The most romantic hotels in Devon, from remote shepherd’s huts to grand stately piles

Advice

Please note our writers visited Devon prior to the coronavirus pandemic

With wild and wuthering moors, sun-soaked beaches and perfectly preserved villages, a romantic break in Devon is guaranteed to set pulses racing. Lovebirds can hunker down, fireside, in a cosy country inn, be Lord and Lady of the manor at a grand country estate, or stargaze from a shepherd’s hut. For those in search of pampering, Devon’s spa hotels offer soothing treatments, while foodies are well catered for with Michelin-starred dining, traditional tea rooms and quirky cafes. Here’s our pick of the most romantic hotels in Devon, in locations including Salcombe, Torquay, Dartmoor and Otter Valley.

Bovey Castle

Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This grand stately pile on a sporting estate in Dartmoor National Park caters for every whim, whether rugged outdoor pursuits or fine dining and pampering. Facilities galore and excellent service make it hard to fault. All the gorgeous period features have been retained – huge stone fireplaces, sweeping mahogany staircases, ornate plaster ceilings, oak paneling, mullion windows – and injected a generous dose of glamour, in shimmering wallpapers, feather-filled sofas and lush fabrics. The views, looking onto a classic Dartmoor tor and tree-clad valley, are beautiful.


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From


£
160

per night

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Gidleigh Park

Chagford, Devon, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

With its two Michelin-starred restaurant, this imposing Tudor style house, overlooking 107 acres of private woodlands in the wilds of Dartmoor National Park, has impeccable culinary credentials. Refined and formal, Gidleigh offers old-school charm and exceptionally high standards. The décor is stylish, with everything you’d expect in an English country house hotel: antique furniture, wood panelling, stone fireplaces and elegant bouquets of flowers. There’s a hushed atmosphere, so it’s better suited to couples than groups or families with young children.


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£
248

per night

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Hotel Endsleigh

Tavistock, Devon, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

Built in 1812 as the holiday home for the Duchess of Bedford, Georgiana Russell, this wildly romantic, chintz-free country estate, run by Channel 5’s Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, is steeped in royal history. Purposefully low-tech, the rooms don’t have televisions, Wi-Fi or minibars, and only a couple have proper showers. Decorated in Regency pastiche, Room 5 is the winner, with original hand-painted wallpaper, poetry-inspiring views of the River Tamar and a chaise longue that’s made for swooning. Room 4 wins points for quirkiness: the ensuite bathroom, accessible down steep stairs, was the Duke’s chapel.


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£
190

per night

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Lympstone Manor

Exmouth, Devon, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

The BBC’s Great British Menu icon, Michael Caines, has worked marvels with this vanilla ice cream-hued Georgian mansion by Devon’s Exe estuary. The interiors – think champagne-fabric sofas, powder-blue walls, wispy sage green linen drapes and quicksand-soft carpets woven from grey-silver thread – are both dramatic and stylish. A spa, tennis courts and vineyard are in the pipeline, but in the meantime, borrow one of the free bikes or put on your Wellington boots and walk down to the Estuary, via Lympstone’s newly-planted orchard and primrose-scattered grounds. In terms of the food, the fact that Lympstone Manor achieved a Michelin star within six months of opening says it all.


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From


£
350

per night

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StarBed Hideaways

Yelverton, Devon, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

These two exquisite shepherd’s huts feel blissfully remote, set within the grounds of National Trust’s Buckland Abbey estate. Rooms are kitted out for a couple’s retreat, right down to blackout eye masks on bedside tables, and consist of an 18-foot shepherd’s hut for a king-sized bedroom and free-standing bath tub with a rain head shower, plus a smaller hut attached with kitchen facilities plus washroom complete with REN toiletries. Homecooked meals for two can be preordered and for breakfast, it’s a choice of croissants, homemade granola or ingredients for full English. Guests also receive complimentary passes to Buckland Abbey.


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£
145

per night

The Old Rectory Hotel

Devon, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The Old Rectory is a grown-up Exmoor hotel serving excellent food and wine in a quintessentially English country-house setting. The 11 rooms are decorated individual styles, varying from country classic French – Toiles De Jouy wallpaper in pastel blues and pinks – to zanier black and gold colour schemes. The hotel has three acres of gardens, with neat lawns, wild flower beds, a Victorian lily-pond, loungers, patio and healthy-looking vegetable patch. The hotel is a big draw for oenophiles as well as lovers of artisanal gin – many of the offerings on the hotel’s 13-strong gin menu are made in the West Country.


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£
181

per night

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The Rising Sun

Lynmouth, Devon, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

Overlooking Lynmouth harbour, with dramatic views of Lynmouth Bay and Exmoor National Park, this 14th-century thatched inn is in one of Devon’s most picturesque locations. Inside, it’s wonderfully rickety and rambling, with a fire-lit bar, Exmoor cask ales, award-winning food and genial locals. R.D. Blackmore is thought to have written his classic novel Lorna Doone here and poet Percy Bysshe Shelley honeymooned in the pub’s cottage in 1812. Outside, a coat of arms and Victorian lamps swing in the sea breeze, while inside there’s sailing memorabilia, exposed stone and wood-beamed walls, and blackboards hailing local ales and fish catches of the day.


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£
147

per night

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The Pig at Combe

Gittisham, Devon, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

A rural-chic hotel, centred around serious kitchen gardens, in the popular and ever-growing Pig group. A Grade I-listed Elizabethan house in Devon’s lovely Otter Valley, the hotel is sexy and fun as well as romantic. The 27 rooms are some of the most charming, traditional yet stylish (larders and minibars cleverly hidden inside antique cupboards; some televisions disguised as antique mirrors), comfortable, practical, quirky and soothing of any hotel bedrooms in the land. The heart of the hotel is the panelled Great Hall, where a glamorous bar stretches along one wall. Outside, there are terraces, vintage sun umbrellas, and deck chairs on the lawn.


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£
179

per night

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Mr & Mrs Smith

South Sands Boutique Hotel

Salcombe, Devon, England

8
Telegraph expert rating

The style at South Sands Boutique Hotel is breezy and easy-going, as befits a hotel on the beach. In summer, the well-heeled Salcombe set flock here, and the buzzing hotel feels like a cross between a yacht club and a branch of Crew Clothing. Decoration in the rooms and restaurant is in appropriate New England style and there’s a glamorous spiral staircase in between. Guests are privy to some wonderful views across the Salcombe Estuary: one of the most picturesque corners on the South Devon coast.


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From


£
99

per night

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The Cary Arms

Devon, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This delightful seaside hotel on Devon’s south coast is a setting from a Mills and Boon romance and a Famous Five adventure rolled into one. Queen Victoria was equally enchanted 150 years ago, rowing ashore with Prince Albert from the Royal Yacht on several occasions. There are eight rooms in the main inn, two beach suites, six beach huts and three self-catering cottages – all with retro red leather bed-heads, pretty wardrobes, sticks of rock on snow white pillows, and walls adorned by old posters advertising the delights of Devon and colourful yachting photographs.


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£
115

per night

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Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa

Salcombe, Devon, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

This 50-room luxury spa hotel has a magnificent view of Salcombe bay, with its twinkling seas, sandy beaches and pastel cottages. Now a chic, coastal retreat the hotel offers a luxury spa, a private cinema, a stylish restaurant, and outdoor terraces with panoramic bay views. The interior – all Lloyd Loom chairs, vintage railway posters and soothing pastels – is made even more inviting by deep armchairs, huge marble fireplaces and collections of designer coffee-table books. Don’t be put off by the clichéd collection of seafaring memorabilia at the entrance; this is one of the most stylish seaside hotels in the South West.


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£
141

per night

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Boringdon Hall Hotel

Plymouth, Devon, England

9
Telegraph expert rating

With a state-of-the-art spa, which hotel guests have complimentary use of, this Elizabethan manor house near Plymouth, in West Devon, offers pampering-a-plenty in a perfectly-preserved historic setting. The food and service are first-class, and it’s excellent value for money. It is crammed with perfectly preserved period features, including towering ornate ceilings, mullion windows, oak panelling, beamed walls, tapestries, cosy nooks, hefty wooden doors, stone archways and flagstone floors. The Great Hall, which serves as the hotel’s bar and lounge, has enormous stone fireplace at its centrepiece, with the imposing coat of arms of King James I above it.


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From


£
170

per night

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Contributions by Fiona Duncan & Sherelle Jacobs

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