The Dell House     Malvern, England

The UK's No.1 Boardgaming B&B

Boardgaming at The Dell House

This page is about the facilities we can offer gamers; in particular those who are looking to organise their own boardgame get-together here.

First... are you thinking Monopoly?

If, like the vast majority of people, associate boardgames with Monopoly, Cluedo, and the One with the Twirly/Pop'y Thing, Christmas and children, then that's no surprise. However, this page isn't for you yet, you need to do a bit of catching up of the last 20 years - read the Modern Boardgames 101 page first. That said, we do have Monopoly, Cluedo and at least one Twirly/Pop'y thing.

or are you thinking Chess, Draughts, Go, ...?

While the classic 2-player games are not what we personally play very often, the facilities are perfect for a small convention or club weekend away, so do read on. We've also got a few 2-player abstracts you may not have come across, such as Trax and Hive, to add some variety.

Facilities at the Dell House

Although we're eurogamers in the main, the facilities are available whatever your flavour of gaming, be that Classics, RPG, Miniatures, Murder Mystery, etc.

B&B

Ground Floor plan

The main collection of around 200 games (mainly eurogames) resides in the B&B part of the house, in the 'function room' which serves as either a TV lounge or a gaming room. There are two large tables here, and another three in the other lounge and the dining room. (The grey areas on the plan).

These are all available to you if you book into the B&B part of the house. That could either be a straight B&B booking or a larger group booking that has booked both the B&B and some of the adjoining self-catering apartments.

Self-Catering

Ground Floor plan

Under normal circumstances, those solely booking the self-catering accommodation don't have access to our games library or games room. However, there's plenty of scope for your own gaming in the apartments - especially the 3-bed Nursery apartment (mid-blue to the right of the floor plan) or the 2-bed Coach House. Both have sizeable lounges (the Coach House's lounge is bigger) and if you talk to us nicely we're happy to arrange more or larger tables in there.

This would seem to suit lengthy RPG sessions and the like.

Involving Local Gamers

If anyone would like to have an ad hoc games session here and play with some new people, then we can usually rustle up several local gamers. Similarly, if we happen to be hosting a Malvern Boardgamers evening, you'd be welcome to join in regardless of what part of the house you're staying in.

Just to be clear, this is your choice as guests. If you prefer to keep it to yourselves, that's what will happen.

Organising Something Bigger

If the group you are thinking of exceeds the size of either the B&B or the self-catering units, then it's time to start talking about a bespoke package that combines the B&B rooms with one or more apartments, probably with some group-wide catering options. We are extraordinarily flexible, but that isn't always helpful if you are looking for set prices for such groups.

Matching the Group to the Bedrooms

We have a total of 10 bedrooms available for guests. Our maximum capacity is 20; 22 if 'put-you-up' beds are used. However, this relies on efficient filling of double beds, twin rooms etc.

It's a rule that, where multiple sections of the house are being used, the B&B rooms need to be booked first, extending then into the self-catering rooms. It's ideal if the apartments that are in the main house (either the Nursery and/or the Butler's apartments) are used first as these have connecting doors to the B&B so it feels much more like everyone is in the same house.

Pricing

It's not practical to give details here but this is generally how the pricing works.

Generally our pricing is biased against very short stays. The price for the self-catering units starts at a minimum of a 3-night stay. The prices for the B&B rooms drops rapidly from a one-night to a 3-night stay. The self-catering prices are seasonal, the B&B prices are not.

For small-to-mid-sized groups you can pretty much work off the prices on this site. For larger groups there may be a nominal surcharge to offset the cleaning bill that tends to follow having 20 people use reception rooms that usually accommodate 8. However, the greatest impact on pricing is typically what you want to do about catering. See below.

It is unlikely that any self-organised gaming stay will work out cheaper than a DellCon. That's because we subsidise DellCon's because we get quite a bit of gaming time in ourselves, and it's agreed we don't do the some of the usual servicing of rooms, etc.

We are open to a certain amount of negotiation (we are all games players after all). Things become a lot more negotiable during the quieter months, which for us are November to April, and if the length of stay and numbers involved are reasonable.

When we agree a price it will be for the whole booking. If you want to make adjustments within the group to balance the large en-suite B&B rooms with the apartment rooms, then that is your challenge to solve. For DellCon we solved it with a first come, best room approach.

Catering

Breakfasts. By default, the pricing assumes a cooked breakfast for B&B occupants and nothing for self-caterers. It's often possible to trade these off for a non-cooked breakfast provided for everyone.

Lunches. It's reasonably easy for us to provide a 'bread & cheese' style lunch, with salads, spreads, etc. and a pudding. Options include having a warm flan or quiche as well.

Evening meals. Taking DellCon as an example, these can be pizzas followed by cheesecake; a chinese takeaway, or similar. We'll prepare everything and do the washing up afterwards so you can get back to gaming. Alternatively we can arrange an external caterer, or you can go out to the pub (there's one in walking distance, several a short drive away).

To give some idea of pricing, and again using DellCon (16 people) as a guide, we provide two lunches, one evening meal, infinite tea and coffee, fizzy drinks, and a liberal supply of fruit, cakes & nibbles for a grand sum of £35 per person.

If you've included self-catering in your mix you can, of course, simply self-cater. As an intermediate step, we can offer a service of providing the crockery & cutlery for a meal for everyone together and clearing all that away afterwards. This is popular with some of the family groups we have here.

What next

If you're wondering whether your booking would work here, drop us a line and we can suggest options. Our email address is at the bottom of the page.