Bovey Castle, Dartmoor National Park, Devon
Dartmoor National Park , Devon
Tel: 44 1647 445 016
Fax: 44 1647 445 020
Concierge.com's insider take:
Longtime hotel maestro Peter de Savary, who used to own Skibo Castle (remember Madonna's wedding?), opened a superdeluxe lodging in this Edwardian-gothic mansion in summer 2004, only to sell it in 2006. The place looks like some ancient Sassenach relation of Skibo—but in fact it was completed in 1907, then established as a hotel in the 1920s by the owners of the very Scottish Turnberry and Gleneagles. Its golf course was modeled on those famous ones, then updated in 2004, but that's just one of the many sporting pursuits—there are facilities on the ample grounds for horse riding, clay pigeon shooting, croquet, tennis, fishing, and archery, and the hotel also owns a classic Riva launch for picnic trips down the River Dart, as well as a cider press and a falconry. Oh—and a spa, of course. This is not one of those "country house hotels made modern" you've been reading about; no, the 65 rooms remain resolutely trad in plaids, velvets, stripes, and toiles. Summer 2005 saw the first of several residential lodges opening on the grounds, most of which are reserved for members only.