This summer was mine and my family's 14th year, and already we are booked in for next summer!
The hotel itself is beautiful, I'm amazed they allow us to roam free in such a gorgeous building. The grand staircase is stunning as you walk in, it's quite a small hotel making it lovely and intimate, not too trouble to go anywhere, and you wouldn't find it hard to find a place to settle in the lounge or the television room or the stunningly beautiful listed Music Room. If you don't fancy settling down, you can head on up to the swimming pool, where you get free towels and a lovely 1.4m pool to swim lengths or play games in. There is also a little children's pool beside it. Still not worn out? Have a game of football, volleyball, croquet or similar out in the beautifully kept garden! If you're lucky enough to get a room with a view, the hills look lovely. Sidmouth seems to have its own little microclimate because of the hills/valleys (often making it warmer, though maybe wetter, than surrounding areas).
The hotel is 10 minutes to the front at most (unless you REALLY amble slowly, in which case maybe 15), and you walk through the town centre to get there, which is a lovely little place. Although there are tourist-y shops, they are mainly small gift shops, and the town in general is very unspoilt - no massive chains and horrible restaurants like McDonald's. A walk along the front takes you to the lovely Jacob's Ladder and a cafe at the top (the Clock Tower Cafe), as well as Connaught Gardens.
The hotel organises themed weeks, with guest hosts. For a long time we went to the Family Fun Week, and for the past couple of years we've been to Teen Week (having all grown that much older). There is always a full timetable of activities for all ages; organised trips out (e.g. to Crealy Adventure Park, out mackerel fishing, rock climbing, kayaking on the River Exe, bowling), to local walks and activites on the front (trips to the wonderful ice cream parlour, 'Taste', or for a sand sculpture competition near Jacob's Ladder), to a morning or afternoon of fun in the hotel (usually aimed at children - crafts, games in the garden, etc). The week usually starts with a 'getting to know you' evening, usually in the shape of a quiz, and a film night, etc. Every morning and evening, the hosts run a short session of prayers. So you are NEVER short of anything to do. However, if you're there for a quiet week, if you're not religious, none of these things are compulsory for guests!
Sorry for the long review, but as a family we can't sing the hotel's praises enough! The only bad thing I can say is that the rooms aren't getting any cheaper, so we are fast approaching what will probably be our final year. I'm bringing my kids when I'm older!
I thoroughly recommend staying the whole week if you can. You won't regret it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 72 bedroom Hotel and can accommodate up to 133 guests, including a number of ground floor rooms and 2 disabled rooms. All the bedrooms at Sidholme Hotel include Fair-Trade tea and coffee making facilities and hair-dryers. Bedrooms do not have televisions, however a comfortable television room is easily located within the Hotel. Parking is free for Guests of the Hotel.This gracious Georgian mansion has been welcoming guests for 80 years with a Christian ethos. It was originally built for the 6th Earl of Buckinghamshire and was known as Richmond Lodge. It is particularly noted for its magnificent Music Room, complete with fine chandeliers and Gothic-style organ.Well suited to the holiday maker and conference delegate alike, who can work, rest or play in its peaceful and relaxing surroundings.The hotel is located in nine acres of delightful grounds and when staying you have complimentary use of our Indoor Heated Swimming PoolThe hotel is only a few minutes walk from the centre of the town of Sidmouth with its splendid coastline, newly appointed as part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Please be informed that the hotel does not have lift facilities.Sidholme Hotel is part of Christian Guild group of Hotels and we welcome everyone, guests are free to take part with as much or as little of the daily activities as they wish. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sidholme Hotel Sidmouth, Devon