A weekend in Devon is an unforgettable way to celebrate a landmark occasion, as three generations of one family recently discovered on a short break at Cary Arms Hotel on Babbacombe Bay.
A recent 80th birthday celebration was the perfect excuse for three generations of our family to head for the south east Devon coast and a weekend at award-winning Cary Arms Hotel: a magical place with carefully restored fishermen’s cottages, a mix of new and traditional design, a charming waterfront setting and even hints of a smuggling past.
We had booked one of the hotel’s largest cottages, Foxes Walk Cottage, which comfortably sleeps up to 10 guests. The cottage layout included two en-suite bedrooms on the lower-ground floor - reached by an outside staircase, they were ideal for younger family members. Each of the three double bedrooms upstairs came with lovely sea views. And the beautifully furnished cottage also featured a well-equipped kitchen, as well as a large patio with hot tub, and more magnificent views of the Devon coast. We were also delighted to discover the enormous dining table could sit up to 12 easily and the gas fire in the living area heated both lounge and dining room, so the living space always felt cosy and inviting.
Cary Arms Hotel was an ideal choice for our large family celebration as we could cook for ourselves in the spacious cottage or have a meal at the hotel. The staff looked after us well from the useful welcome pack on arrival to the wonderful breakfasts of croissants and cereals delivered in a basket to our door, every morning of our stay. And because our cottage was just a short climb away from the hotel, it was easy to take full advantage of outside terrace dining; fishing from the wharf; intimate indoor dining and the extraordinary glass-fronted hotel spa with its waterfall hydrotherapy pool, steam room, sauna and gym.
Cary Arms is popular with visitors and hikers because of its unique setting so close to the sea and Babbacombe beach. And the terraced dining area is particularly loved for its wonderful views and classic English pub menu - just remember to always book ahead.
Cary Arms Hotel can also arrange specific activities for visitors such as a sail on a classic, wooden yacht which seats up to eight passengers. We jumped at this one and our mini-voyage coincided with the pandemic-quarantine of several cruise ships in Babbacombe Bay, so we had the added thrill of sailing close to legends like the luxurious Queen Mary. Another fun day out was spent with a local guide on a walk around Babbacombe which of course, included a ride on the famous funicular railway up the steep cliff from Babbacombe Beach to the town. On a longer break we’d definitely have visited Babbacombe Model Village and the harbour towns of Brixham and Dartmouth; fitted in a few steam train journeys and river cruises, and headed to Cockington Country Park for cream tea and a wander round the working forge and pretty thatched cottages. A day out in nearby Torquay will also be high on our to-do list next time we visit.
Cary Arms Hotel makes a wonderful base for a family holiday - even if you aren't celebrating a special occasion. The seaside setting on the English Riviera is charming. And being able to choose either to self-cater in your luxury accommodation or enjoy the hotel’s excellent restaurants and bars (or a mixture of both) couldn't be better for families. Don’t miss the area’s well-marked coastal walks and sweet little harbour towns. Introduce kids to the Babbacombe funicular railway at least once. And if you want anything at all, the Cary Arms Hotel team are always on hand to meet your requests and make sure you have a truly memorable stay whether it’s a celebratory multi-gen weekend or just a family break - pets are very welcome to stay too.
Cary Arms Hotel has received the AA Covid-19 Confident accreditation and the Visit England ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard. Prices for a Luxury Seaview Room, including breakfast, start from £275 per night. And prices for a Beach Hut with breakfast included range from £275 per night.