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“Short break in March” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Sandy Cove Hotel

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Sandy Cove Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Old Coast Road | Combe Martin Bay, Berrynarbor, Berrynarbor EX34 9SR, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Berrynarbor
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Short break in March”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We booked the day before after seeing their excellent web site. On arrival we were shocked as it was shabby and rundown. We had tried to book their best room but it was taken so we settled for the second best. We were directed to our room with no offer of help with our cases, we had to find our way through a maze of small grubby passages. the room itself was clean enough but extremely small, certainly not worth the £85 ppn db+b. We went back to reception and said it was not suitable, we asked about our £100 pound deposit paid the day before, and the receptionist said someone would ring us on Monday about returning it. After several return calls and a quite abusive manager who said we didn't give him chance to put things right (How when the best room was taken ? And our complaint was about the state of the place.)we realised we were getting nowhere with him we gave in.

Our advice to anyone would be not to be influenced by the web site, reality is a great disappointment.

As it turned out they did us a favour, we went further around the coast and found a 4* Brend Group Hotel. What a difference, clean, very well managed, excellent food and cheaper.

Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
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230 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cornwall, United Kingdom
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We booked a 2 night stay here at Sandy Cove Hotel. When we drove in, a steep incline to the car park, a few pot holes, could do with filling in. Checked in at reception and made our way to our seaview room, an amazing view. The room was clean, in the bathroom there was a shower over the bath, not a lot of hot water pressure in the shower. In the dining room there was a bit of a wait for food, in the evening and at breakfast, some of the staff I felt were not very efficient. At breakfast one morning had to ask for coffee and there were no refills offered. When the food arrived it was good. This hotel is in an excellent position with amazing views, get good trained staff and it could be so much more.

Room Tip: Recommend a seaview room, the view is amazing.
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Just returned from Devon. 4nts.Booked as a last minute trip....BB& Evening meal....Great value...Was looking for a hotel that would accept Dog's......So glad I found Sandy Cove Hotel......Had room 7. A large room and a very large bathroom, The bed was 2 singles together it was very comfortable. It was amazing to open the curtains and face a fabulous view.. The staff were very good a special mention is Alex & Julie, two of the waitresses who advised me on best walks to take "Daisy" ....Also the food was good especially the pud's.....Apple crumble,sticky toffee pud,& the gingerbread......After having long walks to near by beaches it was great to have a swim and sauna in the newly refurbished unit....Its somewhere I will definitely re visit.would have stayed longer but hotel was Full due to a wedding.....

Room Tip: Room 7 is top of stairs good if you have a dog for easy access.....Only thing is you will hear peopl...
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Letcombe Regis, OXON
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

My wife and I decided to have a 'long weekend' away for my birthday in April and, having decided on Ilfracombe, we searched for a nice hotel out in the country by the coast. The Sandy Cove matched the bill perfectly, especially when we discovered a special offer of a B&B with '4 course a-la-carte dining' included. We both enjoy good food so, despite the cost being a bit higher than we expected, we decided to book for three nights.

There were many good points; the reception staff were efficient and checked us in early, even though we were aware that 'official' check in was not until 15:00. Our room, number 35, was of a good size with a double bed, basic but functional furniture and en-suite with bath / shower, etc. Fantastic views from the window overlooking the Bay - it helped that the weather was absolutely perfect and you could see for miles. Kettle and coffee making facilities, good tv on the wall, hair dryer, free safe available, plenty of hangers in the wardrobe, iron and ironing board - very well equipped. We were told that the free Wi-Fi would only work in the 'public' rooms but found that it worked fine in our bedroom - very pleasant sitting in one of the armchairs looking out to sea and reading my online paper.

The shower was a bit chilly as was the room, however playing around with the radiator soon warmed the place up and leaving the shower to run for a minute or two seemed to give us a bit of hot water. These were minor issues and at no time did we feel the need to involve the staff or ask for assistance - the room was more than adequate and the bed, although firm, offered a good nights sleep. No sound of seagulls through the double glazing!

Our issue was with the food; we went down to dinner on the first evening and were served some olives with what can best be described as stale bread. We both had Mussels for starters but these were 'stuck' to both sides of the shell when opened; we were informed by a fellow diner than this probably indicated they were not fresh. We then both had the Beef Skirt however this appeared to have been heated up, as mine was quite hot whilst my wifes was cool and even cold in places. She did point this out to the waitress but was informed that the Chef said this was normal for 'slow cooked' beef (?); we decided not to make a fuss and she just left it. No real vegetables as such and precious little gravy, so very dry. Desserts were very nice and actually looked like they do on the web pages, beautifully presented. Oh well, hopefully better the next evening.

We had a very good nights sleep and then went down to breakfast. A good selection of cereal and yoghurts, plus coffee / tea etc. A toaster in the room let you make your own toast and there was plenty of bread. We both went for items from the 'Full English' breakfast including poached eggs, bacon, vegetarian sausage, hash browns, beans and mushrooms. Our eggs were both underdone (practically raw with clear egg white in the middle) and the other items were very greasy. We made some toast and cut off the egg whites, having just the yolk on toast and ate what we could of the rest. The vegetarian sausage was surprisingly good.

That evening, after a long day on the coast, we went down to dinner and noticed that the menu was exactly the same, this time with a 'special' of Salmon. As we had had fish for lunch, we decided to try something different and I had the chicken wrapped in ham whilst my wife had the duck. Although slightly better than the night before, the food was still woefully short of what I would describe as 'a la carte' dining and there was no real presentation of the food at all. Once again mine was totally dry (chicken would normally be moist and steaming) so I asked if I could have some gravy - my wife and I shared it as her duck suffered the same fate. The desserts were as before, albeit a family limited choice unless you like very sweet items.

The next 2 x breakfasts were of the same disappointing quality - scrambled eggs that reminded me of the song 'Rubber Ball' - but we were not that bothered about breakfast - some toast and marmalade and a bowl of muesli is sufficient for us both. The final evening we were there (my birthday) we were presented with the same menu again - no changes except now even the Salmon had been taken off! We both ended up having food we weren't that interested in (I went back to the Beef) as our favourite choices had already been tried. The puddings on this occasion were not so good so we left them; again, very dry 'brownie' with ice cream. I didn't get the feeling that there much in the way of fresh ingredients being used and that we were being given the left-overs from the night before. Very disappointing.

The hotel itself is in a fantastic position, the staff were very pleasant and helpful (especially reception) and gave us good advice about the Coastal Path walks we could try. The room was very nice with a great view and we did manage to see one of the other bedrooms as well - smaller than ours but still looked more than adequate. Our disappointment was with the food and yet this had been one of the main reasons for our booking - and agreeing to pay £180.00 per night for the two of us. I did consider challenging the cost due to the quality of the food but, all in all, we had a lovely few days and I didn't want things to end on a sour note. We paid our bill, took a couple of more photos of the lovely views and left.

We did speak to some other guests in the evening - there is a lovely 'lounge' area to have your coffee or drinks after your meal - and received the same sort of feedback from a lot of them. Several were 'returning' guests, having stayed before; all mentioned that they thought the food quality had gone down since their last visit. Maybe this was just a glitch - the usual Chef on holiday? - but this issue must be addressed or it will reflect on what is, otherwise, a lovely hotel.

Room Tip: A sea view is a must - I doubt any hotel has a view to match this in England
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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SandycoveDevon, Manager at Sandy Cove Hotel, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Thank you for taking the time to write a review and we are very glad that you enjoyed your stay. We are sorry that our food was not to your taste, we are however sorry if you have misunderstood certain elements. Since your last visit, we have gained a prestigious AA rosette award for food, this means that we have stopped the carvery style menus that we used to run. We always use totally fresh, locally sourced produce and now even make fresh bread daily. We are sorry that you thought the bread was stale, but it had actually been freshly baked on the day, we also use only local Devon fresh mussels so we do understand what you are saying. The blade of beef is normally extremely popular, it is a dish that is very slow cooked over many hours to make it very succulent , the chicken dish does not have gravy (although the chef would have made gravy if you had asked), it was actually a red wine jus and again, if you had only asked, the chef would have given you more. The menu included is actually an A la Carte menu, which changes seasonally but does actually give a choice of 7 starters, 7 main-courses and 7 desserts; on two of the days, the chef had actually added a special to the menu in addition to these choices. We are very sorry if this was not to your taste, but as you will see from the majority of reviews and also from the 2 either side of yours which were from people staying around the same time as yourselves, we do normally have a great deal of positive feedback on our food. We are very sorry not to have come up to your expectations, if you had only told us you were unhappy, we would have done our utmost to rectify anything for you. We do hope to meet you again in the future.
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Truro, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Recommended by friends who usually visit twice a year and we weren't disappointed. The place has a lovely relaxed & friendly atmosphere and staff can't do enough to help it seems.
The food was fantastic, a great choice & great taste & presentation, we were very impressed. Our room was lovely and had an amazing sea view. Definitely worth paying the extra for a sea view room. Our room didn't have a hairdryer but as soon as we told reception, they very quickly found one for us. The dining room and bar area seemed newly refurbished but the lounge does look a little tired but this in no way affected our stay. The swimming pool was great and there was a sauna, steam room and heated relaxation loungers which were lovely. We went to the secluded cove just behind the hotel and it was beautiful even though there were about 200 steps down to it!! but well worth the effort. We will return and will recommend this place to our friends and family.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wadebridge, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Our stay this time was as wonderful as all the other times, we feel we found a real treasure in this place and it's like a home from home for us. This time we did book on a last minute bed & breakfast rate and feel it would have been useful to have a special price for a 2 course a la carte meal, our only other criticism is that we could have done with more milk in our room. The swimming pool is lovely now that the interior has been refurbished and we loved using the sauna & heated loungers as well. We will continue to return.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holsworthy, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We love this hotel, we have been several times & feel lucky that we have discovered it. We normally have Room 35 with 2 folding beds for the children but this time we had room 19 which has a lovely layout. There was a king-sized bed for us and then an adjoining room with bunk beds for the children, lovely comfortable style. Food was amazing , it's always good but this time felt like we were in a fine dining restaurant. Staff were very polite and friendly, especially Robin. The inside of the swimming pool has been refurbished since our last visit & they have lovely comfy chairs in there so we could sit & watch the children swim. Can't wait to go back again in the summer.

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandy Cove Hotel

Address: Old Coast Road | Combe Martin Bay, Berrynarbor, Berrynarbor EX34 9SR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Berrynarbor
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Berrynarbor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sandy Cove Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 39
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Also Known As:
Sandy Cove Ilfracombe
Hotel Sandy Cove
Sandy Cove Hotel Berrynarbor, Devon

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