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Hotel Highlights

  • Intimate home-from-home welcome
  • Chic urban style in a quaint coastal village setting
  • Delectable country platters

Overview

Don't be deceived by the Whitehouse hotel's historic Georgian exterior or quaint Devonshire coastal village location of Chillington; this airy little hotel is the opposite of chintzy, fussy and overdone. Its six spacious rooms have been stylishly outfitted with chunky wooden furniture, huge beds covered with Frette linens, and ensuites worthy of an urban loft. Despite all this, we doubt you'll spend all that much time in your room, as the hotel also has a plush movie screening room, extensive gardens perfect for croquet and cocktails and a delicious restaurant that specializes in shared platters of house-made charcuterie and local cheeses.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Whitehouse with us:

A glass of prosecco for each guest

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Whitehouse

3 nights for the price of 2

Facilities

View Gallery
Whitehouse hotel – Devon – United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

Six.

Check–out

12 noon, although this may be flexible (subject to availability). Check‑in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $255.85 (£158), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include full English or Continental breakfast. You can rent the whole house (sleeping 12) for two nights from £2,600; additional nights cost £1,300 each.

Also

Film showings are held regularly in the Whitehouse’s huge screening room, which has Fatboy bean-bag chairs to sprawl on.

At the hotel

Croquet lawn, gardens, chest of DVDs and CDs, screening room, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: plasma TVs, CD/DVD player with iPod connection, Nespresso machine.

Our favourite rooms

Room Five seduced us the most, with its generous size, double‑aspect views of the gardens, courtyard and surrounding countryside, retro lamps and sleek metallic wallpaper. Room Four may be smaller, but the hand‑crafted wooden four‑poster and the free‑standing French claw‑foot bath had our eyes wide. The Attic room can alternate between a double and a twin – and the sofa bed means it can sleep four if you have kids or friends in tow.

Poolside

Whitehouse doesn’t have a pool, although you can sun yourself in the extensive gardens. The hotel has house membership to the Dart Marina spa in Dartmouth, where you can use the pool, steam room and gym free.

Packing tips

Bring an iPod to hook up to your room’s Bose sound system; in summer, be sure you’re dressed for the beach – it’s only an amble away.

Also

A two‑night minimum stay applies at weekends. Well‑behaved dogs are welcome: beds, bowls and towels are provided for £10 a night – just give notice (so they can let the resident lurchers and Siamese cats know they’ll have company).

Children

Kids are welcome. Cribs (£15) and extra beds (£35, with breakfast) can be added to your room. Babysitting with a local nanny costs £15 an hour.

Read more

Food & Drink

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Whitehouse hotel – Devon – United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

The hotel doesn't offer dinner (just à la carte breakfast), but on request the chef can whip up an antipasti board of grazing‑perfect goodies – charcuterie, marinated feta and olives, and breads – served in the bright barn‑style dining area. There's also a corker of an afternoon tea available. If you're feeling more than peckish, the Beachhouse (the Whitehouse's dining venture) is a 20-minute drive away, serving sea-fresh cracked crab and moules marinare, steaks and clotted-cream ice cream with a side of stunning beach scenery. Hungry locals also flock to the Seahorse in Dartmouth  a 10-minute drive), which serves fabulously fresh, Italian-style fish dishes.

Hotel Bar

The Whitehouse bar has a cosy living room, with shelves stuffed with travel books, a large chocolate‑brown sofa and a fireside snug. It’s un‑Devonishly buzzy at weekends, with a different house cocktail mixed up every day.

Last orders

The bar’s open late, usually until around 2am.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Casual but groomed; Alice Temperley with your favourite denim.

Top table

Secure a spot by the window overlooking the gardens. Better still, sit outside on the terrace (weather permitting).

Local Guide

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Whitehouse hotel – Devon – United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

You can pick up a delicious deli-style picnic at Whitehouse and head off to the beach – it's a one-mile walk. Hotel staff will also be happy to arrange spa treatments – either in your room or at the Dart Marina Spa (+44 (0)1803 837182) in Dartmouth – and a host of typically Devonian activities, including boat charters, fishing trips, cycling, and horse riding.

Local restaurants

Being a wee ‘pub and a post office’ type of village, Chillington is hardly a haven for gastronomes, but there’s plenty to tempt in nearby Dartmouth. Famed fishmonger and restaurateur Mitch Tonks is behind The Seahorse (+44 (0)1803 835147), a relaxed Mediterranean seafood outfit on the riverbank. The New Angel (+44 (0)1803 839425) serves Michelin‑starred Modern Brit fare.

Local bars

Rumour (+44 (0)1803 864682) is a young and buzzy little wine bar in Totnes, which also does a palatable line in pizza. In the pretty village of South Pool, The Millbrook Inn (+44 (0)1548 531581) continues the tradition of cider-soused West Country pubs, but throws a militantly local menu into the mix. Over in East Prawle, The Pig's Nose (+44 (0)1548 511209) is a great place to catch local live bands.

Local cafés

Sister establishments to the Whitehouse worth a visit are the Beachhouse (+44 (0)1548 561144) on South Milton sands and Stokely Barton Farm Shop (01548 581010), a food store, café, homeware and garden centre, a 10‑minute walk away through the countryside.

+ Enlarge
Charming Chillington village

Whitehouse

Chillington, Devon TQ7 2JX, United Kingdom

Planes

Exeter airport is an hour and ten minutes away. Fly in from all over the UK (Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, etc).

Trains

First Great Western (www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk) runs train services from Paddington to Totnes (a 30-minute drive from the hotel) in just under 3 hours.

Automobiles

Chillington is 45 minutes from Plymouth and four and a half hours from London. It's also two miles from the West Devon coast. Parking is free.

Reviews

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Whitehouse hotel – Devon – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Will Beckett , Meat merchant

Our visit to the Whitehouse in South Devon was part of our latest obsession: eating our way around Blighty. At least, as often as our busy lives and burgeoning sense of thrift allows. My beloved Mrs Smith wasn’t always so prosaically monikered; her maiden name betrays Spanish origins. Yet 10 years in the UK has had her fall in love with this land. The only thing hampering the regularity of t…
Read more

Whitehouse

Anonymous review by Will Beckett, Meat merchant

Our visit to the Whitehouse in South Devon was part of our latest obsession: eating our way around Blighty. At least, as often as our busy lives and burgeoning sense of thrift allows. My beloved Mrs Smith wasn’t always so prosaically monikered; her maiden name betrays Spanish origins. Yet 10 years in the UK has had her fall in love with this land. The only thing hampering the regularity of these special ‘England’s way to our heart is through our stomachs’ trips is the fact we insist on crisp white cotton sheets and access to decent Chablis and brandy. So I’m afraid camping just won’t cut it. As for our favoured staff – we prefer those who walk that fine line between tending to your every need and leaving you alone in peace and quiet. Tall order? Perhaps – but the Whitehouse suited us nicely.

Just a short meander from the South Devon shoreline, hidden away in the little village of Chillington, the Whitehouse is the perfect getaway for style-seasoned city types hankering for a rustic rest-stop. It is the opposite of a big, soulless corporate hotel. The people that work there are seldom enough and sufficiently sweet to make it impossible to distinguish between proprietor and employee. Its owners are in fact three friends, clearly passionate about their property, each playing a hands-on role in hotel operations, and all happy to address guests’ requirements personally. One of them, Ally, is the gifted chef behind the restaurant’s fresh and hearty platters (available on request), and frequently opens the kitchen to show off her Aga, with wine-tasting evenings frequently appearing on the event schedule. But more on that later.

There are only six individual rooms, and I speak only for the one we stayed in, the Attic. I assume the priorities are the same – ample space, comfortable pillow-laden beds, a showerhead comparable to the steering wheel of an articulated truck, and a colour scheme that echoes the name of the hotel. Make no mistake: this isn’t an escape aimed at hippy types who favour singsongs round open fires over a few modcons; the extras in our room included a kettle, Nespresso machine, flatscreen TV with all the Sky and DVD trimmings, a DAB radio, a DVD player and a well stocked mini-bar. You see why we just can’t get excited about a tent in a wet field?

Perhaps a guest more versed in design might point out the most exciting style features to shout about. (Mrs Smith tells me there are plenty of modern quirks that are pleasing on the eye such as an old-meets-new medley of funky, chunky furniture). What grabbed me was the abundance of sofas and roaring fires that make every room a perfect place to kick back with a book or the Sunday papers after a coastal stroll. We did venture to the Beachhouse (the Whitehouse's seaside restaurant), which adhered to my most beloved cooking philosophy – take great ingredients, and do as little as possible to mess them up. From the just-baked scones, loaded with clotted cream and local jam that were presented to us, through to the mussels and lobster delivered to the restaurant an hour and a half before supper – the fresh, mostly local ingredients were always excellent. Thank you, Ally and co.

To this pair on an eating-around-Britain mission, Devon may not have the same obvious foodie allure of Cornwall. But it made my Iberian Mrs Smith’s most-posed culinary question most salient: ‘Why is it so hard to get decent fish on these shores?’ The answer is varied and represented in full in Devon. a) You can if you try. (You just have to know where to look. Try the Seahorse in nearby Dartmouth). b) We don’t cook fish that well. (Although the aforementioned fish restaurant was without question the best I’ve been to in England). c) Because quality here is unappreciated: the majority of exceptional fish caught off Devon’s coast is exported to Spain and Italy, who pay better for excellence.

As you can imagine, these fish-lovers spent much of their weekend seeking out the perfect crustacea. So if crab, scallop or lobster floats your boat, I’d urge you do the same. But if being piscivorous isn’t your thing, you could stay put and play croquet on the lawn of the hotel (darling), or catch a film in the screening rooms. If wanderlust gets the better of you, hours spent driving or walking through the winding country lanes will be well spent.

Rather than a common-or-garden fancy hotel, staying at the Whitehouse feels like spending the weekend with stylish, hospitable (and significantly better off) friends. Its appearance is the result of the owners’ good taste rather than the work of an interior designer, and it’s more a place to feel comfortable in than marvel at. These Georgian buildings have been a doctor’s surgery, a residence for GIs, and a private home in their time, but today they’ve finally found their true calling as one of Devon’s most welcoming and intimate boutique hotels. Sure there was the occasional slip-up, but to moan about a forgotten dish, say, would be missing the point. We were looking for something quintessentially English. And we were lucky enough to find a homely, eccentric hideaway in the middle of a splendid county that is showcasing its food and drink heritage better than ever. And don't let its American-presidential-abode name distract: this hip hotel makes you feel truly patriotic. Rule Britannia, indeed.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Whitehouse from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We liked the friendly warm welcome from Ali, the beautiful house with fab decor and a lovely garden, a great choice for breakfast, a super comfy (huge) bed, having real milk for teas/coffees in the room, a good location for exploring the area (there's lots nearby), and overall just a very comfortable experience. Plus, Percy is a top cat.

Don’t expect

We knew that the bathroom in Room 1 is open plan so although not having a door on the loo is not ideal, it's not that bad as it is tucked around the corner. The only niggle was that there's not much in the way of storage for clothes, or anywhere to hang towels… a few more hooks or a rail would be good, I think.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on No but we did have our dog Charlie who loved it

We loved

I loved having a beautifully cooked breakfast outside on the patio.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on No

We loved

The house itself is beautiful, and the garden is a perfect place to relax if you want a lazy day. The breakfast is amazing! Room 4 was stunning with the wooden four poster bed and roll-top bath. The cream tea was fantastic!

Don’t expect

Signage to the hotel could be improved. We had to drive past a few times before taking a chance on a narrow road which turned out to be the right way to the hotel. Also it would be amazing if the hotel did evening meals as the breakfasts are so great.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the view, the garden, the breakfasts and the friendly welcome and attentive service.

Don’t expect

The decor needs a bit of a touch up.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The location (south Devon) is wonderful and the hotel itself is amazing. Our room (4) was clean, light and spacious and contained a magnificent roll-top bath. There are lots of little treats in the room, including some local ales, chocolate and wine, etc (these are all charged to your room, though, so don't get too carried away like we did!) Roaring fires in winter help take the chill off (and a wee dram of whisky served up by the hotel bar helped as well), while the morning breakfasts were incredible. The staff was friendly and nothing was too much trouble. All in all, it was just a brilliant weekend. It was perfect for a romantic getaway, a proposal by the sea or a weekend to unwind.

Don’t expect

It was a bit of a shame that the hotel didn't do dinner, but we were told well in advance and were able to make alternative plans in nearby towns.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This hotel (actually more like a guest house), is fantastic. The retro chic decor, overindulgent food and extremely relaxed atmosphere make Whitehouse a fantastic place to stay. We stayed here on a mini honeymoon break and were upgraded to the main suite which was a very nice touch and the suite was outstanding. The Whitehouse is close to some lovely beaches with fantastic views, leisurely countryside walks and just a short drive to the quaint town of Dartmouth. The food both at Whitehouse and some locally recommended restaurants is magnificent and afternoon tea is a must.

Don’t expect

It would be great if Whitehouse did dinner; I'm sure the food would be amazing as Ally is a fantastic cook!

Rating: 10/10 stars