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Saunton Sands Hotel
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Reviews (1,941)
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1,766 - 1,771 of 1,941 reviews
Reviewed 13 September 2011

We visited the hotel for a three day-two nights stay Sep 4-6, 2011. The average rating I am giving is the combination of some excellent features, with a very lousy attitude towards the customers, or at least towards us.

First the good things:

The hotel location can't be beaten. It is breathtaking beautiful. The 3 mile beach next to it was a source of lovely and long walks, and even the gale weather that we had was no obstacle for enjoying the place. Add to that the extraordinary North Devon countryside that offers great day trips within 25 miles of the hotel. As i say, the location cannot be improved.

Now the bad things. I would summarize it as "everything is a problem"

It started with booking the reservation. Which required that the lady on the phone went to a different office to run the card, since she couldn't do it wherever she was seating. It was not a major issue, but it was a symptom that everything will indeed be a problem.

We had booked dinner on the first night, but when we went to the restaurant they could not find our reservation. Trip to reception for them to call back, plus to be told that there was a dress code for dinner (which the lady that took our reservation had not tell us). Fortunately we had acceptable clothes (though no suit and ties), but given that there is no informal restaurant in the hotel, and no other place to eat anywhere near, this might have been another issue.

The following day we asked to be seated in a different place. Our waitress said that that depended on the seating manager. He was summoned and we were told that with our rate (100 pounds per person per night) we couldn't be seated next to the window. We insisted several times that we didn't care about the window, but that we just didn't like our table. The most we were offered is that our case would be reviewed for the next dinner. And again, we were advised that we actually had no reservation for dinner that night (which required another trip to the reception to clarify matters)

It was no surprise that the next evening we were seated at the same table. More of a surprise was that, even though we had confirmed the time of our dinner reservation we were asked to come back 15-20 minutes later, since the kitchen was quite busy. So we went to the bar, and tried to order a beer, to be told to sit down and wait for a waiter to come and take our order (an order consisting of a solitary half pint)

The food is tasty, but the portions are ridiculously small. Tortellini is a plural name, and should not be used to describe a dish with a single tortellino, no matter how tasty it is. Lamb roast Monday eve was woefully overcooked (perhaps the kitchen would have been less busy if they had taken the roast out earlier). Desserts were a mixed bag. I had two very good ones, but both chocolate desserts were extremely heavy.

Breakfast is not very good, and does not meet the standards of most English countryside hotels of even lower category). The selection is poor, the bacon is extremely salty, there is no bran cereal available, and porridge seemed like a very difficult request.

Notwithstanding I would like to commend one of the servers, Chloe, who had the nicest and most friendly attitude with us, and whose smile (a rarity in that big room) and warmth really added a very positive note to the experience.

Finally, the bed mattresses are extraordinarily soft, to the point were they are no longer comfortable. Please replace those old mattresses

Would I recommend the place? I would, just for the location, which is worth any sacrifice. But i would advise travelers to temper their expectations. I travel for work internationally 50% of my time, to Europe, Asia and N. and S. America. And the service level at the Saunton Sands compares very poorly with what a seasoned traveler expects.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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4  Thank Javier M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2011

Staff were all local people and very helpful warm and friendly
Hotel is a great retreat, great for a romantic weekend, even if raining has indoor pool and gym

It has a great sandy beach, good for surfing and if you a brave enough (I was) you can go extreme coasteering at Croyde which is 5 miles away.

Breakfast was very good and dinner had a great menu choice with attention to flavours and preparation (may not suit people who want large volumes of food)

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Lord_Blackadder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2011

My family and I stayed at the Saunton Sands hotel whilst on holiday from Denmark.
The location was fantastic and the hotel matched the location. We were treated very well by friendly and accomadating staff, the rooms were great, clean and very comfortable.
I thoroughly recommend this hotel and would definately stay there again if we visit the south west of england again.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
Thank Clifton D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2011

We stayed for 6 nights in August. Like many other guests we were a family group (from 5 - 75) and we all had a great time. Ok, so it isn't perfect (slow service at dinner, over heated main rooms) but it is a lovely place to stay: the location is fantastic; the hotel is relaxed (no problem to wander through the lounge in your wetsuit with a body board); the entertainment is fun if you don't take it or yourselves too seriously; the staff are friendly and ready to help (although sometimes you might need to ask - they could maybe do with having just a few extra staff?).

Maybe if you are used to very smart hotels with fawning staff then this hotel isn't for you. But if you are looking for a bit of relaxed luxury, then it's great.

Not all the rooms are good. We had a good one on the first floor, but the triple for our 3 children was a bit cramped. And it's really expensive if (like us) you don't fit in a family room. For a family of 5 (3 children of 15, 13 and 10) we had to pay for four adults. Ouch! Also if you are on the first floor, noise can be a problem from the entertainment.

By the way, the pilates and zumba classes were really worth going to (summer only, perhaps).

We hope to go again and fondly imagine we might take our grandchildren there one day - that's got to be a good recommendation!

Room Tip: Sea view, it's worth paying for. Not on 1st floor if noise is a problem.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank deilo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2011

We have been to Saunton Sands twice this summer. Once for a long weekend in July and then for a family holiday in August. Both stays were again first rate. Staff are always friendly and polite and the management are always happy to help. They even managed, on request, to get hold of a particular drink that they did not usually stock - all done within hours. This service is rarely found today. Party night was great fun, all the family taking part with great enthusiasm by guests and staff alike. This hotel has everything to offer, from long walks along the beautiful beach, golf at Saunton Course, activities for adults and children at the hotel or simply sit on the terrace and relax. The choice is yours. Now looking forward to celebrating New Year with family and friends at Saunton Sands Hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Thank DBD1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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