Hey everyone! I hope you’re all well.
Today’s blog post is a review of the well-known Crazy Bear Hotel – the one in Beaconsfield, to be precise. I recently took my boyfriend Jake for his birthday (and maybe for the gram. Shh!) and thought I’d write up a review as I know there are lots of people who want to go to this hotel but aren’t sure about the pure quirkiness of it and the contrasting reviews.
It’s safe to say that I was umming and ahhing for a while about whether to book this or not. Undeniably, it looks amazing.
The Crazy Bear is famed for its opulent feel, dramatic decor and unusual rooms. No two rooms are the same, and they’re all individually decorated, which I liked the sound of.
However, the reason I was unsure about this place beforehand was that the reviews are SO MIXED. From 1* reviews with people nagging about decor looking tacky and tired, to 5* reviews of people absolutely raving about the place, I felt I needed to pay a visit to get a real feel for it. Afterwards, I feel I sit somewhere in-between.
I drove up to Beaconsfield, which is just over an hours journey from Brighton. Note to self: never drive on the motorway with boyfriend again. An hour of ‘COME ON, speed up’ was enough to start grinding my gears a bit, and by the time we arrived, I was ready to fly out that car and dive bomb into anything alcoholic.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a very welcome glass of champagne (first brownie points) and walked to our room. Something quite odd/different about the hotel is that it is situated in 3 parts along the road. So, we literally had to walk out of the reception along the pavement to our room. Not a problemo, just very unusual.
The bedrooms are what pull people to the Crazy Bear – particularly the suites. They definitely do have the initial, intriguing ‘wow factor’, and it’s hands down one of the coolest hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in.
The star of the show for me had to be the ginormous gold bathtub at the end of our bed… which filled up from the ceiling?!
If you didn’t fancy a dip in the giant bath (a.k.a, if you’re insane) there was a walk-in shower, too. Look how impressive the bathroom was!
Honestly, our room looked fab, but I couldn’t help feeling slightly disappointed with the size of it, considering it was a ‘suite’. It did feel a little claustrophobic at times, especially considering there are no windows in the room. The ‘windows’ in the photo you can see just backed onto wall, so they didn’t actually bring any light into the room.
One thing I will explain about this hotel is that there are a lot of hidden charges – some understandable, some that made me feel a bit pissed off, frankly. Let me explain.
So, there was no fridge in the room. Therefore, nowhere to keep a cold bottle of water or anything else. If you want to bring your own wine, you won’t be able to keep it cool – for good reason. They charge a £25 fee per bottle of your own alcohol you bring into their hotel. Somehow, that makes a £5 bottle of Blossom Hill seem slightly less appealing.
Other charges included were: extras with dinner. The deal I got for this break included a 3 course meal, however any sides weren’t included and most options came with a cheeky supplement.
We loved the bar, too, but they only allow table service, and add 12.5% service charge onto every item you order. Smells a bit fishy to me. Anyway, we’ll come back to the bar.
We had dinner booked in the English restaurant, and, to be honest, I couldn’t fault it. The service was really friendly and attentive and I enjoyed everything I ate.
If you find yourself in their English restaurant, do yourself a favour and order the Salted Butter Caramel for dessert – it’s basically a giant, melted Werther sweet. I mean, I’d hope and pray for the price that it actually wasn’t, but that’s how it tasted. B-E-A-utiful.
After dinner, we headed to the bar for some post-dinner drinks, which I mentioned previously.
The bar had a really nice vibe and there were plenty of seating options. We got a couple of cocktails and headed through to their Moroccan Lounge where there were more seats and sofas.
One thing that just did not click with me were the toilets. Upon walking downstairs to go to the ladies, there were 2 HUGE glass doors… with no sign for mens or womens? So, it was a bloody 50/50 chance on whether I was going to walk through the door and stumble onto a confused man using a urinal. Luckily, I chose wisely, but I still just didn’t really get this? I understand the Crazy Bear is notoriously… well, crazy, but this just seemed a bit stupid to me. Call me boring, whatever.
Once in the bathrooms, might I add, I was certifiably blown away. Mainly because there were about 100 me’s walking round and I just might have walked into the wall one too many times.
We had a bottle of chilled champagne in our room when we arrived, so this was enjoyed thoroughly as post-post dinner drinks. It’s gotta be done.
The bed was really comfy and we both enjoyed a peaceful nights sleep. The next morning, we got up for brekkie and made our way to the bar for a continental buffet. This was plenty for us, but, beware – if you fancy something cooked, that’s an extra £12.95 pp. Ouch… perhaps the most expensive bacon and eggs I’ve ever heard of.
So, we had a pretty short and sweet stay at the Crazy Bear. Personally, I would revisit. I can totally see why it’s not to everyone’s tastes – you could say it’s rather, uhh… brothel-esque and garish, and I do understand why the extra charges and pure price of it would be offputing. If you’re planning on paying a visit, make yourself aware of these things beforehand and you’ll have a grand ol’ time.
I ended our stay on a high as I was travelling to Spain a few hours after… winning. Keep an eye out for a post soon about that trip, too!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my stay. Have you ever been to any of the Crazy Bear hotels? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Love, Dayna x