out of 10
Exmoor Gate Lodge Plus
This is for the benefit of those thinking of booking to stay here.
Good points: Location beautiful, Hot tub relaxing, Lovely wildlife, Owners friendly
Bad points: Electric meter, deposit to pay on arrival which stays in their account for 5 days after you return, no information about surrounding areas in lodge, introduction was impersonal, creaking bed until it broke and was replaced, guests have to strip the sheets, no hand towel or hand soap.
Upon arrival, my wife and I were greeted by a chap who was complaining about extractor fans... Fine, but not our problem and an interesting way to greet guests. He seemed friendly enough though but I was a little bemused by it! After a 2.5 hour journey, and a little tired, the initial instructions as to what was where etc were told me at a hundred miles an hour. The entire intro to the property and grounds felt rushed and a little impersonal... I appreciate the owners are very busy but it didn't feel very welcoming. After meeting his wife a few days later, I felt she was much more friendly and would have conducted the introduction with a more personal touch.
The lodge itself was okay. The electricity meter on the bedroom wall is ugly as sin but is there to serve a purpose so other than boxing it in, not much they can do with it. We've never had to pay for our electric by meter before which felt a little like being a student, but we found you can save money by not using the water heater. Just boil the kettle to wash up.
I was surprised & disappointed that not even some basics were provided. No hand soap or hand towel in the bathroom. Only 1 loo roll too.
Being asked to strip your bed sheets before you leave is a cheek! I've never been asked to do that before and it's not what I expect from a holiday.
It's great that they've got a games room & swimming pool, but it's not great that they charge you extra to use them. I'd personally be happier to pay a little more and know that it's thrown in as part of the holiday. All these extras make it seem a little penny pinching.
Apparently, information leaflets were provided but we didn't find this out until after our return and posting our review the first time. This is probably because the intro was so quick we completely missed this information.
In terms of amenities, great that there is a DVD player provided.... Brilliant as we've benefitted from this before but it's not much good with no films. Compared to other places we've stayed, we've always had at least a handful of films provided.
There are signs around the lodge inside and outside for the benefit of guests. Several of which explain about the hot tub. 1. You will be charged if you overfill the hot tub. Not sure why this is even there as when we arrived the hot tub was overfilled way past the recommended point. Just seemed a bit petty though I'm guessing they have had guests that have not treated them with respect so have to cater for this. There is a black piece of tape on the inside of the hot tub with a description to ensure you fill it to half way between the black tape. As the hot tub is sitting unevenly, this is a difficult task at best and can be achieved by filling it half way diagonally! That said, the hot tub like all hot tubs was ace and we had no trouble with it. Lovely and relaxing after a long day.... Shame there is no door directly to it but we are comparing all these things to other lodges we've stayed in for similar prices.
Although some of this review has been negative, what I will say is that the owners were very helpful when our bed broke. Okay to be fair, you don't expect your bed to break and believe me, at the time we were only sleeping in it. However, it was a bit of a shock when it collapsed! We told the owners immediately and they had a new bed in the lodge by the end of the afternoon, so we felt this was excellent service.
The main reason we wouldn't stay here again is mostly due to it's remote location (nice though it is). We have an older dog and to be honest, with all the driving it was a little too much for him. This is down to our bad planning!
Confirmed guest, 2015-06-05