AOL Travel reviews the South Sands Hotel in Salcombe, Devon, a boutique hotel by the sea with a relaxed vibe
South Sands Hotel
Date published: 02/19/2011
4 / 5 stars


For the perfect UK beach break, Salcombe in Devon is pretty much your ideal destination. This hotel is right by the sea and has easy access to the joys of the pretty village as well as some of the UK's best stretches of sand.

What's to love?
This is a gorgeous boutique hotel with a wonderfully laidback vibe. Want to sip Prosecco while still in your wetsuit? This is the place to do it. There's even a pail of water and fluffy towels by the front door so you can wash off your sandy feet before coming in.

This place is perfect if...
...you adore seafaring interiors and like the idea of falling asleep listening to the waves – the beach is really that close.

Best room in the house?
There are just 22 rooms and if you were raised on boats, the different classifications will make perfect sense. For the rest of us, a little explanation might be in order. The smaller Optimist rooms don't have a view of the sea, although the interior design doesn't suffer for the lack of photo opportunities. Then there's Enterprise and Yawl, with a little more space, and one up the scale, the-perfect-sea-view guaranteed Dragon rooms. For honeymooners, the exquisite J-Class comes with two side-by-side bathtubs looking out over the beach and an 8ft-wide bed.

Where to eat
So close you may as well be eating on the beach, the hotel's restaurant serves fabulous seafood (naturally) and great breakfasts. Our favouite touch? The stone wine coolers and hurricane lamps dotted everywhere, plus some seriously delicious desserts. Don't feel the need to get too dressed up. This is flip-flops and maxiskirts territory, not heels and diamonds.

Things to do, places to see...
Rent a boat or kayak on the beach, jump on the little ferry to head into nearby Salcombe, or put on your walking shoes and head round the coast to North Sands. If you don't at least get your feet in the water while you're here, you've totally missed the point.

Price
You can pay anything from £120 a room in low season for an Optimist bedroom, up to £340 for the J-Class in high season. If you've got the family in tow, the larger beach suites cost between £275 and £395 depending on the time of year.

Book it
South Sands Hotel, Bolt Head, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8LL (01548 859 000, www.southsandshotel.co.uk)