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“Fabulous New Year Getaway for foodies”
Review of Salty Monk

Salty Monk
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Salty Monk
Ranked #11 of 32 Sidmouth B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Sitges, Spain
Level Contributor
422 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 262 helpful votes
“Fabulous New Year Getaway for foodies”
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Its important to remember that the title of this place is Restaurant and Rooms. So the first reason you stay here is because you appreciate great quality food prepared locally and with enthusiasm. We had a 3 night break here over New Year with our young son. We found Andy and Annette highly accommodating from initial booking request right through our stay. The second reason you stay here is because you want to stay somewhere a little different, but with the luxury of a high class hotel. This is so much more than a guest house, and accordingly its a little bit more expensive, but you should expect that. We stayed in the Iris suite which had a separate living room area for a cot for our son. The bed was incredibly comfortable and decked with feather pillows and quilt. My only criticism of the bedroom was that perhaps the quirky style bed frame was a little too big for the room. Its an old place and rooms are quite small so every 10cm count. The bathroom was equipped with a jacuzzi as well as a shower. And the towels....the wonderful fluffy white towels which put most 5 star hotels to shame.
The owners are incredibly hard working, yet always had a smile and a little time to chat. They run an impeccable operation here. So much is home grown, home baked and locally sourced. They even have a smoker to produce the most delightful smoked salmon.
New Year dinner was a "degustacio" of 7 courses, nearly all with a wonderful wine pairing. All three chefs worked wonders for 40 or so guests, timing the meal up to seeing the new year in. It was a trip away I'll not forget in a long time.
I'm surprised at some of the negative comments here, but then if the contributors were looking for your average guest house or B&B, then they should have driven on past this place. Its very well presented on the Internet, it's quite clear what you should expect if you stay here, and as both my wife and I, and our travelling companions are all foodies of some description, we loved it, and would be happy to return again some time.

Room Tip: The Iris room is convenient if you want to use the living room as a 2nd bedroom for a young child.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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English first
Harpenden
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

Breakfast not included for £90 a night.Shocked to find £40 an hour charge for sauna and tiny jacuzzi.Had to wait half an hour for hot water for bath.Evening meal was amazing,but expensive.Woken up by party in restaurant for 60 non residents.Bag pipes to mark the end of party was out of order.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank HarpendenSheridan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west mids
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 4, 2012

Wow! Beautiful little place to stay, we were made to feel so welcome as soon as we walked through the door! The room was homely and warm, with little touches to make it feel personal. Freshly ground coffee in the press and a little jar of biscuits :)
Breakfast was again exquisite, large selection available and made fresh to order, nothing was too much trouble.
All in all a wonderful stay and comes highly recommended! We will definitely be returning!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pitta-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2012

I think the Salty Monk suffers from an identity crisis. It describes itself as a "Restaurant with Rooms" whereas it seems to be an Hotel with a Restaurant. The rooms in question are supremely comfortable, very well appointed and fitted out with high quality furnishings and decor. So why no fridge or minibar? This seemed a bit of a miss. The restaurant cuisine is acclaimed as award-winning standard, and there is a sauna and hot-tub - but please read on, because there's a catch.

Upon checking in and getting ready for what we hoped would be a fine dining experience downstairs in the restaurant, we were more than perplexed to find, at 7:30 on a Sunday evening, that the whole bar, restaurant and reception areas were silent and cloaked in darkness. After ringing the night bell to no avail it quickly became apparent that not only were we the only guests in the hotel, we were the only actual people in the entire hotel; the proprietors and their staff had all gone home, leaving us to fend for ourselves! It was like the hotel equivalent of boarding the Marie Celeste. This was despite us being told that the hotel was fully booked. It clearly wasn't. We had to phone the hotel, from within the hotel, and the call diverted to the proprietor's home, who told us that the restaurant was closed because no-one had made a reservation. This was the same lady who only hours earlier had told us that it was open every evening until 9pm, neglecting to mention that we needed to make a reservation. What was worse was that she then proceeded to advise us that she could either come back in order to prepare us something, or alternatively we should pop down the road to the local pub for food. We opted for the latter, finding to our amusement that the restaurant there was packed full. Obviously no lack of demand for eating out in this town, so how come the Salty Monk's restaurant was closed? It's perplexing.

The next evening, we found that the Salty Monk restaurant was actually open, so we popped into the bar for a couple of pre-dinner G&T's and found that we could have a table without a reservation. Quelle surprise! The bar, and indeed the restaurant itself are fitted out to the same high standards as the rest of the hotel; high quality decor, furnishings and tableware. We were not disappointed with the choices that we made from the menu, it was superbly prepared and presented and was a true gourmet experience. We were very impressed by the seriousness by which the chef took a special dietary requirement - full marks for that. Unfortunately though, there was no ambience, save for the background music, as for most of the meal we were the only two diners in the place, surrounded by a dozen exquisitely-set but unpopulated tables.

The menu is great, it has lots of choice. Upon reflection though, I'm not sure though how it is possible to have all of the fresh ingredients for these dishes ready in the kitchen when there are only a small number of diners on any given evening. I'll leave you to work that one out.

On the following day, we enquired about using the sauna. We were shocked to be told that this would incur a charge of £40, as it came as a 'package' with all sorts of things that we didn't really want. We just wanted to sit in a sauna for half an hour. Needless to say, we didn't avail ourselves of this package. £40 just for a sauna? Quite unbelievable!

On the subject of cost: Dinner worked out at £42.50 per head (excluding wine) and I thought that this was quite reasonable for the quality provided. However: a cooked English breakfast will set you back £18. Each. OK then, just some cornflakes and juice? That'll be £10 each then. If you order anything as room service then you'll be surcharged £5 per person - I can't quite see how there can be any more effort bringing something to your door rather than to your table, but there we are, I guess the owners have to try to recoup their investment somehow.

So that's the Salty Monk. It could have been a very good experience, but we left feeling quite disappointed and thinking that we ought to have stayed elsewhere. We won't be returning.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ace_Reviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2012

We celebrated my wife's 50th birthday in the restaurant of the Salty Monk on Monday the 27th of August and was surprised to find we were the only ones in the Restaurant that night with only 2 other guests staying at the Hotel.So we did find the place lacked atmosphere but could not fault the Quality of the food.
The Service was good, we were being looked after by the Owners so you'd hope that it would be.
But I would warn people to be aware, we were chatting to the owners after our meal and waiting for our taxi and were offered a liqueur with our Coffee,which was a nice touch so we thanked them and accepted the kind offer but discovered the following day they had added the liquors to our bill!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laureha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2012

We stayed at the Salty Monk when we attended a friends wedding in the area. The building is lovely but a on a little bit of a more busy road than I imagined, however this was not a problem just had visions of being a bit more rural. Dinner on Friday evening was very good and everything is sourced locally and the quality is excellent. The dining room is a newer extension and whilst very nice lacked a little bit of the quirky feel of the rest of the building. Also the evening we dined there was only 3 other tables occupied so maybe with a different crowd it is different? Our room was nice and very comfortable, not huge but knew this when booked. Bathroom a little dated but spotlessley clean as all the hotel/restaurant is. Overall a good experience, people are very helpful and made us feel very welcome and the breakfast is really GOOD. I would say if looking for good quality honest food this is a good place to be and served our purpose very well. Just think a little bit expensive with the meal adding another £100.00ish to our bill with only a couple glasses of wine and a couple of gin & tonics and soft drinks. This is coming from someone who lives in the south east and dines often in London so used to over inflated prices!!

Room Tip: Think if you are planning to stay out late best to have a room that opens on to the garden as you ar...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank KayW_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2012

I took my wife here for a couple of nights as a gift for our anniversary.

I telephoned the hotel to make the booking and was very pleased that the Hotel were happy to honour a deal I had seen on the website even though it had expired a couple of weeks before.
The room we stayed in was simply beautiful and the hotel itself was a lovely building. We had the taster menu and I must say the food was among some of the best I have tried. I was also impressed to find locally brewed wine on the wine list at a good price

The spa was lovely and the staff were attentive and excellent in their roles. In addition they were happy to provide us with a takeaway cream tea as a gift for my parents who had been babysitting back home.

However, for the price/class of this hotel I would expect all the above. For me, they delivered everything that was on the tin, but did not deliver the 'wow' factor. The fruit basket in the room was an apple and a banana, not really a basket..the sweet jar was almost empty, the wine in the room was an almost empty decanter. A couple of dishes on the fabulous tasting menu were not as hot as I they should have been, (i had the feeling they had been standing for a while). There was a strange overcharge on the bill that took the hotel a while to resolve and I was charged £6 for the scones that we took away. (not that I minded paying for the scones, after all we requested them as additional, but £6 seemed very steep and considering we had just spent in excess of £400 in the hotel maybe a freebie would have been a nice touch.)

All in all we had a marvellous time in a wonderful building and I would definitely recommend the food to anyone and I would definitely stay here again. However, I do think a couple of small improvements detailed above would really deliver a 'wow' factor and make the leap from really, really good to unparalleled, which is what I believe the owners were aiming for.

Room Tip: The Lavender Suite is simply fantastic
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank FrankieB2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Salty Monk

Property: Salty Monk
Address: Church Street | Sidford, Sidmouth EX10 9QP, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Sidmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Sidmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Salty Monk 5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
5 Star Restaurant with Rooms. 6 Ensuite bedrooms with two dining experiences, our main Restaurant and a Brasserie for great quality light bites. Private Car Park, free of charge ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Salty Monk Hotel Sidmouth
Salty Monk Sidmouth, Devon

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