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.
- 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