Luxury and country life at Hotel Endsleigh

It sits there, like an enchanted place, where fairies float from chimney to chimney and the seven dwarves could walk around the corner whistling at any moment. Endsleigh is a listed estate in the county of Devon, surrounded by over 40 acres of fairytale woodland. Endsleigh lies on the edge of what is now the Dartmoor Nature Reserve and is nestled in beautiful rolling countryside with the River Tamar running through it. The river today forms the border between Devon and Cornwall. The 6th Duke of Bedford laid the foundation stone for the fishing and hunting lodge in 1814, which became a summer residence for his large family of 13 children.

Der Salon in Hotel  Endsleigh in Devonshire. Eigentümerin Olga Polizzi ist bekannt für ihren Einrichtungsstil. Den Fisch hat sie als Leitmotiv im ganzen Haus wiederkehrend platziert, denn der Fisch ist eine Referenz an die Vergangenheit des Hauses als Fischer-Logde / © Foto: Georg Berg
The drawing room at Hotel Endsleigh in Devonshire. Owner Olga Polizzi is known for her interior design style. She has placed the fish as a recurring motif throughout the house, as the fish is a reference to the house’s past as a fishing lodge / © Photo: Georg Berg

Olga Polizzi makes a hunting lodge blossom in Devonshire

But like so many great houses, Endsleigh lay dormant for a long time before it was kissed awake by Olga Polizzi in 2004. The renowned interior designer and head of design for the Rocco Forte Hotel Group, which she built with her brother Rocco Forte, says of Endsleigh that she bought it more with her heart than her head. The building was badly in need of renovation. There was no heating system and no running water.

Ein Klassiker: Der Devonshire Cream Tea wird in Endsleigh nachmittags ab 17 Uhr in der Bibliothek angeboten / © Foto: Georg Berg
A classic: Devonshire cream tea is offered at Endsleigh in the afternoon from 5 p.m. in the library / © Photo: Georg Berg

Today, the Endsleigh Hotel is the perfect place to switch off and leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind. The only sounds to be heard here are the birdsong, the wind and the river. Ideal for taking a walk, playing croqué on the lawn or having a Devonshire cream tea in the drawing room, you can immerse yourself in the tranquil life of 19th century high society.

Where Queen Victoria stayed

The Endsleigh Hotel offers a choice of 18 rooms and suites. All of them are furnished with design and desire for the highest comfort of the guests. Olga Polizzi has created a unique atmosphere in the rooms of this hotel. Many old elements are preserved, which are reflected in furniture and hand-painted wallpaper. However, Polizzi also adds modern touches such as precious and colorful fabrics on upholstered furniture and pillows. The result is an exciting cross-over of antique and modern.

Im Damen-Salon – als wäre der nicht schon schön genug – scheint die Abendsonne über den englischen Rasen durch die Fenster. Auch hier handbemalte antike Tapeten, alte Spiegel und moderne Lampen sowie ausgefallenen Beistelltische neben alten Sitzmöbeln / © Foto: Georg Berg
In the ladies’ salon – as if it weren’t beautiful enough already – the evening sun shines across the English lawn through the windows. Here, too, hand-painted antique wallpaper, old mirrors and modern lamps as well as fancy side tables next to old seating furniture / © Photo: Georg Berg

The house is already special from the outside. Instead of an imposing large building, architect Jeffry Wyatt, at the request of the Duchess of Bedford, created a house that blends into the landscape. And it was certainly in the parents’ best interests to accommodate the flock of children in a separate building as well. The main house and the children’s wing are connected by a corridor and an airy summer terrace. The ornamental beds in front of the building were originally planned as a playground for the children and were probably used as such. Today, Endsleigh’s gardeners transform the beds into an impressive overall arrangement several times a year, and painting classes are held regularly on the outdoor terrace.

Von der kleinen Terrasse blickt man auf den ehemaligen Kindertrakt. Barfußläufer staunen über den angenehmen Bodenbelag: Es ist ein Mosaik aus Tausenden von Schafsknöcheln / © Foto: Georg Berg
The small terrace overlooks the former children’s wing. Barefoot walkers are amazed at the pleasant flooring: it is a mosaic of thousands of sheep’s ankles / © Photo: Georg Berg

The guest rooms and suites of Hotel Endsleigh

Hotel guests can choose between the Classic Rooms, the Repton Rooms, named after the garden architect Humphrey Repton and equipped with the corresponding garden view, and the Bedford Rooms, which still have original details, such as the antique hand-painted wallpaper. Two suites have already been completed in the former stables. Each has its own living room and kitchenette, as well as state-of-the-art bathrooms.

Hellauf begeistert hat mich dieses Detail: Ein Gargoyle, der nicht länger Wasser spuckt, sondern Licht gibt / © Foto: Georg Berg
I was delighted by this detail: a gargoyle that no longer spits water but gives light / © Photo: Georg Berg

The rooms are so individually furnished that you don’t feel like you’re in a hotel, but rather as a guest in someone’s home. If you are interested in design and interior decoration, you will have a great time here and discover many loving and exciting details. Wonderful design details can be found here as well. Furniture from the 1960s is mixed with furniture and patterns from older eras.

Das Schlafzimmer von Suite Nr. 19. In schöner Harmonie: Antik und Modern / © Foto: Georg Berg
The bedroom of Suite No. 19. In beautiful harmony: antique and modern / © Photo: Georg Berg
Der Salon mit wunderbaren Sitzgelegenheiten sowie Kamin und dekorativem Hund aus Holz / © Foto: Georg Berg
The salon with wonderful seating as well as a fireplace and decorative wooden dog / © Photo: Georg Berg
Das Restaurant mit historischer Holzvertäfelung trägt ringsum die Wappen der Familie und Freunde des Herzogs von Bedford / © Foto: Georg Berg
The restaurant with historic wood paneling bears the coats of arms of the family and friends of the Duke of Bedford all around / © Photo: Georg Berg

We visited destinations in Cornwall and Brittany in one trip and appreciated the crossing with the Brittany Ferries car ferry between England and France as a relaxing experience in a separate report.

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The cost of half board was not charged by the hotel

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