Owners of the award-winning Old Rectory Hotel Huw and Sam took the traditional ‘wood’ theme of a 5th anniversary celebration to the extreme this year when they built a beautiful wooden Orangery onto their Georgian Country House Hotel. The Orangery is the perfect place to relax, soak up the view and enjoy one of Huw’s homemade Afternoon Teas, and is the final stage in an impressive five year, ½ million pound renovation programme to create a dream boutique country house hotel on Exmoor.
Thanks to the hard work and vision of the owners, the Old Rectory Hotel is a haven of relaxed civility, decorated in classic style and complete with all modern comforts. Trip Advisor reviewers certainly think so. The hotel was voted one of the UK’s Top 25 small hotels, one of the Top 25 hotels in the UK for service and The 22nd Most Romantic Hotel in the World earlier this year.
“We fell in love with the hotel before we had even opened the door,” remembers Sam, once a Business Sales Manager for a major car company.”It was a grey, wet day but even then the beauty of the area was apparent. The house, the Old Rectory to the very quaint 11th century church of St Martin next door, was steeped in history and we could immediately see the potential.”
Idyllically situated within Exmoor National Park in the remote hamlet of Martinhoe, The Old Rectory is surrounded by National Trust land and only 400 yards from the south west coastal path. “It is the most amazing location,” adds Huw, a Surveyor in a previous life. “A guest told us we were probably one of the quietest hotels in England. Most of the time the only thing you can hear are the birds singing.” Trip Advisor voted the hotel one of the Top 25 Most Romantic Hotels in the World this year.
There are fabulous walks in all directions and the hotel is practically on the South West Coast Path which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2013. Huw and Sam operate a visitor payback scheme and add a voluntary donation of £3 to guests’ bills at the end of their stay (guests can opt in or out of this) and the money goes directly to the local National Trust specifically for the upkeep of the local coastal path from Woody Bay to Heddon’s Mouth. The money raised by Guests in 2012 has been used to restore a previously overgrown section of the coast path.
Eleven comfortable en-suite bedrooms and suites are each different from the next and decorated in an eclectic mix of contemporary and antique style with a selection of Molton Brown luxury products, crisp white bed linen, tea and coffee tray, LED TV, DAB radio; complimentary WiFi and spring water on tap.
Huw and Sam have an expanding kitchen garden in which they grow herbs, salads and vegetables to compliment their delicious meals. Over 90% of guests who stay at the Old Rectory opt to take dinner, expertly cooked by Huw and made from the very freshest Devon produce. The kitchen garden is part of a Victorian 3 acre plot which comes complete with a small maze, trout pond and stream to attract the local wildlife; deer are often seen sipping from the water.
Five years and several awards later, corporate escapees Huw and Sam have done what they set out to do. “We wanted to create a unique and special boutique country house hotel - the kind of place where we and our friends had always wanted to stay, but which we could never find.” Now they have.
Dinner, Bed & Breakfast starts from £200 per room per night (£185 per night for stays of 3 days or more). Bed & Breakfast from £145 per room per night. Discounts are available for longer stays. Due to a number of water features on site the hotel cannot accommodate children less than 14 years of age. For more information contact Huw or Sam on 01598 763368 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org www.OldRectoryHotelco.uk
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Ends April 2013.