In a way I feel that I am being unfair in assessing Fingals as average, because it offers many activities, the rooms, or our rooms, were spacious and comfortable and they do strive to create a relaxing atmosphere. But there were so many little things that they could and should do, or should have done, that took it from superb down to average/good. One small example was that in our room, the bathroom had been recently refurbished, but there was no shower and unfortunately one of the problems of ageing can be the inability to get out of a bath easily.
If you want to get away from it all, then Fingals may well be the place for you. Located after a series of tiny, narrow lanes some of them only slightly better than a dirt track, this hotel is surrounded by gentle hills on which sheep and cows peacefully graze. For good or ill, it is doubtful that you will get a mobile signal here.
The place is run by a couple, Richard & Sheila, who appear to make a virtue out of being laid back, but for me they were so far laid back that their guests' well being and general happiness was of secondary importance. We were there when the place was full, but Richard's Jeep took up one of the very limited parking places, which resulted in one guest having to park in a neighbouring property. They also have two dogs, which on two of the nights we were there, were put outside so that they barked regularly for about an hour around 10.00 pm when children were trying to sleep.
The hotel is so isolated that ideally one would eat in at night, but the dinner option only allowed for a three course meal at a cost of £32.00 a person (the Gordon Ramsay three course lunch at Claridges costs £30.00) . We thought that this was expensive, particularly as you were asked a breakfast whether you would be eating in and, I understood that you had to tell them in advance what you wanted from the menu.
We did not try their dinner for three main reasons. The first was that we thought it over priced. The second was that we do not like dogs around us when we are eating nor do we frequent restaurants that allow dogs into their kitchens, but at Fingals their dogs are allowed into the restaurant and the kitchen, while dogs belonging to other guests are permitted to roam untethered in the restaurant. The third and final reason was that of the three mornings we had breakfast there, not once did they manage to provide our party with what we had ordered and on two of those three mornings the croissants and the sausages were burnt. If they were incapable of cooking breakfast correctly why did they expect us to dine there?
Clearly I am in a minority in that the majority of reviews put it in the 'Excellent' category, so try it for yourself I am sure you will enjoy your stay as, indeed, we did. Nevertheless, for £190.00 a night B & B my wife and I expected more.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Eccentric, quirky, unique, relaxed, different - Fingals is all of these and much, much more! A handsome Grade 2 listed Devon farmhouse which is mentioned in the Doomesday Book, Fingals has been family owned and run by Richard Johnston for the past 34 years. Richard has lovingly transformed the farmhouse into a luxurious country house bed and breakfast with self-catering cottages nestling in a tranquil Devon valley set back from the River Dart. As soon as you step through the front door you experience the warmth, relaxation and comfort which seems to hug you as you arrive! It is a home away from home. Fingals offers 5 self catering units and 3 bed and breakfast rooms which share the facilities yet are all completely private. There is a heated swimming pool, grass tennis court, Games Room and Gym for all our guests to enjoy. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fingals Hotel Dittisham
- Fingals Boutique B&B Dittisham, Devon