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“Brill” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barton Hall

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Barton Hall
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Kingskerswell Road, Torquay TQ2 8JY, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Worcester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Brill”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2009

My 7 year old son & I booked at Barton Hall for 1 week at October half term - we had great deal on kids go free. The place is a little shabby however there are improvement works goining on but not disruptive to our holiday at all.
We had the most action packed week ever and made lots of friends both adults and children!!
The food is as you would expect any canteen to be serving and is perfectly adequeate.
You get more than what you pay for and we can't wait to book again!!

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    36
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Christchurch, England
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2008

Just returned from an October half term family activity holiday. There were five of us Mum, Dad, 2 boys (13 and 14) and an 8 year old girl. We had a really great time, and it was a fantastic bonding experience for our busy family.

The accomodation is absolutely fine. In fact there's a lot of renovation work going on. We had refurbished challets - one with twin beds and an ensuite and ther other with 2 bunks and an en-suite. It was clean, warm and in perfect decorative order. It is just a place to sleep - literally beds, somewhere to hang clothes and the bathroom - but that was all we expected.

The food is pleniful and again fine. Not gormet, but 3 choices of main course, plenty of fruit and we all ate our fill - no complaints.

The activities were brilliant. We thoroughly enjoyed all the things we tried and all the instructors were excellent, really friendly and very competent. They helped us all challenge ourselves and support each other - as well as have fun. We got to do 4 activities a day and there were things laid on in the evening too.

We met some nice people too, there were several single parents as well as other families with 2 parents, and the activities meant it was easy to get to know people.

We would all really recommend this as a family holiday.

  • Liked — met our needs
  • Disliked — bed wasn't as comfortable as the one at home
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glos
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2008

We arrived at Barton Hall for a 3 night family activity holiday. Be prepared for a big shock - the centre is nothing like the images on the website or in the brochure.

We received no welcome and were left waiting for someone to show us to our rooms for half an hour. The lounge in which we were left had two TVs blaring and one occupant unhappy to share 'his' space.

It was rather like arriving at some run down b&b in the outskirts of an industrial town.

Eventually we were shown to the dark, institutional dining space where you rub shoulders with hundreds of people at one sitting. A grey tray for allergies. A red tray for 'normal' eaters. The 'healthy' food label could not be more misleading. We were offered cold, salty pasta bolognaise and the children chose overcooked chicken nuggets and chips they could not get their teeth into. I abandoned my pasta to try instead the lentil and mushroom soup which had clearly never seen a vegetable and tasted only of white pepper.. The pudding was a slice of arctic roll. Not seen since my school days!! All to the blaring of loud music. Even the children were unhappy. I wanted to leave at this point but my husband persuaded me to view the accommodation.

With the Victorian Hall only actually housing the bar, the lounge, reception and a handful of bedrooms we were led behind the building to a series of flat rooved, delapidated annexe labelled the north wing. Our room was in the basement. All the paint was peeling off, the window sills were hanging off, the rooms were dark (looking our onto a tiny weed ridden quadrangle whose central feature was a surely condemned fire escape staircase), tiny and frankly could never be described as 'basic'. Unbelievably shocking. Most of the other outbuildings were in a similar outdated state.

The pool, garden and ski slope looked to be well maintained and there is a view to the sea if you are lucky enough to get a view from your room.

Even having parted with £620 for 3 nights, it was not a difficult decision to turn around and leave for the 3 hour drive home.

A real shock. Avoid.

  • Liked — The setting
  • Disliked — The delapidated buildings and shocking food.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lichfield
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2008

We have just returned from a weeks PGL"family" activitiy holiday at Barton Hall,Devon having seen it advertised in the Daily Mail Newspaper - whereby for every paying adult a child goes FREE!! So I phoned the PGL Hotline and booked my husband and I and our 2 childres (10 and 13yrs) for a weeks stay - which actually means 5 days activites and a day off at some stage within the week to go and explore surrounding areas if you want to or you can stay on site. It was the best value for money we've ever had on a holiday - we did 4 x 1 1/2 activites a day = 6hrs a day and we were with teamed up with 2 other families who enhanced the whole experience - We had such a laugh!!! We did everything as a group and the activities were challenging, but fantastic for all concerned - aged 8 to 48yrs. What is great is that you pay for the holiday and then everything is included - 3 good meals a day/a basic, but warm and comfy bed/ALL the activities...Even on our day off we were given a packed lunch and then returned to the centre for the evening meal...The only money we spent was on chocolate and drinks to energise ourselves inbetween activites and for a few drinks in the bar at night - but we were so tired from the days exhilerations that this was minimum, until the last night when we knew we hadn't got to get up for an action packed day. YOU MUST GO!!

  • Liked — Beds were comfy with cosy quilt
  • Disliked — There was only a bath - with shower head attachment for taps
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcestershire
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2007

PGL - Barton Hall, Torquay.

This was the first time that I had tried an activity based break with my daughter now 8, and decided to give PGL a go!

I am a single parent and often feel that you get ripped off on holiday prices - this was different. We booked a 3 night stay Fri-Mon, I paid the adult price for me and the child price for my daughter, no supps for only 1 adult sharing!

Barton Hall is close to Torquay, and the site was owned many, many years ago by Pontins. The site is large enough not to get lost and there are security gates so you know that your children cannot escape. The accommodation is basic, but very clean, we stayed in a chalet in the grounds but there are also rooms in the main house. The Public areas are a little dated, but this is not the kind of holiday to come on if you are expecting 5* luxury. There is an on-site bar, with a comfy lounge next door. The Dining room is reminiscent of a school canteen, with the meals being basic but surprisingly very tasty, with 2 main course options plus a vegetarian option, a Salad bar, soup station, hot drinks machine (in the dining room there is no charge for the drinks machine) and a desert or fruit option. The is a HEATED swimming pool too.

When we arrived we were shown around the site by a member of the PGL staff, and given a timetable of our activities. These included: Zip wire (was great!), Giant Swing, Indoor Rock climbing wall, high ropes, canoeing and raft building, archery, areoball, abseiling and quad bikes. We had been allocated an activity group number and this was made up of 3 families with children of a similar age, so the children all got on very well, on the whole! There are evening activities too, one at 8pm - such as Flag game, treasure hunt, campfire - generally anything running around the site. Then another indoor one at 9pm - disco, quiz kind of thing. We both enjoyed all of the activities and is a great introduction, for a beginner.

If there is an activity you don’t want to do you can put this on the swap board by the reception, to trade with another family.

There were a lot of lone-parents with their kids (not all were 'single-parent' families, but just dad wanting a holiday/bonding time with their child), so as a single parent I didn’t feel the 'only one' as usually happens when we travel.

The staff are friendly and are great with the kids. The activity instructors are excellent - very encouraging when you need a boost to get the top of the high ropes, or help to talk you down!

The only downside of the weekend was the weather! I made sure we had a lot of changes of outdoor clothes and trainers (take old trainers for the canoeing!) and a good waterproof coat.

I would definitely do another holiday with PGL - although I am not sure I would have the stamina to do a 7nt stay!

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fareham,hampshire
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2007

PGL Barton Hall is v. near torquay in Devon.
Our son said this was his best holiday ever!!! He is only 8 but we have been to some nice places.
We had 14 activities in our 4 day holiday ranging from climbing,abseiling ,trampolining ,fencing, quad bikes etc.
Our absoloute favourite was the canoeing and raft building. We were dreading this but it was the most fun.The staff are so friendly and really go all out to make everything fun.Games are played in each activity to jolly everyone along.I mananged to overcome my fear of heights and abseil down the tower, much to my husbands amazement!
The hall,chalets and activities are in a nice setting and everything is very close.
The accomodation is basic but the beds are comfortable, you spend so little time there it really doesn't matter.
The food is very like school dinners but with a good range of choice throughout the week. Hot food and salad offered.
There are evening activities to take part in too like scavenger hunt, campfire, which if you have the energy are well worth the effort. Then onto Dartmoor for talent/karaoke contest.
You are able to swap some of your activities but as this was our first time we went along with their choices and most things turned out to be much better than anticipated. You are assigned a group number and remain with your group for the duration of the holiday, which also helps to build on that adventurous spirit.
We stayed in August but the weather was rubbish, however we had good waterproofs/playclothes and it really didn't matter ,all the activities still went ahead. I strongly recommend this holiday for friends/families or kids escaping from home for a bit. It really was fabulous.

  • Liked — comfortable and easy
  • Disliked — no shower
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barton Hall

Address: Kingskerswell Road, Torquay TQ2 8JY, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Torquay
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Barton Hall Hotel Torquay
Barton Hall Torquay, Devon

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