Just returned from a fantastic week at PGL Barton Hall. The majority of reviews are spot on, mentioning the very basic accommodation, canteen style food and fun filled days for a very reasonable price. THIS IS NOT ADVERTISED AS A 5* HOTEL AND MICHELIN RESTAURANT, so don’t expect it. By the time you’ve finished the activities, you could probably sleep through an earthquake, and it’s a nice change to have no TV in the room. My kids brought their PSP and DS’s and never touched them!! I will try to cover most of the holiday.
On arrival, each family is allocated a PGL staff member who will answer any questions during the week. You are also given coloured wristbands. The colour determines your meal time so as to avoid queuing (Breakfast Blue 8.00, Red 8.30 and Green 8.45 etc..). Although near the end of the week, people just went when they wanted to and it seemed to work itself out. You are given a sheet with your meeting post number on and group number. The first morning, you meet at your post and are split into groups of about 12, with similar aged kids and you spend the week together. Then away you go: 4 activities a day, for 5 days with a day off to do your own thing. We tried to drive around a bit, but the roads are so busy, we spent 1 hr in the car trying to get to Paignton which was 6 miles away. Don’t bother. Like most people, we went to Torquay, had a meal and returned to the site to get next to the pool and relax.
ROOMS: very basic. Single beds, bunk beds, shower, toilet sink and kettle (with free coffee/tea). Previously, a Pontins site, so very similar rooms. Curtains very thin, so loads of morning light (take face mask if trouble sleeping). I know some families had a very small portable electric fridge, to chill beers/water/milk. Good idea if you have one.
POOL: heated, always clean and monitored by 2 members of staff. Couldn’t fault it. Large grassed area with sun beds to sit off and have a beer early evening. Open till about20.30hrs. Early swim for adults 3 days a week (7.00hrs).
FOOD: If you imagine an average work canteen, you wouldn’t be far off. At first great; full cooked breakfast and cereal, sandwiches for lunch and edible evening meal. But like all ‘ALL INCLUSIVE’ food, you get fed up after a few days. The bar sells 10”pizzas and there is always a kid’s option of fish fingers etc… BUT YOU WON’T STARVE.
ACTIVITIES: Brilliant. Just a taster of everything, but even when its not your go, you are often helping out. Best were, Challenge course, Jacobs Ladder and raft building, but each family liked something different.
STAFF: Can’t say a bad word. Helpful, friendly, enthusiastic, encouraging. I don’t mind saying that some of the ‘high’ activities are pretty scary, but always felt safe.
SHOP/BAR: You would expect to pay extortionate prices with such a captive market, but just the opposite. Shop sold cans for 80p, chocolate 60p, same as any newsagent. Even the souvenirs were excellent value, with exactly the same items costing 4 times more in Torquay. Bar, Becks £2.90 pint, Stella £3.30 etc.. pub prices. Even the pizza was only 6 quid. NOT A SINGLE ARCADE ON SITE, so there was no ‘dad can I have a pound’ every 5 mins!!
EVENING ENTERTAINMENT: Only let own. Little bit of Talent show, quiz, karaoke, but not enough music and silly ‘cha cha slide, YMCA’ type songs for the kids to all dance to. But kids made their own fun, and we just talked to other families. Bar shut at 22.00hrs, but as up early, this was not a problem.
We loved it. Spent time as a family, have some great photos, met great families, tried different things and all at a very reasonable price (check website for offers). Feel free to email with questions you may have. Kev.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A great location near Torquay and popular with groups of all ages. There are many blue flag beaches close by and Dartmoor is also within easy reach. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Barton Hall Hotel Torquay
- Barton Hall Torquay
- PGL Barton Hall Torquay, Devon