I have meant to sit down and write a review about the Cottage many times but have only now got around to doing it. I stayed just the one night with my fiancee (7th March '14) on what turned out to be the hottest and sunniest weekends in March I can recall.
On first arrival you are greeted by the vista from the hotel's car park. This is a very unspoilt and little known part of the world and the seaside is adorned by historic fishing cottages so is picture postcard material.
There was a friendly reception waiting from the check in staff and we were promptly shown to our room. I had booked a room with a balcony and I am very glad I did. With the sunny weather it was very relaxing sitting with such a nice view listening to the waves crashing on the rocks. The room was nicely decorated and a nice feature was that the TV was on a swivel mount so my partner could watch TV through the bath doorway, this made her very happy indeed.
When we booked the room it came automatically with dinner and you had to opt out but the price difference was not that great, so I did not. This was a good move as the Cottage's USP is very definitely the dining experience. Dinner is quite a formal affair and I was a bit worried that I did not have a tie but staff assured me that it would be fine. As it transpired hardly anyone was wearing formal dining attire so it worked out well.
Pre-diner was a pleasant experience. Having a quiet drink in the bar and lounge area, the Maitre d (William) dressed in formal wear made an effort to go to every table and speak to all the diners. From some of the snippets of conversations which drifted across the room, it sounds like the majority of diners were guests who had stayed at the Cottage year on year. From later conversations with William it turned out that the Cottage has been run by his family since the 1970's and he now runs it.
Dinner consisted of a 5 course dining experience which surpassed any I have had before in terms of quality of food, service and attention to detail. Every course was absolutely delicious and would not be out of place in any top restaurant. Even the cheese platter at the end had and amazing array of fresh local cheeses which showed how seriously this hotel takes food as most places would buy them from a supermarket.
Dessert came around on a dessert trolley, the likes of which I have not seen for many years. I would estimate from the age of the trolley, it had done many hundreds of miles up and down the dining room over the years but had been lovingly maintained and polished. What was really nice to see was the waiting staff really looking like they enjoyed their jobs. All too often, a dining experience can be soured by waiters and waitresses who look like they really do not want to be there. All the waiting staff genuinely seemed to enjoy what they were doing and took pride in the service they gave which brought a real buzz to the dining room.
One thing we really liked about the Cottage is how it embraces its past. There are dozens and dozens of old photos and memorabilia decking the walls. If you have seen the Hotel Inspector, she tells Hoteliers to strip down such historical items to a minimum but at the Cottage it works really well as you get a real feel for the local history. For example, there are B&W photos of the long past local fishermen and their catches, large party's at the Cottage and well maintained original features of this old building. There is a snug bar which looks like a ship with all the photos of the Ships which came go grief on the jagard rocks in the local area which was really interesting. Whilst sitting in front of the old fireplace we noticed an old photo of the very same fireplace with a group of sailors huddled around it taken a hundred years ago, the very night they were ship wrecked and taken in by the hotel. We find this type of history absolutely fascinating.
All in all our stay at the Cottage was very relaxing and very memorable and we certainly intend to become one of the many regulars who frequent this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 31 bedroomed family-run hotel in a spectacular coastal location.Relaxing holiday atmosphere with excellent cusine and an established reputation for hospitality and service.Comfortable en-suite rooms, many have superb sea-views and some have balconies. Sun terraces, garden descends down to Hope Cove beach.Free parking, free wi-fi interent access in hotel lounge, Open all year, including Christmas and New Year, short breaks available, (special breaks available including Murder Mystery week-end, Painting and Mosaic breaks, Guided Walking Breaks). We look forward to welcoming you. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Cottage Hotel Kingsbridge
- The Cottage Hotel Hope Cove, Devon