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“Comfortable but slightly lacking in character”

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The Belfry at Yarcombe
Ranked #1 of 2 Yarcombe B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
130 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“Comfortable but slightly lacking in character”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

The exterior of the building looked promising, and we arrived to a warm welcome from Neil,the proprietor. Our room with its stained glass window was large and well appointed, but we felt that the choice of modern furnishing and decor was not altogether appropriate or to best advantage. That said, our bed was very comfortable and the bathroom had generous and good quality toiletries. The restaurant was closed, so we dined at the Yarcome Community Inn just opposite. We enjoyed this hugely. The food was good, the atmosphere tremendous, and the project deserves great support. Breakfast was exellent, nicely cooked and a good range of homemade and local products on offer.The Belfry does a great deal that is right, and if ambience is not an issue, then this makes a good choice.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Fionnuala22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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250 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Canterbury, England, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2012

We consider ourselves very lucky to get a late booking for 2 nights at this lovely hotel. After attempting to book on a late booking site with no sucess i rang directly and Sarah Jane couldnt have been more helpful. On arrival we were warmly greeted by neil and offered tea and cake in the comfortable lounge. We spent 2 nights in the Tennyson room which was exactly as described. Fantastically comfortable bed and clean fresh linen and robes. Plenty of nice touches like complimentary toiletries, a good range of drinks in the room and fresh milk and juices available in the fridge on the landing. Breakfast was fantastic in the cozy dining room and Neil was very attentive and nothing too much trouble. The resturant was closed on the evening we were there but sarah Jane and Neil provided excellent advise on local places to eat and we would definately recommend The Candlelight Inn at nearby Bishopswood. We had a lovely relaxing stay and intend to return in the future to this lovely part of Devon. We would recommend The Belfry to anyone visiting this area.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Marion M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honiton, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 21, 2012

My wife and I booked a dinner for our anniversary, We could not have had a better evening and what fabulous food. The company of Neil and Sarah-Jane was very welcoming, What a lovely couple. The Hotel is warm and welcoming, dinning room romantic, sitting room cosy. We will be going again for a family gathering soon.

Ron & Adrienne.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ron W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2012

This is a lovely hotel in a converted church on the border between Dorset & Somerset. There are beautiful views through stained glass windows over both counties from the well-furnished rooms, each of which is themed around a different English poet.

The hotel has a small restaurant with one evening sitting. We didn't eat there in the evening, but breakfasts were superb, offering a range of locally sourced food and smoked salmon, haddock & kippers from a Cornish smokehouse.

One of the owners, Neil, provided a friendly welcome and excellent service. However, one strange event overshadowed our stay.

We had a large bouquet of flowers in our room, including several beautiful lilies. I bought these for my wife to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

While we were out, one of the hotel staff cut all the stamens off the lilies. This seemed like a very odd and quite intrusive thing for someone to have done. My wife was very upset that her flowers had been vandalised like this.

Later, when we were checking out, the other owner asked if everything had been OK, so I mentioned the damage to the lilies.

Instead of apologising, she became very confrontational, and said we shouldn't have brought lilies into the hotel because the pollen might stain the hotel's fabrics. She seemed to think it was perfectly OK to take a pair of scissors to someone else's bouquet of flowers.

Of course we're aware of the staining risk from lilies, so we'd taken extra care to position the flowers well away from any fabrics.

Then, out of nowhere, she accused us of "trashing the room". All we had done in the room the previous evening was share a tray of cheese & biscuits & a bottle of wine. There was no mess or damage and the room wasn't even untidy.

We were very disappointed that our stay was marred by this incident, and the owner's attitude. She didn't seem to care about our experience at all.

If you do stay at the hotel, be sure to visit the pub over the road, the Yarcombe Inn. It's a community pub, run by volunteers from the village. Any profits are re-invested in community activities. The service there is a little slow, but the food and beer is first rate, and they have a good selection of under-priced wine.

There are also several beautiful walks which start & finish in the village, and a leaflet describing the walks is available from the hotel.

The location is very convenient for visiting the coast, Seaton, Sidmouth and Lyme Regis are all within easy reach. The beautiful Dart Valley is half an hour away, and Exeter is a similar distance.

Overall, it's a nice hotel in a lovely location with plenty to do and see, provided you stay on the right side of the owners. If being treated well as a hotel guest is important to you, you might want to look elsewhere in this beautiful area.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank spud-digger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hotelownerresponse, Owner at The Belfry at Yarcombe, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Ooooh where to start.....black hair dye in the bath which our housekeeper had to scrub with bleach to remove, fresh fruit trodden into the carpet, wine stains all over the duvet cover, fresh food in the bottom of the wardrobe (there is a fridge at the bottom of the stairs...) plus general mess everywhere - "This is the Worst room I have seen in over 20 years" were our Housekeepers words.

It was more than apparent from the above, that no matter what we could have done to protect our furniture from the stamens in the lilies, the total dis-regard you had shown for the room and lack of respect to protect our furniture from damage, we were and still are, adamant you would have allowed pollen to drop on everything without a care in the world.

We tried to explain why we felt we had no alternative but to remove the pollen when you were checking out but you knew my reason was the above and you clearly didn't want to be told. You would not allow me to get a word in edgeways - not even your wife could.

At no point did we tell you not to bring flowers into the hotel - indeed we wholly encourage it and use a wonderful florist in Honiton who make the most amazing and contemporary arrangements....including with lilies ;-)

I am sure you would have preferred us to have taken this pro-active stance to protect the room rather than produced to you a bill for the damage?
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2012

We stayed 2 nights in the Wordsworth Room, all was superb ! Bed was comfy, we were a bit concerned about some of the reports of road noise but we never had a problem.
We ate at the hotel 1 night, food was fantastic even better than River Cottage, we had scallops & fish and they were cooked to perfection and the desserts were to die for. Breakfast each morning was generous and well cooked. Sarah-Jane & Neil were excellent hosts.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KagsandMildew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reigate, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
233 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

I had high hopes of the Belfry based on other travellers' reviews and photographs on the website. Our expectations were raised by reading about bathrobes, L'Occitane products, flat-screen TV's, free Wi-Fi, and good views. Surely anywhere that offered all these goodies must be just that cut above the rest? Well.... We accept that an old building with restrictions has its own special character, but we felt badly let down by the Byron room. Having read other reviews and seen rebuttals by the owners, I will let my photographs stand as testimony. We felt the room to be dark and oppresive, despite the dual aspect. We arrived after dusk, but in the morning were really surprised to see that contrary to our expectations the room was not actually a semi-basement. The windows are set high into the walls, giving this subterranean effect, not alleviated by the dark blue wallpaper on the feature wall. A curious technique had been employed when wallpapering the bathroom - the woodchip paper underneath was cleary visible! The shower room was cramped and very tired. It was clear that the paintwork had been freshened up some time in the past, but where it was chipped and flaking the underlying colour could plainly be seen. All these comments must be set against the fact that we considered the price just too high for accommodation of this standard. We are seasoned travellers and have stayed in many low-budget venues where shortcomings of this nature are to be expected and therefore not so upsetting but at £92 per night we felt overcharged. A number of small things, but the overall impression just wasn't good and I wouldn't recomment the Belfry to a friend.

There were some positives:Service at breakfast was quick and efficient, and despite the closeness of the road, noise disturbance was minimal.

I am sure that the satisfied customers had a room other than the Byron - this is the only explanation that we can come to. It would be interesting to correlate the unhappy reviews with the rooms in which the reviewers stayed.

Room Tip: Not Byron!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank maisielane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed September 13, 2012 via mobile

This was our third vist in the last twelve months. My wife and I love this place. (my wife completed a previous review on Booking.com). Upon arrival we are always made to feel so welcome and their hospitality is exceptional. The hotel is full of character and I would definitely descibe this as being a 'boutique hotel' with history. Yes some of the walls may not be insulated to the required standard of a five star hotel but the rooms are very well presented. They are very clean and tidy with bath robes, a good selection of tea, coffee and mineral waters. The complimentary toiletries are very nice and  plentiful. The beds have always been very comfortable with stylish bed linen. 

Whilst working in London  I have been fortunate to eat at some vary exclusive restaurants, those run by celebrity chiefs and Michelin Starred. Every meal my wife and I have ordered at the Belfry is without any hesitation, superb. I would gladly make the four hour return drive from my home just to have dinner there. I have had far worse meals at restaurants that actually do hold a Michelin Star. The Belfry menu is very well priced and the quality of food and presentation is excellent. I like the fact that they use local produce and have an extensive wine list. Breakfast is just as delightful and again they use fresh local produce and offer a good choice.

The owners are some of the nicest people you could possibly meet and we will be back very soon to enjoy their hospitality and the surrounding countryside. 

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dcl1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Belfry at Yarcombe

Property: The Belfry at Yarcombe
Address: Main Street, Yarcombe, Honiton EX14 9BD, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Honiton > Yarcombe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Yarcombe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Belfry at Yarcombe 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relax and unwind in our beautiful boutique 4* Restaurant and Rooms hotel set within an historic grade II listed old school built in 1870. With stone mullioned & leaded stained glass windows, fabulous individually designed decor and L’Occitane bathroom products, The Belfry provides the quality & level of service you would normally expect from a much larger hotel. Just off the A303 & close to the dramatic Jurassic Coast and Antiques Galore in Honiton. ... more   less 
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