Devon, United Kingdom

Whitehouse

Rates from (inc tax)$208.85

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 {dayrange} days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP190.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Updated Georgian abode

Setting

Charming Chillington village

Don't be deceived by the Whitehouse hotel's historic Georgian exterior or quaint Devonshire coastal village location of Chillington; this airy little hotel is the opposite of chintzy, fussy and overdone. Its six spacious rooms have been stylishly outfitted with chunky wooden furniture, huge beds covered with Frette linens, and ensuites worthy of an urban loft. Despite all this, we doubt you'll spend all that much time in your room, as the hotel also has a plush movie screening room, extensive gardens perfect for croquet and cocktails and a delicious restaurant that specializes in shared platters of house-made charcuterie and local cheeses.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A glass of prosecco for each guest

Facilities

Photos Whitehouse hotel – Devon – United Kingdom

Need to know

Rooms

Six.

Check–Out

12 noon, although this may be flexible (subject to availability). Check‑in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $208.85 (£158), 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 {dayrange} days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP190.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include full English or Continental breakfast. You can rent the whole house (sleeping 12) for two nights from £2,600; additional nights cost £1,300 each.

Also

Film showings are held regularly in the Whitehouse’s huge screening room, which has Fatboy bean-bag chairs to sprawl on.

At the hotel

Croquet lawn, gardens, chest of DVDs and CDs, screening room, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: plasma TVs, CD/DVD player with iPod connection, Nespresso machine.

Our favourite rooms

Room Five seduced us the most, with its generous size, double‑aspect views of the gardens, courtyard and surrounding countryside, retro lamps and sleek metallic wallpaper. Room Four may be smaller, but the hand‑crafted wooden four‑poster and the free‑standing French claw‑foot bath had our eyes wide. The Attic room can alternate between a double and a twin – and the sofa bed means it can sleep four if you have kids or friends in tow.

Poolside

Whitehouse doesn’t have a pool, although you can sun yourself in the extensive gardens. The hotel has house membership to the Dart Marina spa in Dartmouth, where you can use the pool, steam room and gym free.

Packing tips

Bring an iPod to hook up to your room’s Bose sound system; in summer, be sure you’re dressed for the beach – it’s only an amble away.

Also

A two‑night minimum stay applies at weekends. Well‑behaved dogs are welcome: beds, bowls and towels are provided for £10 a night – just give notice (so they can let the resident lurchers and Siamese cats know they’ll have company).

Children

Children over 12 can stay. Extra beds (£35, with breakfast) can be added to your room. Babysitting with a local nanny costs £15 an hour.

Overview

Kids are welcome (but not in the restaurant after 6pm); cots (£10) and extra beds (£25, with breakfast) can be added to your room. Babysitting with a local nanny costs £15 an hour.

Rates

More details

Rates include full English or Continental breakfast. You can rent the whole house (sleeping 12) for two nights from £2,600; additional nights cost £1,300 each.

Food and Drink

Photos Whitehouse hotel – Devon – United Kingdom

At the hotel

The hotel doesn't offer dinner (just à la carte breakfast), but on request the chef can whip up an antipasti board of grazing‑perfect goodies – charcuterie, marinated feta and olives, and breads – served in the bright barn‑style dining area. There's also a corker of an afternoon tea available. If you're feeling more than peckish, the Beachhouse (the Whitehouse's dining venture) is a 20-minute drive away, serving sea-fresh cracked crab and moules marinare, steaks and clotted-cream ice cream with a side of stunning beach scenery. Hungry locals also flock to the Seahorse in Dartmouth  a 10-minute drive), which serves fabulously fresh, Italian-style fish dishes.

At the bar

The Whitehouse bar has a cosy living room, with shelves stuffed with travel books, a large chocolate‑brown sofa and a fireside snug. It’s un‑Devonishly buzzy at weekends, with a different house cocktail mixed up every day. Soups, sandwiches, antipasti platters and house bread with dukkah oil and olives go very niely with your drink.

Last orders

The bar’s open late, usually until around 2am; snacks and light bites are served from 12 noon to 9pm.

Location

Photos Whitehouse hotel – Devon – United Kingdom
Address
Whitehouse
Chillington
TQ7 2JX
Devon
United Kingdom

Planes

Exeter airport is an hour and ten minutes away. Fly in from all over the UK (Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, etc).

Trains

First Great Western (www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk) runs train services from Paddington to Totnes (a 30-minute drive from the hotel) in just under 3 hours.

Automobiles

Chillington is 45 minutes from Plymouth and four and a half hours from London. It's also two miles from the West Devon coast. Parking is free.

Worth getting out of bed for

You can pick up a delicious deli-style picnic at Whitehouse and head off to the beach – it's a one-mile walk. Hotel staff will also be happy to arrange spa treatments – either in your room or at the Dart Marina Spa (+44 (0)1803 837182) in Dartmouth – and a host of typically Devonian activities, including boat charters, fishing trips, cycling, and horse riding.

Local restaurants

Being a wee ‘pub and a post office’ type of village, Chillington is hardly a haven for gastronomes, but there’s plenty to tempt in nearby Dartmouth. Famed fishmonger and restaurateur Mitch Tonks is behind The Seahorse (+44 (0)1803 835147), a relaxed Mediterranean seafood outfit on the riverbank. The New Angel (+44 (0)1803 839425) serves Michelin‑starred Modern Brit fare.

Local cafés

Sister establishments to the Whitehouse worth a visit are the Beachhouse (+44 (0)1548 561144) on South Milton sands and Stokely Barton Farm Shop (01548 581010), a food store, café, homeware and garden centre, a 10‑minute walk away through the countryside.

Local bars

Rumour (+44 (0)1803 864682) is a young and buzzy little wine bar in Totnes, which also does a palatable line in pizza. In the pretty village of South Pool, The Millbrook Inn (+44 (0)1548 531581) continues the tradition of cider-soused West Country pubs, but throws a militantly local menu into the mix. Over in East Prawle, The Pig's Nose (+44 (0)1548 511209) is a great place to catch local live bands.

Reviews

Photos Whitehouse hotel – Devon – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

Our visit to the Whitehouse in South Devon was part of our latest obsession: eating our way around Blighty. At least, as often as our busy lives and burgeoning sense of thrift allows. My beloved Mrs Smith wasn’t always so prosaically monikered; her maiden name betrays Spanish origins. Yet 10 years in the UK has had her fall in love with this land. The only thing hampering the regularity of these special ‘England’s way to our heart is through our stomachs’ trips is the fact we insist on crisp white cotton sheets and access to decent Chablis and brandy. So I’m afraid camping just won’t cut it. As for our favoured staff – we prefer those who walk that fine line between tending to your every need and leaving you alone in peace and quiet. Tall order? Perhaps – but the Whitehouse suited us nicely.

Just a short meander from the South Devon shoreline, hidden away in the little village of Chillington, the Whitehouse is the perfect getaway for style-seasoned city types hankering for a rustic rest-stop. It is the opposite of a big, soulless corporate hotel. The people that work there are seldom enough and sufficiently sweet to make it impossible to distinguish between proprietor and employee. Its owners are in fact three friends, clearly passionate about their property, each playing a hands-on role in hotel operations, and all happy to address guests’ requirements personally. One of them, Ally, is the gifted chef behind the restaurant’s fresh and hearty platters (available on request), and frequently opens the kitchen to show off her Aga, with wine-tasting evenings frequently appearing on the event schedule. But more on that later.

There are only six individual rooms, and I speak only for the one we stayed in, the Attic. I assume the priorities are the same – ample space, comfortable pillow-laden beds, a showerhead comparable to the steering wheel of an articulated truck, and a colour scheme that echoes the name of the hotel. Make no mistake: this isn’t an escape aimed at hippy types who favour singsongs round open fires over a few modcons; the extras in our room included a kettle, Nespresso machine, flatscreen TV with all the Sky and DVD trimmings, a DAB radio, a DVD player and a well stocked mini-bar. You see why we just can’t get excited about a tent in a wet field?

Perhaps a guest more versed in design might point out the most exciting style features to shout about. (Mrs Smith tells me there are plenty of modern quirks that are pleasing on the eye such as an old-meets-new medley of funky, chunky furniture). What grabbed me was the abundance of sofas and roaring fires that make every room a perfect place to kick back with a book or the Sunday papers after a coastal stroll. We did venture to the Beachhouse (the Whitehouse's seaside restaurant), which adhered to my most beloved cooking philosophy – take great ingredients, and do as little as possible to mess them up. From the just-baked scones, loaded with clotted cream and local jam that were presented to us, through to the mussels and lobster delivered to the restaurant an hour and a half before supper – the fresh, mostly local ingredients were always excellent. Thank you, Ally and co.

To this pair on an eating-around-Britain mission, Devon may not have the same obvious foodie allure of Cornwall. But it made my Iberian Mrs Smith’s most-posed culinary question most salient: ‘Why is it so hard to get decent fish on these shores?’ The answer is varied and represented in full in Devon. a) You can if you try. (You just have to know where to look. Try the Seahorse in nearby Dartmouth). b) We don’t cook fish that well. (Although the aforementioned fish restaurant was without question the best I’ve been to in England). c) Because quality here is unappreciated: the majority of exceptional fish caught off Devon’s coast is exported to Spain and Italy, who pay better for excellence.

As you can imagine, these fish-lovers spent much of their weekend seeking out the perfect crustacea. So if crab, scallop or lobster floats your boat, I’d urge you do the same. But if being piscivorous isn’t your thing, you could stay put and play croquet on the lawn of the hotel (darling), or catch a film in the screening rooms. If wanderlust gets the better of you, hours spent driving or walking through the winding country lanes will be well spent.

Rather than a common-or-garden fancy hotel, staying at the Whitehouse feels like spending the weekend with stylish, hospitable (and significantly better off) friends. Its appearance is the result of the owners’ good taste rather than the work of an interior designer, and it’s more a place to feel comfortable in than marvel at. These Georgian buildings have been a doctor’s surgery, a residence for GIs, and a private home in their time, but today they’ve finally found their true calling as one of Devon’s most welcoming and intimate boutique hotels. Sure there was the occasional slip-up, but to moan about a forgotten dish, say, would be missing the point. We were looking for something quintessentially English. And we were lucky enough to find a homely, eccentric hideaway in the middle of a splendid county that is showcasing its food and drink heritage better than ever. And don't let its American-presidential-abode name distract: this hip hotel makes you feel truly patriotic. Rule Britannia, indeed.

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 Whitehouse’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Bed - bathroom and breakfast. Location to coast good - although little information at the hotel to say what was in the locality.

Don’t expect

Not to be able to eat at the hotel in the evening. Difficult to locate in the village.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Aug 2016

We loved

The beautiful decor, comfortable bed, bathtub at the foot of our bed, delicious breakfast and the friendly staff!

Don’t expect

A strong internet connection, but it's nice to disconnect!

Rating

Stayed on 6 Aug 2016

We loved

The location, the relaxed atmosphere, great decor, great breakfast. The Tower Pub in Slapton Sands was excellent.

Don’t expect

Chest of drawers to place your clothes. We all had to use our cases.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Jul 2016

We loved

Lovely room, friendly hosts, great location near to the coast and some lovely places to eat nearby. The Beach house is great for dinner.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Jun 2016

We loved

The bed was amazing and so comfortable. The bathroom was fantastic. Sitting by the fire with a glass of wine, a cat on your lap and a dog at your feet.

Don’t expect

Anything too busy. Go here to chill out and get away from it all.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Feb 2016

We loved

Amazing service from the team, nothing was too much trouble and it really made our stay! Huge 8' wide beds, all the facilities you could want in the room (no. 5). Food was top notch at breakfast, as was the platter for a quiet night in. Great for dogs, wish we'd brought ours. Free use of the spa gym in Dartmouth.

Don’t expect

Disappointing booking experience with Mr Mrs Smith, quickly rectified by The Whitehouse team - thank you!

Rating

Stayed on 20 Jul 2015

We loved

The quirky decor andf beautiful garden.

Don’t expect

Evening meal served.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Jul 2015

We loved

The house and garden are lovely, and you certainly get a very warm welcome and great service. We also loved the enormous bed.

Don’t expect

Decent signage - it's a little hard to find.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Jul 2015

We loved

Lovely shabby-chic decor. Fantastically comfortable bed. Wonderful bathroom. Pleasant and helpful staff. Thoughtful mini-bar selections including proper milk for tea and Nespresso coffee making. Loved it.

Don’t expect

Lighting in the room could be better.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Jan 2015

We loved

I loved the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Ten out of 10.

Don’t expect

Shame they have stopped doing dinner and their own toiletries, which were lovely.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Sep 2014

We loved

I loved the fabulous comfy bed, welcoming staff attitude, great breakfast, location, staff's local knowledge.

Don’t expect

I didn't like the shower curtain in the tub: the top rail diameter should have been larger, in my opinion, and I think the curtain should have been weighted. Also, there seemed to be nowhere to put a shampoo bottle when ensconced in shower curtain.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Sep 2014

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