main courses were a come down; my pork was mediocre. My husband’s Sea Trout fillets were small, very thin, full of bones and pretty tasteless.

Dower House Knaresborough

Sea Trout

The desserts were good; I had Sticky Toffee Pudding and my husband’s Cheese Board was a very generous serving of three cheeses with homemade chutney.

There was a breakfast buffet with fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurts, fruit juices, croissants & Danish Pastries. The cooked breakfast was prepared to order.

Dower House Knaresborough

Full English Breakfast

The following evening, the starters were again excellent. I had Smoked Salmon Rolls and my husband had a mini Steak & Kidney Pudding.

Dower House Knaresborough

Smoked Salmon Starter

The Pan Fried Chicken was very tender but a bit too garlicky for my taste. My husband’s Leg of Duck was excellent.

Dower House Knaresborough

Pan Fried Chicken

I decided to try to Chocolate & Kiwi Fruit tart; the combination worked well, but it was strange that the kiwi fruit hadn’t been peeled. The accompanying Raspberry Sorbet was divine.

Dower House Knaresborough

Chocolate & Kiwi Fruit Tart served with Raspberry Sorbet

The lounge, in the older part of the building, is very cosy and overlooks the garden.

Dower House Knaresborough

Lounge at Dower House

In summary, I loved the spaciousness and comfort of our room at the Best Western Dower House Knaresborough, but it was let down by a drab and poorly maintained bathroom and the problems connecting to WiFi. The staff were all friendly and helpful. The quality of food served in the restaurant was variable, ranging from excellent to poor. The hotel is a five minute walk from the banks of the River Nidd and a fifteen minute walk to Knaresborough Castle.

Click here to see all my Best Western Dower House photos.

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