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“4th time still love it”

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The Downs, Babbacombe
Ranked #34 of 149 Torquay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
england
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“4th time still love it”
Reviewed 10 September 2011

my 4th time there and still awsome rooms clean and tidy the staff are friendly
and helpfull and kate and ed are excellent hosts ,
and for people with dogs a lot of places to go like bygones the model village and also
cockington is a most,
the food at the downs is very very nice and you must have the steak ,
thank you kate and ed
judith and kim woof woof

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank zennaEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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English first
Warwick, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2011

Well what can I say, fantastic place, fantastic staff, fantastic room.

We could not have asked for more. We booked online approx one week before coming down to Devon from Warwickshire. We were not disappointed - in fact very happy. Breakfast must be a Kate speciality as was the Lamb Shank that both myself and my husband had. In fact, my husband said that either he was returning again on Sunday, after checking out on Saturday, for the lamb for his sunday roast or Kate could come to our house to cook it. Ever felt in the way? Seriously though, very good food, good company and I would recommend this place to everyone and anyone... in fact I have!!

We will be coming again. Although I suffer from crippling arthritis and diabetes, I did not find the walk up the stairs to the rooms too much as I had the use of the stairlift. Our room was on the second floor and the views were spectacular from the balcony. In fact it was so lovely, that we slept with the balcony door open for two nights to enjoy the fresh air and to see the lovely sunrise over the bay in the mornings.

I cannot express what a wonderful time we had. Visited the model village just up the road, rode on the cliff top railway and spent an afternoon on Oddicombe Beach. Just so enjoyable.

Will definately be coming back. Thanks so much for an attentive time too Kate and Ed, you could not do enough for us.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Branstons66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warwick, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2011

I have stayed at the Downs Hotel many times it has a very welcoming atmosphere on arrival which continues throughout the stay. The rooms are of a good size with good faculties ie bathroom, freeview television and refreshments with a kettle. The area in which the hotel is located is beautiful, amazing veiws with peaceful surroundings, there is also a small theatre yards away. The beach is on its doorstep which is easy to access by a traditional cliff railway or a walk. The staff are friendly and service is quick, food is lovely and there are plenty of drinks to choose from. The hotel is great for any one of any age there is even a stair lift.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kknowels1996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
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
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    • 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 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
    • Sleep Quality
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    • 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #34 of 149 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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