“A stylish, family-run hideaway set beside two stunning beaches in South Devon, with an excellent restaurant and affordable prices”
Made up of Inner and Outer Hope, this former fishing harbour sits slap bang in South Devon’s Area of Natural Beauty. The South West Coast Path runs right through it, and there are two gorgeous bays hugging its coast. Overlooking Inner Hope bay, Hope Cove House has some of the best views in town. The owners have breathed new life into what was once a tired B&B, crafting 10 bedrooms with style-magazine interiors. And huge windows mean you’re never deprived of that dazzling sea view.
It’s a place that invites you to slow down a few paces. We saw happy families laughing together over dinner, little ones playing with Lego while their parents chatted over wine. Oli and Alexandra are natural hosts, floating between tables refilling empty glasses, pre-emptively offering blankets to terrace diners, sharing tips on the area. Come for a few days and fill up on fresh fish and fabulous wine, sink into a sublimely comfortable bed and wake to the sound of the waves. It’s a blissful place, and it’s hard not to feel right at home.
- Soul-soothing sea views throughout
- Excellent food, with a daily changing menu and an extensive wine list
- Super comfortable beds - we slept like babies
- The South West Coast Path and some of South Devon’s best beaches are on your doorstep, or a short drive away
- Great value – especially compared to nearby Salcombe – and rates include a delicious breakfast
- Limited mobile signal and the WiFi didn’t reach our top-floor room, but we loved the digital detox
- Our room (a Double Sea View) had limited space for hanging clothes and there are no full-length mirrors
- Some may find the smaller rooms a little cosy
- Some noise carried into our room from the corridor. If you’re a light sleeper, pack earplugs
- Closed in winter months Sunday evenings until Tuesday lunchtimes (excluding half-terms)
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Laundry service
All of Hope Cove House’s 10 bedrooms are bright and airy, and most look towards the sea. Our top-floor Double Sea View had beautiful views of the bay and the coast beyond, and calming hints of grey and blue throughout were a tasteful nod to the ocean setting. In the morning, we could even hear the waves from our open window. But it’s not all show: supremely comfortable beds with great mattresses and thick duvets make for a restful night’s sleep too.
Rooms vary in size and some may find the smallest doubles and the twin a little cosy. Though all share similarly stylish design, we’d plump for a larger room with a sea view if possible. In addition to the doubles, there is a pair of Family Rooms sleeping three and four respectively, one of which has a private balcony. If there's a big group of you, why not splash out and rent the whole place to yourselves?
Bedrooms are ensuite and bathrooms are finished to a high-spec, with spoiling L:A Bruket toiletries. Most rooms have both walk-in showers and baths, but the Family Rooms have showers only - worth noting if you love a long soak.
- Central heating
As you’d expect from London restaurateurs, food is a big deal here. Dining spaces embrace the stunning setting with huge windows overlooking the bay, and in the summer months you can dine alfresco on the terrace.
When we visited, there was plenty of fresh fish and seafood on the menu: lobster and maltagliati (a type of pasta), hake and braised fennel, turbot and hollandaise. We plumped for the lemon sole served with hazelnut butter and capers, and the ribeye steak – both were divine. There’s an impressive 60+ strong wine list to accompany, and the bar is a great place to hang out any time of the day.
Breakfast is a real treat, too. Help yourself to homemade granola, Greek yoghurt, fresh berries, fruit compote and kids' cereals. There’s also a raft of knockout cooked options including a Full English and smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, but it’s the smoky shakshouka we’re still daydreaming about.
With a daily changing menu, you could stay for a week and not get bored, but there’s a handful of additional eateries in the village offering seafood, pub meals and pizzas.
- Children's meals
- Dinner by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Hope Cove is a destination in itself: it was once a famed crabbing and fishing harbour, and 30 shipwrecks now make the village a magnet for divers. Uniquely, it was the only place in England where the Spanish Armada made landfall; go for a walk around the village to admire the cottages, many of which are built with the actual beams of Spanish Galleons
- On a calm day, Inner Hope’s bay is perfect for paddleboarding, kayaking or snorkelling. The hotel has a tandem and single kayak for rent
- Surfing and kiteboarding can be arranged at Bantham beach (a 20-minute drive away)
- There are plenty of stunning coastal walks in the area. Thurlestone is 45 minutes on foot, or you can reach Salcombe in about four hours on the South West Coast Path, passing through Bolberry Down
- The popular yachting town of Salcombe is a 15-minute drive away for shopping, sailing and people watching
- If the weather turns, the sitting room is a lovely spot to curl up with a book. There’s also a log burner for the winter months
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
There is a family feel at Hope Cove House and Oli and Alexandra have two young children of their own. We saw several families of all ages enjoying meals in the restaurant during our stay. There are lots of thoughtful kid-friendly touches throughout: a crate of Lego, push-along cars and kids’ books. There’s also a kids' menu in the restaurant and kiddie cereals at breakfast. Children will love playing on the beach, and Outer Hope’s beach has a lifeguard in season.
Family friendly accommodation:
There are two dedicated Family Rooms sleeping three and four respectively; extra beds can be added for an additional cost. All bedrooms can accommodate a cot for babies. There are no connecting bedrooms.
There is a specific children’s menu and children’s cereals are available at breakfast.
Kids Activities on site:
- Kids games
- A selection of toys, including Lego in the sitting room
Kids Activities nearby:
- Beaches - Outer Hope has a lifeguard in season
- Overbeck's Museum and Garden
- Pennywell Farm
- Dartmoor Zoo
- National Marine Aquarium
Families Should Know:
The very short walk downhill to the beach is on a main road, albeit a fairly quiet one, so take extra care with little ones.
- Airport: 75-minute drive
- Hospital: 40-minute drive
- Shops: Five-minute walk to a small village shop
Hope Cove House is located in Inner Hope in the South Hams, between Salcombe to the East and Thurlestone to the West. It's an 80-minute drive from Exeter or an hour from Plymouth.
Exeter and Newquay are the nearest airports. Click on the links below for airlines serving these airports. You will probably want to hire a car from the airport, see our car rental recommendations.
The most convenient station is Totnes (40 mins away), and Alchemy Cars (right outside the station) can take you to Hope Cove from there, or ask the hotel to prearrange a taxi for you.
The local village has a couple of pubs and a village shop but you'll probably want a car for exploring further afield. Be prepared for some narrow lanes, and plenty of traffic in summer. Approximate driving times are three and a half hours from London, and two hours from Bristol.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Exeter 77.0 km
- Newquay 111.0 km
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 0.4 km
- Restaurant 0.3 km