If you are after accommodation in the Cullompton area, it has to be said that there isn't really much choice. Passing through and wanting somewhere near Diggerland on the Exeter side, we ended up here, booking the room over the phone that morning. Having seen it on laterooms.com at £75 for 2 adults and 2 children, including breakfast, we phoned up and were quoted £85 - however mention of the online deal saw it reduced to £75.
We arrived about 4pm and looked to check in. There is a large car park at the rear of the pub, and several doors to the rear. The one marked reception has a buzzer, but you end of having to go through what seem like several deserted rooms (the pub looks half abandoned from the front anyway) to get to the bar at the rear. This is obviously an old building and therefore has a number of characterful features, including the many characters in the bar who seem to spend all day there. It wasn't quite a meeting of the Hells Angels but lets just say I wasn't inclined to go to the bar for a drink later on.
We were shown to our room, ascending a lovely old grand staircase and then along a musty corridor to the door to room 5. Here, we descended a few stairs to our slightly odd family room, 'T' shaped with large double bunk beds on one side of the stepped corridor and a double bed on the other. Decorated in toile wallpaper, there were some nice touches, such as the rope handrail and the reproduction furniture, however the busy floral curtains clashed with the wallpaper, and the Chinese lettered duvet cover was a total mismatch. The view from the windows onto the car park and yard area (couldn't with the best will in the world describe the concrete floors and walls and scattered benches as a beer garden) reminded me of a thriller where the heroine is stuck in the spooky hotel...
Having been tired, we had initially stayed in our room for a few hours, watching TV, but decided to venture out about 7 for something to eat. Having asked earlier what there was to do locally, and been told, "nothing" - and then asking if the pub got noisy and told that it closed at 7 anyway, we felt going out might take our minds off the seemingly deserted hotel... Returning at 9 to an almost completely dark hotel, we decided to pull the hotel access door shut behind us and ensure we locked our door as we settled in for the night. Unlike most hotels, the doors needed to be physically locked...
Next morning, we gave the bathroom a wide berth (clean, but with an overwhelming chemical smell) and headed down to breakfast. The 'restaurant', one of the deserted rooms we had walked through on arrival, was now a breakfast room! Even more surprising was the appearance of at least two other groups of people who had had the misfortune to stay here too the previous night. Breakfast was the best part of the stay, hot and tasty. Husband reports that check out was difficult as the rest of the hotel, ie the bar, which had been a misfits hang out the afternoon before, was totally deserted at 10am.
The hotel looks like a serious injection of TLC would do it the world of good. It has some lovely features and the basics of a good B&B however is lacking that guiding hand. A pity.
- Also Known As:
- Manor House Hotel Cullompton, Devon