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“Great budget place as base, signs of improvement” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Ilfracombe Holiday Park

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The Ilfracombe Holiday Park
Marlborough Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 8PF, England (Formerly John Fowler Ilfracombe Holiday Park)   |  
Hotel amenities
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great budget place as base, signs of improvement”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013 via mobile

We paid £355 for 7 nights through Hoseasons although it is a John fowler place. Had we paid the full £700ish it wold have been 3 stars. We hadn't read reviews but glad we hadn't. It looks like one block still has wooden window frames but most now replaced with plastic. We were in royal gold ground floor. We had 2 other parties with us. One was top floor.
I get the impression that they are trying to improve facilities but can't do it all at once. It isn't a large place like Butlins but has a shop, large club house with small soft play, a few arcade games and 3 pool tables - stained but usable.
Kitchen - plenty of crockery and cutlery. New cupboards. New cooker. Older fridge but clean. Clean kettle and toaster. Disgusting microwave but was changed for new one.
Room did feel damp despite temperature. Probably needs good airing.
Beds uncomfortable with waterproof mattress as expected but clean. New furniture.
Bathroom - shower only - needed a better clean. I was fortunate and always got a warm/ hot reasonably consistent shower. Others got hot or cold in one shower and at times no water at all which isn't really acceptable. Kitchen water was always boiling but other parties had no water on a couple of occasions. Don't forget your bath mat for when you get out of the shower.
Pool nice enough, small but ok. Smaller of two had steps and was warmer for little ones. Small changing area. Pity there isn't a family changing room which would be easier with small children. There were 4 of us so we managed to change our twins but would have struggled otherwise.
Our TV was large but other parties had portable size. Main channels plus radio and cbeebies and leisure channel. DVD included but we didn't use it. We were not away to watch TV. Didn't see crazy golf but told it was tired and is disappointing by my 13 year old nephew.
Tesco just in walking distance if you don't buy too much. We went down in car on Saturday early evening and waited 15 mins for space as all holiday makers seemed to be there too!
Bar meals served in polystyrene good value - pie was recommended. Restaurant across the road was recommended but cash only so we didn't try it ourselves.

Wi-fi in main clubhouse and strangely every now and again in our room.

Overall good value for money but cleaning in apartments needs to be looked at. Staff friendly and helpful.
Report problems and I'm sure staff will help.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at The Ilfracombe Holiday Park, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
What a wonderful review, thank you, we really appreciate it.

Your praise will mean so much to the management and staff at the park. They all work extremely hard to make everyone’s stay enjoyable.

We hope to welcome you again very soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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383 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Templecombe, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

we have just returned from 5 days staying at the holiday park. we booked a royal gold apartment which looked lovely online however was ok and clean but very basic. stairs leading up to apartment needed major attention - didnt feel safe. sofa very tired and sank in the middle. Cracks in the ceiling. Biggest problem of all was that there was absolutely nowhere for the children to play ball or run around. Amusements at the back of the clubhouse were in need of repair and no choice at all. Swimming pool was fine however changing rooms were dirty and not enough room to change in. When we booked we were not asked whether we wanted first or ground floor and considering we had a 5 year old with us we were placed very near the clubhouse which was noisy at end of night and when band was playing. Having stayed at hoseasons other sites before I was disappointed and would not return to this particular site despite it being a great location.

Room Tip: away from the clubhouse - not sure ground floor or top floor as dependent on stairs and carpet quali...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at The Ilfracombe Holiday Park, responded to this review, September 15, 2013
When I first read this very poor review, I immediately tried to contact the writer through the Tripadvisor Messaging service to investigate the issues, discover why they had such poor holiday and see what we could do to help. Sadly, with all Tripadvisor reviews being anonymous it is impossible to make direct contact.

To date I have not received a reply to two such messages and can only assume that perhaps their stay was not as bad as they first indicated.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013 via mobile

I recently returned from a week stay at John Fowler, Ilfracombe - and I could easily have stayed another week.

Compared to the reviews on here, the park is nothing as its reported. It's got an old style Butlins feel to it, especially with the apartments. We stayed in a Royal Gold Bungalow and at first the beds were very hard and lumpy but you know, just get on with it. We turned the mattresses around and found it to be fine. The only other negative is that the showers are either too hot or too cold.

The park itself is kept clean and tidy and is great for a base. The only thing I wish it had was beach access but its up high on a hill so it's a 5 minute drive into Ilfracombe or 20 minute drive to Woolacoombe which is a stunning beach.

The entertainment staff are absolutely second to none and really deserve all the praise they get. I'm an aspiring performer and the stripey coat Chelsie gave some great advice on where to apply for performance jobs. Very lovely girl and I understand she's new so I hope she settles in well.

I'll see you in November for the Talent final ;)

Kudos, guys.
Adam.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at The Ilfracombe Holiday Park, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Thank you very much for leaving us such a fantastic review, we really appreciate it. Your comments have been passed to all departments.

I sometimes wonder who writes these poor reviews about such a lovely park but perhaps, more importantly, why. When we try to contact the writers to discover what exactly went wrong with their holiday, you can imagine we get no reply.

I am delighted to hear that you had a great time and we look forward to welcoming you again very soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

my sister and I booked budget but were upgraded and we stayed in a gold apartment chalet. had to climb about 25 steps to reach our accommodation.it was dismal and dirty. had to clean the sink(which was greasy), worksurfaces, table, chairs, shower & toilet, doorhandles...everything was disgustingly dirty. we decided not to use the cooking facilities and utensils as they were so dirty. we ate cold food from plastic plates as we didnt want to use the dirty crockery and cutlery provided.there was a dishwasher, but why should we clean up stuff before we could use it. the dishwasher was grimey too, with limescale and black mould growing. cleaned the fridge and microwave so we could use it but didnt dare look closer at the cooker. the whole place needed deep cleaning. the tv only had the first 5 channels plus news 24. reception was bad and the itv was tuned to the Birmingham area, so we didnt get local news, travel and weather. the information channel had no sound, so you had no idea where it was suggesting a visit to.i had my own pillow and slept with a picnic blanket to cover me as i didnt trust the cleanliness of the bedding i PAID EXTRA for. lighting was low, presumably so you couldnt see the dirt. decided not to use the facilities like swimming pool or entertainment area for fear of the same bad hygeine standards, the low lighting was there too. didnt try the restuarant either, for the same reason.we had to provide our own towels, our shower leaked when upstairs used their shower. no one serviced the place all week, even the bins weren't emptied. some of the lights didnt work. there were loose dogs running around,barking and uncontrolled day and night.the bed creaked badly as did the floorboards. kids charging up and down balconies and stairs causing considerable noise nuisance and sleep deprivation. I wouldnt recommend this place to my worst enemy! all i can say is it was unbelievable,not in a good way.I didnt think to check trip advisor first, before i booked.BIG MISTAKE. area not suitable for people who cant walk up steep hills, as anywhere you go, even into town involves lots.

Room Tip: go somewhere else...if you insist on going here and can manage stairs, choose a top apartment, then...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at The Ilfracombe Holiday Park, responded to this review, September 15, 2013
When I first read this very poor review, I immediately tried to contact the writer through the Tripadvisor Messaging service to investigate the issues, discover why they had such poor holiday and see what we could do to help. Sadly, with all Tripadvisor reviews being anonymous it is impossible to make direct contact.

To date I have not received a reply to two such messages and can only assume that perhaps their stay was not as bad as they first indicated.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

We booked this last minute and got it half price for a week July/August in a Gold apartment and glad we didn't pay full price.

In the whole week we never once had our apartment cleaned,yet abroad in more basic accommodation you have it cleaned every other day!!First impressions were okay glad we didn't book budget,it's clean it's fine.As the week progressed we unearthed dirt/cobwebs etc I wish I hadn't seen!!

You have all the conveniences at hand,kettle,toaster,microwave,oven,dishwasher and a good selection of cooking equipment/crockery.

The Farmhouse Restaurant across the food I can't fault,amazing home cooked meals and lovely people and service!

The location was great,overlooking the sea and it is about a 20-30 min walk into town however the hill back up is not for the faint hearted!

We have had a great time so far and have only used it as a base to explore but looking forward to my home comforts as I have never slept on a bed so hard I'm my life!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at The Ilfracombe Holiday Park, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Thank you for such a lovely review, we really appreciate you taking the time. Your comments have been passed to all departments.

With regard to a housekeeping service, generally this is not available in English holiday parks, although it could be a service we could look at for the future.

We really hope to see you again in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013 via mobile

The entertainment staff were friendly, welcoming, and genuinely so talented! Nothing was too much trouble and staff went the extra mile to make it fun. Kids club was brilliant and got everyone involved. Accommodation was clean tidy and more than adequate for what you need! Recommend to every one and already booked another week! Cant wait!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at The Ilfracombe Holiday Park, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
What a wonderful review, thank you, we really appreciate it.

Your praise will mean so much to the management and staff at the park. They all work extremely hard to make everyone’s stay enjoyable.

We hope to welcome you again very soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013 via mobile

I am currently on holiday at this park with my husband and young child. We booked a week before arrival and did not check out trip advisor prior to booking huge error. We booked a bronze accommodation as all that was available. On arrival although the accommodation looked clean it quickly became apparent there were problems. I had to clean the mild of the fridge which has no cover on the freezer section there is a stale smell to the rooms and no signal on the small tv. The bthroom although clean very very dated and no lock on the door the bedding not nice looking at all. The sofa well is unusable is the only word I can use and needs to be replaced asap. I have complained to reception and they have put a duvet in the sofa to try and resolve this not worked. The pool although nice but disappointing for small children as min depth 1 metre one lifeguard for two pools a recipe for disaster. I have noticed that mr Jennings has commented on reviews and I would be happy to discuss my concerns with him as I am here possibly till Monday 5 August 2013 and will be asking to speak to park manager tomorrow so I may post again on leaving the park to update of my complaint

At this time I don't feel able to recommend John fowler in ilfracombe to anyone

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at The Ilfracombe Holiday Park, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Our park manager tried to rectify this reviewer's problems, but sadly was refused all offers of help.

There was very little else we could do.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ilfracombe Holiday Park

Address: Marlborough Rd, Ilfracombe EX34 8PF, England (Formerly John Fowler Ilfracombe Holiday Park)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Ilfracombe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Ilfracombe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 324
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ilfracombe Holiday Park has everything you could want on a family holiday. A 56’ heated pool, a sauna, children’s play areas and an internet cafe provide you with all the comforts of home and more. Relax in our pool during the day, and then head to the Exmoor Club for the evening’s entertainment, free to everybody staying at our Ilfracombe Holiday Parks. This park is set at the top of the valley Ilfracombe lies in, so you get views right down over the town and out to sea, exactly what you’d expect from a Devon holiday. If you don’t want to deal with cooking on holiday then our Farmhouse Kitchen Restaurant can cook you up a wide variety of fare, from low price snacks to full grills and specialty dishes. We even offer takeaways. If you are going to cook for yourself, our onsite shop sells everything you’ll need, and there’s a Tesco superstore just a five minute walk away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
John Fowler Ilfracombe Holiday Park Hotel Ilfracombe
The Ilfracombe Holiday Park Devon

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