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“Fine as a base” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park

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Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park
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Woodlands, Combe Martin, Exmoor National Park EX34 0AS, England (Formerly John Fowler Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park)   |  
Hotel amenities
Kent, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Fine as a base”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

We recently stayed here for a Sun Monday to Friday break. This was the third one we'd had this year and the other two were really good so, when we had a letter to say there were still some slots available, we thought we'd give this one a go. . The first shock was the bar/reception/entertainment area. It was old, shabby and smelled of damp. Fortunately check-in was the only time we entered this building. We drove up to the top of the hill to our caravan (We upgraded to Silver as there were no Gold upgrades available, goodness only knows what the Bronze ones were like), parked in a dedicated spot, which was one of the really good things about this site,and made our way up the path to the caravan. On the other two trips we'd gone with friends, fortunately on this one there were just the two of us (although we'd paid for 4) as the put-you-up bed in the living area was a strange, metal contraption we'd never seen before with a mattress so thin you could feel the metal underneath through it. The double bed and the two narrow cabin-style beds were covered in plastic, potentially making for a very sweaty night. Luckily we'd taken not only our own linen but also our own pillows and duvet so we were able to put one of their duvets over the mattress then cover the lot with one of our sheets. The carpet, particularly in the double bedroom, was quite stained and in need of a good clean but otherwise the caravan was in a reasonably clean condition (with the exception of the outside of the kettle).. The TV was the smallest we'd seen for very many years but it did have a built-in DVD player although, as we hadn't known about this we hadn't taken any DVDs.We didn't use any of the site's facilities (the pool was closed, but we knew this in advance) so can't comment on them The heating was good and the shower, though small, was fairly powerful with plenty hot water. .So, for what we'd paid, it was an okay base but we wouldn't stay there again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JohnFowlerHolidays, Guest Relations Manager at Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, responded to this review, September 24, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience at our holiday park. We certainly do not ignore any constructive criticism and perhaps there are some areas that could be improved in the interest of future guests.

The main building was a former lovely old Manor House and while it could be perhaps brought up to date, would it benefit from modernisation - the jury is still out on that one?

Your comments have been passed on to all departments and we really hope that you will visit us again in the near future
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120 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tamworth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

I'm a great lover of honesty and I'm not someone who is out to hurt businesses, so it upsets me to read reviews about certain members of entertainment staff at this park. We visited over the summer holidays in both quiet and busy times.the entertainment was refreshing, not cheesy and they try to involve the audience, especially on quiet evenings where you feel like your getting a show just for yourself.the two entertainers we saw(mark and Adam)are obviously passionate about what they do, they are friendly and accommodating(if I ever got married again, mark and Adam would be my entertainment,don't tell the husband!)All I can say is that the problem wasn't the entertainment, it was some of the audience, rude comments and criticism because their song wasn't sung are unwelcome in a family and friendly, atmosphere. That said, all the staff are welcoming and pleasant and actually have a sense of humour(lucky as they get a lot of stick which actually is usually about things beyond their control)yes it's hilly(hence combe meaning valley) and yes some of the accommodation is outdated, but bare that in mind, you do get what you pay for amd by the sounds of it, dont go for a chalet, although ive never been in one so cant say what they are like.As for the comment about a member of staff only having a duster in there hand and no vacuum cleaner, would you pull one of those up that hill??it gets brought up by the maintenance man.the staff are working hard to get the place up to par and they are getting there, but more money needs to be invested by Mr Fowler, it's not the staffs fault.fingers crossed, by next season the place will be nicely updated and ready for you to try. The pool was working when we visited.If you want a quiet holiday with a beautiful location and quality, non cheesy, entertainment, then this is the place for you!

Room Tip: Go for a caravan, gold if you can.bare in mind dogs can go into bronze vans and chalets.apparently t...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, responded to this review, September 13, 2013
Thank you very much for leaving us such a fantastic 5 star review, we really appreciate it. Your comments have been passed on to all departments.

Once again our entertainments team have been singled out for extra praise and there is no doubt that they deserve it. You are quite correct about some customers being rude when they can't get their own way, buy sadly, that is the way of the modern world and it can be very frustrating sometimes.

We are delighted to hear that you had a great time and look forward to welcoming you again very soon.
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013 via mobile

First, the positives. We actually had a good time at this campsite despite its condition. It's well positioned for us and the accommodation was adequate. Would we go back? Bizarrely, yes.
However, the accommodation, while adequate, was far from good. We had a chalet and it needed a lot of work doing to it. Not expensive, just needs to be redecorated and re-furbished. AND GET RID OF THE RUBBER MATTRESSES! We're not in the seventies now - but this place did at times resemble a throwback to that era.
The clubhouse needs a lot of work to bring it up to date. So do some of the bar-staff! The cook worked very hard and many a ping could be heard from the microwave. The receptionist when we arrived was very friendly.
Our first night in the clubhouse was interesting. There was an entertainer - a stripy coat - who looked as if he'd rather be anywhere than there, hardly spoke about what was coming on, and no personality at all - he wasn't even wearing his stripy coat! He was Welsh and there was a name Gareth on the list of stripy coats, so assume that was him. If not, sorry Gareth! This led to us not using the clubhouse again till our last night. It did improve that night; the entertainer, in his stripy coat, did his best to entertain us, and to be honest he was a little bit too good for the place. Sadly, we didn't now his name. But well done! We think he was one of the managers of the site.
The whole place, swimming pool included, had that jaded, run-down feel about it It needs money invested in it and it needs to be brought into the current decade and not left languishing in the Seventies. Come on John Fowler!

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, responded to this review, September 11, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience at our holiday park. We certainly do not ignore any constructive criticism and perhaps there are some areas that could be improved in the interest of future guests.

This holiday park is primarily a caravan park and should you come back to see us again, and I hope you will, may I suggest you stay in one of these. Caravans have a "shelf life" of about 10 years, after which they are discarded and replaced with a brand new ones, thus keeping the accommodation up to date.
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

although this park has stunning views from the clubhouse windows overlooking combe martin beach i would never go back there again,my children did,nt even see any of the characters(freddy trixie etc ) they never made an appearance,this place seemed understaffed,entertainment didnt materialise as advertised on the notice board,having said this most staff were friendly(except for the welsh stripey)gareth davies was the best what a singer !!!! would recomend this park only if you want a relaxing holiday.also not enough amusement/arcade games for the kids.this park/clubhouse needs money spending on it !!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, responded to this review, September 10, 2013
Thank you for taking the trouble to leave this review about our holiday park, although I think there has been a huge misunderstanding.

I am not sure of what you read or where you read it, but this park is clearly advertised, both on the website and in our brochure as "Small and relaxing". We make no mention anywhere of a children's club or the company characters.

However, as a guest at this park you are entitled to use the facilities of the sister park, Sandaway - just 500 yards up the road - and there is a large sign to that effect just outside the clubhouse. I am sorry your children missed that while you were there.
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York, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We have just returned from a weekend break to Combe Martin holiday park, we had read the reports before we booked and we were hoping we wouldn't be allocated the dreaded chalet 103 that we had read about-alas we were allocated that very chalet. We were expecting basic accommodation and that's exactly what we got-they are very tired dated chalets and we had a bizarre slope at one end and spongy floors!!! They are lacking a shower as the water takes a while to heat up. Our bedding and clothes also felt damp as the day went on. On a positive note the area is pretty and it was nice to visit North Devon.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
It was such a shame to read your remarks regarding your stay at our holiday park when many reviews are reflecting the improvements we have made at the park.

We are looking into your concerns in order that improvements may be made in the interest of future guests. Meanwhile, so that the issues can be investigated, I will be contacting you to discover the full details of your booking.
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1 review
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

I read such bad reviews before going to Combe Martin about John Fowler and was dreading it. However when we arrived our caravan was clean, and nicely located. It didn't smell of smoke or wet dogs which was a relief. The clubhouse was nice, clean and friendly and the food was lovely. Although it is overpriced! We spent one evening in the clubhouse and had a good night but did come away slightly worse off financially. Plus my Husband was disappointed that the men's toilet was very grubby! It is all dated but I like that, it adds character. There isn't loads to do but we went for a relaxing holiday which is what we got. My three children had a great time and to top it off we all got our daily dose of exercise walking up hills everyday which we enjoyed! Especially visiting the Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, which was brilliant! Beautiful location, 5 stars from me!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, responded to this review, August 30, 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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1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013 via mobile

We went to combe martin on a four night stay, last minute booking. So pleased with everything. sensational views, stunning area, really beautiful part of the world. Staff were fab, really welcoming. Food on site good quality and very reasonably priced. Site could do with a little update but very good value for money. Overall, strongly advise this site. A wonderful short break away.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick_Jennings, Guest Relations Manager at Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, responded to this review, August 24, 2013
What a lovely review! Thank you, we really appreciate it.

Your praise will mean so much to the manager, Wayne and his team at the park. They all work extremely hard to make everyone’s stay enjoyable.

We look forward to welcoming you again very soon.
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Additional Information about Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park

Address: Woodlands, Combe Martin, Exmoor National Park EX34 0AS, England (Formerly John Fowler Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park)
Location: United Kingdom > England > Exmoor National Park > Combe Martin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 #7 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Combe Martin
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Combe Martin Holiday Park is situated in the heart of a North Devon valley. The site and its surrounding woodlands provide an excellent area for kids to play and adults to relax. The kids’ play area, our Sea Spray Club (great for a meal or drink) and access to our private beach are all within easy reach of your holiday accommodation, provide the perfect North Devon holiday.The park overlooks Combe Martin public beach as well as our very own private Newberry beach, where you can spend the day relaxing in the sun whilst the kids play in the sea nearby. In the evening, you can enjoy a variety of entertainment in the free clubhouse. Bingo, party games and folk singers are all regular events to keep you entertained throughout your stay. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
John Fowler Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park Hotel Combe Martin
Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park Devon

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