Review: Beyond Escapes, near Paignton in Torbay, Devon
When people talk of holidaying in Devon I often hear the word ‘escape’ pop up in the conversation so it’s no wonder that Beyond Escapes chose it’s name to promote what most want from a trip away to the countryside and coast.
A brand new venture in the heart of South Devon, the luxury holiday lodges and suites of Beyond Escapes are elevated with a restaurant, bar and spa to take your stay from idyllic to truly indulgent and if you don’t believe me, read on to find out about my stay with friends including a gorgeous spa treatment, the private hot tub and the delicious dining options.
A stone’s throw from Totnes, Paignton, Brixham and Torquay, the newly opened complex is tucked away in the hills seemingly with its own climate! The Sat Nav isn’t quite on the mark and it’s not all that well signposted but once you arrive you’ll find your way about fairly easily. If you’re looking for a true escape then you have it – it is very easy to lounge about between your private hot tub and the on-site facilities – but the surrounding area is really worth exploring. From the magic of the market town of Totnes to the delights of an excellent zoo that is Paignton Zoo, Brixham harbour, Torquay seafront, and all the neighbouring coastal towns with their local shops, eateries and glorious sights, the area holds all the ingredients that good memories are made of.
During my stay I was treated to a glorious 55-minute Elemis Sensitive Skin Soother facial (£70) using a blend of products combined for my skin. Many a lotion, potion, scrub and mask were applied and massaged into my skin, all smelling rather divine and feeling luscious. While the lotions were working their magic I was given a shoulder and neck massage followed by a hand and arm massage – all of which left me feeling so relaxed, nourished and amazing – I was walking on air afterwards! I would highly recommend one of these facials, there are a lot of options including a white brightening pigment perfecter, an anti blemish mattify and calm as well as a generous selection of BIOTEC facials, utilising 8 high potency activators that penetrate deep into the skin. Choose from radiance renew, firm-a lift or line eraser among others at £75 for 55 minutes.
There are also facials for men, a variety of massages, manicures, pedicures, waxing, body scrubs and wraps and signature spa pamper sessions up for grabs, all of which come with full use of the facilities. The BE You spa and gym features a sauna, steam room, foot spas, tepidarium, outdoor vitality pool, monsoon shower and some state of the art equipment in the gym including treadmills, cross trainers, bikes and a lifting station. I abandoned the gym equipment in favour of the more relaxing facilities but the equipment looked very swish indeed.
The stylish restaurant in the brand new building offers up various breakfasts, full lunches, afternoon teas and hearty dinners with a great view of the countryside too. Expect to find British classics on the menu with meat from a local farm and fish from a nearby fishery in Brixham. Dishes include fish and chips, steak burger, ham terrine, lamb hotpot and sticky toffee pudding as well as international dishes including bruschetta, seafood linguini, coconut and red pepper soup, blueberry crème brulee and tiramisu.
I indulged in ‘Bottom of the Bay’ – Brixham crab cakes on a bed of dressed leaves and served with delicious dill hollandaise (5.95) and ‘From the Farm’ – a burger of succulent Devon beef with gem lettuce, smoked cheese, bacon, gherkins and coleslaw. This was topped with a brioche bun and came with a helping of triple cooked chips (£14.50). Hearty portions meant that I couldn’t even look at the dessert menu but the meal was nice – my fellow diners and I concluded that the portions were a little heavy but the food was pleasant with the fish and chips being a winner.
I revisited on Sunday evening for a roast beef and it surpassed my first meal, there was a Sunday night menu offering two courses for £14.95 and three for £16.95 and my plate was full of delicious vegetables, cauliflower cheese, gorgeous roast potatoes and lovely slices of beef. I followed this with a mixture of ice creams and was thrilled I had revisited.
With the music playing and the really friendly staff on hand at all times and happy to chat, I felt very comfortable in the restaurant. The view and peaceful location help with this too and the décor is very inoffensive (it’s much the same throughout the restaurant, bar and lodges) with wood tables and flooring, images of sea creatures or woodland animals on the walls and greys, soft leather and a feel of bringing outdoor elements in.
On arrival at our lodge we were met with some scones, clotted cream and jam, a true Devonshire welcome – and one morning we indulged in the continental breakfast, which was delivered fresh to our door. Containing 6 croissants, 6 pain au chocolats, a loaf of farmhouse bread, butter, jam, milk, sugar, delicious filter coffee, tea and orange juice – we were well set up for the morning!
With our lodge at full capacity we certainly never felt in the way of each other. The spacious two storey home away from home slept the six of us across three cosy, carpeted bedrooms – one double and two twins. The beds were fairly short so I’m not sure how comfortable a person over 6ft would be but, luckily, that didn’t matter to me or my guests, we found the beds, rooms and lodge in general very comfortable! There was a luxurious main bathroom upstairs, an en-suite shower room off the master and as well as a WC downstairs.
The stylish décor was led by floor to ceiling windows in the open plan lounge, kitchen and dining area, which held dark wood or grey leather furniture with blinds and grey metallic curtains. The kitchen was styled in a contemporary way with sleek, dark grey work surfaces and shiny grey/blue cupboard fronts holding a fridge-freezer, dishwasher, microwave, oven, and all utensils, crockery and glasses we needed during our stay. Underfloor heating across the ground floor kept it warm and was adjustable with digital climate controls. Across the lodge the décor was similar to the restaurant and bar area with pale or grey walls dotted with canvases of woodland scenes with animals and sea creatures.
In the lounge two sofas and an armchair meant there was plenty of room for everyone to relax and outside sat a table with 6 chairs as well as the large hot tub. We certainly made the most of it during out time there with uninterrupted views of the fields (not all lodges had this level of privacy we noted). The easy to use hot tub had different coloured lights and with jets at varying positions to target different areas of your body and, at adjustable strengths, we felt like we were getting an underwater massage.
IN A NUTSHELL
A great place for locals to visit too, Beyond Escapes offers a myriad of opportunities on top of a self catering holiday stay – spa days, afternoon teas and dinner all tucked away on the hills – lovely. The very peaceful location meant that we weren’t disturbed during our stay, it was idyllic and we agreed that it was a most indulgent and luxurious few days indeed. Everything is brand spanking new, good quality and anywhere that has my own private hot tub gets my vote!
Address: Blagdon Road Higher Blagdon Paignton, Torbay TQ3 3YG / 0330 127 4300