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“Dissapointing Stay”
Review of Sandy Cove Hotel

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Sandy Cove Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Berrynarbor
Newbury, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Dissapointing Stay”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

I am afraid our experience was not the best. The service in the restaurant was not as one would expect for the amount of money that is charged. We stayed 3 nights and on the 1st night in the dinning room felt very uncomfortable when the staff made such a clattering setting up the tables for breakfast. I know this has to be done but we were well within the dining times so a little more sympathy should be taken towards people still dining. We had to wait quite a while for our food and the cheese platter consisted of 2 small pieces of smoked cheese with a small amount of something else - what no cheddar or stilton!! I had to ask for pickle and butter and then a knife. The staff certainly do not have their heart in the job. When we finished our meal we had coffee. Mine was served in a cup that was chipped just where you drink. They did bring a fresh cup when asked. By this time we were feeling very fed up thinking that we were paying a lot of money for this level of service and went to reception to ask about checking out in the morning. After sleeping on it we thought we would stick it out as maybe things would get better. Breakfast the next morning was a long wait and after 3/4 hour I had to go and ask someone if we could order out breakfast. The same thing happened the next morning. My husband is a vegetarian and his food was dreadful - for example the risotto was rice floating in an insipid liquid. 2 of my meals were OK but the 2nd evening I couldn't eat the fish and chips as the chips were not cooked and were cold. The batter was OK on the fish. The so called pea puree was a solid cold mass of hard pea which I couldn't even get my knife into. I told the waiter and he came and said that the chef was sorry but didn't offer me anything else. People around us were complaining about their food too. I could go on but will focus on something positive - The room was comfortable and very clean although very hot so in the summer could be stifling. The view is absolutely fantastic and it is such a shame that the service doesn't match. We did speak to the Manager on several occasions and he offer us 10% off the bill as we were clearly not happy with the overall experience.

Room Tip: Our room was on the top floor built into the roof which made it warm but had fantastic view
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jacquie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (191)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Marlborough, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

Disappointing hotel certainly not what it said on the tin. We were totally lured into a last minute booking by the very good website. But our room out back was a forgotten place. Lost in circa 1982 and certainly not decorated in the same era as posted on the website. 

The pool whilst loved by our kids was also not very similar to the website. A dirty plaster remained on the floor during both of our visits and the space felt a little well unloved really. 

Food was just ok, certainly not similar to the website. A theme perhaps?! 

But possibly the worst bit was the breakfast. Incredibly slow service - over an hour wait for beans on toast and some eggs and sausages. This time endured with two small children under 5 was incredibly testing for even the brightest morning person. Apparently a problem with being short staff. But there was simply no reassurance, no one managing the situation, no apology in advance.  

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank elleholiday5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014 via mobile

We have stayed in numerous hotels and this can be best described as Fawlty Towers of North Devon, but without the humour.
From the moment we arrived I was disappointed. We arrived after a 150 mile motorcycle ride in heavy rain and parked right outside the hotel for ease. Immediately I was told to move the bike to the lower car park which is down a steep slope with uneven stoney ground so pretty hazardous on a bike.
The room was ok, situated at the back of the hotel. However, being above the kitchen we had to endure terrible noise until very late into the night. I commented on this after the first night and they barely acknowledged what I said.
The swimming pool is old, the roof and internal surroundings dirty and jacuzzi was cold and half full.
The newer section housing the sauna etc was ok but far too small given the number of people. Two changing rooms one with no lock, two relaxing chairs and a sauna that caters for three maximum.
We booked dinner for 8pm. The staff had no idea who was responsible for what table, no system at all. We ordered and then waited and waited and waited. After 45 minutes out cold moules turned up. We were told they were cooked to order, well perhaps but they certainly were not brought out fresh! The main course was adequate but the dining experience doesn't reflect the price.
Breakfast was a disaster, a continental breakfast with half of the items on the menu missing. People sending back cooked breakfasts, just terrible.
That afternoon we ordered afternoon tea. We asked for afternoon tea for two and put came two huge tiers each containing 6 sandwiches, 2 scones, 2 slices of lemon cake and numerous small cake and macaroons. We explained that we just wanted one tier which was more that adequate for two. The lady agreed and said we would just be charged for the one as the other was untouched, it was £14.00. Wait for the bill later!
That night dinner was at least served in a more timely manner but we both ordered med rare steaks. One came rare and the other beyond well done! We requested cheese and biscuits and we told they had goats cheese and smoked. What, no blue or cheddar? After a long debate they managed to find some.
That night the noise was horrendous, and at 11:40pm I called reception. No reply. I got up and went to reception and spoke to what I assumed to be a night porter. Asked what the noise was (banging of pots and dragging barrels etc) and was told "we are very busy in the kitchen". I said that I had tried to call reception and he asked what number I had called, zero I replied. Well that's the wrong number he said, pretty sternly and telling me I should have read the room information!
I said this was the second night running I had been kept awake to which he told me I should have told him earlier. Why, who are you I said, the manger he replied. His tone and the way he spoke made the guest feel completely wrong!
The following mornings breakfast was a shambles. People complaining and when we asked for continental breakfast with blue cheese we were told that it wasn't for breakfast. I said to the waitress to please ensure we have some, I do not care for goats or smoked. The manager then came to our table and gave me a public roasting for upsetting a member of his staff. The people on the tables next to ours couldn't believe it.
I tried to explain what happened and he didn't want to know, told me to see him at reception.
I did, he pushed me aside every time someone came into ear shot, until others then came to complain about there own weekend experience.
The final straw was the £28 for afternoon teas on the bill. I said that we were told one would be removed and he practically accused me of lying! He removed it but only to try and save face in front of others.
DO NOT BOOK THIS HOTEL. OVER PRICED, RUDE MANAGEMENT AND JUST NOT WORTH THE £140 A NIGHT PER COUPLE!
It wouldn't be fair to end on a negative so, the best part was the location but my advice would be to find another hotel in that location.
Richard Gilson, hotel manager; learn some people skills and how to treat guests. Yes you get some good reviews but also some terrible ones, just read the recent wedding disaster!

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
8 Thank Jeremy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devon, UK
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We had an excellent weekend with friends at the Sandy Cove. The staff were friendly and helpful, our room was clean and comfortable with a stunning view. The food in the restaurant was superb, everything we tried from the a la carte menu was presented beautifully and tasted fantastic. Overall a great hotel in a lovely location, also has an indoor/outdoor swimming pool which is really nice when the weather is good. Will definitely be back!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank k8alx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2014 via mobile

Lovely location but felt as a young couple visiting for two nights we were forgotten about and service was awful. Credit to the young man with glasses was very friendly but noticed there was dirty glasses everywhere outside and in. Breakfast we ordered but then after a long wait were given half what was ordered. Dinner again, we were forgotten about. No bread and food was tastless and minimal. Considering it it mitchellin star we were extremely disappointed in service and food. I did make a point of telling the receptionist (of whom we had to wait and then call to come from the back) that foe the price we were a bit upset about the service we received throughout our stay who then told us that the head chef was on his day off so maybe that was why we were disappointed with the food (both wrong orders and tastless) which should absolutely not compromise for the food we were given. All in all a beautiful location but awful hotel with carelesa staff with an age-ist attitude. Very angry and disappointed to have spent this money here. We ended up going to tescos the second night and getting a sandwich rather than going through the trouble of ordering a tastless meal.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Jess C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calne
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Have been coming to his hotel for 17 years. Hotel has made lots of changes and our particularly room was lovely, complete with a comfy leather sofa to sit and enjoy our view. added to the fact that our dog could join us on our lovely coastal walks. Food lovely, staff friendly and Manager helpful when we reaslied when we got home that a pair of reading glasses were left in the room! I do hope that we will continue to share this lovely hotel (and outstanding views) with you for another 17 years.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amanda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Swindon, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Having stayed at the hotel half a dozen times over the last two years we got married at the Sandy Cove this weekend (the first May bank holiday weekend). We had an absolutely beautiful, relaxing day. Our room (our favourite room) was really comfortable, spacious, even with hair and make up going on in the morning, and has a stunning sea view. Even better - our dog was allowed to stay too! Our very lively young border collie is always made welcome and loves both the coastal walks and the beach. That was one of the reasons we stayed at the hotel in the first place, and it was so special to have her in our wedding pictures.

Our wedding was outside in the pretty cliff top pagoda, which our florist decorated with an arch of flowers. The location can't really be beaten and although it's a bit of a slope down for the ceremony (we were glad we'd remembered to tell guests to wear flats) it's completely worth it for the beautiful uninterrupted sea views.

The wedding breakfast - which was delicious - was served in the main restaurant. The chef Ollie does super food, our guests were impressed with the taste and presentation - and the roast beef main was huge! Special presentation for our desserts (different just for the two of us) was a nice touch too.

Although all the hotel staff were great Dan and Robin really deserve a special mention. Throughout the immediate lead up and on the day the two of them in particular went above and beyond what we could have expected and just made everything so effortless for us. I was pretty much the most chilled out bride ever! Dan even assembled and decorated our cake (we'd bought three plain iced tiers from M&S and our florist had wired some lovely flowers for it). It was gorgeous and after Dan arranged it the cake looked like a fancy expensive bespoke one! Robin sorted matching the dining room lighting to our colour scheme (the restaurant has recently been redecorated with clever ceiling lighting) and took our favours and place cards and made sure they were all arranged beautifully on the tables. They - and in fact the whole team - were so friendly and a pleasure to deal with.

We love the marquee and were so pleased to be able to have our evening party there. We'd been a bit concerned it might be a little chilly but the team were way ahead of us, and had put the heaters on ahead of the party meaning it was a comfortable room temperature. The barbecue was amazing - really delicious, lovely quality meat and fresh beautiful salads and such a lot on offer. The only problem was that so many of our guests were so full from the wedding breakfast that they couldn't possibly eat as much as they wanted of it!

We'd wholeheartedly recommend the hotel and all of our wedding suppliers (Liz at Goodenough plants does awesome flowers, Liam at FlyBase DJ kept everyone dancing all night and Jo Kift and Adam Denby are a great - and really relaxed - team for hair and make up).

All in all a wonderful day and long weekend at one of our very favourite places. Thank you to everyone at The Sandy Cove for helping create such a great start to our marriage - relaxed and really everything we could have hoped for and more. We look forward to coming down again soon!

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank readunn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandy Cove Hotel

Property: Sandy Cove Hotel
Address: Old Coast Road | Combe Martin Bay, Berrynarbor, Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe EX34 9SR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Ilfracombe > Berrynarbor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Berrynarbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Sandy Cove Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 39
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sandy Cove Ilfracombe
Hotel Sandy Cove
Sandy Cove Hotel Berrynarbor, Devon

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