Devon, United Kingdom

Gidleigh Park

Rates from (ex tax)$261.98

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP250.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Grandly gardened moorland manor

Setting

Rugged, rocky Dartmoor

A spectacular Tudor-style manor home on a beautiful plot of land in wild and rugged Dartmoor in Devon, Gidleigh Park hotel offers spacious and sumptuous rooms where antique pieces sit alongside contemporary furnishings. The comfortable luxury of it all makes it difficult to venture out, but the gorgeous grounds and woodlands teeming with wildlife beg to be explored. When you’re done hiking, you can fortify yourself at the hotel’s outstanding restaurant.

Smith Extra

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A cocktail aperitif before dinner on the first night

Facilities

Photos Gidleigh Park facilities

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 $261.98 (£208), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP250.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

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, seasonal 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, in the Master room category, 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. Nanny services, which start at £159 for five hours, can be arranged. Under-eights are requested to dine between 5pm and 6.30pm.

Overview

Are welcome, with extra beds for £60 a night. Cots are free and there’s a variety of toys and games, including croquet, available. Nanny services, which start at £159 for five hours, can be arranged. Under-eights are requested to dine between 5pm and 6.30pm.

Best for

Babies and up – children of all ages welcomed.

Recommended rooms

The Loft Suite has a double and a twin room. The Pavilion (a thatched cottage in the grounds) overlooks the croquet lawn. There's no charge for babies in cots sharing their parents' room. It costs £60 (b&b) for older children.

Activities

Children love running around the large grounds and exploring Dartmoor National Park and its wildlife. There are tennis courts and rackets available to borrow, plus croquet and a small putting green (open from Easter to September). Toy boxes brimming with toys for all ages can be found in the first-floor Pantry.

Meals

Only children aged eight or older can dine in the restaurant for lunch or dinner. For younger children, High Tea is served in the lounges from 5pm–6.30pm. Staff are happy to heat up milk and baby food, and prepare child-friendly packed lunches.

Babysitting

With notice, Gidleigh Park can arrange nannies from half-days to entire stays. Prices start at £159 for a half day for this outsourced service; all nannies have at least four years' experience and relevant checks.

No need to pack

There are plenty of high chairs in the restaurant. Child-sized wellington boots are available at reception.

Also

Every room has a TV and there are DVD players and a small selection of children's DVDs to borrow. The Pantry, located on the first floor, is open 24 hours a day. It has a kettle and is stocked with milk, tea, coffee and homemade biscuits. It also has a fridge in which guests can store baby food and milk. The valet parking is a useful service when you've kids in tow.

Food and Drink

Photos Gidleigh Park food and drink

Top Table

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

Dress Code

Up to the nines, but no further.

Hotel restaurant

Michelin-star-decorated chef Michael Wignall is the creative force behind Gidleigh Park's restaurant. His seven- and 10-course tasting menus are laden with expertly crafted, modern dishes, guiding diners through striking – yet sumptuous – flavour and texture pairings (salads like tiny well-tended gardens, mains enhanced by saucy arabesques and sculptural desserts are the kind of thing to expect). The gastro-licious food is accompanied by one of the most impressive wine lists in the British Isles. Wignall's afternoon tea has as much culinary clout as his multi-course offerings, too.

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.

Location

Photos Gidleigh Park location
Address
Gidleigh Park
Chagford
TQ13 8HH
Devon
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).

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 a Peter Alliss-designed 18-hole golf course (open from Easter to September), 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

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.

 

Reviews

Photos Gidleigh Park reviews

Anonymous review

‘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 its Michelin-star-decorated chefs, 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 the five-star 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 award Michelin stars 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.

We loved

The highly professional but friendly staff, the room and views, the pantry (help yourself to tea/coffee/cookies) and the excellent dining.

Don’t expect

Easy access to holiday hotspots.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Jun 2016

We loved

The location and feel

Don’t expect

Action

Rating

Stayed on 1 Jun 2016

We loved

The food, the food again, the general manager and most of the staff, the drawing room, the bar, the bluebell wood. If staying more than one night the surrounding countryside and villages are fabulous

Don’t expect

a kettle, there is a pantry and early morning tea is brought to you. Body lotion or bath stuff, there is shower gel

Rating

Stayed on 7 May 2016

We loved

Everything! Gidleigh is brilliant at having that wonderfully looked after feel without being too stuffy. The staff are friendly and attentive. Nothing is too much trouble. The food of course is amazing and the wine cellar is something else. We travel with our two dogs and they make us all feel welcome. It's a home from home.

Don’t expect

Much to do! It's a gorgeous, peaceful spot, with lovely walks but not much else. There isn't a spa at the hotel so it's very much for eating wonderful food, walking it off and chilling.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Dec 2015

We loved

The food and wine list were great. The garden and outlook of the hotel was also really good. The staff were really helpful and plenty of people to help with finding a suitable walk to undertake. The pantry in the hotel was also an added bonus - providing tea, coffee, lemon and honey on tap with yoghurts and freshly made home made biscuits. The Madeira in the room was also an added bonus.

Don’t expect

A Lively stay. The hotel is very much about eating and walking.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Sep 2015

We loved

Everything about the whole experience that is Gidleigh Park from arrival to departure. The food was exquisite (Michael Caines and his team are nothing less than genius!), the service from every member of staff impeccable and the room was beautiful. I cannot possible over-enthuse about this wonderful place.

Don’t expect

Everything exceeded expectation.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Jun 2015

We loved

The peace and quiet and gourmet food.

Don’t expect

A small spa on site would be fantastic.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Feb 2015

We loved

My husband and I had not been to Gidleigh for many years although we used to go every year, once or twice. We were delighted to find that although bigger, service was as good as ever.

Don’t expect

Service was excellent but there were also a lot of staff - everywhere.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Jan 2015