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“A lovely Easter weekend.”

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Ilsington Country House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ilsington
Certificate of Excellence
Wimborne, Dorset
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A lovely Easter weekend.”
Reviewed April 28, 2014

I had read about the Ilsington Country House Hotel in the Lady magazine and decided that it sounded perfect for a long weekend break. And indeed it was.
My husband and I arrived for our Easter weekend special on Friday morning and although we were early, the welcoming receptionist directed us to the lovely Blue Tiger bar where we had a really nice lunch.
Our room (16) was large and comfortable with everything we needed (tea makings and delicious flapjacks). The bathroom was spotless.
Our room overlooked the front of the hotel to the gardens and we had wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. If we had stayed in high summer, the chat from the terrace below might have been disturbing with an open window. We plan to return in the summer so will request rooms at the back of the hotel overlooking the lovely hens with luck.
The food was really excellent with enough choice to keep it interesting over the three days we were there. I commend the chef on the fabulous banana caramel rice pudding. I would have eaten that every day if it had been on the menu - yum!
We highly recommend this hotel for the lovely staff - each and every one of them, the food, the comfortable room, the fabulous location, did I mention the food?

Room Tip: The views are wonderful on either side of the hotel but the rooms at the back may be quieter in the...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lchellingworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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434 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 (103)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2014

We had a delightful three night stay over the Easter weekend and were very impressed with this hotel. After a horrendous journey in the mad Easter traffic, it took a bit of finding (don’t use your Sat. Nav!) and had to ask a couple of friendly locals in the end.

It’s a lovely looking place in extensive grounds, quintessentially English country style I suppose, without resorting to tweeness, i.e. no spurious references to Sherlock Holmes or Piskies which you sometimes get in other establishments in this area, which are often aimed at overseas tourists. There is no need of course - the moor itself is compelling enough in its own brooding, enigmatic way. Just look out of the window or walk out of the front door or drive a short distance and relative solitude can be found. Wander a couple of miles away from the road and you are in another world – a land of weathered rocks, wild rivers and treacherous bog; a beautiful, awe-inspiring and often desolate landscape - no tacky sales pitch required. I am however, an avid reader of the numerous Dartmoor legends and tales, and there is nothing better than lying in bed in the late hours reading the local folklore, with the odd owl hooting away atmospherically somewhere in the distance.

Our country room was of an ample size and very comfortable, with room enough to swing a cat or even a large Labrador as dogs are welcome; with a lovely view from the first floor over the hotel grounds to the rolling countryside beyond. There was adequate storage space for all the things you need plus a few you don’t, and a large writing bureau which came in handy. The bed was very comfortable and we slept well during the (very silent) nights. A couple of very minor quibbles: The room was particularly warm at night (the radiator was off, window open) and the wifi worked well downstairs but was virtually unusable in the room. I spend far too much time on-line anyway, so I became reacquainted with the pleasures of the printed word. The bath and shower were fine and the end-of-corridor room was extremely quiet.

The lounges are very comfortable for whiling away a couple of hours reading the papers or the books which have been scattered about the place. Sunday was a complete wash-out so we utilised them. A few Easter eggs and bunnies were secreted around the place – a nice seasonal touch.

Some reviewers have stated that the restaurant food is not fine-dining. Well, maybe so, but it was certainly “fine” by us. We stayed for three nights and had two evening meals and a Sunday lunch. Every course was very good, and in some instances, superb (the smoked beef carpaccio starter). The dishes were well-presented, beautifully cooked and usually with a lot going-on on the plate. Very occasionally there may be one flavour too many, but that’s just personal taste, and the chef is brave enough to include a “risk” element for the more adventurous diner who is maybe open to new ideas; for instance, mint “flavour bombs” with liver (better than it sounds and certainly different!). The portions were more than adequate and we were left feeling pleasantly full after dessert. The three courses represented very good value for money, and the “lower-end” wines were decent enough at a reasonable price. The Sunday lunch was no letdown either, and (for once in my life) I opted for a fish course rather than a traditional roast. I was served with a perfect sea bream fillet – perfectly de-boned, succulent, crispy-skinned and well-seasoned. My wife’s roast pork was given the “thumbs-up” along with the perfect roast potatoes and plenty of well-cooked veg for the two of us. A decent pianist added to the Sunday lunch atmosphere. My wife insisted I mention the creamed-rice pudding with caramel sauce, so there, I have. Most guests seemed to book their evening meal very early, so we were left as the last guests in the very large and impressive dining room, not a problem, however, note to owner – Ragtime (Scot Joplin type) music is not particularly conducive to gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes before bolting up the stairs to bed. Maybe it’s a policy to save on wear and tear. “Passion-killer” music notwithstanding, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole dining experience here.

The breakfasts were of a good quality too with plenty of cereals, yogurt and fruit to choose from. My only disappointment was the night before I had scallops with the most delicious black pudding I have ever tasted. Unfortunately, the black pudding was not included with the breakfast items. However, hogs pudding, sausage, eggs from the hotel hens and very good mushrooms were, so no real hardship there. Plenty of toast with “proper” butter (always served at room temperature) and jams / marmalades finished it off nicely.

We were served with a smile throughout our stay, right from the lads and lassies, to the senior waiters and the “Sweeties” on reception. They are all warm, helpful and friendly, and are a credit to the establishment.

This is the ideal place to get away from it all, recharge your batteries and take in (or should that be “Take on”) the moor. We will definitely return – the sooner, the better.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Getmetothegreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2014

If you enjoy excellent food, cosy, contemporary surroundings, a good night's sleep, home grown fresh eggs for breakfast, friendly staff and wonderful views this is the place for you! We fell upon it on the internet and loved the sound of the place. It exceeded our expectations in every respect. Go and see for yourself, you wont be disappointed...

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ang_cunningham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cornwall
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2014

I love everything about the Ilsington Hotel. The location is great, so convenient only minutes from the A38, but this place is a world away from the hustle and bustle that implies. A lovely quiet Dartmoor village leading to very best of dramatic Dartmoor, the prominent view from here is beautiful Haytor. There are a myriad of amazing walks to enjoy.

Check is warm and friendly setting things off well. Nicely refurbished room with a beautiful bathroom. Informal dinner in the Blue Tiger Bar - Fondue is a fun change from regular bar meals, but the star eating experience is in the main restaurant, which is fine dining at its best.

After a long day walking on the moor it is a joy to relax with afternoon tea by the roaring fire.

The staff are a delight, always there to help and nothing is ever too much trouble. We cant wait to be back at Ilsington again.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SpeckleCornwall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashburton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed April 9, 2014

I was thoroughly impressed with the cleanliness, service, food and location of the hotel. The staff were extremely friendly-from the warm welcome at reception to the waiters that served my delicious breakfast-nothing was too much trouble. My room was well furnished, with great facilities and immaculately clean. The food was fantstic and, I think, locally sourced, which is always a bonus. There was lots of choice for breakfast (I'd recommend the fish) and again served by polite, friendly, yet unobstrusive staff.

The location of the hotel was ideal, a stones throw from Haytor, with panoramic views of the Moors. It's nestled away in a little village, so delightfully quiet yet suprisingly easy to get to.

All in all we had a wonderfully relaxing trip-I would highly recommend and will definitely be returning.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sarah k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed April 6, 2014

My sister & I wanted to treat our Mum this year, she had just lost her younger sister and was upset. Firstly there was no waiter consistency so we keep being asked the same questions i.e. would you like another drink etc.Secondly the grand piano that was being played was delightful but too loud. Spelling error on menu.Thirdly. The 2 course meal for £16.95 included tea or coffee, I don't drink either so asked if I could have a juice instead. 1st waiter said he would find out (didn't return) 2nd waiter said "yes". When the bill came we were charged for juice, when we questioned it, they argued!! over a £3 juice.
Finally. When we got home they has charged us for the 3 course meal (£19.95). They did credit my credit card and apologised but we really didn't expect all this hassle from the lovely hotel..
We were going to book Christmas but for £80 per head that would be a chance. Not Happy.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JulieScagell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard H, Owner at Ilsington Country House Hotel, responded to this review, April 7, 2014
Dear Ms Scagell,

Thank you for taking the time to write and I have to say I am surprised at your comments given that I saw you throughout the meal and afterwards to show you our Christmas menus. You had said after lunch how wonderful it was and given the experience you would hope to come at Christmas. I was also at Reception when you paid and merely explained it wasn't normal to substitute coffee for other drinks and that is probably why there was some confusion with staff. Brewed filter coffee is a lot cheaper to supply than Luscombe organic lemonade. We also served around 150 people and so there may have been the odd inconsistency although we had fantastic feedback on the day.

What I think is really sad about this review is that there is no mention about the positive points that you talked to me about afterwards (the food, the décor, the ambience etc). I feel that when you learnt the cost of the Christmas Day lunch, it somehow turned you against us.

I think it's a great shame and we are sorry that we won't be able to welcome you back again.

Kind regards,


Richard Hassell
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 27, 2014

We organised a 4 night break away for a group of 16 friends and we couldn't have been treated any better. The hotel was extremely comfortable, very warm and welcoming. The staff very courteous and friendly, nothing was too much trouble and the food was superb. Even if going as just a couple it is probably the best place to stay in Devon, we can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: We had a suite which was very comfortable. Our group had different sized rooms but everyone said ho...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sally W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ilsington Country House Hotel

Property: Ilsington Country House Hotel
Address: Ilsington Village | Nr Newton Abbot, Ilsington, Dartmoor National Park TQ13 9RR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Dartmoor National Park > Ilsington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ilsington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Ilsington Country House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This highly rated country house hotel is set in 11 acres of private land within the boundaries of the Dartmoor National Park. Award winning food is served in the main Restaurant whilst the Blue Tiger Inn with its large sun terrace offers more informal dishes of excellent quality. Emphasis is on local produce and homemade creations.Beautiful new Spa opening early 2015 with hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, gym and indoor pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ilsington Country Hotel
Best Western Newton Abbot
Hotel Ilsington Country
Ilsington Country House Hotel Dartmoor National Park

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