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“great location - hotel not so great”
Review of The Sun Bay Hotel

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The Sun Bay Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Hope Cove
Reviewed September 19, 2013

I regret being negative about our stay at Sun Bay Hotel as the owner and staff were very friendly and helpful, however they really need to improve the decor to fit with the 21st century expectations at prices of over £100 per night.
The setting is wonderful - pretty cove in an area of natural beauty and for that alone it is worth a visit to the restaurant - but unfortunately not to stay at Sun Bay hotel.
The food however is excellent - both breakfasts and the one evening meal we had were above average.
The main problem was the lack of detail re caring for guests and the appalling decor of the bedrooms.
As the previous reviewer noted an overflowing bin at the entrance is not a good start and the dog poo bag on the verge could surely be removed. There was not enough car parking for the residents - with at best 12 spaces for 15 rooms - we had to park in the pay bays opposite the hotel.
We booked 2 rooms for 2 couples both were classed as family rooms. Room 12 (my daughter and son-in-law stayed there) was not too bad although the bathroom was not up to standard and the shower cold. The main problem in this room was the lack of cleanliness in that there was a pile of dog hairs next to the bed - my daughter wondered why her eyes were itchy the whole time we were there. My husband and I stayed in room 14 which in no way is large enough to be classed as a family room - it was so stacked with beds and heavy furniture (1 double bed, 2 bunk beds, 1 wardrobe and 2 chest of drawers) in a room approx 10x12 that there was not even a chair to sit on or bedside tables and only one bedside light - surely this is a minimum expectation at these prices! The bathroom however was good and clearly recently refurbished. In both rooms the wallpaper was ugly, cheap 1970s - just a lick of paint would improve the look no end.
I understand from speaking with the owners that their intention is to build a completely new hotel in a couple of years and I'm sure it will be fantastic - but in the meantime they need to think about what their paying customers are getting today and make a great deal of improvements in the rooms we stayed in.
My guess is that they are gradually updating rooms as many reviews rave about the place and people in the lounge we overheard were saying they stay at Sun Bay hotel as often as possible - unless they have very peculiar ideas about what is acceptable they must have been staying in much better rooms than us!

Room Tip: not room 14
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michd89, Owner at The Sun Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2013

Dear Chris W,

Thank you for your comprehensvie and mostly balanced review. As you are a "Senior Reviewer for Trip Advisor" I am sure you are completely aware of the catastrophic impact your comments can have on a small family run business such as ours. Even so, it is not normally our policy to respond to reviews, prefering to trust to the intelligence of the reader to draw their own conclusions from the entire spread of comments and discard the occasional "horror story."
That all being said, we wanted to challenge you on a couple of your comments which we feel were a little unfair.
Decor: You mention the decor on a number of occasions, calling it "appalling, dated " etc etc. The entire hotel was redecorated 4 years ago and it was chosen to be hard wearing and realtively anodyne. While it might not be worthy of a Mayfair penthouse hotel room perhaps it would have been fairer to say " the decor did not suit my taste" ?
Food: Thankyou for your comments about the food.
Parking: Car parking is tight and we carefully manage the spots. Hotel guests should NEVER have to pay for parking. Please call the hotel and we will refund you. As a regular traveller and reviewer, could you not have asked one of the "friendly and helpful staff" (your words)? They would have sorted this out for you immediately.
Dog Poo and Bins: You leap with undisguised glee on a the "dog poo and bins" bandwagon from a previous review. Yup, they are both horrid, we litterpick the entire site and the public car park opposite on a daily basis and regularly clean up other peoples refuse and dog poo bags. We obvioulsy missed this particular one (which has now headlined in TWO reviews), perhaps if it was too disgusting for you to pick up, you might have asked one our staff to do so? Sorry about the bin, it was waitng to be picked up by the contractor and while it stood out in the car park it was then "seeded" by helpful passers by. Utterly yucky to look at and even worse to empty by hand.....apologies.
Rooms: "The bathroom was not up to standard, the shower was cold and there was dog hair which caused my daughter to have an allergic reaction." (I have paraphrased a litany of misery here). As a hotelier, any of these items is worthy of immediate and undivided management attention....I was horrified. Yet none prompted you as a "Senior Reviewer" to come and engage with the the hotel staff to get it fixed? Frustratingly, you kept these significant and unpleasant issues to yourself (until your review) and did not allow us the chance to set things right (which we REALLY want to do......it is bad business to do anything else).
We make no secret that our rooms are on the small side, but we pride ourselves on the fact that they are spotlessly clean and everything works. I am genuinely sorry that this does not seem to have been the case for you. Likewise I apologise if your expectations were not met, as you note we seem to be satisfying most if not all.
Lastly, thank you for your engagement and we do hope you will return.

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236 - 242 of 431 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2013

We were reminded of a 1970's boarding house. The overflowing rubbish bin at the entrance set the tone for an extremely disappointing and overpriced stay. We were celebrating a significant wedding anniversary and were expecting more - having read other reviews. Constant musak and TV on most of the time made us flee the lounge to take refuge in our small bedroom. One 'easy' chair and small tv screen high up on the wall. Breakfasts were some of the poorest we have ever had, tough bacon, portion controlled butter and marmalade (mouldy) and indifferent service. Bags of dog poo littered the verge. Dead plants in a basket on the steps leading from the lounge onto the terrace didn't look good. I could go on!
Fortunately we had 2 excellent evening meals well away from Sunbay!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank mary s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michd89, Owner at The Sun Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2013

Dear Mary S,
Thank you for your review. It is impossible to describe the feeling of devastation and hurt that a review like this generates, particularly when we have been given no opportunity at the time to redress these grievances. You must surely understand that it is not in the interest of you as a customer or us running a business (that is our livelihood) for a customer to leave the hotel having had such a torrid and unpleasant time.
The Rubbish Bin: The company that provided the refuse service had gone bust and we were waiting for the bin to be taken away. Unfortunately in the intervening time, the bin had been "seeded" by passers by and, you are right, it was overflowing and unpleasant. We can only apologise.
The Lounge: We find that most people actually enjoy the television and music in the lounge, this is the first complaint of this nature we have had in 5 years. Had you asked to have the television or music turned off then we would have been delighted to oblige.
The Bedrooms: We make no secret that our rooms are on the small side. On our website you will see a detailed description of each room including pictures. In an ideal world they would all be palatial boudoirs, but until we redevelop the site (planning permission recently granted) we are constrained by present reality.
Breakfast: Crushed by your comments. Had you said something at the time we might have been able to do something about it. As it stands we can only take your word for what you say happened and then balance your comments against all the others that enjoy our breakfast and the service we provide.
Dog Poo and Plants: The plant that so offended you has been destroyed. As we personally litter pick the entire site including the verge and the public car park opposite on a daily basis we feel that perhaps you are overegging the "bags of dog poo littered the verge" comment. People do leave their rubbish behind, we live here and we clear up our environment. Your comment implies some sort of feaces ridden, fly infested inner city park and is completely unfair.
Lastly, you clearly had a disappointing experinience and, as well as being bad business, that is a massive shame. We are very sorry for that and should you have a change of heart, please give us a call and maybe we might be able to make another stay a bit more akin to some of the other reviews.

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Reviewed September 12, 2013

Our fifth time to the Cove but our first at Sun Bay - what a lovely find. Beautiful location and great views from our room. Food is excellent, by far the best menu you will get anywhere, proper home cooking with fresh ingredients. Staff are very friendly and hospitable, made us feel extra special, especially Poppy the dog! Already planning our next visit, can't come soon enough - see you soon Angela, Michael and Poppy

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Angela D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

We reserved a double room with ensuite and sea view and paid £100 deposit. On arrival we were given a key and told where to find our room. The room we had been allocated was a rather depressing family room with a double bed and bunkbeds. The ancient wallpaper was faded and peeling, the headboard was stained and dirty, the tiny ensuite had linoleum peeling away from the shower try and the shower head did not appear to have been cleaned for some time. Our 'sea view' window was covered in white marks which made it difficult to actually see the sea. Altogether a most unpleasant and totally uninviting little room. We spoke with the Proprietor's wife who recorded our complaints. These were to be rectified by a handyman. Two hours after arriving we decided to leave and spoke to another member of staff who slammed her fists on the reception desk and said she was fed up with people complaining. She fetched the Proprietor himself, who after hearing our complaints explained that eggs and flour had been thrown at the windows the previous weekend and he was waiting for a windowcleaner (this was now Tuesday).Whilst not condoning this behaviour, we can sympathise with the offenders. However, we were not prepared to accept the room allocated to us (no explanation was ever offered as to why we had been given the family room and not the double room we had booked and no apology was given)

So, after spending just 2 hours at the Sun Bay Hotel we left, £100 worse off but glad to escape. This hotel is in a beautiful location but if our bedroom is anything to go by desparately needs updating.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Dab01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

This is very much a family business and as such it has its own unique favour. There was slight mix up with the booking but it was sorted out with the minimum of fuss on arrival. The room was clean and comfortable and the staff worked hard to ensure we had a pleasent stay. The food is very good and the Fresh Mackerel in Tempura Batter with Saffron Sauce was delicious. Breakfasts were first class with a good selection. The only slight downside we noticed was that the bar can get a little noisy at times and you needed to be careful when parking.

Room Tip: Discuss any special requirements direct with the hotel. We were in Room 9 which is a twin room on th...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Tony C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

Great location - Hope Cove is beautiful. The staff could not be friendlier or more helpful, the food is excellent - honestly the best menu and food for children we have ever had anywhere. Ingredients are all fresh, food cooked from scratch, generous size portions and taste delicious. Hope Cove itself is small - with the tide in the beach is really just the lifeboat slip, but once the tide goes out sands and rockpools are exposed making for a decent sized beach and one of the quieter ones in the area. Perfect also as a base for a walking holiday and a jumping off point for Salcombe, Bigbury and other more well-known beaches in the area. Hotel doesn't have the profile of South Sands or Burgh Island - but it does not cost nearly as much as either of those! For the warm welcome, lovely food and friendliness of the staff alone we will book again.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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1  Thank WoodsInTheWoods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Booked a two night stay and paid £50 deposit over the phone to secure. Was given no terms and conditions re the booking or deposit. Child got chicken pox and rang and gave 3 days notice that needed to cancel room. Tried to get in touch several times, was asked to ring back, telephone message left was not answered, emailed and finally got a response that the room had not been let so they were keeping the deposit (on a weekend when weather beautiful). Not given any proof of this so who knows?! I sent them a further email, which again was ignored. Unprofessional. Through this they have lost a potential customer who visits an elderly uncle nearby several times per year. Beware when paying a deposit.

Stayed: July 2013
6  Thank dohbum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sun Bay Hotel

Address: Inner Hope Cove, Hope Cove, Salcombe TQ7 3HH, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Salcombe > Hope Cove
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Hope Cove
Price Range: $79 - $153 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Sun Bay Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
14 bedroomed family run hotel 50 yds from the golden sandy beaches of Hope Cove. Dog friendly, we are on the world famous South West Coast path, the hotel was refurbished in 2009 and boasts a spacious sun terrace from which to enjoy breath taking views out to sea. Our restaurant is rapidly becoming the destination of choice for all those who love fresh locally produced fare and our speciality is locally caught sea food which is landed daily.We hope you will come and stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Sun Bay Hotel Hope Cove, Devon

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