My wife and I might be confortably off, but we like a bargain and so have used Bovey Castle's numerous deal offers twice - once over christmas in unseasonably lovely weather, which was lovely, and the second in February, in unseasonably cold weather- and it flopped badly.
As with the first visit, we weren't expecting top-notch rooms, but the room for the first visit, while up in the eaves and with zero view, was lovely, elegant and cosey, with a terrific bath and bathroom (the 'hot' water was tepid, though); above all, we were in the main castle building itself. But not this time...
THIS time, we had to trudge across the castle courtyard to an 'annex' which, while architecturally sympathetic and containing beautifully decorated rooms, was a disappointment as you instantly lose the 'castle' ambience that made the previous stay a treat- so the 'location' score went from 5/5 to 1/5 for me, because I wasn't actually in the castle any more; and then, a HUGE let down for another crucial reason: THE COLD! Now, my wife feels the cold, but me- no problems at all; but by heck, the bedroom was so chilly that 'relaxing' in there compelled us to go under the bedcovers in our clothes. And as for the bathroom- beautiful, but, my God, I'm really not exaggerating to say it must be a converted chill storage facility for a butchers shop. It was breath-takingly, BITINGLY freezing, a bit like stepping through the wardrobe into a frozen Narnia, laughably 'heated' by the tiniest heated towel rail imaginable, and compounded with a feeble output that only had effect on the skin of your hands that made contact when you clamped onto it for dear life. One's breath chuffed out like a teamtrain at full speed, and (without going into gory detail) use of the toilet seat was akin to sitting bare-butted onto an ice rink. Having a bath was out of the question, and even a shower was a hot-cold water torment, with any part of one's wet skin not immediately under the hot flow of water attacked by the cold. In short, a disaster.
YES, we complained, and were offered a portable convection heater which came VERY promptly however; it was unsafe to put actually in the bathroom, and we were stunned to find that opening the bathroom door and using it to try and heat both rooms (one chilly, and one icebox) was an abject failure because even with this, the heating just couldn't cope. I acknowledge it was a bone dry and bitingly cold period when we went, but, with all respect, it's set in DARTMOOR and, well, Dartmoor DOES get bitingly cold winters, so a hotel situated there should really build in heating that copes with the worst.
As a result, we left one night early. Because it was a deal, it felt too cheapskate to try and claim something back. Suffice to say we still love Bovey CASTLE itself, and every other praise we gave about Bovey CASTLE - the food, the service, the ambience, etc of the CASTLE still applies- but if we took another deal, we'd insist on staying in the CASTLE itself (even up in those eaves'd be fine!), both to avoid the loss of ambience by being stuck in an out-building - and, in cold weather, never be put there, no matter what!
- 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 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 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