The Devonshire Arms is one of those hotels that people seem to rather unexpectedly become very fond of. Even after a single visit, they speak affectionately of The Dev – as it’s known amongst friends. And that’s not something you can say of most luxury hotels. So just what is it that’s so special about the quintessential Northern country house hotel?
First of all, one aspect in which The Devonshire Arms has had absolutely no direct involvement whatsoever: the magnificent countryside of the Yorkshire Dales. The rolling hills of the surrounding dales and the spectacular scenery of the 30,000-acre Bolton Abbey Estate take some beating – however luxe your rooms are! Perfect for stretching your legs, taking in a serious hike or just pottering about. But wait!
Anyone who knows anything about anything will tell you that there’s absolutely no point tramping around the countryside if you’ve nothing to walk off! Best prepare yourself properly with the Dev’s generous afternoon tea – which they describe as “arguably the best outside London”. The Devonshire Arms’ Afternoon Tea is a sumptuous spread served in the lounge with crackling open fires – or outdoors should you chance to visit on a sunny day. Freshly-prepared finger sandwiches, delicate cakes and hot-out-of-the-oven scones are served with a glass of fizz or cup of Yorkshire’s finest tea. Staff are attentive and welcoming – there’s a Northern warmth that really makes you feel at home during your stay.
If you’re not one for taking in the country views, you’ll be delighted to pay a visit to The Devonshire Spa. Housed in a converted barn adjacent to the hotel, the spa’s facilities include a swimming pool, thermal suite, Jacuzzi and gym, tastefully appointed for a cosy, relaxing feel. The spa’s expert therapists also offer a range of luxurious ESPA treatments to help guests to unwind; from indulgent massages to rebalancing facials. The bespoke Aroma Massage comes highly recommended, using a personalized blend of essential oils to soothe away stresses and strains, restoring tired muscles and banishing tension.
After all that exertion, you could probably do with a nap – and there’s just time to catch forty winks before dinner… The hotel’s 40 rooms and suites are all individually decorated which gives them a personal, intimate feel. Antique furnishings and handpicked artworks add elegance and character to the rooms, with some even featuring pretty impressive four-posters and sumptuous marble bathrooms. Rooms and bathrooms are generously proportioned, and flatscreen TVs, fluffy bathrobes and beautiful toiletries ensure that there’s no skimping on luxury.
Another area where the Dev excels? Fine dining. For gourmet fare, the five-star hotel is a destination in its own right – attracting the great and the good of the Dales thanks to its consistently impressive reviews and top-class chef. A former executive sous chef at the Ritz, Adam Smith took to the helm at The Devonshire’s Burlington restaurant aged just 25. The restaurant offers a classical, traditional dining experience that will really knock your socks off. Partly due to Smith’s imaginative menu and deft culinary touch – and also thanks to the hotel’s amazing kitchen garden.
“My food philosophy is based around sourcing the best ingredients possible, utilising the Yorkshire larder when at its best or further afield when necessary. Treating ingredients in manner that allows them to shine, combining classical flavours and methods with my own techniques and presentation style,” says Smith. And so it would be rude to not try his Tasting Menu, right? Correct. Eight courses of beautifully-presented, carefully-conceived, truly delicious food that will dance on your tastebuds and ensure you definitely need to find time for that Long Walk the following day…
Personal, elegant and particularly memorable – once you’ve stayed here, we promise you’ll be rebooking your next stay at The Dev in no time at all!
Luxury spa breaks at The Devonshire Arms cost from £154.50 per person. For more information, see The Devonshire Arms’ website. You can also find the hotel on Facebook and Instagram or follow on Twitter @Dev_Hotels.