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“Take a gamble”
Review of Culmhead House

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Culmhead House
Ranked #30 of 53 Taunton B&B and Inns
Reviewed 21 May 2009

We’ve waited a while to review our stay at Culmhead House.

It would be a lengthy review if we were to recount the full details of our visit, so rather in summary, here is how our eight night ‘high season price’ stay was.

1. Cold. Cold Cold. Yes, you can ‘rent’ a heater for £25 – but should you have to? Measly heating in the morning and evening. This is false economy because it forces guests to use the only other heating option there is – put the electric cooker on. We didn't need to put the elctric cooker on as we were able to borrow a fan heater from family - and there was nothing in the 'rules' saying you couldn't have your own heater.

2. Hot water was broken a lot of the time. Okay, the owner tried to fix it but to no avail. We were offered the use of another suite’s bathroom/kitchen – but that suite was so cold as to make having a bath a seriously unpleasant experience.

3. Dried coffee in the jars. Not surprising as it was so damp in the suite that it was bound to congeal and then set. Damp extended to rivers of condensation on the window ledges. It took me ages on the last day to mop up and clean the windows (Make sure you leave the suite nice and clean – or you might be told off... see below... rules). Also, there was a festering white sports sock under one of the beds - which would suggest that the cleaning of the rooms is not as thorough as maybe it should be.

4. The owners dogs attacked one of our party. As the owner later admitted – when his dogs are let out ‘they go silly’.

5. The central heating leaked, which we advised them of. When we later wrote to the owner (it took two letters to solicit a reply), the reply insinuated that we had damaged the pipes with a suitcase or something. We utterly refute this.

6. Place left in utter darkness when they were out for the night – but when they’re ‘in’ then the external lights are on. Not welcoming at all - if they're out.

7. Signs everywhere telling you what you can and cannot do. Not verbatim, but amounting to:- ‘Don’t walk here’ ‘ Put rubbish out’ ‘All bottles must be placed in black bags'(sic!!!). It’s endless rules rules rules. Hardly ‘welcoming’. Rather than put signs all over the place, why not put all of these 'rules' in the in suite information book?

8. Tacky ornaments (plastic lilly of the valley.......!!!!)

9. An oven you can’t get a chicken in.

10. Cheap kitchen utensils (although the toaster was ok).

11. You have to ask for the rubbish bags. You get one black bag and one bin liner to start with. Rather than do this, we actually bought our own and took all of our rubbish (bar one last small bag) to the dump ourselves. We didn’t want to be accused of anything in that area. We even left a fresh bin liner and a black bag in the suite - so that we could not be accused of plundering (you get the feeling....).

There must be something positive about Culmhead House. And there is, so we’ll include that – for what it’s worth.

1. The suites are generally large and the furniture is ok.

2. The suites have plenty of books and toys for children.

3. If you can navigate your way around the ‘Keep out’ signs, you can walk around the grounds and see the animals. Yes, there are Alpacas and so on.

4. It’s very quiet.

We had been looking forward to a nice stay – the place and the owner’s attitude did not and have not overcome the series of shortcomings, and a letter (only replied to on second sending) we wrote, subsequently received a reply which was inadequate and in our opinion, bordering on the rude.

The website for Culmhead House is very impressive, but we do not think the reality matches it.

So – you can take a gamble. You might like it – or you might come away wishing you’d passed by.

Remember to take a pullover and a fan heater if it’s not summer!!!

Ps. Be careful of one thing – it’s nearly impossible to get a mobile ‘phone signal at Culmhead House – which although not the owner’s fault, is still an annoyance. (hence the lowered ranking on 'Location'.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank Skippyyyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Culmheadhouse, Owner at Culmhead House, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2010

We have tried to ignore this report, however it is so upsetting to read their comments that we now feel a reply is necessary.....
This family stayed over Christmas. They were SELF CATERING not staying in a hotel. Culmhead is our home and we attempt to make everybody comfortable and ensure they enjoy themselves. There was a problem with the hot water tank which paked up days before Christmas day. We did have to replace the immmersion twice which was not easy at that time of year. But we did and offered the neighbouring suites facilities to them whilst the work was done.

Heating. Our website clearly states that there is a heating charge in autumn and winter. The central heating can be supplemented by heaters we provide but we cannot force people to use them. We advise it for their comfort.
Our dogs got in a tussle with dogs their visiting family brought onto the grounds on one occasion.
We did not accept responsibility nor do we now, however apologised and presented a bottle of Champagne as a gesture of good will. It was recieved well at the time.

We ask all our guests not to smoke in the suites and have one sign which is on a mantle piece in the living room.
When asked politely to refrain from smoking in the suite we were told that they thought they could smoke in the other rooms , simply not the living room!!!
Rubbish Bags. You were self catering, not catered accommodation.
There is a designated place to leave rubbish which we will dispose of .

To summarise ,our suite is a three star rated not four or five . Our website demonstrates by way of genuine photographs the decorative and furniture standards we have achieved.

Again we have many more positive comments from our guests and the many many positive messages in our Visitors Books. Many repeat visitors.

Sorry we could not refund all your money as demanded and see you carried out your threat to coment as you have. The above has been written without prejudice.

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Write a ReviewReviews (41)
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31 - 37 of 41 reviews

Reviewed 12 May 2009

We had a wonderful stay at this bed and breakfast. The accommodation was comfortable and the house was really nice. Lots of crazy animals to entertain us from the little pigs to the Alpacas. We loved the four poster room and had a great time wandering around the gardens. We would recommend this highly. Thanks.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank maxntrish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2009

I visited for a few days and stayed in the lovely Camellia Room which has a wet room to die for!
We were greeted by the owners who helped me in with my luggage and even booked us a table at The Merry harriers , a local pub down the road. They could not have been more considerate. The gardens were covered in daffodils and the bird song was special.So many animals from Alpacas to miniture pigs which entertained us for ages.
The dining room in the house is splendid and it is really lovely to come down to a warm welcome, and a breakfast to remember, especially the eggs. Home grown!
Thanks we will be back

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank exploreers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2009

We arrived with 2 small children - 4 and 7, tired after a long drive from London and were immediately genuinely surprised by the beauty of the house and the view as you drive along the winding path - slowly to let the geese pass and to view the alpacas grazing in the field! The animals were a constant delight to the children throughout the stay - from the owners' friendly dogs to the small hairy pigs that had cute bat faces to the beautiful hens that roamed free on the grounds. We stayed in the mimosa suite that had a lovely view, the owners were welcoming and friendly, the breakfast was delicious and it was easy to travel to any of the near by attractions - one rainy afternoon I took my 7 year old son to the fleet air arm museum for the 40 birthday of Concorde, which he loved, another day we drove a short distance to the lovely coastal towns of Beer and Seaton and one morning we just let the kids play on the trampoline while we strolled through the beautiful grounds. We left feeling we had recharged our batteries and the children were very sad to go!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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Thank Juderanger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2009

It was freezing, no central heating, well it was on for an hour in the morning and that was it. As it was a large appartment, it was no where near enough to warm the place up. There was a fan heater to use, but the booklet said to use this sparingly. I have never been so cold in my life, wore all my clothes to bed and had to buy a hot water bottle in taunton town. Kinda of killed any ideas of passionate escape in a romantic house.Sat with a blanket round my shoulders all evening. Had had images of being able to parade around with next to nothing! you get the idea, it was meant to be a romantic get away! lol
The tea pot had moldly old tea in it.Washing up sponge had been used, salt/pepper had been half used. Doesnt take much to have clean scourers and refilled/cleaned condiments. We were asked to take our own rubbish out at the end of our stay, which we did, but when you pay to stay somewhere, you kind of expect these things to be done for you.
Looking back I wish we had have complained about the cold. I even took an extra thick blanket with me as i anticipated it would be cold in feb in an old house with no double glazing. Even with the extra blanket it was freezing.
Tried to contact them about something and couldnt get hold of them for ages.
There wasnt enough hot water to have a full bath.
I would not recomend this house

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank moon37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Culmheadhouse, Owner at Culmhead House, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2009

Firstly we apologise that your stay two years ago was not satisfactory. The length of time since your visit has somewhat blurred our memories of your stay and would like to discuss this if you would kindly contact us.

In the meantime I would say we are sorry that the suite was so cold and would have helped if we had known how you felt at the time.

Old houses are drafty but that is no excuse for you being freezing having chosen Culmhead House for your romantic getaway.

The central heating comes on both in the evening and in the morning. In addition we offer extra electric heaters for a small charge for the duration of your stay. The boiler seves the whole house.

Finding tea bags in the tea pot is obviously not ideal and we apologise for the oversight obvoiously made when cleaning of the suite was carried out.

We do ask guests staying with us to bring down rubbish so that you do not have to put up with the discomfort of having bin bags etc in the suite for the duration of there visit. At the end of your saty we do ask the same. We then place the bins out of sight until bin day.

The suite has its own hot water tank and the supply is more than adequate for a couple residing there. This depends on how many baths are run using the hot water and the time it takes for the hot water to reheat.
Improvements have been made to the water supply since 2007 in the suites.

Culmhead House.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2008

We had a lovely two night stay in Culmhead House in early October. First impressions didn't disappoint; we had chosen this particular B&B on the basis of its excellent website and the description and pictures on the website were reflected in reality! Driving up the driveway to the most impressive house we were treated to the sight of several species of animals - alpacas (I think), geese, guineafowl...

The owners were most welcoming and friendly. We were shown to our room - Camellia - a lovely double room in the main part of the house but perfectly private and self-contained from the rest of the family house. The room was extremely cosy (though far from small), decorated in shades of pink and above all, toasty warm! In addition to an adjoining bathroom, we also had sole use of a fab wetroom shower - with a big showerhead and a seemingly endless supply of hot water.

Breakfasts in a lovely dining room were freshly cooked to order at a time that suited us - we especially enjoyed the free-range eggs from the owners' hens! In addition to the cooked breakfast we were offered warm croissants which we enjoyed. And lots of freshly brewed coffee.

Although we did not need recommendations of places to visit (we were in the area to visit friends), we were glad to be recommended some local places to have a meal in the evening.

All in all, we had a fabulous short stay in a lovely, welcoming family house - our only complaint was that we could not stay longer!

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank blairblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2008

I stayed with my wife and five year old son in August and despite the awful weather we had a great stay.

Culmhead House is run by the family who live there and we were made most welcome at all times . The owners were very helpful advising on places to visit and some great pubs to eat in. Our son Tom loved the animals, especially the little dog.

It was lovely to be treated to four wonderful breakfasts with a wide choice of fruits, breads and croisssants each day. We were set up for each day.

Thanks , we will certainly recommend you to our friends and family.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank Hunters4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Culmhead House

Address: Culmhead, Taunton TA3 7DU, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Somerset > Taunton
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 53 B&Bs / Inns in Taunton
Price Range: £93 - £101 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Culmhead House 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Culmhead House was built in 1850 and offers guests an opportunity to stay in a Victorian Manor House situated 6 miles from Taunton and about 10 miles from the A303 and M5.Our suites are private and spacious and the gardens are there for your enjoyment as well. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Culmhead House Taunton, Somerset

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