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Hotel Highlights

  • Prodigious wine list and a menu to dine for
  • Simply stunning Dartmoor scenery
  • Spoil yourself with goodies from the pantry

Overview

Gidleigh Park hotel's rooms are spacious, luxurious, sumptuous; with the odd antique sitting alongside bespoke contemporary pieces. A delicious mix of velvet cushions, satin quilt and a leopard-linen covered wing chair just makes you want to bury yourself in Gidleighness and never re-surface.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Gidleigh Park with us:

A cocktail aperitif before dinner on the first night

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Gidleigh Park

'Gourmet getaway' 'Wine lovers' stay' Romantic two-night stay on Dartmoor Romantic indulgence

Facilities

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Gidleigh Park - Devon - United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

24, including the Pavilion, a self-contained thatched cottage.

Check–out

11am, but later check-out is possible by arrangement.

Rates

Double rooms from $367.02 (£221), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include full English breakfast.

Also

If you’re in need of anything during the day, you can pop into the Pantry on the first floor, where you can help yourself to fruit, yoghurts, tea and coffee.

At the hotel

In-room spa treatments and massages, 18-hole putting course, croquet lawn, tennis court, bowling green, free WiFi throughout, DVD library. In-room amenities: flatscreen HD TV, DVD player, Vi-spring mattresses, L’Occitane toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Cranbrook, one of the three spa suites, is the most romantic, with twin roll-top baths for you both to bask in side-by-side, and a toasty-snug feature fire fitted in the wall alongside. Dartmeet, however, is also a sore temptation, given that its bathroom boasts a large marble bath, double shower, steam room and sauna. The gorgeous two-bedroom Pavilion is ideal for family stays, or for friends who want to combine the privacy of self-catering with the attentive luxury of a boutique hotel.

Packing tips

Leave your wellies at home – the hotel has a supply of boots and brollies for guests yomping the grounds. A guide to UK wildlife would be a worthwhile addition to your luggage – the hotel’s grounds are home to a wealth of woodland critters.

Also

The hotel has three dog-friendly rooms and four lit and heated kennels in the grounds. Smoking is not allowed inside.

Children

Are welcome, with extra beds for £60 a night. Cots are free and there are toys and games, including croquet, available. Babysitting is £16 an hour (with a minimum £40 charge), with notice. Under-eights are requested to dine between 5pm and 6.30pm.

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Food & Drink

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Gidleigh Park - Devon - United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

Modern European cuisine-maestro, Michael Caines has helped the hotel’s glorious restaurant to bag two Michelin stars and a glimmering reputation. The gastro-licious food is accompanied by one of the most impressive wine lists in the British Isles.

Hotel Bar

Decorated in the appealing style of the Arts and Crafts movement, the bar and loggia are an elegant but informal place to enjoy afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks or an evening of fine wines and cocktails.

Last orders

Lunch is available midday to 2.30pm; dinner from 7pm until 9.30pm. The bar is licensed to serve 24 hours a day.

Room service

After breakfast, an array of light bites are available during the day (hot food is not served in rooms), and sandwiches and paninis can be brought to you after 11pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Up to the nines, but no further.

Top table

For the full old-world oak-panelled experience, take a seat in the corner of the Meldon dining room.

Local Guide

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Gidleigh Park - Devon - United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel's impressive grounds – within the leafy boundaries of Dartmoor National Park (by the North Teign River) – encompass tennis courts, a croquet lawn, bowling green and an 18-hole golf course (open from early spring to late summer), and dainty decorative gardens with an apiary, herb garden and miniature waterfalls. There are also three cosy spa rooms and in-room treatments on offer. 

Even rambling novices will gladly pull on a pair of wellies (the hotel has a stash of boots to borrow), shrug on a Barbour country-collection jacket and set out to explore the dramatic outcrops, and tors that look like Henry Moore sculptures, of the unruly English garden on the doorstep. There's more than 954sq km of rolling moors and luxuriant woodland to see, but we recommend a six-mile loop to Postbridge or Bellever, to see waterfalls and pretty historic ruins along the way, or the climb from Chagford to Nattadon Hill to see the countryside laid out like a natural patchwork quilt. If walking's too lo-fi for your liking, the hotel can arrange horse-riding trips (with a professional equestrian photographer if you want to show off your best Napoleon pose), or mountain biking down the park's slender bridle paths. Experienced climbers can scale the rock faces (popular bouldering crags are found at Haytor and Houndtor), and Canoe England can arrange guided tours along the North Teign (www.canoe-england.org.uk). If you prefer something more restful, ask the hotel to organise licences and tuition for a laid-back day of fly fishing

Local restaurants

Gidleigh Park's restaurant is gastronomic heaven, with Michelin-star decorated chef Michael Caines' deliriously delicious tasting menu to try; however, high-quality local produce and a hearty West Country approach to portion sizes mean it's worth hunting down local foodie spots. The Three Crowns ((0)1647 433444, http://threecrowns-chagford.co.uk) in Chagford – a 10-minute drive or 30-minute amble away – serves a meaty menu, where local sausages and steaks take pride of place, in an attractive Dartmoor granite-built manor house. The White Horse Inn ((0)1647 440242), a 10-minute drive away in Moretonhampstead, may not look terribly exciting from the outside, but within is  a menu beloved by those in the know, a bright dining room and a charming cobbled courtyard. Pub fare worthy of high praise is to be found 20 minutes' drive from the hotel at the Ring of Bells Inn ((0)1647 440375), North Bovey. The menu has locally sourced stars including River Exe mussels, North Bovey steak and line-caught sea bass from Brixham. 

 

Local bars

Cosy, white-washed Chagford country pub the Globe Inn ((0)1647 433485, www.theglobeinnchagford.co.uk), is warm and welcoming with a huge stone fireplace and a range of local ales on tap.

 

+ Enlarge
Rugged, rocky Dartmoor

Gidleigh Park

Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8HH, United Kingdom

Planes

The nearest airport is Exeter International, a 40-minute drive from the hotel. Flybe (www.flybe.com) flies in from all over the UK and Europe.

Trains

Exeter Saint David's is 30–40 minutes away by car. First Great Western (www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk) runs services across the UK, including direct ones to London Paddington in just under two and a half hours.

Automobiles

Nearby motorways include the M3, M4 and M5. From the M5 (or A303), you'll need the A30 which will get you to Exeter, after which you'll need to use the A382 and follow signs to Chagford (and not Gidleigh, confusingly).

Reviews

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Gidleigh Park - Devon - United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Jessie Ware , Sultry singer-songwriter

‘Keep heart you are still on route’, a sign reads on a winding road at 10pm on a Friday night. Thank God! We have been driving for six hours (never go out with a boy who works in a school and can only leave when everyone else wants to escape London). But now we are definitely in the country, in the middle of nowhere, where not even the trusty SatNav can guide us. Instead, we must rely …
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Gidleigh Park

Anonymous review by Jessie Ware, Sultry singer-songwriter

‘Keep heart you are still on route’, a sign reads on a winding road at 10pm on a Friday night. Thank God! We have been driving for six hours (never go out with a boy who works in a school and can only leave when everyone else wants to escape London). But now we are definitely in the country, in the middle of nowhere, where not even the trusty SatNav can guide us. Instead, we must rely on these warming signs to lead us to Gidleigh Park hotel.

It is all rather exciting, and the last half hour of the drive reminds me that I am a Londoner with no country nous. Our last almost-trip to Devon was a couple of years ago, when my boyfriend wanted to camp in Dartmoor. I cried and booked two tickets to Ibiza. To be able to come to Gidleigh Park is a welcomed upgrade.

We fall into Gidleigh, the cosiest of country manors, leaving the sound of the Dartmoor spring water stream outside. Oil paintings and old maps line the walls, and 1920s-style furniture with tapestried cushions is everywhere for us to dive into. And there’s the smell of a wood fire burning. It’s classy, welcoming and so calm.

As we head up the beautiful oak staircase to our room, Cranbrook, Norah Jones seems to have joined us – via an iPod dock. The lyrics of Come Away With Me drift over us, soundtracking our gasps and giggles at the sight of two baths side by side, the sauna in our room, a remote-controlled glass fireplace and decanted madeira. I feel like we’re in a Richard Curtis film.

It’s late, but the kitchen is still happy to make us up a cheeseboard and we play backgammon in the drawing room with a delicious bottle of Carménère. Gidleigh is known for its wine cellar and Michael Caines' twice Michelin-starred restaurant, so I’m ready to pretend I’m Masterchef’s Greg Wallace for the weekend.

The next day, we ask where to go for a walk. Gidleigh Park provides tailored rambles in the grounds, walking boots and waterproofs; they will even pick us up if we have too many ales at the Three Crowns in the nearby sweet little village, Chagford. Gidleigh has thought about everything so you don’t have to: as soon as you lay foot on their grounds, you are theirs to look after. Umbrella, fine leather walking attire and cameras at the ready (and a massage booked for when we return) I explain to my boyfriend that this is how we shall do the countryside from now on. We opt for the two-hour walk (it took us three hours) and it was heavenly. Through the lush forest along the stream and up the hills to the open moors, it’s romantic and strenuous enough to make you feel like you deserve a cream tea.

Although I'm not usually keen on having massages in my hotel room, it totally works at Gidleigh Park. This hotel is meant to be a home. There is no gym and no reception area, so all the sterility of a corporate beast is banished. After my La Stone Therapy and our side-by-side bubble baths with the remaining Carménère, I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman; we are overexcited, a bit drunk and both thinking we could get used to this.

Seeing as we managed to slip in an afternoon tea (worth having just for the carrot cake) about three hours before the weekend’s finale – a meal in Michael Caines’ restaurant – we take a tour of the grounds to exercise off the cream and work up an appetite. Three hours later (and a sauna to sweat out the remaining darjeeling and egg mayo), the moment we had been waiting for arrived: dinner. We even meet the celebrated chef, who is kind and charming. I fire questions at him about where he is from, how long he has been at Gidleigh and who makes the best Sunday roast. He happily answers everything and recommends the Dartmoor Inn in Lydford – having already reserved a table there, I feel pretty pleased with myself. So giddy with excitement that he will be on the pass tonight, without a second thought we choose the signature eight-course tasting menu and wine pairing.

Quail’s egg and bacon, aubergine mousse and butternut squash canapés are followed by lobster with cardamom curried mayonnaise, foie gras with madeira jelly and truffle salad, and then coffee and petit fours. We chink our Riesling and celebrate every morsel. It is the most beautiful and the best-tasting food I have eaten. Our night of culinary awakening concludes as we high five over the last mouthful of chocolate mousse and orange sorbet. I wish I could give Michael Caines a third Michelin star there on the spot.

Gidleigh Park is a magical place. It has a history that every member of staff is proud to be a part of. We were indulged and taken care of, and simply seeing how much everyone loves working at this luxury country retreat made us love the place even more. The warmth, hospitality and pride of the staff made our weekend. Next time we’re taking the rooftop room with a hot tub outside.


 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Gidleigh Park's Guestbook below.

 

GoldSmith

Stayed on none

We loved

You do wonder if you are ever going to get to Gidleigh Park! A narrow twisting lane takes you "a country mile" to the mock Tudor mansion that is Gidleigh. It's not a grand drive up to the house, but what a welcome awaits. The house is near Chagford, a gorgeous little village on the edge of Dartmoor. The area is peppered with amazing mansions - a testament to the wealth that wool and tin brought in centuries past. Gidleigh sits in the middle of a beautifully maintained estate on the banks of the North Teign river. Michael Caine's team in the kitchen dishes up fantastic and innovative food in the many dining rooms. The bedrooms are comfortable - slightly stuffy design in the fabrics, but then Gidleigh is an older style of house. The bathrooms are state of the art.

Don’t expect

Lighter style fabrics could add a fresher touch. A Stay at Gidleigh is not cheap.

Rating: 6/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We had a very comfortable room, wonderful food, friendly staff, beautiful gardens and grounds.

Don’t expect

The signs to the hotel should be clearer.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The building and grounds were lovely. The room was outstanding!

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We had a wonderful welcome and great service throughout our stay at Gidleigh Park. The hotel itself and its Dartmoor location make it perfect for both walking and winding down, and the food is simply stunning! It's a real gem of a place.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Adam on reception was very friendly and really helpful. Almost everywhere has such attention to detail. We didn't leave the hotel!

 

Don’t expect

There were some areas of the grounds which are a bit scruffy and tired; considering there is not much else to do there other than walk around the grounds, then this was a bit disappointing.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Excellent service, accommodation and location.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The service and the food. Oh, the food... it was wonderful.

Rating: 8/10 stars