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!
- 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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