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“What a crashing disappointment on my 40th birthday!”

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Saunton Sands Hotel
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Braunton
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“What a crashing disappointment on my 40th birthday!”
Reviewed 3 January 2011

I turned 40 in November and some months before started to look for a venue for a small, family celebration near Bideford.

Well, I certainly wasn't spoiled for choice, as there is a real lack of classy establishments in the area that could lay on the afternoon tea I was wanting for around 20 guests. Then I decided to turn to the Brend's flagship hotel, further away from Bideford, with a stunning view of Saunton Sands beach, and appropriately named the Saunton Sands Hotel. I paid my deposit a month in advance of the date, and specified that I would like a selection of cakes, scones, finger sandwiches, savouries and coffee / tea. They said I would need to confirm numbers a fortnight before, which I duly did. So I am sure you can imagine my intense annoyance, when having sent invitations out specifying 3pm, that 5 days before the event the hotel contacted me to say that they needed to move the start time! To which I replied that it would be out of the question. They sniffily retreated, but with little apology.

On the day itself, we arrived and the table was beautifully laid out with a spectacular view of the roaring waves. However, the coffee and tea had clearly been put there at around breakfast as they were stone-cold. The selection of foods were unceremoniously dumped on ugly-looking platters that had definitely seen better days. The cakes were merely offcuts of stodgy tray-bakes, the scones were more like rockbuns, and sandwiches had stale crusts but worst of all......the savouries were ALL pork-based. ALL. I found this very thoughtless - in this day and age surely I had been right in assuming that there would be a selection of vegetarian ones too? How wrong of me - this was North Devon after all.

After having waited an age to the coffee and tea to be replaced, I sat back and enjoyed the company of my family, who all found it an immense treat to have been invited to the premier venue of North Devon, and quite frankly I no longer had any energy to complain. But for a supposed 4-star hotel, I think that my local pub could have done much better, and I left feeling very sad that they probably didn't know that they should have tried much harder. After all, if they had been based in the Midlands, with all the competition about, they would not have survived in business for so long. The only reason they are still going is because they have a captive audience because of the amazing view.

This has made me think that for future celebrations I may as well order my buffet food from M&S online and pick it up from their Barnstaple store on my way home to my parents in Bideford!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
28 Thank GaynorGloria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
West Byfleet, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
229 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 December 2010

We spent 2 nights there earlier this month. A first class hotel in a great location, the views of the beach are spectacular. The staff were great as was the food. We had the table d'hôte menu each night and it was excellent value and beautifully presented. The breakfast was also first class with plenty of hot food, fruit and the best of all freshly cooked eggs. The hotel has obviously had a re-vamp so the rooms were clean and very well presented. We will certainly stay here again soon.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TorchyPyrford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2010

We stayed at the Saunton Sands hotel last September and was pleasantly surprised with the revamp of since we stayed several years ago, card keys replaced the old keys, a much wider patio to eat over looking the beach, excellent evening meal and much better quality breakfast. We had a rear hotel room probably over the kitchen which made for a warm night
but we did book last minuet so expect that was all that was available. After being disappointed several years ago it's now one of my favourite Devon hotels.
Steve from Berkshire

Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank cornetplayer74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 December 2010

We decided to take a couple of days away before Christmas and as we had stayed in other Brend hotels we decided to try this one. We were a little sceptical as we had read previous reviews but we need not have worried . The view from the lounge and restaurant was breathtaking across the beach. The hotels decor is very good and the staff were helpful and friendly. Our table in the restaurant was by the window with the fantastic views and the food was very good. We even went for a walk on the beach as the hotel has its own private path down. We went into Barnstaple about 5 miles away and was pleasantly surprised by the range of shops. All in all a lovely couple of days.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vgm1923
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devon
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2010

I attended a Christmas Party with colleagues at Saunton Sands Hotel. The location is fabulous and the decoy beautiful. However, the service was appalling, the bar staff were condescending and everything seemed too much trouble for them. They obviously did not want to be there.

To make matters worse the service in the restaurant was just as terrible. So much so that I left after two courses and waited in the lounge for my friends.

The entertainment was great and we had an enjoyable night. Management need to look at their front of house staff as they are ruining what could be a wonderful hotel.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DevonCharlotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Devon
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2010

We have just returned from one of our regular trips with friends and teenagers. This is the best way to recharge before Christmas. The apartments are great and provide that extra space missing from most hotel rooms and are great for the boys who cannot be expected to behave appropriately all the time - although with an indoor pool, snooker and table tennis, not to mention several acres of sand dunes and that glorious beach there is plenty for them to do! The food was fabulous - gorgeous roast partridge and lovely fish. Can't wait for our next trip to Saunton.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank iloveweekends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kettering, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2010

As an extensive traveller I am used to staying in some of the best hotels worldwide where Customer Service means exactly that.

I travelled with my partner and 4 guests, they mixed up the rooms, the staff were constantly rude, dirty dressing gowns were provided with empty cigarette packets in the pockets.... the list goes on.

I would not reccomend this hotel to anyone who wants a relaxing break as I came away with blood boiling and raised blood pressure!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank toodlebugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Manager at Saunton Sands Hotel, responded to this review, 8 December 2010
Firstly let me apologise that your stay with us was not up to the standard that you expected, and on this occasion it is obvious from your comments that we have failed to achieve the high level of customer service we pride ourselves on.
All the points raised in your letter sent to us have been brought up at our weekly management meeting and where necessary remedial action has been taken to make sure this does not happen again. As a gesture of goodwill we have offered you a complimentary 2 night stay with us which we hope you will take up in able for us to restore your faith in Brend Hotels.
Finally thank you for taking the time and trouble to write this review and we look forward to welcoming you to The Saunton Sands Hotel again
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Saunton Sands Hotel

Property: Saunton Sands Hotel
Address: Saunton, Braunton EX33 1LQ, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Braunton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Braunton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Saunton Sands Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
There is something truly special about the Saunton Sands Hotel. Set above Saunton's stunning three mile beach overlooking the natural wonder of the Braunton Burrows World Heritage Site, the Hotel's magnificent location gives us one of the most dramatic coastal views in the South West.There is far more to staying at Saunton Sands Hotel than what's outside. Inside you'll find first class accommodation and facilities, fantastic food and a quality of service you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else.Whether your stay if for a winter break with a difference, summer holiday for all your family or a business trip we'll do everything we can to make your stay as memorable as the view. We look forward to welcoming you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saunton Sands Braunton
Hotel Saunton Sands
Saunton Sands Hotel Braunton, Devon

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