Stoke Lodge Hotel
Spotlight - Stoke Lodge Hotel
It’s been a busy summer at the Stoke Lodge Hotel – too busy for the Mayer family to celebrate 30 years of running the popular country retreat.
“It was our 30th anniversary in August but at the height of the summer season we didn’t have time to celebrate! We love it here – and the wonderful thing is that now parents, and even a few grandparents, are coming here with their children and grandchildren, bringing them to the place where they spent their happy childhood holidays,” said Chris.
Chris and Steven Mayer run the Stoke Lodge Hotel with daughters Samantha and Chelsie. Their third daughter, Sigourney, helps out too between her studies at university in London.
Chris said: “We came to Stoke Lodge from Dartmouth, where Steven had a successful restaurant for several years, Fossie’s in Foss Street. In those days this was a very small hotel and when we took it on it was in rather a sorry state. It had 12 rooms, none of them en suite, and was about to be made into flats.
“We have made a lot of changes and now have 25 rooms, all of them en suite, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a games room with table tennis and pool table, a large restaurant, comfortable lounge, a bar, all-weather tennis court, putting green, sauna and Jacuzzi.”
Families with children, couples, pensioners – the clientele is varied but all are drawn to the hotel by the beautiful surroundings, warm welcome and comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.
Chris said: “Many people return year after year which is a huge complement. Especially the people we first met when they were children 30 years ago. The charm of a bucket and spade holiday never fades. We aim to take the stresses away from people – delicious home cooked food most of it produced locally, a relaxed informal atmosphere, stylish but comfortable.”
Steven hails from Surrey and Chris, born in Ghana, had a life on the move before the couple arrived in the South Hams. “This is the first place I ever wanted to settle, and we love Stoke Fleming – there is nowhere nicer to be,” Chris said. “Our three daughters were born here and it is fantastic to have them involved in the business – it gives us so much more freedom.”
The Mayer family used to live in a house across the car park from the main hotel. These days they are a stone’s throw away but still in the village, and Chris said: “Stoke Fleming is a very special place. We love the hotel and could not do this job if we didn’t. Over the years we have met so many lovely people and we enjoy welcoming back friends year after year.”
First published September 2010 By the Dart