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Devon Hotel Review - The Cary Arms Luxury Boutique Hotel on the Beach in Devon


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Relaxed and Relaxing Luxury on Babbacombe Bay
view of Cary Arms from the Beach

The Cary Arms is built into a hill overlooking Babbacombe Bay. The narrow winding road down has a hair-raising 1 in 3 grade but the staff will come up to collect you if your - or your car - aren't up to it.

© Ferne Arfin
The Cary Arms, opened in 2009 on cliff-sheltered Babbacombe Beach, is a small luxury inn and the first project of Lana de Savary, wife of international hotelier and yachtsman Peter de Savary. If this was her first try, all I can say is You Go Girl.

Starting its life as a venerable inn and pub that catered to 19th century yachtsmen (Prince Albert liked stopping by while Queen Victoria stayed with the ladies on the Royal Yacht), the Cary Arms has been refurbished and totally re-imagined. Its eight luxury rooms, all sea-facing, meander along a sinuous terrace and across the face of a steep hill, overlooking stone steps to the beach and a jetty where locals and vacationers fish. The inn also has three cottages for guests who want more space and privacy.

On arrival, Wallace the Westie and I were led to our room past other guests and their dogs (yes dogs, this hotel is the ultimate dog friendly treat) who relaxed in the pub, the gentlemanly residents' lounge or on their private terraces. What was more striking than the luxury accommodations and the amazing views was the warm welcome. Staff here are very friendly and manage to be correct without being punctilious - as can be the case in some luxury hotels. From the minute we arrived, and throughout our stay, we felt like house guests of charming affluent friends. Other guests we spoke to, some of whom were repeat visitors, echoed our impression.

Insider Tip: Stay in a double without private terrace and you can save a bundle, bringing the nightly rate to well under £200. The extensive outdoor terraces and the guests' private garden are more than adequate for lounging in the sun over cocktails or tea.

Cary Arms Essentials

  • Address: Babbacombe Beach, Devon TQ1 3LX
  • Telephone: +44 (0)1803 327 110
  • Price Range: £££ bed and breakfast.
  • Visit their website

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation for the purpose of reviewing. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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