Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa

Salcombe, Devon, United Kingdom Book from

Sea view boutique hotel in the heart of Salcombe, with a lively restaurant and swanky new spa
We waited years for someone to give this hotel a better life. Its situation in yachty Salcombe means a sunnier micro-climate, and some of the best sea views in Britain. Now, thanks to a complete revamp under new owners, our wait is over. Beautiful rooms with balconies overlook the estuary; a swanky new spa and a buzzing restaurant with long marble bar add zing. The indoor pool is lined with cabanas that wouldn't look out of place in Morocco. And outside, there are terraces to lounge on and take in a sea breeze (or two).

Decanters of gin and sherry in your room, with ice and a slice brought up at "gin o'clock"; blankets to keep you cosy on your balcony and a pair of binos to watch boats cut across the tides. Perhaps the hotel has a certain guest in mind? If so we were happy to fit right in. But beware of their fabulous home cinema. It stole away our daughter when she should have been enjoying the beaches and wonderful coast, or even letting us wander round the boutiques to squeeze the last pips out of sunny Salcombe.

Highs

  • Beautifully renovated rooms, many with balconies, some with amazing views across the estuary
  • Fabulous location, yards away from shops and the ferry across to unspoilt beaches
  • Spa and indoor pool let you get treated, pampered and fully regenerated
  • Kids will love the 3D cinema room and nearby watersports
  • The restaurant and bar exude a bustling, feel-good vibe, with plenty of space to chill out

Lows

  • Getting to Salcombe down narrow lanes can be tricky, but the hotel has valet parking and an innovative rotator to swivel your car round
  • Service can be challenged if they have a big wedding on, but they'll quickly suss this out and we liked it being busy
  • Some rooms immediately above the restaurant get slightly spoilt views
  • Lifts in the main building are tantalisingly languid

Best time to go

Any time of year. Summer's best for beach and seafaring action, but there are beautiful walks all year round, and Salcombe is great for milling about and shopping in small boutiques. The hotel's open all year.

Our top tips

  • You might want to ask if they have any weddings planned during your stay - they host lots each year - though we did not mind the extra buzz.
  • If they have lemon meringues on the menu, don't miss out!
  • Great for...

    Beach
    Family
    Spa
    Wedding
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 50
    • Restaurants and bar (open daily)
    • Children welcome
    • Open all year
    • Indoor Pool
    • Spa
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    Room: Estuary View Room with Balcony

    Rooms

    50 rooms span 4 floors and vary in size and view. Expect soothing colours (pale blues, taupes and neutrals), unfussy furniture (Lloyd Loom) and very comfy beds. All have showers and some have baths as well. You get toiletries from The White Company and some of the fluffiest bathrobes on earth. Gin and Sherry decanters (with a free first time top-up) tempt you for a pre-dinner tipple. You get nespresso machines, stocked mini-fridges and a touch screen tablet for techies. If you have a balcony, you'll enjoy natty sliding doors and baskets with blankets and binos to boot.

    The higher you go, the better your view; even numbers face out, odds face inland. Our favourites at the top of the scale were Suite 516 with its own sitting room, and Best Estuary View 514 with equally exceptional views. Views from even-numbered 3xx rooms are slightly obscured by loungers and decking on the restaurant roof. Least impressive views are from the 'Glimpse' rooms (especially on level 1 above the pool), so these might suit those not intending to spend much time in their room. Of these, we liked 401, with a comfy sofa and glimpses of the sea.

    On level 2 next to entrance, they've set aside a couple of rooms with access for disabled guests and dog owners. For families they have 3 pairs of interconnecting rooms.

    Features include:

    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Coffee maker
    • Coffee tea making
    • Cots Available
    • Dvd player
    • Extra beds
    • Gin and Sherry Decanter
    • Hairdryer
    • Ipod dock
    • Phone
    • Radio
    • Safe box
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • Touch screen tablet device
    • Tv
    • WiFi

    Eating

    The Jetty Restaurant forms the core of the hotel. It has oodles of space and a lively, buzzy ambiance. A long inviting marble bar divides the room in two: one side for lounging by fireplaces with post dinner drinks, the other with a vast banquette (built in situ!), tables and large windows overlooking the estuary. Outside are terraces with crackling fire pits and more seating, plus an arresting "Crustacean Bar" for fresh tasty seafood.

    At breakfast, help yourself to croissants, fruit, juices, yoghurt and continental fare, as well as something cooked like full English or toasted muffins with eggs as you like.

    Afternoon tea (3-5 pm) gives further opportunity to gorge on cream concoctions and cakes washed down with champagne. To sharpen your wits before dinner time, they have a very decent selection of cocktails, including our favourite Pink Grapefruit Cosmo.

    For dinner, we chose from a simple "Catch of the Day" menu, as well as a more comprehensive a la carte. Sea bass fillet with sautéd spinach and beurre blanc sauce was delicious, and linguine with fresh clams did not disappoint either. However, our highlight had to be their lemon meringue: lemon sorbet, meringues, whipped cream, lemon curd and limoncello... so awesome we had it twice!

    In Salcombe, Dick and Wills brasserie is an ideal waterside spot, or for a picnic, we recommend the freshly made sandwiches from the Salcombe Deli.

    Features include:

    • Bar
    • Children meals
    • Coffee maker
    • Coffee tea making
    • Restaurant
    • Room service
    Eating: Dining Room with Banquette
    Activity: View Balcony East

    Activities

    • Walk into Salcombe for good shops (we like Quba Sails for nautical clothing, Bibi & Mac for ladies fashion), art galleries and a Maritime Museum on the quay (ship building and historic shipwrecks)
    • Go for some of the most beautiful coastal walks in all of south England - a favourite is along to East Prawl
    • Take the ferry (which runs from April to October) across the estuary to East Portlemouth, a historic village with beautiful beaches
    • Of the many other beaches, we love Mill Bay: small sandy beaches at high tide and a big expanse at low tide, ideal for ball games, frisbee and sandcastling
    • Learn to sail, hire a dinghy or go kayaking from Salcombe
    • Catch it, Cook it, Eat it adventures: head off for a fishing trip with a local fishermen, then the Jetty chefs show you how to prepare, cook and dress your catch (with prior arrangement)
    • The Harbour Spa offers all you'll need to stroke your mind, body and spirit: swimming and hydro pools, saunas, crystal steam room, gym and treatments
    • Enjoy a film in perfect cinema conditions in their excellent 3D cinema room

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Cooking classes
    • Kayaking
    • Sailing
    • Swimming

    Kids

    The Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa welcomes children of all ages, and with a great setting right on the estuary with some excellent beaches to hand and lovely coastal country to explore, there's much to keep them busy. One of each room type can fit a cot, a few can take extra beds, and there are 3 pairs of interconnecting rooms. You should book early for any of these. Our 7-year-old daughter was won over by the cinema with special viewing times for children (up to three films a day are family friendly).

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    #516 (Suite) and #412 (Estuary View with Balcony) are the largest rooms, and both have sofa beds so can host a family of four. A staff favourite is #514, with a roll-top bath, and which can take an extra bed. Of the interconnecting family rooms, all face the estuary, but the higher the number, the better the view

    Babysitting:

    Can be arranged for an additional charge

    Baby equipment:

    • Highchairs
    • Cots
    • Baby bedding

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Children's meals:

    Kids menus are available and the puddings were especially successful. All rooms have a kettle, a few have a fridge and there is 24-hour room service

    Kids Activities on site:

    • In house cinema
    • Board games
    • Indoor pool is open to kids at restricted times (8.30 – 10.00am and 4.30 – 6.00pm)
    • All rooms come with binoculars, crabbing lines and buckets

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Salcombe Dinghy Sailing
    • Beaches within a 10 minute walk
    • Ferry rides across the estuary
    • Stroll around town
    • Bantham Surf Academy (15km, surf and paddle board lessons for all levels)
    • SRS Riding School, Totnes (40km, pony club and riding tuition)
    • Woodlands Leisure Park (25km, massive indoor play park)
    • National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth (40km)

    Distances:

    • South Hams Hospital: 13 km
    • Shops: 3 minute walk
    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    9/
    Rooms
    9/
    Food
    9/
    Service
    9/
    Value
    9/
    Overall

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