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The Barnstaple Hotel, Braunton Road, Barnstaple is part of the Brend group. It is on the outskirts of Barnstaple and is ideal for a short break.
Brend Hotels have several properties in Devon and Cornwall and maintain a certain standard in all of their hotels.
The hotel has been rated 3* by the AA, RAC and the Tourist Board.
The hotel has its own health club with 2 swimming pools, jacuzzie, sauna and gym. This is free to hotel guests and open to members who pay an annual fee.
The rates for one night, room only vary from £65 to £100 per person per night depending on the class of room and the time of year. It is £10 cheaper per night from January to April and October - 22 December.
Continental Breakfast is £7.50 and a Full English is £10.00.
The rates are reduced slightly for multiple night stays. If you stay for two nights the rate is #63 per night, if you stay for 3 or more nights the rate is #57 per night from 1 May to 30 September. These prices include breakfast and a 4 course dinner
The autumn/winter rates are even better value, with 2 nights costing #52 per night and 3 nights or more costing #47 per person per night. These prices include breakfast and a four course dinner.
THE ACCOMMODATION ++++++++++++++++++
The Barnstaple has 60 rooms, called Garden Court, Pool View, Executive and Deluxe.
We stayed in a pool view room. The room had a satellite television, hairdryer, trouser press, tea and coffee with biscuits, paper, pen, envelopes and plenty of storage space. There is 24 hour room service and you can have breakfast served in your room for an extra cost.
The bathroom was white and very clean and tidy and the shower was extremly powerful. The only complaint was that the toilet was right next to the bath and could not be sat on comfortably, (but then my bottom is bigger than most, so maybe it was just me!)
There is a door onto the balcony which runs around the whole outside of the hotel overlooking the pool and steps down to the pool, which is great and means that you can get to the pool without having to go through the hotel all the time.
The night that I stayed was for a works party so we had the carvery dinner. The selection of starters and sweets was exceptional and the carvery was superb. The carvery was great with plenty of potatoes and vegetables to choose from. Very tasty and with plenty of gravy too!
At breakfast the next morning there was a large selection of cereals and full English breakfast, all on a help yourself basis. Tea and coffee is brought to your table.
There is a bar menu and a brasserie menu, both serving excellent meals. The brasseries offers 2 courses for #20 or 3 courses for #23 per person. There is a wide range of choices.
Brend Hotels pride themselves on service and the staff are very well trained and are very efficient and friendly.
The check in procedure is very simple, at reception you have to sign in and give your car registration. Then you are given a key to your room and directions up the stairs and along the corridor.
I have friends who work for Brend Hotels and they all say that they are great Employers to work for, firm but fair.
HEALTH CLUB +++++++++++++
The outdoor pool is heated as is the indoor pool. There are running machines, exercise bikes and many other exercise machines in the gym. They have 2 snooker rooms and a tanning room.
I used to be a member of the Health Club and go swimming twice a week. The membership is quite exclusive and the pool is usually free to swim lengths in.
MY OPINION +++++++++++
I have now stayed in 2 Brend Hotels and eaten in 4 of them. You always get the same great food, served in comfortable surroundings. The rooms are clean and spacious and very comfortable.
We stayed at a reduced rate of #50 for the room as it was a Christmas party, but you still get exactly the same service. If we had not got a reduced rate it would have cost us #70 for the room.
I would recommend a stay in a Brend Hotel, especially the Barnstaple Hotel, as it has the swimming pool.
It is very close to the town but off the road. It is very handy for travelling reps and people who just need an overnight stay. It is also very handy for a weeks holiday as it is on the road to the main beaches outside of Barnstaple at Saunton, Croyde and Woolacombe.