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“Everything you could want. Thankyou!”

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The Downs, Babbacombe
Ranked #33 of 150 Torquay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Everything you could want. Thankyou!”
Reviewed 13 August 2011

We came to Torquay with the family for a short break away from London. Originally we were going to stay in one of the big hotels down in Torquay but shortly before came across 'The Downs' Guest House. The accommodation far exceeded our expectations, with a spectacular view of the coastline and very comfortable beds. The rooms were modern but still had the charm that you get with older buildings.

The owners and the staff were very welcoming and would always go above and beyond to meet our wants and needs. The cooked breakfast was delicious (one of the best we've tasted!) and the buffet offered many other options. There was also an optional evening meal which we had on one of the nights. The ingredients tasted fresh and the portions were very generous!

The kids had a fantastic time, with only a short walk to the nearest beach and other attractions.

We will definately be returning and would reccomend it to everyone!

Room Tip: book early to get one of the balcony views
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank martin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
downs43, Owner at The Downs, Babbacombe, responded to this review, 15 August 2011
I would like to thank you for leaving such a lovely review. As you mention this was booked a couple of days prior to your arrival whilst you were already in Torquay, staying in a first class hotel, so we are over the moon that our Guest Accommodation met with your expectation. We do hope you will consider us for a return trip in the near future.

My husband Ed and I, along with our 2 young babies, took over The Downs, Babbacombe four years ago and since that time we have refurbished the building. This wonderful terraced property was built over 150 years ago and as you mention whilst we have tried to modernise it, we have tried to do it sympathetically and retain some of the original charm. We are extremely pleased you feel we have managed this. Whilst some of our plans have proved unrealistic or just not possible even replacing items such as internal doors, curtain poles etc. have proved slightly challenging as nothing is straight or square, which is so often the case in these lovely old buildings.

Whilst both Ed and I are both very 'hands on', generally I do all the cooking (never known for small portions), and Ed looks after all maintenance issues and runs our bar most evenings, we also have a small staff which help us and work hard to create a warm, comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. We all offer the service that we feel is both necessary and important to both us and our guests. We do care so much that all guests enjoy themselves with us, and it means a great deal to us that you, despite spending a short time with us, felt relaxed and comfortable whilst being here.

Thank you once again for taking time to leave such lovely comments.
with kind regards,
Kate Wood
Owner
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363 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
Date | Rating
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English first
Belper
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2011

We booked and paid £91 a night for four nights expecting a bit of luxury and comfort. We where given what can only be called a box room in the attic. Romm furniture consisted of abed and single door mfi type small wardrobe aplank on the wall for the tea making things and a small tv.There where no chairs or anywhere to sit no dressing table and to move wraoun on had to sit on the small veranda while the other one got ready then change places.The room would have suited a teenager on a backpacking holiday who just wanted a place to doss down.
We only stayed the one night because the payment had already been taken from my card. I went to see the manager shortly after arriving and told her the room was not fit for purpose and we would be leaving in the morning her answer was"I am not bothered as I will still take the money for the three nights you are not staying in fact I will do it now so that you cannot cancel your credit card I can do this because I have all your card details.We wher not given the offer of another room and left next morning S0 if you look at The Downs Hotel see the room before you pay any thing.If the manager wants to query any point on this review she has my phone number.

Room Tip: Woul like to hear from anyone else who has stayed in room 10 at the Downs
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Keith W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
downs43, Owner at The Downs, Babbacombe, responded to this review, 11 August 2011
It is unfortunate though not surprising that you appear to be continuing with your smear campaign, and whilst you may not have been satisfied with your stay it is disappointing that you continue to use fiction in your campaign to discredit us.

Firstly, we don't have an attic. If you refer to any pictures on our website, or associated online booking company websites, you will see we have a flat roof, therefore all 2nd floor rooms have standard height walls, doors and ceilings. Your room - No. 10 - is situated on the 2nd floor.

Our furniture is not MFI. It is solid oak veneer hotel contract grade furniture supplied by Curtis of Leeds and was specifically built for us. This grade of furniture is suitable for accommodation up to and including 4 star hotels. You conveniently fail to mention the other items of furniture in the room. Our TV's are 19" flatscreen freeview televisions. These are clearly detailed on our website and those of our online booking partners. Our oak shelf contains tea and coffee making facilities with a range of herbal & breakfast teas, range of coffees biscuits and a note advising that it is replenished daily and that fresh milk and extras can be delivered to you upon request. Two comfortable arm chairs are on the balcony with a 60cm table. In our guest information folder, in each room, we clearly state in our welcome letter that whilst not wishing to over crowd rooms chairs can be placed in rooms upon request.

You spoke to me, Kate - I am the owner, some 45 minutes after your arrival and insisted that the room was not suitable, not worth the money you had paid, but you would stay for one night already paid for and be returning home in the morning after breakfast. I explained that I would be very sorry if this was the case. I advised that as we were full I couldn't offer you an alternative room that evening, however I could move you to a larger (5m x 7m) 1st floor en-suite room the following morning for the remainder of your stay. I explained that we had a Lounge Bar and comfortable seating at the front of the restaurant that you could freely use. You advised this was not acceptable. At this point I offered to contact the Tourist Information Office to try and locate alternative more suitable accommodation for you. You declined this offer.

Our terms and conditions clearly state a cancellation policy. These are available on our website and in every room. The reason we have a cancellation policy is to prevent speculative bookings i.e. booking for several nights and then moving on if you get a better offer. We have this policy in place to safeguard our business and protect ourselves from lost revenue. We do occasionally waive this policy for what we consider to be valid reasons, today for example we offered to refund a gentleman one night of his stay due to him having to leave a day early due to the riots in Birmingham. However taking all things into consideration I felt that your decision to leave was not valid and I therefore invoked our policy. (It also seemed strange that I had received a telephone call from you a few days prior questioning why I had taken £91 from your card - at that time I expained that as per the booking terms it was the non-refundable deposit - with hindsight one can only speculate whether you would have arrived at all had I not taken this).

I explained that as per our terms and conditions I would charge for the entire stay. You advised that you were not happy with this, you then explained that the room was on too high a floor. That you both had 'medical problems' that made it difficult. I again suggested moving you to the lower floor the following morning. I also referred to the online booking that I had received, under Guest Comments/Requests it simply said "Double bed". I then suggested, though not required to, that in this instance, I would be happy to reimburse you if I was able to re-sell any of the room nights. I asked if you would like me to put the room back on the internet for re-sale but made it clear that I would be taking the full amount in the first instance. Because I was not agreeable to your request you became more agitated and insistant and I felt quite threatened. I was offering to do things at my own expense, in order to conclude the situation which would satisfy us both. You asked me not to take the full amount until the morning. I further suggested that we meet at 10am the following morning, after breakfast, to discuss further as I had hoped you would have a comfortable night with us and an enjoyable breakfast and consider either staying with us, or, moving rooms as I had already suggested. I again asked if you would like me to put the room back on the Internet for re-sale for the final 3 nights of your stay. You agreed to this and our discussion ended.

I was attending to other checkouts the following morning and at approximately 9.30 I watched you take your cases through our back exit into the carpark. You returned to me at the bar and announced that you would not be staying, that if my room had matched my breakfast then you would be staying but you were going. I informed you that I would then take the full amount as I had not up until that point hoping that you would stay. Despite your hostility, as agreed I would still reimburse any nights I managed to resell. Your final parting remark was 'I will see you in court'.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say that we are accredited by AA and VisitBritain who carry out both announced, and 'Mystery Shop' style overnight unannounced visits. All rooms are inspected. Both organisations have awarded us high 4* Guest Accommodation status.

As for your 'room tip', attempting to solicit more unfavourable reviews, can I just point you to the review left by the Woodhead party on the 9th August and WestMidlandsLady on 16th July, both parties who also stayed in room 10. Furthermore during the visit by the Local Authority Representative following your unfounded complaint about the unsuitability of the stairlift, which incidentally you did not use, she was shown into Room 10 as part of her inspection and she remarked that it was a beautiful room with fantastic views.

Finally, we take what we do here very seriously; we try and offer a very high standard of accommodation, food and service for a reasonable price resulting in good value for money. We recognise this is to a degree subjective. I try to be very specific about our rooms, sizes and facilities. We do accept online bookings but I do like to talk to people to understand their exact requirements so that I can match them to ensure the best possible stay with us. We are lucky in that we receive a very high level of repeat bookings or referrals. I do not cancel guest bookings on a whim if I get a better offer, however I do expect people to turn up if they have made a booking or pay the full amount for the booking made.

Kate Wood
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Yorkshire
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2011

Just returned from the Downs at Babbacombe, had a lovely room to the front of the hotel, with a small balcony, great views from here.
Rooms not that big but it did not matter too much with the extension of the balcony.
The room was very clean and a very comfy double bed.
Breakfast was very nice indeed with that extra special touch such as fresh fruits and really nice crockery, and a special fish option if prefered rather than the full english.
The price for the 3 night stay was very reasonable booked this on line a week before we went down there.
Would certainly stay there again, they even give you a pass for the parking which is at the rear in the NCP car park which is a nice extra too.
Take a trip you will not be dissapointed.
You may like to take afternoon tea at the Angel tea rooms which is next door but one, it is the best around don't miss that.
Cary Arms is lovely for either a snack, meal or just a relaxing drink, we also took a trip to the theatre to see Jimmy Tarbuck, he was a hoot too, something for everyone if you get organised. And to finish take a steam train from Paignton to Dartmouth a lovely way to travel for a day out.
See I am missing it already, have fun what ever you choose to do ENJOY...

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Woodhead45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
downs43, Owner at The Downs, Babbacombe, responded to this review, 10 August 2011
Thank you so much for taking time to write such a lovely review.

The room you had - room 10 - is one of our smaller doubles on the 2nd floor and as you quite rightly mention has a lovely balcony from which you can enjoy the uninterrupted view of Lyme Bay. Whilst this is not one of our largest room we are glad you found it comfortable for your stay. Of course - we would be biaised - but we do believe we have one of the best views in the area, and some guests say that with the red cliffs and sea views it rivals views on the continent.

We have spent much time and give much thought into the detail and extra touches in each room. All of our rooms differ in shape and size as the building (once 2 individual houses) was built over 150 years ago. Whilst we have been here over the last 4 years we have worked hard to make all rooms comfortable whilst not over cluttering them and to that end I am so glad you found our beds comfortable.

We do hope to welcome you back in the future.
Kate Wood
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gillingham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2011

On arrival I was welcomed by one of the lovely members of staff (there are a few and all lovely) on entering my room I was thrilled the decor was lovely and every little detail thought through, the view from my balcony was breath taking. After walking down to Babbacombe beach which is dog friendly and beautiful we returned to our evening meal which was delicious and large portions size which pleased the male in our party!! Kate and Ed the owners are lovely and if a request was made and in their powers it was done.... We had such a lovely time we are returning in September with our pup and have also enquired about a New Years package...... The Lee's and Nanuke Kent

Room Tip: Our room was on the top floor, a sea view is a must the view is beautiful, beds very comfortable and...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nanuke_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
downs43, Owner at The Downs, Babbacombe, responded to this review, 11 August 2011
Thank you so much for taking time to leave such a lovely review. We always try to meet, if not exceed guests expectations and we are so pleased that you had such a lovely time with us.

It was lovely that your husband and son could join you for part of your stay and that they enjoyed our food, we are lucky that we have such a wealth of excellent local supliers and local produce. It was also a pleasure meeting your mum when she dined with you, as mentioned we do welcome local residents to book in with us for dinner so she is always welcomed to pop in or give us a call.

We look forward to welcoming you again in September and do hope you will join us for the New Year.

Kate Wood
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Midlands
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2011

This was our 4th stay at The Downs & we were not dissappointed. We only booked a few days prior to our visit & I think we were very lucky to get a room on the front with a balcony which gives stunning views - to sit & watch the world go by, people watch this is ideal.
Due to the lateness of our booking Kate could only offer us a small double for the 3 nights, but this was fine caused us no problem,the bed was comfy theres a kettle tea, coffee & biscuits,tv plus en-suite facilities - its the balcony that makes the room. We decided to stay an extra night, but we had to move to a rear room which again was fine & Kate & staff moved all our things for us - nothings to much trouble for them . I would certainly recommend The Downs from very tatsty breakfasts welcoming staff & very comfortable clean rooms.
Once again Kate & Ed you've made our holiday THANK YOU.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WestMidlandsLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malvern, Worcestershire
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2011

This has to be one of the best hotels in the Babbacombe area, in every way. All the public rooms (and my bedroom) were tastefully decorated and spotlessly clean.
The view from my balcony had the "wow" factor. It was wonderful to sit out with a mug of coffee each morning to watch the sunrise and in the evening, the spectacular sunsets... magical.

The breakfasts were superb and, unusually for this country, you could also help yourself to a fresh bowl of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

The "full English" was full on, with bacon, egg, sausage, tomato, mushrooms, hash browns, fried bread and black pudding!

One morning I had a delicious scrambled egg and smoked salmon, which I could have had served in my room if I had wanted. For two nights I had dinner, which again was excellent with large portions. I don't believe they know the meaning of portion control.

Kate and Ed made me feel very welcome and their friendly and hardworking staff (especially Ben) are to be congratulated on their high standards in maintaining such an exceptional hotel.

Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Room 12
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank MaggieTucker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2011

The Downs, Babbacombe was my wife and my second and third night’s stay on a recent 28 day holiday touring the UK. We were somewhat “jet lagged” from the flight from the US and also from the stress of learning how to stay on the left side of the road, traverse roundabouts, and navigate narrow two way lanes in the Devon countryside. Fortunately Ed and Kate (the owners) and their staff provided a friendly welcome and made these two nights totally enjoyable. We had a smaller room w/balcony on the second floor looking out toward the bay. The room was spotlessly clean and had a small but totally functional en suite shower and toilet room. We anticipated that the room might be small so we only took one piece of luggage each from the car which Ed gladly carried to the room for us. He also helped guide us into the parking lot in the rear and provided the parking pass that ensured that there would be no charge. The view from the room was spectacular and the soft breezes in the evening and night made sleeping a pleasure. The bed was comfortable and after two nights our internal “batteries” had been recharged and we were ready for the remainder of our trip. Breakfasts were comprehensive with hot foods (Complete English Breakfast) and Porridge and also fresh fruits, yogurts, and cereals. I am sure that I have missed something but suffice it to say the breakfasts were wonderful. The only possible issue that could arise in the summer (we were there before the season began) is that there are a number of B&Bs along the road that runs in front of The Downs and they all have outdoor seating and sell beer and wine (The Downs included). We did hear some talking in the early evening from outside and I wondered if when the weather got warmer if outdoor conviviality would continue past bedtime. Just a thought and something that might require a question when scheduling a booking. But all in all we were totally pleased and would certainly stay at The Downs if our travels return us to Torbay.

Room Tip: First Upper Floor rooms are larger
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank brooklyn45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Downs, Babbacombe

Property: The Downs, Babbacombe
Address: 41-43 Babbacombe Downs Road, Torquay TQ1 3LN, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 150 B&Bs / Inns in Torquay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Downs, Babbacombe 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WINNERS of South Devon B&B, Guest House and Inn of the Year for 2013. 4* GOLD Visit Britain with Breakfast Award 2015 and 4* GOLD AA with Dinner & Breakfast Award for 2015. Situated directly above Babbacombe & Oddicombe beaches, we are a fully licensed family run establishment with 12 en-suite guest rooms, 8 have private balconies which enjoy fabulous unobstructed views across Babbacombe Downs and out over Lyme Bay. We welcome families, young and old, couples and singles alike. All rooms have TVs, direct dial telephones, hospitality trays and free Wi-Fi access. Our spacious restaurant and lounge bar ensures you have plenty of room. Suites are also available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Downs, Babbacombe Hotel Torquay
The Downs, Babbacombe Torquay, Devon

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