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“Great Idea - So Disappointing”
Review of Bovey Castle Hotel

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Bovey Castle Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in North Bovey
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 18, 2012

We've stayed at Bovey Castle 4-5 times over the past couple of years and have only had one issue on the day they made a major change to breakfast service. Soon resolved. We booked for afternoon tea on Sunday 16th December 2012 which we knew was also the day they were holding a Christmas Fair. The idea sounded wonderful, the list of stalls sounded delightful, and the they advertised mulled wine and mince pies on arrival. The event was from 12.00 noon until 5.00 pm so we booked afternoon tea for 4.00 pm.

We arrived at around 1.30 pm and the welcome by the staff outside, smartly dressed as always, was first class and they did a great job with the parking. Walking into Bovey Castle is an experience itself because you're always given a warm greeting by the staff. Not today! The place was absolutely packed with visitors trying to look at the stalls, guests booking in, guests booking out and it was both chaotic and unprofessional. I felt sorry for the staff to be honest.

I was driving so mulled wine was not an issue for me but I wanted to find a glass for my wife and so went looking for a waiter. 45 minutes later, and having asked 4 different members of staff, I offered to buy a drink at the bar because no-one was serving mulled wine or mince pies. I then over-heard a member of staff asking the Duty Manager where the mulled wine was and he was told: "We've stopped it for a while but tell people it's going round" and then he walked off leaving this poor lad to explain this to other guests.

I'm not suggesting that the venue was crowded but I've had more room walking around the night market in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon [Hong Kong] and this was unbearable. We saw - what we could - within 15 minutes - and so asked if we could attend our afternoon tea booking early. Not a chance but then, to be fair, they were always going to be fully booked. Not wanting to stand in a crowd for another 90 minutes we cancelled afternoon tea, collected our car keys from Reception and drove home.

I loved the idea of the Christmas Fair and I love Bovey Castle. The mistake was that they absolutely underestimated the number of people who would turn up for free mulled wine and a mince pie. I would have been happy to have paid the £ 40.00 for two afternoon teas so we weren't after anything for free but like so many of these 'free' events' they are swamped by people who have no intention of spending a penny on anything else. Regular guests clearly didn't matter on Sunday afternoon and at £ 350.00 per night to stay at Bovey Castle I would have thought looking after 'regular' guests would have been a priority.

Lovely venue, lovely idea but a huge disappointment.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Pilot1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,800 - 1,806 of 2,478 reviews

Reviewed December 14, 2012

I was at Bovey Castle to photograph a wedding and stayed for two nights. Bovey is such a beautiful place that you start feeling like you're living inside a fairytale. Our room was fairly small, but comfortable, and the views stunning as can be expected. The club sandwich ordered via room service was heavenly, so good in fact that I ordered the same thing the following night... The staff at Bovey Castle as always helpful and it's a pleasure to work there. Hopefully one day I can return for a proper holiday.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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Thank mnoomoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

An exceptional hotel located in an idyllic location. This was for me one of my favourite hotels that I have stayed at and was truly relaxing. The only negative was that the pool was colder than I would have wished for but this meant I spent more time enjoying the remainder of the hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Reesy15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Paid to Upgrade to a valley room fantastic views. Much better than classic room. At night the room was a little too warm despite having a window open. It was lovely listening to the owls. Dinner at the edwardian restaurant was lovely could not fault it my only gripe may be the lack of nibbles with pre dinner drinks something we have always had else where. I got log fires in abundance but no christmas tree, they were just starting to put it up when we left 10/12/12. We both would have loved to stay longer and made use of the bookable activities and spa but we had commitments already.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank dawncarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

I confess to being obsessed with poached eggs and black mould in bathrooms. But, seriously they are a good indicator of standard of cuisine and attention to detail and cleanliness. Bovey Castle passed with flying colours on both counts. If it was possible to award more than five stars, this hotel would deserve it. The really fanastic thing is that is doesn't feel like a hotel. It feels like you are at a house party in a very grand country house whichis staffed with welcoming (but unobtrustive) and highly efficient people who make staying here a real pleasure and leaving a real regret. How many hotels can you say that about?
For me, it was a special birthday treat. We have the seven course taster menu in the Edwardian Grill on the first night and the a la carte the second night - amazing food. The bedroom overlooking the lawns with distant views of North Bovey church was spacious, execeedingly comfortable and real milk in the fridge. The pool termperature was warm and relaxing and there are lovely walks in the vicinity - lunch at the Ring of Bells in North Bovey is highly recommended. Dogs are made so welcome and there are many other little touches - falconry displays and the most amazing little owl who sat in front of reception all morning. Can't wait to go back and hope I don't have to wait for another big birthday.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the lawn have brilliant views.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 202Elizabeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

Beautiful surroundings and a wonderful drive up to the castle. Met by pleasant staff for the valet parking, who moved my car just 25 feet away which we found parked in and took quite a while for the valet return at the end of the afternoon, so so. The room for the afternoon tea was cold and full of woodsmoke from the pathetic fire. We asked to be moved and went to the adjoining room, freezing cold. The food was mediocre, tea warmish, and over expensive. Been to The Ritz (London) on 3 occassions and it is far superior and worth paying that little more. No wonder the place was empty!!! And up for sale.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Christopher L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2012

Bovey Castle is the perfect place for a winter break. Our two night stay in the first week of December was absolutely lovely. We were taken care of by the unobtrusively attentive and friendly staff from the moment we arrived. Our room was spacious and well appointed, with the most glorious view over the lawns to a reflecting lake, the lovely River Bovey and the beautifully wild Dartmoor rising beyond. We chose to chill out on the plump sofas in front of the fire in one of the elegant lounges after our arrival - very relaxing! After a good night, the bed was huge and incredibly comfortable, breakfast was excellent. A varied cooked to order menu was on offer, including eggs benedict, haddock and eggy bread in addition to a good range of continental breakfast fare. The quality was of a high standard and the service very good. The weather was fabulous, bright and clear and later we enjoyed a stroll around the hotel's beautiful grounds and a longer walk along the river to the nearby village of North Bovey to the picturesque pub there. Back at the hotel a beauty treatment in the welcoming spa was a great way to end the afternoon. We ate dinner in the Edwardian Resturant and enjoyed the food, wine and good service very much. I would recommend having a pre-dinner cocktail, the young barman was very knowledgable and passionate about his job and shook me up a wonderful drink. Bovey Castle is not only a beautifully luxurious place to stay but also has a very special warmth and 'country house' style that sets it apart from others.

Room Tip: Room 14 is a lovely big room on the first floor with huge windows overlooking the grounds, lakes and...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LindaHerefordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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: $199 - $658 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Bovey Castle Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set within its own private estate on the dramatically-beautiful Dartmoor National Park, Bovey Castle is a 5 AA Red 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 60 bedroom hotel and 22 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 decor 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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