Burgh Island Hotel

Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon

Built into a hillside on a tidal island, this sleek, white, concrete hotel has a seagoing aspect. More

Good Hotel Guide Review

Built into a hillside on a tidal island, this sleek, white, concrete hotel has a seagoing aspect. Built in 1929 for a wealthy industrialist, it hosted the likes of Nancy Cunard, Noël Coward and Josephine Baker. The place is shipshape under new owner Giles Fuchs, with the refurbishment of public areas, while the glamorous Art Deco style is retained. The Burgh Island experience begins with a ride across the sands on the ‘sea tractor’. Morning teas and coffees are brought to rooms and suites, supplied with chocolates, water, fluffy robes. From first class to steerage, each has a full or partial sea view, some a lounge with Deco armchairs, a balcony or terrace. You can hire Agatha Christie’s beach retreat, or a dog-friendly apartment above the 14th-century Pilchard Inn, which now has a downstairs café serving food all day. There are cocktails and a lounge menu in the Palm Court bar with its glazed ‘peacock’ dome. Dinner in the Ballroom (now open to non-residents) is a black-tie affair. Chef Tim Hall is still on board, cooking 30-mile menus of such dishes as pan-fried cod, clam chowder, smoked cod beignet. A dip in the natural seawater Mermaid Pool is a must.

Hotel details


Burgh Island


01548 810514


25. 1 suite in Beach House in grounds, apartment above Pilchard Inn.


all year, except Jan.


lift, bar, 2 restaurants, ballroom, sun lounge, billiard room, private dining room, spa, free Wi-Fi, civil wedding licence, 17-acre grounds, sea bathing pool, tennis court.

Background music

background in public rooms.


not under 5, no under-13s at dinner.


allowed in Pilchard Inn.

Credit cards

MC, Visa.


per room B&B £195–£580, D,B&B £295–£680. À la carte £75. 1-night bookings refused Sat, some bank holidays.

Other reviews

Comments about Burgh Island Hotel

Since taking over this Devonian grande dame, Giles Fuch has carried out a multi-million pound renovation, but many of the hotels long-serving staff have remained. The bedrooms range from compact, to suites with a balcony or sun deck; some bathrooms are enormous. But the main event is cocktails in the Palm Court, Lounge with its magnificent peacock dome ceiling and atmosphere of a convivial house party, and the fabulous Grand Ballroom where nightly black-tie dinners are served. . We tucked into imaginative and perfectly executed dishes, served with a theatrical flourish. A unique opportunity to hark back to a more glamorous age. I loved every minute of it. - MO-S - January 2020
A little piece of magic off the coast of Devon. It is like travelling back in time. Dining is the piece de resistance. Three-courses in fine-dining style. Good old-fashioned service. - BF - March 2017

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Last updated: October, 2019. Information from the 2020 Good Hotel Guide