Gara Rock hotel: a cliffside spot with unbeatable views

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Время на прочтение: 4 минут(ы)

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First impression: Craggy coastal views.


Staff: Cheery and well-meaning.


Food & drinks: Safe seaside classics.


Bed & bath: Like something out of a Nkuku homeware catalogue.


The crowd: Salcombe regulars lunching on the deck; the occasional out-of-place blowdry and heels.


Sustainable credentials: The Wild Rock Spa uses Apothespa organic skincare products which are made locally.


In a nutshell: Devon’s most stunningly located hotel.


Price: Doubles from £225


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Set the scene


Across the estuary from sunny Salcombe, it’s bang on the South West Coast Path, so visitors who stumble across Gara Rock tend to be on foot. Overnight guests will have to carefully tackle the web of country lanes to reach this cliffside hotel. The location is sensational – wild and windswept – with the structure perching above empty sandy Devon beaches and not another building in sight.

Gara Rock hotel: a cliffside spot with unbeatable views

The beach below Gara Rock

What’s the story?


Once a cluster of remote coastguard cottages and more recently a smaller hotel, Gara Rock was overhauled and reopened in 2018. While it made for a popular lunch and coffee spot in its previous iteration, it’s now a destination in itself – with rooms that look like something out of a (Devon-based homeware store) Nkuku catalogue, navy-and-white striped deckchairs lining the cliff-top pool and the same prime restaurant terrace that’s been a destination for walkers all along. There’s also now a small spa and an indoor pool.

Gara Rock hotel: a cliffside spot with unbeatable views

Outdoor swimming pool

What can we expect from our room?


Immaculate interiors are furnished with artisan products: sheepskin rugs draped over velvet pouffes, handwoven rattan lampshades and Cambodian seagrass baskets. It’s a boutique hotel with a touch of the nautical when it comes to the wood-panelled bedroom walls hung with fish illustrations. All rooms make the most of the spectacular views with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies, and in some cases small gardens with loungers.

Gara Rock hotel: a cliffside spot with unbeatable views

Secret suite bedroom

How about the food and drink?


The best bit about the restaurant is the terrace, with its views out to sea – though the windows inside do a pretty good job at maximising them too. On the menu is sourdough from Coombeshead Farm and charcuterie served with pickles and chutney, or sharing plates of halloumi, roasted artichokes and salad. In the evening, fish dishes are over-engineered – we think a simple fish and chips done well really wouldn’t go amiss, but the treacle tart with clotted cream is hard to fault. Outside, the Garavan retro campervan serving drinks and snacks could do with a proper coffee machine but usually has a queue regardless due to the hotel’s prime position on the coastal path.

Gara Rock hotel: a cliffside spot with unbeatable views

Restaurant at Gara Rock

Anything to say about the service?


Staff are cheery but busy and communication was at times lacking.

What sort of person comes here?


Salcombe regulars who walk over for lunch; couples and young families down from London staying for a long weekend; and in the evening multi-generational groups celebrating in the restaurant.


Gara Rock hotel: a cliffside spot with unbeatable views

A view of Gara Rock from the beach below

What’s the neighbourhood scene like?


This place is out on its own, so guests would be sensible to stay put and enjoy walks in both directions and cold-water swims at the beach below. It’s a walk and a short ferry ride to Salcombe – worth a teatime detour for the fat jammy doughnuts at the Bake House and stripey bags of pick ’n’ mix from Cranch’s. A little further around the bay, but worth it for a really excellent supper, is Hope Cove House.

Gara Rock hotel: a cliffside spot with unbeatable views

Secret suite

Anything you don’t like?


There are multiple signs to a kitchen garden that can’t possibly produce more than a couple of kale leaves a season.

A final note: is it worth it?


Yes, you can’t beat the location and craggy views.

Address: Gara Rock, Salcombe, East Portlemouth, Salcombe TQ8 8FA


Telephone: +44 333 370 0555


Rooms from: doubles from £225; self-catering options from £390 for two nights


Book your stay

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