Salcombe Harbour Hotel

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

Nov, 2013

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Reasons for trip

Personal / family celebration

Having stayed at quite a few four and five star hotels around the world over the years, the Salcombe Harbour Hotel comes in my top three – even though it is not yet quite finished! This impressive total refurbishment of a former hotel in a prime position on the edge of the Salcombe Estuary was due to be completed by the spring of 2013 and it was eventually opened in August, but the cranes and hard hats are still there working on the car park and other external structures. Sadly, the spa and pool are not yet open and until the car park is completed, the elegant main entrance and reception area are not in use. But the management and staff must be congratulated on the way they have overcome these difficulties. The temporary entrance and reception desk are right on the narrow road through Salcombe, but porters are standing by to unload baggage before valet parking whisks the car away. From then on the interior is strikingly sophisticated, luxurious and spacious; the furnishings and décor are contemporary but comfortable with a nautical theme; the artwork is a combination of modern and traditional plus fascinating photographs of earlier days in South Devon. There is a feeling that they have thought of everything and more, including a cinema room, showing four movies at fixed times each day. The en suite rooms are well designed and equipped, including bathrobes and slippers; we enjoyed a spacious balcony overlooking the estuary and a view out to the English Channel – and with powerful binoculars and even a poncho for cool evenings provided. There was a well-stocked minibar together with other refreshments, plus decanters of gin and sherry and an early evening delivery of ice. Although no room service was indicated, it may well have been available – but we really had no need. The Jetty Restaurant overlooks the Estuary and the award-winning chef, Alex Aitken, is to be complimented on an excellent menu and wine list and faultless service – and as might be expected in South Devon, the seafood dishes are a feature (we can certainly recommend the fish soup and the sea bass!) The only complaint in an otherwise perfect stay was the choice of ‘music’ in the restaurant – the constant thump-thump-thump of disco-style recordings did not provide the right ambience for a leisurely dinner in elegant surroundings and with mainly ‘senior’ diners (although it was probably enjoyed by the young, attentive and well-trained staff!) The Salcombe Harbour Hotel is a handsome addition to the amenities of this popular holiday and boating area and it will soon receive it star ratings. When the builders have finally gone and the spa is opened, I would certainly give it 4 stars (and even 5 if they changed the music!).


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