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Soar Mill Cove Hotel
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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.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank SteveStod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with friends
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5  Thank wineandfoodlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank borismac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with family
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8  Thank bakerboys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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

  • Stayed: August 2006, traveled on business
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16  Thank toffeefudge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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