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“Disappointing”
Review of Burgh Island Hotel

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Burgh Island Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Burgh Island
Certificate of Excellence
Buckingham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed 16 May 2014 via mobile

Visited for my 60th birthday. Burgh Island is a very special place for me, and the hotel enjoys a special location on this beautiful island. However, I simply couldn't appreciate what the hotel was trying to create, and couldn't wait to pay the bill and leave. I couldn't see beyond the whole place needing a serious makeover. Clearly many people can. On the plus side the food and service were good. Thought this place was seriously expensive too.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Lindaofbuckingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OwnerBI, Owner at Burgh Island Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Hi Linda, I'm at a little bit at a loss to respond to your post. Obviously, we were not what you were looking for/expecting but I'm not sure why "Burgh Island is a very special place" for you and yet you "couldn't wait to leave"?
If this Island is significant for you in any way, our staff would be happy to show you around, discuss our history and make you feel special and maybe find out how you are connected to the Island. It's a shame as I really think we could have made your special birthday even more special if we had known your feelings while you were with us.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 May 2014

What a fabulous place. From the sea tractor, the hotel design, the pub next door, themed rooms to the food. Quite remarkable. Pricey but worth it. Spoil yourselves on a special occasion.

Only negative are the beds are a little small.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Scottrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OwnerBI, Owner at Burgh Island Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Thank you for posting your lovely review. Beds: we have just undertaken a complete bespoke refurb in Art Deco style (and 21st century comfort) of our beds. Those that are smaller are the original '30s frames (with ViSpring mattresses) so please, please, if your imperative is a larger contemporary bed just ask us at reception on booking to advise. Some guests positively love the authentic feel but I personally get your point - I like that cool sheets feeling!
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Yorkshire
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Stayed for two nights as a special occasion and we were bowled over by the hotel itself- very genuine and a step back into the Art Deco era. You have to understand that the decor and furniture is largely genuine, so it's old- sometimes a little tired but full of character! Our room was Fruity Metcalf- quite small but with great style and views over the bay and a bathroom to die for- huge ,with marble, mirros and a lovely bath!
The public rooms are wonderful and the little island itself quite dramatic with cliffs, views and of course the natural swimming pool (too cold in May!)
If anything the only let down was a feeling that the hotel trades mainly on the atmosphere/ decor and enthusiasm of the guests (black tie for dinner of course!) staff were always friendly but not fantastically well trained or attentive all the time- remember this is an expensive hotel with a capital E! Could do better here I feel- either with choice/ training or staff numbers..

Room Tip: All the rooms are different- consult their web site for some inspiration
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank OscarYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OwnerBI, Owner at Burgh Island Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Thank you for your lovely review and I want to comment, first, on your negative impression that staff we're not attentive or well trained. It would be hugely helpful to me to understand exactly how the staff let you down during your stay - we do pride ourselves on the knowledge, commitment and real dedication of our staff and so if there are any negative aspects experienced by any guests please do let me know. Once again, I'm delighted that you enjoyed the "Fruity Metcalfe" room with it's really special and original suite.
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Lee-On-The-Solent, Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2014

Stayed for 2 nights in Malcolm Campell room as a birthday surprise for my wife as we both love the art deco style. From the moment we arrived at the secure car park on the mainland the staff looked after us very well. The room did not have a fantasic view as it overlooked the front of the hotel and tennis court but it was one of the biggest suites with a huge bathroom which had two sinks, rolltop bath, underfloor heating, heated towel rails and separate toilet.
The bedroomhad a large comfortable bed. The separate lounge had a three piece suite, table, wardrobe and modern period style radio. We did not miss the television at all as we never had the time to watch it.
The evenings meal started off with cocktails and canapes in the bar and your food order taken. As the food was prepared fresh it can take up to an hour to be called through to the dining room. The four course meal was 'to die for' as my wife described it. As a cheese lover even I was impressed by the ususual selection.
The whole hotel has tried to retain as much Art Deco character as possible and is a mix of original and reproduction items but the whole effect is excellent. We did not try out the open air swimming pool or tennis court but spent some time in the Pilchard Inn watching the tide come in and trap some of the visitors who were forced to wade through or use the Sea Tractor. Our lunch was a shared Crab baguette and was in popular demand by visitors and regulars. Prices were average for a pub.
The cost of the hotel is obviously based on demand and it is easy to see why it is popular. My wife is already talking of our next visit and we were shown round some of the empy rooms when we checked out to give us a flavour of what is available. We only saw one room with a stand up shower, all others had low level shower in a free standing bath.
Our thanks to all the staff for making it a very pleasurable visit.

Room Tip: Book early to choose between view, size or facilities.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Grumpy64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OwnerBI, Owner at Burgh Island Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Thank you for your very kind and fun review. I love Malcolm Campbell suite (he really did test drive on the beach at low tide....) and I appreciate your review of what it has to offer. It all started, actually, with our original poster: "Malcolm Campbell - fined for speeding"! It's a relief, also, to know that you weren't remotely tempted by TV during your stay. I'm sure your partner was delighted and enjoyed your exclusive company. Just a tiny thing: the cost is actually based on what we need to make the Island environment work, rather than geared to demand (otherwise we would shamelessly hike prices in summer and at weekends, which we don't) so be assured that what you pay - after 20% to the government - is all invested back in our super staff, maintenance and Island habitat. When you come back, as I hope you will, do check our Sharpham cheddar and maybe even take home a round.....as a fellow cheese lover I do understand!
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Tewkesbury, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2014

My interest in Burgh Island was first aroused many years ago when I came across a photo of this iconic hotel and it's amazing sea tractor. My girlfriends birthday was all the excuse we needed to book up a two night stay - I'm so glad we did!

Mobile phone reception being patchy in this part of South Devon we were asked by Reception to phone through a few miles out so onward transportation across the causeway could be arranged. Shure enough on arrival we were collected in a black 4x4 and taken across the sands to the hotel itself (the sea tractor being used when the tide is in).

Much has already been written about the hotel so I will not cover old ground suffice to say that Burgh Island lived up to all our expectations and some! We enjoyed dressing up for dinner both nights and found the food and service to be impeccable, on Saturday we were entertained by 'Pennies from Devon' an excellent jazz trio whose vocalist had great diction, it was a joy to hear every word of the songs she sang!

The rooms themselves came in all shapes and sizes, our was 'Fruity Metcalfe' which enjoyed great views over to the mainland and a bathroom so big one could actually live in it! Our thanks to all the staff who made our visit so memorable but especially Gary I/C the bar in the Palm Court who was always there with kindly greeting and welcoming drink and Steve who did so much ferrying on and off the island in the 4x4 or sea tractor, thank you one and all!

All in all a memorable visit, unashamedly elitist but none the worse for that, we enjoyed it!!

Room Tip: Rooms on the north side overlook the causeway and Bigbury -on -Sea, great views!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sunray04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OwnerBI, Owner at Burgh Island Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Thank you for persisting with your childhood Sea Tractor dream.....I hope you discussed the finer points of her service with Stevie (one of our drive/maintenance team). It's not for all, but even I have - only once - taken control of the beast. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope that this is the first of many. "Fruity" Metcalfe seems to be having a run of appreciation at the moment and maybe it's the original PINK bathroom suite - equally, as you suggest, it could be the fact that the bathroom is larger than my first flat in London! I'm going to pass your lovely comments also along to Miriam, a Bigbury local and one of our favourite chanteuses at our regular Wednesday and Saturday night dinner dances....
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Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2014 via mobile

If you like Art Deco then you need to stay at this hotel once in your life. The period furnishings, the music, the high level of service all make for a perfect experience of the style of the period. We stayed in the Odeon room, which is on the smallish side but has a huge bathroom with a lovely full sized bath. The view from the room looks out over the front of the hotel, but it still has a great view of the bay back to Bigbury on Sea. We experienced lovely sunshine and storms during our two days there. When it was sunny there are a number of delightful spots to find outside where you can curl up with a book. On the cold days, the library, billiard room or the conservatory all provide secluded areas where you can either interact with other guests or while away a number of hours reading. Dinner is an experience that you don't often get these days, great food with everyone dressing for effect. As others have said you can't overdress for this event, though gentlemen can get away with a black suit, white shirt and bow tie if needed. The food is of high quality and should meet the tastes of any discerning diner. Breakfasts were also great, with your own copy of your selected newspaper available and a great number of dishes available to order to taste.
My only negatives of this experience were small and relate to the hotel trying to extract the maximum money from you during your stay. At a charge of 450 pounds per night I have never before been charged for a newspaper, I also found the pre-dinner drinks and canapés a lengthy experience dragging to over an hour, in an effort to get you to buy more alcohol. If you don't drink much it became a little drawn out. I would suggest arriving later rather than earlier for this event. I also suggest checking your bill carefully, on ours sparkling water became the more expensive whites lemonade, Shiraz Cabernet became Merlot, only a pound or two in each case but consistent enough to leave a poor impression.
Despite these couple of minor details I would gladly go back again.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Stewart B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernhayhouse, Owner at Burgh Island Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Thank you for your kind review and, first, my apologies for any errors in your drinks bill; this does happen (staff can make mistakes late at night) and we do have a double check in place to catch this before checkout in the morning. I'm glad it was resolved for you (it can happen the other way round too, and we sincerely thank our guests when they spot they have been undercharged!) I can, also, assure you that there is no suggestion of your being held back in the Palm Court to ply you with cocktails - indeed, Chef would be most disgruntled were this to be the case. Dinner is, however, an evening-long affair; your table is yours for the whole night and so you should feel able to pace the evening as you wish. In summary, your comments are most welcome and I very much hope that this is not a "once in a lifetime" experience but the beginning of many happy visits to us in the future.
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england
Level 6 Contributor
177 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014 via mobile

We stayed here early March, in Noël Coward suite for 2 nights.Fantastic view of the tides meeting and the mermaid pool from our large balcony. Everything about the suite was spot on, period furniture gave a great ambience. We enjoyed long walks round the island, cocktails made by the one and only Gary,such a wonderfully friendly man that nothing was too much trouble even when we were still drinking at 2am on the Sunday morning with our murder mystery table!! Dinner on both nights was superb, fantastic fresh local produce. On the Saturday we had a murder mystery which was great fun. We took afternoon tea and read the papers, this hotel has a unique ability to just make you relax and switch off. Breakfast was particularly good. The pilchard inn was cosy and welcoming also. Every member of staff we encountered were polite and friendly. Yes it is expensive but it is worth every penny.
We shall definitely return and sample another room. Try it, prepare to switch off and enjoy a simple decadence of a by gone era. As a previous reviewer said, leave the iPad and phone behind you won't need it.
Thank you all for an amazing stay.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank hixy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernhayhouse, Owner at Burgh Island Hotel, responded to this review, 2 June 2014
Thank you for your great review and for flinging yourself into our Murder Mystery weekend with aplomb! It's always lovely when guests really do make the effort and - trust me - Gary "McBar" is in his element mixing cocktails at 2am and gossiping about the hotel's history. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the Noel Coward suite (with its new, Deco-style, bespoke bed) and also that you quite literally switched off from outside distractions and were able to enjoy some quality "me" time with us.
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Additional Information about Burgh Island Hotel

Property: Burgh Island Hotel
Address: Bigbury-on-Sea, Burgh Island TQ7 4BG, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Burgh Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Burgh Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Authentic Art Deco hotel on its own private tidal island. Frequented by Agatha Christie, Noel Coward, Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, amongst others. Join our famous guest list for lounging on our sunny terraces, a snug pint in front of the fire in The Pilchard - our 14th century inn - cocktails at sunset and black tie dining every night. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Burgh Hotel Island
Burgh Island Hotel Devon

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