The Best Hotels to Book in Devon for Every Traveller

Gidleigh Park near Newton Abbot looks the perfect setting for a murder mystery
Gidleigh Park near Newton Abbot looks the perfect setting for a murder mystery | Courtesy of Gidleigh Park
Mischa Smith

Sandy shores, quirky Medieval villages and remnants of the Jurassic Coast – welcome to the Brythonic Kingdom of Dumnonia, or Devon as it’s now known. With a contrasting landscape that spans two moors, cute coastal towns and cobbled city centres, it stands to reason that there’s a piece of this UK county to suit all styles. Here’s our selection of hotels in Devon to match yours – all bookable with Culture Trip.

1. Salcombe Harbour Hotel – for perfect panoramas

Spa Hotel, Hotel

Striped blue bedding and french windows in a room at Salcombe Harbour Hotel
Courtesy of Salcombe Harbour Hotel and Spa / Expedia
Laidback New Englander comforts and nautical touches come together at this luxury hotel in Salcombe. Specialising in rooms with a view – be that national park or seafront – the award-winning hotel group creates havens you won’t want to leave. At Salcombe, this means an elegantly decorated spa and gym, and the aptly named The Jetty seafood bar and grill overlooking Salcombe Estuary.

2. Gara Rock – for an in-vogue retreat

Spa Hotel, Hotel

Wooden floor and a freestanding bath in a room looking down on a rocky coast at Gara Rock
Courtesy of Gara Rock / Expedia

Rooms at Gara Rock feel more like kipping at your very stylish friend’s house rather than at a cliffside hotel; their sole rule, after all, is “to make yourself at home”. Seagrass baskets are stuffed with embroidered blankets – grab one en route to the glass-fronted balcony or curl up in one of the velvet-clad chairs, like those you’ll find at its in-house cinema.

3. Bovey Castle – for a retro, rail-themed stay

Hotel

A formal looking bedroom with striped wallpaper at Bovey Castle
Courtesy of Bovey Castle / Expedia
Bovey Castle, which began life as a Great Western Railways hotel and golf resort in the 1930s, deals in some kind of vintage magic. Country lodges and hotel rooms are scattered around this sprawling deer-dotted estate and come furnished with whiskey-filled decanters, ESPA toiletries and access to the hotel’s pool, sauna and steam room. Check into this luxury hotel in Devon, and you’ll be glad you came – whether that was by train, plane or automobile.

4. Sidmouth Harbour Hotel – for a beachfront hotel in Devon

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel

Double bedroom at Sidmouth Harbour Hotel with calming colours
Courtesy of Sidmouth Harbour Hotel / Expedia

Like most hotels in the luxury group’s portfolio, Sidmouth Harbour has an ESPA-affiliated spa with a range of holistic and hydrotherapy treatments – though for an organic approach to water therapy, walk three minutes to Pebble Beach. Stick with the nautical theme and swing by the Upper Deck restaurant, which is headed by celebrated chef John Pollard. Harbour pinched him from Soho House where he developed Pizza East, Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger.

5. South Sands Boutique Hotel – for sunset soaks

Hotel

A polished wooden floor and harbour view in a dining room at South Sands Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of South Sands Boutique Hotel / Booking.com

The devil is in the detail at this nautical abode, which leans heavily on Salcombe’s sailing credentials – think cabin-style decking and pinstriped furnishings. Spring for a room with a sea view, which you will have with any room in the hotel’s Dragon category (named after a style of sailing boat), along with a Juliet balcony that is best enjoyed at sunset after a soak in the free-standing clawfoot tub.

6. Gidleigh Park – for a mysterious manor

Gastropub, Pub Grub

A grand fireplace in a wood panelled lounge at Gidleigh Park
Courtesy of Gidleigh Park / Expedia

Hark back to an era of cocktail hours, parlour games and silver service at Dartmoor’s Gidleigh Park. This Tudor-style country manor appears as if plucked from an Agatha Christie novel – the sumptuous wood-panelled lounge makes the perfect setting for a murder-mystery party, while Miss Scarlet would be right at home in the bar with its burgundy walls and red velvet sofa.

7. Burgh Island – for an iconic hotel

Boutique Hotel

Blue curtains and bed runner give this Burgh Island Hotel room a feeling of luxury
Courtesy of Burgh Island Hotel / Expedia

Grade 2-listed Burgh Island Hotel is an art deco extravagance that riffs off its history as the haunt of jazz-era icons such as Noël Coward. Dusky rose and duck egg oyster chairs scatter the herringbone floor of the Palm Court Bar, where you can sip a French Manhattan in true silver-screen style. Expect a healthy dose of drama, as befits a hotel whose Beach House was built for Agatha Christie, with black tie dining in the Grand Ballroom and billiards in the Snooker Room. Hire a rowboat and lap around the lagoon, or The Mermaid Pool as it’s known – you can just imagine Esther Williams emerging from the water.

8. Hotel Du Vin Exeter – for a city centre location

Boutique Hotel

A modern room with a dark grey feature wall and two sinks under a mirror at Hotel du Vin Exeter
Courtesy of Hotel du Vin Exeter Hotel / Expedia

Bright, airy and cleverly decorated – space-starved urbanites might take heed of the partitioning wall separating the bath from the bed – this luxury Exeter hotel focuses on convenience. The room aside, this manifests in a central location 10 minutes from the Gothic splendour of Exeter Cathedral and the historic Guildhall Shopping Centre.

9. Watersmeet Hotel – for scrumptious seafood

Boutique Hotel

The exterior of Watersmeet Hotel on a sunny sea cliff with a paddock in front of it
Courtesy of Watersmeet Hotel / Expedia

Every summer, crowds throng the three miles of golden sand from Woolacombe to Putsborough, while just along the coast sit the relatively empty Grunta and Combesgate beaches. Cut into the cliffside, the Watersmeet is a prime spot for scoping out quieter coves. You can be on the beach in minutes – but with a bistro overlooking the shore and a menu teeming with seaside specialities, you might not feel the need to be.

10. Thurlestone Hotel – for all seasons

Spa Hotel, Golf Hotel, Hotel

An elegant room at Thurlestone Hotel with beige carpet and two curtained windows
Courtesy of Thurlestone Hotel / Expedia

Thurlestone Hotel has been helmed by the Grose family for 120 years, so it’s safe to assume the staff here know what they’re doing. Roaring log fires in the winter, sunny terraces in the summer and a spa and three eateries for everything in between. With a single mission to ensure guests keep coming back, the team are on hand to point you in the direction of all Devon has to offer – be that wind surfing along South Hams or petting piglets at Pennywell Farm.

11. Lympstone Manor – for fine dining

Boutique Hotel, Luxury

A high-ceilinged room with ornate bedstead and two sofas at Lympstone Manor Hotel
Courtesy of Lympstone Manor Hotel / Expedia

Lympstone Manor is a must-visit for any self-respecting foodie. Yes, the vineyard, views of the Jurassic Coast and Exe Estuary are impressive, but it’s Michael Caines who is the real jewel in this five-star Georgian Manor’s crown. Inspired by the fields and sea that surrounds the sprawling estate, the two-Michelin-starred chef brings to life his vision of contemporary British cuisine at this flagship restaurant.

12. Broomhill Art Hotel & Sculpture Gardens – for art aficionados

Botanical Garden

The stone-clad exterior of Broomhill Art Hotel with large plants in front
Courtesy of Broomhill Art Hotel / Expedia
A giant lipstick-red stiletto can be glimpsed from the road running from Ilfracombe to Barnstaple; hang a right just past this huge shoe and a winding tree-lined road leads to Broomhill Art Hotel. Tucked between towering pines sit obscure sculptures; in contrast, rooms here are discreetly decorated. Supper clubs at the Terra Madre tapas restaurant are a hot ticket amongst the local arts and crafts community who head to Broomhill to hear the visiting jazz musicians.

For more options, discover our guide to the best boutique hotels in Devon, or these bed and breakfasts in Exeter, and book now on Culture Trip. If you’re heading to Devon with the family, you’ll want to check out these family-friendly hotels.

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