With the potential Grexit, the environmental cost of flying, and an already hot summer, a staycation seems like a good idea this year. And we think we’ve found a perfect spot with, of course, a spa twist…
Nestled into a hilltop near to Salcombe, you will find the family and dog friendly resort of Soar Mill Cove. With very little phone signal it gives the perfect excuse to stop, recharge and give your mind a break from the daily habits of checking work emails and updating social media while on holiday.
Stepping out of the car when we arrived, there was complete silence. The peace and serenity of the location was amazing and the views were breath taking, we could hardly believe we were in the UK.
The hotel building itself is very discreet and respects the Devonshire surroundings. The cove is a short walk down the hill from the hotel and is well worth exploring. The clear waters, caves and alcoves make for beautiful surroundings and there’s lots for children to explore. During the day families, couples and their four-legged friends enjoy the beach. Into the evening it becomes much quieter making a romantic spot for couples.
The spa itself is hidden away in a quieter corner of the resort. There’s a main changing room, sauna, and the star of the spa -- a heated salt-water swimming pool. The pool is chemical-free and much softer on skin than normal pool water. Adults and children both use the pool area so it isn’t a calm, chill-out zone, but it does mean you can keep an eye on your little ones.
There are just two treatment rooms where therapist Shirley offers aromatherapy, Swedish and sports massage as well as seaweed facialsand beauty treatments. I chose to have reflexology in my spa time, it’s a relative rarity on many spa treatment menus but is a very versatile treatment. My treatment was very relaxing and the perfect antidote to clifftop walks.
Speaking of which, walkers will love the routes they can take from the hotel -- maps are provided and the staff know the area well so can point you in the right direction. Such sea-air walks will earn you the perfect excuse to have a Devonshire afternoon cream tea! All guests are offered this complimentary during their visit or on arrival, a wonderful touch and we saw many guests enjoying tea and cakes.
If you prefer a more sedentary stay, every hotel room has French doors onto a patio where you can relax on a sun lounger and soak up the sun. The rooms are a generous size with king size beds and decorated in a very classic style, much in keeping with the hotel which has been owned and managed by the Makepeace family for three generations.
The nautical-themed restaurant is decorated with fresh colours of light blues and white and is perfectly positioned at the front of the hotel. We happily sat watching the sunset during dinner, the food has an emphasis on local produce and the menu had lots of options from blue cheese soufflé to West Country beef and a wonderful selection of fresh fish. For dessert you have to try the hotel’s signature strawberry and raspberry pavlova, which was declared “divine” by starlet Audrey Hepburn when she stayed at The Cove.
After a blissful stay, we left the peace of Soar Mill Cove behind and our phones started beeping. A rude reminder of the outside world, but also showing just how important it is to take time out from the digital world and reconnect with loved ones. And Soar Mill Cove is perfect place to do just that.