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“A little good old world charm in need of a little tlc”
Review of The Orestone Manor

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The Orestone Manor
Ranked #9 of 85 Hotels in Torquay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 28, 2012

I suppose the term not quite what I was expecting sums up Orestone Manor.  You have to make a severe left turn off the xxxx road, which we didn't do partly for over shooting it and partly for fear of not making it in one turn on a fast road and bend, instead turning around further down and approaching from the better direction.  The hotel is only a short distance down a narrow lane.  If you brave the steep hill and single track road you pass a charming thatched pub and the start of several cliff paths (with paid parking) and access to Maidencombe beach (again by a steepish path - not easily accessible in the wet without the right shoes )

The sign for the hotel is slightly lopsided, unlit and in need of a little paint, this rather sums up the hotel.  There are a couple of photos on the Trip Advisor site that might give a fair impression of the standard of some of the decor and finish - the reception for example....  the front of the hotel (despite having a lovely small fountain by the entrance - all let it down rather and even made me wonder if I had done the right thing by booking this hotel.  But it is definitely worth pressing on.

We had the Horsley suite, the room is lovely, spacious, light and clean (not a given by any means in any 4 or 5 star hotel) but this is not helped by the colour scheme of dark cream and mustard!  Being kinder it could be described as gold (cream, gold and blue being the room's colour scheme). Bit reminiscent of the colour in my old primary school.  A bit of fresh cream paint and some new (not modern) pictures or better quality prints (and I am a fan of the preraffelites).  The bathroom could do with being modernised a little but it is spacious, warm, clean and well equipped with bath and sep shower and an over the bath shower for hair washing.  On the downside, there are not quite enough power points near the bed, no light on the rather battered dressing table , our duvet cover was badly torn which goes back a bit to attention to detail and we didn't have any soap in the bathroom for the first couple of nights so ended up buying some by which time it then appeared.  But all very minor.

The reception and stairs and corridors are rather gloomy and a bit unwelcoming - not doing justice to the charming conservatory where breakfast, coffee and lunches are served nor the bar area or restaurant.  The conservatory is candlelit in the evening which is lovely.  I am not suggesting the hotel should be filled with lots of square uncomfortable furniture, electric colours or big wallpaper prints as so many hotels interpret being contemporary - just a lick of paint and a bit of freshening up.  I have learnt that 'traditional' in hotel terms tends to mean unloved or tiredmor awaiting refurbishment.

Breakfast is very good, particularly the hot selection (with the possible exception of the mushrooms which I would like to think are fresh  but believe they may be tinned).  The buffet breakfast is a little Spartan with no muesli but fruit salad and a small choice of cereals and OJ.  Staff are helpful and if more toast or coffee/tea is required it is readily forthcoming.  

We stayed in late Sept and the heating was on so we were lovely and cosy during our stay.  We had a very good but not cheap evening meal in the hotel.  Most of the staff are friendly and efficient.  It is worth taking your room key out with you as it can be difficult to raise reception out if obvious hours when you come back from a day out.  The hotel does boast free wi-fi throughout the hotel but it is extremely patchy and only working for us in areas close to reception so not making it as far as the conservatory, restaurant or our room and we couldn't get a phone signal and Internet connection in the same space - not a big issue unless you are trying to make phone bookings from website information.

  

Room Tip: The Horsley is a lovely room
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Fledge64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
orestone, Owner at The Orestone Manor, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2012

Thank you for your comprehensive comments and feedback about your stay with us.
We are so glad to read that you enjoyed your stay, especially the food and service. Because we had only recently purchased the hotel before your stay last September we had only just begun our refurb programme and at that time our team was quite new. We had made some major changes to the staffing we inherited, with a nearly new team introduced and we are pleased this showed in the quality of service you experienced. Daniel Morris, our new head chef from a Michelin back ground, but also experienced in a bistro environment together with foodie and chef background owners means we can offer dishes from gutsy bistro to our a’la carte fine dinning dishes.
We pride ourselves on quality ingredients of course, but also value for money and ensure we are in most cases more competitive on our pricing than even local foodie pubs. As you noticed with our extensive grounds our upkeep is more expensive than the average pub, but our guests do enjoy the enviable location, one of the reasons for our purchase.
I appreciate the signage was past its best to say the least and let down the entrance and first impressions, not a quick fix as it was tied in to new branding and website which has just come online. New signs are now erected, although we did put a temporary sign at the top of the road and have had brown signs added to help people find their way.
Certainly as we speak all paintwork inside and out is in good order and just some of the things we have achieved since September are; paint to front of building wood and metal work, terrace railings renewed and painted, new Bistro furniture, flooring, new mattresses, pillows, protectors, dressing gowns and other soft bedding supplied by Stalbridge laundry to maintain quality, (I notice you had a tear in the duvet cover which is most unusual from this company and I apologise my housekeeping also did not spot this at the time, we would of course have replaced this immediately, I will be ensuring procedures are in place to stop this happening again), various painting and repairs throughout the hotel, bathroom refurbs inc taps, toilet seats replaced, flooring, lighting, bedroom carpets replaced or steam cleaned with an ongoing programme of detail maintenance and improvements. However we do not wish to change the essential unique and sometimes quirky nature of the rooms
As far as breakfast is concerned there is a menu on our new website we always include a musili as well as other cereals, greek yogurt, homemade compote, fresh fruit salad, croissants and fresh orange juice. I apologise that the serving staff apparently did not put it out that day. I can promise you the mushrooms will have been fresh never tinned.
There is nothing “tired” about the Hotel and restaurant now, my team here are enthusiastic and have achieved much in the short time we have owned. I appreciate you did not have all the benefits of all the improvements at the time of your stay but feel I should bring to your attention the energy, investment and determination to bring this hotel back to life. One of the things which attracted us to the hotel was the individuality of the rooms, of course this means trying to match the room to the guest can be difficult. However the Horsley suit is as you say mainly cream. The mustard yellow as you describe is only on the skirting and picture rail (walls, doors and ceiling all creams), it seems to have struck a cord with you but other rooms have very different schemes. Being such a large room sockets may seem sparse but there is a twin socket each side of the bed, a twin near the end adjacent to the dressing table, a quad by the TV, and a double at the chest of drawers. I will ensure a lamp is set on the dresser in future, and an extra twin made available as the room is so large – thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Corridors don’t have many windows and being a building circa 1830 those we have tend to be stained glass which restricts light, however the hallways are well lit with wide stairs and landings to first floor. Likewise the reception is very large with comfy seating although well lit it does have quite a few antiques and artefacts on the walls etc which is again a style choice something some like and some may not.
We are a small family run Hotel with emphasis on good food and service and with 11 rooms manning the reception late at night is achieved from the bar manager who is available until late. Often myself or my wife are available as well as we live on the premises.
Once again thanks for the feedback, I hope you will come and visit the area and the Orestone again whether for a stay or dinning. I would be happy to show you around the various and sometimes quirky rooms and areas of the Hotel, and we do often offer late availability or deals on multiple nights stay.
Yours truly,
Neil D’allen M.I.H. Owner.

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598 - 604 of 624 reviews

Reviewed December 12, 2011

A group of 22 of us took over the hotel for a Sunday night dinner and overnight stay. When i read the menu I thought this could be either fantastic or a disaster as it was quite complex but it turned out to be a real treat with a standard that was way higher than i expected, even having Kobi beef for the main course. We had room 6 which had its own balcony, good views towards the sea but in summer this might be restricted by the trees. Best bathroom with big roll top bath and shower, although the hot water was a bit slow coming through to fill such a big bath.
Staff were excellent, good bar and definitely a place to reccommend

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank davidmorganDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2011

Our second stay and My husband and I have just fallen in love with everything the Orestone has to offer and also the striking beautiful arear so much so we have brought a house just down the road and will be using the Orestone for special evening meals because we know we will come away satisfied that our money has been spent on a wonderful evening because our meal has been cooked to perfection and we have been looked after so well by all the team at The Orestone.
We will be sending our guests that we are unable to accommodate to The Oreston as the rooms are breath taking, clean and spacoius the breakfast amazing and you can even sit out and look at the sea in the summer.
Lots to do in the arear for all ages and Torquay is just either a short drive or you can catch the bus at the top of the road.
If you are into walking the costal paths then they are right on your door step.
A small cove awaits to be found and while we where there we saw Seals and on another occasion we saw Dolphins.
Our last vist to the Orsestone they had the fires lit and it was great to have pre dinner drinks in front of the fire.
An excellent place to stay and I highly recommend to all.
Enjoy.

Room Tip: We had room seven very spacious with sea views a sitting room and a deep roll top bath to while awa...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank seasonedtraveller011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2011

Made to feel very welcome from when we arrived. My wife and I were shown around the dining and conservatory areas before we were shown to the room. We were in the Gabled room at the very top of the hotel .Very clean / tidy with a view of the sea which was a bonus.Excellent nights sleep very quiet
Cant really fault any thing.We will return .

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Wiltshiremoonraker61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Stayed here overnight after we booked it on a deal website and linked the stay with my partners birthday. Everything was perfect. They upgraded us to a room with a four poster and even supplied a birthday cake in the room free of charge, plus bottle of wine. Was 10 mins away from central Torquay so was great for sightseeing. Staff were faultless and very polite and helpful. Breakfast was spot on too! I would definitely go again!

  • Stayed: October 2011
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Thank Lauragarrod123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2011

We had the good fortune to stay at this hotel, only for 1 night but in my opinion this is one of the nicest, friendliest hotels we have stayed in over last few years. We used a groupon voucher so had one of the rooms on the top floor. We knew that it wouldn't be one of their better rooms, but it was a pleasant surprise to find it was very comfortable and pleasant. Very large double bed and views of the sea from the bedroom and bathrrom windows. Decor was stylish and modern. We had a large ensuite bathroom with overhead shower that had strong water pressure and simple controls. Because we were in the eaves you do have to watch you don't bang your head on the beams.
This is a quirky unusual building, furnished in a 30's style. Upon arrival we were met by a very friendly receptionist who was very helpful, that set the consistent tone throughout our stay with all the staff we encountered. This was a genuine unforced freindliness with excellent service. We were told that the hotel had been under new ownership for 9 weeks by a family who have many years of experience in catering and hospitality......it showed!!
The chef has previously worked at the local well regarded Elephant Restaurant and also at the prestigious Gidleigh Park Hotel. We hadn't intended to eat in but once we saw the evening menu we quickly cancelled we where going to eat. We were not let down the belly pork was fantastic. They have a fantastic 'conservatory' restaurant and a terrace for dining al fresco on warmer nights both have views of the sea.
We have had mixed fortunes over the last 12 months with some of the hotels we have stayed in, but this was of a higher standard than its 3 star rating and should be a 4 star. As with any pace you stay you have to ask if you would return.....I would definately return and would loom forward to eating there. This wonderful Hotel gest a strong recomendation from me

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 54BJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2011

We were delighted with this hotel from the moment we arrived. We stayed in a spacious superior room with great sea views, a fabulous bathroom with clawfoot bath, and a separate sitting area with a welcome tea-tray all laid out, all tastefully decorated and very comfortable. The service from all staff was exemplary and attentive throughout our stay. Breakfast was excellent - highly recommend the Eggs Benedict muffin (with delicious Wiltshire ham) - and our evening meal was simply superb - gorgeous crab tortellini followed by perfectly cooked duck breast, and tempting petit fours with coffee (couldn't manage the lovely sounding desserts or cheese platter we saw other diners enjoy).
We took the opportunity to view other rooms as we certainly plan to return, and the suites and superior rooms all look fabulous (didn't have a chance to view their 'standard' rooms which we understand are inevitably smaller). The whole hotel has a wonderful welcoming feel and with inviting lounges, open fireplace and great conservatory/sunroom enjoying views over the gardens and sea it was a perfect place to stay. Thank you, we will definitely be back.

Room Tip: The superior rooms and suites all looked fabulous. We stayed in room 7 , a quirky under the eaves r...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JoiedeVivreCotswolds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Orestone Manor

Address: Rock House Lane | Maidencombe, Torquay TQ1 4SX, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Torquay
#6 Luxury Hotel in Torquay
Price Range: $149 - $359 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Orestone Manor 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the coastal road from Torquay to Shaldon this Georgian retreat is set in landscaped gardens near Torquay and offers some of the finest accommodation and dining in South Devon. Stylishly refurbished as a Boutique Hotel, the Orestone provides comfortable, luxurious rooms, The New Brunel Lounge Bar, Lounge areas, Conservatory casual Dinning and an excellent main restaurant. Located in the rural village of Maidencombe on the fringe of Torquay, it has stunning views across the Torbay coastline and Lyme Bay. From from light bites, Afternoon Cream Teas, Lumches including locally caught fish and hand cut chips the choice is most satisfying. Alfresco dining can be enjoyed on the sun terrace with cracking menus and wonderful views. An award winning restaurant provides a little more sophistication for lunch or dinner if preferred! The terrace and conservatory are perfect places for an impromptu break from daily life, no need to dress up - casuals and walking boots welcome! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Orestone Hotel Torquay
The Orestone Manor Torquay, Devon

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