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Gara Rock

Devon Heaven

Nestled in the clifftops only a few miles as the crow flies from Salcombe we have stumbled across a gem of a family hotel. You would most definitely not find it if you weren’t looking for it.... Tucked away behind hedgerows and hilly fields it’s a hidden Devon treasure.

A friend’s grandparents got engaged here many moons ago but the magic of this special place has been reignited by a recent multi-million pound investment. Creating new super smart loft suites and revamping the stunning glass fronted restaurant, spa, pool and uber comfy lounging areas.

You can feel your shoulder drop as soon as your stroll through the doors, there is no check-in area. You are warmly offered a welcome drink then guided to your room – no queues, no waiting about.

It feels very much like a little Devon Soho House with masses of comfy armchairs, sheep skin rugs and super relaxed smiliey staff. Books and board games are in ambundance.

    

There are heaps of room options from standard doubles, cottages, suites and apartments. Our home for the night was one of the new Loft Suites with sumptuous furnishings (loved the pop-pom fringed throw) a roll top bath and the most snazzy shower room I have ever seen. With stunning coastal views from the large balcony and our own sun loungers it was understated chic all the way.

    

We followed the well trodden path way down the cliffs to the totally charming white sandy beach of Gower Rock Cove. With cliffs to climb, rock pools to explore and a tiny waterfall flowing onto the beach this is the perfect seaside playground for big and small people.

                                              

The out door pool is picture perfect, open May - Oct and great for a spot of open air breast stroke. Our girls loved the wooden clad super smart indoor pool with its stone pebbled hot tub, sauna and steam room. There’s even a private cinema with squashy velvet armchairs and giant beanbags so families can relax and watch a movie after a day on the beach.

    

 

The restaurant has one of the best seaviews I have ever seen. One whole side is glass opening up the breathtaking views down to Gara Cove. The food is excellent. My husband (who fancies himself as a bit of a critic) was waxing lyrical about it for days. All Gara’s produce is seasonal and mostly from their kitchen garden, or local farms and fisherman. My smoked haddock soup was the best I have ever tasted. The hotel is hugely doggy friendly, much to the delight of our girls we dinned in between a huge Romanian mountain dog and a super sweet fluff ball.

   

Breakfast was delish with an ambundance of fresh juices, pastries, homemade jams and fresh fruit. Order kippers, eggs or a full English if you are planning a long hike. We hear the sauages are ace. 

                                  

It wasn’t open when we were there but we love the sound of the 'Garavan' a vintage caravan selling pasties, drinks and ice creams on the lawn. Another reason to go back again.

If you’re looking for a romantic get-away book 'The Secret Suite' dug away like a hobit house into the landscape complete with it’s own hot tub. It’s tucked away near the outdoor pool – no one will know you are there.

This is a place to escape, unwind, relax and walk clifftop paths for miles and miles. Settle down and enjoy the seaviews whilst sipping on your Salcombe infused G&T. The perfect bolt-hole for any slightly frazzled and over scheduled London family (and their pooch). We wish we could have stayed longer……

This hotel has got it very right.

Loft room from £174 including brekkie. gararock.com

Julia Colls

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