Staycation at Gara Rock Hotel

Staycation at Gara Rock Hotel

If you enjoy scenic grandeur and endless coastal walking in one of Devon’s most beautiful areas near Salcombe, it’s all here for you at the Gara Rock Hotel.

If you already know and have visited Salcombe, you’ll be aware of what a lovely destination it is, azure water, golden sands, on a sunny day it’s much like being in the Caribbean!

There are many interesting and luxurious hotels in this area, including the recently redeveloped Gara Rock Hotel.  The name gives you an indication of the location, the coastline just outside the Salcombe estuary is rocky to say the least, in fact its spectacular and the hotel is situated right on the coastal footpath, so for walkers, countryside and dog lovers, it’s heaven.

Cliffs by Gara Rock Hotel
Here’s the coastline which is directly outside Gara Rock Hotel’s door.  You can get straight onto the coastal path and enjoy miles and miles of unspoilt coastal scenery.

The hotel

Gara Rock was originally a coast guard station, ideally situated because of its commanding view across the coastline.  It was later purchased in 1909 and became a hotel, receiving many notable guests such as Sir John Betjeman, Sir Lawrence Olivier and Margaret Rutherford. 

In 2006 the old hotel was demolished, making way for the redeveloped hotel which was completed in August 2018.  The redevelopment has meant that it now provides the most extensive facilities for guest including indoor heated swimming pool and spa facilities such as jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. There is also a cinema and the top deck is where the restaurant and lounge are situated.  The restaurant is beautifully placed in the rotunda with wrap-around glass, allowing you to fully enjoy the panoramic coastal views whilst dining.  What’s fantastic here, particularly if you’re a dog owner, is you can bring your pooch in with you which makes your stay incredibly easy and enjoyable – top marks to Gara Rock Hotel for their dog friendly credentials, they really do go the extra mile for your furry member of the family!

Inside

Gara Rock’s lounge area is lovely, the interior designers have done a great job, it’s cosy, comfortable and classy – a great place to relax and enjoy a drink, with a log fire at one end and many easy chairs and sofas where you can stretch out.  The general atmosphere is informal and friendly. You feel more like part of a big friendly family rather than a paying guest.

The accommodation rooms vary greatly, they have a wide range of suites with or without balconies, loft rooms, apartments and even cottages, so something for everyone.  The suite we stayed in was the Junior which had its own living room leading out onto the communal garden. Just opposite was the gateway taking you directly onto the coastal path. 

One of the beautiful bedrooms with views leading on to the suite which looks over the garden

The food

An important part of your stay at any hotel is the food, it being pretty important here as you’re several miles from another eatery.  The restaurant is a delightful place to be and their food offering was excellent (see photos below). A wide range of the menu was sampled which all proved to be delicious, with some interesting options including plenty of tasty vegetarian dishes. Top marks to the chef and team!

Gara Rock Hotel is somewhere you can escape and recharge the batteries, leave the car parked-up and enjoy fantastic coastal walking and scenery with luxurious and relaxing accommodation, it’s great!

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This article was written by
Nigel Jones

Nigel has been publishing magazines since 1995 (some 20+ years now). Passionate about our countryside and heritage, the magazines reflect this interest. Nigel's the Editor of the DEVONSHIRE magazine which he established in 2009 and founder of the innovative HUBCAST event promotion platform which launched in 2011