As we had not taken a long weekend for sometime and loving the Royal Castle Hotel at Dartmouth we thought we would check out the Way Family's latest aquisition. What a fantastic building - steeped in history. Dunster is a very beautiful village but does have very limited free street parking - however the village carpark is literally just a stones throw away. Although the hotel has little frontage the period arched doorways lead into the most amazing characterful arrangement of bars, a small inner courtyard and a beautiful dining room. A large charming 'secret' garden is accessed via a flight of steps.
Our room was number 15 - a large room with a large oak, very comfy 4 poster bed. The en suite was also large and some may say - needs updating - but we thought the presence of a bidet quite quirky!
The housekeeping is first class and one evening a beautifully made up z bed was provided for our young grandaughter who wanted to stay a night with us.
We did feel more work is needed in the kitchen as althought breakfasting was good, other meals both bar and restaurant were inconsistant in quality and presentation. The waiting staff, however were brilliant whatever request or situation came their way. A more positive management style would have been an asset.
On the whole - with its wood fires, genuine old worlde charm, it's open welcome for dogs and friendly atmosphere I think the Ways have a winner. One thing though, if you have mobility problems the secret garden may not be accessible for you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Luttrell Arms is a 3 star, 28 room hotel. Set in the medieval village of Dunster with its many interesting buildings, under the shadow of the Castle and within the Exmoor National Park. The privately owned 14th century Luttrell Arms is surrounded by beautiful countryside making it the ideal destination for that weekend break or midweek getaway. Stroll around the village, walk the moor, or just sit by a log fire in a building where hospitality has been a way of life for hundreds of years. Heritage "If you could bottle the air in the bar at the Luttrell Arms and sell it you'd clean up" so wrote a local journalist. The smell of logs burning on the fire, a hint of hops from the pints of ale, add to this the smell of something aromatic being cooked in the kitchen, and the most essential element - the smell of history, it oozes out of the walls which have stood for 800 years. There are many outstanding architectural features, the medieval hall with its hammer beam roof (room 17) and twelve light window. History seeps out of the blackened frames, which had their glass rattled loose as Cromwell’s gunners laid siege to Dunster Castle from a defended strong point at the end of the garden. Cromwell’s Commander, Col. Robert Blake walked the corridors of the hotel, it was then called the Ship Inn and was used as his headquarters throughout the siege of the castle. Also of note is some very fine plasterwork on the ceiling of the lounge downstairs, and the plaster over mantle in room 12, showing Actaeon being devoured by hounds. The Arms of Luttrell that we use today carry us back to a Gentleman of 1261, the crest takes us only back to 1621, but the supporters are directly derived from one of the Barons who coerced King John into sealing Magna Carta. A more modern visitor is Hercule Poirot. In "The Cornish Mystery" he confronts the murderer in one of the hotel’s bedrooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Luttrell Arms Hotel Dunster
- Luttrell Arms Hotel Dunster
- Luttrell Arms Dunster
- The Luttrell Arms Dunster, Somerset