Hotel Review: Bovey Castle, Dartmoor – Fit For a King?
Bovey Castle is one of those hotels that just wows you from the minute you start to make your way down the long drive, I mean, the name itself suggests something majestic and stately- who wouldn’t want to stay in a castle and be treated like a King or Queen? (provided it’s not in the style of Game of Thrones!)
It certainly delivers on stateliness, the estate sits among 275 acres of land comprising of an 18 hole championship golf course, 14 country lodges (all containing 3 en suite bedrooms) and the main hotel building itself.
At first glance I was impressed, the long drive through the golf course built up the anticipation, then the castle came into view and, wow! The large building contains no less than 63 individually designed bedrooms, the UK’s flagship Sundrai Spa, The Edwardian Grill restaurant, Castle Bistro, Oak Bar, Cathedral Room and more.
Our suite was exquisite, beautifully decorated in neutral shades and soft blues with a large lounge, bedroom and bathroom all overlooking the sweeping grounds – it took a lot to get me to leave the room!
I was staying for one night so I had to make the most of my time. The first stop was a refreshing drink from Castle Bistro to enjoy on the terrace outside. The ultra modern bistro sits slightly off kilter with the rest of the hotel with its brightly coloured tables and sleek feel but it offers a casual atmosphere and is open all day for light meals and dinner. I then moved on to the Cathedral Room for Afternoon tea and what a treat! The room’s tall, dark walls are adorned with tapestries and it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the plentiful afternoon treat. It’s quite the challenge – expect four varieties of sandwich, two scones and four sweet treats each to finish you off, absolutely delightful and well worth every bite.
Dinner in the main restaurant, The Edwardian Grill (this has recently been refurbished and renamed Great Western Restaurant) was a delight, staff were polite, helpful and attentive but not suffocating with it and the food was well enjoyed. The restaurant was elegantly decorated and made me feel at ease to enjoy my evening.
The Oak Bar is the ideal place to enjoy a pre or post dinner drink and had the feeling of a gentleman’s club.
Bovey Castle is a place where you can truly escape to, it sits within Dartmoor National Park, which boasts 368 square miles of breathtaking scenery, in the heart of Devon.
The hotel itself caters for all tastes and prides itself on being family friendly. Where else are you offered Lego room service? This unique service offers youngsters the opportunity to choose their Lego upon arrival and have it delivered to their room by the Lego concierge. While parents are invited to relax with a massage or round of golf, youngsters are well looked after in the play room and older ones can learn survival skills, meet creatures and enjoy activities with The Bovey Rangers.
If golf is your game then you won’t be disappointed, the course, designed in 1926 by J.F. Abercromby, runs around the idyllic hotel estate and offers a challenge to any level of golfer. Other activities on offer include cider making, clay pigeon shooting, archery and falconry and any level of walk around the local landscape.
After retiring to my suite (my bed had been turned down – thank you very much) and relaxing into the large sofa in my lounge, I flicked through the TV service and admired at how they really had thought of everything – the latest movies were available to rent and you could order various snacks to your room to make it a proper movie night.
I made my way to the bedroom and spent the night nestled in nicely occasionally hearing the awful storm taking place outside thinking there is no place I would rather be but tucked up there and hoping that somehow I could be marooned and be ‘forced’ to spend another few days enjoying what Bovey Castle was offering me. But, alas no, the storm subsided by morning and after a delightful breakfast back in The Edwardian Grill with a female guest no older than 10 playing an impromptu session on the piano, I checked out and made my way back up the long drive looking forward to the day I could repeat the experience and play kings and queens once more.
In a nutshell
– Comfort oozes from every corner promoting relaxation at every opportunity.
– I didn’t want to leave my room – it was decorated so beautifully.
– It is in a fantastic location and the hotel itself is big enough to get lost but you’re never forgotten! I would visit again.
*Prices start at £139 per night (single occupancy)