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“Great location but needs to improve the standard to match the price”

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The Woolacombe Bay Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Woolacombe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 30, 2013

There is nothing intrinsically wrong here, the staff are OK, the rooms are OK, the food is OK.
It's OK. But for the price one is being charged I would expect more than OK; the experience should be like the view, outstanding, but it's not.
It's almost like they are going through the motions of providing 5 star service and achieving 3 due to lack of motivation. It's a shame as with a little more focus on customer service and experience this could be a great hotel.
The kitchens close at 9pm, which is more like England in the 60's. These days it's usual to find kitchens open to 10pm at least.
On a positive note, the new pool area is fabulous, very contemporary, private, good for families.
Wish I could give a rating of 5, but in my opinion it currently only deserves a 3.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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Thank marlowbilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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641 - 647 of 857 reviews

Reviewed May 30, 2013

I had holidayed at Woolacombe as a child so was keen to show my husband the wonderful location and local attractions. The hotel was ideally placed for the beach, shops and beautiful walks along the coastal path. The spa and sporting facilities were great and not overcrowded. The hotel is a bit of a maze but once we'd found our way round it was fine. We booked a basic sea-view room which was modern, clean and had a good view. The bathroom was huge and the décor was very relaxing. The only thing the room was missing were some flannels and biscuits. The breakfast was one of the best I've ever had in a hotel. Lots of choice and self-service. They even had pancakes :)

Unfortunately there were some downsides to the hotel. The most annoying thing is the lack of wifi. We were given a password for it on arrival but they might as well not have bothered! The only place we got the tiniest bit of wifi was in the large ballroom. This was very disappointing because all other hotels we have visited recently have provided much better wifi, so I don't know why they cannot do the same here? The other big disappointment was the restaurant. The décor was extremely dark and not very relaxing. Also, the food was very over priced for what was bought to the table. The windows provided lovely views across to the sea but unfortunately they weren't cleaned very often. The whole hotel did not seem to have any flow to its décor. One room would be black, the next would be red and the next neutral shades. I think they should sack their interior designer pronto! The nicest décor was in the two front sitting rooms which was the most relaxing and pleasing to the eye. Shame hardly anyone uses these rooms.

On the whole it was a lovely hotel. Hopefully next time we visit they will have sorted the wifi and restaurant.

Room Tip: Definitely go for a sea view room, but not on the ground floor.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Thornton24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Hi,
I stayed in the hotel for two nights with my just teenage daughters in a suite. To say I will never stay there again is an understatement.
The suite was £220 per night and on first inspection was fine, as suites go, however in my daughters twin room was the kitchen extractor fan boxing, fine when not working but someone left it on and the girls couldn't sleep. The other issue was in the other bedroom the window was next to the room above waste down pipe and every time the toilet was flushed you had that rushing down past the window, nice.
I complained in the morning and got a massive £20 discount!!! we were moved to rooms the other side of the corridor this time two interconnecting rooms. This time we had the neighbours from hell above us who were training for the Olympics running around the room at 05.00am.
Complained again and got no reaction, this is a family run hotel I can only guess the family were on holiday.
I can only advise you to stay somewhere else as you might like me waste £456.50 on two sleepless nights and dinner in the restaurant.

I think there is a hotel chain that givs you money back when you are kept awake. Not this one, very poor.

Don't stay here if you can find somewhere else.......

Room Tip: Don't stay in rooms 100 or 101, you won't sleep.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank njsavage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WoolacombeBayHotel, Guest Relations Manager at The Woolacombe Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 7, 2013

Thank you for your feedback. I am very concerned to hear about your experiences, which, as you have seen from other reviews of the hotel, do not reflect the level of service usually received by our guests. We apologise for the noise of the fan which was accidentally left on in the Brasserie kitchen. Had we been advised of the guests discomfort we would have turned it off immediately. We are very much a family friendly hotel and during half term week we have lots of families and children staying. We did try to ensure the issues were rectified and are sorry that in this instance you were left feeling let down.

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Reviewed May 29, 2013

Living not far from Woolacombe, I booked this stay to spend the night away from home and to relax a little by the seaside. The location of the hotel is brilliant; the only thing between it's impressive frontage and the miles of sandy beach are the hotel's own lawns which was lightly peppered with seating areas, a pitch and putt golf course, two tennis courts and a private path directly to the beach. Tucked in a corner was a children's play area and an outdoor pool that was just being finished; it wasn't advertised to be open when I stayed but I think they were getting it ready for the bank holiday weekend, it looked very trendy and inviting.

Check-in was really easy and there was ample easy (free) parking at the hotel. You have to go back to put a parking pass in your car window which I did after finding my room but otherwise is a good idea as the hotel is so close to the beach I can imagine that some people may try to use it for free parking for daytrips.

The room itself wasn't the biggest I've stayed in but it was perfectly reasonably sized. There was the wow-factor of a balcony with a seating area outside overlooking the beach and pool. The room itself was tastefully decorated, it wasn't flashy but in seaside theme and the clean white sheets kept the room bright, although there were big windows looking out to sea and the balcony door was glazed. What I was rather impressed with is unlike a lot of hotels I've stayed in the room was actually quite useable for the guest; being used to plug sockets being where the cleaners want them and not where I want to charge my phone or laptop (not that I was using the latter; I believe the wifi isn't great in Woolacombe and nor is the mobile signal, but I wasn't there to work, although the wifi is free which most hotels including business ones charge stupid rates) there were plenty of sockets. The TV was large and well angled, plenty of storage, shelves, bedside lights and the main lights were controllable too, so it wasn't all or nothing. There was tea, coffee and hot chocolate, and a pretty comprehensive and reasonably priced room service menu.

It is possible to get breakfast in bed but that would be missing out on one of the best bits. The dining room for breakfast is very impressive outdone only by the buffet. Sometimes buffets put me off, but this one had really good quality ingredients, the sausages and bacon get particular recognition! Choice of eggs and lots of extras. The cold buffet included fresh pastries, fruit, cereal and fruit juices. Table service for toast and hot drinks was very prompt and courteous.

Overall, one night was not enough and really could have stayed much longer. Must be up there for top seaside destination hotels!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank kpd1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Stayed in this hotel for one night whilst on business nearby.

Room: nice, well appointed. No biscuits and I was starving when I got there - not a major complaint! View was of roofs, but then again I didn't request a view. Wifi was very fast for me (though others were not so lucky).

Hotel: bit of a maze, but full of character. Lovely sea view. Terrible mobile phone signal.

food: ate at the brasserie. A wanted a steak and some cheese and that's what I got. A little disappointed that the chips were French fries rather than something a little more interesting. Steak was lovely. Cheese board was small but nice.
Little disappointed by the bar selection - no local beers on tap whatsoever.
Service was great - staff friendly.
They were shutting down the kitchen a little early for my liking (9pm) - I had to rush to order in time.
Breakfast was the usual for this type of hotel - fairly pleasant. IIRC service started at 8am - cold buffet before that. Maybe not ideal if you are staying here on business - but fine for me as my meeting was only a few miles away.

Pool: I just had time for a swim and a sauna. Its a bit confusing on how you get into the leisure complex and what you do when you get there (it wasn't just me!). But great once you are in.

Overral - no real complaints. Interesting and refreshing place to stay. Plus the rate I paid was cheap as chips.

Room Tip: Sea views are nice.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Acornise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

I stayed here with my husband for a mini break,we have stayed a number of times in the past when the hotel had only three stars as opposed to the four it now has and we always ate in the restaurant in the evening as the food was excellent.However we were very disappointed when we ate there this time,the food,although beautifully served was dreadful.I chose the roast sirloin of beef with Yorkshire pudding,roast potatoes and a selection of vegetables.The beef was so tough I could'nt cut it ,the roast potatoes did not appear and the vegetables were practically raw and Luke warm,I could not get my fork into the cauliflower floret it was so hard.
I returned this meal and chose the lamb which eventually arrived,but by this time my husband had eaten his meal which was equally unsatisfactory but he decided to plough on regardless!My second choice was also fairly poor.I chose a raspberry Eton mess for desert which was actually a strawberry Eton mess which was very sub standard,just some bought meringue chopped up,some sliced strawberries and some warm squirty cream,a five year old could have made it.Considering the four star rating and the cost of the meal,very very poor indeed.We ate elsewhere after that.However the breakfast could not be faulted and the restaurant is truly lovely and the staff very good.We would stay again but would definitely not eat there in the evening.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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2  Thank maisie018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2013

We stayed one night in May to celebrate my husband's birthday. We booked a sea view room with a king sized bed and although the room was pretty small it was clean, well decorated with wonderful views. The bed was comfortable and with well appointed bed linen. The bathroom was modern and well equipped, if again a little on the small side. One thing it does need is more space to put things especially within the shower! We ate in the Brasserie on the Saturday evening and found the food and service to be excellent. Proper food with a variety of tastes and flavours served in a beautiful manner. Breakfast is taken in the Doyles restaurant in the morning which is a wonderful room and the choice of breakfast options was extremely good. We certainly didn't leave this hotel hungry! I had planned to use the leisure facilities on sat evening but they appeared to close at 6pm which was slightly frustrating but not the end of the world. A sunny drink on the terrace took the place of a workout! The hotel is set in a superb location and we walked to the deserted, sunny beach at 8.30 on Sunday morning before breakfast. This makes the whole experience even more special. Woolacombe itself is a pretty little town, blighted by a couple of tacky additions but way better than many of its neighbours! It is a great base for exploring the gorgeous local countryside and nestling villages. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LottieFox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WoolacombeBayHotel, Guest Relations Manager at The Woolacombe Bay Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 3, 2013

Thank you for your lovely review of your recent visit with us. I will pass your kind comments about the stunning location, excellent food & service onto the team who will be very pleased. We look forward to welcoming you and your husband back to the Woolacombe Bay Hotel very soon.

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Additional Information about The Woolacombe Bay Hotel

Address: South Street, Woolacombe EX34 7BN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Woolacombe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Woolacombe
Price Range: $208 - $288 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Woolacombe Bay Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Much of the Hotel has been lovingly restored from the mid 1800's, creating it's unique and tranquil atmosphere. High ceilings, chandeliers and comfortable, quiet lounges are a testament to that era, and where first class modern amenities are required, they have been skilfully incorporated into the existing Woolacombe accommodation. We place high value on our staff. Trained to be attentive yet unobtrusive and to provide the kind of personal service that is so often hard to find. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Woolacombe Bay Hotel
Bay Woolacombe
The Woolacombe Bay Hotel Devon

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