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“Disappointment following brochure description”
Review of The Hartnoll Hotel

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The Hartnoll Hotel
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Tiverton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 20, 2011

After reading their description of the hotel we believed that it was on par with the majority of Bijou or Boutique hotels in which we have stayed.

On arrival we passed an abandoned vacuum cleaner in the hallway and further down had to stop for a cleaner to pass dragging a large black rubbish bag. At the desk we were advised that, as they had been very busy, the room was not quite ready due to two pillow cases not being ironed. This was 45 minutes after official check-in time. It was not a good first impression.

Our room was decorated to a high standard and quite beautiful. The en-suite however, although decorated well, was let down by huge cobwebs in corners and thick dust on all shelving and an ornament on the window cill. The shower requires cleaning to the grouting which appears to have mould stains.

There was not a menu in the room, no details of any room service and no signs to place on the door i.e.'do not disturb or clean room'.

Our breakfast and evening meals were exquisite. We took the time to visit the chef and compliment him and his staff following our first evenings meal. In our opinion the staff in the restaurant were, in the main, very inexperienced with the exception of a Portugese waiter who was brilliant. For the price and quality of the meal the service provided by this waiter is what one would expect. The waitresses were friendly enough and attentive however some of their outfits were stained and too short and almost each time they served a course it was accompanied by 'there you go'.

For each evening meal no area was offered for us to sit in and browse the menu with aperitifs, we had to ask on the second evening if we could sit in the lounge which is more comfortable than the bar area. There seemed to be no leadership or customer service skills with the exception, once again, of the Portugese waiter.

It is described as being ' nestled on the edge of Exmoor National Park' where in truth it is just feet away from a busy road both day and night. We were also disturbed by many doors banging, loud voices and laughter from other guests following a function held downstairs.

On checking out we asked to have an itemised bill as we had not been asked to sign any chit after each meal. The last evenings meal breakdown was missing and we were informed that 'this is always happening'. There were drinks attributed to our table which were not ours. This was easliy resolved. At no time during the check out process were we asked if everything had been to our satisfaction. Had we been asked we would have provided the feedback contained herein.

Although all of the above are minor to insignificant items in their own right, when taking in to consideration the Hartnoll Hotels' brochure stating it has 'exemplary customer service' and 'perfect boutique country house hotel' status we feel that, for us, it fell short of the mark and was definately overpriced from our experience.

Would we stay again? - If it were just based on to the food and the exemplary service of the Portugese waiter probably yes but unfortunately we do not believe that the majority of other items are 'one offs' therefore we would not take a chance and waste our money again.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank pabaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hartnollhotel21, Owner at The Hartnoll Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 29, 2011

Thank you for your recently posted review. I am very sorry we were unable to fulfill your expectations and we should have done. I am grateful that you have pointed out things that you felt let us down and these comments have been acted upon already. We have been extraordinarily busy recently and I have to admit that we were struggling to cope, particularly in the housekeeping department, this has been rectified now with a new member of staff and additional items on the check lists.
We do not wish to be too formal with our service, so our customers feel a bit more relaxed and I have to say that the huge majority of our guests like this. I wish it were possible to please all of our guests 100% of the time. But we do try all of the time.
Your review is appreciated and every word of it has been noted and is being used in staff training next week with Nelson our lovely Matre'd.
I apologise again for letting you and ourselves down during your stay but thank you for pointing out these issues. Best wishes. Claire Carter. Proprietor

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333 - 339 of 392 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2011

We had a great day celebrating my Mums 90th Birhtday, the Head Waiter and Staff were superb they were very friendly,and helpful. The accomodation was good we stayed in the building away from the Hotel which we were unsure of at first but proved to be very good and we were not distrubed by the wedding celebration that were going on the same day that night. The bedrooms are very nicely decorated and the attention to detail is lovely.

The food was great and we will come back again to either stay or just come to the Restaurant.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank 186338Daniel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2011

After having read some reviews on TripAdvisor, on booking i requested that we were not placed in the concrete block, as previous reviewers had expressed a disturbed night's sleep due to the proximity of the busy road. On booking we stated that we would be bringing a dog and ideally we would like to stay in the main house, as my husband had an important sporting event the next day and wanted to get a good night's sleep. We were informed that our room had not been allocated yet and despite making another phone call to check that we weren't being placed in the concrete block, on arrival we found out that we were in the block. If it is the case that all dogs are placed in the block, then this should have been explained to us when we booked our room and in fairness, then we probably would not have booked. That aside, our room was furnished very tastefully and to a high standard. The room was very small and the glass panel separating the toilet from the bed was slightly off putting, especially as the glass door did not close properly. We dined in the restaurant and i must say that the food was amazing. The staff were also very professional and polite.

Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank olivia2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2011

Stayed at the Hartnoll for 2 nights 24th and 25th June for my daughters wedding, cannot thank all of the staff enough for their efficiency, and friendliness. On the actual wedding day the wedding co-ordinator was fantastic!! she thought of every last detail for us and when emotions run high it was a great relief to be able to trust someone to keep us all in the right place at the right time. Apart from the wedding breakfast we also had evening dinner on the Friday which wasabove standard hotel food, and at breakfast there was an splendid array of fresh fruit along with all the traditional breakfast requirements. I had never heard of the Hartnoll until the wedding was booked there and now I can't wait to try the owners other B & B at Budleigh Salterton. To Claire Carter and all of her efficient team a big tahnkyou

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank DiLu30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2011

Good location as not too far from M5. Room well furnished and comfortable, toilet/shower room cramped no good if over 'average' size but separate bath and double sink area good. Noisy fan outside (kitchen area?)

Good friendly welcome from owner. Some staff friendly others stand-offish/bordering on rude. Booked bright conservatory table for dinner but were told by staff member we had to eat in dark dining room/bar, next people were told same but made more of a fuss and got the conservatory. Lesson learned!

Only 1 vegetarian option on menu (indian banquet) ordered it but was brought another curry meal without meat which wasn't very nice. Tried to get staff attention but was a busy night so gave up and just left most of it. No one stopped to ask if the meal was ok as usally happens in restaurants and when told of error (when clearing table) staff member apologised and said it was busy. Offered free dessert (still charged for main) but was charged for both when came to check out anyway!

Everything is in place here to make it a great experience but in my opinion it was lacking something which I think was to do with the attitide and lack of customer service skills of some of the staff.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
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Thank travellingirl606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2011

my partner and I were bought a voucher for The Hartnoll Hotel as a Christmas gift and we finally got an opportunity to use it this weekend.
We inquired about taking out two dogs and it was explained that we would be housed in "The Gate House" adjacent to the hotel itself.
we booked for two nights and arrived at The Hartnoll on Sunday the 19th June.
On arrival we were shown to what I can only describe as a block built concrete box in the car park, this was our room. The rooms are £100 per night and there is an additional cost for the dogs, the room was so close to the road that every time a lorry or similar went by the noise was awful. the view from our window was of the car park and an overflowing rubbish skip outside the window. The room itself was very small, scruffily decorated and also had an screwed shut adjoining door to the next door room.
there were chipped floor tiles in the bathroom, the stationary in the room was part used and very scruffy and the carpet was very grubby indeed. We obviously appreciate that as dog owners keeping carpets clean can be tricky but we seem to manage at home okay !!
the room was cold as it never saw the sun due to it's orientation and although there was a heating thermostat there was no evidence of any source of the required heat.

we stayed on Sunday evening and made our excuses on Monday morning and found somewhere much more accommodating to our four legged friends where we were housed within the hotel itself.

The rest of the hotel seemed fine if a little soulless and unloved, the staff were on the whole very welcoming and friendly and the restaurant food was fine.
My advice.....if you have a dog and wish to stay in the area, avoid the Hartnoll Hotel.

Room Tip: don't take your dog
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Thank paulsmuggler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hartnollhotel21, Owner at The Hartnoll Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 3, 2011

I have inspected the room in question and will admit that it is not one of our best rooms because of it facing East. The rooms has recently been refurbished to a hight standard with a marble wet room, but most dog owners find the stone built gatehouse quite convenient as it has direct access to outside, we have to restrict dogs use of the hotel to ensure we do not get overrun and upset other using the hotel. I am sorry you did not find it to your liking. Claire Carter Proprietor

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2011

Last August we booked the Hartnoll for our wedding to take place September 2011. All was going well until February this year when we found out through friends that had tried to book a room that they had booked all the bedrooms out to another large party despite the fact that we had provisonally booked them all at the time of booking (and had sent them an e-mail saying this!)
We had a long drawn out e-mail converstaion with the owner and the wedding co-ordinator which resulted in us seeking advise from a Solicitor, the hotel then agreed to return our deposit in full if they could rebook the date and providing that we did not persue legal action and then refused to have any further contact with us until this had happened.
We grudgingly accepted to wait until last week when I found out that they had rebooked the date and contacted them as they had no let us know that they had done so.
They then went back on their word (which I have in writing) to give us a FULL refund and have given us back 50% of our deposit along with a letter saying that if we take the 50% we agree not to persue them for the further 50%.
All this despite the fact that there was no contract in place, (they admitted that we had never signed anything) and we were never made aware that our deposit was non-refundable.
I need the money for my dress as we used the dress money for the deposit on the new venue so have had to accept it, I just want everyone to be aware that this venue appears to be unreliable and to go back on thier word even when they have put things in writing and I don't want other people to get let down like we have been.
In my opinion the owner, in her e-mails has been rude and her customer service skills leave a lot to be desired.
I woud like to say tho that this review is based on facts that I have experienced and my opinion.

  • Stayed: May 2011
    • Service
12  Thank tokahan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hartnollhotel21, Owner at The Hartnoll Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 3, 2011

All our wedding couples are given the opportunity to book all or some of the rooms at the time of booking their wedding, provided they are available, but this has to be done with a deposit and the rooms are decomissioned. Some couples pay this and others take a chance that the rooms will be available. In this case some of the family had booked quickly and others did not. I agreed to pay back the deposit if we managed to book another wedding, but unfortunately we only managed to book an evening party, so half of the deposit was given back as i felt was fair, I was not obligated to return any of it. I felt my e mails to Katherine were business like, as were hers to me. I did say to her that if she chose to pursue tjhis through a court, the agreement I made would be withdrawn altogether and court would decide. Claire Carter

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Additional Information about The Hartnoll Hotel

Address: Bolham, Tiverton EX16 7RA, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Tiverton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Tiverton
Price Range: $134 - $187 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Hartnoll Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award-winning Hartnoll Hotel is nestled on the edge of the Exmoor National Park, in the delightful Exe Valley in Devon. With stunning decor, sumptuous fabrics, plenty of space to relax, eat and drink and exemplary customer service, it is the perfect place to relax with friends and family or meet with colleagues Each of the Hartnoll Hotel's 18 superior double rooms offers elegance and comfort. Our comfortable and spacious bedroom's have en-suite bathroom facilities and are fully equipped to the highest modern standards. Many enjoy spectacular countryside views. Attention to detail is the key at the Hartnoll Hotel, with Egyptian cotton sheets, plush duvets, plump fluffy towels, complimentary toiletries and luxurious toweling dressing gowns are perfect for an indulgent night of pampering. We offer a full breakfast with all our room rates, which can be taken in the conservatory, so you can sip freshly ground coffee in the warmth of Devon sunshine. Why not end your day with a glass of wine in the sitting room, where guests can sit back, relax and enjoy Devon hospitality at its best - Hartnoll style. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Hartnoll Hotel Tiverton, Devon

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