More about Bovey Castle
Still Not 5 star I'm afraid
Having just returned from a 2 night stay at Bovey Castle I could not agree more with the "Not 5 star I'm afraid" review 23 May 2007.
There is not much more to add from our experience that hasn't already been highlighted in May 23 2007 review but I would say the Bovey Castle is a great looking hotel with excellent facilities all in a fabulous setting very close to the open moors of Dartmoor. Golfcourse looks great, walks around the grounds and gardens were very enjoyable and the falconary display was a real bonus.
Overall, we had a "pleasant" stay but not a "great" stay (which was not cheap). The room was def not of a 5 star standard and the service in general was OK to average.
Value for money: minus side of average
Fantastic - Wow
We have just returned from a 2 night stay at Bovey Castle, with our 3 young children and I am now trying to work out when we can go back. Since having children we have avoided booking hotels like Bovey Castle, but they could not have made us feel more welcome, we stayed in a castle lodge which is a 100 yards or so from the main hotel, but the accommodation is first class, the lodge was clean and superbly furnished, like someones home and not a hotel. I am reluctant to devulge more information about this trip because I don't want everyone to find out about this gem.
What a disappointment
We stayed at Bovey Castle for 5 nights in October, expecting a 5 star experience.
The building is beautiful on the outside, and the public rooms are lovely. However, our room, a "valley view" was not up to 5 star standards. the bathroom was looking tired, there was no walk in shower, water was yellow/brown. The bed was big and comfy, but the room was very ordinary, just like a chain hotel bedroom. and the view - yes it was there if you peered over the stonework immediately outside our top floor window. There was also alot of noise overnight from the banging firedoor outside our room.
Unfortunately for us, Bovey Castle had been sold the week before our visit, resulting in some extremely patchy service. It was almost impossible to get a straight answer to any query from reception (for example, about when we could go riding or try archery). Breakfast service was very hit and miss, although the food offered was very good. We found several times throughout our visit that things had "run out" and not been reordered (breakfast items, olives for the bar etc) which really is unacceptable for this standard of hotel.
We dined in the evening once and again the service was very poor (especially from the sommelier). Food was good.
We both enjoyed the facilities, riding on the moor was enjoyable, but don't expect horses like they have in the brochure. The indoor pool was excellent, note that the outdoor pool is only a plunge style one. The steam room was out of order, as has been noted by other reviewers. The morning hawk show was very interesting.
Overall, we were disappointed with our stay, which was not cheap. The room was not of a 5 star standard and the service in general was pretty poor. Hopefully things will improve once the new owners have settled in.
Not 5 star I'm afraid
Me and my partner stayed in a Kings Valley Double room at Bovey Castle for a night on our way down to Cornwall. A sweeping impressive driveway leads you to the substantial parking courtyard. We were greeted at our car by plus-two wearing attendants who dealt with our bags and car. A lovely glass or two of sparkling fizz was on hand at reception as we checked in. So far, so very good.
The public areas of the hotel are stunning, as are the views and the grounds. The staff, I will come to later. It is the room that was disappointing. Long, bland corridors lead you to your room which, although tsatefully decorated in the 1920's theme of the hotel interior, is no more than a three or four star room. Our view would have been fantastic but for the high battlement which we had to peer over. There are nice touches, such as a cd player with a Bovey Castle mix of 1920s gypsy jazz which we played several times.
The hotel puts on regular events for guests such as a children's egg hunt, wine tasting and a demonstration of hawking, which we could see from our room.
The staff quality is mixed. The senior staff at reception and in the restaurants are good but watch out for the young waiter who, although with the best will, is a little over-friendly (Rule: try not to squeeze gentleman guest's shoulder and kiss lady guest's hand!).
Room service was a disaster though. Wrong time (an hour early!), wrong order, no newspaper, nowhere to eat breakfast in your room and waiting staff who didn't seem to care. The trays were put down on the bed and all we got was a shrug of the shoulders when we asked where we were to eat.
Worth a visit, haggle over the price, don't expect a great room.
A lovely retreat
We were lucky enough to stay at Bovey Castle last night on our way back from a few days by the sea. I amd my boyfriend had a really lovely time.
We made full use of the facilities. The indoor swimming pool is great, although there was a young child splashing around with his mum after the 5.30pm children cut off time. The staff didn't do anything about it and it did make it slightly less relaxing. But on the whole a great place to swim and relax with wonderful views of the moors. The "hot tub" isn't hot as it's just water jets at one end of the pool. I know some of the guests found this displeasing. The sauna was small but nice. The steam room didn't seem to be working - warm but not steamy - which was disappointing.
Our room was lovely, spacious with greta views. The TV was showing sky but we couldn't get the movies or playstation to work. The receptionist did send someone up to check it but it couldn't be fixed. We were assured that the whole hotel was having a new tv system fitted in about 6 months. This should stop the problems - not much help to us though!
Our bathroom was great. I'm a big art deco fan and it really was. The zebra wall paper made it very unique!
Nice touches such as jar of fudge when they turned down your bed and elemis shampoo, soap etc. But the room did get really hot at night even with windows open.
The staff were lovely, the food was also nice but probably a bit over priced.
I would recommend a cream tea on the patio. It's a great way to enjoy the views. And make sure you take a walk around the grounds they are lovely.
All in all a really nice place although I can see some of the points from other reveiws.
We, with our two children (7 and 2) stayed here for three nights just after New year. The Christmas trees were still up - and were impressive.
The location is beautiful with lovely grounds and views. The place itself is very English country house and has a lot of nice touches. It is not really a castle (built c.1910) and probably less draughty as a result. You really need to think of yourself in the 1920s to appreciate it. It is in no way a modern 'Four Seasons' type place but belongs in a different age. If this is what you want, then come here.
There were a wide variety of activities to choose from. I went fly fishing with a very knowledgable and helpful gillie (for a novice like me), which was very enjoyable. Childrens' activities were also well organised with a children's activity barn and high tea. I'm not a golfer but walked the course which has to be one of the most beautiful in the country. The falconry display is not to be missed.
Food and drink were of high quality but expensive - this is not a budget destination! There was also a bistro/cafe which offered a less expensive option to the restaurant.
Our room was very spacious with a huge bed, plus extra bed and cot for the children. Bathroom was ok but nothing special. Baby sitting service was very good.
The pool and sauna were good and not crowded.
The staff are very attentive and helpful. We unknowingly left something behind when we left which was sent to our home address without prompting.
I would recommend Bovey Castle for a short break for anyone who wants a lovely few days and is prepared for a premium price.
We stayed at this hotel for 2 nights as part of a business trip.
The setting is stunning (even in November!) and building impressive as you arrive.
Our room was disappointing for 5* standard - very small and bathroom scruffy & no seperate shower.
Bathroom was freezing as radiator not working. Staff said they would fix it but despite lots of banging noises above us, no improvement.
We were woken at all hours of the night & early morning with a slamming dividing / firedoor next to the room and rattling of keys.
The breakfasts were good and dinner in the restaurant was lovely food but rather lacking in atmosphere. Background music would make a huge difference.
We will not be rushing back.
Perfect for us
First class, we had a great 3 night break.
Staff very helpful as you would expect. Great swimming pool,sauna and steam room, all immaculate condition,
Wine tasting was free and great late afternoon treat. After breakfast there was a falconery display again free, given by a lovely chap called Martin, various birds demonstrated ther flying skills. Very friendly feel to the hotel. Food was first class. We had a first floor valley view room, this has a bathroom of the deco feel
and so the shower is in the bath. We were given a walks booklet by one of the staff and had 3 lovely walks. We also walked around the near empty golf course, we are not golfers but it looked beautiful to use. The manager checked several times that we were having a lovely time and could not have been better at his job. We will be returning next year.
This hotel was so much more than we expected and just absolutely fabulous and wonderful - we cant wait to go back. The setting is magnificent, the service is outstanding, there is so much to do, the golf course is beautiful. Yes the food and drinks and all extras are very expensive - so be prepared for that. But we had a wonderful time.
Great Romantic Getaway
We stayed here for the first night of our honeymoon, booked as a surprise by my fiancee! The experience was wonderful, the staff were extremely friendly and the front of house manager was excellent, exactly as expected from a 5* hotel.
We were greeted at the car by name, escorted to the lounge for a glass of bubbly whilst the car was parked and our bags taken to the room.
The hotel is dog friendly and at dinner, the staff insisted on keeping our dog behind reception, rather than us putting her in the car. She loved the fuss and we received regular updates from other guests on her progress, throughout dinner!
The room was good, more 4*+ rather than 5*, let down by the bed being only 5ft, the view somewhat blocked by the parapets, and - for future guests reference - room 52 is next to the lift. Maybe they thought that honeymooners wouldn't need much sleep :-). Also, a small TV screen, relative to the room size, although we didn't use it...ahem...!
The fine dining menu was quite limited and whilst very good, was not up to excellent. For example, the 'cheese trolley' was a plate of 3 cheeses, I expected to be given a choice and for a £5.50 supplement was not exceptional.
Breakfast in the room was well presented, still hot and our experience of the room service staff is that they were pretty helpful.
Overall however, the ambience, the quality of the front of house staff and the location (coupled with the occasion) made it a most memorable experience. We will definitely go back one day.