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“Great fun for the kids (big and small!)”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of PGL Barton Hall

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PGL Barton Hall
Gloucester, Uk
Level Contributor
106 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Great fun for the kids (big and small!)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2009

I have just returned from Barton Hall with a school group and I have to say that overall, I was impressed. A wide range of exciting activities are offered, instruction is usually of a high standard, and the accommodation, although basic, is clean and comfortable. As a previous reviewer said, you don't come here for 5 star treatment. The food was of a very good standard and with over 35 children, very few complained and always found something to their liking. OK, some parts of the site are tatty, but I got the impression that the management care about maintenance, and with time, improvements will continue.
The lounge and bar areas were very comfortable ( I wish i had had more time to visit them!). We had one or two issues, regarding activity instruction during our stay, and these were dealt with very quickly.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank glawsteruk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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72 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Malta
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2009

I am 14 years old and I just came back from 9 days in Barton Hall- PGL. I went with my school along with 2 other schools. I had the most amazing time. The food is decent and the rooms are clean; the bathrooms are a little old looking but not too bad. The staff are sooo welcoming and friendly. The activities are out of this world. I enjoyed ALL the activities. This was one of my best holidays. I would really recommend this to families and as a school trip, but children shouldn't be too young otherwise would not appreciate it.

  • Stayed April 2009
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Cristianofan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2009

My 7 year old son & I booked at Barton Hall for 1 week at October half term - we had great deal on kids go free. The place is a little shabby however there are improvement works goining on but not disruptive to our holiday at all.
We had the most action packed week ever and made lots of friends both adults and children!!
The food is as you would expect any canteen to be serving and is perfectly adequeate.
You get more than what you pay for and we can't wait to book again!!

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank kbayo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2008

Just returned from an October half term family activity holiday. There were five of us Mum, Dad, 2 boys (13 and 14) and an 8 year old girl. We had a really great time, and it was a fantastic bonding experience for our busy family.

The accomodation is absolutely fine. In fact there's a lot of renovation work going on. We had refurbished challets - one with twin beds and an ensuite and ther other with 2 bunks and an en-suite. It was clean, warm and in perfect decorative order. It is just a place to sleep - literally beds, somewhere to hang clothes and the bathroom - but that was all we expected.

The food is pleniful and again fine. Not gormet, but 3 choices of main course, plenty of fruit and we all ate our fill - no complaints.

The activities were brilliant. We thoroughly enjoyed all the things we tried and all the instructors were excellent, really friendly and very competent. They helped us all challenge ourselves and support each other - as well as have fun. We got to do 4 activities a day and there were things laid on in the evening too.

We met some nice people too, there were several single parents as well as other families with 2 parents, and the activities meant it was easy to get to know people.

We would all really recommend this as a family holiday.

  • Liked — met our needs
  • Disliked — bed wasn't as comfortable as the one at home
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JoThor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glos
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2008

We arrived at Barton Hall for a 3 night family activity holiday. Be prepared for a big shock - the centre is nothing like the images on the website or in the brochure.

We received no welcome and were left waiting for someone to show us to our rooms for half an hour. The lounge in which we were left had two TVs blaring and one occupant unhappy to share 'his' space.

It was rather like arriving at some run down b&b in the outskirts of an industrial town.

Eventually we were shown to the dark, institutional dining space where you rub shoulders with hundreds of people at one sitting. A grey tray for allergies. A red tray for 'normal' eaters. The 'healthy' food label could not be more misleading. We were offered cold, salty pasta bolognaise and the children chose overcooked chicken nuggets and chips they could not get their teeth into. I abandoned my pasta to try instead the lentil and mushroom soup which had clearly never seen a vegetable and tasted only of white pepper.. The pudding was a slice of arctic roll. Not seen since my school days!! All to the blaring of loud music. Even the children were unhappy. I wanted to leave at this point but my husband persuaded me to view the accommodation.

With the Victorian Hall only actually housing the bar, the lounge, reception and a handful of bedrooms we were led behind the building to a series of flat rooved, delapidated annexe labelled the north wing. Our room was in the basement. All the paint was peeling off, the window sills were hanging off, the rooms were dark (looking our onto a tiny weed ridden quadrangle whose central feature was a surely condemned fire escape staircase), tiny and frankly could never be described as 'basic'. Unbelievably shocking. Most of the other outbuildings were in a similar outdated state.

The pool, garden and ski slope looked to be well maintained and there is a view to the sea if you are lucky enough to get a view from your room.

Even having parted with £620 for 3 nights, it was not a difficult decision to turn around and leave for the 3 hour drive home.

A real shock. Avoid.

  • Liked — The setting
  • Disliked — The delapidated buildings and shocking food.
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
8 Thank Sleepdeprivedmummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lichfield
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2008

We have just returned from a weeks PGL"family" activitiy holiday at Barton Hall,Devon having seen it advertised in the Daily Mail Newspaper - whereby for every paying adult a child goes FREE!! So I phoned the PGL Hotline and booked my husband and I and our 2 childres (10 and 13yrs) for a weeks stay - which actually means 5 days activites and a day off at some stage within the week to go and explore surrounding areas if you want to or you can stay on site. It was the best value for money we've ever had on a holiday - we did 4 x 1 1/2 activites a day = 6hrs a day and we were with teamed up with 2 other families who enhanced the whole experience - We had such a laugh!!! We did everything as a group and the activities were challenging, but fantastic for all concerned - aged 8 to 48yrs. What is great is that you pay for the holiday and then everything is included - 3 good meals a day/a basic, but warm and comfy bed/ALL the activities...Even on our day off we were given a packed lunch and then returned to the centre for the evening meal...The only money we spent was on chocolate and drinks to energise ourselves inbetween activites and for a few drinks in the bar at night - but we were so tired from the days exhilerations that this was minimum, until the last night when we knew we hadn't got to get up for an action packed day. YOU MUST GO!!

  • Liked — Beds were comfy with cosy quilt
  • Disliked — There was only a bath - with shower head attachment for taps
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank tracy4545
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcestershire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2007

PGL - Barton Hall, Torquay.

This was the first time that I had tried an activity based break with my daughter now 8, and decided to give PGL a go!

I am a single parent and often feel that you get ripped off on holiday prices - this was different. We booked a 3 night stay Fri-Mon, I paid the adult price for me and the child price for my daughter, no supps for only 1 adult sharing!

Barton Hall is close to Torquay, and the site was owned many, many years ago by Pontins. The site is large enough not to get lost and there are security gates so you know that your children cannot escape. The accommodation is basic, but very clean, we stayed in a chalet in the grounds but there are also rooms in the main house. The Public areas are a little dated, but this is not the kind of holiday to come on if you are expecting 5* luxury. There is an on-site bar, with a comfy lounge next door. The Dining room is reminiscent of a school canteen, with the meals being basic but surprisingly very tasty, with 2 main course options plus a vegetarian option, a Salad bar, soup station, hot drinks machine (in the dining room there is no charge for the drinks machine) and a desert or fruit option. The is a HEATED swimming pool too.

When we arrived we were shown around the site by a member of the PGL staff, and given a timetable of our activities. These included: Zip wire (was great!), Giant Swing, Indoor Rock climbing wall, high ropes, canoeing and raft building, archery, areoball, abseiling and quad bikes. We had been allocated an activity group number and this was made up of 3 families with children of a similar age, so the children all got on very well, on the whole! There are evening activities too, one at 8pm - such as Flag game, treasure hunt, campfire - generally anything running around the site. Then another indoor one at 9pm - disco, quiz kind of thing. We both enjoyed all of the activities and is a great introduction, for a beginner.

If there is an activity you don’t want to do you can put this on the swap board by the reception, to trade with another family.

There were a lot of lone-parents with their kids (not all were 'single-parent' families, but just dad wanting a holiday/bonding time with their child), so as a single parent I didn’t feel the 'only one' as usually happens when we travel.

The staff are friendly and are great with the kids. The activity instructors are excellent - very encouraging when you need a boost to get the top of the high ropes, or help to talk you down!

The only downside of the weekend was the weather! I made sure we had a lot of changes of outdoor clothes and trainers (take old trainers for the canoeing!) and a good waterproof coat.

I would definitely do another holiday with PGL - although I am not sure I would have the stamina to do a 7nt stay!

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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Helpful?
9 Thank Cathie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about PGL Barton Hall

Property: PGL Barton Hall
Address: Barton Hall Kingskerswell Road, Torquay TQ2 8JY, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 33 Speciality Lodging in Torquay
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

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