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“A very busy holiday”
Review of Manor House Hotel

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Manor House Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Fowley Cross
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 August 2012

My husband and I stayed here with our 8 year old daughter for 4 nights.
On arrival we had our lunch (which we had to pay for on arrival days) £5 each there was sooo much food buffet style. We checked in at 3pm and our room was just above the reception no 30. Rooms were very basic but clean and to be honest there is loads to do so you dont spend much time in the rooms. We were so busy with activities, archery, air pistols, air riffle and loads of arts and crafts ( there is a small charge for materials). If I had to pik a negative it would be the dinner hall, tables are so close together and the waiter service in the evenings was very slow. We waited for the drinks waiter and then waited again for the dinner waiter!. But I would deffo recomend it to families with children above the age of 5. We have been to centre parcs and I think Manor House is better value for money. We will be returning again and again and again.
Thank you Manor House for a great holiday. x

Room Tip: Room 30 was good, views over Dartmoor and the pitch and put. This hotel is in the hotel and not by...
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank emily11903
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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542 - 548 of 674 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2012

We picked a week in July. 3 couples. the men to play golf, the wives to do arts & craft & keep fit.
This was before the school holidays so reasonably quiet. The golf facilities were excellent, although being Dartmoor you have to take potluck with the weather, We had horizontal rain on 1 day. The food was excellent, staff helpful & cheerful, no complaints whatsoever. The wives were kept busy with all sorts of arts & crafts as well as excellent swimming facilities, You can try Archery shooting bowls, ten pin bowling snooker etc etc, plenty to do. Great week

Room Tip: If you need cash make sure you take it with you as there is a hefty charge for using cash machine
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank peter_daniell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2012

Well lets start with the good.  The sports facilities are undeniably first class (the new swimming complex is great) and the craft centre is excellent.  All activities are free, other than nominal sums for tee shirts, ceramics and wood etc in the craft centre.  The golf is also exceptional, but be warned this is Dartmoor so windy and wet conditions can be expected. The staff are also really good and generally friendly and helpful.

The bad really is the food, which while plentiful is pretty poor.  Breakfast is ok, but quality is not great and lunches and dinners are also below average.  Think staff canteen / school dinners and you're on the right lines.  There are also petty annoyances like not being able to order soft drinks at lunch and mind numbingly stupid processes like having to order from the a la carte menu at reception rather than from the waiter.  

Then there's the ugly, which are the rooms and public areas.  To be fair the website makes it clear the rooms aren't great, but they are now so dated as to be laughable.  A sea of magnolia artex and naff patterned carpets is everywhere and it looks and feels like an old people's home (also reflected by the quantity of pensioners that frequent The Manor).  They really need to invest in renovating the rooms, bar and dining room rather than build a beauty spa and dance studio (construction ongoing).  It is so eighties and tired as to now detract from the overall experience.

The big question is whether it is good value as people seem to flock to the Manor rather than Center Parcs for example.  Our five day break for four adults and four children was about £2,600.  At a similar time you can get a lodge at CP for about £2k (for a week) but you need to add food and activities.  If you factor in the self catering aspect of CP (cereal for breakfast, snack lunch and BBQ in evening) then food isn't a massive cost. Add the cost of activities and it's not a great deal more, plus you get a nice lodge to relax in whereas you'd never stay in your room at The Manor.  There is probably more craft activities at The Manor but you don't feel obliged to cram so much in at CP as the surroundings are nicer.

This was our third visit to The Manor but I don't think we'll go again without a major overhaul of bedrooms and public areas.  It's too awful and is now embarrassing, especially if you take friends as we did and kept apologising...!

Room Tip: They're all rubbish!
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank KH_London_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManorAshbury, General Manager at Manor House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2012

Dear KH_London_UK,

Thank you for your post.

It was great to read that you feel that our facilities are first class. It is our foremost strategy to ensure that we continually improve the facilities that we offer. Over the course of the forthcoming year, as you mentioned, we will indeed be adding a spa, dance studio and multi-purpose sports hall. In our experience it is this continuous improvement that attracts our guests and keeps them coming back. It was also pleasing to read that you enjoyed our golf. We have invested heavily in specialist equipment over the last few years to ensure that our golf product is presented to the highest standard, throughout the year. We have a great team of staff here at the hotel and I am glad to hear that they helped you enjoy your stay.

It was disappointing to read that our food was poor. I would have to say that this is contrary to the majority of comments we receive about our food and the plentiful choice that we offer, in actual fact most guests comment that the food is well above the standard they would expect. The points that you raised about drinks at lunchtime and the A la carte ordering system are valid and under consideration. However, I must state that water, squash, tea and coffee are all available in the dining room, with a full choice of drinks available at the bar, only a short distance away. In addition, our current A la carte ordering system is in place to ensure that guests may enjoy main meals together at the same time.

We have a programme of bedroom and bathroom refurbishments which is currently on-going and this includes replacing furniture, carpets and redecorating as well as retiling bathrooms. We have a similar programme in place for our public areas and have had many positive comments from returning guests who have enjoyed our new leather arm/tub chairs and beech coffee tables in the lounges.

In terms of the question of value we would always have to point to our philosophy of including as much as we possibly can into the price of your break. With all breaks full board, free wine with dinner 2 nights a week, over 50 free sports and leisure activities, free golf on 7 golf course options, free tuition in 17 crafts, free golf buggies (with autumn to spring specials and summer sizzlers), plus health and beauty treatments from £12.50. When compared to selected competitors we always offer great value.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Brint

Co-General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2012

This was the 4th time at the Manor and the 4th time we have not left the hotel. There is so much to do here. All sports and loads of crafts. It is difficult on a 4 day trip to fit everything in but this only leaves something left for next time you visit, which will be in December with friends.
We have already booked for next July with the family.
I've read the negative reports and there is a element of truth.
Yes, the rooms do need refurbishing and could be a bit cleaner but British plumbing is never very good even in some expensive hotels.
There is so much to do you only need the room to sleep in and you are so knackered by bed time.
It is really good value, no EXCELLENT value for money.
I believe it is AA rated 2 star.
The food is more than adequate. Buffet for breakfast and lunch and service in the evening.
Free wine on 2 evenings and not over priced on the others either.
Chef very helpful for gluten free diet. In fact the gravy is always GF free and all staff are very helpful and friendly. GF cereal not provided for breakfast.
It is a bit canteen ish but you are there to play sport and try your hand at different activities. Fitting the meal in is the real difficulty. There just isn't the time.
Where else can you do all the sports they have to offer and not pay a penny extra. Free swimming lessons, free aqua aerobics and the charge for materials in the craft centre is so cheap. In fact it's hard to imagine where the hotel make a profit here.
They are building a new spa centre open for Christmas. and have greatly improved the play areas for the under 8's.
Typical price for half an hour massage is £12.50.
I don't play golf but you can use all the facilities at the sister hotel, The Ashbury, just along the road. 7 courses and you can take lunch in either hotel.
Do try to avoid school holidays is the only advice I would give.
Also be prepared to be tired at the end of the holiday.
zzzzzz.zzzzz.

Room Tip: 'A' room have a view over Dartmoor. Ask for a room near the main building as some rooms can...
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2012

We loved our holiday here! Wish we had found the hotel years ago as it had something for each family member and we could do what we wanted individually or as a family. Probably not great for the under 8s but a lot depends on your child. Read all the reviews before your book to stay here as each is quite right. The experience of staying here is varied and we saw this ourselves. The rooms are basic although ours seemed clean. There is a lot of artex and some pub style patterned carpet so this is not boutique accomodation, but it is fine for a holiday. It is a two star hotel and that rating is fair. Food is amazing given the mass catering requirements of a big hotel but not what could be called fine dining. The sport and craft activities are brilliant and most of the tutors are great although one or two seemed highly stressed with their work load. I think the peak season is best avoided if you can. The small swimming pool at the Manor was pristine and I loved it. All things considered I think this holiday was good value for money and I want to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank LeicesterJuliet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2012

Quite frankly this was the most disgusting hotel we have ever come across. As very experienced worldwide travellers we have been previously disappointed when arriving at a hotel that shows its age , however they can still provide a perfectly enjoyable experience just by being clean and hygenic, sheets , towels, carpets, pillows etc. There is absolutely no excuse for the squallor state that met us at the Manor Hotel.
On arrival the Hotel presents itself from the entrance as quite grand accommodation, however as soon as you enter the property the truth is that it seems to have had no upgrade or maintenance for many years. It is not only scruffy but very dirty, staff at reception did seem quite efficent at check in but unfortunately things went badly wrong from here,
We booked the best A GRADE room with views over the valley , the keys for our room were given to us which was located at the rear of the indoor tennis & squash courts. On entering the room the musty smell was overwhelming. The decor and carpets and furnishings were extremely dated, the bed linen smelt very damp and musty . At this point we pulled back the duvet to check the sheets which looked strangely yellow, in fact the sheets were clean, the tinge of yellow turned out to be the urine stained mattresses underneath .Neither mattresses had a mattress cover on them, the pillows were even worse ,on taking the pillow slip off the pillows were so stained and yellow with sweat and dirt that they were darker than the urine stained mattresses ! On pulling the beds away from the wall there was so much dust under the beds that the carpets looked grey.
The duty manager was confronted and shown the state of the room and said we could leave but had to forfeit our deposit of £129. After explaining that we had travelled 4 hours and that the hotel had failed to supply suitable accommodation, not to mention that our 7 year old was in floods of tears as she was looking forward to the craft facilities, he finally agreed to give us a full refund. There was also a scrum like atmosphere in the activity booking room , and it was not possible to do all activities as there were limited spaces on each one.
We left the hotel and tried to re-plan a holiday that had been booked since January.
You really do need to know what a disgrace the cleanliness of this hotel is, and PLEASE check your mattress and pillows if you decide to stay there!!!

Room Tip: DONT STAY if you do check your mattress and pillows !
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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21  Thank prh727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManorAshbury, General Manager at Manor House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2012

Dear prh727,

I am sorry you were not happy with the room you had booked at the Manor House Hotel.

I have spoken with the duty manager who dealt with you on your arrival. He agreed that it could have been cleaner underneath the beds and that it probably hadn’t been vacuumed in that area for a few days. This is something that is being addressed with housekeeping.

We have a policy of replacing all mattresses that guests have accidents on. I can assure you the mattresses were not urine stained.

Our pillows are replaced regularly and are always covered with a pillow protector before the pillow case is fitted.

We are an AA 2 star rated hotel and this rating is awarded on our bedrooms and service and not our facilities. We are however; always striving to improve our standards and cleanliness to ensure that our guests enjoy a comfortable stay with us.

I believe your comments that the ‘cleanliness of the hotel is a disgrace’ are unfair and off the mark. We appreciate that we have some updating to undergo in some of our older bedrooms but as you can see from many of the comments on this site, previous guests have commented positively on the cleanliness of the hotel.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Brint

Co-General Manager

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Reviewed 4 August 2012

Manor house hotel

I visited the 2 hotel complex in mid July with 5 other mature male golfer for a four day golfing break.

The hotel was very well run, clean and provided all the amenities a family or social group would need for a mini break.

The staff were all very attentive and tried really hard to provide a first class service.

I guess I had a few reservations having read a few earlier reviews.

Have to say restaurant exceeded our expectations. Breakfast was buffet style but quality and quantity was great. Had lunch over at Ashbury hotel and the food and venue was great. Evening meals back at Manor house were very good, menu was a little limited, however the hotel did offer an al-carte option but none of us selected it. Hotel provided free bottle of wine between 2 on a Sunday and a Thursday and there normal wine list was very reasonably priced.
The deserts were very good if a little basis. THe salad bar choices were excellent which we all enjoyed either as a starter or main course.

To sum up the food was well cooked and there was a reasonable variety for all tastes.

All the lounges  had big tv showing Sky options and I was blown away by all the options available from early morning to night.

Manor house hotel is a better base for families and the Ashbury is better if you are coming for only a golfing break.

If I had a negative for me it was the single room at top of the hotel. The room was small and  claustrophobic  and the  single bed was minimum single bed size and the quite just covered the top of the bed. The bath room was even worse.  Too compound issues the heating system / boiler was very near by. 

Too be fair it was a small room but it was clean and would have been fine for a child or young person. Maybe I was just unlucky as other people in our group ended up with large family rooms and most of us had opted for single rooms.

The golf facilities were excellent with courses for all abilities. A great place for beginners to learn on junior courses. Buggies were easy to access and well maintained. Shame weather was so bad, to hotels credit the course was not closed and coped well with traffic.  Possible danger is that volume of visitors will result in 5 hour games with a buggy which is due to a lot of non-regular golfers not understanding basic etiquette of golf, more steward would improve this minor negative.

Have to say the break represented great value for money.

Room Tip: Avoid top floor at Manor House Hotel
  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank KetteringTimbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Manor House Hotel

Address: 30 A 386, approximately 2 miles north of the junction with the A, Fowley Cross EX20 4NA, 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 — Manor House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 203
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Manor House and Ashbury Hotels are situated on the foothills of the Dartmoor National Park in West Devon. Set in over 600 acres of beautiful countryside, we believe the hotels have the highest level of facilities in the UK. With all our breaks exclusively FULL BOARD you are guaranteed great value. Golf is included FREE on 99 holes, giving the option of 7 eighteen hole golf courses which vary in length from Kigbeare at 6528 yards Par 72 to the Willows Par3 course at 1939 yards. Some of the other facilities available FREE of charge to all residents include 8 indoor and 5 outdoor Tennis courts, 13 indoor Bowls rinks, 8 Badminton courts, 3 Swimming pools with spa facilities, 10 lanes of 10 pin bowling, 20 Snooker tables, and Target ranges featuring Archery, Air Pistols and Air Rifles. Our "Fun House" is a fantastic 300 sq metre soft adventure play area set over 3 levels with astra slide, tube slides, ball pool and much more! Our Gameszone offers hours of entertainment for the kids with Xbox / Playstations, pool tables, air hockey, dance stage and more! PLUS 4 FLUME WATER SLIDE COMPLEX! Our unique Craft Centres offer 17 tutored crafts including Pottery, Glass Engraving, Enameling, Hot Press Printing and Woodwork. All of these crafts feature expert tuition with minimal cost prices applied. With the huge choice of sport, craft and leisure facilities available, you will have a truly amazing break that won't be easily forgotten. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Manor Hotel Fowley Cross
Manor House Hotel Devon/Fowley Cross

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