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“great hotel for dogs”

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Holne Chase Holiday Cottages
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Ashburton
Reviewed 14 August 2007

We stayed for 4 nights in early June. The suite we booked was comfortable, clean and ideal for our stay with 2 dogs.
The dogs loved it -70 acres of woodland to run around in with virtually nobody else there.WARNING there are lots of TICKS in the woods so treat your dog with repellant as soon as you get there.
Very good food in restaurant , but somewhat overpriced--3 course meal is £35 dinner.Excellent location for Dartmoor and South Hams.
Great hotel if you are a dog person ,maybe one to avoid if not.
Very attentative staff, we only gave our name once.The manager Patrick is first class.

Stayed: June 2007
1  Thank devonvisitor_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 - 30 of 34 reviews

Reviewed 3 January 2007

At a rather late stage in December, we discovered Holne Chase Hotel from a "dog friendly hotel" web search and, thank goodness, although knowing absolutely nothing about the hotel beforehand, we (me, wife and Josh, our then 16 week old puppy) decided to book for 6 nights over the New Year period.

Other reviews have waxed lyrical about the hotel's location and wonderful country house ambience and we can do nothing more than to wholeheartedly agree.

That said, whatever the physical presence of an establishment, the key to a successful visit is the food and the staff, First the staff. When I made my telephone booking I spoke to both the owner - a very focussed and helpful Sebastian - and to Fi, his most excellent manager. They were friendly, efficient and as they both sounded suitably nuts with it, I felt confident that we were going to fit right in and have a good time.

And so it proved. we were welcomed with a glass of fine sherry - which went down a treat after being subjected to the rigours of the A303 for 2.5 hours on December 27th when all the world seemed to be on the move. We were first shown to our Stable Suite (as properly described in other reviews) but, as we felt that it was not suitable for so young a puppy, with neither fuss nor difficulty, we were moved into a more suitable room in the main hotel. While the room was at the rear of the building, it was well appointed and worked for us when we went down to breakfast or dinner leaving the puppy within easy reach! The housekeeping staff worked tirelessly throughout our stay and our room was returned to pristine nick day after day. The front of house staff were a joy; they had obviously been going full bore for Christmas but you wouldn't ever have known it; they remained friendly and hepful throughout and we could not find a single cause for criticism.

As December 31st also happens to be our wedding anniversary, we were a tad anxious that the evening would perhaps not meet our hopeful expectations - but - there you go - wrong again! We had canapes and a warm-up glass of fizz in the bar with Fi before going in to a superb dinner. I started with some of the best scallops I have ever eaten (and that's a lot!) followed by a champagne sorbet and pan-fried turbot which, though notoriously difficult to get right, was spot on; not to have a pudding would have been rude, so a black cherry and mascarpone confection followed the fish. My wife had an excellent parsnip and apple soup, sorbet and yummy Gressingham duck - but no pudding (too full!), Accompaniments were imaginative and well cooked. A pretty decent Gevrey Chambertin eased it all down, after which we retired to the bar to coffee, petit fours and liqueurs. A talented local 3-piece band had been laid on for our entertainment (and very good they were, delighting the company with jazz standards we all knew and were terrific to dance to). A slight criticims voiced by wife was that the band ought to been allowed to get going before 10pm as some serenading during dinner would have been wonderful; that said, the champagne flowed and a very good time was had by all!

Then came the piece de resistance - the firework display at midnight; although the weather during the daylight hours had been dire (as it was pretty well all the time we were there!) evening saw the rain stop and the wind ease, so, at the witching hour, everyone piled out of the building to witness what was, in our experience at least, a most wonderful fireworks display. When the bangs and whizzes had finally stopped, several of the canine guests (including our own) came down and joined the well-sated revellers in the bar; at around 02:30 we finally called it a day and went to bed, more than delighted that we had landed on our feet (or paws, in Josh's case) in choosing Holne Chase for our important day.

The food in general was terrific, and the chef did us proud day after day. Running out of black pudding might upset some but it was but a trifling oversight. Our main meals were always first class and value for money and the light lunch bar menu is to be commendeded, especially for one of the best club sandwiches and chips that has ever gone down my throat!

This was a very relaxed break - other than for the understandable anxieties we felt because of bringing the puppy to so excellent a place - but, thank goodenss, he let us down not at all! The location is outstanding, the management and staff were terrific, the marketing of the hotel is first class and we wish Sebastian and his team nothing but continuing success in making Holne Chase Hotel, in our opinion, not just an upper decile 3 star hotel well worthy of it 2 AA rosettes, but an amazing 'find' for us, being as it is within easy range of our Wiltshire home and a worthy competitor to our our long-favoured Scottish retreat in Tarbert, Loch Fyne where would normally have gone for Hogmanay.

If they'll have us, we'll be back, in (with luck) more clement weather, but even if it's pouring, somehow the sun will always be shining on this amazing place!!

Any review of this nature has to be made on a level playing field basis; Holne Chase is not and does not pretend to be more than it is; sure, it could use some refurbishment here and there but, in its market and class it is outstanding. It does not offer pampering (save for the dogs). If you have a dog (and even if you don't) , enjoy great food and appreciate lovely surroundings in an hotel run by nice people - just go and find out for yourself.


  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
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    • Service
3  Thank colvenwilts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2006

A group of us visited this hotel for Christmas lunch.
The location of the hotel is truly stunning and the christmas ambiance created by the country house interior style and christmas decorations was lovely.
However.... the food was very disappointing- £67 a head, ok one expects to pay a premium for lunch out on christmas day, but this was beyond a joke,
No welcoming class of mulled wine, or similar. Indeed, we had to approach the staff to advise them of our arrival.
A Three course menu, which included a cheese platter as part of the pudding menu and no petits fours with the coffee, and definitely not a complimentary liqueor!
We were all given a regulation three sprouts, yellow in colour and of the texture of bullets. Three must have a symbolic significance to the kitchen staff, as we were also served with three roast potatoes and three yellow and extremely tough, beans.! The turkey was presented in the form of turkey Wellington- soggy pastry and dry ,tough, turkey.

Starters- soup, smoked trout ,or pork pie.
Pudding? xmas pudding or sticky toffee and date pudding.
This meal was not cooked, it was assembled.
Luckily, we are all good friends, so at least the company was good, but what a rip off and yes, I am also writing to the owners in the New Year.
We paid the bill in full so as not to totally spoil the day and also to avoid any future possible accusations that we were simply trying to avoid payment.

Whoever devised and priced that menu should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

  • Stayed: December 2006
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank hopefulSouthHams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2006

Holne Chase Hotel is not the most elegant, luxurious hotel around. It doesn't have a friendly owner on hand to greet you with a glass of sherry. There is no swimming pool or spa or even email. They charge an insane $2.00 a page to receive faxes. Its carpets are worn, its staff (except for the people in the dining room) are stiff and rather unhelpful.

But, for some reason, I love this hotel more than almost anywhere else in the world. It's partly the gorgeous setting with its sweeping view of the hills. It's partly the location--next to the wilds of Dartmoor and the wonderful walks. It's partly the retired colonels and their battle axe wives who come here for holidays with their dogs. It's things like having a cream tea out in the garden on a rare sunny day. It's reading the papers in the lounge after breakfast and seeing no one else there. It's having a Pimms before dinner while perusing the menu. But, above all, it's the peace and quiet.

Our second visit was decided on at the last minute. We couldn't face the hassle at the airport so we cancelled our work trip to Europe and drove down to Devon. Because we booked so late, the only room free was the Roddy Cleave suite. This is in a converted stables and built in to the side of a hill. We were there for a week and it rained nearly every day and it was so revoltingly damp that it was not fit for human habitation. It smelled of mildew vand was dark and by the end of the week, I sneezed every time I went into the room. When we got back to London and unpacked,
I had to clean all our clothes because they smelled so much.

But we still had a great time and the dining room staff were very nice and very helpful. I was afraid the food would be too rich since we were there for a week so they agreed to give me green salads and hold the buttery sauces on the fish. So we were happy though it was repetitive and they ran out of beef and lamb a couple of evenings. There were some breakfast problems: apparently their new chef overdoes the eggs and we saw people send them back.

We will return to Holne Chase but we will not stay in that room again.

3  Thank newyorkanya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
London, UK
Reviewed 10 July 2006

From the minute you turn off the road into the drive you know something special awaits.
You glimpse it through the trees, you arrive and it immediately says 'welcome'.
Looking beyond the slightly 'dated' decor of the reception area and drawing rooms I could only revel in the comfortable ambience that made me wish it was all mine.
Quietly unassuming but thoroughly efficient staff, a bedroom that I wanted to stay all day in, superb food and perhaps slightly unusual - meaning not a common occurence - other guests who were both interesting and interested allowing for very enjoyable post dinner drinks.
Although I was only able to stay one night - not nearly long enough - it was the highlight of my week. Certainly not enough time to enjoy all that this exquisite hotel offers.

3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2006

Just returned from a lovely 4 day stay.Unlike the reviewer in April,we found the front of house staff very pleasant and helpful.The owners don't spend much time there these days(busy developing a luxury self catering complex up on the moor)but you wouln't really know. Generally the operation runs smoothly.
We requested a front facing suite but it was stretching the trades description act to call it front facing - one small window in the sitting room area.This was my only accommodation niggle and reception did offer to move us the following day.Nonetheless,the room was spacious and comfortable with the added benefit of its own private entrance for the dog.
Many of the guests had dogs with them and it was so refreshing to find a hotel that is truly dog friendly,a claim often made but rarely fulfilled.Only the restaurant was out of bounds.
We only ate at the hotel once in the evening and the food was ok but not spectacular.Chefs night off??Breakfast was exceptional except for the morning when they were unable to supply toast - noone in the kitchen having the commonsense to deal with the problem before the guests came down for Breakfast.
Grounds are tranquil with a vast lawned area and a sorry looking pond area crying out for a bit of TLC.Could be a great feature
All in all recommended but not cheap.

  • Stayed: June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank welshwanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2006

We booked an Easter break at this hotel and, taking the price as an indication (£210/night), expected a pretty luxurious weekend. We were really disappointed. Above all, the things that really stood out (the lack of friendliness and 'jobs-worth' attitude we encountered) are nothing to do with cost, and could so easily be fixed. The room (a stable suite) was fine but there was no room service out of the main building, no turn-down service in the evening, and we had an absolute joke trying to get the hotel to book some activities and services for us. I make an exception for the dining room, where the food was good and the waiting staff friendly, although not particularly knowledgable.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank turnturn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holne Chase Holiday Cottages

Address: Holne Chase Holne Chase, Ashburton, Dartmoor National Park TQ13 7NS, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Dartmoor National Park > Ashburton
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Ashburton
Price Range: £195 - £255 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel closed permanently in 2009 and is now under different owners. Available for long or short term let, Holne Chase holiday cottages are nestled within the Dartmoor national park are ideal to take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Holne Chase Ashburton
Holne Chase Holiday Cottages Dartmoor National Park/Ashburton

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