With its south coast stretch including part of the iconic Jurassic Coast and the North Devon Coast Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Devon is blessed with some truly wonderful coastline that draws thousands of visitors each year. So many of these stretches are wonderful for walks along the South West Coast Path, while the villages and towns along the way are usually vibrant and offering plenty to see and do.
If you fancy seeing the Devon coast but don’t fancy staying in a tent and fancy something a bit more luxurious, the county’s got plenty of wonderful hotels to choose from overlooking the coast, offering good bases for seeing as much of the region as possible. With that in mind, here are ten of the best coastal hotels in Devon.
Burgh Island Hotel, Bigbury on Sea
Just arriving to Burgh Island is an experience in itself; the other half may arrive by helicopter, but arriving by sea tractor in high tide is wonderful in itself. This place has a true 1930s Art Deco vibe, with the glass domed bar exuding glamour and serving fantastic cocktails. The hotel’s Beach House was even a retreat for Agatha Christie, a spot where she wrote two novels set on the island!
Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa, Salcombe
Salcombe has become a trendy place to visit in recent years and the Salcombe Harbour Hotel is one of the premium places to stay. The hotel is set back slightly from the water, though its breezy waterside bar and decked terrace offers a Balearic vibe in the warm summer months. Despite this, the hotel itself offers a quiet and sedate base in one of the most in-demand locations in the whole of Devon.
Strete Barton House, Strete
This award-winning hotel is the oldest building in the village of Strete and has stunning views out over the bay that make you just want to get out and explore; that’s just as well as Strete Barton House is only 30 yards from the South West Coast Path! When you’re not out walking or relaxing at the beach, enjoy spacious rooms, striking artwork and relaxing gardens.
Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, Sidmouth
With rich, vibrant décor that echoes stylings you might find in New England, the Sidmouth Harbour Hotel walks the fine line of oozing luxury while offering seaside charm with real ease. If you wish to explore the Jurassic Coast and see this UNESCO World Heritage Site for yourself, the Sidmouth Harbour Hotel is an ideal choice.
Watersmeet Hotel, Woolacombe
There are few hotels where you’ll find more spectacular sea views than those at the Watersmeet; watching the sun set over Lundy Island is a special holiday experience and one that can be a highlight on a romantic break to the countryside. The hotel has its own private steps down to Combesgate Beach, while on site there’s some great facilities including its two AA Rosette restaurant and swimming pools.
The Cary Arms, Babbacombe
This hotel has a royal seal of approval; Queen Victoria was enchanted by Babbacombe and regularly rowed ashore here with Prince Albert from the Royal Yacht. In the decades since the location has lost none of its charm and the setting is stunning, overlooking a pebbly beach and has some of the most breath-taking views of the English Riviera. You can expect top food here too, with some of the freshest seafood you’ll find anywhere.
Woolacombe Bay Hotel, Woolacombe
Thinking of bringing your children to Devon? They’ll never get bored here, with children’s shows, workshops, a swimming pool, pitch and putt, tennis and six acres of manicured lawns to run around and burn off energy. If they do tire of that, Woolacombe’s three miles of sweeping beaches should keep them busy!
Osborne Hotel, Torquay
This Grade-II listed Regency crescent building is arguably the most glamourous place to stay in the whole of Torquay. The beautifully landscaped gardens stretch down to Meadfoot Beach, with unbeatable views overlooking Thatchers Rock. The Crescent Restaurant offers an ingredient-led menu strong on fresh, clean flavours and presentation.
The Masons Arms, Branscombe
Touted as England’s longest village, Branscombe on the Jurassic Coast has gorgeous shingle coves and enviable views from the South West Coast Path; among the village’s thatched cottages stands The Masons Arms, a 14th century inn a stone’s throw from a working forge and old bakery. The bar here is cosy and welcoming, as are the rooms, particularly those looking out over the gardens.
Belmont Hotel, Sidmouth
This captivating town really does offer first rate hospitality; you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a bygone age when you enter and are warmly welcomed by a doorman in a frock-coat. The hotel is yards from the beach and the Esplanade and offers impeccable standards from times gone by. Its location at the heart of Sidmouth means it’s well placed for exploring the best that the area has to offer.
Do you have some coastal favourites of your own? Leave a comment below and let us know if we missed off your favourite!