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“Avoid Booking - Avoid the Bad Manners” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Fingals Hotel

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Fingals Hotel
Old Coombe, Dittisham, Dartmouth TQ6 0JA, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dittisham
Bath
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Avoid Booking - Avoid the Bad Manners”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

I recently made a booking over the phone and was very disappointed by the poor customer service - Richard was far from the convivial and welcoming host one would expect from a higher range B&B. Furthermore, during the middle of our phone conversation, he answered another call from another customer which I thought considerably discourteous. I was left fuming and after some 24 hours of reflection, I decided I did not wish to depart with my £140 for a man who could barely summon up the interpersonal skills one would expect from someone in the hospitality trade. I've booked through many places recommended by Alistair Sawday but on this occasion, my experience on the phone left me unimpressed. They also charged me a £20 administration fee despite being within the 2 week cancellation period which also left me reeling.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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.
FenSouthWest, Public Relations Manager at Fingals Hotel, responded to this review, September 5, 2013
We’re not quite sure how to reply to you as you obviously have a completely different impression of our brief telephone conversation upon which you base this extraordinary review. It was very difficult to understand and to hear you so that when our other line started ringing the politest thing to do was to answer it and take a number to call back, we were then able to give you our undivided attention.
Saying that you stayed in August and travelled with friends is obviously completely untrue as, by your own admission, you have never been anywhere near Fingals.
We hope that you found somewhere more suitable to your requirements.
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144 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Welshpool Powys
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

The other reviews are correct about the location of Fingals - it is peaceful and surrounded by beautiful countryside once you have negotiated the narrow overgrown lanes praying that nothing is coming the other way. The first impressions are good with the tennis court and beautiful gardens. It is described as a unique experience and it certainly is that. First impressions of wonder do begin to diminish when you really look at how tired looking the place actually is. It is desperately in need of a lick of paint in many places, an investment in some newer furnishings and more importantly a complete spring clean. Our bedroom had dead flies in the bathroom and in one alcove in the bedroom there was some broken glass or similar which had been there so long it had gathered its own layer of dust surrounded by more dead flies and cobwebs. Under the bed it was truly unpleasant given that the bed was on castors and could be easily cleaned underneath if housekeeping had taken on the task. A positive - the bed was comfortable and clean but in the five days we were there we had the same towels and not once was the bath or wash basin cleaned. Not good enough - this is not cheap accommodation. Granted the beds were made but that was it. Another positive was the toiletries made by Sheila they were very nice. Breakfast was a bit hit and miss about whether you would get what you ordered but when it did come it was of a decent quality and there was an array of nice preserves and juices. Although toast and croissants could come at any time. The dining area by the cinema had some pretty impressive cobwebs up the window and we wondered each day whether they would be removed but they stayed put for our whole stay. I know its an old place and spiders will work wonders but seriously these cobwebs had been there for some time. We did not stay for evening dinner because we went out each day and didn't want to commit to returning at any given time and also the cost was too expensive particularly when having to pay for four. We felt that this excluded us some what from the hospitality that others rave about. We were clearly not worthy of Richard's time but his wife was pleasant and did make conversation. Yes it is laid back but that is no excuse for uncleanliness. It was disappointing to encounter a very grubby indoor play area with its cobwebs and the table tennis by the back kitchen door was surrounded by broken furniture. As for the hot tub you could not sit on one chair in the lobby area because it was literally covered in many dead flies. They had laid in situ for some considerable time. The floor was filthy not just by a few days of wet feet but muck and debris for some time. Similarly the swimming pool had seen better days and needed a good sweep although the water was warm. The photographs and web site are very impressive and actually sold us on this property but the shots are clearly not recent so be warned. On a positive we liked the cinema room and the vast choice of dvd's and the library was very impressive. It was a shame the place had such promise but really it does need a shakeup with the housekeeping. We understand people return on a regular basis and yes there are some good points but we expected better - so overall it was not for us.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FenSouthWest, Public Relations Manager at Fingals Hotel, responded to this review, August 20, 2013
What a shame that you felt unable to talk to us during your stay and tell us that you were disappointed. We would have investigated your worries and if your room was not being cleaned properly would have sorted this out immediately. One of our team has, in fact, just left the hotel and the other members of staff have been made aware of your complaints and apologise but would much rather have helped you while you were here.
The ‘broken glass’ in the bedroom alcove is, in fact, a delicate, antique stained glass panel which is to be installed as part of the window. We’re sorry it was left in your way.
Our narrow, overgrown lanes do ensure that we don’t have speeding drivers which adds to the peace and charm of our secluded position, but they do, of course, worry those of a nervous disposition.
We did enjoy meeting you all and hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer holidays.
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Bristol
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

We spent a very enjoyable weekend at Fingals. Genuinely different but being able to share the time with our children was great. From the moment we arrived and were able to enjoy a G &T on the lawn in the sunshine, the kids loved their supper and slept soundly enabling us to fully appreciate ours later. Lovely food, lovely location and a pool. All great.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
FenSouthWest, Public Relations Manager at Fingals Hotel, responded to this review, August 9, 2013
We're delighted that you all enjoyed your weekend - cherishing memories of happy times spent with your family is what Fingals is all about.
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Special place - we had a wonderful time. The sailing lesson at Dittisham (twenty five minute walk away) recommended by hotel was brilliant. Loved the honesty bar, the breakfasts, the hot tub, the tennis court, the general vibe. No phone signal (hooray) but there was wifi. Father and son loved it!

  • Stayed July 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FenSouthWest, Public Relations Manager at Fingals Hotel, responded to this review, July 23, 2013
We're delighted that you both enjoyed your Swallows and Amazons weekend so much - do come back again for longer and do some more exploring!
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Wiltshire England
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

This unique hotel has enormous charm, not least from its excellent hosts, Richard and Sheila. Heavenly garden and very relaxed quirky atmosphere. Particularly delicious mackerel caught fresh that day day by Richard and cooked to perfection by him too! So unlike all those stuffy other hotels and in a very beautiful spot. Would definitely return.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FenSouthWest, Public Relations Manager at Fingals Hotel, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Hello - thank you so much for this - nothing like the freshest of fish to finish off a day in the sun! Unstuffy is definitely what we try to be - so glad you felt at home here - please do come back.
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Camberley, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

The three course meal price is agreed as a loss leader (£39 a head) - but the two girls serving could have been a little more forward in asking us if we had everything we needed (like somewhere to sit) After a long a journey a good meal was what we wanted but we got the bread after the main course and drinks during the main. We waited to be seated but that didn't happen so we had to ask someone where to sit. I can fully understand the non formal approach though as it really works. OKAY - that was the only criticism I can find about this truly unique, wonderful, comfortable and very welcoming hotel and self catering property. It is so lovely to be able to sit and relax knowing your son can adventure a bit without getting into any trouble and that the fellow guests are all very cool, well travelled and relaxed people. I love this place and the gardens, I loved the Mill where we stayed and it was so roomy and stocked to the rafters with books, cd's, video and DVD films. Breakfast was lovely and served outside in the lovely sunshine and tables were laid perfectly. Our breakfast was given to another couple who sat down and got served the full English almost immediately and we had to wait another 45 minutes to get ours - all this is just lack of communication between the order taker and the staff serving.(brekkie was lovely - well cooked and well presented with lovely bread and lovely preserves) The beds and linen were fabulous and comfy and we can safely say we enjoyed sitting as a family playing card games/board games and doing puzzles all around this wonderful hotel. So food service aside, I highly recommend this retreat, yes it's pricey but it is well worth it. Try it for yourself - you wont be disappointed. I do hope we will be allowed to visit again in the future after the little critic about food service but if you don't say, the owners won't know! What are you waiting for - book it!

Room Tip: If travelling with a larger party - go for the Mill house - masses of space and history.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 2 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.
FenSouthWest, Public Relations Manager at Fingals Hotel, responded to this review, July 11, 2013
Hello, thank you for sending us these lovely remarks about the hotel and particularly the Mill, we're really pleased that you enjoyed it so much. We're very sorry though that your service was slow and have now printed off your review - all our girls have read it and they do apologise! Of course you're welcome back at any time, we look forward to hearing from you.
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Swindon, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

We stayed here over the first May bank holiday weekend, and having researched and read loads about the hotel before going was totally amazed at just how unique a location it is with so much to experience as well as great owners and staff - the fellow guests were really great to mix with too. The food was fresh and extremely well cooked - there was something amazing to look at everywhere too - inside and out. It is set in a stunning location and is an oasis of tranquility. Maybe not for everyone but given our experience everything was done to make us feel very welcome and comfortable. We will be returning!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
FenSouthWest, Public Relations Manager at Fingals Hotel, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Hello and thank you for such lovely words - you were almost the first people to stay in The Folly after all our work over the winter so it is wonderful that you appreciated what we have tried to accomplish. Everyone at Fingals would be very happy to see you both again at anytime.
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Additional Information about Fingals Hotel

Address: Old Coombe, Dittisham, Dartmouth TQ6 0JA, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Dartmouth > Dittisham
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Dittisham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Eccentric, quirky, unique, relaxed, different – Fingals is all of these and much, much more! A handsome Grade 2 listed Devon farmhouse which is mentioned in the Doomesday Book, Fingals has been family owned and run by Richard Johnston for the past 30 years. Richard has lovingly transformed the farmhouse into a luxurious country house hotel nestling in a tranquil Devon valley set back from the River Dart. As soon as you step through the front door you experience the warmth, relaxation and comfort which seems to hug you as you arrive! It is a home away from home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fingals Hotel Dittisham, Devon

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