Stayed here for a couple of days hiking on Dartmoor taking advantage of Best Western's 3 Nights for the price of Two deal. The Lord Haldon is located in the small village of Dunchideock, 3 or 4 miles Southwest of Exeter; driving there down some of the narrow country lanes in the area can be quite an experience. There is a good size guest car park, with an electric vehicle charging point. The Lord Haldon is a country house style hotel which may be a good or bad thing depending on your point of view. The layout is quirky, with a jumble of interconnecting rooms on the ground floor, narrow staircases and corridors with random steps. There is no lift, so anyone with limited mobility may find getting to their room hard work. The whole place looks a bit tired – plenty of evidence of faded carpets, cracked plaster, poorly fitting doors etc. On the other hand, the location is glorious, on a hill with a splendid view east, and when the weather is good there are places to sit outside, both in the hotel garden and in a courtyard just outside the restaurant. The hotel is dog friendly, but they won't be allowed in the main restaurant (but can join you in the bar).
My room was decent sized, with double bed, wardrobe, desk, television and hospitality tray with kettle, although it suffered the same tired décor as the public areas. Wi-Fi, as you would expect, is available in-room free of charge. The en-suite was also good sized, containing a bath tub with a splendid overhead shower. There is no air conditioning; fortunately, the location away from the city and any major roads means it's quiet outside, and I was able to leave my window open to let some cool air in.
Obviously the big deal at the moment is Covid. Reception is behind a screen. I asked about mask etiquette when I checked in, and was told that the hotel 'recommended' guests wore masks in public areas except when eating or drinking. Other guests generally seemed to comply. At present, rooms will not be made up during your stay, although you can top up with coffee, tea, sugar etc from the reception area. The hotel like guests to book a breakfast 'time slot', ideally the previous day, presumably so they can manage social distancing. On the subject of breakfast, although my online booking stated this would be delivered to my room, it turned out that this was out of date information and it was in fact being served in the restaurant. The breakfast experience was the most disappointing aspect of my stay. On my first morning I had to double check I'd come to the right place because the restaurant was basically an empty room furnished with nothing more than several unlaid tables. At the Lord Haldon you can expect table service, with absolutely everything brought in from the kitchen. Not a single thing is left on display for the guests to help themselves to. Obviously the hotel need to consider current regulations, but I've stayed in several other hotels recently where the restaurants were actually set up to retain the look and feel of restaurants including a limited element of self service where breakfast items could be offered hygienically. I ate the cooked breakfast which was fine in itself, but portions were rather modest, and the toast was underdone to the point of being little more than warm bread.
Lest this seems unfair, I do appreciate we live in difficult times. Given the special deal I booked I was happy I got good value, and since I didn't spend a massive amount of time on the premises I wasn't overly bothered by the décor or furnishing. I do think, though, that given it's location, with a bit of a facelift and a return to some sort of normality it could be a far more attractive proposition. less