Endsleigh is heaven, no other way to describe it. It really is special and creates an amazingly cossetting atmosphere of exclusivity. The hotel and surroundings are sublime – you approach via a long, winding drive alongside huge, ancient trees, catching glimpses of the river Tamar glinting far below. The hotel is a former hunting lodge of the Dukes of Bedfordshire, who, once upon a time, owned a third of Devon and chose this idyllic spot in a silent, secluded valley on which to build their holiday home.
The house is small enough to feel like a private home; a feeling that’s emphasized by the unstuffy and understated service, the generously stocked library, the ‘honesty’ bar and the long corridor of wellies and pac-a-macs for guests to borrow. The décor, by Olga Polizzi is classic English country style with a twist – lots of panelling, antiques, William Yeoward furniture, sisal matting flooring, flowers from the gardens and huge, luxurious beds and bathrooms. At night, dozens of tiny tealights and log fires are lit in all the public rooms, creating a tremendously romantic effect. As there are only 16 rooms, there’s lots of space for everyone and we were only really aware of other guests at meal times. As we chose to eat a little later than everyone else, we were able to have drinks alone in the library every evening, me entertaining a happy fantasy that this glorious house and everything in it was our own private hideaway! There are even a couple of small private rooms that you can ask to dine in rather than the main dining room.
Food is good here – breakfast and tea excellent, dinners perhaps a little formal for my taste. The wine list is very good and reasonably priced. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff; they suggested walks, lent us a rucksack, printed out directions, etc etc. If you want to walk on Dartmoor or in the Tamar Valley, they will make you a packed lunch or even a posh picnic to eat in the beautiful grounds.
One tip – when you’re booking, do ask them to email you pics of the rooms that are available, so you can choose the one that suits you best. Also, I would recommend asking reception to book you a massage with Kirstie Clish-Green – an amazing masseuse who tackled the knots in my poor stressed shoulders with huge vim and vigour!
So if you love peace, serenity, the English countryside, firelight reflected on wooden panelling, croquet lawns, dogs (its very dog-friendly) and the feeling that you are a million miles away from the rest of the world, I would highly recommend Endsleigh. It has real heart and soul and has been conceived and put together with passion. It doesn’t feel like a money-making enterprise, as so many luxury hotels do. But, be warned – if you like bling, bustle, giant flat-screen tellies, status symbols, obsequious staff and lots of people to see and be seen by, don’t go – you won’t ‘get’ it, and you won’t like it, so save your money and go to the Four Seasons instead!
Ask for a room with views over the valley & river. Reception will email you pics of the availabl...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC