The best luxury hotels in Devon

Courtesy of Château de Bovey

With some of Britain’s finest beaches, charming coastal towns and no less than five official Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Devon is most people’s first holiday destination – and thankfully it has plenty of luxury hotels.


If you’ve ever settled into the luxury hotels of Scotland and soaked up the delights of the Regency era by staying in a luxury hotel in Bath, your next stop should be heavenly Devon, where you can enjoy both the coast and the southern countryside. .

Set in 275 acres of Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle has a spectacular setting – the hotel was originally built for the WH Smith family.

Accessible only by sea tractor or helicopter at high tide, Burgh Island, stranded on its own island, is a worthy backdrop for an Agatha Christie novel, with art deco interiors keeping things authentic.

Or head to a luxury venue where food is central, like Lympstone Manor where Michael Caines lives, or the chef’s former stomping ground, Gidleigh Park.

Foodies will also love Gara Rock, which sits on a promontory above Salcombe Water.

Whether you prefer a historic hideaway or a more contemporary coastal retreat, there’s a luxury hotel in Devon for you – read on for our pick of the best…

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Secluded on a windswept headland in South Devon, remote Gara Rock is worth a drive along the winding roads that skirt local estuaries for its restaurant alone, where the sweeping circular windows showcase the sea and views even better await you on the terrace. The seafood is the star, unsurprisingly, but the giant steaks to share are also to be discovered.

Hikers on the South West Coast Path are treated to food from the hotel’s refreshment truck – but the ultimate refuge is at the spa, where treatments use organic products made nearby in Totnes, and the cozy cinema, with velvet seats and tables that can accommodate cocktails. .


Adrift (at certain times of the day) on its own tidal island, the Burgh Island Hotel can only be reached by foot or Defender when the tide is low. Partygoers since the 1930s have nevertheless made the trip opposite Bigbury-on-Sea for the hotel’s polished art deco interiors, black-tie events in the ballroom, live pianists and all the other tropes the glamor of ocean liners.

Agatha Christie and Winston Churchill are among the former celebrity guests. Once the natural sand pavement is gone, sea tractors and helicopters are the only way out – but with so much fun to be had, no one leaves willingly.


Built by William Henry Smith (of papermaker fame), Bovey Castle on Dartmoor has a championship golf course to rival long walks in the park as a pastime of choice. Other activities on offer at the 275-acre estate include gin-making, off-roading, fly-fishing, skeet shooting, and archery.

Some of the rooms are in the main Elizabethan Revival house, or choose from the 22 three-storey cottages spread across the grounds; everyone has a kitchen, but if that sounds too much like hard work, the chefs can deliver meals to you. The Elan Spa offers Espa treatments and its own Gentlemen’s Quarter.


On the edge of the Exe Estuary, Lympstone Manor is a listed Georgian building, with bedrooms in the original house and shepherd’s huts – with outdoor terraces and baths for the bravest – hidden away in the woods. Some suites have terraces with fireplaces.

The star of the show is restaurant Michael Caines, which displays its love for the southwestern pantry in dishes such as roasted scallops with caramelized cauliflower and Brixham turbot poached in truffle butter. The chef has also planted his own vineyard on the estate, with the dream of serving his own bubbly soon to come true.


A Tudor-style house on the banks of the River Teign, Gidleigh Park sits on one hundred acres of mature grounds on the edge of Dartmoor, with croquet lawns, an 18-hole putting green and grass tennis court . In spring, the park’s woods are blanketed in bluebells, and green-fingered guests will also enjoy a visit to the vegetable patch.

The restaurant’s chefs can prepare hampers for picnics or afternoon tea on the estate, or stay warm and close at the cellar, which has 13,000 bottles to choose from.


A 500-year-old granite longhouse in Bridford brought up to date with the help of some relocated hipsters from Hackney, Weeke Barton has the soundtrack, art and upholstery to match. Original features include wooden beams, stone walls, and low ceilings, with more modern additions such as freestanding tubs on raised platforms, wood-burning stoves, and twin sinks in the bathrooms.

The location gives guests the best of both worlds – it’s just a 20-minute drive from Exeter, with its cathedral and shopping, and on the outskirts of Dartmoor for those looking for the wilder side of Devon.


In the village of Martinhoe, on the North Devon coast and in Exmoor National Park, the Old Vicarage is a namesake stone structure and coach house, with manicured lawns that invite afternoon tea. afternoon on the terrace.

The owners will guide you to secret coves and stunning seaside walks (the hotel is just off the South West Coast Path), before welcoming you back for sunsets in the orangery and homemade dinners. The secluded retreat has just 11 bedrooms, each overlooking the sea or the garden, adding to the tranquility.


In the northeast corner of Dartmoor, this family-run Jacobean mansion dates from 1626. Period features include paneled rooms, coats of arms and many antiques, as well as stucco ceilings and family portraits from the past bustle of the house. Unsurprisingly for such a setting, Lewtrenchard Manor regularly hosts murder-mystery events, as well as jazz nights and decorating workshops.

Of all the elegant rooms, the most luxurious are the Gallery, St Gertrude’s and Nonington suites, which may have 21st century amenities but in all other respects reflect life at the mansion centuries ago – with sweeping views over the park an extra treat.


This adults-only bed and breakfast is in Lynton, 180 meters above Lynmouth and close to the woods and waterfalls of Exmoor. Fittingly for a B&B, each room has a function bed, with antique and four-poster options. Other period details at Highcliffe House include original fireplaces and cornices on the ceilings.

Sea views are the norm with a setting this close to the coast – the water is visible from every room and from the veranda where breakfast is served each morning. The art collection has been collected from across the world, with works returned to Devon after the owners’ travels to Sri Lanka, Laos and beyond.


The English Inn is alive and well at the Cary Arms on Babbacombe Bay. There are beach huts you can sleep in on the shore, all of which have views of Lyme Bay and the red rocks of the Jurassic Coast, and roll-down windows to really soak in everything – weather permitting. clear, you will be able to see Portland Bill.

Other accommodation options include sea-facing rooms at the inn and restored fisherman’s houses. The coastal spa is the perfect retreat after days of enjoying the salty sea breeze, with healthy lunches using local, seasonal produce to ensure continued well-being.


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