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“Gritty Soup, Warm Wine & Cold Coffee” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel

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Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Trimstone | Nr Ilfracombe, Ilfracombe EX34 8NR, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 22 Hotels in Ilfracombe
GreenLeadersBronze level
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Gritty Soup, Warm Wine & Cold Coffee”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2011

A peaceful location and what could be a nice property if more attention were paid to it. Bright large bedroom and bathroom with good facilities. Parking was difficult at the weekend. The Lounge needs cleaning and is drab. The dining room is well located but staff need to clean under the chairs after the table has been used. The food was not good - tiny breakfast with a gone off sausage and dinner was not very nice as they don't have many diners and so do not keep a full time chef - I think the receptionist cooked the food. The staff are very friendly and this is what the owner hides behind. If he spent as much time looking after his business as he does answering the tripadvisor comments he would do better.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, November 18, 2011
Dear Sutyfrickett

Thank you for your comments - naturally sorry to have learned about your dissatisfaction. We just wish you had said something at the time as we could have rectified any problems for you and helped to make your stay more enjoyable.

We have a large overflow car-park, incidentally.

Unclean under chairs - I agree, not acceptable, shouldn't have been the case.

We have a permanent, full-time chef, yes, (Darren) we are a Three Star Hotel, also a trainee. Not sure what you mean here.

Thank you for your comments about the staff - I'll relay these.

We look forward to continuing to improve our offering and yes, communicating is part of that job.

Yours sincerely

Philip J Milton - Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Canterbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2011

Room was clean, quiet surroundings, staff extremely friendly and helpful, food was excellent. A really nice family-run hotel. Made to feel very welcome.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, November 10, 2011
Dear Laura J

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review.

We are very pleased you enjoyed your stay with us.

We look forward to seeing you again!

My very best wishes Philip Milton - Owner
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Barnstaple
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2011

Trimstone Manor is a lovely place to spend time. 40 acres of glorious grounds to cocoon us against the mad world outside. A really great place for a get away, but also close to lots of attractions in Devon. We loved it.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
Thank you Jason for coming to try-us-out! Glad you enjoyed yourselves - thank you for taking the time to leave a Review! We shall look forward to seeing you again.

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner
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devon
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2011

Hotel outside = Beautiful setting

Hotel inside = Shame the owners haven't put more effort into decent furniture and decoration generally, instead it's tired repro' mash of eras & styles make it sadly look unloved and cheap.

Room = The curtains were falling off the walls as on cheap plastic runners. Nets fell down! . Bathroom had brown erosion around the plug holes. Very thin ceiling, a heard of elephants went to rest upstairs at midnight and arose at 6am, disturbing our sleep. The view from the bedroom was an unpainted rendered walled area. Tea/coffee facilities, mattresses, Tv/dvd, were all good.

Breakfast = Excellent choice. Shame no free range eggs though, (even though they keep lots of chickens!) Sausages were too herby for breakfast sausages and were overpowering spoiling the rest of the lovely meal. Scrambled eggs looked like mashed fried eggs?

Staff = I saw 2, the cook & the recepetionist. = very friendly & polite, very helpful and smiley. Thin on the ground though!

Wonder if the owners love their house but not enough to maintain it sympathetic to its age? (I suspect their area of the house is much nicer than the guests) I sadly saw no pride in any room or area, ornaments were trinket car boot stuff, electrical wires down walls, tired walls etc.

Was given a discount before I arrived, so was charged £150 for the room and not £220 odd that was advertised. I thought they were being so generous, until we arrived!
Price for 2 adults & 2 small kids for 1 night was well overpriced, given the above experiences.
What a shame!
You have a beautiful home but run it like you begrudge it being a B&B.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, November 6, 2011
We are sorry that overall you didn't enjoy your night with us.

We are trying hard to create a homely, comfortable feel to the Hotel and I have been selecting various antiques and original paintings to complement the rest of the furnishings. These won't be to everyone's tastes (nor new!) of course but we can't please everyone all the time but I do hope you noticed the many Dartmoor and Lynmouth paintings, the antique map and 1805 Grandfather Clock, as examples.

I am sorry about the curtains in your room - that will be fixed easily. Freerange eggs - they were but we have to be careful about using our own under EH rules I regret.

We do love where we live - it is a working, lived-in property with over 1000 years' heritage thus, being mentioned in the Domesday Book but even Eldric the Saxon was here before that! I have even researched and written a history on the Place - it's on the website. As a true local too, I am very proud of our heritage and history and welcome guests to come and sample it as well.

We continue to improve the Hotel and its facilities since we acquired it in 2007 and have expended considerable sums so far but it will be a never-ending job! The gym has just been finished, for example and the Courtyard is having a make-over. However, we want to remain a fairly priced 3 Star Hotel as well and not one of the more expensive ones. Our Receptionist was happy to give you a last minute discount from the £190 shoulder-season tariff for the four of you.

Regardless, thank you for your constructive comments and indeed for taking the time to write a review. We welcome them all in our goal of ongoing improvement.

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner
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Melbourne, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2011

We were very happy in our self catering cottage. The rooms had real character and charm. The staff were great and did all they could to cater for our needs. We will be back.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, October 9, 2011
Dear Tim

Many thanks for your kind review following your stay in our self-catering apartment. We are pleased you found everything relaxing and shall look forward to your return!

My best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2011

We stayed in a self catering apartment, it had not been cleaned, dirty crockery, kitchen sink and bathroom sink, dirty kitchen cupboards. Please read the print re: the gym (this doesnt exist), also you have to pay £1.00 for 10 minutes to have a sauna or jacuzzi!

We lived in a kitchen (nothing else downstairs)!! for a week with no windows and we opened our door to a car park!!! We were so disgusted, we came home early.
We tried to tell the owner (after the event) what we thought, but have received abusive and sometimes threatening comments. Do not take for granted what is advertised please.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, September 22, 2011
I was sorry that Mrs Keep felt the need to post such comments on TripAdvisor, in direct contradiction to the last reviewer. However, the motive of her approach to us, threatening 'Consumer Direct' in her direct correspondence was to try to force us to give her money back for a peak summer week. That is not quite how TripAdvisor was designed to operate.

Regardless of the issues, because we don't want anyone to be unhappy regardless of blame or not, we offered her a generous goodwill concession on a revisit to try to compensate for her disappointment. However, her correspondence then became vitriolic and we were forced to withdraw that.

As soon as she got home she wrote to us and I inspected the Cottage there and then and replied immediately. Reviewers must make their own mind-up on the situation. I apologise for the length but we try really hard to investigate all complaints and act upon them to salve such situations

I thanked her for her letter though expressed naturally I was sorry to receive it.

I said I was doubly disappointed - first that she was not happy with the accommodation and that that may have encouraged her to go home a day early but more so that she didn't say anything as we should have bent-over backwards to endeavour to put right anything which was not to her satisfaction and not as represented.

I was not happy to hear that there were some cleaning issues. We have a very experienced house-keeping team and they are normally extremely efficient and thorough but a dirty glass in the double bedroom was the biggest 'obvious' issue but I wondered if, still unacceptably, this was the staff's own water glass for refreshment during what can be a hectic work period. We hoover all carpets thoroughly and check everything such as sinks so I was at a loss to explain what she stated she found. She should have advised us there and then and one of the staff would have undertaken another clean of the whole Apartment without any problem whatsoever.

The accommodation itself was not misrepresented, even described as 'Paddock Apartment' though naturally guests are entitled to use the Hotel's facilities and gardens/grounds so had they wanted to go and sit on the lawns, that would have been available to them and indeed many guests do just that.

At the height of the Summer season, normally the 'whole' Paddock Cottage including the next door unit is rented as one and that adds two more bedrooms, a second bathroom and another lounge area downstairs. However, she was 'first' in reserving the Apartment so we had the extra two bedrooms as overflow Hotel rooms instead. Of course, she paid less than half the sum for the whole but that had to be her choice of accommodation and venue and we cannot second-guess what prospective guests may choose - or want - very often a most subjective issue. For many, the Pool, Games Room for teenagers, delightful grounds and gardens and convenience to the local attractions and beaches are the primary considerations - for others, the convenience of an onsite Restaurant and Bar and the fact that it is so tranquil here right in the depths of the Countryside. We try to be as clear as we can in relation to marketing material and the website and terms, etc, as we don't want disappointment for those things. However, we are 'only' a Three Star Hotel and Cottage provider.

She mentioned smells in the Apartment - I checked everything possible immediately and found no evidence of any problem which might have caused them, as I might have suspected (sometimes hoovers can leave a 'smell'?). That is not to doubt what she said but there was/is no problem with rubbish, drains or anything of that nature at all and in fact, the air felt very fresh when I checked that morning. Naturally we cannot change the physical attributes of the property but occasionally are asked for photographs of various rooms, etc, so that people booking know what the accommodation comprises. She suggests we are expensive but we compare very favourably for the very popular area and with the facilities. It was peak season too!

She mentioned the wardrobe and suite which were brand new just over a year ago which she said was faulty. I agreed that it can be one of the problems with 'new' furnishings (I tend to enjoy sturdier second-hand items myself!) but she should have mentioned it. It would simply have been a case of inadequately held together and we should have re-fixed it.

She mentioned the Jacuzzi and Sauna - we again have tried our hardest to be clear here and our terms as noted, for example on the website state:- Please note that unlike many hotels, we don't charge extra for the facilities though the Table Football, Jacuzzi and Sauna are all coin-operated.'

There are places which offer all-inclusive packages but they tend to be very expensive indeed. For us, the facilities are 'extras' and not primary reasons for our establishment.

She mentioned the rubbish - within the Cottage packs are instructions for self-catering guests (as it is not serviced accommodation it is guests' responsibility to dispose of their rubbish and recycling, though on a change-over, naturally we do that). I and the staff do pick-up random discarded rubbish around the properties to help keep them tidy whilst guests are here but wouldn't wish to remove something such as a bag or bin from outside a Cottage door without invitation. The bins are only a short walk away.

As I say, my primary disappointment is that she didn't say anything. My Manageress, lives on site too, exchanged pleasantries pretty much every day I understand. In fact, I can say I am upset that despite the friendliness of our literature and correspondence, where we have strived very hard to encourage a perspective of approachability, that somehow we didn't encourage her to mention these issues that we could have tackled and allowed them to relax on their holiday without perhaps constantly thinking of their dissatisfaction especially as the beautiful countryside around here was there to be enjoyed.

The staff are all very friendly and are here to help and guide guests, resolve any issues and to help them have as good a time as possible.


Had we been unable to resolve any particular issues which were beyond subjective matters, for example on the last night, we should have gladly tried our utmost to offer them other accommodation on site - even Hotel rooms as we had some vacancies. This would likely have been without extra cost, as we should have wanted to do our utmost to make up for their disappointment and help them enjoy the last day of their stay.

She suggested the cottages were wrongly described but we do not believe that we misrepresent them and independent (VisitBritain) accreditation, as well as separate agencies engaging us as well, act as another audit of the facilities etc.

I hoped she understood the reasons for my conclusion. I thanked her for writing as I do take seriously any and all comments raised by guests, especially if there are apparent failings in what we are trying to provide here. We investigate them all thoroughly and expend some not inconsiderable time ascertaining the position and responding. We want guests to be happy and to want to return!

Philip J Milton - Owner - Trimstone Cottages
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertforshire
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2011

Don't know what the moaning few expect from a hotel, but as far as we were concerned this was a lovely place to stay. The staff are all extremely friendly and welcoming, food is great. Breakfast really nice and not too small unless you are really very greedy. The pool is small but kids loved it. Games room also went down a treat. Family room was huge. This isn't a corporate shiny hotel filled with snooty people, just a lovely place to relax. Access and position are fine - quiet a narrow access road, but then this is Devon!!! Would recommend.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this review, August 29, 2011
Dear Ivana

Thank you very much for your kind comments. We are so pleased you had a good time down here with us and in North Devon. You might be interested to learn too that we plan a few improvements in the Family Room you enjoyed so next time it should be better again.

Do make sure we have your email address and we'll send details of the special offers we run from time to time as well.

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel

Address: Trimstone | Nr Ilfracombe, Ilfracombe EX34 8NR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Ilfracombe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast 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:
#1 Green Hotel in Ilfracombe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our Three Star Hotel, the only one in the greater Ilfracombe area (and only three miles from glorious Woolacombe), is set in 44 acres of landscaped gardens and beautiful North Devon countryside and provides the perfect location for those who want a peaceful and relaxing break. With easy access to the A361 Trimstone is also perfect for those who want to explore North Devon. The fine sandy beaches and rolling surf of Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton are just a short drive as are the secluded coves and cliff paths around Ilfracombe and Combe Martin. Other attractions include the famous twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth, Exmoor, the North Devon coastal footpath, Arlington Court for the National Trust's Carriage Collection or the delights of a working sheep dog and falconry demonstration a mile away. Whatever the weather there is always something to do at Trimstone. Nearby we have clay shooting grounds, golf, quad-biking, horse-riding, you-name-it! Guests can use the games room, tennis court, indoor heated swimming pool, gym and sauna, walk in the grounds or simply relax in a quiet spot with a drink and a good book. Concessionary evening rates for Three Star Tyme Restaurant apply for pre-arrival bookings. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Trimstone Manor Country Hotel
Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel Ilfracombe, Devon

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