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Salcombe Retreat review: Luxury self catering lodges in the South Hams

salcombe retreat

If you fancy a holiday in the hills, a home from home in beautiful Devon where you can bring all of your gear with you and feel as comfortable as can be, Salcombe Retreat should be near the top of your list. A selection of premium self catering lodges in South Devon, in a peaceful location with fantastic views, Salcombe Retreat is waiting for you…

The area is made up of a vast collection of rolling hills and sandy beaches. The further we were driving down the lanes the closer we realised we were getting to the coast. We came down with the sunset and I witnessed the most beautiful vision in the sky – a vibrant orange sun resting above the fields – the sky a crisp pale blue around the burning orange colour – the sun looked bigger than ever and it was a magnificent sight. A magical start to the weekend.

salcombe retreat
The living room at Sea Monkey

We pulled up to Salcombe Retreat, which sits in such peaceful surroundings – there are a few extremely picturesque cottages dotted about and a boutique hotel further down the lane – but that’s it apart from fields. There are 34 luxury lodges on site and the second you step through the door of your chosen abode you immediately lose any holiday park/ caravan site ideas and realise this is a piece of luxury – something far superior that the outside might suggest.

The twin bedroom at Sea Monkey

All lodges are individually designed and decorated with varying bed combinations in the three bedrooms, and are furnished to the highest quality. I stayed in number 3 – Sea Monkey – with friends and we all agreed that it was fresh, smart and welcoming with lots of character and the perfect home from home for our weekend stay. It held a double, twin and fantastic integrated cabin bunks for the younger guests, making one of the more family friendly lodges. It had a nautical theme running throughout as well as a few monkeys thrown in for good measure. The open plan kitchen, lounge and dining area was spacious, with all modern and high end fittings and floor to ceilings windows and patio doors sat at the end, which led to a spacious decking area. We were lucky enough to get some warm late March sun during our visit so we occupied the garden furniture, soaked up some vitamin D and enjoyed a glass of the welcome fizz that had been cooling in the fridge.

salcombe retreat
The dining space at Sea Monkey

Decorated in soft, neutral colours with wood walls and rustic light wood floors and worktops, the décor was fresh, warming and on trend. There were lots of fantastic features such as glass lantern light fittings above the dining table, wooden surfboard signs and paintings of sea creatures to remind you of your location, and all tied the theme together beautifully. The lounge had a large soft brown corner sofa, which was really comfortable, alongside thick pale brown curtains and blinds, which covered the many windows. There was a TV, DVD player and PlayStation with lots of DVDs, games and a good selection of board games to keep you occupied.

Salcombe Retreat
The double bedroom at Sea Monkey

A gorgeous electric wood burner with flickering flames made us feel super cosy as if the many a turquoise sofa throw couldn’t! It was a calming place offering a comfortable stay made even more easy by the extras included. Tea, coffee, dishwasher tablets, cling film, kitchen roll, hand soap – it was all there plus the fizz and some tasty truffles, which was a really nice touch.

salcombe retreat
Enjoy breakfast or a morning coffee on the decking

There was a bathroom and a shower room (both with sink and loo) with lit mirrors and a massive modern shower head in the walk in shower. The twin room had a few books in the wardrobe and had white bedding with dark blue touches in the cushions and lobster and crab paintings, which sat above the bed. The double room had patio doors leading out to a table and chairs, all rooms had integrated double wardrobes with shelves and a hanging area with a spacious area above to store your belongings. The wardrobe doors, bedside tables and bathroom all had the same colour as the greyish wood effect flooring in the lounge and hallway and the kitchen tops. The children’s room was a talking point and, with the cabin beds built into little alcoves, the younger guests will love their little haven. Lots of monkey cuddly toys sat in this room and a shelf in the wardrobe was packed with books, toys and games.

salcombe retreat
Salcombe Retreat is located in the beautiful South Hams countryside

The kitchen was kitted out with good quality crockery, cutlery, utensils and appliances and included a dishwasher, washing machine, oven, microwave, toaster and fridge freezer to the highest standard. Outside the lodge the site has a children’s play area, a recycling centre and plenty of parking and some of the lodges have spectacular sea views.


salcombe devon
The retreat is ideally situated to explore Salcombe and the South West Coast Path

Salcombe Retreat is near to the South West Coast Path and Soar Mill Cove beach – a secluded area that transports you to the tropics! If the weather is on your side you can expect to partake in some of the most stunning walks you could imagine. We had a sunny day so walked to Hope Cove, a village, which is about 3 miles up and down the coastline, one way – it’s not easy but is so worth the effort to see the vast and changing scenery. Of course you can simply head to Soar Mill Cove beach and walk either way on the coast path for a glimpse of the locality. Salcombe is the other way along the coast, or a short drive and is graced with Mediterranean-like beaches, boutique shops and water sports.


As mentioned, the kitchen is fully kitted out and there is a very welcoming wood table and chairs to dine at (as well as the outdoor furniture) but if you fancy a night or two off, there are plenty of dining options to consider. The obvious choice is the 2AA rosette awarded restaurant at Soar Mill Cove Hotel. A 5-10 minute stroll down the hill towards the beach, it’s an easy enough walk for you to leave the car at the lodge and enjoy any of the array of drinks on offer before, during or after your meal. With stunning views, delicious food and a great selection of cocktails, wines and spirits to choose from – this was an obvious choice for me and my foodie (and possibly boozy) guests during our visit.

The Soar Mill Cove hotel is just a ten minute walk from Salcome Retreat

The fine dining restaurant has a fresh, contemporary and elegant feel to it with a nautical theme. Colourful, framed images of boats hang on the walls and floor to ceiling windows run along the wall, which faces the sea, capturing the most exceptional view.

Head chef Ian MacDonald serves up a wide range of cuisine including seafood, beef, vegetarian and gluten free options across 9 starters, 12 mains and 7 desserts as well as a children’s menu. Scallops, fish cake, mackerel salad and figs and goat’s cheese were some of the starters, while mains included lobster, beef, pork belly, sea bass, crab, butternut squash risotto and tempting desserts included banana split, lemon tart and warm chocolate brownie.

Soar Mill Cove holds two coveted AA Rosettes

We studied the menus in the stylish bar over a drink or two, there’s a comprehensive drinks menu with some delicious cocktails – I opted for a Kir Royal with Champagne and crème de cassis and Melissa went for a tasty yet somewhat eye-watering Grey Goose Fizz consisting of Grey Goose vodka, English elderflower topped with Champagne.

To start I went for the West Country cheese soufflé, made with cheddar and Stilton, as did Melissa and, as cheese lovers, we were enamoured! It was warm, flavoursome strong, and oh so moreish! Nick chose the Start Bay chowder – the hotel’s classic shellfish soup and loved it. Next up I had the West Country beef filet served with gratin dauphinois, sweet baby carrots and a rich port sauce. It looked beautifully rich and smelled just the same. A lovely chunk of beef was cooked to perfection and the sauce was sweet, tasty and delicious. There were lovely textures with some crispy parsnip twirls and streaky bacon pieces – I couldn’t fault this delicious dish. Sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel sauce and honeycomb ice cream was my choice of dessert (even though I was stuffed!) it was deliciously delicate, warming and sweet, and there was just enough for us to share.

food at soar mill cove hotel
Soar Mill Cove prides itself on delivering modern British cuisine

If you fancy something more casual there are plenty of eateries within a short drive and there’s a good quality Indian (Mahabharat) and Chinese (Cafe Asia) nearby that will deliver. We stayed in one night with a Chinese and it was delicious and delivered in a good time.

For a premium self catering experience in stunning surroundings head for Salcombe Retreat. Banish the ideas of caravan holidays and upgrade yourself to these modern luxury lodges in a peaceful location.

The lodges sleep up to 6 and start at only £525.00 for a 7 night stay. For more information and full pricing visit

Address: Salcombe Retreat, Soar Mill Cove, Salcombe, TQ7 3DS