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“Peace, quiet and comfort”

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Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel
Ranked #11 of 20 Hotels in Ilfracombe
GreenLeadersBronze level
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Peace, quiet and comfort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2012

I had need of a night of quiet conversation and rest - a very busy business week piling on the miles. Having been in Birmingham the night before I was certainly in need of a restful atmosphere and comfortable surroundings.

I was welcomed by smiling friendly staff and immediately taken to the Braunton suite. Best described I feel as slightly quirky nevertheless the four poster bed looked inviting (and proved to be very comfortable too, later). The bath is in a separate 'enclosure' off the main room but I quickly discovered a massive advantage of this - you can lie in pleasantly warm water and watch TV!

Dragging myself away as I needed to eat I found the bar area comfortable and the beer excellent.

Dinner was very good, the choice of food was exciting and both perfectly cooked and well presented. The meal was complimented by quiet unobtrusive service, sparkling glasses and white starched table cloths and napkins. The wine was fine - so good in fact that I had a further glass with the noteworthy Cheese Board.

Coffe and Cognac back the lounge followed by an excellent nights sleep in the four poster!

I shall definitely be coming to visit again.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 18 July 2012
Dear TimM

Just a short note to thank you so much for your review - am very pleased that you found everything to your satisfaction. Of course, you (nor us!) didn't know till 'after' either than the Hotel Inspectors were staying and dining 'with' you! I am pleased to say that we have improved our independently assessed scores from last year and are now 'good' from 'quite good'.

We shall very much look forward to having you stay with us again - and if in 'Braunton' you'll find a new carpet there as well!

My best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner
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146 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
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English first
Plymouth, England, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2012

A delicious cream tea enjoyed by our community group at Trimstone Manor recently. Friendly staff and relaxing gardens - and the sun came out!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank osw_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 17 July 2012
Dear OSW

Just a short note to thank you so much for taking the time to eave a review.

we are so pleased that you had a good time here at Tyme Restaurant at Trimstone! With all the rain we'd been having, we had to work really hard to make sure you had bright sunshine so you could enjoy the gardens!

We shall look forward to seeing you again.

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tamworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2012

My partner and I had been looking forward to this weekend for a long time as part of a special celebration and even after reading all the reviews and the owner’s replies before booking, we decided to give it a go.
On arrival, the young lady on reception was friendly and welcoming but was unaware that we were booked in for dinner. Forgive me for being sceptical....but there was a discount for booking in advance [Confirmed by email at the time of booking] but booked us in for 7.30, no problem.
We had booked the Braunton room with the four post bed but as the door was opened the musty smell was apparent. The carpet looked to be around 30 years old, lighting was ineffective, [non existent at the dressing table but as most ladies of a certain age I need good lighting...] with only one available electrical socket. The bed itself was clean and freshly made, comfortable too.
The ‘ensuite’ bath was a strange affair though, carpeted the same as the bedroom which probably had a lot to do with the smell. Built into a doorless alcove in the bedroom it gave little opportunity to keep the mystery in a relationship...but if you like watching TV from your bath then you’ll be ok.
Dinner was acceptable though not 3 star. We opted for the 3 courses at £28.50, served very efficiently by the same member of staff who had greeted us. Good wines by the glass.
The first morning at breakfast though was a shabby affair. We half expected Basil Fawlty to make an appearance.
The young waitress seemed surprised to see us and directed us to a table ‘over there’ . No attempt was made to clean or re lay the table and the previous guest’s juice glasses and crumbs were left all through our stay. Her colleague, [even younger I think and totally untrained] eventually asked us if we’d like coffee but after 20 minutes we had to ask to order breakfast. As did 4 other guests. We finally finished our breakfast at 10.20 but glad to be the last ones there because we were laughing so much.
Surprisingly, they were not aware we had booked in for dinner on the second evening either but we were told that as they’d had a cancellation there would probably be enough food! On finding out that the menu was exactly the same as the previous evening, we cancelled the table and went elsewhere.
Sunday breakfast was the complete opposite, prompt service [guess who] and very good food.
Didn’t see hide nor hair of the owner, seems obvious that it’s one young lady who keeps the place going. She’s a credit.
It didn’t spoil our weekend but definitely not worth the money and we will not be staying again.
BTW...just because a place has 1000 years of history doesn’t mean it should smell that way. 

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank Bonbon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 13 July 2012
Dear Bonbon L

Thank you for your review though disappointed that you were disappointed.

There were indeed some failings in your reservation details and that certainly didn't help our usual organised welcome - very sorry abut that. We do have a new Receptionist now and perhaps that is all I should say on the matter..... However, very sorry (and angry) about that. Glad you found the staff helpful and facilitating regardless. Yes, the pre-booked evening meal should have been recorded, at the preferential rate of £23.50 each.

Saturday Breakfast appeared to have been a wholly unacceptable affair too and I apologise for that.

What else? Yes, there should be a lamp on the dressing table - being rectified (I bought a special one a long time ago for there!).

Starring? Oddly enough we've just passed our mystery Visit Britain inspector visit the week after you at Three stars (the only establishment in the immediate Ilfracombe area so starred) and have improved our score. The two inspectors really enjoyed their meal too and have moved us from 'quite good' to 'good'.... I see you dined elsewhere on the Saturday night - not trying to be snobbish but in an establishment which I believe you will find relies on the freezer and microwave but glad you enjoyed that! We prepare our food specially and freshly every day.

Sorry about any damp smell - that was inappropriate but unusual. Yes, carpet in the bathroom but it has been rather 'wet' outside the last few weeks.... Glad the bed was comfortable and of course it was freshly made - we do change the beds after guests (of course....)!

The bath - yes, some love it - some don't but we'll never please everyone - though we did 'inherit' the arrangements.

For the breakfast failings I should like to compensate you in a concessionary offer but you've somewhat pre-empted that by saying you don't wish to return so am a little incapacitated in that quarter, which is a shame.

The evening menu. incidentally, should indeed have been different the second night so I wonder if you saw the previous night's? The menu is not usually produced till about an hour before service begins?

As for smells, trying to be clever when it appears to be simply snide, we think that certain guests are tainted as well so beware of what you say! We have had guests in 'Braunton' since you and they were delighted with the room - though as I say, we'll never please everyone all the time!

However, ok, here we are, we offer you East Down Prestige Room as a concession for a standard price for three nights - so will you dare to try us again and let us prove ourselves to you - and a 20% discount from that price for the accommodation too? Over to you.

Oh yes, as owner, I do have another demanding full-time job and don't wish to undermine the staff's responsibilities buy doing the jobs for which they are retained. I reply to reviews like this one at 11.30pm, at night...

All best wishes

Philip J Milton - owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Yorkshire
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2012

Nice setting, lovely rooms, freshly cooked large breakfast. Ten minutes drive from Ilfracombe out in the countryside. Helpful staff. As a guide to visitors please remember this an old country house hotel not a travelodge. It has uneven floors etc and oak beams which gives it a unique character. It has ducks, geese, peacocks, chickens and turkeys living in the grounds.

Overall a pleasant two nights away.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Realityracer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 11 July 2012
Dear Realityracer

Thank you very much for your kind comments.

We shall look forward to your return trip!

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2012

This hotel is gloriously situated, quiet, rural and a most peaceful location with loads of wildlife about including the owls calling. It is a great base to explore the beautiful area of North Devon and we enjoyed our stay very much. It is only 3 star rating but has a lot going for it so we are surprised at the adverse comments posted by some guests earlier this month. If you want 4 and 5 star accomodation then don't book Trimstone but with friendly and helpful staff and an owner who is trying to do his best for all his guests why not grab yourself a few days break?
S & G

Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank stephen s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 11 July 2012
Dear S&G

Many thanks for your review - we are so pleased you enjoyed your stay.

Thank you too for your prescient comments.

We shall look forward to seeing you again!

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2012

Just returned from our second trip to Trimstone and once again had a lovely time. We had the East Down room which was spacious, bright, clean, luxurious and a fabulous view over the front gardens and opposite hillside. The staff are all extremely friendly and helpful and always available. The food was great (we had breakfasts, dinners and even an afternoon tea!). It's a relaxing, good 3 star hotel with exceptional service (my husband says it felt like we were talking to "real" people rather than corporate robots!) and well worth the money. We swam in the lovely warm pool, sat in the lounge reading, had tea on the lawn, walked around the grounds after dinner and visited some great places nearby - what more could we have wanted?

Room Tip: The East Down room has a great view and is large and bright.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 11 July 2012
Dear Fi B

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review - it really is appreciated. So glad that you had a good relaxing time here in North Devon again.

We shall very much look forward to you returning and hopefully each time you'll see further little improvements to make guests' stays even more enjoyable.

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warwick, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 June 2012

I grew up on a farm in the middle of the countryside surrounded by animals and we always tried to keep our house vermin free. I stayed here at the end of May and the house is in a wonderful location with great walking in the surrounding area. I was put in the Knowle suite an upgrade from a single room unfortunately I was kept awake all night by rats running over head, on investigation in the morning I realised that the feed store for the many chickens and ducks that the hotel has is next to the bedroom. Having a feed store this close to where customers are trying to rest is asking for trouble. I tried explaining my issue in the morning to the staff but she was having enough trouble trying to sort out a receipt for me that I gave up. In the end, the hotel posted out my receipt and perhaps I wouldn't have written this review if they had even made a short note apologising and perhaps recognising my issues. I had cause to ring them again today, as the invoice didn't tally up correctly and I tried mentioning it again and was brushed off with the "well we live in the countryside excuse". Sorry not good enough!

The hotel is lovely but I felt awkward and would rather have had an adult to actually at least say hello, rather than everything being undertaken by one of their very polite sons.

Hopefully by writing this, the feed store next to the room may actually be looked at and something done about it.

Room Tip: Don't stay in the Knowle suite if you can help it.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
17 Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, 19 June 2012
Dear Richard B

I am sorry that you felt your concerns were not being attended to, following your stay. I do wish you had emailed the Hotel a line and I should have replied.

The annexed room in which you stayed was the last full refurbishment here and the problems to which you refer were the first we had encountered since we converted the building in 2007/8 (despite the grain store being at the other end of it since then).

Yes, we are told there are 1.3 rats for every human and the greatest populations are in towns and cities where humans congregate and where they eat from bird tables, rubbish and compost but with water, beautiful countryside and poultry they arrive from other places from time to time and indeed, the problem to which you allude, the first time in that building, was tackled immediately. Warm winters have added to the nation's population explosion of course and last winter was very mild. Sadly, all the best establishments have an occasional problem with these animals, though they do assure us that feral pigeons are now more dangerous to humans than they are. The grain store is a robust building incidentally - chosen for that purpose and the grain is retained in metal bins within it!

We are nature loving here and don't wish to leave bait around permanently for any vermin other than near food sources as this is very irresponsible as it can kill other non-target creatures and we are as careful as we can be to ensure that carcasses do not contaminate owls, etc, either. That is partly why there is such a great range of wildlife here for guests to enjoy. Only yesterday evening were the guests talking about the tremendous bird life on the lawn whilst they enjoyed breakfast.

I am sorry that you do appear to have been given an inappropriate 'brush-off' on the matter and wish the staff had raised the matter with me to respond and gladly I should have done so. I apologise that your night's break here was interrupted and should you wish to return you would be welcome and please contact me and I should be pleased to offer you a concession as a goodwill gesture. You can stay in the same room, safe in the knowledge that you will not be disturbed, or any other room in the main building.

Thank you for taking the time to comment but as I say, sorry that your concerns had not been brought to me directly so that I should indeed have contacted you immediately.

My best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

My best wishes

Philip J Milton
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel

Property: Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel
Address: Trimstone, Ilfracombe EX34 8NR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Ilfracombe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Ilfracombe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Trimstone Manor a traditional country house offering accommodation. the only one in the greater Ilfracombe area (and only three miles from glorious Woolacombe), is set in 44 acres of landscaped gardens and beautiful North Devon countryside and provides the perfect location for those who want a peaceful and relaxing break. With easy access to the A361 Trimstone is also perfect for those who want to explore North Devon. The fine sandy beaches and rolling surf of Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton are just a short drive as are the secluded coves and cliff paths around Ilfracombe and Combe Martin. Other attractions include the famous twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, Exmoor, the North Devon coastal footpath, Arlington Court for the National Trust's Carriage Collection or the delights of a working sheep dog and falconry demonstration a mile away. Whatever the weather there is always something to do at Trimstone. Nearby we have clay shooting grounds, golf, quad-biking, horse-riding, you-name-it! Guests can use the games room, tennis court, indoor heated swimming pool, gym and sauna, walk in the grounds or simply relax in a quiet spot with a drink and a good book. Concessionary evening rates for Three Star Tyme Restaurant apply for pre-arrival bookings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Trimstone Manor Country Hotel
Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel Ilfracombe, Devon

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