Take a trip to Devon and you’ll feel like you’ve found a slice of heaven. Rugged coasts, forests, pretty villages and divine cream teas are just a few of the attractions to be enjoyed in this celebrated county. And while offering a more peaceful pace of life, it also boasts more than its fair share of high-end establishments.
This grand building is found among the treetops of Dartmoor National Park and offers an upscale golf and spa retreat in the wilds of deepest Devon. Awarded five AA Red Stars – a lofty accolade – it offers a choice of self-catering lodges and sumptuous hotel bedrooms. Here you can explore nature trails, take a fine tea in the dining room beside a roaring fire, eat in the newly refurbished brasserie with stunning views, or enjoy an idyllic on-site picnic prepared by the Castle’s team of expert chefs.
The Pig at Combe
Stylish, rustic seclusion awaits at The Pig at Combe, a historic Elizabethan building tucked away in Otter Valley. Perfect for those who enjoy wholesome food prepared daily from the kitchen garden, meals are taken in shabby chic surrounds created from reclaimed materials. Wood-fired ovens, freshly prepared kombucha and a casual approach to dining times nod to a contemporary vibe ideal for young families and professionals escaping the city. And it’s not only the chefs who utilise the kitchen garden. Fresh on-site herbs are also used in the hotel’s treatment area, The Potting Shed.
Weeke Barton’s sustainably-minded environment places an emphasis on homeliness. The owners (who live on-site, along with their spaniel and son) select the finest, most interesting products and ingredients, and have crafted a cosy yet minimal design for optimum relaxation. There are two sociable group sittings for dinner (kids at tea-time followed by adults only), allowing each group their own time. Then post-meal, why not recline into a garden hammock with a tasty tipple and take in the sounds of nature?
Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa
Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, this 50-room spa hotel is perched on the tranquil estuary adored by sailing enthusiasts and mariners. Stunning sea views, award-winning in-house restaurants serving the freshest seafood, chic sun decks, pools, ESPA treatments and nearby access to beautiful beaches make this a winning choice for any traveller.
Those seeking a boutique escape need look no further than the 21 room Lympstone Manor on the River Exe. Contemporary comfort is found within this Grade II listed Georgian Manor House surrounded by manicured gardens. As part of the Relais and Chateaux group, the cuisine is a highlight. Renowned Executive Chef and MBE Michael Caines creates delectable seasonal tasting menus drawing discerning foodies from near and far afield.
Burgh Island Hotel
Fancy a stay on a private island in glamorous art deco style? The vintage landmark building is evocative of the gleaming ocean liners of the 1930s and houses fascinating original pieces from the era, in addition to a colourful past (Agatha Christie and Noel Coward were among the patrons of old). As the tide draws close to its perimeter there’s a sense of seclusion, yet there’s so much to do on land and water, as well as black-tie ballroom dining. Guests are even given a book about the island as a parting gift and lasting memento.
Rising from the ethereal mists of Dartmoor is Gidleigh Park’s impressive Tudor frontage. The parkland provides enables activities including fly-fishing, tennis, croquet and golf on the 18-hole Peter Allis Course. Stay in a room or suite with antique pieces and period features, or book the charming thatched cottage in the hotel’s grounds. Dine in elegance at the hotel’s intimate restaurant and select from the choice of 13000 bottles of international wine held in the cellar.
Cary Arms & Spa
Torquay is famed for the classic sitcom Fawlty Towers. But the popular coastal town is also home to some divine accommodation. Cary Arms and Spa is a luxury five-star property on Babbacombe Bay. It’s a dog-friendly property with 10 sea-view suites, four restored fisherman’s cottages and eight quirky beach huts & suites. Dining takes place in the 19th century Inn, where the fresh catch of seafood and shellfish is a highlight. Book the Captain’s Table, the Pod, or the Wheelhouse for extra special views while enjoying an unforgettable meal.
Boringdon Hall Hotel And Gaia Spa
Enjoy a sublime spa getaway at this rural stone-built manor house within easy reach of Plymouth. Facilities include a hydrotherapy pool, alfresco hot tubs, a Finnish sauna, Crystal Salt steam room, a sensory journey shower experience, a relaxation room overlooking a wildflower meadow and a laconium herbal sauna. The ‘Spatisserie’ serves both healthy and indulgent meal options to nourish and treat guests, and luxe contemporary rooms ensure deep and dreamy sleep afterwards.
Part of The Polizzi Collection, this hotel lies in utterly peaceful and magical surrounds made up of grottos, woodland, hidden follies and the soothing flow of the River Tamar. Each of its 19 rooms has been individually designed to fuse the past and the present. Once the Duke of Bedford’s hunting lodge, the grounds feature a romantic stable perfect for private dining, weddings and unique events. Look out for falcons, otters kingfishers and deer as you meander the calming and quintessentially English countryside.