Soar Mill Cove is an expensive hotel with four AA Stars and two Rosettes. Understandably then our expectations were high. It's boasts both indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools - a lovely beach "situated immediately below the hotel " and a "fine dining restaurant"
When we arrived - to be fair the location was stunning, with National Trust moorland chasing up steep hills on both sides of the hotel and a v shaped view of the sea framed by the landscape - the hotel however looked dated. A suspicion which was born out when we entered. We had asked quite specifically for a large superior room with a queen bed but due to an error were allocated an inferior twin which was cramped and badly in need of up grading. Worse was to come. The beach supposedly just a stones throw away was a 15 minute walk down a very steep hill where it's important to note - mobile phones do not work. But what about the regular taxi service which ferries guests to and from the beach? Well - actually that's by special arrangement when the gardener is available on Mondays, Wednesday's and Friday's. Since Keith Makepeace, the owner doesn't keep Llama's - it was a common site to see puffed out families struggling with umbrella's, bundles of beach kit and weak legged toddlers. What then of the heated pools? Well, the outdoor pool was a regular haunt of the swallows and swifts that drank from it's blue green tinged hues but not many guests braved it's cold depths. Make all speed then to the indoor pool. The brochure would lead you to believe that this was a large spacious affair. Unfortunately though heated, it was very small with a rather slippery, water logged floor that no one ever bothered to dry.
Let's quickly move on to the "fine dining" emporium - "Serendipity." I was slightly taken aback when having been shown to our table I sat down to discover I was chest height with my cutlery. The long stemmed Phalaenopsis towered over me like a giant triffid! The chair was far too low. I looked round bemused at the other diners to discover many were sitting on cushions - a first in my experience of hotels and restaurants. The saving grace to this comedy caper then must be the food? Well, happily we enjoyed an excellent Sunday roast of lamb and some very good beef. But too much flour in some of the soups made them heavy and glutonous, and the presentation was at times far too ambitious. Good fresh plentiful supplies of vegetables would have impressed far more than diced greens in a cheese sauce or mountains of parsnip chips. About 50% of the main courses came with a supplement which I felt was avarious. The sample menu on the website gave no warning of this.
To sum up. If you're a keen walker, lover of wildlife or you want a dog friendly venue with not too much onus on facilities - this is the hotel for you. Families with children however and anyone who truly likes good value for money would be better served going to the THURLESTONE HOTEL just a few miles down the road. The beach is a ten minute stroll with no steep hills or take a short drive to the bay by Thurlestone rock - which is ideal for children, has ample parking and a good cafe. And what of Thurlestone hotel? Quite simply - it's the best hotel I've ever been to. It's a family run enterprise where standards are maintained to a very high level. The food and facilities are excellent. The staff, helpful, friendly and professional. A weekly drinks party is thrown for guests through out the summer and every effort is made to make your stay a happy one. Funnily enough - you won't be surprised to hear - Keith Makepeace - Soar Mill Cove's proprietor - is a regular visitor there!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Soar Mill Cove Hotel near Salcombe is a family run hotel & luxury self catering. A good base for walking holidays, short breaks & in holiday times popular with families enjoying caring service. A great base to explore South Devon. No stay is complete without dining in our sea view 2 Rosette Restaurant and the hotel offers best value when taking an inclusive break. All rooms have DVD library, flat screen TVs, WiFi free throughout, but limited connection speeds and no mobile phone signal in this rural idyll. 10 Acres of grounds and plenty of free parking. NEW salt water indoor heated swimming pool , sauna, gym & Spa Treatments, "just for fun" pitch and putt golf, table tennis, lawn tennis in season and snooker. Near Kingsbridge, Hope Cove, Salcombe, Thurlestone and Dartmouth. Luxury Self Catering Villas with up to 5 bedrooms. Available for exclusive use sea view weddings, so that no other guests are disturbed. New for 2015 the rather rugged approach road has been replaced with a lovely smooth driveway, the first of our new bathrooms are been rolled starting with The Makepeace Suite now ready for you holiday ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Soar Mill Cove Salcombe
- Hotel Soar Mill Cove