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“Outstanding Boutique Hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Hartnoll Hotel

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The Hartnoll Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Tiverton
Certificate of Excellence
New Fairfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
472 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
“Outstanding Boutique Hotel”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2011

I knew the Hartnoll many years ago, so to go back after such a long time was always going to be interesting for me. What I didn't imagine was what a superbly restored, friendly, high-quality (but reasonable priced) boutique hotel the Hartnoll has become. This small country house hotel only has 18 double rooms, but you are going to feel more at home than you can possibly imagine.

I was greeted by the owner herself, Claire Carter, who was on reception duty the evening that I arrived and personally shown to my room. Claire has placed her personal imprint on everything within the hotel, but unlike some owners who go overboard with their self-indulgence, Claire has just managed to strike the right balance in terms of taste and quality.

I didn't have dinner there, but I did have breakfast and I can honestly say that it was one of the very finest "Full English" breakfasts I have ever had - anywhere. Fried eggs, fried bread, baked beans, tomato, hash brown, mushroom, black pudding, sumptuous sausage and the finest possible cuts of British bacon. All perfectly cooked, piping hot and beautifully presented. I recommend having breakfast in the light and airy conservatory.

My room included a proper "wet room"/walk-in open shower and plenty of soft white towels. The beds are not only supremely comfortable but the fresh white duvets (continental quilts) are like wrapping yourself in fluffy clouds. Exceptional comfort.

I am lucky enough to be able to stay in some of the top hotels around the world, but for sheer comfort, friendliness and quality, I cannot praise the Hartnoll highly enough. Quite simply, this is an outstanding boutique hotel.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CastawayKnight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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356 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2011


First impressions of the Hartnoll make it a gem, settled just off the North Devon link road merely moments from Tiverton and junction 27 of the M5. It nestles nicely near to both Dartmoor and Exmoor, allowing a rich range of suppliers to provide fantastic local produce for this hotel.

To explain our group of 22 consisted of 18 adults, 3 children and 1 infant. We had booked our table over a month ago as we were a large family gathering to celebrate an 80th birthday. Requesting 'the conservatory' as the Hartnoll does not allow children to dine in the restaurant after 8pm, so cake, balloons etc all organised and during the day we call to confirm that the table will now be 20 guests in total, one in a highchair.

Upon arrival no high chair in sight, one member of the family is queried as to whether they have reserved a table, confirming that yes, with the large family in the conservatory. Menus were brought to us at 7:05 along with a specials menu with a wide range of food available to suit all and a child's menu was also requested as all are below 14 years of age.

So after all making into the room set aside we began sitting at the table now that the 2 disclosed earlier unable to attend having place settings removed and then requesting an arm chair for a guest and that we also have a high chair as requested on reservation, and  soon we were placing our orders. Noting that the waiter did not clear cutlery as he went, but did proceed to clear the menus this was all very prompt and crisp  and a short while later returning to check who had starters and clear disused cutlery. Meanwhile also noting a sharp disapproving look from a maitre d at an infant entering with another party. The Childrens meals came with starters as requested alongside bread for all, however after clearing starters, relaying main cutlery for those requiring alternatives and being served said Main Course our experience went rapidly downhill. At no time during our meal did anyone see whether everything was ok, a member of waiting staff returning with the correct potatoes for the Duck as the kitchen had sent it incorrectly, with no real comment made, giving the potato as stated and disappearing into the restaurant. Once all had finished and clearing of our table began our 'host' enquired whether it be possible to see a dessert menu being very abruptly told 'you can see one when everyone is cleared', not a polite response considering the average cost of a main course, and of course you pay for fine food and good service. Prior to all plates being cleared desert menus were given out, and in fact many side plates were left on the table as were cruet sets, nor was anybody's dessert cutlery brought down for dining. So that was it we were left until our pre arranged cake appeared, merely dropped in front of our host with no well wish, nor more to the point any knife, side plates or napkins. Assuming they would be promptly brought to us, but nothing, staff then disappeared from complete view, our waitress appearing approximately 25 minutes later to enquire whether anybody wanted desert or coffee. The majority of us deciding that after our wait throughout the meal, the rudeness of the waitress and lack of general attentiveness we would pass on both counts.

Don't get me wrong the food was fantastic, everyone commenting on how delicious it was, however it was duly noted at how bad our service was. It really did feel like we were merely numbers or a complete inconvenience, maybe we were both. To the point that 10 of the guests decided that they were not remotely impressed with the service nor attitude of staff and of course with this being an industry run on hospitality the Hartnoll really does lack in customer service. Furthermore on a business side the lack of attentiveness would affect any chance to up sell  or to reap any reward from repeat business, we certainly were put off and I for one shall not be returning.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank apriliamgt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newton Abbot
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2011

I recently stayed here to attend a friends wedding, after reading some negative comments i felt compelled to write. I am a coeliac and and i cannot recommend how fantastic this hotel loooked after me, not only providing me with warm delicious gluten free rolls to accompany the meal but the most fantastic trio of desserts. They even suplyed more bread for the evening hog roast!. The room we stayed in was fantasic everything you needed from bath robes, water, tea making faciities. The morning breakfast was also to a high standard. I am local to this hotel and would definately stay here again for a romantic get away weekend. This was one of the best venues for a wedding that i have been to.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NichyNewtonAbbot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hatfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2011

We stayed here in July 2010, and I've just remembered to write a review. Overall the hotel was lovely. The building is beautiful, the gardens are really nice, and the room was great - not huge, but certainly not the smallest we have stayed in. Breakfast was also delicious (fantastic scrambled eggs and smoked salmon). However, we did experience a few issues. First of all, the room we stayed in was en suite but there was transparent glass (ie, not opaque in any way) rather than a wall. My husband and I are close, but neither of us have any desire to be that close! It meant one of us had to leave the room when the other wanted to use the toilet. I'm not entirely sure why they didn't just put in obscured glass, or a wall. The other issue was the fact that the room was right above the kitchens and so once the kitchen staff had finished work they congregated outside our room to smoke and chat. Not a problem, but it was a warm night and they weren't quiet. We were surprised no one thought it might be sensible to gather away from the hotel, or alternatively keep it down slightly. Other than those issues, we would recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Try and avoid the rooms at the back of the building, above the kitchen.
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  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Principessaleah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hartnollhotel21, Owner at The Hartnoll Hotel, responded to this review, 29 July 2011
I do apologise about the disturbance you experienced from the kitchen staff, I have brought this to their attention and they were also most apologetic and had not realised that their exuberance had carried that far, so apologies from them also. On the glass wall subject: we do have 'normal rooms' and I wish I or reception had been aware that you were not happy with your accommodation, we would have done all we could to have given you another room. Thank you very much for giving us a review, we ALWAYS use these, whether good or bad so your points have been well and truly noted. Claire Carter
Proprietor
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
northampton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2011

After reading their description of the hotel we believed that it was on par with the majority of Bijou or Boutique hotels in which we have stayed.

On arrival we passed an abandoned vacuum cleaner in the hallway and further down had to stop for a cleaner to pass dragging a large black rubbish bag. At the desk we were advised that, as they had been very busy, the room was not quite ready due to two pillow cases not being ironed. This was 45 minutes after official check-in time. It was not a good first impression.

Our room was decorated to a high standard and quite beautiful. The en-suite however, although decorated well, was let down by huge cobwebs in corners and thick dust on all shelving and an ornament on the window cill. The shower requires cleaning to the grouting which appears to have mould stains.

There was not a menu in the room, no details of any room service and no signs to place on the door i.e.'do not disturb or clean room'.

Our breakfast and evening meals were exquisite. We took the time to visit the chef and compliment him and his staff following our first evenings meal. In our opinion the staff in the restaurant were, in the main, very inexperienced with the exception of a Portugese waiter who was brilliant. For the price and quality of the meal the service provided by this waiter is what one would expect. The waitresses were friendly enough and attentive however some of their outfits were stained and too short and almost each time they served a course it was accompanied by 'there you go'.

For each evening meal no area was offered for us to sit in and browse the menu with aperitifs, we had to ask on the second evening if we could sit in the lounge which is more comfortable than the bar area. There seemed to be no leadership or customer service skills with the exception, once again, of the Portugese waiter.

It is described as being ' nestled on the edge of Exmoor National Park' where in truth it is just feet away from a busy road both day and night. We were also disturbed by many doors banging, loud voices and laughter from other guests following a function held downstairs.

On checking out we asked to have an itemised bill as we had not been asked to sign any chit after each meal. The last evenings meal breakdown was missing and we were informed that 'this is always happening'. There were drinks attributed to our table which were not ours. This was easliy resolved. At no time during the check out process were we asked if everything had been to our satisfaction. Had we been asked we would have provided the feedback contained herein.

Although all of the above are minor to insignificant items in their own right, when taking in to consideration the Hartnoll Hotels' brochure stating it has 'exemplary customer service' and 'perfect boutique country house hotel' status we feel that, for us, it fell short of the mark and was definately overpriced from our experience.

Would we stay again? - If it were just based on to the food and the exemplary service of the Portugese waiter probably yes but unfortunately we do not believe that the majority of other items are 'one offs' therefore we would not take a chance and waste our money again.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pabaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hartnollhotel21, Owner at The Hartnoll Hotel, responded to this review, 29 July 2011
Thank you for your recently posted review. I am very sorry we were unable to fulfill your expectations and we should have done. I am grateful that you have pointed out things that you felt let us down and these comments have been acted upon already. We have been extraordinarily busy recently and I have to admit that we were struggling to cope, particularly in the housekeeping department, this has been rectified now with a new member of staff and additional items on the check lists.
We do not wish to be too formal with our service, so our customers feel a bit more relaxed and I have to say that the huge majority of our guests like this. I wish it were possible to please all of our guests 100% of the time. But we do try all of the time.
Your review is appreciated and every word of it has been noted and is being used in staff training next week with Nelson our lovely Matre'd.
I apologise again for letting you and ourselves down during your stay but thank you for pointing out these issues. Best wishes. Claire Carter. Proprietor
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2011

We had a great day celebrating my Mums 90th Birhtday, the Head Waiter and Staff were superb they were very friendly,and helpful. The accomodation was good we stayed in the building away from the Hotel which we were unsure of at first but proved to be very good and we were not distrubed by the wedding celebration that were going on the same day that night. The bedrooms are very nicely decorated and the attention to detail is lovely.

The food was great and we will come back again to either stay or just come to the Restaurant.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 186338Daniel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ENGLAND -
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2011

After having read some reviews on TripAdvisor, on booking i requested that we were not placed in the concrete block, as previous reviewers had expressed a disturbed night's sleep due to the proximity of the busy road. On booking we stated that we would be bringing a dog and ideally we would like to stay in the main house, as my husband had an important sporting event the next day and wanted to get a good night's sleep. We were informed that our room had not been allocated yet and despite making another phone call to check that we weren't being placed in the concrete block, on arrival we found out that we were in the block. If it is the case that all dogs are placed in the block, then this should have been explained to us when we booked our room and in fairness, then we probably would not have booked. That aside, our room was furnished very tastefully and to a high standard. The room was very small and the glass panel separating the toilet from the bed was slightly off putting, especially as the glass door did not close properly. We dined in the restaurant and i must say that the food was amazing. The staff were also very professional and polite.

Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank olivia2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Hartnoll Hotel

Property: The Hartnoll Hotel
Address: Bolham, Tiverton EX16 7RA, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Tiverton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Tiverton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Hartnoll Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award-winning Hartnoll Hotel is nestled on the edge of the Exmoor National Park, in the delightful Exe Valley in Devon. With stunning decor, sumptuous fabrics, plenty of space to relax, eat and drink and exemplary customer service, it is the perfect place to relax with friends and family or meet with colleagues Each of the Hartnoll Hotel's 18 superior double rooms offers elegance and comfort. Our comfortable and spacious bedroom's have en-suite bathroom facilities and are fully equipped to the highest modern standards. Many enjoy spectacular countryside views. Attention to detail is the key at the Hartnoll Hotel, with Egyptian cotton sheets, plush duvets, plump fluffy towels, complimentary toiletries and luxurious toweling dressing gowns are perfect for an indulgent night of pampering. We offer a full breakfast with all our room rates, which can be taken in the conservatory, so you can sip freshly ground coffee in the warmth of Devon sunshine. Why not end your day with a glass of wine in the sitting room, where guests can sit back, relax and enjoy Devon hospitality at its best - Hartnoll style. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Hartnoll Hotel Tiverton, UK - Devon

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