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Hotel Endsleigh, Tavistock, Devon 

See the Devon + Cornwall Guide ›
Milton Abbot
Tavistock , Devon
Tel: 44 1822 870 000
view web site ›'s insider take:

Designer and hotelier Olga Polizzi has weaved her magic once again in this 1812 Gothic hunting lodge, sister to the Hotel Tresanton in neighboring Cornwall. Run by Olga's daughter, Alex, it sits in 108 acres of perfectly coiffed gardens and parkland that run down to the River Tamar (the hotel can arrange a spot of sea trout and salmon fishing, including equipment and a packed lunch, if you're so inclined). It's well placed on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, and for those in need of a bit more bustle, it's only five minutes from the pretty market town of Tavistock. Hotel Endsleigh's interiors combine Regency paneling, grand traditional bathrooms, and period decor with contemporary art, and beautiful hand-painted wallpapers. Lunch and dinner (organic salmon served with crushed potatoes, cauliflower purée, baby squid, and saffron dressing) are as traditional as the wood-paneled dining room they're served in, which proudly displays the original owner's family crest.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
At last, an English country house hotel for people who loathe traditional English country house hotels for their whispery dining rooms, dusty chintz, and phlegmatic plumbing. Here, instead—compliments of hotelier Olga Polizzi and her daughter, Alex, who runs the place—is a storybook retreat that's discreetly stylish, quiet, surrounded by lovely gardens, and possessing a superb setting overlooking the Tamar River. The 16-room hotel was created from the 1812 shooting-and-fishing lodge of Georgina, Duchess of Bedford, and the Regency spirit has been handsomely brought to life with framed etchings, China trade wallpaper, bamboo bits and pieces, lots of books—this is a great getaway for anyone who loves to read—and superbly comfortable beds. Both riding and hiking are possible, and there's famously good salmon and sea-trout fishing at an adjacent club. Chef Shay Cooper does a clever update of old-fashioned English food like roasts and salmon. The only things that are reminiscent of traditional English country houses are in fact quite welcome: the honor bar in the library, the full cream tea, and the thwack of someone playing croquet on a lawn somewhere. —2006 Hot List

When to go: Spring and fall.

Which room to book: Request a second-floor double to get the best views (doubles, $367–$629).

Amenities: Bar/lounge

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