The Thurlestone ticks a lot of boxes for us at Cool Places. It's been family owned and run for as long as anyone can remember; it's a traditional hotel yet has been thoroughly updated, and it has a seaside location to die for, overlooking a particularly sumptuous stretch of the glorious coast of South Devon. It's as comfortable a Devon place to stay as you could wish for.
Owned by the Grose family for over 100 years, the hotel is a big white landmark building set in its own grounds. It has no less than 70 rooms, varying from deluxe doubles with wonderful views of the sea to cheaper inland-facing rooms and spacious family suites. Dogs are welcome in both inland and sea-view rooms and there are a number of accessible rooms with wider doorways and specially converted bathrooms with grab rails. Facilities are numerous, with both outdoor and indoor children's play areas, two tennis courts and a nine-hole golf course, a spa and pool, a well-equipped gym, three very different places to eat and overall a very chilled atmosphere which is as inviting for loved-up couples as it is families. All the rooms have extremely comfortable beds, satellite TV, good wifi and well-appointed bathrooms with Temple Spa toiletries and robes. Some of the pricier rooms have balconies and sea views and mini bars, although there is in also 24-hour room service if you can't tear yourself away from your room.
If you can, the Terrace Bar has fabulous views and serves great cocktails and bar snacks, while the Trevilder restaurant serves a regularly changing menu that focuses on local and seasonal produce and features everything from superb local beef to fish and chips and grilled dover sole; it also has a fine range of West Country cheeses. For something a little less formal there's the hotel's very own Village Inn – basically the very cosy local pub, but serving with a equally good meat and fish dishes but in a more relaxed environment and with simpler dishes like burgers and fish pie thrown in. They serve a children's menu in both venues.
As for things to do locally, Thurlestone's beaches
are just a short walk away, Bantham
beach and its dunes just under a mile away, Bigbury and its island
are a little further but still in driving distance – you can reach loads of places on foot by way of the SouthWest Coast path. You're also a short drive from Kingsbridge and Salcombe. All in all, whether a family or a couple, you couldn't be in better hands - or in a better location – for enjoying the best of the South Devon coast.