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“Fun Family Break”

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Soar Mill Cove Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Malborough
Certificate of Excellence
Bath
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fun Family Break”
Reviewed March 6, 2007

We enjoyed a half term family holiday. Most of our friends seemed to have gone skiing, but we decided half term is always too busy on the slopes so settled for a simpler option. We arrived relaxed having had a simple 2 hour drive and left feeling relaxed with this same short commute back home. Our friends on the other hand came back more tired than when they left. The building is no looker in the traditional sense, however as an architect I appreciated its Frank Lloyd Wright’esque low slung looks with slate and glass.
Very friendly service which combined a young European team that nothing seemed too much trouble for. The important part which I think made the difference was that they all had enough senior supervision from a caring bunch that ensured we were all been looked after. A nice range of facilities and all of a high standard with big comfortable rooms and plenty of privacy from each other. We had a Classic Family Suite which was recommended to us by Lyn the receptionist who took a lot of trouble when we booked to make sure that we made the right choices from the various accommodation options. Good food which all seemed fresh and tasty without been over fussy. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we all had a lovely time, so much so in fact that we went on to their Cornish Hotel, The Rosevine and enjoyed a few more days of R&R.

  • Liked — loads of space and really comfortable beds
  • Disliked — the spa is small
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SteveStod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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763 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (265)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Wickham Market, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2007

Having looked at the hotel's website and seen all the awards, we were looking forward to a luxurious break with amazing food.

The hotel is in a beautiful location, although the beach that is allegedly 'regularly groomed' by the hotel was decidedly dirty, with litter and shampoo bottles strewn everywhere. Our room was one of the recently refurbished ones in modern colours and fabrics, our friends were not so lucky, getting gaudy chintz and my grandmother's ornaments! The bolly bar was gorgeous, and the champagne lovely as an aperitif to the dinner we were so looking forward to. The food however was such a let down. Between us we ordered tuna, which was very overcooked making it dry and inedible and came with no sauce, and spring lamb, again overcooked, and the sauce was some kind of bland glutinous gravy. Vegetables were also over done, not very imaginitive and I think the potatoes were the ones that come from the supermarket frozen in bags! Starters and desserts were marginally more appetising but all the food seemed to demonstrate a lack of awareness of how to combine flavours and textures. I can't believe any self-respecting, enthusiastic chef would've allowed many of the dishes to leave the kitchen. For once I didn't want to just moan after we left and not say anything, that's so English, so I did tackle the matter the morning we left with the manager's father who claimed to be just minding the hotel and could do nothing but apologise and suggest that our expectations were too high - they set that expectation though with their over-inflated claims and web site! I asked if the usual chef was off or if it was different in high season and he said no, we'd had exactly what the AA reviewers would have had. We won't be going again and I will be actively not-recommending the hotel to people as I feel so disappointed and mis-lead by all the hype. These people seem to be trading purely on their awards and don't actually come up with the goods.

The next day we went to Burgh Island for lunch at the Pilchard Inn and picked up a brochure for the art deco Burgh Island Hotel, I think next time I'd save up, stay for less time and go there instead!

  • Liked — The bolly bar
  • Disliked — the food
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank wineandfoodlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2006

A Lovely hotel, probably not everyones cup of tea, but certainly mine, truly independent and a great find, the sort of place you come across everyone once so often and know it just feel right.
Food – Serious interest in using good locally sourced ingredients of a really high quality and then treating them with respect. The chefs aren’t Gordon Ramsey, but thankfully they don’t seem to be pretending to be either which really is quite refreshing. This is a good regional restaurant offering regional cuisine, much like those hard to find French favourites that you chance upon once every few years. Occasional spurts of brilliance and many examples of just very well considered combinations that lead you through from start to finish without getting that bloated feeling. Good fresh juice and coffee at breakfast as lat as you like – a really nice touch.
Situation – Clearly a destination hotel, not too much passing trade on the South Devon coast, well worth the trip, you really feel like you’ve escaped. Much has been said of the amazing views and yes this really is a wow factor, but you must take time to get out into it and loose yourself in the natural beauty of the surrounds. I don’t think that you could make too much of this, the phrase “an area of outstanding natural beauty” is an underestimate and the enjoyment that you get from getting out into it should not be underplayed.
Style – Comfort takes precedent over style for the sake of style, so no minimalist chic but certainly good attention to detail and all well maintained.
Staff – Louis, like many of the staff have been here for many years and take pride in ensuring you are made to feel special. After our initial English reserve we made a point of engaging with them and were rewarded with delightful conversation and witty anecdotes from Louis, Sylvester and the owners Keith and Jenny (first names seem to be the way and I don’t think it was contrived) all very helpful and courteous, happy to offer advise on where to go and what to do. We both felt quite pampered.
A Champagne Bar opens next year, for which we have been sent an invitation. Wine list fairly ordinary but all we chose we enjoyed and prices were OK, no real bargains but within what we were used to, about 20% less than London I would guess.
Nice to find something individual without been asked to pay through the nose.

  • Liked — Comfortable, spacious and great service
  • Disliked — A long way from London
  • Tips/Secrets — All the rooms are very different so talk to the hotel before you book about whats best for you
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank borismac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2006

Really friendly staff made my young family fell very relaxed.
Nothing seemed to much trouble for a genuinely nice team of guys who all seemed confident enough to engage in conversation with the whole family. The children Amy 4 and Jack 6 appreciated the way they were never ignored, so often you go places where the kids are spoken to which I find really condescending.
Small hotel without state of the art leisure facilities, but given its size we probably had more space per guest even in the pool than we would have had in a bigger establishment. Lots and lots of space in generous sized rooms with comfy beds and well thought out touches, like baby listeners that actually work all the way round the hotel, even on the terrace. Also a computer with free broadband (using it now).
We took advantage of their out of season rates which I thought were pretty good value.

  • Liked — Big Beds and lots of space
  • Disliked — patio furniture needs updating
  • Tips/Secrets — Get a sea view suite
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank bakerboys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
herts
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2006

It is not what I expect from a four star hotel! Rooms are tired (ours had a strange smell!) and you have to pay a supplement for half of the meals on the dinner menu.

Negatives:

Chairs too low for the dining tables!
Murky green outdoor pool.
Noisy room if you're near reception.
Very rich food (kids chocolate mousse was difficult for my chocolate loving son to eat)
Not enough snooker cues in the kids play room.
Very small indoor pool.
Uneven grass on pitch and putt.
Long walk to the beach
The lounge area was like an old peoples' home.

Positives:

The views, especially the deer at sunset.
The cove, though it was a little dirty.
The DVD selection.
The coffee (it's expensive if you order as an extra)
The outdoor seating area

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — The smell in the room and the price
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank toffeefudge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2006

Soar Mill Cove is an expensive hotel with four AA Stars and two Rosettes. Understandably then our expectations were high. It's boasts both indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools - a lovely beach "situated immediately below the hotel " and a "fine dining restaurant"

When we arrived - to be fair the location was stunning, with National Trust moorland chasing up steep hills on both sides of the hotel and a v shaped view of the sea framed by the landscape - the hotel however looked dated. A suspicion which was born out when we entered. We had asked quite specifically for a large superior room with a queen bed but due to an error were allocated an inferior twin which was cramped and badly in need of up grading. Worse was to come. The beach supposedly just a stones throw away was a 15 minute walk down a very steep hill where it's important to note - mobile phones do not work. But what about the regular taxi service which ferries guests to and from the beach? Well - actually that's by special arrangement when the gardener is available on Mondays, Wednesday's and Friday's. Since Keith Makepeace, the owner doesn't keep Llama's - it was a common site to see puffed out families struggling with umbrella's, bundles of beach kit and weak legged toddlers. What then of the heated pools? Well, the outdoor pool was a regular haunt of the swallows and swifts that drank from it's blue green tinged hues but not many guests braved it's cold depths. Make all speed then to the indoor pool. The brochure would lead you to believe that this was a large spacious affair. Unfortunately though heated, it was very small with a rather slippery, water logged floor that no one ever bothered to dry.

Let's quickly move on to the "fine dining" emporium - "Serendipity." I was slightly taken aback when having been shown to our table I sat down to discover I was chest height with my cutlery. The long stemmed Phalaenopsis towered over me like a giant triffid! The chair was far too low. I looked round bemused at the other diners to discover many were sitting on cushions - a first in my experience of hotels and restaurants. The saving grace to this comedy caper then must be the food? Well, happily we enjoyed an excellent Sunday roast of lamb and some very good beef. But too much flour in some of the soups made them heavy and glutonous, and the presentation was at times far too ambitious. Good fresh plentiful supplies of vegetables would have impressed far more than diced greens in a cheese sauce or mountains of parsnip chips. About 50% of the main courses came with a supplement which I felt was avarious. The sample menu on the website gave no warning of this.

To sum up. If you're a keen walker, lover of wildlife or you want a dog friendly venue with not too much onus on facilities - this is the hotel for you. Families with children however and anyone who truly likes good value for money would be better served going to the THURLESTONE HOTEL just a few miles down the road. The beach is a ten minute stroll with no steep hills or take a short drive to the bay by Thurlestone rock - which is ideal for children, has ample parking and a good cafe. And what of Thurlestone hotel? Quite simply - it's the best hotel I've ever been to. It's a family run enterprise where standards are maintained to a very high level. The food and facilities are excellent. The staff, helpful, friendly and professional. A weekly drinks party is thrown for guests through out the summer and every effort is made to make your stay a happy one. Funnily enough - you won't be surprised to hear - Keith Makepeace - Soar Mill Cove's proprietor - is a regular visitor there!



  • Liked — It had an outdoor seating area.
  • Disliked — Small, cramped and needed upgrading
  • Tips/Secrets — Go to Thurlestone Hotel, Devon.
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
18 Thank Thehotelcritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2006

We had a long journey from Sussex and were quite tired, we laughed as we thought we were running out of road the Devon country lanes were getting narrower by the mile! we followed the Soar Mill Cove Hotel signs and past by a fairytale cottage to the end of the lane and turned the corner to a whole new world!
The greeting we received was so genuine and welcoming we felt at home instantly. We were shown to our room and we were delighted, the children were really happy when they found they had their very own television and Dvd player plus a colouring set on their beds, they felt really special!
As our luggage was carried from the car a very welcome pot of tea and soft drinks for the children arrived in our room to revive us all! I knew then we were going to have a wonderful weeks holiday. We were offered a complimentary cream tea and had it the next day sat in the garden, the homemade scones and 'homemade preserve' were delicious.
Patricia and George had their evening meal early leaving Donald and myself to enjoy a special dinner every evening together, what a treat!
Oh, how we wished we had booked two weeks, we will for next year!
Everything here is so perfect, the situation the food the room and the staff, well they do go beyond the call of duty to 'make your day'
nothing at all is too much trouble.
Thank you one and all for making our weeks holiday so enjoyable, Patricia and George are counting the days to our next visit!

  • Liked — cleanliness, comfort, private patio
  • Disliked — really can't think of anything
  • Tips/Secrets — Be prepared for the most relaxing holiday you have ever experianced!
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank tremar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Soar Mill Cove Hotel

Property: Soar Mill Cove Hotel
Address: Near Salcombe, Malborough, Salcombe TQ7 3DS, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Salcombe > Malborough
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Malborough
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Soar Mill Cove Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Soar Mill Cove Hotel near Salcombe is a family run hotel & luxury self catering. A good base for walking holidays, short breaks & in holiday times popular with families enjoying caring service. A great base to explore South Devon. No stay is complete without dining in our sea view 2 Rosette Restaurant and the hotel offers best value when taking an inclusive break. All rooms have DVD library, flat screen TVs, WiFi free throughout, but limited connection speeds and no mobile phone signal in this rural idyll. 10 Acres of grounds and plenty of free parking. NEW salt water indoor heated swimming pool , sauna, gym & Spa Treatments, "just for fun" pitch and putt golf, table tennis, lawn tennis in season and snooker. Near Kingsbridge, Hope Cove, Salcombe, Thurlestone and Dartmouth. Luxury Self Catering Villas with up to 5 bedrooms. Available for exclusive use sea view weddings, so that no other guests are disturbed. New for 2015 the rather rugged approach road has been replaced with a lovely smooth driveway, the first of our new bathrooms are been rolled starting with The Makepeace Suite now ready for you holiday ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Soar Mill Cove Salcombe
Hotel Soar Mill Cove

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