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Dartington Hall Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Dartington B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 May 2014

I stayed at Dartington Hall for two nights for my sons wedding which was in the Hall...for this i couldn't give it more praise ..the organisation was great and staff were very helpful and it was all managed beautifully in great surroundings ..The hotel staff also couldn't have been more helpful and friendly ..The rooms are quirky but well equipped ..not suitable for everyone though as the layouts are idiosyncratic as it is an ancient building..the breakfasts were good with an endless supply of coffee and good hot food...My only quibble was the evening meal in the pub/bar which was also well cooked and tasty but a bit too gastro ...small portions and large plates ...I went away ...peckish..in comparison to the repast at the wedding which was super...

Room Tip: specify what you need before you go in my room the 2 beds where at opposite ends and a different ang...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank n3dsd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tej W, General Manager at Dartington Hall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2014

Dear n3dsd

Thank you for your recent review, I am pleased to hear that you had a wonderful experience with us, and enjoyed your son’s wedding with family and friends.

I have discussed your comments with regards to the dinner at White Hart with our newly appointed head chef.

We look forward to welcoming you for your next stay.

Kindest regards

Tej

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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701 - 707 of 941 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2014

we have stayed at darting ton several times we love it.so when my daughter and husband needed a place to stay near high week this seemed just the spot.We stayed two weeks prior to their visit when we had a nice meal with my son and his wife.we made friends with a couple staying to celebrate their first wedding anniversary,married at darting ton last year.food good,staff helpful and friendly,

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank sandra w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tej W, General Manager at Dartington Hall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2014

Dear Sandra W

Thank you for your recent review, it’s good to hear that you recommended Dartington Hall for your daughter’s first wedding anniversary. I have passed on your complements to the team.

I am always striving to improve the property and I do hope that you with your family and friends will return to us in the future when it will be my pleasure to welcome you.

Kindest regards

Tej

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Reviewed 27 April 2014

We stayed here on the night of our 10th wedding anniversary as it was convenient from home. What a disappointment. The gardens and the venue is fabulous. However that is where it stops. The room on first glance looked well appointed and then we realised that the T.V. couldn't be seen from the bed.

We had told the hotel on booking that this was our anniversary and apparently a note was going to be put on our file, but there was no special welcome. We were taken part way to our room and the rest was indicated.

Our meal was so poor. Some of the worst food I have ever had and on complaining we were pretty much ignored, soggy chips, blue steak, my pudding came in what looked like a dog bowl. None of this would matter if the venue and menu didn't over hype themselves as serving triple cooked chips with white truffle oil dusted tomatoes etc......its the difference between expectation and reality that was the biggest disappointment.

Apart from the opportunity to check this out for ourselves and have a romantic night away (impossible with the noise from fans at the back of our room) we had wanted to see if this would be suitable for friends and family to stay at. We will not be recommending it at all. Especially not for food.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Purplepawpaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tej W, General Manager at Dartington Hall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear Purplepawpaw

Thank you for your comments and I am sorry to hear that your stay with us was not up to your satisfaction.

I have noted your comments about the inconsistencies and would like to assure you that I am always striving to improve the property and I do hope that you return to us in the future when it will be my pleasure to welcome you.

We have recently appointed a new Head Chef who is currently writing new menus to be launched soon.

I look forward to welcoming you back to Dartington Hall and would welcome your comments about your next visit.

Kindest regards

Tej

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Reviewed 27 April 2014

I’ve just organized an international workshop at Dartington Hall with speakers and participants from many parts of the world. This needed different function rooms set up in different ways and the close attention to detail by the Planning and Events Team, led in our case by Christine Barnaby were just great. Many of the bedrooms are elegant and newly refurbished, and being part of a medieval Manor, the function rooms were particularly interesting for our overseas participants. The spring gardens in full bloom, along with views of the river Dart flowing down the valley were lovely. What’s not to like!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
Thank totmax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tej W, General Manager at Dartington Hall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2014

Dear totmax

Thank you for your recent review, it’s good to hear that your event was a success. I have passed on your complement to the team.

I am always striving to improve the property and I do hope that you return to us in the future when it will be my pleasure to welcome you.

Kindest regards

Tej

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Reviewed 26 April 2014

Believe me I am loathed to complain about any establishment that raises money for the arts; I'm a writer! So gladly applaud what Dartington Trust is attempting to achieve at the Hall, which is set in the most beautiful grounds, with astounding views and fabulous local amenities etc. Totnes for one is one of my favourite places on this planet.

I also used to live in Torbay for over a decade so Dartington Hall is a place that I know well; I recall the days of walking around the grounds when full of students. Enjoying watching someone play the cello on the lawn; hearing music, poetry and laughter etc. It was always felt like a very relaxed, boho place for creative, spiritual, peace and quiet seeking people.

So when I returned on business this weekend, I was so excited about staying at Dartington Hall, but have to share in the hope things improve my vast disappointment with this place.

The arrival at reception should have been a warning sign. The dark carpet looked like it hadn't been vacuumed for weeks; covered in cruel; rest of the area looked dusty and unclean. First impressions!

No help to carry luggage to rooms! So okay, I accepted this as I tried to slip back into my younger boho days in going with the flow.

Arrived at the West Wing; again the carpet looked not only thread bare and dirty, but covered in crud, dust and dirt. Again, tried to go with the flow thinking that the place may be frequented by walkers so bound to get dirty! (However, establishments I've visited in the Lakes for that purpose get round this by suggesting guests don't wear outdoor shoes inside! Offer a place to hang coats and store boots).

To get to the top floor you have to wind around small corridors with luggage, up fairly tight steps through various glass partition doors etch with the Trust logo. Every glass pane was absolutely covered in dust; every walkway, every surface simply dirty. Can't blame that on walking boots surely. My heart was sinking fast. I suffer from asthma and cleanliness is key for me!

Got to my room, exhausted from travel and carrying case up flights of steps; could have simply burst into tears at the huge disappointment. The room looked relatively pleasant but it was dusty, I could feel it prickling my eyes and my lungs immediately. The carpet again looked like it needed vacuuming. Wool cushions and blankets are not helpful either; dust traps. I have stayed in lots of old hotels and know they don't necessarily have to be associated with lots of dust. I can imagine this room was cleaned on the previous tenants departure but not touched since perhaps.

I couldn't bare the thought of my naked feet touching the carpet especially as it would mean walking across the dirty corridor to get to my 'private bathroom'. When booking we always select deluxe rooms and so are not sure how we ended up with standard rooms. While I am willing to accept this was an oversight on our part ie. two rooms booked, the 'private bathroom' wording was certainly misinterpreted by ourselves. We did not realise this meant a bathroom along a corridor! So still trying to go with the flow… I was willing to do this for a couple of nights.

But the bathroom offered a shower that looked pre-1970s dirty, with rust and mould marks, tarnished fixtures and fittings; another place I simply didn't want to use.

I rechecked the website and regardless of each room type, it isn't clear which rooms are en-suite; it seems a bit pot luck or really really check your booking before paying. Don't get confused by the 'private bathroom' category as we did.

Returned to my room; the dust and dirt made my wheezing bad. I'm on quite strong medication too… so shows how bad!

So I return to my comment that this is more hostel and hotel, because it is! If I had paid to attend say a writers or spiritual retreat, which included full or half board this is the kind of accommodation, a little bit studenty… that I would accept and feel is fine for such an event. However, I hasten to add I would still have gone into Totnes to buy cleaning products so make sure the room was clean enough for me…. and asked to use the vacuum myself. A standard a feel should be available to all guests regardless of ailments!

However, arriving expecting a boutique hotel… which is worded somewhere…. this is a vast stretch of the imagination. Even calling it a hotel is a bit of a stretch really… as it is truly more comfortable hostel in style. So if I'd booked here for a romantic getaway I would have been even more devastated.

A friend called to tell me that one of the biggest spiritual conventions was taking place on the evening I was staying; some big speakers. I went to find out more at reception. Politely allowed a couple checking in to go before me… even though I arrived and waited first. They didn't bother to say 'thank you…' Rude! To then have to deal with an unhelpful member of staff who had no idea about said convention. She simply checked her own What's On access to the site and even though I suggested a Google search, didn't bother. I gave up!

The White Hart does little to save the day; see separate post.

So instead of staying two nights, we left without staying one! And guess what, there is no one on reception to discuss a possible better room/change over to a room with a bathroom. I think I saw the reception woman leave around 8.00pm, but assumed she would be replaced by someone else? So again, this is not how a hotel is operated.

Hugely disappointed. While I appreciate the need for a place to be cost effective and to stay affordable to visiting artists etc… surely it would be still financially viable to use this fantastic location for a more upmarket boutique hotel; take on more staff and cleaners. Charge higher rates for city break weekends for people like myself… but then keep the costs down during creative etc., workshop periods. Do the reverse of cashing in on peak periods?

Or at least try it out with some of the rooms. But the White Hart would also need to improve.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank Sally E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tej W, General Manager at Dartington Hall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear Sally E

Thank you very much for your detailed feedback. It is clear from your review that you didn’t enjoy any part of your stay at Dartington Hall including the location.

I am surprised to read your comments on trip advisor as the Duty Manager and I were available during your stay. I am also astonished to the fact that you had gone in great length to review your stay but didn’t fee itl important to speak to anyone at the time face to face or email me or call me with regards to your comments as my contact details are placed in every room to encourage people to forward their constructive feedback to me.

Please do contact me directly to discuss your review.

Kindest Regards

Tej

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Reviewed 25 April 2014

Great communication before arrival. Friendly receptionist and lovely little quirky room. Corridors reminded me of a youth hostel, but then it doesn't claim to be a hotel! Sadly weather was dreadful so didn't get to explore the beautiful surroundings. Dinner was very good and hadn't expected the pub to be what it was. Had great atmosphere but I would suggest you get a seat in the bar area otherwise people are walking in and out past your table. Breakfast was rather a shambles in terms of missing things like sugar, plates and food but would we go back - yes probably. Just a shame that the last impression wasn't a good one.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank YMBTaunton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tej W, General Manager at Dartington Hall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2014

Dear YMBTaunton

Thank you for your recent review, I am pleased to hear that you had a wonderful experience with us, and enjoyed our facilities.

I have discussed your comments with regards to the breakfast buffet with the relevant team for improvements.

We look forward to welcoming you for your next stay, hopefully with much better weather.

Kindest regards

Tej

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2014

Yes, this is how I felt after one night of a planned three night stay in this award winning hotel. I realised that if I were very small, could climb numerous staircases, could duck under the beams in an attic bedroom, use the toilet while crouched under a low sloping ceiling and crawl over the end of the bed because there was no room to approach from the sides then I could well fit into this hotel. Staff, management and design showed a complete lack of care, courtesy or consideration for a disabled guest. I was even bullied, verbally abused and threatened by a fellow guest who snatched the last available disabled parking space right in front of me although he was not disabled but who told me with a torrent of abuse that he had been told in reception to park there and that the disabled were useless people.
On arrival we were directed to a room along narrow corridors through heavy fire doors and up and down many steps with no offer of help with luggage. I ran a bath but it filled with a dark brown sludge. As reception was on answerphone my husband walked back to the desk and was offered an alternative room. We packed and moved to the tiny attic room described in my opening paragraph.
After less than 24 hours of our visit and after my encounter with the bullying guest in the car park we asked to see the manager, who offered us yet another room change, a soothing cup of tea and a partial refund. Unable to face further upheaval,hostility from staff and a fellow guest we opted to leave. How can a reputable hotel treat a disabled guest with such contempt when at the time of booking we had made clear that I am registered disabled.
My birthday weekend was ruined, my confidence shattered and my ability to trust a hotel when booking seriously undermined.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lynn c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tej W, General Manager at Dartington Hall Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 May 2014

Dear Lynn c

Further to your comments regarding your stay with us I have investigated your booking and unfortunately we were not made aware that you require disable facility prior to your arrival. Due to the age and restrictions of the building unfortunately we are limited in alternatives which we can offer and the hotel was fully booked on that evening. We have procedures in place to ensure that if we are aware of a disabled guest attending they are pre-allocated the accessible room.

I can assure you that under no circumstances would a member of Dartington Hall advise a guest to park in the Disabled bays and we actually have parking attendants who will place a ticket on any car unauthorised to park there.

I can not comment on the fellow guest you mentioned as none of the staff witnessed this and if they did we would have certainly moved them on to enable you to park, but I am sorry that you had to encounter this.

I do hope that this one off experience will not deter you from returning to Dartington Hall in the future.

Kindest regards

Tej

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Additional Information about Dartington Hall Hotel

Address: The Elmhirst Centre, Dartington, Totnes TQ9 6EL, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Totnes > Dartington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Dartington
Price Range: £64 - £145 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Dartington Hall Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dartington Hall is a grade 1 listed property set within a 1200 acre private estate. Our bedrooms are located around the 14th century medieval courtyard offering a mix of heritage and comfort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dartington Hall Hotel Dartington
Dartington Hall Hotel Devon

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