“Within Exmoor National Park and surrounded by National Trust land, the Old Rectory is naturally calm and a perfect location for guests who enjoy walking or just sitting looking at marvellous scenery. Rooms are sensible and unfussy, much like the menus which offer some excellent dishes made with local fish and meat. The wine list is exceptional. But the real reason people go back is because they like Huw Rees and Sam Prosser, two ‘corporate escapees’ whose dream the hotel was and who are particularly good at getting the details right. They will remember that your wife is dairy intolerant and the names of your children. This is a calm, unpretentious, truly friendly hotel that is deservedly popular.”
Written by Fiona Duncan
“Why do people love staying in your hotel?
Our guests always comment on our great service, friendly manner and attention to detail. We are extremely proud to have a very high percentage of repeat bookers. Our rooms are relaxed and comfortable without being ostentatious, and we have recently built a new orangery which enables our guests to feel like they are in the garden, even when the weather is bad. Dinner is always mentioned as a highlight when our guests review the hotel.
What is there to do in the area?
We are in a beautifully scenic and peaceful area in Exmoor National Park in North Devon. We are within 500 metres of the south west coast path and many of our guests enjoy walking along the high cliffs or exploring the surrounding deep valleys, wooded combes, heather moorlands and hidden bays. We have a neighbouring luxury safari specialist who takes our guests off the beaten track to discover the amazing wildlife in this area including the famous Exmoor ponies, England’s largest population of Red Deer and countless species of rare birds. The pretty twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth are nearby, and the long golden sands of Woolacombe and the surfing hot spots of Croyde and Saunton Sands are not far away either. The lovely National Trust properties of Dunster Castle and Arlington Court are within an easy drive, as is the market town of Barnstaple. A boat trip to Lundy Island just off the coast or a cruise along the rocky north Devon coastline is both easy to organise too.
Our 3-acre Victorian garden is ideal for relaxing over a book and afternoon tea; little can be heard except the sound of the birds and insects during the summer.
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
We offer a delicious, cooked Exmoor breakfast using the best local produce available. Our guests can choose from a variety of options including smoked salmon & scrambled eggs, mushroom eggs Florentine and fruit compote if they prefer. Our homemade marmalade is legendary.
Do you offer other meals? And can you recommend good places to eat out locally?
We offer dinner exclusively to our hotel guests, and this together with our wine list, gets very high praise. We have one sitting for dinner, in the style of a country-house hotel, so that all our guests get freshly cooked food by our Chef Patron who loves to create exciting cuisine from the very best local produce. The menu changes nightly and always features a meat, seafood and vegetarian option. We cater for many food intolerances too and can easily design a menu for coeliacs. We grow many of our own herbs and vegetables in our kitchen garden, and source our fish and meat locally from award-winning eco-friendly suppliers. Most of our guests opt to have dinner with us, but we can and do recommend places to eat locally, especially for lunch.
Which are your most popular room types, and why?
All of our 11 rooms seem to be popular; however we have just created an additional luxury suite - The Arlington Suite in the Coach House, this year which has proved a big hit, especially for couples celebrating a special event.
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
We aim to do the simple things really well; a warm welcome, thoughtful service, fabulous luxury rooms, fantastic local food from Exmoor and North Devon and an award winning wine list. If you were running away, this is where you would come!”
Spring in Exmoor National Park is a riot of colour and sound
Originally published by Telegraph (view article)
Each year inspectors from the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence team scour the country in search of the country’s best in travel — and this time round the Old Rectory in Exmoor National Park won the small hotel category....
Originally published by The Times (view article)