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“In many ways a golfer's paradise but there are issues.”
Review of The Ashbury Hotel

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The Ashbury Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Fowley Cross
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 March 2013

We stayed at the Manor part of the complex 5-10 minutes away, but being keen golfers spent most of our time at the Ashbury. On paper it does sound magnificent, 7 x 18 hole courses with all the accompanying facilities, however there are two fundamental issues which tarnish the whole experience. One is the unavoidable fact that the whole site is based on clay soils so that each of the 7 courses is prone to being very muddy. One's ball, wherever it comes to rest, invariably has to be cleaned, that is if it hasn't completely plugged. That apart, the courses are very varied, for the most part very scenic over the undulating Devonshire countryside, and a joy to play. That leads me to the second key issue which certainly tarnished our experience. The joy of playing was seriously marred by the complete lack of suitable course management. On every day we played, it took over 5 hours to complete a round. Queues formed at almost every hole. The main reasons were either foursomes playing variations of the game as part of a group's programme/itinerary, which inevitably took longer, or holiday golfers, or twosomes following foursomes, or basically too many people being allowed onto a course with insufficient time between each game. We only met one course 'marshall' who was circulating with refreshments (a nice touch), and he did respond positively to our concerns but it was too late to have any real impact. Fortunately the weather was kind throughout each of our rounds so that all the hanging around, though very frustrating and irritating, didn't totally ruin the experience. If it had been cold and wet, there would have been some very angry golfers, most of which would have probably curtailed their games faced with such additional handicaps.
The first issue is insurmountable, the second, with more creative thinking and organisation could be greatly improved if not avoided.

Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
3  Thank Pensionerplus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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376 - 382 of 468 reviews

Reviewed 18 March 2013

This was the second time of staying here - actually not for the golf but the huge selection of arts, craft and activity programme that they run. For golfers there is 7 courses plus numerous practice facilities making this a year round centre. However for those less inclined to this pursuit (ie maybe partners or families with children or indeed like myself 'friends time away') there are such facilities as glass engraving,art, pistol shooting, archery, pottery, enamelling, candle making, jewellery making, t shirt printing plus MASSES of other pursuits both leisurely and physical - certainly to keep everyone busy through out the day.
All your meals are catered for - with a good choice, however please don't go expecting a five star rated, this is similar to 'home cooking but all well cooked with as much as you wish to fill your plates with. The restaurant staff are lovely, polite and very helpful. The accomodation is 'basic' however you do get lovely fresh towels, toiletries and radiators that gave instant heat during the cold rainy days we were there for! Duvets on the beds and plenty of pillows. There are also smallish flat screen TV's in the room along with your own tea/coffee making facilities which are replenished daily.
Go expecting a 'basic' holiday with a HUGE difference and you will be REALLY pleased...the fabulous countryside surrounding the hotels (there are 2 with a very short drive between them) supplies walks, and pony treking - however we didin't have the time to venture further than the spa for a wonderful massage or to 10 pin bowling for a little compeditive fun!

Room Tip: WE found that staying in the Golf resort of Ashbury Hotel meant slightly less families/children (we...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank MrandMrsRVB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2013

We have been going to this complex for 4 nights for the last 8 years to play golf. Staying at the Manor House but playing at the Ashbury complex. We go in either March or April to play golf. It is excellent value for money with all the additional facilities included in the price. Three meals a day as well.....we meet loads of interesting people, some of whom we see most years. A great value break.

Room Tip: We book the same room n the old Manor House each year, close to all facilities. If you choose a spec...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Charles B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2013

We planned a fairly last minute trip for valentines weekend to the Ashbury Golf Hotel. We are getting married later this year and despite saving every penny we can lay our hands on, we felt we needed a break from everything.

I saw an advert for Manor House and Ashbury Golf Hotel on television and ran the idea past my fiancee Marie. I instantly knew she was interested once she saw the activities on offer and we soon rang up and booked a 3 night stay from Thurs - Sun. The booking facility over the phone was very easy and quick to do.

Not being golfers we were relying on the activities on offer to keep us busy. Rest assured, if you have never played golf or if you have no intention, this place will still keep you occupied! On arrival, after a 5 hour drive, we were keen to chill for a bit. We arrived before we could check in but the friendly staff told us we could use the facilities and pointed us towards the activity room. We reserved a bowling lane for a couple of hours in the evening and a snooker table after dinner. We then went to the restaurant for lunch, which you have to pay £5 for on arrival day or leaving day. The choice was very good. Hot mains to cold meat and rolls with a good salad selection. The deserts looked very good too but I was too full! We then had an hour to kill so went for a game of snooker. Very happy to discover the tables are in excellent condition and play really well. They get quite noisy in the evening but unless you're playing really seriously, this didn't matter.

After checking in, we were pleased to discover our room was near the snooker hall and lounge. The whole site is quite close together however so nowhere is far to walk. We were pleased with our room. Having read a few reviews on here, we didn't have high expectations, but were pleasantly surprised. It was clean, roomy and good bathroom facilities. The back door led out to a table and chair area which in the summer would be perfect for a quiet drink in the evening.

We had a look at the activities on the sheet provided to us and roughly planned what we wanted to do. Marie was keen to sign up for some spa treatments so off to the activity room to sign up! We wanted to visit Okehampton on Friday morning so signed up for lots of activities in the afternoon at Manor House Hotel (You have access to all facilities at both sites). Marie put down for a 1 hour massage and 1/2 hour facial which cost £30. We also signed up for archery, pistol shooting, rifle shooting and booked a badminton court for the evening.

Okehampton was a lovely little town to visit. We wanted to go initially to get some cheaper bottled water, but came away with a few niknaks from a charity shop and some souvenirs for the family. There are so many antique shops and interesting things to look around at. We would love to come back in the spring to visit the castle ruins (opens april)

We then went over to Manor House for the rifle and pistol shooting. I managed to achieve a high score in the pistols (later beaten grr!). Both hotels run competitions within the activities and if you get a high score, you can pick a prize from reception. Most prizes are valued probably at around £5 but you can upgrade to better ones for a small charge. We won 3 competitions between us over the stay, and we picked an Ashbury hotel pint glass, a half pint glass and golf towel, and a fridge magnet/pack of playing cards. There are stipulations with the competitions, only your first go on the day counts and you can only win a competition once. But it is still very fun and competative!

Marie really enjoyed her massage and facial and came out looking really refreshed. Then onto a game of badminton which seemed to have the opposite effect :D we didn't last very long after our busy day!

On Saturday, we did more of the same activities but we also went over to Manor House to do some falconry and watch a reptile show. I absolutely loved the latter. I held a corn snake for the first time which has left me really wanting to buy one! Also got to hold 2 hissing cockroaches and a lizard. We also did some laser trap shooting in the afternoon which was a little disappointing as it only lasted 10 minutes or so. Perhaps this session could be made to be a little more interesting?

Evening entertainment was very good, we took part in bingo, music and general knowledge quiz. We joined up with another couple for the GK quiz and we scored fairly well!

Food was great at both hotels. We only had lunch at Manor House. Breakfast was nice although I found the bacon and sausages a little greasy for my liking. There was a massive choice though so we were very satisfied. We thought dinner was absolutely superb. The meat was just fallling apart as you cut through it. I had pork, turkey and chicken over the evenings, with a choice of veg or chips. The deserts were very nice too. The service was fantastic and I don't know why people have had such problems in the past with staff. We only encountered one member of staff that didn't seem to care a lot, but everyone has a different personality, i'm sure he meant well and would have been helpful had we needed it!

Special mentions to our waiter on the last night, Joe. He was very helpful, quick and really made us feel like we were at the ritz! Nothing was too much trouble for him. We would also like to mention Arnold during the shooting activities. He was very complimentary and knowledgable and seemed excited when we did well! Phil and Simon over at the manor were very enthusiastic too. In fact to be honest, we didn't have a bad activity session so they should all get credit!

Overall, we had a fabulous time and already cannot wait to return. We would like to get a group together for the next visit mainly so we can share this experience with them! If we return, we will probably pick a similar time of the year as it really is great value for money. Summer is a little more expensive but if we have the money we would probably go for a warmer period.

Thankyou very much!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank twpburton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManorAshbury, General Manager at The Ashbury Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2013

Dear Twpburton,

Thank you so much for the detailed and comprehensive review you have posted. Your comments are very kind and we are so glad you had such a wonderful time with us at The Manor House and Ashbury Hotels.

We have let the members of staff you have kindly mentioned have a copy of your review. Just to let you know we are currently extending our facilities at both hotels by adding in new spa and treatment facilities and craft studios at Ashbury to complement those at the Manor.

We wish you and your fiancée our warmest congratulations for your forthcoming wedding and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Simon Brothers
General Manager
The Ashbury Golf Hotel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2013

My son aged 10 and I stayed for 2 nights at the Asbury and we managed to squeezed in 12 activities from a possible 70. For my son the main highlight was painting a clay mini camper van for the small sum of £4.00. Myself, learning the basic of how to hit a snooker ball without it rebounding around the table. The meals were all lovely especially the full english breakfast buffet. The bedroom was warm, quiet and had very comfortable beds. All the staff were friendly despite my son managing to break a table tennis bat with his bottom...don't ask!!!

Room Tip: book a room at the ashbury in highview which is quieter.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank LynCirencester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2013

Stayed here recently with a group for a golf weekend. We had an excellent time and all agreed it was very good value for money.The rooms were clean and adequate, not exactly four star but were little used other than to shower and sleep! The hotel is obviously golf and sport orientated, the staff are friendly, and there is an impressive variety of activites available at little or no extra cost.The golf courses are excellent and feature magnifient veiws of the Devon countryside.The food is not exactly cordon bleu but is plentiful and the breakfast was very good. If you are not sport orientated then its not probably the place for you....if you are, especailly golf, although there are no doubt more exclusive establishments, you will need to go a long way to find better value for your money.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Raewyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2013

We booked a special deal at the Ashbury for two nights including New Years Eve (2012) for a group of 8. It was amazing value with an all inclusive meals deal, free soft drinks all day, wine with the dinner, cocktail reception (30th) and a champagne reception (31st). All this and a comfortable room for £180 per person. The team who run the venue were really friendly and the meal service was very good. Food was to a good standard for mass catering and we enjoyed every meal that we ate. There was so much to do that we only showered and slept in our rooms, rest of the time was spent on the golf courses, shooting arrows, bowling balls, playing snooker and table tennis and of course drinking in the bar. On New Year's Eve we were entertained with Karaoke and a disco to see the new year in. We will certainly return in 2013.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Ashbury Hotel

Address: Higher Maddford, Fowley Cross EX20 4NL, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Fowley Cross
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Fowley Cross
Hotel Class:3 star — The Ashbury Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 222
Also Known As:
The Ashbury Hotel Devon/Fowley Cross

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