Burgh Island is a legendary hotel situated on the south coast of England on its own tidal island. Depending on the time of day you visit, you can either cross over to the island by sea tractor or boat, or by Land Rover across the small stretch of sand connecting Burgh Island to Bigbury-on-Sea when the tide is out.
Burgh Island Hotel was constructed in 1929 and has been maintained inside and out faithfully to the Art Deco style with as many original features retained as possible. The hotel is very famous for its guests both of the past and to this day, and is still considered an exclusive and private place to stay.
Burgh Island Hotel is a small and intimate place. It’s an incredibly romantic place to stay, both for its surroundings and exceptionally private surroundings. Very small children aren’t allowed to stay at the hotel, so it is very much a destination for couples. Non-residents are only permitted to visit the hotel at certain hours, which offers even more privacy for guests.
Just getting to the hotel itself is a great experience. As we arrived by car, we saw our fellow guests touch down on the island’s helipad. We parked in the hotel’s private garages on the mainland and were promptly whisked into a waiting Land Rover and driven over to the hotel, as the tide was out.
The rooms are decorated with as much period furniture and fixtures as possible and feels very in keeping with the Hotel’s heyday. They are extremely comfortable with lovely Egyptian cotton sheets and thick, fluffy towels. All rooms, however, have been recently refurbished to include sparkling new bathrooms (our room had the bath in the bedroom itself!) and all the modern comforts you would expect from a top hotel – with the one exception – no televisions, just a lovely retro Bush radio in our room. In fact, there are no televisions in the hotel, something we really enjoyed, just listening to the radio, or the waves crashing outside.
You’re very aware of the unique location of the hotel when staying at Burgh Island. There is the view of the ocean from the bath, to the sea-scented toiletries in the room, to taking an aperitif outside before dinner. In fact, there is even a little beach house on the far edge of the island, which Agatha Christie used to write from, as she found Burgh Island so inspiring.
There is much to do on the island itself. We swam first thing in the morning in the beautiful mermaid pool, which joins the sea. It’s cold, but incredibly invigorating. There are tennis courts, and walking around the island is a must – it is simply stunning. On rainy days, there is a cinema room, a small library, a table tennis room and snooker table to keep you occupied.
Dinner at Burgh Island is a formal affair. In fact, guests are advised that the dress code is Black tie, and in fact, you cannot be to overdressed. This was certainly the case on our visit, with ladies in full evening dress. This is a really fun element to your stay, and one that guests seem to relish. The dining room is decorated in original Art Deco style, with tables mainly set around the edge of the room – it’s definitely a place for people watching. The food is very good indeed, and the menu features ingredients sourced from a 20 mile radius from the hotel, with some ingredients such as salad grown in polytunnels on the island itself. Breakfast was fantastic, with a really wide selection of dishes available and is served overlooking the mainland. If the weather is good, as it was when we were there, you can take breakfast outside.
Burgh Island is a fun and exceptionally glamorous, private place to stay for a break. Guests were a mixture of regulars and those celebrating a special occasion. Expect to pay £400-500 per night per couple for dinner, bed and breakfast with wine, depending on room type. One thing’s for sure: it’ll be an unforgettable experience.