While it’s actually not as remote as you might think, Boringdon Hall gives the impression of being a million miles from anywhere. The grounds are not as extensive as they seem but that’s thanks to sweeping views of the moors. I arrived on a frosty afternoon as the sun was going down, which added to the magic of this medieval castle in the Devon wilderness.
Customer service is at its finest in this beautiful hotel. Instead of checking in at the desk you are invited to sit down with a drink and someone comes to check you in in person. There are 40 bedrooms and a romantic sense of wow factor throughout. The hotel has an extensive and intriguing history, which is evident as you wander around, dating back to the Domesday Book and once owned by Henry Grey the Duke of Suffolk and father of the fated Lady Jane Grey, who became Queen of England for only nine days in 1553.
There are two restaurants at the hotel; a fine dining restaurant and the Wembury, which is a more relaxed space. The whole hotel is very romantic and the decor is just as you would expect from a castle with lots of paintings on the walls. If you have afternoon tea in the hotel it’s a nice opportunity to dress up. With music playing in the background, you can imagine my delight when arriving to find that afternoon tea on that particular day had a Beauty and The Beast theme!
The spa has the wow factor. It is brand new and is part of the reason the renovated hotel now has five stars to its name. The spa opened in 2017 and cost over £1m. There’s a swimming pool, hydro pool, an outdoor hot tub, little huts to sit in outside to shelter, and inside there are floor to ceiling windows so you can see out into the grounds as you use the two saunas, two steam rooms, two heated beds by the pool and two luxury loungers. It’s all very cosy, and to complete it all there’s a manicure and pedicure room and 12 treatment rooms.
The spa is set over three floors, with the top floor making up the ‘spatisserie’ spa restaurant where you can go for Prosecco, tea, brunch and afternoon tea wearing your robe and slippers. It’s wonderfully elegant and light and it has areas in which you can corner yourself off with sheer curtains, which is great if you’re with a group and want to separate yourselves a little. For this reason, despite the romance of the hotel, the spa is great for groups. The hotel is very romantic but from a spa point of view it’s a great place to go with friends because of the amount of space.
The grounds aren’t huge looking out over Dartmoor provides a wonderful setting. There’s a courtyard that some of the rooms overlook and with the frost on the ground it couldn’t have been more romantic. You arrive at the hotel through a residential area and there are small shops nearby, but once in the hotel all you can see is countryside, so it feels like a long way away from anything. Finally, when you leave they give you a goodie bag with macaroons and water and a leaflet with history of the hotel to set you on your way.
Boringdon Hall is very much an experience of two halves. Everything is done to perfection with a real sense of faultless luxury, but while the hotel is historic and romantic with medieval grandeur, the spa is contemporary, light, airy and great for groups (although couples would definitely still enjoy it as well). So I would definitely recommend groups come here for an spa day while couples take the time to enjoy a romantic weekend break.
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