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“Not so much a hotel stay as a visit with friends”

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The Old Rectory Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Martinhoe
Certificate of Excellence
Sheffield, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not so much a hotel stay as a visit with friends”
Reviewed December 8, 2013

In fairness this should probably be three reviews rather than one as we have stayed with the enigmatic Sam and Huw three times now. The first was a long weekend away September 2012 on the overwhelming recommendation of previous guests. We stayed in Lawns room, which at the time had a lovely little balcony to sit out on in the morning drinking copious cups of tea. Huw had bounded out and was ready to welcome us even before we finished getting out of the car and though we had never been before we were greated as old friends and helped in with bags.

Check in was not so much perfunctory as an extension of the welcome, with Sam and Huw giving us a tour of the elegant country house (at which point I almost lost Lucy to the library space on the landing). To say the evening meal was good simply does not begin to do it justice, there are a range of options which change from day to day and include local produce and even home grown ingredients. Sam mans the front of house with his encyclopedic knowledge of their hand picked wine selection (at a range of prices but all of them reasonable) whilst Huw toils in the kitchen but do not fear, the fare is not simple "mom & pop" home cooking but far exceeds many restaurants we have been to and the level Huw elevates soups to is simply stunning (we're still telling people about them even now!). The room was cosy and comfy but having heard tale of Sam's breakfast skills we knew the best was yet to come. In the morning Huw resides front of house with his bubbly personality whilst Sam cooks up taste sensations in the kitchen (we particularly recommend the Exmoor breakfast & Blackstone eggs).

Needless to say the end of the weekend came all too soon and we said our farewells knowing we wouldn't be able to stay away for long.

Although at the time we had only been once, when we got engaged in Feb 2013 we could think of no place we would rather have our day but this intimate setting surrounded by stunning countryside and set about planning how to cajoule Sam & Huw into hosting it. Far from needing persuading they were their usual enthusiastic and helpful selves and soon it was all slotting into place.

Wedding preparations also gave us a handy excuse to throw in an extra trip down to Devon and needless to say we were not disappointed. Although the balcony of Lawns had now gone, the orangery which takes it place is a fantastic use of the space making the most of the garden views and a great place to meet other guests, enjoy both pre- & post- meal drinks or simply curl up and enjoy a good book. We were unsurprised to again find that most guests had visited before (including one couple who had been 14 times) and fully understand their urge to return again and again.

The food, welcome, staff & surroundings all stood up to the high expectations we had from our first visit and Paul and Gail, the latest additions to the team seem to have fitted in perfectly, matching the high standards of the rest of the team.

Throughout the wedding planning process Sam and Huw were always available either by phone or email to talk through options, ideas and details or even just to reassure and settle our wedding nerves.

The wedding was August 25th and all went to plan. We cannot express enough how easy and smoothly Sam, Huw and all the staff made this for us. We booked the whole hotel (which also gave us the opportunity to have a nosey at all the rooms and can vouch that, despite them having all been decorated differently, they are all in keeping with the decor of the hotel and we would happily stay in any of the rooms, although their latest addition, The Arlington Suite will always hold first place in our hearts with it's humongous bed and a bath you could lose an army in!). The food exceeded even their usual fantastic standards and the staff are truly a credit to both Sam & Huw and their wonderful boutique hotel.

Whether you are wanting a weekend away, an escape for a week with stunning scenery at your doorstep or a welcoming setting for a special occasion we would thoroughly recommend it heart & soul. Our only criticism is that they staunchly refuse to relocate to being just down the street from us so we could visit more often!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank DaveandLucyG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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875 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Geelong, Australia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2013

Not quite sure how I stumbled upon reviews for The Old Rectory Hotel when researching for our 2 weeks drive around England - but gee I'm glad I did!!

It was exactly as described and everything from their website, to prompt email replies, to the room, to the dinner, to the breakfast was superb!!

We arrived on a soggy, drizzly late afternoon....a bit of a shame because I had envisaged a G & T out in the gardens but this was not to be - had one in the beautiful new Conservatory instead while chatting to another Australian couple who were spending a couple of nights there.

Our room was the newest room presented at The Old Rectory and it was so beautiful - furnishings just top class and so tasteful. I loved it!! I even love the cemetery that one of the little windows overlooks!! With the mist and the drizzle it was sooo atmospheric!

The bathroom offered a bath and a shower (we used both) along with Molton Brown goodies.

The dinner was sublime - the wine was amazing...and I know my superlatives made Huw laugh but they were well-deserved!

We had a great sleep in the comfy King size bed and enjoyed a lovely breakfast before heading off the following morning. If I was ever traveling that way again I would stay there in a heartbeat and I do recommend it to anyone looking for a very peaceful and comfortable gourmet escape.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Talk61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stonehenge
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2013

A wonderful first stay at The Old Rectory. We enjoyed just one night in this excellent hotel. Attention to detail in every aspect of the hotel is second to none. All staff were welcoming and happy to ensure that your stay was most enjoyable. We are certainly looking forward to staying there again and would highly reccomend this idyllic retreat.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Glasshalfull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Langport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2013

The Old Rectory Hotel is sublimely wonderful. Elegant rooms (all comfortable and well-equipped) are found either in the main rectory building or in the adjacent coach house. We had booked a room in the coach house but were upgraded to the Heddon Suite in the rectory – a large room with a superking bed, (or twins if you’d prefer) distant sea-views and ample and comfortable seating. The images on the website are accurate – although the room feels even more stylish and larger than it appears online. The welcome at The Old Rectory is warm but not intrusive and guests gather in the beautiful new orangery, or one of the other adjacent sitting rooms, for canapés and drinks at 7.00pm when we make our selection for dinner. Everyone then moves through to the dining room for dinner at 7.45pm. A four course meal, carefully balanced, offering a choice (of two) starters, a soup (no choice – but one of the highlights of the menu) a choice of main course (one meat, one fish and one vegetarian option) and a choice of desserts – including a cheeseboard. Coffee (not included in the price) follows, if you choose, back in the sitting room/orangery. The whole evening is a delight. The dining room is another beautifully proportioned room with enough space between the tables to afford privacy. The food is very good and, if you have selected the DBB option, very reasonable. Breakfast the following morning offers a wide range of choice – both of cooked and non-cooked fare. The fruit compote with Greek yoghurt was my particular favourite.
With some of the best coastal paths just yards from the house, beautiful gardens and rooms to relax in if you don’t want to go far, there is much to enjoy beyond the hotel itself. The Old Rectory offers a happy marriage of stylish elegance with lashings of relaxed comfort. Of course the warmth of the welcome offered by Sam, the enthusiasm for food by Huw and the love they have both poured into the restoration of the building is what makes this a truly special place. Those of us who are now Old Rectorians will return again and again.

Room Tip: Images on the website are good indicators. The coach house is a very short distance from the main b...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank malindihale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OldRectoryHotel, Owner at The Old Rectory Hotel, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Thank you so much writing such a lovely and detailed review of your stay here with us last week. We were really pleased to hear hat you enjoyed your short break with us. As you say in your review, we and all our staff do work very hard to make sure that all our guests have the best possible experience and it was lovely to hear that you enjoyed your stay so much - we look forward to seeing you again, as an Old Rectorian, in the near future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2013

Another absolutely wonderful stay at The Old Rectory. You couldn't pick a more beautiful part of the UK to visit and this hotel is an unparalleled gem. Huw and Sam are brilliant and the staff at the hotel do them great credit; so welcoming and friendly, you feel completely comfortable and relaxed.
The sublime dinners and breakfasts are as indulgent as it gets and homemade afternoon cake tops it all off to perfection. We always book again for next time before we leave and this time was no exception. It deserves every accolade!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JessicaC81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OldRectoryHotel, Owner at The Old Rectory Hotel, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Lovely to see you all again last weekend and we are looking forward to seeing you again in April. It is our greatest pleasure to welcome back so many Old Rectorians to our little corner of Exmoor - we are very lucky to have such lovely appreciative guests like you.

See you next year!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wincanton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2013

This was our second visit to The Old Rectory this year - and we have already made reservations for our next stay in April 2014 - that should say quite a lot!

The Old Rectory is such a relaxing and friendly place with great attention to detail and excellent food. Huw, Sam and all the staff are the ideal hosts. We are really looking forward to next April.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Paul123Somerset_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OldRectoryHotel, Owner at The Old Rectory Hotel, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
Hi Paul

It was lovely to see you both again last week and thank you for writing such a glowing review of your stay.

We hope that the recipe for Butternut Squash & Tomato soup did the trick at you dinner party and we look forward to hearing all about when we see you next spring!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2013

We recently spent out 30th wedding anniversary at the Old rectory and this was our 5th visit. We stayed in the new suite, The Arlington, which is absolutely fabulous, beautifully furnished and comfortable. Waiting in the room were champagne truffles and an anniversary card to mark our special occasion - very thoughtful. The food as always was amazing, cooked to perfection with fantastic flavours with locally sourced meat, fish and veg. Hugh and Sam are amazing hosts with amazing staff and we think it would be difficult to find better service anywhere in the country. This hotel to us is worth ten stars, needless to say we have already booked for next year. At the end of this review I have scored the swiming pool as excellent, well there is no pool I just got carried away!! Amazing babbling brook though!

Room Tip: All the rooms are amazing, but the suites are luxurious
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank gillianlinch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OldRectoryHotel, Owner at The Old Rectory Hotel, responded to this review, October 31, 2013
We thoroughly enjoyed hosting your special anniversary break for you and the rest of the family here at The Old Rectory. Thank you for taking the time to write another really positive review about the hotel this year. We particularly liked your score for the non existent swimming pool (!)

We believe that the relationship between a hotelier and guest is two way and it is having fantastic guests like you that give us so much pleasure and helps to create "the magic"

See you next year!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Old Rectory Hotel

Property: The Old Rectory Hotel
Address: Berry Ground Lane Martinhoe, Martinhoe, Exmoor National Park EX31 4QT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Exmoor National Park > Martinhoe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Martinhoe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Old Rectory Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Old Rectory Hotel is a very special place. A wonderful mix of a stylish boutique country house coupled with an un stuffy relaxed atmosphere. Nestled on the stunning Exmoor coast in North Devon, The Old Rectory Hotel is a haven in which to unwind - no crowds, no traffic; just birdsong and jaw dropping scenery. This is somewhere magical to stop and smell the roses - so if you need to soothe the mind and replenish the soul, you couldn't choose a better place. At The Old Rectory Hotel you'll find the simple things done well; a warm welcome, thoughtful service, fabulous luxury rooms, fantastic local food from Exmoor and North Devon and, of course, an award winning wine list. If you were running away, this is where you would go! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old Rectory Hotel
Old Rectory Martinhoe
The Old Rectory Hotel Martinhoe, Devon

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