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“Excellent once again”
Review of The Ashbury Hotel

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The Ashbury Hotel
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Fowley Cross
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 June 2014

Just back from a 3 day break with my brothers, this is the second year we have been. Once again the golfing experience wa very good, we played the shorter Oakwood and Beeches courses as these are more suitable to our level of play. We played Kigbare last year but found it far too demanding, and too long a round at nearly 6 hours. The courses were once again very well kept and the greens ran flat and true.
We had a twin and a single room which although basic were more than adequate. The food was ample at both breakfast and lunch, although the evening meal is a little disappointing as the choice is very limited. Free wine on the Thursday arrival day was a nice touch.
This year we were determined to fit in more activities than golf and were glad we did. Air rifles, air pistols and archery were all good fun and of course free. The new Hydro spa is good, although 2 of the new saunas were not yet ready.
All in all for the price we paid it is excellent value for money and you would be hard pressed to find anything anywhere near this in terms of variety. We shall definitely be returning next year.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Mick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManorAshbury, Manager at The Ashbury Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2014

Dear Mick B

Thank you for your kind review. I was glad to read that you all enjoyed the golf. It was good to see that you had used the choice of courses available to match your abilities – definitely the best way to fully enjoy the golf here at Ashbury. Also glad to read that you found time to enjoy some of the other activities and facilities while you were here. We had during your stay one steam room and one sauna available in the Hydro Spa. The final Sauna is now available to enjoy. The new Hydro spas at both hotels are fast becoming one of the most highly regarded facilities we have added in recent years.

We look forward to welcoming you back next year.

With kind regards
Simon Brothers
(Manager, Ashbury Hotel)

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266 - 272 of 456 reviews

Reviewed 9 June 2014

Second time visiting, first time was last year. Much of the same, for the value this place cannot be beaten. A group of 8 of us traveled, however one of the members had to cut the trip short and we were all convinced he would have to pay up but on the contrary, they reduced the bill accordingly with zero hassle, Jo on reception was amazing and extremely helpful.

Rooms were actually better this time and the hydro pool is on another level. I am so amazed that the hotel doesn't even charge a small price to use, hats off to the management. The pools and saunas were a great way to kill what little time we had between the amazing golf and food times. Only down side is the 7.30 am opening, 6am would be better.

There seemed to be a slightly different clientele base this year, more families, but that's fine as we are a nice group of lads, although I can see the danger of groups of men away on a jolly perhaps spoiling the family atmosphere, and if I was traveling with my family there is no doubt I would opt for the Manor instead. Breakfasts had definitely improved on last year, bacon much better, sausages still on the cheap side but seemed better than I remember. YOU NEED TO BUY A DECENT TOASTER!! Lunch is great and so are the starters for dinner, however, one major downfall is the quality of the mains, for dinners and each one was disgusting. Dry overcooked meat, soggy roast potatoes and watery veg, not good. However because we could help ourselves to the other bits it wasn't such a problem. A La Carte should be able to be ordered when you sit down, not by lunchtime. It's also very difficult to get alcoholic drinks served at the table, we tended just to go and get them ourselves after having to wait the entire meal before they showed up.

Golf courses were great, although Kigbeare is by far the standout course, we were able to have two rounds this year but ideally we would just play Kigbeare over and over as the greens on the other courses were pretty poor.

Next years planning has started, I also think that the offer of next years trip at a 7.5% discount is great, but we should have the full 12 months to pay the deposit, just after being on holiday we were all skint and pretty annoyed that the 7.5% couldn't be extended for us to pay early next year perhaps before a visit in the summer. You could give out codes or a similar system to allow for discounts if you travel the following year or even some kind of loyalty card. That way nobody missis out (the hotel or the traveler).

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank George C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManorAshbury, Manager at The Ashbury Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2014

Dear George C,

Thank you for your feedback in regard to your stay with us at Ashbury I was glad to read that your accommodation bill change was altered in good time for you and your group. Thank you for your kind words about Jo and I have passed on a copy of your review for her to see.

We have been opening the spa at 7.30 since it opened with barely any takers. We would not be able to open any earlier I’m afraid due to safety factors.

I was sorry to read that you found the quality of the evening meal not to be satisfactorily. I have passed on your comments to the Kitchen manager to check the details. For future information we ask that A la Cartes be ordered by 815pm. As these are cooked to your requirements, this enables us to be able to serve this meal at the same time as those that have ordered off the Table d’hôte menu. I will look into the ratios for wine waiting to ensure we have enough staff on any particular evening.

Our prepayment policy does allow for a booking to be made on departure (and pre booking of tee times). To receive the full 7.5% a deposit is to be paid in 28 days. You can still receive a 5% discount if a deposit is paid 6 months prior to arrival and if the balance is paid in full one calendar month before arrival a further 2.5% will be discounted. By doing it this way you can still get 7.5% and a few extra months. We would not consider offering 12 months to pay a deposit as this really negates to point of a deposit. Hope this helps clarify things.

With Kind regards
Simon Brothers
(Manager, Ashbury Hotel)

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Reviewed 8 June 2014

I have just returned from my fourth visit, so it must tick many boxes for me. I love the golf and the friendliness of the staff.

The courses are well maintained, the green staff very friendly and accommodating, however, some holes are still crowned; I know this to my cost as I tend to be a dead-weight putter. There are a lot of pitch marks on greens, but this is due to the clientèle not repairing them. Anyone can be excused for missing the occasional one, but I must have repaired an average of 4 per hole, so the message (lots of signs around) is not getting through or it is just being ignored.

I was very sorry to see so many badly dressed people playing golf and in the dining room during the evening. They were wearing beach style shorts and vest-type tops, not tucked into the shorts. One chap had a beanie hat on with false long blonde hair attached cascading down his back, together with jeans and a tee shirt, and that was at dinner.

Sadly the same people were the culprits for profane language that was clearly audible around the courses, bars, games rooms and dining room. I do not use profanities and I just do not understand why these people feel the need to; I suspect it is part of the macho culture you get with groups of men away from their wives and families. As a result, I bought some drinks from a nearby supermarket and did not drink in the bar at night; I would have preferred to have enjoyed chatting in the bar, but the drunks put me off and there were plenty of those around.

The food, in the main is good, breakfasts are brilliant, the porridge is fantastic, however my wife and I prefer the lunch time menus to the evening offerings, but that's just us and not a reflection of any quality issues. For example, one lunch time I had beef chilli with rice; it was excellent, whereas on an evening I had lamb and it was not pleasant tasting at all.

This time round, we had a room in the Farmhouse block. It was very quiet (nice), no early morning players running up and down the corridors or late-night boozers falling over and slamming doors; however it was very small with just enough room to squeeze between the foot of the bed and the wall of the room. The bathroom was also very small and no bath (my wife likes a bath), just a shower.

At the far end of the room was a dressing table with a hair-drier. I had to be on the bed to pull the chair out from the dressing table to use it, as the chair was as wide as the space available (no space to get by), and then the mirror on the wall was set far too low; only as high as my chin - how weird! We didn't complain as we thought the trade-off between space and noise was one we didn't wish to lose.

It is very sad to see the standards slipping, and I for one would pay more to see the standards improve. My golf club has a party coming here in September, so I will be asking them what they saw and experienced when they return which will probably influence my decision about revisiting.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank BobbyDuce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManorAshbury, Manager at The Ashbury Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2014

Dear Crustyoldbloke,
Thank you for your feedback on your visit to Ashbury in May. Since your visit and comments last year we have had no other complaints or comments on “Crowned Holes” (and we had none previously). The Course Manger would welcome a chat with you on a return visit so we can see where you feel there is a problem.

As mentioned before, we have a wide range of groups from all walks of life staying with us. We had no problems with any guests over the period you stayed with us. We do have a number of separated lounges that may have been more suitable for you to enjoy the evenings. I was sorry to read that you stayed in your room – I am sure that a quiet word with a member of staff would have resolved this issue straight away.

Please note that guests can specify a room with a bath at no extra cost. I will sort out the couple of room problems you experienced with our maintenance department. I apologise if they inconvenienced you during your stay.

Wishing you all the best and hope to see you back again next year.
With kind regards
Simon Brothers
(Manager, Ashbury Hotel)

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Reviewed 30 May 2014

Having read all the reviews on this site before visiting the Ashbury Hotel, I was prepared for the worst, and I was pleasantly surprised. 7 of us travelled, 3 grandparents, my husband and my 2 children. We had 3 rooms, which were very adequate, (Bathrooms were not good, not enough room to get in or out of shower, no bath etc) Beds were very comfortable. Loads of wardrobe and storage space. Had a problem with the remote for the TV we didn't have one and we asked for one, we were told they didn't supply them because people kept taking them (this is very sad!) I did eventually get one which worked (Tv or plasma as they call it, is very very small, but works fine). Meal time is very loud a bit like school dining halls! but you could eat yourself silly every day, big breakfast, big lunches and big dinners! everything is cooked fresh and brought out regularly throughout each meal time. Some of the staff were amazing, and seemed to be there for the whole 5 days that we visited, they seemed to work morning, noon and night. My husband played Golf everyday and said the courses were in excellent condition and all the staff couldn't do more for you from the shop to the green keepers etc, also being able to leave your clubs in the hot lockers helped as they were caught in the rain a couple of the days. He said he would definitely return for the golf. My daughter and I spent the week visiting all the different craft courses, everything from Candle Making, to Silk painting, Jewellery Making and glass engraving etc All the teachers were very patient and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. My major gripe, was the treatments, both our Mothers were so looking forward to being pampered for the 5 days, and had booked massages, manicures, pedicures etc This section of the two hotels really left a lot to be desired. Staff not knowing what they were doing, paying for luxury treatments and only getting basic treatments, booking a sports massage and turning up and being told that I was wrong and that nobody could do a sports massage (no apology). Having a manicure where they did not file across all the nails, having a luxury pedicure where they did not exfoliate any of the backs of your heels. Having a sweedish massage without doing the top of the back or shoudlers. And although I discussed this with a duty manager on day 2 of my visit and was promised that things would improve, things actually got worse, and when I was leaving, I still had not heard anything from the mangement of the hotel on these matters. I do understand that we visited in half term and that loads of people wanted treatments but you cannot just use half trained people to do Luxury treatments because you are busy. One girl said that she hadn't finished her training and also worked behind the bar, we were paying £28 for each of these treatments. I was promised when I left over 30 hours ago that somebody would call me straight away to deal with these issues, but to date I have not heard anything. My husband, father in law and two children had a ball, I am very disappointed because my mother and mother in law came away underwhelmed by the whole spa experience. Something they really were looking forward to. So has left me with a negative feeling about the whole experience.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Maria0663
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManorAshbury, Manager at The Ashbury Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2014

Dear Maria0663,
Thank you for taking the time to post your review on our hotel. I was glad to have been able to speak to you directly on the phone and I apologise again for the delay in contacting you.

I was of course glad to read that you and your family enjoyed the accommodation, food, craft activities and golf.

I have spoken with my fellow Manager who is responsible for all the Spa Treatment staff and addressed the problems you have experienced; we will look at some of our procedures and products to make improvements where necessary. All the staff are fully trained in the treatments they offer. As I explained on the phone, we have carried out thousands of treatments over the past year and have had praise and positive feedback from our guests. The problems you experienced are certainly not the norm but we will endeavour to iron out these wrinkles.

We certainly hope that we can welcome you and our family back in the very near future so you can enjoy the spa treatments as much as the rest of the facilities.

With kind regards
Simon Brothers
(Manager, Ashbury Hotel)

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Reviewed 28 May 2014

We have stayed here and at the sister hotel the manor , there is plenty to do my partner usually does golf here but we decided to do the other activities , which included ....woodwork , archery, pistol and rifle shooting .etc etc .you can use the facilities at either hotel, The spa is brilliant money well spent , the food is of good quality and plenty of it , the rooms are very basic and a little dated but clean .but they do tell you this in their brouchure .money is spent on the activity side.would definately go again.will appeal to all ages

Room Tip: Any would be ok
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Maggie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2014

Revisited the Ashbury after seven year gap. Very much a case of pros and cons with the cons winning hands down .
We returned as a group of three husband & wife couples .Us fellas were to play golf whilst the wives undertook day trips to local resorts sightseeing and shopping but returned early to undertake some craft activities.
The Pros .
All courses were very well presented and well maintained and provided a stern test to play to handicap.
Wonderful location with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside .
In the main all staff were helpful and friendly .
Reasonable value for money all things considered
The Cons
This Venue seems to cater for and attracts the " Jolly Boys Outing " type big style with large groups predominately male playing golf .Whether or not they can play the game does not seem to matter to the owners and then after their round remaining in the bar until closing time (midnight) . As a result many becoming loud and using extremely foul langauge and being very objectionable with little or no regard to other guests as to the latenest of the hour .
Having to put up with this for three of the four nights of our stay (Thursday to Sunday ) at six o'clock every morning we were woken by a group of individuals shouting and swearing discussing the night before .Again with no consideration whatsoever to other guests .
The fInal straw was on Saturday evening when we had to resort to phoning the night porter at 03.10 am to disband a group of guys who were drunk ,shouting and swearing etc.
On our way to breakfast the following morning (we were staying in Moorview block) we were treated to the sight of a stream of vomit from the night before ! This was reported to the management but it took them all day to clean it up. only after we reminded them a second time.Thus it was being stuck to vehicles and buggys alike . NOT NICE .
Management appear to be not enforcing proper dress code for the evening meal and indeed on the golf courses themselves .On more than one occansion people were coming into dinner wearing tee-shirts beach shorts no socks and flip-flops .
Lack of a proper dress code on the courses was not enforced due to lack of on course marshalling .
All our concerns were reported to the general manager before we left and he did offer us some compensation for our spoilt holiday ..
In closing if we were to return in the future would only be on the basis that we stayed at the Manor House venue and then travelled to the Ashbury each day to play golf to avoid a similar situation occuring .
It's not an enviroment I would wish to bring my younger members of my family to under any circumstance

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank dawn482014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManorAshbury, Manager at The Ashbury Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2014

Dear dawn482014

Thank you for talking the time to put a post on this site in regard to your recent stay with us. It was nice to meet with you on your departure day to discuss the issues that you had experienced during your stay. I felt it was a very productive meeting, discussing how things could be improved. I would like to highlight to other guests to please call the Night Porter immediately as this gives us more opportunity to target potential problems and deal with them expediently. Please don’t leave things for a number of nights before mentioning anything. We would also be able to offer an alternative room to move guests away from others that have an early or late schedule in their own plans.

I thank you for your kind comments in regard to the golf facilities, the friendly staff and the value of the break but I am sorry that a few inconsiderate fellow guests spoilt an otherwise enjoyable break. I apologise for the delay in the car park clean up you mentioned. This was due to a miscommunication between the office and the maintenance department. It certainly should have been dealt with more quickly.

We have relaxed our evening meal dress code to allow for tailored shorts. I have spoken to the dining room supervisors in regard to evening dress codes and the course marshals for golf dress codes, asking them to be more vigilant.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future at either of our hotels.
With kind regards
Simon Brothers
(Manager, Ashbury Hotel)

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Reviewed 16 May 2014

Exactly what you can expect for the price, great golf, somewhat old and dated facilities, but for the price you simply cannot complain. Went as a group of 14, to play golf, found the rooms to be somewhat cramped and dated, however for the amount of time you actually spend in them, they are perfectly adequate. The complex is much larger than I imagined, and there were plenty of things to do if you could find the time between rounds. The food was like the rooms, perfectly adequate, not 5* dinning! but if you expected that then perhaps you should be looking elsewhere! However, if you want reasonable selection of food, a great self service breakfast and lunch, with waitress service for dinner, then this is the place for you. I have seen others comment on the staff being unfriendly, and I can understand that on the odd occasion the staff may not be the friendliest, but I think that's because a lot of them seem to be fairly new, and probably need to be knocked into shape a little with some attention from senior staff....now for the golf, a vast complex containing several courses, of varying degrees of difficulty, length and test. All of them that I played were in fabulous condition, especially given the amount of footfall (buggy-fall?) they receive. I didn't appreciate the buggy path setup that can mean lengthy walks to and fro for clubs between the buggy and your ball, so make sure to factor that into your aim! Hats off to the green staff, they do a tremendous job.

So overall, for the price this place is fantastic, and I look forward to returning next year.....my only bugbear for the facilities is that the driving range is almost worthless as it has been shortened to a netted area so nothing other than some swing practise is possible....given golf is a large feature, it could really do with having a proper driving range along with a practise are for your short game, and I also found the course bunkers were unplayable, as they were too compacted with a type of sand I have not come across on a course

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
Thank NMM69
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 #1 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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