Burgh Island Hotel

Glamorous modernist hotel on its own island

Anyone with a fancy for taking a trip to the glamorous past of the 1930s simply has to visit Burgh Island hotel, a striking white Modernist building perched on a small island just off the south Devon coast.

Arriving is an adventure in itself, especially if the tide’s in, as you go by sea tractor – the hotel’s own unique form of transport. Much of the island is open to the public (as long as the tide’s out of course) and there’s an ancient little pub, the Pilchard Inn, where you can sit and gaze over the sand; but it has to be said that, as the iron gates open and you’re taken into the hotel’s private grounds, there’s a special tingle of excitement.

This is a hotel unlike any other. It’s been meticulously restored by its owners, with a softness and care that shows a genuine love of the place. It’s filled with original furnishings including quirky bits and pieces from its famous past and, helped by the fact there’s no TVs in the rooms and you’ll only hear period music, it really does feel like you’ve stepped into the past. So even the shyest of guests will join in with house rules and dress for dinner – it feels right somehow.

The past is ever present, so to speak, but luxury and indulgence is high on the list of priorities, so you’ll still find super comfy beds, a sauna and spa, attentive staff and excellent food. The hotel also takes its green credentials seriously, not only in terms of its energy use, but also in its menus (around 38 per cent of all produce is sourced from a 20 mile radius, including the island polytunnel).

And if there’s ever a place to have a cocktail, this is it. Try a classic dirty martini, a woo woo, or perhaps a “McBar special” – something made by Burgh’s long term resident mixologist.

Sample menu


Brixham crab, broad bean, peashoot and citrus salad


Chicken breast, sweetcorn pannacotta, spring greens and smoked almonds, truffled popcorn


Rhubarb crumble, champagne jelly, rhubarb milkshake

£70 per head

Insider’s tips

Make sure you take a swim in the mermaid’s pool – it’s a natural sea pool that’s owned by the hotel. You can also play billiards on a table once used by Noel Coward

Restaurants nearby

Over the last few centuries, Langdon Court in Wembury has played host to the great and the good including Henry VIII and Catherine Parr

Burgh Island, South Devon, TQ7 4BG

01548 810514

Chef: Tim Hall

Owner: Deborah Clark

Bedroom rate: From £400

Bedrooms: 25

  • Wifi
  • Parking available
  • Private dining available
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa
  • Gluten free options
  • Beer garden (at The Pilchard Inn)
  • Wedding venue
  • Exclusive use


Most Romantic Hotel in Britain in 2012 by the Good Hotel Guide. AA Green Tourism Award gold winner

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