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“If You Follow The Rules You Should Be Fine”
Review of Ascot House Hotel

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Ascot House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 86 Hotels in Torquay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 December 2013

Based on the TA reviews I booked a suite in this place to stay one night on our way home from Cornwall. It had been many years since we had been to Torquay and I think we thought we were visiting an old friend. That is where the romance of the trip ended.

On booking this hotel an instruction leaflet was forwarded with the request that the property was to be contacted the day before with arrival time to ensure there was someone around. This we could not do, we were in a place where neither of our phones(different providers) had a signal. We could, of course, have used the landline in our room but did not consider the large cost of doing so proportionate to the situation having reasoned that as we were going to arrive around midday all we wanted to do was park the car and walk down to the marina. So if there was no one around we would do just that and leave a note.

The next day about ten minutes into our journey my wife had a good enough signal and she called the hotel and talked to the female of the partnership and informed her that when we would be getting there what happened next stunned us. My wife was berated for not giving more notice, there were workman in the hotel and so it went on. With the benefit if Bluetooth I was part of the audience to this unpleasant tirade. At the end of the call my wife was speechless. For my part I felt very guilty. routinely I would have made the call but having had radiotherapy on my larynx my voice is unreliable.

On our way we toyed with the idea of cutting our losses and finding another hotel but decided we would tough it out. Arriving at the hotel with great trepidation we met the male partner and on introduction he informed us that it was too early to check-in we explained we just wanted to park our car, have a stroll and return later. The we met the female partner, after the initial exchange my wife asked her why she felt it necessary to be so unpleasant when we called her. She obviously considered she had not been and said dismissively that she was sorry if we has got that impression. So it was our problem.

I was now quite put out being exercised by my guilt and feeling sorry for my wife. I pointed out that the instructions wanted contact to ensure there was someone around it said nothing about builders/workmen. Then the cover for the attitude changed to.... but checking in was not 'til 3pm. Altogether now, we didn't want to check in only to park our car but it then occurred to me that may be that was against the rules as well.

Eventually we went out returning at 3.30. On entering our rooms we noted that they were chilly and having checked that all the radiators were open it was obvious that the heating was off. We had to content ourselves with a hot cup of coffee which was stirred with a toothbrush there being no spoon provided. You will understand that the last thing we wanted to do was to approach the management. So there we sat in jumpers and my wife put her coat back on playfully musing as to whether there was a Salvation Army Soup Kitchen in Torquay where we could warm up. The heating came on around 5.

While we had been out those 3 hours the female partner had typed a note to us anchored by a bottle of wine. It expressed regret, she had been stressed, lessons had been learned. So she offered the bottle of wine and a refund of part of the amount we had paid (didn't happen but who cares). The fairly long note was characterised by the concentration of how she was sorry, her stress, her determination to learn lessons there was not a jot of empathy/insight into how we might be feeling but we all knew that she felt awful, probably from being tackled about her behaviour. We left the wine for lack of sincerity.

We couldn't wait to leave the next day.

For those that follow the rules the hotel is reasonably pleasant in a fair position, say 15 or so minutes to the marina and closer to the town. We didn't try much of the breakfast (we were in a hurry).

For those that hanker after the days of the infamous, legendary, seaside landladies of the 50s and 60s either having experienced the regimentation of guests as a necessary evil or read about them you might want to consider the Ascot House Hotel. You might just get a glimmer especially if you do not follow the rules and, say, the dishwasher breaks down.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank JonandJudy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AscotHouseHotel, Manager at Ascot House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 January 2014

Bernard and I very much welcome, indeed invite, guests’ comments – fair and valid criticism just as much as the accolade – for we use it as our main gauge to discern what we’re getting right and where improvements can be made. Based on the events in question, we find this review unjustly malicious and, in part, out-right false. You claim, for example, that no partial refund was given when I personally handed it to your wife, in cash, as soon as you came down to breakfast the next morning (the first time I saw you since being ‘tackled’). I specifically explained that I was giving it to her directly since she was the one I had spoken to on the phone. As you were standing next to her at the time, I don’t know how you would not have seen and heard this.
When we receive a booking we send – not ‘an instruction leaflet’ as said – but a simple e-mail confirmation in which we also request guests who’ve not indicated an arrival time to please let us know at least a day or two in advance what time they anticipate arriving. A huge majority of guests either ring or e-mail – be it days, weeks, or even months in advance – to either give an approximate time, check if it’s a problem to arrive earlier in the day, or let us know that they’ll have to be in touch later or on the day as they’re not sure, that they’ll be en-route, etc.
The reason we ask our guests to give us an approximate arrival time at least a day in advance is simple: it enables us to better organise our day and thereby provide much appreciated flexibility, and overall, the best possible experience to our guests – whether they want to arrive early, check-out late, leave their car, etc. Additionally, as we’ve learned over the years, there’s a whole array of the unexpected that can and does occur at the most inconvenient of times (as it did on the day in question) and having a rough idea of what time guests anticipate arriving makes a huge difference in how we’re able go about solving the issue.
During the very brief conversation I had with your wife, the entire focus was that while I couldn’t guarantee the room would be ready (mentioning the workmen we unfortunately still had in), that I would do my best - and I very specifically mentioned that it was no problem to come and park up and get the key, at which time I would be able to let you know about the room were it not to be ready (which was, in the end). The only remotely potential offensive comment was my unfortunate choice of words along the lines of ‘had I known you wanted to arrive so early I could have prioritised the room over the others’. Otherwise, I was apologising I couldn’t guarantee the room would be ready but would do my best.
Was I panicked when I learned you’d be arriving within two hours (at noon) and, unfortunately, unable to hide it? Yes. For this and the fact that it upset you I’ve apologised profusely and made every effort to express to you that it was no way intentional and that I seriously regret the upset it caused you. You point out that I obviously ‘felt awful’ but rather than be willing to even consider that it was out of sincere regret for upsetting you and that it was completely unintentional, you conclude that it was ‘probably from being tackled about [my] behaviour’ and compare me to draconian landladies of the past. Despite my efforts to rectify the situation, you showed no interest or willingness to put the matter to rest. Indeed, upon reading your comments here, and then remembering that your tackle of me began with the accusation that ‘[our] TripAdvisor reviews have obviously gone to [our] head’, I can’t help but feel that nothing other than sense of vengeance was on your mind.
I did get a different impression from your wife. She at least seemed open to the idea that my panic was due to having to crawl around builders (who should have been long gone) to get the room ready, and therefore, that I had not intended to offend, and that it certainly wasn’t a personal attack of any kind - at least that’s the sense I got from our brief exchange when showing her the map before you two headed off for the day and during the conversation I had with her at breakfast.
As you’ve pointed out, you didn’t inform us about the heating. If we’re not aware of a request, complaint, or problem, we’re not able to deal with it. That you didn’t feel you could ‘approach the management’ could not have been from a lack on my part of remaining calm, polite, and receptive to you – during or after the tackle. At this point, all I can say is that the heating was not on a timer because we had been advised to leave the system on constant for a period of time since it had been drained twice that week. This was due to just having upgraded the radiators throughout the building, (hence part of the aforementioned workmen who, as I mentioned, were supposed to have been long gone by the day of your arrival which is why I hadn’t mentioned it in my original e-mail to you). Consequently, Bernard was checking the radiators regularly that day and the ones in your suite were well hot when checked shortly before your return in the afternoon.

Terri

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384 - 390 of 614 reviews

Reviewed 1 December 2013

We stayed in the top- floor pair of rooms with bathrooms. My son had his own room with double bed and nearby private bathroom and my husband I had a larger room with sofa, en-suite bathroom and fantastic sea views. The whole hotel is beautifully decorated with lots of attractive paintings and objects d'art.
We were made to feel very welcome throughout our stay and Terri and Bernard were very accommodating and helpful. Terri had lots of local knowledge and suggestions for how to spend our time.
The breakfast was top-quality. There was a full range of English and Continental breakfast and a delicious fruit plate each morning. The ingredients were all good quality and I can recommend the delicious cooked tomatoes and smoked salmon and scrambled eggs!
The location of the hotel is very good as it has lovely sea views in some of the rooms, but is also only 10-15 minutes walk from the shops and restaurants.
I would definitely recommend a stay here for couples, singles or families.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Mel_Who_Sings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AscotHouseHotel, Owner at Ascot House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2013

Many thanks, Mel. It was a pleasure having you all, and we're so pleased you enjoyed so many aspects of your stay with us. We certainly hope to see you on your next visit to the area. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience! Terri & Bernard

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Reviewed 25 November 2013

We stayed with our two small children at the Ascot House Hotel for a few days in August and had a fantastic time. We stayed in the Luxury Suite, which is comprised of the bedroom, small lounge and an expansive bathroom with both a shower and a free standing claw foot tub to relax in. The rooms were immaculate and it's clear a lot of attention is paid to providing a fresh and crisp environment for guests. Breakfast was really very good, and set in a cozy dining room on the ground floor, it was always a welcome start to the day. Service was excellent without being overbearing. Terri made a big effort to make us feel at home and welcomed us from the moment we drove up to the house. She took the time to help us get situated and gave us key pointers to get about town. Overall, we had a wonderful time as we used the stay here as a base from which to scout the local area. We would certainly stay there again.

Room Tip: For all travelers, the Luxury Suite is well worth it with ample space in all three rooms.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank BidboroughReviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AscotHouseHotel, Owner at Ascot House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2013

Thanks for your lovely review Juan! It was a pleasure having you all here and we're very glad that you had a memorable time. We also hope that you do, indeed, make it down this way again as we now have several more accommodations options for you to choose from! We've just undergone further refurbishment and now have a total five Suites - three of which can sleep up to 4 people very comfortably, including the newly expanded Sea View Suite at the top! We hope to have the updated pictures on the website by the New Year! Wishing you all well. Terri & Bernard

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Reviewed 3 November 2013

Me and my husband have just come back from spending the weekend at this hotel.

The rooms are lovely and very clean with a comfortable bed and cosy bedding.

The breakfast was delicious and the service was excellent.

We would definitely recommend this to friends and family.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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Thank TredegarGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AscotHouseHotel, Owner at Ascot House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2013

Many thanks for your kind words and taking the time to share your experience. We're so pleased you enjoyed your weekend away here and hope we'll see you again! Terri & Bernard

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Reviewed 27 October 2013

I took the girlfriend to Torquay for a night away and was very pleasantly surprised with The Ascot House Hotel. The room we had was spacious and had excellent decor, it had an ensuite with shower, albeit a little small for the bigger person, but a clever use of space nonetheless. Facilities were also very good. Friendly and polite owners who could not do enough for us. We would definately come back again!

Room Tip: Either double rooms or suites are all excellent!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jez565
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AscotHouseHotel, Owner at Ascot House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

We're so glad to hear you enjoyed your night away and thanks for taking the time to write about it. Yes, room 9 ( a standard king) does indeed have a small but very functional bathroom - but not for much longer! Because our current suites have proven so popular with couples, we've decided to turn the rest of our rooms into suites as well, so room 9 will become the lounge to its adjoining room which will be getting a much bigger bathroom - with bath and shower!
We hope we do get to see you again; it would be great to get your before and after impression.

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Reviewed 21 October 2013

I have been here with my girlfriend for 2 nights.Was a nice touch when the owner met us for the first time and knew my girlfriend name. The hotel look very nice inside and outside ,the room was very good as well ,clean and tidy.We enjoy the breakfast fresh cooked by order.The only thing which i think let us a bit down,was the wet towels which nobody changed for our two days journey .Not very good sign ,everything else was fine

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Stoimen82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AscotHouseHotel, Owner at Ascot House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2013

Many thanks for taking the time to share your comments – we’re very pleased that, overall, you enjoyed your two night stay with us. As concerns the wet towels, we are sorry that we were unable to service the room earlier in the day as you had not yet gone out when we made the initial rounds. When Bernard attempted a second time in the afternoon, he found you in again and asked if you needed anything – to which you responded ‘no’. As the next day was your departure day, servicing doesn’t apply, so we actually didn't have the opportunity to check the status of your towels.
Also, as is explained in the hotel information sheet provided in each room, and which we point out to guests upon arrival, our standard procedure is to change the towels every other day unless otherwise requested/required. So, in effect, guests are requested to use their towel twice – again, unless otherwise requested. Although a boutique hotel, we do not claim to be a luxury hotel and therefore encourage what we like to call ‘conscientious comfort’. We strive to provide guests with all that’s needed for a very comfortable and enjoyable stay – from the toiletries and tissues to the fresh milk in fridges, daily servicing of rooms, delicious breakfasts and more – while being mindful of our carbon & waste footprint as a business. We also attempt to give all guests the opportunity to inform us if anything further is required or not quite right by checking in with them at breakfast as to how their stay is going. We find it unfortunate that you didn’t feel you could bring the issue to our attention when Bernard checked with you and are sorry you felt let down.
Terri & Bernard

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Reviewed 20 October 2013

Had a lovely 5 night break here, staying in one of their suites. Brilliant, attentive and friendly service from Terri and Bernard. Certainly intend revisiting in the near future. Having Gimelli's at just a 5 min walk away was great, as their food and service were excellent.

Room Tip: Would certainly recommend the suites.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank TerryWirral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AscotHouseHotel, Owner at Ascot House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 October 2013

It was such a pleasure having you both - I (Terri) really enjoyed our chats! Please make sure to check out the pictures we'll be posting on our website once the refurbishment work is finished at the end of November - as mentioned, amongst many other exciting changes, the Sea View Suite is getting a bathtub!
Looking forward to seeing you both again on your next visit to the area.
Terri & Bernard

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Additional Information about Ascot House Hotel

Address: 7 Tor Church Road, Torquay TQ2 5UR, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Torquay
#1 Family Hotel in Torquay
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Torquay
#2 Romantic Hotel in Torquay
Price Range: £83 - £135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ascot House Hotel is an early Victorian villa(built in 1840) enthusiastically run by Bernard and Terri on a B&B basis. Ascot House Hotel is unique in that it offers 5 spacious Suites, each having its own lounge in addition to the bedroom and bathroom. Each Suite is also equipped with all the amenities expected by the modern traveller, and more - for example, a fridge in each lounge in which we provide fresh milk and filtered water. For those wanting a bit of luxury during their stay, two of the Suites have roll-top baths with separate showers. Whether you are travelling solo, as a couple, or en-famille, Ascot House Hotel offers the warmest of welcomes, a home-away-from feeling in stylish Suites, and a top-quality breakfast. Ascot House Hotel has private, off-road parking - a space for each Suite - and is most conveniently situated within a few minutes' walk the town centre, sea front, Princess Theatre, the marina, the Riviera Conference Centre and train station. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ascot House Hotel Torquay, Devon

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