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“Unfriendly, bad service, not great”

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The Driftwood Spars B & B
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in St Agnes
Certificate of Excellence
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Unfriendly, bad service, not great”
Reviewed August 24, 2012

We stayed at the Driftwood Spars for 5 nights in August. The location is excellent, just a short stroll from the beach which is lovely. The hotel itself, however, was a big letdown. For starters my family room turned out to be over the road from the hotel, hidden behind the back yard of a small brewery. The room was basic, damp, and uncomfortable. The shower was either too hot or too cold with wild temperature fluctuations that either gave you a shock or actually hurt you - not nice. We went into the restaurant for breakfast on Day 1, ordered our food and then waited over 45 minutes for the food. Even my son's toast took this long - the waitresses seemed so embarrassed that they refused to catch my eye; so I had to get up and go and find one to ask where our food was. On subsequent days the food was quicker to arrive, but was very very ordinary, more like a roadside cafe than a hotel. Eggs were overdone, tomato underdone, bacon a bit saggy etc, and the waitresses, who seemed to change every day, were sullen, uncommunicative and unhelpful. After we left the hotel to drive home, I realised that I had left our coats hanging on the back of our bedroom door, so I called the hotel to ask if they had found them, and if they could post them to us; the response I got was like a training video for 'how not to treat your customers'. The lady I spoke to (who I will not name) said "oh, I don't believe it, this is a real hassle for us you know, I'm not having a go or anything, but I can't understand why people don't check their rooms before they leave. Have you any idea how many people leave things behind? (I didn't). You'll have to pay for this (of course), I'll have to pack your things up and go to the Post Office (I know, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be so stupid)" and so she went on, giving me a good ticking off. And this was the same person who had taken my money 2 hours earlier - it really was a masterclass in how to guarantee that someone will never come back to your hotel and will tell everybody he meets never to go there either - great technique. Even without this unpleasant episode I would have written a similar review - I would never recommend a hotel where the staff are not pleased to see you and the attitude of all the staff I met (and there were plenty of them) was to avoid eye contact, avoid speaking, and not to really care if you are having a nice time.

Room Tip: Avoid the family room over the road
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nearly6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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309 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 30, 2012

We were looking for a place not so touristy in high season in Cornwall and found this place. Small little beach at the end of the hill surrounded with cliffs.
The driftwood overlooking it all and we got a room with sea view. Lovely room with a maritime theme. Dinner was very nice and unique. I got sea brass with curly kale! Breakfast was with free range eggs homemade hash browns and nice sausages, fresh fruit. Coffee. Staff very friendly and accommodating. I'll definitely come back. And it's the cheapest place we have stayed so far. 80 pounds for the room and breakfast. We have stayed in kips of hotels for more. So thank you driftwood spar for a lovely experience

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hunimus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level 6 Contributor
83 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2012

We have just returned from a third visit to Driftwood Spars (previous stays in 2009 & 2010) and are very sad to say that not much has improved since our last visit.

We just love this bit of coastline and the walking from ‘your doorstep’ at Driftwood is great, no need to use the car! However, we feel that the Driftwood is an opportunity missed and wish the owners would bring it up to the standards that the location deserves.

One thing that has improved since our last visit is that our room now has a good size flat screen TV, this only has analogue reception, presumably due to the position in a deep valley. We are really sad that everything else remains the same as on our last visit (see 2010 review) and also that the standards of food and service did not seem as good as previously.

Breakfast was fine but the choice of evening meals was limited and, we felt, not as good quality as we had experienced on our other visits. In fact our second evening was a bit of a disaster .... at breakfast time we reserved our favourite table with a view of the sea. When we came to the bar for pre-dinner drinks we checked that our table was booked and were assured that it was, we even saw the reserved note on the table top. We then took our drinks out to a balcony beside the booked table, within 10 minutes we noticed that someone else had been shown to it and was sitting there. I went inside to speak to a waiter and also ask if we could have the table next to it. She apologized and said we could definitely have that table; I went back outside to finish my drink .... turned around a few minutes later and this second table had been given to someone else!! Unbelievable .. don’t the staff speak to each other?

Finally we sat at a table with little view and I ordered Crab Linguine ... it arrived but where was the crab? There seemed to be hardly any on the plate! I sent it back for a replacement which, when it arrived, didn’t seem much of an improvement, but, because by this time my husband was more than half-way through his meal, I accepted it. To be fair the taste was good but at the price (£15.99) I did expect to have more crab!

I feel a bit mean in telling this story as the next morning, when we checked out, we told the receptionist about the fiasco and she refunded the cost of the Linguine meal in full, so it was dealt with properly.

We fail to understand how this accommodation is given such high ratings and awards, the pub may be great, the location is undoubtedly beautiful but the rooms are dated and lacking in comfort and mistakes, like our failed restaurant bookings, shouldn’t happen.

However I must say that, despite my criticisms, we enjoyed our stay and I shall keep looking at the Driftwood website with the hope of seeing that the problems have been addressed and the rooms have been refurbished and, if so, we might just try it again if only for the lovely location.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bethi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberley, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2012

My twin bedded room was at the rear of the building and overlooked the small back garden which was pleasant but even nicer was the spacious power shower in the en suite. the bathroom itself was large...and warm, which was a bonus. I was walking part of the Coastal Path in June's unseasonal weather; wet and windy, and the majority of my accommodation had turned off all heating. The radiator in the room could also be adjusted and this, plus the towel rail, proved exceedingly useful for drying some of my clothes. Walkers take note!
Clean and refreshed I sat at a table overlooking the bay in the modern dining room; the staff were very attentive and one young girl in particular was quite chatty which was pleasnt as I was a solitary diner amongst tables of groups and couples. Unfortunately the food did not live up to the surroundings.....I chose battered fish and chips, under the impression that it would be quite tasty as I was at the seaside, but the fish was not the best quality, Very disappointing, as was my dessert and the fact that the coffee I'd ordered was forgotten. Breakfast in the morning was the usual buffet selection of friut selection and cereals...but no bowls, took a while to find someone to rectify this too. so really the whole eating experiences seem to have been a bit hit and miss.
The lady on reception was exceedingly helpful and gave me some very useful advice.
To sum up...the bedroom and bathroom were spotless, the bed very comfy. The locality perfect for all seaside activities. The food disappointing....small compensation being the friendliness of the staff....I would definitely stay here again...but chose to go elsewhere for meals!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank monty1951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2012

If you are looking for a beer of perfection with staff and a view to match look no further. We visit St Agnes every year and the Drifty is one of the many highlights, after a walk on the cliffs or a day on the beach there is no better way to end the day than a pint in the Drifty. The bar staff are fantastic the food is great and the micro brewery delivers some of the finest beer I have tasted. You can have a quiet drink or chat happily with the locals. If you are there for only one day make this pub your place of choice..... 10/10!!!!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank James D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delabole, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2012

I feel that some people expect the world.. My Husband, 2 Dogs and I spent 1 night B&B... the room was Great, and Clean, the pub Food was fantastic... Driftwood Spa is a very old Pub with alot of History and very used, with B&B, But is a very warm and Welcome.... we only live 50 miles away, but will be back next June..

Room Tip: we stayed in Room 1 and was Great, but for a better few we were told room 6 is good.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 1234cat2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2012

The staff were all very friendly and helpful, however, a few aspects made our stay rather disappointing. The bedrooms are small and in character with the age of the building but everything is looking rather cheap and tired. The bedrooms (we saw 3) needed a good lick of paint, new carpets, new furniture and a deep clean.

Meals are provided in a modern well lit but bland café-style room, which lacked character. Breakfast over 3 days was variable in standard and there did not appear to be any supervisor/manager to oversee the service. There was a buffet selection for cereals, yoghurts and fruit juice but staff had to be prompted to keep this stocked up and even then they only replaced one item at a time (when asked by other guests). The cooked breakfast was nothing to write home about but the quality differed each day - undercooked bacon, mixed baked beans & mushrooms, and hard scrambled eggs were some of the sub-standard issues.

We used the pub part of driftwood on a couple of occasions but struggled to find a seat even though we were hotel guests. The local brewed beer was pleasant and Sunday lunch was fairly good for the price. We took one evening meal – gourmet burger with fries – it took 1 hour to arrive, though we were not told there would be any delays, and there was nothing gourmet about it. Our friends had fish and chips and had to return their meal as the fish was overcooked and very dry.

Not all poor though as there was plenty of reserved parking, a good supply of hot water and lots to eat at breakfast. Really close to the beach and coastal paths and relatively close to the village facilities.

Room Tip: Higher floors have the best views of the sea but lower floors look at the dining room flat roof
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MKTR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Driftwood Spars B & B

Property: The Driftwood Spars B & B
Address: 4 Trevaunance Close, St Agnes TR5 0SW, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cornwall > Truro District > St Agnes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in St Agnes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Driftwood Spars B & B 4*
Number of rooms: 15
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Driftwood Spars Hotel St Agnes
The Driftwood Spars B & B St Agnes, Cornwall

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