We arrived at the hotel and made our way to the unmanned reception where we rang the bell to attract some attention, and after a very short while, out popped a young man who I think from previous reviews, is the owner's son. He was a very pleasant, polite and courteous chap - slightly quiet, but I'm sure that's just his nature and not meant as a critiscism.
He offered to show us to our room and to help carry our bagge, which we declined - but a nice touch, full credit to him. He then gave a brief explanation of meals times, bar location etc.
We paid a (discounted) £60 for a 'premium' room which was a nice size and very light and airy. It was a bit dated however but it had a very comfortable 6' wide bed - which is the 'premium element'. The digital TV was wedged onto a chest of drawers, and could not turn round to face the bed - it so would have been better fitted to a wall instead, Kettle, tea/coffee facilites were available in the room as were an iron and board (plus points for that).
Wi-fi was available in the room for those with laptops and a PC was located by the entrance for guest's convenience and use (well done).
The ensuite bathroom was very nice and had a good shower cubicle. I'm a big guy and even I fitted in comfortably, equally the pressure and temperature of the water was good. The towels provided were nice and soft/fluffy. On a minor point, the shelf next to the sink (for our toiletries) was missing - I suspect that it had a glass one there before, because the brackets were still in place - but it left nowhere to leave your bits and bobs except on top of the cistern.
As I said before, the room did look a bit dated - wood-chip wallpaper and pine furniture. The curtains could have done with some blackout lining too, it got very light in the room from 5 am onwards.
We were disappointed to learn that no evening meal or snacks (except crisps etc) were available and that only breakfast is provided - but hey ho, our fault for not checking in advance.
The bar was quite nice - it would certainly make a great function room. There were the ususal drinks on offer PLUS Real Ales too - wonderful - and served up nicely chilled. The bar prices are VERY good and it won't break the bank.
The bar was manned by the young chap who greeted us on our arrival, and another young lady, they were both very good at their jobs. The bar appears to be frequented mainly by locals, there wasn't much evidence of many guests having a drink when we were there. During the latter part of the evening one of the local lady's got a bit Merry and her language got very loud and coarse - so credit to the barman, he tried to nip it straight away, and with some succuess - and he even changed the music for me when it got a bit "clubby" for our age range too.
Breakfast was served up in during an earlier and tighter window than we're used to, 08:30 to 09:30 bearing in mind that this was a Saturday morning. That said, the young ladies on duty did their jobs very well and even asked the chef to do scrambled eggs for my wife, an option that wasn't on the menu - many thanks. The cooked breakfast is served up as a plated dish from a set menu. On the whole, the English breakfast was adequate+ it tasted nice and was hot, but one sausage, one rasher etc does not make a Full English breakfast (no mushrooms, fresh tomatos or black pudding). In fairness however, fruit juice, cereal and toast was available for guests to help themselves too. Suggestion: Sometime pastries, croissants or fresh fruit would make a nice change to a fry up.
Tip for the breakfast staff however: having worked in the service industry myself, empty plates should be collected when they're walking back to the kitchen empty handed - it clears the guests tables from clutter and saves extra journeys later.
We didn't meet the proprietors but we 'think' we saw them about (busy working I hasten to add).
Our room didn't have a sea view but I'd try and get one next time. The garden and pool look like they would be a sun trap in better weather and the view across the bay is very good. Parking was tight, but we managed to get a place - but not sure if they could accommodate everyone's car if the hotel was full.
So all in all, not bad at all ... yes I would stay here again but feel that something in the price range of £50-55 would be a more appropriate rate - certainly until the rooms have a decorative (strip the wood-chip) make-over.
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- Also Known As:
- Yardley Manor Hotel Torquay, Devon