Review: Moorland Garden Hotel
The Moorland Garden Hotel is very welcoming after the bleakness of Dartmoor. Its expansive lawn and meadow overlook the Tavy Valley. Afternoon tea served on the terrace is the perfect way to round off the afternoon.
The hotel celebrates its 80th anniversary this year with several themed events. It was built in 1934 with 26 bedrooms – the same year Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express was published. Since then the likes President Truman, David Niven and Rex Harrison have all graced it’s rooms.
In 2011 entrepreneurs Brian and Sonia Meaden, purchased it and began extensive refurbishments. All the rooms and suites at the Moorland Garden Hotel have been redesigned with their own individuality that celebrate some of the hotels original interior features. Rich fabrics and bold wall coverings bring a touch of modernity while the muted warm colours bring Dartmoor environment into the rooms.
All the four of the suites break with the traditional room numbers and are named after flowers. West Country designer Nadine Judd has reflected the ‘Garden’ of the hotel’s name in each of the suites. There is a palette of blues in the ‘Forget-me-not’ suite in the suite of the same name.he Lily of the Valley suite was the one we used during our stay and was designed with a bold, hand printed wallpaper of Lily of the Valley in black, white and green on one wall. This was complemented with a fresh green that made reference to the foliage of the Lily of the Valley.
Fabrics, cushions and bedding are all chosen to fit the theme of the room as is the furniture. There is a clever mix of period and contemporary with an ingenious use for a commode as a plant pot holder. One small practical thing, which I would not have noticed myself but which my wife pointed out, was how inappropriately small the dressing table mirror was.
So often it is the bed that let’s even the best hotels down. That was not the case with the Moorland Garden Hotel. They had wisely invested in a bed that was more comfortable than the one we have at home. They did not skimp on the cover either but made sure there was ample duvet for both of us.
A recent report on Telegraph Travel highlighted the results of a poll that showed breakfast is more important than wifi. The Moorland Garden Hotel has both. Considering the results of the poll it is just as well that the breakfast is far better than the wifi.
I described exactly how I like my eggs done and they came just as I like them, so there is obviously good communication between waiting staff an kitchen. I am convinced that somebody, somewhere must be watching us eat because the cooked breakfast and later the toast arrived just as it is needed and is therefore hot when eaten.
Wifi is free and available throughout the hotel but in our room we found the connection kept dropping.
Our initial contact with staff at reception notwithstanding we were made to feel very welcome by everyone. All the staff looked up and gave us a smile when we passed or met and made us feel comfortable and at ease. For me that is a very important aspect of a hotel; the service given with a smile that says “I am glad you are here”
The Dartmoor Bar and Lounge’s decor is more traditional than the rest of the Moorland Garden Hotel and is a great place to relax judging by the guests who chose to make use of it during the day. However, as we had three days of glorious spring sunshine I preferred to relax on the terrace outside the Wildflower Restaurant.
The award winning Wildflower Restaurant is just across the hall from the lounge and is reviewed in a previous post on this blog. The restaurant was, for me, the ‘icing on the cake’ for what was a thoroughly enjoyable stay.
I have only one regret… I wish I had come later in the year as there is a wildflower meadow into which you can take a picnic lunch supplied by the hotel.
NOTE: To celebrate the 80th anniversary the Moorland Garden Hotel is organising a Moor Things Vintage & Lovely Spring Garden Fete on Monday 5 May. This will see the hotel and grounds transformed with a step back in time. There will be more than a nod to nostalgia as guests experience a journey back to a British heyday of tea time delights, gorgeous frocks and glamorous hairdos. More details on the Moorland Garden Hotel website.
Declaration: I stayed as guest of the Moorland Garden Hotel. However, I value my integrity and maintain full editorial control at all times. The above review honestly reflects my experience at the hotel.