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“Disappointing.....at first.....”

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Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel
Ranked #11 of 20 Hotels in Ilfracombe
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 9 April 2013

As we love North Devon, we were delighted to see that KGB deals were doing a deal for a 2-night stay for £109 bed and breakfast at a hotel near Woolacombe. We booked for the Easter weekend and were really looking forward to it. We arrived on Friday afternoon and the weather was lovely and sunny and all seemed perfect........until we arrived at the hotel. First impressions weren't too promising. The place was deserted, no cars in the car park, it was approached down a very narrow lane so we kept our fingers crossed that nothing was coming the other way!. Then the receptionist showed us to our room. The carpet had not been hoovered for I don't know how long.....there was a layer of dust on the bedside tables......the bathroom floor could have been cleaner and the sink was suitable for a small cloakroom. However, the shower was nice and hot and powerful. The bed was small for a double, very soft mattress but at least the bedsheets were clean as were the towels in the bathroom. To be honest, I was all set to check out there and then and find the nearest B & B but as we had already paid for the deal, we decided to put up with it. On the plus side, the view from the room was lovely and it is set in a peaceful location with lots of hens, wildfowl, peacocks, etc. There were also owls hooting in the night to remind us of how rural we were - which was actually quite nice. Our room and the hotel was lovely and warm - very welcome when coming in out of the cold weather we've been having. The coast was only a short drive from the hotel. Breakfast was OK and we had dinner in the restaurant on the Saturday night which was good value for money. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We had a lovely time in Devon as always and actually enjoyed our stay at the hotel after all - despite my first impression of the room - and I'm glad we decided to stay. It was a lovely, relaxing break.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Susan D
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 reviewResponded 12 April 2013

Dear Susan D

Thank you for your comments. I was very sorry to learn that the carpet did not appear hoovered and that there was dust on surfaces and an inadequate bathroom floor. I do wish you'd raised that as we should have resolved that immediately or offered you another Room. Of course, the room should have been cleaned thoroughly (as they all are) and then inspected but evidently something did not happen there - apologies.

I walk up and down the short, 300 yard lane to the main A361 clearing debris and rubbish regularly - it is a County Council road of course! We can't do much about the lane (which we think adds to our attraction as a country house hotel) but we are in Devon, afterall and renowned for some of our roads! It is a very quiet lane and we rarely meet anyone coming the other way. However, large lorries still negotiate it for oil, refuse and trade deliveries and there have been coaches too in the past.

Out of high season we can't guarantee that loads of guests will happen to be in our car park as opposed to out enjoying themselves. I prefer that observation than not enough room to park....! I'm not in the illusion business of asking staff to park there to give a false impression either. That said, we are only an eleven bed hotel and offer peace and tranquility - not hustling bustling activity with hundreds of people - you'll have to go to a city for that!

All our rooms and beds more than satisfy the VisitBritain 3 Star accreditation and regular inspections and our Prestige Rooms are much bigger again. In fact most of our rooms are far larger than the average hotel room.

Anyway, I am glad that you had a lovely, relaxing break though I regret that in future we are unlikely to be able to offer vouchers (should we participate again as the revenue doesn't really even cover costs) during bank Holiday weekends as the special concession we made to you!

Yours sincerely

Philip J Milton - Owner

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96 - 102 of 163 reviews

Reviewed 14 March 2013

Warm wellcome, spacious comfortable room, relaxing atmosthere, fantastic meal ( compliments to John the chef ), and excellent service, staff couldnt do enough for you! Beautiful quiet surroundings with fabulous facilities which need exploiting, sauna, games room etc!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Richard R
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 reviewResponded 15 March 2013

Dear Richard

Thank you very much for taking the time to post a review. I am so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us.

I shall make sure your kind comments are shared with the staff who always appreciate feedback. We do meet some really lovely people!

I was curious to learn too that your Father had been in the Hotel trade and acted as a mystery shopper so are doubly glad we exceeded your expectations!

We shall look forward to seeing you again.

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed 3 March 2013

Comfy room with lovely outlook.

Staff wonderfully warm, friendly and obliging throughout,- with the surroundings, made for a really homely atmosphere.

This was reflected on our second night when, having enjoyed great food in the restaurant on our first night, we were talking to the chef about the sorts of things we like and they then appeared on the menu for that night. Mega full English breakfasts (quantity and quality), don't plan on having to eat at lunchtime.

It was my wife’s birthday and, on returning after a day out, we found a bottle and some glasses in our room.

Having been away to numerous places at the weekend this is the only one we’ve been to recently here we both agree that we would want to go back to enjoy friendliness and cosiness.

Room Tip: Grab a front-facing room if you can to enjoy a lush Devon countryside view
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Maldwyn_11
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 reviewResponded 5 March 2013

Dear Maldwyn_11

Thank you very much for your generous review.

We are very pleased that you enjoyed yourselves with us for your stay.

We are always very happy to try to oblige guests so if there are any special requests, all guests have to do is ask and we'll do our best!

We shall look forward to seeing you again soon!

My best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed 24 January 2013 via mobile

A funny, charming, country hotel (although not sure about the stuffed dead bird lol), a place that made me smile. My room looked as it did on the website. The bed was comfortable & I had a good sleep in it. The shower was hot & powerful. The staff are friendly and quirky, as is the hotel. Breakfast was good. You need a vehicle if your staying here as its a few miles from Woolacoombe, Croyde etc but a good base. Don't stay here if you are looking for everything to be perfect, it's an old building and it's quirky. I enjoyed my stay & would stay again. The cost for me wasn't cheap but I usually stay on campsites in my van. This was a luxury staying inside as it was a winter surfing trip. Hope to see you next winter.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank Travellingforalways
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 reviewResponded 26 January 2013

Dear Travellingforalways

Thank you very much for taking the time to post a review! We were pleased to have you stay with us. Glad the room was comfortable and you found the staff friendly.

Thank you for your comments on breakfast.

Yes, we are a characterful place and hope that our guests appreciate that - and that if we were perfect we'd have to charge double as do the larger local hotels which have higher stars!

Buses stop at the top of the road but car recommended for the couple of miles to Woolacombe and six miles to Croyde.

We look forward to seeing you again next year then!

Best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed 24 October 2012

We had a promotional voucher for a two night b&b stay. On arrival we rang the bell in reception after a few minutes a very pleasant girl arrived and booked us in then show us the 1st of our 2 rooms. this one was in the main building and was very spacious, clean and welcoming. Then onto the 2nd which was to cater for my disabled mum, it was in the lodge but yet again very clean and welcoming and as described to me on booking a small step into it. The heating was on and was extremely effiecient. The pool complete with water mill was open to use. The breakfast was good( but if you want egg on toast unless you say you only get 1 egg and 1 toast!) fresh fruit, cereal and juice all readily available and order taken for cooked, toast and hot drink. Tash was the general everything so if you needed reception it was ok if she wasn't doing breakfast or cleaning..... a very pleasant, hard, worker.The ground were lovely with roaming ducks, geese, peacocks etc.and a natural spring running through. Will defo recommend!

Room Tip: the rooms in the lodge have the birds as an alarm clock!!!!!
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank carolinefliss
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 reviewResponded 25 October 2012

Dear Caroline

Thank you very much for your kind review. We are so pleased you had a good stay with us and enjoyed the surroundings, grounds, etc.

Very sorry to hear about the one-egg policy - if only you'd asked we'd have been very happy to oblige and the same with toast!

I have relayed your generous comments to the staff - and am very pleased you were well-looked-after.

We shall look forward to having you back!

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed 12 October 2012

We just had b and b and evening meal with a bargain voucher so did not expect perfection.
The room was "fine" but creaky floor boards and doors difficult to open,dragging on carpet.The bathroom was open plan (no door ) but okay with us.It was after all an old property.It was clean .
The meal was very nice, as was breakfast.
The garden was needing attention ,grass cutting,paths etc. The swimming pool area was away from the main building .It was locked and the entrance had lots of dead leaves etc so did not look very inviting and as we were only staying one night we did not bother .
We enjoyed our one night ,but wouldn't chose to return

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Willandites
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 reviewResponded 13 October 2012

Dear Mrs B

Thank you for your review - though sorry you weren't totally happy.

You stayed in a Prestige Room 'Braunton' and you were some of the first guests there after the new carpet was laid! The quality has meant that the door is a little tighter till the carpet settles but we don't want to shave the door as then it will leave a gap underneath it! This room with its Four Poster, exposed roof beams and a large corner bath from which you can watch the TV is a favourite for many guests.

Sorry you didn't sample the Pool - the door wasn't locked but the handle is above head-height to protect against unsupervised child access. Sorry about the leaves in the Pool foyer but with Autumn, they are produced every day and however hard they are cleared it's impossible for our gardener and Property Manager to stay on top of them with so many lovely trees and plants around. We are going to tile the foyer area this Winter so that will help. To me having beautiful trees, shrubs and plants around us is a price well worth paying and most guests agree.

Yes, it's an old building with origins pre-Domesday and we don't want to sanitise it too much by modernising away all its character.

We do try to keep on top of the garden and have developed the grounds since we moved here with hundreds more trees and flowering shrubs (we have a large garden and forty-four acres of grounds altogether) but it wasn't so unkempt as you are suggesting - especially as we had a big Charity Dog Show just after your stay and put-in extra effort to tidy everything for the hundreds of visitors who came. It's only our private, separate garden which hasn't had any attention sadly but guests aren't authorized there so it's only us who've lost out.

Anyway, thank you for leaving your feedback - all is welcome. Shame you never asked about the Pool however, it too is a favourite with guests but glad we hit the right spot with our food offering - most important..

My best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed 10 October 2012

The hotel boasts fine local produce. We were served food from the freezer, including vegetables. The menu was breaded chicken with a bowl of veg.Not something that would be acceptable in a pub today. Very disappointing !! The room was good and spacious the location quiet, down a track.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the garden are the best.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank John H
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 reviewResponded 12 October 2012

Dear John H, Plymouth

Sorry you were disappointed with your TZ offer. Curiously two other Plymouth couples around the same time as you wrote in the Guestbook as follows - had a very good meal and food yummy, steak great.

Chef was mortified to learn that you are as discerning to not know the difference between home-prepared food and straight from the freezer! The butterfly chicken breast you chose (from four main course options on our daily-changing menu, typically) was prepared by Chef, marinated overnight and bread-crumbed and the seasonal vegetables are prepared fresh every day. It's very popular with guests. We are not a pub.

Yours sincerely

Philip J Milton
Owner

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Additional Information about 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: £73 - £120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Trimstone Manor is a traditional country house offering 4 star accommodation only 3 miles from glorious Woolacombe. Set in 44 acres of beautiful North Devon countryside & landscaped gardens, it is perfect for a peaceful & 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 for all the beach lovers and surfing activities as are the secluded coves and cliff paths of Ilfracombe & Combe Martin. We have famous Lynton & Lynmouth, Exmoor, the North Devon coastal footpath, Arlington Court (NT), gardens or the delights of a sheep dog & falconry demonstration. Whatever the weather there is always something to do. 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 & sauna, walk or simply relax in a quiet spot with a drink. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Trimstone Manor Country Hotel
Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel Ilfracombe, Devon

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