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Reviewed 18 November 2017 via mobile

Got a great deal on Secret Escapes and our fault for not visiting the web site to read the whole description.

Whist we had no problems with a dog friendly hotel it is hoped that dog owners are responsible and don't leave dogs in the room barking constantly.

There were 2 dogs in the next door room which barked constantly, apparently dogs are supposed to be kept in cages but it sounded as if these dogs were running around the room. The owners were not in the hotel and could not be contacted. Reception admitted that several rooms had complained.

We asked to be moved, the solution was the room above! The noise was just as bad. We either wanted to have a quiet room or a refund as we'd just go home. We were given a junior suite which was so disappointing, the decor was dowdy, no comfort to the room and the view was over a roof. Our original room had a wonderful view over the moor.

It seems that dog owner can abuse the rules and it's all other guests that are inconvenienced. My expectation was that there would be strict rules about dogs in rooms. It appears that dogs are allowed in any room not just certain rooms. If you have allergies then this could be a problem. Although dogs are not supposed to be on beds I believe there are many owners who will disregard this rule.

The food was ok in the Brasserie, service rather slow but as we weren't going anywhere it didn't matter.

Not a hotel I'd ever stay in again and will be very wary of a dog friendly hotels in the future. It a shame all owners can't be responsible and hotels don't enforce rules.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank smudge99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco M, General Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2017

Dear Smudge99

Thank you for taking the time to review us,

I am sorry that you were disappointed that we are a dog friendly hotel, but assure you that some of the rooms we do not allow dogs in it, as well as some lounges.

Apologies that the dogs on the room next door kept barking, I will review the dog rules so we can address this shall it happen again,

Once again my apologies, and hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back,

Best wishes,
Francisco

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Reviewed 17 November 2017 via mobile

First of all customer service. Five stars. Second food. Five stars. Finally hotel itself. Five stars. Stayed for two nights and had an amazing time. If you want to spend 750 on a bottle of wine you can if on the other hand you want to spend less that 30 that's possible also. We ate in Smiths Bistro both nights and food and service first class. Special mention to staff in the piano bar both evenings superb. Do not miss breakfast excellent. Great value for money .

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank McLaren12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco M, General Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2017

Dear McLaren12

I am delighted to hear that you have enjoyed our 5 Star Service delivery, as well as all other areas that come with it!

I look forward to welcome you back soon,

Best Wishes,
Francisco

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Reviewed 14 November 2017

Had a voucher for an afternoon tea at Bovey Castle. It was amazing. Had to ask if we could take some of the cakes home with us. There was so much of it. Very relaxing venue in picturesque surroundings. Staff very friendly and helpful

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank V609HWsue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco M, General Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2017

I am glad that you have had an amazing afternoon tea with us and I look forward to welcome you back soon,

Best Wishes,
Francisco

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Reviewed 13 November 2017

As we got a deal for a much cheaper nightly rate and with breakfast included, it was worth it and acceptable value. Had we paid full price for the room and then been stung for £20+ per head for breakfast (and lunch and dinner), we would not have been happy at all. In my opinion, this should be a 4* hotel, not 5*.

The staff and service are excellent. The Location, Spa (Massage), Afternoon Tea is all excellent and worth spending the extra. The majority of Bovey Castle is excellent but it falls short in some key areas:

The Smith's Brasserie restaurant was really poor and hit or miss. One dish was great, then the cheesecake dessert was terrible. The burger was drowned in a mustard-mayo sauce that isn't listed and totally wrecked the taste of it (they list every other sauce in the burger including the fact it comes with a bun, but don't list the most over-powering one). Smith's certainly isn't up to scratch for a 5* hotel supposedly. The Great Western on the other hand restaurant really is superb, both the service from Andrew & co to the truly amazing food. It's not cheap by any means (£70+ a head) but it really is excellent and unfortunately, the alternative (Smith's) is poor.

Another disappointment was the room: it was big but not comfortable. On our first night the heating seemed to be weak so it was a little cold, the second night it was totally dead and we slept cold, the third night they sent a heater up and told us the heating had been broken before (if it was broken, why not automatically send heaters to everyone instead of waiting for people to complain?). In our room, at 7 am we got woken by a clanging (the boiler maybe) but it only did it the 1st and 3rd night. The pillows are weak and flimsy and the duvet isn't the usual thick hotel duvet you get. The very large double was actually two singles pushed together, giving you that annoying ridge down the middle of the bed - I really did not expect that for a "5*" hotel. All that meant we didn't sleep well at all, an important part of staying in a hotel. The bathroom, however, was good: big, warm and comfortable. Maybe I should have slept in the bath.

I mentioned a couple of the problems above to staff as we went but not all. We forgot about the loud clanging and it didn't do it the second night. Its easy for them to say guests should tell them about issues but I was getting bored seeming like I was whining all the time, and felt like an idiot complaining about small soft pillows. At other hotels, even 3*, you are normally given extra pillows and blankets in case you need them, not here. When I did complain about small things, nothing much happened. Example, the cheesecake was a joke (plastic top, thin soggy biscuit base), but it wasn't taken off the bill when I said this. When I complained the room was cold and asked for a heater, I was told that the heating had been broken the night before. No apology, no offer to make it up to us, a heater none the less for a warmer final night.

The changing rooms for the pool are being re-done and I have no problem with that (maintenance has to be done sometime) but they could have made a bit more effort with the alternative they provided, a cold uncomfortable awkward walk through the golf shop and over a dirty dark floor. Again, it's 5*. You don't expect that at a truly 5* hotel.

Aside from not really responding to complaints, the staff really were very good indeed (except the one scary speedy robotic lady at breakfast making you feel rushed) and they really made the short trip more enjoyable. If it hadn't been for Andrew and his partner at the Great Western who provide a truly outstanding service (up there with the finest in London), I would have rated 3/5 overall; the combination of an uncomfortable room, poor Smith's restaurant and knowing what the full prices are normally.

My advice would be only to go if you get a deal and make sure you get breakfast included. At full prices for the room and food, there are *far* better hotels out there. Be prepared to skip the cheaper (and inadequate) Smith's and treat yourself to the amazing Great Western, but budget that in for as many nights as you can afford. Finally, check the heating in your room immediately and check your bed, I wish I had complained and asked for a true double-bed if they had them available.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JJZ1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco M, General Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2017

Dear JJZ1234

Thank you for taking the time to review us on Tripadvisor, I am both disappointed and surprised with your review,

Please accept my apologies that some areas weren't up to your enjoyment, it would had been a pleasure to speak with you while on property and adress your concerns, as after you have left and let us know your feedback only on Tripadvisor there isn't much we can do to rectify it.

If you did required extra pillows and blanquets, why not give a call to our team, that is available 24 hours to look after you? I am sure they would have assisted with pleasure on this matter as well as changing rooms if you did not like the zip and link beds, that are available in all 5 Star Hotels in the country.

I am sorry that you were disappointed,

Kind regards
Francisco

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Reviewed 11 November 2017 via mobile

An enjoyable stay in a top class hotel with a wide range of activities on hand. We enjoyed long walks in the surrounding countryside, drinks by the fireplace, excellent food and a pleasant, comfortable room. The staff were also really helpful and attentive.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank aroseng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Francisco M, General Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2017

Gald you had an amazing time,

Do come back soon, as it is starting to look a lot like Christmas...

Best Wishes,
Francisco

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