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“Excellent Pub For A Weekend Stay”
Review of Masons Arms

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Masons Arms
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Branscombe
Certificate of Excellence
Bath, England
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Excellent Pub For A Weekend Stay”
Reviewed February 21, 2011

My wife and I stayed here for 2 nights over the Valentines Day period taking advantage of a special offer which offered good value for money. The pub is old and full of character. The room, (we had a deluxe), was spacious, warm, and the bed huge and comfortable. My wife loved the whirlpool bath and the big walk in power shower. My only niggle was there was no radio in the room. The food served in the restaurant was generally very good, although again if one wanted to be picky, I thought the cheesecake was full of gelatin. Breakfast was superb however and the service was prompt. Despite it being a wet weekend in February the pub was quite busy and there were plenty of walkers about. I would imagine in Summer the area is rammed with tourists and best avoided but of course that is not the pub's fault. Would I come here again. Oh yes!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Dunworkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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603 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hampshire, England
Level Contributor
131 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2011

Although it is in an undeniably beautiful setting, one can't help but feel that the Mason's Arms is resting on its laurels.
The accommodation is quite expensive, but no little extras that usually go with a commensurate price tag are offered.
To not start serving cooked breakfasts until 8.30 at the weekend, seemed extraordinary.
All in all, it seems that the Mason's Arms is spoiling the ship for a ha'peth of tar.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pollilop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honiton, Devon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2011

From the outset of planning this party we had superb co-operation. Pub hospitality at it's very best. Rooms excellent, clean and warm. Service impeccable and the chef and team to be commended. We could not have improved anything at all in any way whatsover. Totally delighted with the entire experience. Well done to all involved.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank melodeonmania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston super Mare, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed January 16, 2011

We had a one night break away for our wedding anniversary, as a present from our daughter. The room was spacious and very comfortable and had a spacious full en-suite including shower cubicle, bath, bidet and toilet. This bungalow styled room had a private patio area with views of the surrounding valleys. It was perfect in every way. The hotel food was limited in choice but fabulous in both the bar and restaurant. The staff were very helpful and friendly. Branscombe beach was a level 20 minute walk from the hotel.
The only minus anybody may feel ( although I found it a plus) is there is no mobile phone signal other than down by the beach. A perfect getaway from it all trip.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank blondie3163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cornwall
Level Contributor
58 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2011

Fantastic country inn in a beautiful setting. Warm welcome at reception, shown to room which was lovely, yes the room was country cottage not urban chic but what could anyone expect in a building with a thatched roof! We went into the bar for pre-dinner drinks and were welcomed by locals enjoying an evening drink. Dinner was lovely particularly the tempura banana with maple syrup and toffee ice-cream which was amazing. We had a great nights sleep in a huge bed followed by great showers, loads of hot water and great water pressure. Breakfast service and food quality could not be faulted and check out warm and efficient. Thank you to everyone at the Mason's Arms for a lovely stay

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank CornwallAquagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckinghamshire
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

As a couple who have stayed at the Masons on average three times a year for the past 10 years - or more! - we were concerned to hear that the business had been taken out of private hands in July 2010 and sold to the St Austell Brewery chain. We booked into the hotel for two nights during early November for a short break, and to check that our usual habit of staying over the New Year period would not lead to disappointment. The hotel was very quiet, this to be expected off-season, but the menu was good, the staff, atmosphere in the bar and general feeling amongst the employees and locals who frequent the Masons very positive.

With this in mind, we went ahead with our booking for New Year, arriving on the 29th December for four nights. We stayed in a luxury four-poster room in the annexe (some guests have noted on this site that they feel isolated, but it is tranquil, a beautifully thatched building, and only a one minute stroll along well-lit paths through th gardens and across the car-park to the main building. The only problem may be a series of outside steps for those with mobility problems, in which case a room in the main building may be prefereable.

Upon arrival, we found the same familiar and friendly faces behind the reception area and bar, and the room unchanged from our previous visits. Comment sfrom other guests on this site regarding the quality of bathroom fittings are possibly valid, but the bathroomwe had was large, warm and clean, and hot water in plentiful supply. Towels were white and fluffy, a range of high-end toiletries is now provided, and even soft towelling robes were laid out on the bed for our use during our stay. Our only negative comment would be the hardness of the bed, which seems to be reflected in a number of the rooms. As a slight female, I found this a pity and am surprised that it has not been addressed, as other guests to this site have mentioned it too, but no doubt an average man would have no such quibble.

Upon entering the bar, we were greeted with the sight of a roaring log fire - with plenty of spare logs - twinkling Christmas lights, mulled wine and a warm welcome from the staff and locals, who continue to frequent the Masons - many accompanied by their dogs, a bonus as far as we are concerned!

Crab sandwiches were available, still supplied by Linda and caught off Branscombe beach. The bar menu has now merged with the restaurant menu and this, in our opinion, has only helped to increase the standard of the food , as the menu now changes slightly on a daily basis and features both meat and excellent fish (the brill and sea bream spring to mind, along with the pork medallions!). Possibly the chef is able to concentrate on fewer dishes and serve to a higher standard than previously - whatever, it worked for us! St Austell Breweries don't subscribe to the AA rosette scheme, so the restaurant has technically "lost" this accolade, but not in reality.

New Year's Eve was as good as in previous years. The pre-dinner champagne reception was held in the Waterfall Lounge. Again, were were warmly greeted by Paul the General Manager and his team, a fire was burning brightly and champagne and capapes were served.

Dinner was taken in the main restaurant, four courses of exceptional quality, with good portion control - not too small, but not too big, so room for a delicious dessert and coffee with truffle chocolates!

We were sad to leave the Masons, as we always are, and are just so glad that the change of ownership has not been detrimental to our experience. Yes, the beers are now from St Austell's stable, except for a guest beer, and yes, the business is no longer in private ownership, so the odd sign and promotional material has crept in, but Paul does a good job of hosting and continuing the tradition of the hotel, and both he and his excellent team worked really hard and managed to pull it all together to give us another New Year full of happy memories.

Indeed, we've already booked again for next New Year .... !

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Hollys_Owners
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, England
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2010

Having booked a Christmas break at the Masons Arms we were somewhat alarmed by some of the negative reviews.However our experience was entirely positive and we were delighted by almost all aspects of our stay. Two of us had a cottage which was spacious and well equipped though if there is an upgrading of equipment a small fridge might be helpful. A third member of the party had a room in the main building which was small though warm. The television channels were extended during our stay. Rooms were regularly and efficiently cleaned and the furniture was comfortable and serviceable.Good toiletries in shower and bath.
The food was very good indeed:Christmas fare was imaginative and generous and there were ambitious menus which were well executed. (Only slight puzzle was the fondness for asparagus at this time of year.) An excellent and reasonably priced wine list complemented the meals.The breakfast was very good too. Service was helpful, friendly and efficient .
The area around the hotel is outstanding - a short walk to the beach and many attractions nearby. The snowy weather unfortunately prevented extensive exploration.
It seems this hotel has recently been taken over by the St Austell group which may enable it to update the fabric and facilities over the couple of years; it is to be hoped this can be done without losing the character of a really charming enterprise. We noted there was no laundry service which might blight a longer stay and there are problems with mobile phoen reception.But the reception made internet service available and some reception could be obtained in the bar.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank GRPOxford_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Masons Arms

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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