The first thing I'd say about Simonsbath House is that if your expectation are the homogenised, perfect look of a big brand hotels then move on because Simonsbath won't suit you.
Simonsbath is tucked away in the middle of Exmoor with a view down the Barle valley; a great stop-off place for walkers with a nice porch to leave those muddy walking boots in. It's an old hotel so expect character, not perfection! We stayed in late July and were given a large room with an enormous window looking down the valley. The room was large and the bed enormous and comfortable. Style wise, the furnishings are homely country farmhouse. The bathroom in our room was small but functional with a bath and shower above it; again very much a homey farmhouse style rather than high end gleaming design - which is perfect for us as we prefer character to soulless design statements.
The absolute joy of Simonsbath is the downstairs areas however. Tucked away at the back is a library style bar; wood paneling, ample wing back leather sofas and chairs, shelves of books and lots of old-style board games. More importantly there's a small bar well stocked with some great whisky! Another lounge area of the same style leads off the bar so there's more than enough space to relax for a drink.
We elected to eat at Simonsbath which turned out to be a good choice. Relaxing with a rather lovely glass of English wine (if you want to experiment with wine, talk to the owner, he's a very gracious and knowledgeable chap who can introduce you to some English classics) before dinner we were introduced to a menu which was a good mixture of fish and meat. The meal itself was wonderful, my partner had a bowl of mussels in a parsley, white wine and garlic sauce whilst I plumped for sole goujons which were plump and deliciously tender. I dived into an enormous bowl of the same mussels my partner had as a starter for my main and he opted for duck which was cooked to perfection; a lovely pink blush in the centre. This was washed down with a lovely NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Portions are generous so we couldn't quite manage a pudding but instead elected to take our wine to the bar area and relax.
The service in Simonsbath is fantastic; staff are friendly, knowledgeable and committed to giving a good service....even when we rather stupidly locked ourselves out of our room and the owner had to get a ladder and climb through our window to let us in! Once we were in we spent a very peaceful night; given the age of the building I was expecting a night of creaky floorboards but we couldn't hear a pin drop and the bed was beautifully comfortable.
Breakfast was wonderful - none of this help yourself to congealed breakfast buffet nonsense, but a proper menu of choices to select from which are cooked to order.
The *only* downside to the hotel is that there is no mobile network coverage whatsoever in the valley it's located in so we had to do an evening and morning scoot to the top of the nearest hill to pick up messages. A small price to pay however.
All in all we really enjoyed our visit and it perfectly suited us - we'll definitely be back!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.