Leading luxury operator the Eden Hotel Collection, the AA Small Hotel Group of the Year 2014 / 2015, embarked on the £2 million refurbishment in January, less than six months after acquiring the award-winning country house estate in Dartmoor National Park. The estate includes an 18-hole championship golf course, spa, country lodges and an outdoor-pursuits centre.
Bovey Castle is a hugely popular venue for the corporate market, especially for companies looking for a secluded place to hold director-level meetings and team building days. It’s also a favourite choice for incentive travel planners and bookers.
Eden’s multi-million-pound investment includes initial restoration work to the hotel and the renovation of the entire ground floor, transforming the restaurant, bistro and public rooms. A boutique shop has been added and the spa has been refurbished with a glamorous Art Deco feel.
The Edwardian Restaurant has been gutted and redesigned to introduce a Champagne bar, along with new panelling, drapes and luxurious soft furnishings. As a nod to Bovey Castle’s rich history and heritage, it has been renamed Great Western Restaurant in honour of the glorious Great Western Railway, the first owners to open Bovey Castle as a golfing hotel in 1930.
At the other end of the hotel, the Castle Bistro has been transformed into Smith’s Brasserie – named as a tribute to one-time owner and pioneering 19th Century entrepreneur WH Smith – and now boasts a striking fire pit at its centre, a theatre kitchen and cosy corners for couples.
All the design and refurbishment work has been undertaken by award-winning interior design practice NH Interiors, who worked alongside the Eden Hotel Collection’s own Design Director, Marian Cartter. With phase one of renovation work now completed, a special invitation-only event was held to mark the re-launch of the hotel.
Sir Peter Rigby, owner of the Eden Hotel Collection, was joined by the group’s directors and 150 guests for the special event, which culminated in a stunning performance by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines. Guests were given a tour of the refurbished areas, including the spa, and enjoyed Champagne and tasting bites from the hotel restaurants’ new menus.
Speaking about the renovation project, the Eden’s Managing Director, Mark Chambers, says: “Very little money had been spent on the hotel before it was acquired by the Eden Hotel Collection so it looked really tired. Bovey Castle is stunning and needed to be brought back to its former glory but we didn’t want to just redecorate, we wanted to make a statement and take the hotel into an exciting new era.
“Bovey Castle has long been regarded as the jewel in the crown of the leisure industry in the South West. With the breathtaking transformation of our restaurants, coupled with innovative new menus, we’ve taken it to the next level and introduced an amazing new dining experience which will be unrivalled anywhere in the region.
“We are also absolutely delighted with what we have achieved with our spa. The new spa area is incredibly glamorous with a distinct Art Deco feel, and has a lovely synergy with the rest of the refurbishment.”
The ground-floor renovation project is only the start of the Eden Hotel Collection’s investment in Bovey Castle, adds Mark. “Bovey Castle is an iconic structure and it means a great deal to the Eden Hotel Collection to be the hotel’s new guardians. We now plan to renovate the bedrooms and bathrooms in the main house, then move on to the lodge investment programme. We also intend to invest in the golf course as well as in the normal maintenance works on the estate.”