Sheer Bliss

101 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type


Date of travel

June, 2023

Product name

Hope Cove in The Cottage Hotel, South Devon

Product country

United Kingdom

Product city

Hope Cove near Salcombe

Travelled with


Reasons for trip


We all have our favourite places and recently my husband and I stayed for 4 days at Hope Cove in The Cottage Hotel, South Devon, only 5 miles from Kingsbridge and Salcombe.

Snugly tucked away behind it’s breakwater and the heights of Bolt Tail, the small village has doubled its population in recent years, despite a decline in its fishing industry which was once famous for pilchards.

Negotiating parking the car upon arrival was a little precarious but eventually we made it. A second, overspill car park sits immediately above the hotel level.
The hotel itself has been enlarged from the original building. It looks traditional with modern touches. With 31 bedrooms, it prides itself on an old fashioned service, comfort and really good meals.

The original Hope Cottage was built in 1896 and now forms the small lounge outside the restaurant. Inside the restaurant above the entrance door, the tiled roof of the cottage’s side door can still be seen. When the ‘Cottage’ first opened in 1927 it was built as a private residence – Westerly House.
(It is said that the Emperor Heile Sellasie was accommodated here during some of his period of exile).
Development was made in 1936 and then further changes occurred over the years. It has been run by the Ireland family since 1973.

We were allocated room 214, a de luxe room where we woke every morning to a stunning view. The accommodation included a DVD player as well as Freeview, a digital flat screen TV, telephone and courtesy tray. I was somewhat surprised that bottled water was not available in the room as this is now usually the norm. Wardrobe space was good and two comfortable armchairs along with a small table was provided. The large bed was very comfortable and the bathroom had a bath and overhead shower. The room opened up onto a balcony with 2 seats and a tiny table – wonderful!

We could not fault the food. The five-course dinners available in the evening were exciting and most enjoyable. Following the starter we enjoyed a refreshing and flavoursome sorbet before the main course. Even after a dessert you could have cheese and biscuits before retiring to the terrace with a coffee, awaiting the sunset. (5 courses are optional – it just came as a good, overall deal when we booked).
A smart dress code is requested to comply with the wishes of the majority of guests.
Traditional English Breakfast is offered.
Lunch is available and a genuine Devon Cream tea can be enjoyed in the afternoon.

Between the bar and the restaurant is a cabin made from the timbers of the Herzogin Cecilie, a four-mast barque ship that ran aground on the Ham Stone in Soar Mill Cove. This ship won the famous ‘Grain Race’ but, on January 25th 1936 it was to be her last race as in thick fog and rough seas she struck the Hamstone just a few miles from Salcombe. Her cargo let her down. Seawater entered the hold and the swollen grain burst her apart. Luckily no lives were lost. It’s worth watching and learning more about the ship on You tube for anyone interested.

The Hotel hosts Murder Mystery Weekends where the fun begins at dinner on the Friday evening when you watch the drama unfold in the restaurant. The next day you get a chance to interrogate the suspects and look through the supporting documentation. You can even chat with your fellow detectives before eventually, the killer is unmasked and the winner rewarded. These breaks are available in the spring and autumn so you should be able to find one to fit your schedule.
Dogs are accepted at the hotel by prior arrangement at a charge of £13.00 a day, excluding food. They are not allowed into the Restaurant or Bar Lounge (they can be taken into the other lounges or the terrace). They have to be kept on a lead at all times in the public rooms.

This is certainly a place I would recommend and revisit.
Sitting astride Hope Cove, The Cottage Hotel is a place where you can enjoy comfort and drift back to childhood days. It offers dramatic views with sheltered beaches, thatched cottages, walks along the cliff paths, or indeed, an opportunity to just relax and take in the sea softly dousing the sandy beach with the incoming tide.

Caroline Hutchings

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