Sidholme Hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from Sidmouth town centre. This gracious Victorian mansion, which stands in nine acres of delightful grounds, has been welcoming visitors for over 170 years and offers today’s guests a choice of 72 bedrooms, including several ground floor rooms and two wheelchair accessible rooms.
The house was built for the sixth Earl of Buckinghamshire and was known as Richmond Lodge. In 1848, the Earl had the Music Room built, using it as a private chapel and place for musical soirées and it’s still amazing.
Magnificent chandeliers of cut-glass hang from a beautiful hand-painted ceiling and over the two grand marble fireplaces hang two enormous mirrors with elaborate Rococo frames. A broad staircase rises elegantly from the main entrance to the first floor. It is easy to imagine finely attired ladies making an entrance by gracefully descending these stairs.
Sidholme was opened as a Christian Guest House in 1931, when one hundred guests were accommodated. The Methodist Recorder reported that, ‘Running water has been fitted in all the bedrooms, and everything possible has been done to give those who stay there all the comforts and conveniences of a modern hotel.’
In 1982, an extensive restoration programme began to bring the house up to Grade II Listed Building of Special Historic and Architectural Interest. The present history of Sidholme is of loving restoration of the outside of the house as well as modernisation and refurbishment of the interior to provide accommodation which reaches modern standards, whilst retaining its natural charm and beauty.
The hotel is loved as much by the local people as it is by holidaymakers with projects such as the restoration of the Music Room embraced by both. Fundraising by The Friends of Sidholme Music Room began with hosting musical concerts at the hotel. The funds raised so far have secured the restoration of the 18th century organ and bought back the sparkle to four of the seven historic chandeliers.
Today, the hotel is being given a new lease of life with upgrades being made to the bedrooms and lounge areas. Guests at the hotel now have free access to the indoor swimming pool and can enjoy relaxing times in the gardens and grounds or exploring the beautiful Devon coastline.