Dart Valley House isn’t just idyllic, it’s big and idyllic. It’s not just big and idyllic, it’s big, idyllic and equipped like a Mediterranean spa. I could go on. Why not? The house does. Huge, rambling and wonderfully renovated, it comes with glass balustrades that glint in the Devon sunshine and gaze lovingly over the rolling hills of the South Hams.
This is what happens when someone smuggles a piece of Tuscany back to Blighty and drops it high above Dartmouth and within a salty stroll of the beach. The rambling gardens are pure Med and the suites plush and boutique for sweet 16. Chillax, compete, get wet, get sweaty, get pampered, get your bottoms up. It’s all here.
You can let off more steam on the all-weather tennis court or playing pool or table tennis in the games room. Pack your popcorn for the cinema room. Or pour yourself a stiff gin from the bar, get a fire going in the snug and break out a book. At day’s end, wrap yourself in Egyptian cotton and dream of another day in your private paradise.
The best presents come beautifully wrapped and this one’s enveloped in rolling South Hams hills and exquisite gardens that recall the plant palette and sensory overload of Tuscany. Breathe it in, leap into the heated pool, towel off, lie back on the loungers in the Devon sunshine.
Dart Valley House is as comfortable and luxurious outside as in. Glass-fronted balconies glint in the sunshine and stare out over the all-weather tennis court, ready for the semi-finals of your Dart Valley Cup. Prize: Devon strawberries with extra cream.
At night, dark skies fill with a gazillion stars. Take them all in from the Canadian-cedar-wood hot tub. Stare harder, see new layers of light dot the sky, pour some fizz, remember what it is to relax in a world of wonder.
There’s a new adventure behind every door, and each airy room comes laced with light and space. It’s a feeling of laid-back luxury with the added bonus of toys. Lots of toys. It’s the perfect space to congregate and celebrate, within a perfect fusion of the comfy and the classy.
The fun begins in the snug. Pile in and catch a movie or a match on the plasma screen. Or just sneak away alone and bury your head in a book. For bigger screenings, try the state-of-the-art cinema room, with its squishy seating, bean bags, huge screen and choice of over 1500 movies.
Want to get competitive? Choose from pool or table tennis in the games room. When you’re done, an ice-cold G&T beckons in Dart Valley House’s own private bar. Then it’s off to get steamy in the Moroccan hammam. Unwind under the starlit ceiling and immerse yourself in the swirling eucalyptus.
Next to the steam room, you’ll find the heated 12-metre indoor pool. Switch on the sound system, spark up the starlit ceiling and splash away your cares. Wrap yourself in a robe and drip-dry on the giant chill-out sofa. Spend your evenings in the main living space, with the doors open to the balcony and views of the rolling hills.
Right next to the dining room, the breakfast kitchen or purpose-built catering kitchen are fine for volunteers to chip in, then clink glasses and tuck in. You’ll get everyone easily around the chunky dining table, or head out to the heated terrace that sits high over the South Hams.
Prefer to be pampered? Call up the pros and kick back in the armchairs with a Prosecco. Our chefs can be on hand for a drop-off, a one-off celebration or a fully catered break. While you wait, slip off to the in-house bar for a G&T or pop out to the olive grove for a chilled white. Did you catch a flight to Tuscany? It might feel that way.
Book ahead and enjoy exquisite dining at one of four Devon restaurants with Michelin stars. Head out to Lympstone Manor in Exmouth, haunt of top chef Michael Caines, to Torquay’s The Elephant, named Britain’s 37th best restaurant, to The Mason’s Arms in Knowstone, or to Thomas Carr at the Olive Room for local, quality seafood.
Family-friendly eats can be had at the log-warmed Steam Packet Inn, overlooking the River Dart. Or get down to the Seven Stars for devilled paprika breaded whitebait or nacho-coated chicken breast burger with guacamole and salsa. Or start the day with a vegan smoothie or hearty farmhouse breakfast at Bayard’s Cove.
Sleep soundly, wrapped in sumptuous Egyptian cotton, in one of eight contemporary en-suite bedrooms with valley views. Dart Valley House comfortably accommodates up to sixteen guests and all rooms can be arranged as twins or super kings. Six more single fold-out beds can increase your guests to twenty.
The most popular rooms include suite 2, with a balcony hanging over the pool and terrace. It comes with spacious shower cubicle, luxury freestanding bath and valley views. Suite 4 is light and airy, bathed in sunlight from the bathroom skylight.
Suite 6 is one of the largest, located downstairs. Like all rooms, this can serve as a twin or a superking. Slip out to the sunshine terrace through the French doors.