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Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel
Ranked #11 of 20 Hotels in Ilfracombe
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed October 10, 2012

The hotel boasts fine local produce. We were served food from the freezer, including vegetables. The menu was breaded chicken with a bowl of veg.Not something that would be acceptable in a pub today. Very disappointing !! The room was good and spacious the location quiet, down a track.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the garden are the best.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Dear John H, Plymouth

Sorry you were disappointed with your TZ offer. Curiously two other Plymouth couples around the same time as you wrote in the Guestbook as follows - had a very good meal and food yummy, steak great.

Chef was mortified to learn that you are as discerning to not know the difference between home-prepared food and straight from the freezer! The butterfly chicken breast you chose (from four main course options on our daily-changing menu, typically) was prepared by Chef, marinated overnight and bread-crumbed and the seasonal vegetables are prepared fresh every day. It's very popular with guests. We are not a pub.

Yours sincerely

Philip J Milton
Owner

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101 - 107 of 162 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2012

Just wanted to quickly share what a lovely stay we had at Trimstone, we were perfectly happy with our room and the surroundings were amazing, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the breakfast was superb.

We would return without a single hesitation.

Thank you to all!

A Edwards & J Blowman

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AliE77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2012

Dear AliE77

Just a very brief note to thank you so much for taking the time to post a review.

We are so pleased that you enjoyed yourselves with us and shall look forward to that return trip!

Thank you again - really appreciated.

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed August 28, 2012

Having just spent the bank holiday week-end at trimstone, and seen some of the negative reviews on here, I thought I must write and give our opinion, We felt thoroughly spoiled for the time we were there and loved it, we had gone on a 2 night kgb deal, staff very polite and helpful were given the room Braunton, which was huge, with a 4 poster bed, looking out over the courtyard, the food was also excellent we ate in the restaurant on both evenings, lots of choice and extremely generous portions, breakfast again very good, the swimming pool water was just so warm, in fact one of the warmest we have been in, just lovely, and it was so peaceful just what we needed to recharge our batteries, having the windows fully open throughout the night all we could here was the owls hooting absolute bliss and will defiantly visit again

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank fisherman44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2012

Dear Fisherman44 Just a short note to thank you kindly for your review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay here and shall very much look forward to having you back!

I note what you say about the owls too - I think a great positive but I can also imagine someone writing suggesting we should 'do something about that noise'!

Do have a look at our TripAdvisor page for Tyme Restaurant as well and if you had time for a review there, that wold be really appreciated - thank you!

Thank you again for taking the time to write your review. There'll be a new carpet in 'your' room this weekend too, for next time..!

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed August 25, 2012

My wife and I had a two night stay at this country house hotel. We booked through the woucher web site. Therefore we suposedly paid half price. Had we paid full price I would have been more than just disapointed. Our room The "Croyde" (Prestige room) Was of a more than adequate size and the bed and bedding were clean The TV worked and there were good tea and coffee facilities. The Pool is the hotels saving grace in my opinion .A pity the jacuzzi has not worked for some time and according to staff not likely to in the near future due to the high cost of repair. After eating out at a local cafe, it being late we decided to retire. I was laying on the bed when out of the corner of my eye I saw something move . On investigation I discovered a small rodent, after chasing it around the room for a while It gave me the slip. Whilst on my hands and knees one thing I did realise was that the carpet had not been vacuumed . Amongst the detritous I found a false eyelash and a toenail! After a fitfull nights sleep we reported the rodent to the receptionist the next morning . She did offer us another room . This we declined as we were there for just one more night. The decor of the room is looking very tired and grubby in places . I can understand the difficulty in justifying further capital investment in the present climate however I feel there is no excuse for lack of basic cleanliness.
Breakfasts were good with a good variety and well cooked. our second breakfast experience was entertaining when the family on the table next to us spent some time trying to catch a lizard that had come in out of the rain!! This is a country hotel and wildlife is to be expected, but not in ones bedroom or the dining room .
I was most disappointed to discover that the owners were on holiday in the Maldives . I can only hope that they had a better experience with value for money than we did.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank monkey057
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2012

Dear Monkey

Not quite sure where your nom-de-plume originated but had better preserve the opportunity for others to suggest it epitomises anything within your review!

Thank you for your review though I have to illuminate a few things for you it seems.

I appreciate helpful and constructive comments and share them with the staff as whatever we do, we can always do it better. However, ignorance and attempts to be snide are unwelcome.

Yes, you paid less than half price not 'supposed to be half price'. As well as meeting some really great people who couldn't understand the value for what we are offering, unfortunately participating also seemed to attract a few people who expect five stars for an unstarred hotel's price.

You had 'Croyde' , one of the rooms we have not yet refurbished but new carpets are arriving only this week. That said, the existing one is not too bad but there we are - never please everybody all the time. Your room was not 'more than adequate size' it is a very big room. The 'TV worked' I assume means our latest technology large flat screen TV with dvd player and satellite channels.

The Jacuzzi - is not mentioned in any advertising material you would have seen before you arrived. We actually decided to decommission it partly because of maintenance costs but primarily because of the new regulations about communal use. So, why mention that unless you are trying to be unfairly disparaging?

Now the nature lesson. I suspect you had a visit by a shrew. A rodent is a mammal like a mouse or rabbit with large incisors adapted for gnawing. In fact, since we have been here these five years, I cannot recall ever having seen a house mouse at all. Long tailed field mice occasionally (we had a regular visitor to our outside guniea pig hutch, with its delightfully large eyes) and we have their bigger brethren from time to time, Rattus Norvegicus around the grounds and we have an effective control regime for them as is necessary for all hospitality businesses, though I do do this 'out of sight' as opposed to those unsightly baited tubes often seen in public areas in some hotels.

Why am I so confident of your visitor? Because there is no evidence. Mice and rats have no sphincter muscle so they cannot control their toilet behaviour. I trust you are suitably reassured and perhaps you'd now apologise for the slight upon us.

The house mouse can negotiate a hole as small as the diameter of a pen. A shrew, which is an insectivore, is smaller again. We live in the heart of the countryside and if a guest leaves a bathroom window open, something can come in. If you don't like the thought of this or the odd moth, spider or daddy-long-legs, please stick to the centre of cities though I suspect you'll be nearer to many more rats than ever you'd experience here as they prefer living near to humans!

The gent in 'Croyde' yesterday had a different attitude, evidently - it made his morning to have a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly dance around him whilst shaving and before going back out the window - and for me to point out a nuthatch on the apex of the Hotel roof when I was talking to them was a highlight.

You then mention the 'lizard' in the Restaurant too. I have never seen a lizard here (which is a shame as I like them) but suspect it was an amphibian which spends most of its time out of water - a newt. No idea how it made its way into the Restaurant but have discovered them in the most unusual of places and it only takes an open door and to slip under the carpet edge.

I am sorry if the bedroom carpet was not vacuumed adequately though from your description, it might well be a couple of items which would not respond well to the suction - no excuse but I expect if I went around your house on my hands and knees I'd find similar unresponsive objects.

generously and despite your identification error, my staff even offered you a different room because of the shrew incursion, regardless of the cost to us yet despite that, you still say that you felt disappointed for the paltry sum you had paid for your visit in peak season. I think you'll have to stick to Travelodge offers in the future please as we're not trying to cater for your requirements and price and perhaps in future will restrict such vouchers to out-of-season when we are not so busy.

As for your comments on my own holiday, for the first exotic summer vacation since our honeymoon in 1991 (and the first for the children, for whom we're still tied to school holidays) and after my triple heart bypass and celebrating my fiftieth year, I don't have to justify myself to someone like you who evidently basks in a self importance of opinion about what someone else should do yet never having done it himself! And no, despite the £750,000 we have invested in improvements here in the Hotel already since our purchase, I would not be able to have afforded the holiday from the Hotel, a venture to which I continue to add considerable sums so that people can come and enjoy their own holidays.

It wasn't The Maldives (despite my specialist knowledge on these islands) but another island and an all-inclusive Five Star Hotel (seemingly the only option there as opposed to our own choice) and it was a great experience all round. However, you'd have hated it. There were gekkos on floors, ceilings and walls, including in the rooms, Restaurants and bars and occasionally, as with the coconuts, they dropped-off near to unsuspecting guests. The first morning, the head of my toothbrush was coated in minute ants and we realised there was a colony in our bathroom, around our sink. There was one common black cockroach beside the bath and one of the big orange ones in one of the restaurants. Birds flew around the restaurants freely, stopping on the communal bread boards to help themselves (and no doubt doing what else birds do) and there were the odd mosquitoes. Do have a look at our Facebook Page too and you can see one of the resident spiders on my hands. And yes, I'd recommend the place highly indeed!

Did all this spoil our holiday? Of course not - it added to the experience and did anything harm us? No, not at all and the children are all the more robust for our interest in the nature around about us, attitude and approach to life.

It is a shame that I should not be offering you some form of concessionary stay for the apparent failings but I regret I have to ask instead that you please don't return to visit us even had you been considering it and regardless of any special offers, as we're aiming for a different clientele evidently!

Yours sincerely

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed August 24, 2012

We stayed in Mill Cottage for a week in August. When we arrived the cottage was not quite ready and was being "cleaned". The first thing we noticed was the musty damp smell. The cottage was surface clean - windows were filthy, cob webs on windows and in corners, crockery,pans & cutlery were grubby & needed washing thoroughly before use. Decor was very tired and sad looking & not really what we were expecting given the rate charged for the week. Kitchen equipment very basic no added extras like a tin opener / bottle opener / decent pans. The swimming pool was good as long as you didn't, look too closely at surroundings. Lady said we could use the trampoline for kids but had to tramp past chickens through long wet grass & nettles
to reach an old trampoline with no safety net. Tennis court was a joke....tufts of grass growing on
it & cracked so not really any good to play a game on. Water went off about 4 times when we
were there.
All in all we had a great holiday mainly because we had good weather & spent minimal time in the cottage. We had thought given the great food reviews we would try the restaurant in the hotel
but given the poor cleanliness of our cottage I didn't really fancy risking it.
To me it felt like a place that was once something special but is now in need of some desperate love and proper TLC rather than a touch up here & there

Room Tip: Book a different hotel
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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27  Thank KarenBNotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2012

Dear KarenBNotts

Naturally sorry to hear that we didn't meet your expectations whilst you stayed with us recently.

Shame you never mentioned anything to us about issues we could have resolved; if there were cleanliness issues, you should have advised us immediately and we should have rectified any omissions by the staff, though you are also suggesting the previous guests must have left it in a pretty poor way as well - which we don't recall and they seemed a quite normal and clean family. Oddly enough based on your comments of standards of cleanliness we still had to do a good clean when you left too - as we always do.

I don't understand the 'musty smell' to which you refer unless because it had been wet outside and the windows and doors were closed. However, with the previous guests only vacating that morning, not quite sure what you suggest we could have done about that in a few hours, apart from artificial perfuming but the place would also have been aerated whilst being cleaned.

There should have been a tin opener and a bottle opener - sorry about that but they must have gone missing and if guests don't mention it, it's somewhat hard to know and with only a few hours in between changes, we can't do a full audit of everything. These are being replaced now.

The trampoline is available for guests to use for supervised child use. To suggest the grass was too long to reach it is a little lame, really and not quite sure how the chickens in their runs would impede your progress. Most people find the rare breeds' poultry collection interesting and interactive for their children to enjoy. If you didn't think the trampoline was safe to use, that's your call. Contrary to your personal choice, it's not obligatory to have a safety net around a trampoline and in fact there's too much 'political correctness' around these days. Oh yes, we have passed a full insurance assessment too.

Trouble is, there are people like you who are so willing to compromise their evidently exacting and so demanding standards so much but still choose to stay with us for their whole week as opposed to leaving immediately when from their hindsight description of the Cottage and the facilities was just so unacceptable to them. It beggars belief really and makes me wonder what sort of lives these people lead. I think sometimes it's just so they can go away and write a negative review on TripAdvisor to try to damage the reputation of a business and for goodness sake, to leave a 1 out of 5 mark for having had a 'great holiday'.

I trust other reviewers and prospective visitors will recognise what we are trying to offer here and please, read the reviews and as I have said on many occasions, DON'T come to us if you demand IKEA, minimalist style surroundings. If you recognise this is a very old property with characterful charm and buildings, we really welcome you to come and enjoy it with us and if you come with the right attitude, we''ll help you have a great time. We are sorry that KarenBNotts made her judgements based on her own obvious failings in booking the wrong holiday property, or expecting a five star affair for our Three Star Cottages which were only recently passed comfortably for the third year by the independent accreditation board.

Yours sincerely

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed August 22, 2012

My wife and I have spent an night away at the Cedar Falls in Taunton which boasts a relaxing spa hotel. Well how wrong they were! Thank goodness we accidently found your hotel. We only came for dinner on the 22/08/12 but the service and food trumped the famous spa in bucket loads, so much so that i will be returning and staying for my wifes birthday, As I wrote in the comments book, the best way to describe the dinner was PERFECTION.

Room Tip: We looked at the Croyde room, would definately recommend it..
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank benandfliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2012

Dear Benandfliss

Thank you so much for your review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your meal and we shall very much look forward to seeing you again. Dare I even mention it was the first night for our German Intern to be on her own (from 8pm) so she did really well!

Looking forward to your return trip and thank you again for your generosity with your comments.

My best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Reviewed August 16, 2012

We had a break here at the end of July and after driving for 6 hours (lost) we arrived to smiling, friendly faces and a lovely welcome. We were shown to our room which was lovely, nice, clean and very spacious. After a couple of drinks in the quaint bar we had a good nights sleep, the bed was sooooo comfy!!!!! In the morning we had a great breakfast and asked for directions to the nearest Primark :) (we dont have one in jersey) The lady on reception directed us, so off we went.... another day of driving :). We once again arrived back tired so went to our lovely room to chill and watch telly. Again the breakfast was great, nothing seemed to be to much for anyone. We decided we would have a look at the gardens/pool/gym and WOW......we had to go for a swim, the pool was warm and relaxing, the gym looks very new and up to date but we didn't try anything out.. we were on holiday after all :) We were very reluctant to leave and all in all we had a great time at Trimstone Manor and will definately be returning.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Karen203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
QualityControlNDevon, Owner at Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2012

Dear Karen203

Just a short note to thank you for your kind comments. It was a pleasure to have you stay with us and we'll look forward to your return!

I trust you had a safe return to Jersey - sorry about all that driving around!

The children have returned home from Barnstaple today sporting head-to-toe Tigger outfits bought from Primark.... I don't know!

My very best wishes

Philip J Milton - Owner

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Additional Information about Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel

Address: Trimstone, Ilfracombe EX34 8NR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Ilfracombe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Ilfracombe
Price Range: $98 - $139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Trimstone Manor is a traditional country house offering 4 star accommodation only 3 miles from glorious Woolacombe. Set in 44 acres of beautiful North Devon countryside & landscaped gardens, it is perfect for a peaceful & relaxing break. With easy access to the A361 Trimstone is also perfect for those who want to explore North Devon. The fine sandy beaches and rolling surf of Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton are just a short drive for all the beach lovers and surfing activities as are the secluded coves and cliff paths of Ilfracombe & Combe Martin. We have famous Lynton & Lynmouth, Exmoor, the North Devon coastal footpath, Arlington Court (NT), gardens or the delights of a sheep dog & falconry demonstration. Whatever the weather there is always something to do. Nearby we have clay shooting grounds, golf, quad-biking, horse-riding, you-name-it! Guests can use the games room, tennis court, indoor heated swimming pool, gym & sauna, walk or simply relax in a quiet spot with a drink. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Trimstone Manor Country Hotel
Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel Ilfracombe, Devon

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