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“Its all good”

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The Old Rectory Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Martinhoe
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 5, 2010

Its hard to say anything about this hotel which hasn't already been said, but I feel compelled to add yet more accolades. It was just too good...
We stayed for 4 nights in Hollowbrook, which is a beautiful double room overlooking the rectory's 3 acres of landscaped gardens, complete with the brook of the same name. The luxurious room, bathroom, and the communal rooms of the hotel are all spick and span, bone-meltingly comfortable and freshly decorated. However, the rectory also retains a sense of character, with a grapevine growing up through the conservatory and the peaceful corners you would expect from a dwelling with this history. I found myself wondering if Huw and Sam would notice if I just moved in for the summer...
Our hosts were incredibly welcoming and you get the sense that they love it so much that they sometimes can't believe that this is their job ( I'm sure its harder than it looks, by the way). They gave us some great tips on what to see, including a map with some helpful hand-drawn directions, just to make sure we didn't get lost on the South West Coast path, which is just a few yards from the door. In case you are worried that the service was over-attentive, fear not- it was warm and friendly without being fussy. And Edie also deserves a mention for wonderful housekeeping and her perpetually sunny disposition at breakfast!
The food. What can I say that doesn't sound like I am overstuffing my sentences with superlatives? Delicious. Every night the perfectly balanced local menu presented a new dilemma, offering melt-in-the-mouth pasta, perfectly seasoned soups, fresh fish cooked to pearly perfection, and the best frangipane tart you will ever have the pleasure to eat. Whilst we sat in the garden deliberating over the menu, we were furnished with some mouth-watering canapes to complement our pre-dinner gin and tonics and the last rays of evening sun. The breakfasts were also absolutely spot on- I can heartily recommend the Exmoor. The food was so plentiful and so good that we gained a few pounds, despite walking miles of Exmoor every day.
I could go on, but I expect you will have decided to book already. Instead I will suggest a couple of things to do whilst staying here, because did I mention the location? Nestled on the edge of Exmoor, Martinhoe is a haven in which to unwind. It is a place to stop and smell the roses, so if you're looking for excitement and Starbucks, stroll on. However, if you need a place to soothe the mind and replenish the soul, you couldn't choose a better spot.
So, finally, to my advice. Firstly, read the map, and take a sensible route. We arrived via a coastal toll road better suited to horses than a Ford Focus. Turns out, there is a much less scary route, but at least it did serve to reveal the dramatic coastal scenery, albeit a little closer at hand than we expected. Second, walk the stretch of coastal path to Hunters Inn, and back on the higher path overlooking Woody Bay. This has to be one of the most spectacular stretches of coast in England, although the more gentle sandy beaches from Woolacombe to Saunton are just a short drive away. Finally, order the frangipane tart. Honestly, you need to trust me on this one.

Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
Thank CarriePBerkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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891 - 897 of 987 reviews

Reviewed July 3, 2010

At the Old Rectory Huw & Sam have created a real gem, set in tranquil surroundings with elegant comfortable interiors and emphasis on personal service. Lovely meals using quality local ingredients, now including some home grown produce and an interesting choice of wines (thanks for the recommendations Sam). We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, have no hesitation in recommending and look forward to a return visit. Keep up the good work!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank rufusbear2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2010

From the moment we arrived we knew we'd love this place - a glorious spot near the spectacular North Devon coast, a beautiful room overlooking the 3 acre garden, delicious food using local ingredients & cooked to perfection.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank chickbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2010

The welcome is warm and the attention to detail is faultless. You don't feel fussed over, just well looked after. We were assigned a beautiful room with great views, a huge comfortable bed, a few key antique pieces of furniture, modern bathroom, sparklingly clean everywhere.
We stayed for 3 days, were lucky to have great weather, so spent some time sitting out in the gardens which have been carefully and very well planned out: extensive lawns, interesting wildflower borders, mature trees and shrubs, decking and seating carefully placed to create private spaces. Complete peace - no passing traffic just a few birds and the noise of bees in the flower beds.
The public areas are comfortable and well-furnished. There's a conservatory/enclosed veranda roofed in living vines - very summery and relaxing.
The dining experience is well-choreographed with no rushing, no delays, just careful and well-timed service. The food is excellent. Great quality ingredients (sourced locally, some herbs and vegetables from the owners' garden), well-cooked with a special flair for appetisers, sauces, and soups. Every dinner and breakfast was superb.
We were given good advice on possible walks, things to see and do. Otherwise we were left in peace, but with the understanding that someone was always on hand if needed.
The area is gorgeous, the hotel is in Exmoor National Park quite remote from any town facilities. The sea is 800 feet below once you've walked down the leafy lane to the public footpaths. The coves are picturesque (watch out for the incoming tide!) and you need good footwear as the paths and roads are steep. But the views are fantastic, and there is a huge variety of things to see and do in the area.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Collhols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2010

We desperately needed a break from a hard two months at work and boy did we get it!
Huw and Sam manage to blend genuine warmth and friendliness with efficiency in their small personal hotel. The hotel nestles behind the stunning North Devon Coast and is unpretencious, stylish and welcoming. Huw feeds you like Royalty and Sam is the wonderful Maitre De. We felt instantly relaxed on arriving at the Old Rectory and thoroughly recharged when we left. The Hotel is excellent value for money and we would reccommend it for a romantic break or a special day. We are going back as soon as we can. Best holiday in a long time.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank OxfordCeleste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2010

Having searched all over North Devon for a hotel to take my mother away for a week, I found The Old Rectory Hotel on TripAdvisor and having read all the glowing reviews, decided then and there that this was the place for us. And I wasn't to be disappointed ..... what a hidden gem !!! The rooms are very comfortable and beautifully furnished and we spent many a happy hour in the sunny conservatory. And Huw's cooking is out of this world .... absolutely delicious and as we stayed for a week on half-board, we were well and truly spoilt. I still reckon you ought to package up your home-made soups and sell them to residents to take home with them !!! Huw and Sam are brilliant hosts and really made us feel very welcome .... almost like we were guests in their own home. Very much hope to visit again in the not too distant future. Many thanks to you both for a lovely holiday.
Rosalind Coldrey-Mobbs, Sheffield

  • Stayed: June 2010
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Thank SteelerRos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2010

Huw and Sam provide such a friendly welcome at this luxury boutique hotel tucked away in the country-side near the Devon coast. The food is definitely the high point - Huw's cooking is absolutely delicious - haven't tasted such a wonderful bread and butter pudding for a very long time! The rooms are smartly decorated and very comfortable although I could have done with more of a power shower.

The only other comment is that as the hotel is small the dining room is quite quiet so we felt a bit self-conscious during dinner - not the place for a private conversation! However, that is only a minor point in an otherwise fantastic visit. We were made to feel really at home and will definitely be returning again. A good reason to visit this beautiful part of the countryside.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank LincolnshireSuperfry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $242 - $274 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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