Exmoor National Park

Press Release

Devon Hotel named Most Romantic Hotel in Europe 2016

The Old Rectory Hotel wins a number of Global and European Awards in the 2016 Travellers’ Choice Awards from Tripadvisor

Devon’s Old Rectory Hotel has had a clutch of prestigious global awards over the last month.

The Boutique Country House Hotel situated in Martinhoe in Exmoor National Park has again been named the most romantic hotel in Europe in this year's 2016 Travellers' Choice Awards for Romantic Hotels.

The Old Rectory Hotel celebrates the title of Europe's most romantic hotel, as well as second most romantic in the world;

It's the fourth time the Exmoor hotel has been named as the destination of choice for romance and was named most Romantic Hotel in Europe in 2015.

Commenting on the news, owner Sam Prosser said. “We are completely humbled at this amazing news not only for our staff and hotel but it is also great news for tourism in North Devon. Thank you once again to all our wonderful guests who reviewed their stays so positively and also to our wonderful team," he continued.

Unlike any other hotel honours, TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice winners are based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide.

A romantic break to one of the winning Travellers' Choice Romantic Hotels may not be as expensive as you think – seven of the UK's top ten best rated hotels have average room rates on TripAdvisor for less than £200 per night.

James Kay, a spokesman for Trip Advisor, said: "With Valentine's Day fast approaching, the good news is that you don't have to travel far to experience some of the best rated romantic getaways in the world – they can be found right here in the UK.

Perfect for a peaceful break, the hotel is surrounded by National Trust land and just 500 yards from the coastal path which boasts views of the highest hog-backed cliffs in Britain – ideal for a romantic stroll.

Having just 11 bedrooms means that The Old Rectory Hotel has an intimate feel. Each room is decorated in a classic country house style, with a mix of contemporary and antique.

The Georgian country house hotel was bought by Corporate Escapees, Huw Rees and Sam Prosser, 8 years ago and has undergone a £500,000 renovation programme.

Co owner Huw Rees said “We took an enormous risk 8 years ago – we gave up our jobs in property and car rental sales, sold our house and spent our life savings on the Old Rectory. Our friends thought us mad as we had no experience in the hotel trade AND we were just about to go into the worst global recession on record!

We are very proud of our success and recognition. We have created jobs for local people and helped to bring tourists to Exmoor. Over half our bookings last year were from repeat guests. Our next step is to look at ways to create further rooms to keep up with demand!”

There was more success earlier in January, The Old Rectory was named the seventh best Small hotel in the world, the third best in Europe, and the second best in the UK during the 14th annual award ceremony.

James Kay, TripAdvisor spokesman, said: "These awards are based on guest feedback gathered throughout the year, so what sets the winners apart is not just a high standard of service and accommodation, but the fact that they deliver this day in and day out."

Following a change in the entry rules, in 2014 The Old Rectory entered and won Gold in the prestigious Awards for Excellence from Visit England and was named Small Hotel of the Year.

As part of this process, the Hotel also won Gold in the Devon Tourism Awards as well as the South West Tourism Awards. It is the first time ever that a hotel has entered the awards and won National Gold at the first time of entry!

Huw commented, “All the accolades we have won have been through the hard work and dedication of lots of people and we have been scrutinised and recognised not only by the grandees of our industry but by the most important people of all, our customers! “This is a massive reflection on our team, who are all local people,” he said.

“It keeps our profile high, which is good news for the business and for tourism in the area.”


For more information contact Huw Rees – huw@oldrectoryhotel.co.uk

Tel 01598 763368 / 07872 823321