Known as The Hotel Inspector thanks to her popular Channel 5 series, Alex Polizzi comes from a long line of hoteliers. Her grandfather Charles Forte founded the national Forte hotel and restaurant group (it’s now run by her uncle), and her mother is the hotel designer Olga Polizzi, who owns beautiful Hotel Endsleigh near Tavistock.
Since 2008 Alex has presented a number of high-profile TV series in addition to The Hotel Inspector, including Alex Polizzi: The Fixer, and Alex Polizzi’s Secret Italy, and has a new BBC Two series Alex Polizzi For Hire in the pipeline.
Visit Devon spoke to this experienced commentator on hospitality and tourism and asked her: ‘So, what do you think of Devon?’ Read on for her answer …
- Find out more about Tavistock and Dartmoor
- Find places to stay across Devon
- Read our recent interview with top Devon chef Michael Caines
Tell us about your local connections, Alex …
I have been coming to the Westcountry for 25 years and always find something lovely, new and unexpected there.
Do you ever come to stay here on holiday yourself?
Oh yes! Devon’s wonderful and I’ve done many long weekends there.
What do you think of Devon as a tourist destination?
One of Devon’s great strengths is its natural landscape. It has wonderful sandy beaches and moorland, as well as lots of quaint villages and interesting cities. It has an awful lot to offer. Its main strength is that it has the friendliest of people to complement the natural landscape.
What do you think of the quality of Devon’s hotels and accommodation offering in general?
I’m not a member of the AA but I would say it has a very strong tourism foundation.Because Cornwall and Devon depend so much on tourists I think they’re two of the counties that do it best.
Has Devon’s hospitality offering improved during your time in the industry?
I think everywhere in England has improved in my time, as standards are much higher now than when I was growing up. It’s a wonderful thing to have such a range of options of where to go and stay.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Devon?
I like buying clothes at No.13 in Tavistock as the owner, Annette, has such a good eye. It’s such a tiny shop, but I always walk out with bags full of clothes. Forget shopping in London I like to shop in Tavistock all the time!