The Duncombe Arms Hotel

Our Rating

When you hear the term “pub with rooms”, chances are you won’t hold out much hope on the quality that lies in store for you. Well, if there was ever a premises to put paid to this pre-conception, it’s The Duncombe Arms Hotel which can be found in the wonderfully charming Staffordshire village of Ellastone right on the edge of the Peak District – one of the UK’s most glorious national parks.

The Duncombe Arms is perhaps not your conventional pub with rooms as the rooms here aren’t found within the pub itself but rather in a purpose built structure on the grounds of the pub and they are all the more glorious as a result. Situated in a contemporary stone built building a few steps from the pub, we were lucky enough to be staying in one of the property’s suites during our all too brief stay in the Peak District.

As always, one of the first things we look out for during any of our stays here at Coolector HQ is the calibre of the welcome and, at the Duncombe Arms Hotel, you’re in for the warmest of welcomes from the well-trained staff. For us it was James and Sarah responsible for the great first impression of this wonderfully unexpected hotel and if you’ve ever been put off staying at a “pub”, The Duncombe Arms will have you overcoming that fear in a matter of minutes.

It’s not just the hotel room which left us impressed here at The Coolector as you’ve also got the well-loved pub restaurant of The Duncombe Arms which has a pleasingly relaxed and laid back atmosphere and has been awarded two rosettes from the AA, and has been nominated Best Dining Pub in Staffordshire for 2018 and 2019. Win, win.

Home Away From Home

There are 10 luxuriously appointed rooms at The Duncombe Arms Hotel and each is designed to act as a real home away from home for those looking for the perfect base for exploring the Peak District. The Flying Ducks Suite in which we stayed is genuinely one of the most impressive first impressions we’ve had when staying in a hotel and to call The Duncombe Arms a pub with rooms is a real disservice to what you actually get – namely, a wonderful country pub AND a stunning boutique hotel.

All the rooms at The Duncombe Arms are positively overflowing with luxurious features which will make your stay a relaxing, restful and rewarding one and certainly something you’ll appreciate if you’ve spent the day trekking the Peak District trails. Some of the best features that are found in all the rooms include the luxury Egyptian cotton bed linens, high quality mattress, flatscreen SMART TV, Roberts DAB radio with connection lead for MP3 players, Bamford Soaps in the bathrooms and a Nespresso machine and free coffee capsules – ideal for recharging those batteries.

Decoratively speaking, the Flying Ducks Suite we stayed in was impeccably appointed throughout and wouldn’t have been out of place in a five star property. The rooms are decorated with different artisan wallpapers and high quality fabrics, and kitted out with sumptuous armchairs, a writing desk and various other hand-picked pieces of furniture which add a real homely feel to the rooms that are perfect for getting away from the hustle and bustle of city living.

The owners of The Duncombe Arms, Johnny and Laura Greenall, brought the pub back from the brink of dereliction after completing an extensive renovation of their local village pub that had been boarded up for a long time and broke their heart whenever they drove past. During the complete overhaul, they’ve added a state-of-the-art new kitchen and an airy, light-filled dining space to the original, 1850 inn’s cosy nooks and snugs.

The Greenalls opened for business in March 2012, with the aim of serving classic and modern British food of fine-dining quality in the warm, relaxed surroundings of a local country pub but such is the quality of the newly built hotel, it looks as though it could have been completed yesterday and we thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for the ideal retreat for exploring the Peak District.

Fine Dining

It’s not just the rooms that blew us away at The Duncombe Arms, the quality of the food was also right up there with the best of them and we enjoyed a night of fine dining in the excellent, relaxing restaurant with a mouth-watering menu to choose from. The menus and daily specials of The Duncombe Arms showcase the very best local and seasonal produce alongside the freshest and most delicious ingredients from around the country.

There is no shortage of accolades surrounding the dining at The Duncombe Arms and this includes The Michelin Guide, The Good Pub Guide, Budweiser Budvar’s Top 50 Gastro Pubs and the Diners’ Choice Awards. They are delighted that all of these have named The Duncombe Arms among the best dining pubs in the country. Mixing pub classics with more adventurous contemporary British dishes, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your tastebuds before retiring your room in a food coma.

Whenever we head back to our old stomping ground of the Peak District here at The Coolector, you can rest assured that The Duncombe Arms will be sitting at the top of our list of places to stay. Offering a relaxed pub to enjoy a tipple or two and top of the range food coupled with sumptuously appointed rooms which really will change the way you think about “pubs with rooms”. A definite two thumbs up from us.

Rooms from £160 per night including breakfast

The Breakdown

Leo is the owner of The Coolector and writes about the stuff he loves. And some stuff that he merely likes.