A new Somerset hotel with a South African twist

Hadspen House is being converted into a 23-room hotel by the creators of Babylonstoren

Hadspen House is being converted into the 23-room Newt in Somerset
Hadspen House is being converted into the 23-room Newt in Somerset

Built between 1687 and 1689, Hadspen, the Grade II-listed house not far from the village of Pitcombe in Somerset, has been described as one of the most beautiful of its kind in southwestern England, with formal gardens that span the centuries punctuating its 300-plus acres, collectively known as the Emily Estate. In 2013 it was rumoured to have been acquired by Johnny Depp – but in fact the buyer was Koos Bekker, the South African emerging-media billionaire who, with his wife, former Elle Decoration SA editor Karen Roos, created Babylonstoren (babylonstoren.com), the singular hotel-dining-garden destination on one of the oldest farms in the Cape Winelands. The Newt in Somerset (thenewtinsomerset.com; from £300) will see Hadspen House converted into a hotel of 23 rooms, with various barns and granaries across the estate repurposed as a spa, café, restaurant and cyder press. Expect Babylonstoren-calibre beauty, seen through a uniquely West Country lens.

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