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“Just not up to the cost and reputation”
Review of Masons Arms

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Masons Arms
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Branscombe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 3, 2010

The booked room had not been cleaned or linen changed. We were upgraded to an excellent room that was perfect. The hotel smelt of cleaning fluid, the corridor carpets were smelly and dirty, the young bar staff giggled continually and did not know how to use the till, the evening meal was reasonable with efficient service but spoilt by someone using a skipe PC to have conversations in the eating area, breakfast staff were very good but the smoked haddock was swimming in the poaching juice. It is a very pleasent place to be but........................

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank DSA948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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580 - 586 of 647 reviews

Reviewed September 10, 2010

We arrived on Sept the 6th for the first night of our honeymoon. I would of hoped that the hotel could of given us a extra welcome gift as they knew we had just go married, but no.

The luxury cottage room?, well annex would be a better description. For a £140 a night B&B I would have expected a TV with more than 4 channels, however the TV looked over 20 years old, and the remote was held together with tape. No radio in the room, trouser press or alarm clock. Towels were well worn, and the carpet in the bathroom looked as though it needed changing several years ago. The settee was about to collapse and very uncomfortable. After the first night the towels we not changed, and the coffee tray was not replenished.

The restaurant on the first night was nice, but they were very tight with the vegetables, one asparagus spear cut into three. In other words, you would need to pay extra for a normal portion of vegetables. Open Beef Wellington with one square inch of pastry. The pork, while being very nice was no more than you would get in a sausage. We did not eat there on the subsequent nights, their loss.

As for sleep quality, every time the people above us move, they woke us up. The four poster felt as though it was about to fall down

Over hyped and over priced

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank PhilKathryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2010

We had had a superb lunch in the bar the day before and were greatly looking forward to our restaurant dinner. Oh dear. A dish with asparagus that had one complete spear and three headless stalks. Scallops served with undressed salad and a smear of tasteless something. A crab and citrus tart that appeared to have no crab. A creme brulee that was good but served with soggy raspberries on the side - had they been frozen? Everyone tells you this place is great for food so we had high expectations. Perhaps we should have eaten in the bar, as we did the day before.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank MimiYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2010

Lovely hotel in a quite area with wonderfull views. Food is good but the haddock and chips isn't as good as past years. Chairs in the pub need cushion on it would be nice to have an area were you could sit and relax after your meal. Breakfast room is lovely and friendly staff quick service and good breakfast. New carpets needed in stairs and corridors to bedrooms maybe the new owners will sort this out. Overall we had a lovely time.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank sue2056
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2010

Started looking for a place to stay in Sidmouth but all the hotels seemed extremely expensive and most looked very dowdy and catering for the retirement brigade of 70+.
Found this place on a search engine of pubs.

The booking was efficient and we were charged £130 for b & b per night. The pub was fairly easy to find by sat nav and the last 2 miles or so are down very narrow single track country lanes where backing up to let cars pass is the norm, so not for jittery drivers. The car park is also shared with people using the pub and is a very tight squeeze at lunch and dinner times. The pub and cottages are your typical chocolate box thatched roof buildings which were very pretty. The room was an upstairs cottage consisting of 2 single beds pushed together (very hard) a couple of chairs (very old fashioned but comfortable), plenty of wardrobe space, a small very old fashioned tv, a carpet that had seen better days and a very large bathroom. There was plenty of hot water but my husband said the water just stopped completely one night mid shower. The shower could also do with re-grouting. The bedroom overall was very spacious with lovely views over the countryside and for the sake of a few hundred pounds could have been much smarter, ie modern seating or recovering and a new carpet.

We had evening meals in the pub every day (4 in all). The menus varied very slightly but there was plenty of choice and the meals were of good quality. Booking is essential in high season (certainly before 5pm) as the pub is extremely popular. There are several rooms in the pub - The main area where some of the locals meet up and is very dog friendly, behind the bar there are 2 smaller rooms which are very similar to the main area but a little cosier and a small room beyond these which is used for the main restaurant meals which has tablecloths, waiter service and is carpeted (again a new carpet would make the room so much nicer due to the large stains on it). There is also quite a large area to sit outside. Breakfast is served in the 3 rooms behind the bar where there is plenty of choice of juice, cereals, fruit and a menu of english breakfast, kippers, croissants and other things and everything was very tasty and fresh.

The pub is at one end of the village, at the other end of the village about a mile away is another pub which was not open when we passed during the day and there is a church and post office in between. Branscombe beach which is shingle was a nice 10 minute walk away and has a large car park, shop, cafe and toilets and as yet is unspoilt by commercialism. In one direction is a nice walk to Beer about 3 miles away and in the other direction is a VERY strenuous walk to Sidmouth about 7 miles away (takes about 3 to 4 hours).

Overall I would definitely recommend a stay here but one or two small changes to the cottages would make them so much nicer.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank christine2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2010

Well what a blast from the past, if you live in a big city this is old school england.
starting with the location well what can i say its peaceful, tranquil and there's no mobile phone signal so you can't be disturbed by some plonker shouting down one.
moving to the hotel, the greeting you get at reception is warm and friendly not what you extpect from a 2star hotel. I was booked into a superior cottage room which was dated but that adds to the old appeal, clean and well serviced.
In the bar the welcome was a blazing open fire with a spit roasting away. The bar meal we had on the first night was great value for money and of high quality.
Ate in the restaurant second night, unfortunately was told that the pub had been taken over and won't be part of the AA so have lost there rosette but by the standard of food that came out the chef's are disturbed by this in their quality.
Will definately be back.
Thank you all at the Masons Arms

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled solo
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Thank PaulCouldwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2010

We stayed two nights and paid £140 per night; the cost seemed high but the "cottage room" was huge (approximately six metres square) with an oak four poster bed, sofa and really good quality old furniture. Bathroom was a little dated in decor but very clean, huge and with bath, seperate shower and bidet!

We were travelling by tandem and the staff let us store the bike in a storeroom by reception - dry and very secure.

The food in the bar was good, especially the pork spit roasted over the fire in the bar.

Excellent choice of draught beers and ciders, all well kept.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank goatwarden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Masons Arms

Address: Branscombe Village, Branscombe EX12 3DJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Branscombe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Branscombe
Price Range: $121 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Masons Arms 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestling in the heart of Branscombe, one of Britain's most picturesque villages, is the award winning, 14th Century, The Masons Arms. This charming thatched Inn dates back to 1350 - a cider house turned country pub - and the men who cut the stone for Exeter Cathedral drank here, hence the name. With only a leisurely ten minute stroll to Branscombe Beach, The Masons Arms offers an ideal base to escape the stresses of modern life and enjoy the magical vista of sea, beaches and the spectacular walks offered by the ninety five miles of Devon and Dorset's Jurassic Coast. The authentic interiors ooze character with timber frames, low beamed ceilings, pine cladding, whitewashed walls and a huge roaring log fire. Our award winning Restaurant offers an exciting and creative menu in relaxed fine dining surroundings. The Masons Arms kitchen brigade are dedicated to sourcing the very best of local Dartmoor produce. The cooking is classy yet simple, perfect for a special meal or relaxing Country lunch. We serve as many as six locally brewed bitters and the finest wines from around the world. The 21 bedrooms at the Masons Arms Branscombe, are cosy, stylish and inviting, blending comfort with character. The Masons Arms has been awarded a FOUR STAR rating under the Inn category by Quality in Tourism. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Masons Arms Hotel Branscombe
Masons Arms Sidmouth
Masons Arms Hotel Sidmouth
Masons Arms Branscombe, Devon, England

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