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“Excellent Holiday”

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Higher Bowden Holiday Cottages
Reviewed 13 April 2013

Booked the holiday, then looked at the reviews! Worried that I'd made a big mistake but I can't understand the dissatisfaction of the complainers.
We have just had a terrifc holiday at Higher Bowden (couple with girls of 10 and 8).
Communication and directions from owners prior to departure excellent - believe the directions and not the sat nav.
We stayed in Courtyard cottage which was immaculate,comfortable, with all the amenities I expected. Washing up liquid etc provided - first time in this type of accomodation for us that we didn't need our own.
Facilities on site are great. Good pool (opening hours for us were fine), great tennis court with decent rackets and balls provided, nice fun putting green - balls and putters provided, just help yourself, games room is nice and well equipped.
Our girls loved the guineapigs and goats and lookeed forward to helping Peter with the feeds.
We had a great welcome and send off and were left to do our own thing in between, signs and notices are not restrictive and log supply is plenty.
Roads approaching the cottages are narrow but this is typical of the area, the walk down to the beech is beautiful.
This is a lovely part of the country with plenty to do, the cottages are great and the owners were perfect hosts.
We had moderate to poor weather but our girls loved it and are desperate for us to go again. Every chance they will get their way.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank paul t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 - 81 of 112 reviews

Reviewed 15 November 2012

We stayed here during October the week before national half term so the place wasn't full. Oaktree Cottage was fairly spacious with a decent kitchen and living area. The downside was that the place was full of cobwebs and there were plenty of spiders roaming around. The facilities are great for children but I didn't find the swimming pool area particularly clean. The swimming pool itself had a layer of dirt around it. It seemed to me that the place had come to the end of a busy season and was in need of a good clean. I wouldn't consider paying almost £2000 to stay here in summer..........

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2012

We booked Rose Cottage for the October half-term and had high expectations bearing in mind the description on the website (which speaks of "Luxury Cottages") and the high price we paid. What a disappointment ! My wife was in tears when she saw the state of the place. The first thing that hits you as you enter the cottage is a smell of damp and the large cobweb-filled gaps down the each side of the stair run. The kitchen is small, dark and every surface seemed sticky. More cobwebs underneath and down the sides of the applicances, and spiders everywhere. More spiders in all the other rooms, and when I pulled the lounge curtain across about a hundred flies which had been resting behind it started buzzing around. The place was cold and draughty and the ancient economy seven storage heathers added to the depression. The whole cottage was not fresh or healthy. When I complained, the owner initially promised us a full refund, but when he handed over the cheque as we were leaving he had deducted £500 "for two nights stay" even though we had been on the premises less than 24 hours (plus even two nights would not add up to £500). We couldn't get away fast enough, but in hindsight I should have asked for not only a full refund but additional compensation for the stress of having our holiday ruined. Fortunately we manage to book somewhere else. I will never go back to HB.

Room Tip: Avoid Rose Cottage
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank JKandtheOs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HigherBowden, Owner at Higher Bowden Holiday Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 7 February 2013

My wife and I are both shocked when on the rare occasion a guest has this opinion of our cottages, as owners we put our life into the upkeep and quality of the cottages and maintaining our 4 Star Gold rating. The accommodation is definitely not “sub-standard” (as shown by the number of good reports on Tripadivsor and the 25% of guests who return every year) and this opinion did not come out when both my wife and I spent an hour discussing their views with them.
The cottage is a traditional farm house (originally built in the late 17th century) that has been thoroughly modernised but due to the stone walls can on occasions feel damp especially after the wet year we have just suffered and the dark October days. The work surfaces were definitely not “sticky” as both my wife & our house keeper cleaned the cottage the day before they arrived.

I agree with the guests comments on the “old” night storage heaters which have done their job well over the years but have since been replaced. Spiders are always an issue in autumn, especially in traditional cottages where they have many places to hide, but we do use an anti-spider spay to keep them at bay. There can be an issue with “cluster flies” but to the best of our knowledge there were none in their cottage, having personally checked the cottage thoroughly 4 hours before they arrived, they also did not mention this during our discussion on the day they left.
The comment about the amount of money deducted is totally incorrect and was significantly less than the £500 stated and interestingly it was the husband who volunteered that he was happy to pay for the time they were on site. Having said all this we are still very sorry that their experience of Higher Bowden was apparently so bad.

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Reviewed 8 October 2012

Higher Bowden is absolutely lovely and really thoughtfully set up. The gardens are beautiful and I have paid to visit less impressive grounds. Everything has been thought about. The facilities including tennis, table tennis, pool table are free and equipment is provided. It is great for kids but we would have enjoyed it by ourselves as well. The apple tv is fantastic and had a great choice of up to date films. You really get the impression that the owners are reinvesting any profits.

For us there is one huge downside which will probably put us off returning. The access lanes are terrible. We regularly drive lanes but these are of the worst possible type. Our mid sized family car got scratched by the hedges. There are virtually no passing places and there is grass in the middle of the road. The road to Blackpool Sands is even worse and totally unsuitable to walk with small kids. We wanted to explore the area more but the lanes were also slow and it takes ages to get to the main roads. So we just didn't have time as it took longer to get anywhere than the distance suggests. Such a pity that this spoils such a wonderful place.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank personwales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HigherBowden, Owner at Higher Bowden Holiday Cottages, responded to this reviewResponded 11 October 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write a positive review of your holiday at Higher Bowden whilst not enjoying the access to the cottages from the main road. We do fully understand how a small number of visitors find the South Devon rural side roads “daunting” having had limited or no experience of driving on such rural roads before. However this is the charm of South Devon and the reason many guests come here to enjoy Higher Bowden’s rural location in an area of outstanding natural beauty with little or no traffic noise. Please follow this link http://www.higherbowden.com/directions.asp to see a detailed description of the access to Higher Bowden and photographs of the rural access road.

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Reviewed 25 September 2012

We've just had a fantastic week in the Garden Cottage at Higher Bowden. We holidayed with our ten month old baby and my husband's parents. We chose the Higher Bowden Cottages as there really is something for everybody, particularly if the weather is bad. We were lucky and had a week of sunshine but we were still able to enjoy the facilities on offer. Our son loved the goats, the swings and the soft play area, whilst my husband and father-in-law made the most of the snooker and pool tables in the evening.
The whole complex is so well thought out and the owners very friendly and helpful.
We'll definitely be visiting again!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Meandhim7374
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2012

This was our first stay at Higher Bowden and we all thoroughly enjoyed it; especially our 2 year old granddaughter. We stayed in Hayloft cottage and found it spacious and clean. Only slight negative, the on-suite bathroom was a bit tired and the shower small. The facilities were excellent and extremely family friendly. The gardens were well maintained with a couple of hidden walks. We drove to Blackpool Sands, the nearest beach, as we thought the walk was a little dangerous pushing a pushchair down the very narrow lanes. The weather was sunny and warm for most of the week; we were very lucky, but we still made good use of the swimming pool. The Apple TV system was easy to use and had a wide range of films to watch; but being the only male I was subjected to mainly romance films! Dartmouth and Salcombe were very close and well worth a visit. Would we use Higher Bowden again; definitely. Would we recommend it to other families; most definitely.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Happy_Travellor_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2012

This was the 7th time we have stayed at Higher Bowden and as always we had a fantastic time. The South Hams is our favourite holiday destination in the UK and we have stayed in a variety of different accommodation over the years, but always love returning to Higher Bowden. The cottages are lovely, the facilities excellent, well thought out and perfect for families with young children, the owners are welcoming and helpful we always feel very at home and relaxed during our stay. Great location, a short walk to Blackpool Sands, a short drive to Dartmouth and the beautiful Start Bay coast.

Room Tip: All the cottages we have stayed in have been lovely.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Florence57M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Higher Bowden Holiday Cottages

Address: Higher Bowden, Dartmouth TQ6 0LH, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Dartmouth
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Dartmouth
Price Range: £70 - £290 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Business is now closed for holiday letting ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Higher Bowden Holiday Cottages Dartmouth, Devon

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