Dartmoor guest house wins Channel 4's Four in a Bed after hiker's shock move

Terry and Nikki outside the Ramblers’ Rest
Terry and Nikki outside the Ramblers’ Rest -Credit:PR supplied

A Dartmoor guest house is celebrating success following its appearance on a Channel 4 programme. Ramblers' Rest, located in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, has emerged victorious on the popular show Four in a Bed.

The show involves bed and breakfast owners who take turns to stay with one another and pay what they consider fair for their stay after giving feedback. The winner is the establishment named the best value for money.

Each guest house vied for top honours in the competition, with some even saying that they wouldn't have the other hosts back. As the final episode on Payment Day unfolded, tensions rose when Ramblers' Rest received two underpayments, all due to no breakfast - leaving the King's Arms seemingly poised for victory, reports DevonLive.

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But in a surprise move, Hilary, a fellow competitor who had already awarded the Ramblers' Rest an outstanding 10/10 for all aspects, stunned everyone by making an overpayment of £53. This unexpected recognition propelled Ramblers' Rest to the top spot, securing them the coveted title with a final score of 112%.

"We were incredibly fortunate," says Nikki, (owner). "Hilary, is a regular hiker, and so exactly matched our target market. She understood our concept perfectly and knew many hikers appreciate surrounding themselves in comfort after a day of exploring the trails and want to prepare for the next day.

"It was fantastic to know that we met her needs so well." Terry, co-owner of the Princetown guest house, said: "I honestly couldn't believe it! Even after counting £120 and realising Hilary had already overpaid for the £112 room; there were still notes to count! It took a while for the disbelief and then the realisation that we may have won, to sink in."

A bedroom inside the Ramblers' Rest, Princetown, Dartmoor -Credit:Helen Northcott
A bedroom inside the Ramblers' Rest, Princetown, Dartmoor -Credit:Helen Northcott

Regarding their involvement in the competition, they said: "We don't do breakfast, which means we were already on the back foot in the competition. We wanted to take part in Four in a Bed, so that we could show our concept to a large audience and see how other businesses present themselves."

Nikki explained the motivation behind their approach: "We hoped our semi self-catering concept, along with the quality beds and linen, eco-friendly approach and hot spa pool would appeal to people wanting to visit Dartmoor."

The transaction history showed an unexpected generosity from the couple as they paid in full and even overpaid at Kings' Arms in Stratton and the Earlsdale in Ilfracombe and at the East Creek BandB in Weymouth.

Describing their scoring system, Terry said: "When scoring, we really thought hard about value for money, the location, the offering and if we thought the pricing was reasonable. We had agreed that we would only underpay if the venue really wasn't worth the money."

The team at Ramblers' Rest found their stint on "Four in a Bed" to be an enriching experience. Terry said: "We had a fantastic time filming the show.

"Meeting the other proprietors was a real highlight. There's always something to learn from fellow accommodation providers, and we definitely will be keeping in touch with all of them."

The final results were aired on Channel 4 at 6pm on Friday, May 3. The Ramblers' Rest team, along with their friends and locals from Princetown, gathered at the Prince of Wales to watch the results.

Nikki chimed in, saying: "We managed to keep the winning results secret. I'm not great at lying. Thankfully, because we don't do breakfast, nobody thought we'd win - including us!"