Driving down between the moss covered trees which lined the driveway you get your first glimpse of the splendour of The Prince Hall Hotel a Country House Hotel nestling in a small valley on Dartmoor. Even as we parked and walked to the front door it gave us a sense of “home”. Inside did not disappoint. Beautifully decorated and warmly inviting we were met by Fi, the co-owner, who made us extremely welcome. She invited us to settle into our room and then sit by the roaring fire in the lounge for a welcoming pot of tea. We sat reading about the history of the building and looking out of the window to the moors beyond. It was a most spectacular view that would bring out the artist in anyone. Our room was spacious with beautiful furniture and fittings. Everything we could need was provided, hairdryer, a variety of teas and filter coffee facilities, dog mats for food and water bowls and biscuits (Rosie tried those out straight away) and an extremely comfortable bed. There were also ample magazines and information plus Wi-Fi.
Our evening meal was a culinary adventure. Although a limited menu it was varied, however the two main meat dishes both had cheese which my husband can’t eat. Not a problem! An alternative was provided with no fuss. Apart from our ordered meal there were tasters in the bar with our aperitif and then an amuse bouche when we were waiting for our starters to arrive. All touches which made the evening special. The wine list was fairly extensive and priced around the £25 per bottle mark. The service was impeccable with a dedicated waiter who friendly and professional and ensured we were happy throughout the evening.
This hotel has all the characteristics of a first class hotel without being pretentious in any way. Dogs were made to feel like part of the family and their every need was catered for. Outside there was a hose to wash off muddy paws and in the huge porch way hung lots of towels to rub them down. There was also a large bowl of fresh water and biscuits to “keep them going” after a long walk.
After a wonderful night’s sleep we went down to breakfast which was all we would have expected. Locally sourced produce and freshly made bread set us up for our journey home.
The Prince Hall Country House Hotel is the epitome of a country house hotel: warm, welcoming and with an atmosphere akin to staying with friends. Owner-run and with just eight elegant rooms, the hotel offers a luxurious home from home with an eclectic style all of its own. Set amongst rolling, untamed moorland with views down towards the sparkling River Dart, the Prince Hall Hotel provides the ultimate base for exploring Dartmoor’s wilderness and sampling delicious local produce.
The chefs pride themselves on creating a traditional English seasonal menu with a unique gastronomic flair, using native beef, lamb and poultry, home-reared pork, locally sourced or home-grown, seasonal fruit and vegetables and mouth-watering local cheeses.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love the wealth of options, from fly fishing the nearby River Dart to walking, riding, shooting and photography, and as one of the most dog friendly hotels in the UK, the Prince Hall welcomes man’s best friend for free.
Rooms cost from £95 per night on a B&B basis or £165 including a three course dinner, based on two people sharing.
Dogs stay free.
Places to go
As we were only in the area for one full day it was impossible to visit many places. Add to that the fact that the rain and mist never stopped it kept us from exploring the Moors as we would have liked. However, we did go down to the coast which was only 20 miles away and walked along Plymouth Hoe which was most interesting with The Eddystone Lighthouse (open at restricted times) which had been reconstructed on land and the statue of Sir France Drake. It was fascinating to stand there and imagine all the pilgrims that would have set sail from that spot to a new world in the Americas.
Of course we could have picked any of the seaports along that coast like Salcombe, Dartmouth or Brixham all of which would be well worth a visit and gave a contrast of staying in the remote, tranquil and beautiful areas of Dartmoor with the fun and business of the coastal areas.
There are also places such as Abbeys (Buckfast probably being the most popular) National Trust Houses, Market towns, Wildlife Centres and Activity places with lots of fishing, canoeing and walking available. It would be a photographers heaven and an artist’s delight. This really is an area of diversity with something for everyone in all seasons.
Pam, 58 lives in Fareham with her husband Steve, little dog Rosie and cat Bobby. They are semi-retired and moved to the area 18 months ago to enjoy the benefits of living near the sea. Having travelled throughout Europe and America on family holidays with their two sons and North and South Africa and Dubai on their own they now enjoy exploring areas of France in their caravan which they wouldn’t have visited with young boys and this enables them to take Rosie with them. They also enjoy short breaks in England both in their caravan with Rosie and on their own in hotels and have recently visited Warwick, Hunstanton, London and Christchurch in the New Forest. They love exploring the countryside as well as walking around marinas and coastal paths and good food scores highly on their list of enjoyments when away.