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“Unannounced Visit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bovey Castle Hotel

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Bovey Castle Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   North Bovey, Dartmoor National Park TQ13 8RE, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in North Bovey
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Unannounced Visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

On New Years Day, perhaps the most chaotic and frenzied day of the year for many hotels, my partner and I decided to pop in to view the facilities at Bovey Castle with a view to our 2014 wedding.

Without scheduling our visit or even engaging directly with an events Manager, we forged our way along flooded country roads, arriving at the gates of Bovey, drenched. And mildly apprehensive.

For magnificent as it looms in its grey stone cloak, Bovey felt overwhelming. In a team effort, we huddled together in the pelting rain and made our way sheepishly to the main foyer.
Inside, we were greeted by a gracious young man who we later discovered was the General Manager . Without interrogation, we were welcomed.

He explained that he would immediately find a staff member to assist. And this he did.

Sally Lemar is officially designated as the Revenue Manager but could well have passed as the wedding co-ordinator. What a superb job she did in showing us around, answering questions, and above all else, being an attentive and attuned listener.

We exited the gates of Bovey Castle knowing that , despite the age of consumerism and the dehumanization of so many commercial ventures, there are still places of value and people of virtue.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BoveyCastleHotel, Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
What an absolutely splendid review! Thank you.

Now putting aside the riskiness of venturing out on New Year's Day this year to plan your wedding the fact that the team here pulled out all the stops says it all for me. The young man (he will be delighted with that!) who greeted you was indeed Federico our Manager but particularly pleasing (to me at least) was that you met Sally Lemar our Revenue Manager. She doesn't often get out of the office but when she does it is clear she's still got it!

I must also agree with your observation about consumerism/dehumanisation. Service is a dying art and ever harder to deliver but we keep trying and I am proud of every single member of my team here and in particular the two people you mention (both senior Managers here and part of the Executive Team) who actively demonstrated what the ethos of good service means.

Thank you

Jeremy Rata
Managing Director
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1,522 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (347)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

We had the great pleasure of visiting again just before Christmas for a family weekend. What can say, it just gets BETTER with each visit. The GM aka 'The Fed' greeted us like long lost friends and gave us a glass of champagne on arrival. Our suite was amazing and the hotel was as good as ever. The food was mouth watering and service was first class. This place just gets better and all the staff just cannot do enough for you. GO, you wont be disappointed. Our girls 7 and 9 even had a wonderful massage.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BoveyCastleHotel, Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
Once again thank you for a delightful review and a brilliant recommendation!

'The Fed' in particular will enjoy reading this. I am just so pleased that you have highlighted what is our greatest strength, the people who work here. It is true, they really do go that extra mile. Given that the place and the surrounding countryside are as beautiful as they are, the fact that the team here, led by 'The Fed' are our greatest asset speaks volumes.

Thank you once again.

Jeremy Rata
Managing Director
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Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014 via mobile

Having booked directly with the hotel, we found the process very good. This continued with the warm welcome on arrival, and generally good service throughout our 4 night stay. This is a comfortable, inviting and friendly environment with the feel of a home as much as a hotel. "Grazing" tables of satsumas, nuts and sweets are a lovely touch, as is the cupboard of games. the pool complex is good and the spa provided thorough relaxation.
Our only disappointments were minor; only one, not full, pack of playing cards available; other guests tea things not totally cleared away when ours came. Minor irritations rather than anything else.
Our rooms were good - "castle" rooms, although they would have benefited from better lighting/bathroom configuration and some of the landing carpet needed stretching or replacing.
Overall we had a thoroughly enjoyable stay and would certainly consider staying at Bovey Castle again, should we come to Dartmoor or Devon generally.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BoveyCastleHotel, Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
Thank you for your kind review. I appreciate you taking the time to write it.

I am really pleased you had a thoroughly enjoyable stay and that you would visit us again. This is of course the defining test! I promise that when you next visit Matt Lilley and his team in the Oak Bar will have a full set of playing cards!

Many thanks and we all look forward to seeing you soon.

Jeremy Rata
Managing Director.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

By any measure this is a beautiful hotel and location, with some nice touches and beautiful rooms. However...certain things jarred and it fell short of the experience it should have been. The lady who showed us to our room was grumpy in the extreme, and when we went down to the bar for a pre dinner drink it was full and a member of staff was vacuuming the carpet, a strange thing to do at 7.00 pm we thought. We were shown to a table in the corridor, and then finally driven to take our table 3/4 hour earlier than we had wanted. The meal and service were very good, but again to find that they had run out of merlot for a nightcap was odd. It is certainly a VERY child friendly place, which may not be what you want for a romantic get away, but it is to be applauded, even if some of the parents are of the type that use their buggies as offensive weapons.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BoveyCastleHotel, Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
Thank you for your kind review. Whilst it is obvious you had an enjoyable stay I can only apologise for the 'grumpy' lady on arrival (not at all sure who that was)

I think because you were staying at a very busy period we probably got one or two things wrong. Vacuming the Bar at 7pm is always a bit odd I agree but I was there when that happened and it was more down to some debris from a late afternoon Tea party in the Bar but It's no excuse I know. Be that is it may I am pleased that you have taken time to point out the positives and that hopefully next time you stay you will not encounter things like running out of Merlot in the Bar.

We are as you say very child friendly but not to the exclusion of all others. The Hotel is fortunately laid out in such a clever way that no one type of guest dominates the other. As for parents using their buggies as weapons however what can I say? I do know what you mean and on behalf of the offending parent can only apologise for that!

Hopefully we will all see you here before too long.

Many thanks for taking the time to post the review.

Jeremy Rata
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

If you are looking for everything to be absolutely perfect, then perhaps you might have to overlook the odd thing. But what a Bovey Castle Christmas is - is a sensational house-party where guests of every age come together with impeccable cheery happy staff to enjoy Christmas. Yes-there is the odd thing wrong like a bit of tired wall paper somewhere but point it out to Federico, the manager and he is like a terrier with a rabbit, until he has it sorted! He makes the place; never off the floor, for the whole Christmas break, working and watching.
2013 was our fourth Christmas there, but we're no slouches, we gave Bovey a miss, after they suddenly had a duff chef, but we let them know , and this year, new chef and the food exquisite again. Just lovely. A fabulous welcome when you arrive, constant roaring fires for warmth which means you can wear your glam dresses,and lots of happy children. ( Which makes for happy mums and dads!) Father Christmas arrives in a novel manner each year but the enchantment starts long before that. We are a couple on our own but never feel lonely - it's one long giggle. But a very very luxurious giggle! Expensive - yes- but we've tried to find the Bovey experience elsewhere and can't, so there must be a rarity value. Don't change Bovey and well done!

Room Tip: We went for a more expensive room this time and it was worth the extra. Had been decorated more rece...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BoveyCastleHotel, Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
Thank you for your wonderful review. I very much appreciate you taking time to write. I think your description 'One Long Houseparty' is a great one. It encompasses exactly what we are trying to achieve here over the festive period.

You are spot on with Fed of course. He is a amazing. I think Christmas and New Year is his favourite time of year. He absolutely loves the party atmosphere. Having stayed at Christmas four out of the last five years you will know!

Andy Storey our Head Chef has returned to us after a spell away and whilst I am not sure I would totally agree with your description of our previous Chef Marc Hardiman, it is true to say I am delighted to have Andy back home where he belongs. Andy and Kim Storey our Manager in the Spa got married last year (they met here) so we were all delighted when he returned as it seems are you!

As for Father Christmas's arrival, if you only knew the lengths Fed and Robbie in Maintenance went to in designing the Santa arrival! I sometimes think they spend more time on that than other equally important things!

Hopefully we will all see you here before too long.

Many thanks for taking the time to post the review.

Jeremy Rata
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taunton
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

Having previously enjoyed a spa day at Bovey Castle, I looked forward to a wonderful evening with friends, and wasn't disappointed. The champagne flowed, and the food was good. Spirits were high and there was a great atmosphere. Being piped into dinner and out to see the fireworks at midnight was a nice touch and I have never seen such wonderful fireworks, the whole evening was magical.

Room Tip: we only attended the dinner/ dance so can't comment on room quality
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BoveyCastleHotel, Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
Happy New Year to you!

Thank you for taking the time to leave us such a great review. I think it is safe to say that this year our New Year's Eve Party was the best ever, which is no small statement when you consider how successful last years was and how many positive reviews we received on this site then! I am so happy you enjoyed the food, the wine and the occasion!

I too thought the fireworks were amazing! Quite incredible. They are expensive but worth every penny and are already booked for next year!

Many thanks

Jeremy Rata
Managing Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slough
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Had a great two days relaxing at Bovey Castle Frederico and the team made feel most welcome excellent room with great views over Easedon Tor had two excellent meals in the Edwardian Restaurant along with hearty breakfasts ahead our proposed golf which had to be cancelled due to the wet weather instead we walked to the Ring O Bells at North Bovey one of our favourite watering holes and drove to the Rugglestone Inn at Widecombe in the Moor.
Martin the Falconer kept us entertained with usual his Devonish banter and excellent bird of prey display's indoor and outside must not forget Boris his trusty hound.
Will come back later in the year.


Dana and Lee

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BoveyCastleHotel, Manager at Bovey Castle Hotel, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
Thank you so much for your review, it means a lot to all of the team here as they all read these reviews (well apart from Boris who Martin never tires of telling us is a little cerebrally challenged, but then he is a dog!)

I am truly delighted you had a great stay and we all look forward to seeing you later on in the year. Do look at the website as there are some very interesting packages being promoted throughout the year.

Thank you so much for your lovely review.

Many thanks

Jeremy Rata
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bovey Castle Hotel

Address: North Bovey, Dartmoor National Park TQ13 8RE, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Dartmoor National Park > North Bovey
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in North Bovey
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Bovey Castle Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set within its own private estate on the dramatically-beautiful Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle is a five-star country house hotel and an unrivalled destination for a luxurious rural retreat. Built at the turn of the century, Bovey Castle has remained loyal to the subtle vision of grandeur upon which it was founded, and the understated-elegance of this bygone era continues to echo throughout the hotel. Within the 275-acre estate sits the 64 bedroom hotel and 14 granite lodges, both offering luxurious accommodation for family breaks, activity holidays, romantic escapes or corporate and incentive team building. The championship 18-hole golf course surrounds the historic manor house, while the estate lends itself perfectly to Bovey Castle’s extensive selection of on-site resort activities. Immerse yourself in the luxuriously-appointed décor and outstanding service, relax in the holistic spa and indulge your taste buds with decadent food and fabulous wines. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bovey Castle North
Hotel Bovey Castle
Bovey Castle Hotel North Bovey, England

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