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Reviews (11)
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5 - 10 of 11 reviews
Reviewed 12 August 2009

We stayed in Yew Tree Cottage, one of the rentals next door to the hotel. It sleeps 4 in 2 double bedrooms, and is very well appointed, obviously recently renovated.

To be fair, we didn't have much to do with the hotel, other than checking in and out, and buying a bottle of wine to go with dinner one evening. However everyone was helpful and friendly, given that at the time, we had been told they were in administration...

The Bell Inn pub in the village is superb, the food good and the locals quite happy to talk to you.

There were only a couple of niggles. The main living area looks out onto a communal grassy area, with the live in housekeepers directly opposite. So most of the weekend we watched him repairing his car. I know net curtains are kitsch, but they do serve a purpose. And the other thing - why was the DVD player in the bedroom? What if there had been 4 of us, and we'd wanted to use it?

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Anionfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2009

There's a new chef cooking in the Woodlands restaurant. We stayed last weekend, ate there on Saturday and are well impressed. The dreaded 'beef cobbler' is no longer on the menu. There's now a good choice of fresh dishes both for starters and mains and they're really nice. The prices work out at around twnty five pounds for a three course dinner including wine. Given the dinner we had, this represents very good value. Bearing in mind the remote location, the restuarant was full so the word is clearly getting around.

Breakfasts were always pretty good, liked the option of either a chickens or a duck egg with my full English this time. The ducks were all outside as I was asked, simply couldn't bring myself to ask for a duck egg, maybe next time.

We stayed in one of the non refurbished rooms at the far end of the hotel, but managed to get a sneak inside one of the updated ones.Think we'll push the boat out for our next visit and spend the extra few pounds for one of these rooms.

In summary, all the things that Penhaven was very good at (peace, quiet, location, nice rooms, young but enthusiastic and pleasent staff) are still very good. The restaurant just got better.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Salvador_convert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2009

My wife and I booked a 3 night bed and breakfast stay at Penhaven which included a 4 course Gala dinner on the evening of Valentine's day. The Hotel is set in lovely grounds, and the ground floor has recently been refurbished to a high standard. Our room was large, light and comfortable with a well equipped en suite. The log fire in the Bar was particularly welcoming, as were Lorraine Baker, the owner, and her staff, and this made for a very relaxing atmosphere.

As the Hotel is somehat isolated we paid for dinner the first evening. The food was OK, although the chips were dark brown and soggy as if they had been part cooked earlier. Next day's breakfast was excellent, and we spent the day exploring North Devon whilst looking forward to our dinner that evening.

How disappointed we were. The first course soup was bland, tasteless and lacked any seasoning. The fish course of smoked salmon and prawn fishcakes was fine but the accompanying sauce was cold and had been plated earlier allowing a skin to form. The main course lamb was fatty and overcooked, the potato cake burnt, the potatoes, allegedly new potatoes in their skins, were black crinkled balls, and the accompanying vegetables greasy and tasteless. Finally, the dessert of chocolate cake and icecream to share was dumped in the middle of the table with no explanation of what it was and we had to ask for plates on which to eat it.

When asked by a waitress if we had enjoyed our meal we said no and she offered to fetch the Manager. We said we would prefer to discuss it in the morning with the owner.

Next morning, after an excellent, freshly-cooked breakfast we asked to speak to Mrs Baker but were told that she and her husband were away for the weekend, This was surprising as the Hotel was pretty full and the staff on duty very young.

As previously stated the Hotel is rather isolated and we would have had to have eaten, and paid, there again that night, so we decided to return home a day early.

This is the first time I have written a review on Tripadvisor, but being unable to discuss my concerns with the owner I felt I had no alternative,

Finally a word of advice to Lorraine. Forget further refurbishments, hire a new Chef and sort out the kitchen. The Hotel could the be as good as it was under the previous owners as we have fond memories of 2 previous visits when the food was outstanding.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Mercedesman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2009

We were a little reluctant when we saw one of the reviews on the web site but you just cant satisfy some people. We had a very nice short break. Nice room albeit quite dated, the food was very nice and the staff very friendly (nothing was too much trouble). We took our small dog with us and he was very welcome. I would definately reccomend this hotel for a quiet relaxing break.

Stayed: January 2009
Thank firemanmatty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2008

This hotel is a lovely country retreat and boasts peacefulness, service and wildlife. Peacefulness is abundant and that is what we were looking for. The staff were attentive and friendly and could not do enough for you.

I must say though that this hotel is really unsuitable for anyone with mobility difficulties as there are no lifts and no ground-floor rooms. The stairs are beautifully carpeted but awkward to negotiate with a suitcase even for the able-bodied. However, staff do offer assistance and it is much appreciated.

The restaurant food was good but the menu stayed much the same during our stay so, after a day or two, became a tad dull. Breakfast was excellent but choices are limited. Dining times are also quite restrictive. Take heed though, if you want to stay at the hotel in the evenings, there are really no other options. There are no bar snacks and the roads from the hotel are very windy, high banked, single tracked and unlit. There is a pub in the village which is within walking distance for the able-bodied but up a slight hill so more challenging for others. On one evening we had partaken of a late lunch and wanted our evening meal later than usual so we tried to order sandwiches from the room service menu (advertised in the room) and it became very clear that there was no such menu. Nothing on the menu was available. Staff were marvellous in attempting to accommodate our request but the sandwiches were dry, tasteless and very disappointing. There was also no lunch menu at all during our stay.

Don't get me wrong, the place is lovely and we enjoyed our stay. The hotel website and marketing is much to blame for our disappointment in many areas. The staff can not be faulted.

We were led to expect a beautiful old building, fine dining, relaxation and even wildlife in the grounds to watch. Don't be fooled. The building is in need of decoration externally and the grounds not nearly as extensive as the website suggests. The food is good but really caters for occasional visitors and not nightly residents. The badgers still referred to on the hotel website were long ago encouraged to leave the grounds because apparently they "bring their own problems". The hotel does, however, have a brood of ducks which are very entertaining to watch although they do make for messy walking in the grounds.

We left earlier than our planned departure and would not return but this is a lovely place for walkers who eat out and retire very early.

  • Stayed: May 2008
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Thank lindajs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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