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“Aweful hotel experience”

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Culm Vale Country House
Ranked #1 of 1 Stoke Canon B&B and Inns
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Aweful hotel experience”
Reviewed December 25, 2010

Avoid at all costs! After reading the previous reviews, I thought I'd found a decent place to say at a very reasonable price. However, after staying there (unfortunately) for two nights, I have to say that it was definitely not worth it! I wish I'd gone somewhere else, but couldn't because there was nothing available at that short notice.

This family-run hotel is a lovely English country house, not far from Exeter town. It's a lovely house with pleasant gardens and surroundings. One of my main reasons for booking this hotel in the first place was its location – only 3 miles away from Exeter, and a nice drive into town. However the pleasantries end there! The hotel is run by a husband and wife team, with 2 small children. The woman of the house seems pleasant enough and hospitable in nature, but can't say the same about the husband, due to the way he dealt with my complaint.

Even with the 'central heating' on full blast during the night, the room was icy cold. I went downstairs to their living room (which by the way was lovely and warm and cosy), and complained that my room ('The Pink Room') was very cold. The man of the house first sent up his 10-yr old child to look at my room. The boy agreed that my room was cold and informed me that he'd go down and tell his parents. I told him that a small portable heater would solve the problem and again he said he'd "tell them downstairs". After a while, he came back to 'check for drafts', after which he said he'd "tell them downstairs again". I again re-iterated that a small portable heater would solve the problem.

After a few minutes, the man himself came up. He had a very quick look around and concluded that that there was nothing wrong. The room was 'reasonably fine' in his opinion. Again I asked for a portable heater, and again he said that I didn't need one and also they didn't have one anyway! He told me to fill up the hot-water bottle and sit with that in my lap!

The woman of the house said that they turned off the heating during the day to save costs. That's fair enough, as I was out during the day anyway. However, if they had had it running throughout the day, maybe the upstairs guest rooms wouldn't be so cold. 'Guest' being the operative word, but not to these hoteliers! The woman told me that they had free Wi-Fi available, and after switching on my laptop, I discovered that indeed there was. However, it might as well not even be there. The speed was ridiculously slow. My phone's GPRS was faster, so I used that to check my emails.

Other annoyances include the shared bathroom; the hygiene was appalling. There were patches of urine on the toilet seat! As for the bathroom shower, it was more like a 'light warm rain', with hardly any pressure in the water. Suffice to say, I only had one shower and decided to have a proper clean when I got home.

It was a cheap hotel, however even at these prices there have to be standards surely! I will definitely be complaining to the AA regarding the undeserved star rating. To conclude, I would definitely not recommend this place to anyone, unless you want to experience life back in the dark ages!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank ramz_2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 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 (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Benllech, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2010

We spent 3 nights at Culm Vale Country House. The property is ideally located if you don't want to stay in the center of Exeter. Our room was clean and comfortable, breakfast was more than adequate and well cooked. The proprietor was very friendly and helpful.
All rooms are on the first floor so is not suitable for guests with mobility problems.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank llionellis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2010

We arrived late afternoon and had booked 2 rooms , our friend had the pink room and we had the gold room , check in was a doddle, the owners were off go -carting with their son's ..
but this didn't matter as Richard a well mannered fella checked us in and took us to our rooms . First impression was lovely , an old sizable mansion house nicely decorated and clean .Our room was clean and comfortable sizable with a wash basin .
bed was clean and comfortable .The road is situated outside our bedroom window which really didnt disturb our stay or sleep.
Breakfast is served between 8am and 8.45 am , which is a nice time .
breakfast was served in the dining area a lovely red room with old furniture. choicey breakfast of toast (brown or white) tea or coffee, activia yoghuts , choice of cereals and an english breakfast (egg choice, poached, fried scrambled ) plenty of food was on offer .
owner is a lovely lady who is not only helpful and friendly but also kind and talkative .
If your looking for an old victorian mansion with nice facilities then i would recommend this lovely B&B .. but if your looking for mod cons and modern facilties , then you wont enjoy it .
we loved it and shall return ..soon

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mrsshortland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2010

Need a reasonably priced base near Exeter? Then this could be the place for you. We stayed 3 nights B&B in the Chalet, which entitled us to a discount. If you are a light sleeper, the proximity to quite a busy road might disturb you at peak times, however, we did not find it a problem at all. Breakfast was the usual for this type of establishment, freshly cooked full English and was very well cooked. There was also cereal, etc if you wanted it. The hosts were particularly pleasant, attentive and knowledgeable of the area, having lived there for some time. All in all, a good place to stay for a few nights or maybe even more if visiting the area on a budget. Free WiFi too! Beats other similarly priced places hands down. Well worth a visit and thanks to the hosts. Hope to see you again sometime.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank HerculesC130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Freckleton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2010

Stayed over night in april . had two en suite rooms. hotel is a country house hotel and is a large hotel with an annexe. friendly welcome and keys to the hotel so we could come back at our leisure. Excellent breakfast in the morning with their own hens fresh eggs. our room had a double and single bed and a large bathroom. furniture is a mix of old and new but perfectly ok. only one comment the towels were past there sell by date. big deal i suppose. would recommend.

Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank intrak2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Narrogin, Western Australia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2009

We stayed at Culm Valley Country House for 4 nights in the Gold Room. The B&B is located 10 minutes out of Exeter in the village of Stoke Canon.The B&B is accessible on a regular bus route that is serviced every ½ hour or so. There is parking available on site too if you drive.

The family run country house is a rural Victorian era house that is full of charm, so if you are looking for modern facilities with no character try a Comfort Inn or a chain hotel because this B&B is not for you. What you do get is friendly and personalised service. After reading the poor comment here we initially booked only one night, but soon changed to the 4 nights. The room we stayed in was huge, clean, warm and comfortable. The bed was very firm, which I liked though some may prefer a softer bed. Wireless internet is available free of charge. The shared bathroom was spotlessly clean and, once the tap was worked out the water was hot (TIP: try turning the tap very slightly to cold for hot water!). Body wash, shampoo and conditioner was all available in a dispenser, which I thought was very environmentally friendly, no unnecessary packaging. The owner was very helpful and printed bus timetables and gave directions for us to use.

We enjoyed the breakfast, the serving was ample for my wife and daughter. I am a big eater and when I asked for a larger portion it was given with good grace. There was cereal (they even brought in a cereal specially for my daughter, just to spoil her!). As much toast as needed was supplied. We were so full from breakfast we rarely ate through the day and only had a light dinner each evening.

There were some minor problems when we were there. We didn't have a room key due to the previous guest taking it with them. It should be noted that we knew about this before we extended the stay and it was of little concern to us and was being remedied. The TV reception was patchy. We were told this could have been due either the switching over to digital TV in the area, or more likely due to the storms that had happened recently. Either way it only affected us for a couple of nights. The road the house is situated on is the main route to Tiverton from Exeter and can be quite noisy during the morning and afternoon commuting times. After this is was reasonably quiet and did not affect our sleep.

I do recommend this B&B as a good economical stay near Exeter. We experienced great service and a good stay and will return if our trip permits.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank thestretchman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Midlands
1 review
Reviewed October 25, 2009

Friendly, homely, comfortable accommodation, where the landlady responds to your every need.
Great choice of food for breakfast, served piping hot and in good time.
Will definitely stay again when in the area.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Projectbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Culm Vale Country House

Property: Culm Vale Country House
Address: 396 Stoke Road (A | Exeter, Stoke Canon, Exeter EX5 4EG, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Exeter > Stoke Canon
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Stoke Canon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Culm Vale Country House 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Culm Vale Country House is a Family Run Bed & Breakfast. Culm Vale is a Lovely Victorian Property (Parts date back to before DoomsDay Book) set within an acre of gardens, with an Original Victorian Greenhouse. The accommodation comprises of 1 En-suite room with a double and a single bed and 3 rooms which share the bathroom, these also have a double and single bed configuration. The Swimming Pool is not available for guest ... more   less 
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