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“All we had hoped for”
Review of Burgh Island Hotel

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Burgh Island Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Burgh Island
Certificate of Excellence
Falmouth, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“All we had hoped for”
Reviewed 17 June 2014

We have just stayed for two nights at the hotel and have nothing but praise for the experience; from the moment we phoned to arrange access to the garage to the moment we reluctantly climbed from the sea tractor at the end of our stay the whole experience was fantastic.

As we were two couples we had booked the Josephine Baker and Avon suites on the advice of the hotel and it is to be thoroughly recommended as those two suites share a private terrace – the Poop Deck – which is a fantastic place to while away some time looking across the Mermaid Pool and watching the sea birds. (Perhaps a few loungers and small table might be a welcome addition?)

Having read a few of the previous comments that mentioned the hotel being shabby I have to say that there are one or two patches of damaged plaster here and there that must be a continuous preservation challenge but this is surely to be expected in a hotel that’s privately owned, not backed by an enormous chain and is stuck on an island in the English Channel. I am sure it would be relatively straightforward to eliminate many of the maintenance problems by simply replacing much of the fabric of the building with modern alternatives but this would destroy much of its inherent character so to remark on its being ‘shabby’ is to be missing the point – a few items require ongoing maintenance but shabby it isn’t!

The staff were all lovely, both in the hotel and The Pilchard Inn, the food fantastic, the rooms comfortable and stylish and the hotel itself spot-on – the decoration and attention to detail superb – there is always something to look at whether it is a photo, a piece of furniture or simply the view.

For various reasons our visit had been ten years in the planning and we had thought that it might be a once in a lifetime experience – we were wrong, it won’t be, we’ll be back!

Room Tip: The Avon and Josphine Baker suites share a private terrace so great for two couples.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank 1TMJ
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, 28 June 2014
Thank you for your generous review and your appreciation of the on-going maintenance needed in this Grade II listed Building. Our permanent maintenance team of Danny, Patrik and Stevie take great pride in their excellent (I think) work. I'm glad you have noted the Poop Deck - genuinely, the actual poop deck over the Captain's Cabin of HMS Ganges.....but that's another Burgh Island story! It's a great place to while away the time in the sunshine and we've literally just taken delivery of our deck chairs for this year so you can do the seaside thing in comfort! We look forward to your many happy returns.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (343)
Date | Rating
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English first
Rugeley, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

Just spent two memorable nights in the Beach Room at Burgh Island hotel, and I just loved the Art Deco experience. Everything was wonderful, it was a great dining experience, particularly on the Wednesday night when the Art Deco trio played in the dining room, they really gave everyone the atmosphere of the 20/30's . The walks are lovely giving a full spectre of the views surrounding this lovely place. The little pub is well worth a visit, The Pilchard. Luckily we had good weather, so was able to explore the island in full.
All of the staff where friendly and helpful, my only reservation is that the price is a little excessive, but to be fair I knew this when I booked. Well worth it for a one of experience.

Room Tip: Pay the extra
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Roydw1944
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, 14 June 2014
Thank you for your lovely review; I'm pleased that you enjoyed the Island to the full. I'm going to do my usual "hotelier" thing about the price and just mention that, after you take 20% vat off the headline price, then look at what you get for two people: dinner, bed & breakfast, parking, transfers to and from the Island....I really don't think it's excessive. I hope I can persuade you that this shouldn't be a once in a lifetime experience but an indulgence whenever your batteries need a recharge or you just want to have a couple of days of fun!
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Beaconsfield, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2014 via mobile



At this price level it has to be special and it is !!
The views from almost every part of the hotel, including the bedrooms, are incredible. The ability to sit on the bedroom balcony and enjoy them is a real bonus. You'll never forget the Art Deco bar once seen !!
Now for the restaurant. Neither my Wife nor I could fault the quality or presentation of the food. The service and professionalism of the staff were similarly faultless.
Negatives - Our room, Gertie Lawrence,was not special at all, except of course for the view. In some places, the exterior of the hotel is showing tiredness by signs of green algae growth from the previous winter. A very common problem but surprising for a hotel which is so sharp in almost every way.
All in all, we had a great experience and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Brian G
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, 14 June 2014
Thank you for your very kind review and I hope we might welcome you back in the future. I'm surprised to hear you didn't like Gertie Lawrence; I really rather like the room and I usually stay there when I overnight at the Island. It has some interesting memorabilia. However, maybe try another room next time and please ask about the facilities in each one when booking with us.

The algae on the exterior is, indeed, a perennial winter problem - especially after this last damp one but you might be interested to know that the paint we use on the exterior is the same as used on UK lighthouses: it's supposed to be guaranteed for 10 years but of course we need to repaint every 2.

It's great that you enjoyed your stay with us and thank you for your positive and constructive comments.
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Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2014

My wife, son and his wife returned to Burgh for our second stay this week to celebrate my wife's 60th Birthday.

Due to the tides this year, we had to arrive quite early (8am) but the hotel and their staff we very accommodating. Having called ahead, the Land Rover was waiting for us and duly took us down to the Sea Tractor for our ride across. Having arrived extremely early, we took breakfast in the Ganges Room and were amazed to find that immediately afterwards, our room (Noel Coward) was available and shortly afterwards my sons (Avon). A great start as we were not expecting them until after lunch.

The room was spacious and full of "NC" memorabilia which is what we expected and not dissimilar to his other home in Jamaica (Firefly) which we have also visited. The wonderful flowers which I had ordered had been arranged and filled the air with a wonderful perfume. Finally, I must mention the views from our balcony which we were stunning, this really is a room with a view!.

Everything I had pre-ordered including a Birthday cake and champagne were delivered at the times requested. Food as usual was exceptional and the staff, many of whom we met last year were pleased to see us return - its so nice to be remembered and makes you want to go back again and again. Burgh obviously take much time to ensure everything within the hotel is authentic, but most importantly, the staff make it what it is, a living Art Deco Museum, filled with the ambience of the era with exceptional service.

We even went into the Mermaid Pool where there has been some work done to enhance it - I look forward to returning when it is complete and I am sure there will be loungers of the era installed to complete the setting. One request I would make (and I am sure an extremely expensive one) would be to see a swimming pool on site as the water in the Mermaid can be pretty chilly!

Yes, Burgh is expensive, but it is what it is, a delight to your senses that nowhere else can or will match either now or in the future. Peaceful, thought provoking, back to the days when quality came first and service always comes with a smile.

I have read many comments on this message board about what could be improved or changed, but remember, if you change it, nothing will remain the same and what Burgh Island is could be lost forever.

Thanks everyone for making my wife's 60th memorable and special, we look forward to returning

Room Tip: Get the best rooms you can afford, you wont be disappointed. They are all great, but some of the vie...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank barrymcnamara
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, 14 June 2014
Thank you for your lovely review; we remember your party well and with pleasure. That was the night of the 5 birthdays! (The House Band obliging no less than 5 times for different parties). Please always let us know how we can make your stay extra special....
Next time you're here do try the Mermaid Pool; it's warmer than you think - especially at the end of summer - and it now sports some lovely deck chairs. We have, indeed, looked at an outdoor swimming pool but we feel this would have to be geothermal and the cost is simply prohibitive. So, a bracing dip it is, followed by a stiff Martini!
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Boston Lincolnshire
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014

You must think me very brave contradicting previous excellent reviews and replies from the owner regarding maintenance.
I can only state the facts we encountered.
Having seen Burgh Island Hotel on numerous television programmes it was somewhere we thought would be a suitable place for our special occasion. We were expecting the hotel and grounds to be immaculately cared for, we were expecting to feel cared for. What we received was only the same level of service we’ve encountered from corporate chain hotels.

We were collected from the mainland car park in one of the gleaming Land Rovers, on the way the driver told us about the Pilchard Inn.
Throughout our stay, at no time did anyone appear to be in overall charge.
However, our bed was the nearest any hotel bed has come to the comfort of our own at home. Crisp clean white sheets. Perfect, discreet room service.
In the breakfast room, the table cloths were beautifully clean and white BUT under the tables with metal legs, they were rusty, the tables with wooden legs were chipped and severely scuffed.
Around the hotel there were broken windows, failed double glazing panels, broken and loose fixtures and fittings.
Wherever any maintenance painting had taken place, copious amounts of paint were on the glass or on the floor. Where glass had been replaced the order/code number was still not cleaned off. Out of frustration I just had to clean one of them myself.

If we’d stayed in a seaside boarding house I would have described it as shabby, here you’re expected to accept it as shabby chic.
Around the hotel are some lovely pieces of period furniture but I doubt any of it has seen a bit of beeswax for a long, long while.

The question I ponder is,,, do the hotel owners or the guests who’ve left previous glowing reviews live in properties in this condition?
I don’t live in a house with broken windows so was saddened to see such a prestigious hotel could get in this condition.

The food was good but not outstanding. I’ve never been served such a dried up kipper for breakfast and my wife who usually orders poached egg has never received one so under cooked, so watery and slimy she had to ask for it to be redone.
Guests are expected to dress for dinner but our waitress was serving in a green flimsy top.
I’m sorry, I was really expecting to be giving Burgh Island top marks. We were expecting the food, the service, decor and cleanliness to be equal to that provided by Orient Express on a moving train, sadly it didn’t come anywhere near.

In the past we’ve received some very nice letters of appreciation of our stays at various hotels. Nothing heard from Burgh Island.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank ROYnJOY
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, 14 June 2014
You expected: The Orient Express - multinational, corporate-owned, backed by millions, staffed to the eyeballs! You got: an Art Deco Grade II listed building on an Island in the English Channel, an independent business all of whose profits are returned to the upkeep of the Hotel and Island and staffed by 35 individuals all of whom are passionate about their enviroment and the happiness of our guests. I'm sorry we fell so far from your expectations and I can't really comment on your detailed post as I don't recognise the rust, over-painting, dried kipper stuff at all! And I assure you that we do not live in a house with broken windows - or when they are, they get fixed as happens at Burgh Island.
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Level 6 Contributor
204 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2014 via mobile

Devon is absolutely gorgeous and the hotel on Burgh Island is a 1929 relic that takes you back in time in absolutely stunning surroundings! Experience a night of dance and dinner in black tie! The bar takes you back and the cocktails are great. The food delightful and the dancing floor filled with elegantly dressed society showing off their classic dancing skills.

Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Robert M
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, 14 June 2014
Thank you for your lovely review Robert; it's always good to hear from top contributors with a breadth of experience. I'd really like to know (by email to the Island!) where we fell short of 5 stars in your rating as it's not clear from your review, which is gorgeously generous. If you have any concerns please write in to me so I can address them as needed.
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Leeds, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2014

My husband and I went to Burgh Island Hotel in May, we had the Beach House which is the best room in the house so to speak, it was lovely but I dont think the rest of the Hotel warranted 4 Star status. The food was OK but not brilliant and the staff very unwelcoming apart from the young man and young lady who were serviing breakfast. We felt as though they were doing us a favour by letting us stay there. I wrote about my concerns but didnt get the courtesy of a reply!

Room Tip: The Beach House
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Kate W
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, 14 June 2014
Thank you for your review and i'm sorry that you felt the staff unwelcoming; that's not what i usually hear and is perplexing me as a general comment - one member of staff I can understand but all 33 (not counting the two younger staff you praised) strikes me as odd! I shall certainly investigate.

I did reply to your letter by post and I'm sorry this may not have reached you; I'll resend a copy today. However, when you receive the letter you will see that we make no pretentions to being of any star rating; indeed, we have always resisted this as being slightly old-fashioned (and expensive) approach and I have trusted the public to make their own judgements about us. In your case, you were not happy that you were not given the "best" table in the Ball Room despite paying for a premium suite - i can't comment on this save to say that all of our guests are treated absolutely equally and, should anyone want a specific table (it's very subjective) please just ask! We do not provide slippers in the rooms as standard - I can't remember when we were last asked for them but, again, we do keep a supply so it's just a question of asking! You are kind enough to praise the Beach House and all the ingredients seem to have been in place for a lovely stay so, while I can offer heartfelt apologies for the lack of slippers and no "best" table at dinner, I truly wish that we could have dealt with your niggles during your stay.
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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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