Hotel Review: Glazebrook House Hotel, Dartmoor in Devon
From the outside, Glazebrook House looks like a well kept country house hotel on Dartmoor and you would be forgiven for expecting classic décor such as wood panelled walls and paintings of country scenes. Step inside though and you find yourself immersed in a boutique hotel so fabulously decorated with unusual pieces you simply don’t know where to look next.
An Alice in Wonderland theme runs throughout as can be seen in the naming of the eight individually decorated bedrooms, all more extravagant and luxurious than the last. A wall of bowler hats, road signs and drums are just some of the adornments that can be found on the first floor hallway walls alone, while on the ground floor items such as a giant fountain pen, a jar of pipes and a wall of silver platters are some of the things that grab your attention along with a glistening chandelier at every turn.
Interior designer, Timothy Oulton is responsible for the wondrous pieces and in 2014, led by owners Pieter and Fran Hamman and their creative team, took the hotel from a tired, outdated place to a fun, welcoming and sumptuous haven that leaves you smiling. Don’t be fooled though, Glazebrook House is no over-the-top tacky establishment as the image that can be conjured in one’s mind when hearing the words “themed hotel”, it is far from it! The hotel gives you the chance to escape from the norm and settle on Dartmoor with interesting interiors, fine food and relax-inducing rooms.
The rooms ooze glamour and opulence and each hold a unique design but all have black marble bathrooms, chandeliers, a mini bar, iPad, and one of the most comfortable beds you will rest your head on. I stayed in the Cheshire Cat room and was immediately drawn to the purple chaise lounge resting next to a low round side table, which doubled as a light feature. The feature head board matched the solid oak bedside tables, desk and wardrobe and the lighting was pre set so I could easily decide what level of brightness best suited my mood. Thick cream curtains hung in front of the dual aspect windows and matched the soft cosy bed covers while the purple walls suited the purple tartan carpet.
Other room highlights included an ostrich painting beside the bed, a silver trunk at the foot of the bed and my personal favourite – a double walk in shower and double sink feature in the luxurious bathroom/wet room. I love that everything has been so well thought out so you don’t have to concern yourself with any stresses whatsoever. I had such a good night’s sleep on the large comfy bed and I wish I could have spent more time enjoying the beautifully decorated room and the amenities that came with it but I had food to eat and drinks to enjoy in other parts of the hotel.
My guest and I made our way to the ground floor, which holds the glorious wine and whiskey tasting room alongside a lavish bar, classic lounge, beautiful restaurant and farm kitchen, offering chef’s table dining. We took a seat at the red marble bar and enjoyed a glass of bubbly before our dinner taking in the décor, which include dark leather chairs and tufted leather panelled walls. Sumptuous velvet curtains, frame the French doors, which lead out to the secluded and well maintained gardens. All staff members we encountered were so helpful and friendly and made the atmosphere a really pleasant one. We met Mr Hamman, who was very chatty and showed us the amazing transformation photographs, which tell the story of the incredible improvements that have been made to the hotel.
We made our way to the restaurant for dinner, which was a real treat for the taste buds. Executive head chef, Anton Piotrowski and his team serve up the best that the region has to offer with exciting and delightful dishes that stimulate all senses. My full restaurant review will be coming very soon, so please check back.
I also enjoyed breakfast here the next morning and marvelled at how welcoming and comfortable I felt throughout my stay. There were a selection of juices, pastries, fresh berries, yogurts, hot drinks and special breakfast items on the menu to choose from. I opted for the American pancakes with treacle cured bacon and very much enjoyed the spongy, light and fluffy pancakes but not so much the heavy, floppy bacon, although dinner had blown me away the night before.
I returned to my room and enjoyed a very luxurious shower with gorgeous smelling toiletries before packing up to once again meet with Mr Hamman, who showed me around the hotel and its rooms.
The lounge, which resembles an entomologist’s study, offers the ideal place to relax and read a book against the aged leather sofa or tan brown leather armchair. The room’s features include a marble fireplace, on top of which rest a selection of insect collections and a stuffed owl as well as a large animal skeleton print above the sofa.
Private wine tasting sessions are held in the tasting room with the resident sommelier, who will consult you on the ideal pairings for your pending meal. There are 64 bins to choose from with a mix of new and old world wines including limited edition Pol Roger Winston Churchill Champagne. For a post dinner treat, a selection of the whiskeys can be sampled in the room, which holds a large marble table in the centre with a marble fireplace feature.
The hotel can also be enjoyed as an exclusive wedding venue seating up to 72 guests and would certainly give you a day for you and your guests to remember! There is also a conference room with a difference in which to hold board meetings, seminars and the like with free Wi-Fi and state-of-the-art technology at hand. There are 12 plush, cream fluffy chairs to relax against while holding your meeting and top quality refreshments can also be served.
The other bedrooms in the hotel include fantastic features such as suitcases hung on the wall in ‘Bread and Butterflies,’ which is also fully fitted for wheelchair access. Large playing cards hang on the wall above the fluffiest bed I have ever seen in ‘White Rabbit’ and dolls houses housing walls lights and a wall of plates in ‘Mad Hatter.’ The boutique hotel’s dedicated single occupancy room, ‘Gryphon,’ holds street maps of Rome, New York and Amsterdam, while one of ‘Caterpillar’s’ unique features is a writing desk with butterflies inside. ‘Tweedle Deez’ is a twin room with four poster beds and flags commemorating every country that contributed in some way to the work putting into creating the hotel. Finally ‘Jabberwocky’ contains a large dark brown leather bed with a classic cameras feature on the wall.
I think you get the idea now that you are to expect the unexpected while visiting Glazebrook House.
In a nutshell
Don’t visit The Glazebrook if you don’t have a sense of humour or a sense of fun. The staff members are a credit to the place and create such a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. All involved have done a fantastic job in making something entirely different for the area and to have you leave well fed, well rested and with a big smile on your face is all they could hope for, I’m sure. I certainly did and I can’t wait to go back down the rabbit hole.
Address: Glazebrook, South Brent, Devon, TQ10 9JE
Natasha’s stay at the Glazebrook was very kindly organised by Visit Devon, which is the official Devon tourist site with things to do, where to go and places to stay.