The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel & Spa
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel & Spa Bolton Abbey
Very disappointing. We went as a family group for my father's 75th bday but would certainly NOT go again! Having travelled up from London on a rainy Friday night, we checked into a tired, small room (supposedly one of the more expensive L-shaped rooms). Our pre-booked babysitter didn't show up, and the reception staff were not bothered. In fact, they were supercilious and rude. The bed was queen size ... for £250 per night!! Food in main restaurant good. Next door brasserie staff rude ... moaned when we wanted to book a table for lunch. Splash pool 300 yards across the road was a joke!! Bottom line, if this place was in the Home Counties, it would go out of business. PS Do the Guardian journalists get year-round 'friends and family' discounts?!?
Overpriced, Amateur Service and Cramped Rooms
I picked this hotel for one of my wife's significant birthdays as she is from Yorkshire and this is suppoed to be a luxury hotel. The first disappointment was the size of the rooms - at about £250 per night I think you are entitled to a room where it is possible to swing a cat. The second disappointment was the standard of service; the waiters were supercilious (and poorly trained in making their guests feel at home), and when I returned a corked bottle of wine in the very expensive restaurant, the waiter refused to serve me another bottle from the same vineyard, thereby implying that I didn't know what I was talking about. Four people at the table (one a wine a wine expert) had agreed that the wine was corked. The third disappointment was the bistro restaurant attached to the hotel which was crowded, noisy and far from relaxing. The final straw was the bill - extortionate!!
Overpriced, overated, very disappointing
Paying £230 for a standard room 1 night B&B we expected something a little special, instead we got something so far into it's own self that, in fact it was a little embarassing. Check in was good and speedy. The room was tatty, and very shabby. Paint coming off the walls. The bathroom was dirty, and not to mention the brown water that seemed to come out of the tap - needless to say the hotel staff were uninterested with this. The cocktail lounge was littered with dirty cups and teapots, we sat at a table for 45 mins with various staff and management pass us, none bothered to clear up - oh and you better like dogs, the hotels dogs sit at your heals as you enjoy afternoon tea.
The worst experience was Dinner in the Burlington, we tried the 'Prestige' menu. The 12 or so 'courses' are a sample of the fine culinary skills. In my opinion they were far to complicated in flavour, meager in size and disappointing. Fine dining is one thing, real food, and real memorable flavour makes a meal. Simple food, cooked exceptionally would prove far more popular I feel. Staff in the restaurant were quite rude.
Having stayed at various hotels all over the world, and the UK, this was possibly the most dissapointing stay ever.
Fabulous sevice, fabulous food.
I booked to stay for one night at the Devonshire Arms. Our room was lovely, four poster bed, lovely views and plenty of space for our one year old baby. The service was fabulous. The staff really couldn't do enough, and were so friendly. It felt as if they were so proud of their hotel, that they wanted to make sure we had a fantastic time.
All the staff were lovely with our one year old son, and offer a listening service at night, which meant we could eat in the restaurant in the evening. We choose the prestige menu (a 12 course taster menu), and it was superb. A real experience. Each course was described to us, and the restaurant staff were absolutely lovely. It was interesting to see that they made sure that they didn't over book, to ensure that everyone got wonderful service.
The hotel is lovely, the grounds are beautiful and there are fantastic walking opportunities available.
Though we were only away from home for one night: we instantly felt relaxed, and on holiday. We came home invigorated and very happy. We will definitely return.
Overpriced and under-delivered
The hotel itself is pretty - the decor of the main rooms is warm and inviting, and you get a real sense of "home" hear.
HOWEVER, far less attention has been paid to the rooms, which were average at best.
The staff within the hotel were friendly enough, and helpful - now here comes the bad stuff:
The main restaurant is an experience I would NEVER want to replicate. I have eaten in many stared restaurants and I was blown away by how little they can get away with serving. Fair enough, huge portions are not my thing and I appreciate fine dining and smaller portions, but I could hardly see my food! Yes, it is really that bad - the starter was one marble-sized ball of fish - very tasty but it wasn't even one mouthful!
After a full meal at lunch, my husband and I had to go to a local restaurant for a meal early in the evening because we were hungry. Now when is the last time that you paid £200 for a meal for 2 people and not even 2 hours after you finish, you're paying out for another meal?
In addition the restaurant staff are outright rude! Fair enough, they are experienced, often French and know their stuff, but a smile would go a long way - they really need to remember who their customers are - and for somewhere that's supposed to be in high demand - there were very few people there - I get the feeling most people go there and never go back - just like me!
Disappointment at the Devonshire
We had high hopes for this hotel, but were disappointed. On the plus side, it is in a lovely spot, with fabulous walks from the door, although with more passing traffic than you might expect. We didn't find the interior very attractive and our bathroom wasn't brilliant. We found the staff quite friendly, but a little "in your face". The manager rushed up to the table to shake hands right in the middle of a course, which was odd. The worst part was the Michelin starred food, which we found very unappealing. It seems weird for the sake of it. Discussing it in a polite way with the restaurant manager (after the usual "was everything ok for you?") he as good as suggested that we've never eaten out before. All in all, not in the same league as Sharrow Bay for food, comfort or service. Very small portions and no biscuits with the cheese. Modish, perhaps, but daft! Wouldn't go back. We ate in the Bistro on the second night, which was much more enjoyable.
My husband and I have just come back from a most wonderful stay at this hotel.
On arriving at the hotel we were greeted at the car and luggage bought in for us (as you would expect - but which does not always happen at luxury hotels).
The room was lovely (33) in the new part of the hotel - and overlooked the beautiful views behind the hotel.
The staff were wonderful - very friendly and chatty (if you want them to be) and the food - well... just amazing! I have a fish and nut allergy and this hotel could not do enough to make sure I was ok. Making separate bread etc... fabulous!
We will be returning again this year for certain! In fact I may book for our wedding aniversary in August.
The only disappointment was the Espa facial I had. I have one every month at an Espa where I live. The one at the Devonshire was absolutely terrible! Also, my husband had a massage - and he said that that wasn't very good either!
Luxurious Home from Home
Satyed at the hotel in April 2004 for our anniversary. This has got to be one of the friendliest luxury hotels I have ver stayed in. Staff are excellent, very attentive and not at all snooty as you would expect from an establishment like this. The resurant is out of this world - completely deserves it's michilin star. The candle lite conservatory is the best part of the dinning room.
The rooms are as you would expect for a luxury hotel. Health club is very very nice, only problem is that it's over the main road in a seperate building - a bit of a pain. My only moan is that although we payed about £260 a night they still charged us the 70p for what should be a complimentry paper - but that only a small moan. The lounge or having a quiet drink by the fire is a lovely way to spend some time after dinner. Spend an afternoon walking to bOlton Abbey up the river path which is directly outside the hotel - absolutely beautiful.
If you have the chance to visit the Dales, this is the place to stay. I have stayed her 6 times. The location beautiful year round. Each room is individually decorated and features little touches like fresh fruit and coffee/tea/hot chocolate fixings. There are two restaurant options -a casual bistro and a more formal dining room - both offer good atmosphere and food. The fitness center and spa are located in the old converted stable. Sounds strange but you will be surprised how nice it is! There are plenty of activities nearby and the staff is there to help. Of course, it is also lovely to sit in front of one of the many fires and sip a cocktail or cup of tea and read a book. You can't help but feel at home here!
A Hidden Jewel!
I have stayed in the Devonshire Arms twice - first in the summer of 1999, and then again on a Christmas package in 2002. Both times my family was welcomed by name like old friends! The staff was warm and enthusiastic. The rooms were comfortable and beautifully decorated. The restuarant food and service was always excellent!
There is plenty to do within walking distance or a short drive. Great health club!
We felt more like we were guests in a private home than in a hotel. The Devonshire Arms is a place to be savored and enjoyed for a minimum of several days!
TripAdvisor Reviews The Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel & Spa Bolton Abbey
Travel Blogs from Bolton Abbey
... the formal and informal gardens which had been created.
We went back to the car for a change of footwear before heading off along the Cleveland Way south along the coast. This walk is very spectacular and has great views of the countryside, sea and coast line. These cliffs (Hunt Cliff) are some of the highest in Britain and we reached around 100 metres above sea level before descending into Skinningrove and onto Cattersty Beach for a sit on the rocks and ...
... looking for a place for lunch.
We fond the Cobblestone Cafe in the centre of Grassington and we enjoyed the paninis with tea. As we were looking for a table another couple offered to let us share their table in the courtyard outside so we passed the time waiting for lunch chatting to a couple from Chesterfield who were staying nearby for a few days walking.
The leisurely lunch ...
... of rain showers arrived so we used the conservatory as a shelter before walking under the umbrella around the formal gardens. The gardens were extensive and the area included a bird hide and a walk next to the pasture with meadow flowers as the main feature.
The Hall was built in the late 18th century as a family house and was used as such until the middle of the last century. In 1941 it was used ...
... much traffic (either foot or road). We continued our wanderings after the service but the sun had gone in and we were getting a little cold so we headed off for a coffee and a read of the newspapers in Costa.
The temperature was still not improving much, so after a quick walk we headed back to the apartment.
Once we had changed we went for a walk in the Abbey grounds. There is a bird hide at the top ...
I am writing this so long after the event that it feels somewhat unreal but I recall that it was only a short drive from Knaresborough to Bolton Abbey, which is not really a place more a collection of ancient Abbey buildings, an hotel and some tourist cafes, all sited beside the delightful river Wharfe. I know the area well because it is around there that my mother's family lived and I still have three sets of cousins in the area. ...