Summer Lodge country house hotel is a fine Georgian listed house in the picturesque village of Evershot, West Dorset. The privately owned Relais & Châteaux country house hotel is set in 4 acres, offers facilities such as croquet lawn, heated indoor pool, all-weather tennis court, spa facilities and an award-winning restaurant. The hotel adjoins a 600 acre deer park offering excellent walking and an abundance of wildlife and flowers throughout the year.
Built in 1798 as a dower house by the 2nd Earl of Ilchester, the property was enlarged in 1893 with a second floor added by the 6th Earl who commissioned his friend and local author, Thomas Hardy, (an architect by profession) to draw up the plans. The house was further modernised in 1932 by the last Earl to live in Dorset, when as Lord Stavordale, he brought his bride to live at Summer Lodge.
When Margaret and Nigel Corbett purchased the property in 1979, they became only the second owners in nearly two centuries. At that time, the 12 bedroomed property with dilapidated outbuildings, had been empty for 3 years. Within 7 weeks, they had converted Summer lodge into a hotel and their private home - with eight bedrooms. The first guests paid £10.50 for dinner, bed and breakfast.
In 1988, the stables and coach house were converted into bedrooms and an all-weather tennis court and heated pool were added. In 1991, the Dining Room was enlarged and remodelled to compliment the Thomas Hardy designed Drawing Room with its full length sash windows. The hotel became a member of Relais & Chateaux.
In 2003 the hotel came under new ownership with a complete refurbishment in order and is now receiving guests from all over who continually comment on its magnificence.