Kate and I with our two young children purchased The Downs, Babbacombe in June 2007. Our aim from the outset has been to offer a high standard of accommodation with a personal level of service. We have purposely chosen to create a comfortable relaxed atmosphere within a price that is affordable to those who are looking for our type of establishment.
To help you decide whether our property is suitable for you we have included many photographs on our website and below you will find a selection of frequently asked questions. However please call us for clarification on any point before booking. We keep our information as accurate as possible and would rather guests make a considered and well informed decision, so that guests are comfortable when they are with us and are pleased with their choice.
Are you a Hotel?
We are classified as Guest Accommodation and are a small family run establishment with very hands on owners, employing a handful of friendly staff. Whilst we offer a wide range of ‘Hotel’ services including bar and restaurant, during the quieter winter months the bar may not always be open during the daytime and our quiet restaurant is for residents only and operates on a pre book/pre order basis (by 12 noon except on day of arrival). Ocasionally we may not be able to offer dinner, but this happens only a handful of times each year and we always notify guests who have specifically booked on DBB basis of such times.
The property has been known as The Downs Hotel since the 1940’s which is why we retain the physical and web address as The Downs Hotel. Since a change in criteria for the classification for hotels we are now known as The Downs, Babbacombe and have chosen to be classified as Guest Accommodation. In March 2015 we were proud to be awarded a 4* Guest Accommodation award plus GOLD Award plus Breakfast Award from VisitBritain, and a 4* Guest Accommodation award plus Gold Award, plus Breakfast Award, plus Dinner award from the AA. We still retain these awards to this day. We feel it is vital for an establishment like ours to be independantly review with experts deemed market leaders such as this.
We endeavour to cater for all your needs and will be as flexible and accommodating as possible, however as we are a small family run establishment some requests and services may not be logistically possible or available.
What type of property are you?
We are a terraced Victorian property originally two Victorian houses which have been extensively renovated and modified over the years. Whilst all rooms are furnished to the same Gold 4* standard no two rooms are the same shape or size. If room size is of major importance to you please call us so we can match your requirements to our availability.
In addition to guests en-suite bedrooms, on the ground floor we also have a large lounge bar area, with both ladies & gents conveniences, which guests are invited to use at all times. This area has various styles of seating and a 42” free view TV. Our restaurant also has a ‘snug’ seating area for guests use.
Where are you situated?
We are directly on the seafront about half way along Babbacombe Downs. We have Babbacombe Downs Road, a 500m long stretch of common land with a promenade the length of it directly in front of us. Beyond the promenade are steep wooded cliffs to the sea. At one end is the Theatre and the other end the funicular cliff railway used to access the beaches.
Our terrace block consists of ourselves, to our right we adjoin The Buccaneer Inn, a friendly family run food led Inn. To our left we have 3 smaller holiday accommodation providers. The rest of Babbacombe Downs Road consists of hotels and accommodation providers, 3 more food led pubs and a number of tea rooms including the award winning Angels Tearooms.
Whilst Babbacombe is known as the quieter part of Torquay, Babbacombe Downs is still a working seafront promenade.
Do you have a lift?
No. We have an Acorn stair lift to our first floor rooms but some degree of mobility is required to use this and also in the unlikely event of emergency evacuation some mobility is required.
Do you have parking?
Parking is available at the rear of the property in a council run Pay and Display car park - Princes Street car park (please remember to clearly display your car parking ticket should you park here). Guests can either park here and pay the meter on a daily basis or the registered car owner can pre-purchase virtual parking permits in advance from Torbay Council, tel 01803 207653. They are valid for 3 or 7 days and currently cost £21 and £38 respectively. The registered car owner must purchase the passes as they are car registration specific.
Please see http://www.torbay.gov.uk/roads/parking/parking-permits/car-park-permits/ for more information. The Downs is in no way responsible for parking fines issued by wardens. This is a council run car park and subject to their terms and conditions of use. Any penalties arising from incorrect parking or failure to display the allocated permit must be dealt with directly with Torbay council as they are only able to liaise directly with the vehicle owner.
Alternatively there is free on street parking in the vacinity of the hotel which you may wish to use once your bags have been unloaded.
What time is check in?
Check in is from 3.30pm however we may accept luggage at any time after 8am on your day of arrival but this needs to be pre-booked.
If rooms are ready before 3.30pm we will check you in on your arrival. However it should be noted as we are guest accommodation that during the winter months if you wish to arrive before 3.30pm please contact us as the building may not always be manned until 3.30pm.
If you wish to arrive after 9pm please arrange this at the time of booking, or if you are affected by unforeseen circumstances inform us as soon as you know on your day of arrival. The Bar is open until 11pm (10.30pm Sun) so late arrivals can be accommodated. However if you do not arrive before 9pm and have not informed us we may assume a ‘no show’ and re-sell your room.
What happens if I have to cancel last minute or leave early? Do I still get charged?
In short yes. Whilst we do not expect guests to pre-pay every booking in full, when we take a booking we enter into a legally binding agreement. This means that when guests arrive with us they can feel safe in the knowledge that their room will be waiting for them. Once a booking is made we might get dozens of enquiries for that room or period, but we will never resell a guests rooms for a better price. This is our commitment to you.
The guests commitment to us is that they will turn up as agreed and pay for the duration booked.
Whilst we always try to adopt a reasonable approach we also have to ensure we run a viable business, one which delivers excellent customer service and standards of accommodation and one which offers security for our staff and suppliers. To this end we do have terms and conditions around Cancellations and Early departues as follows:
Cancellations and Early Departures Policy
Deposits are non-refundable at all times irrespective of the reason for cancellation.
This first nights accommodation cost or 25% for bookings of 4 nights or more, will immediately be taken upon confirmation of the booking.
No further charge will be made if 14 or more days notice is given. (In the case of fully paid booking, all other monies*, excluding the non-refundable deposit, will be reimbursed)
50% of the total reservation is chargeable if 7 - 13 days notice is given*
75% of the total reservation is chargeable if 3 - 6 days notice is given*
The full amount will be chargeable if 2 or less days notice is given* * £20 administration fee is applied to all cancellations.
In the event of non arrival the total outstanding amount will be charged to the credit or debit card used at the time of the booking.
In the event of an early departure the total outstanding amount will be charged to the credit or debit card used at the time of the booking
We strongly suggest all guests have some form of insurance to cover all eventualities and we are more than happy to provide the necessary paperwork for any such claims. If you require further clarification about this please do call us to talk to us before booking. We understand other businesses may operate a different approach so fully understand if you do not agree with this policy and therefore do not wish to book with us.
Do you have a restaurant for meals other than breakfast?
Yes we do.
What time is food available?
During the summer cream teas, drinks and ice creams are available on our fourcourt. From 6.30pm until 7.15pm dinner is served year round. Cream teas, ice creams and various cakes/desserts are also available whenever the bar is open. If you require meals outside these times we will attempt to accommodate you, however availability may be limited or not at all depending on time, staffing and/or stock.
Can I invite non-residents to dine with me?
Yes. We can accommodate non-residents for both breakfast and evening meal, however for breakfast we would need to be notified the night before and for evening meals you should follow the same booking and ordering procedure for your guests as you do for yourselves.
Do you provide room service?
Whilst we do not have a dedicated room service we will be happy to bring drinks to your room whenever the bar is open and food can be served whenever food service is available including breakfast. Breakfast can be served to the room at an additional cost.
How do I get in? Do I have key to the front door?
Whenever the bar is open to the public the front door is open/unlocked. You are provided with a front door key to use at all other times. In the event of difficulties or on the day of arrival there is an intercom button (silver box) located to the left of the front door which you can press and a member of staff will assist you.
There is no ‘curfew’ and you may come and go as you please but it is appreciated that when arriving back late at night, or moving around the hotel early in the morning you are mindful of those guests who may be sleeping, and keep disturbance to a minimum.
Do you accept dogs?
Yes we do.
Can I leave my dog in the room?
We are happy for dogs to be left in the room whilst you are dining with us. Dogs must not be left in the room unaccompanied at any other time. If you leave the building you must take your dog with you.
Where can my dog go?
Dogs are allowed in all areas except the restaurant, however we would ask dog owners keep dogs on a lead and under control at all times.
If you would like your dog to eat with you, we serve our dog owners in our Lounge Bar. We endeavour to establish this with you on check-in.
Do you accept children & babies?
Yes we do. We would ask that children are supervised at all times and that all guests show consideration to those around them. Whilst we understand the importance of keeping to a routine, we would ask that any nursing mothers do not practise ‘controlled crying’ whilst they are with us.
Do you have travel cots?
Yes, but we do not supply travel cot bedding or additional travel cot mattresses.
Do you have hairdryers?
Yes all rooms are equipped with hairdryers, we also provide hair strighteners and other items upon request.
Do you provide a laundry service?
No. However 300m from us is a small laundrette who offer both self service and serviced washes. There are also dry cleaning outlets in the close vicinity.
Do you provide an iron/press?
Yes. An iron and ironing board are available on request and can be delivered and collected from your room simply by dialling ‘0’ on your telephone.
These are just some FAQ’s and by no means cover everything. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact us.