Glass sees the British seaside at its best at the Cary Arms Hotel & Spa

NESTLED in the charming and idyllic Devonshire coastline sits a tiny bay which has long been a draw to tourists and health-seekers alike, but perhaps to none so famous as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The royal couple liked to visit Babbacombe bay unannounced, much to the delight of locals, and today one can still expect a holiday fit for the royals – especially sating the present Queen’s love of staycations.

The unassuming Cary Arms masterfully blends the charm and down-to-earth feel of a traditional English inn with the elegance of a stylish boutique hotel and the luxury of a spa resort. The hotel has won countless UK tourism awards and last year bagged the highly coveted Condé Nast award for excellence, as voted for by readers.

The hotel has a variety of fun and unusual accommodation options for every type of guest. As well as the traditional rooms and suites in the hotel itself there are also ‘beach huts’ with sea views from your bed – perfect for couples, and expansive self- catering cottages that can sleep up to 10 people. All are spread over a hilly complex and cleverly designed so that even when the hotel is at its busiest one still feels a sense of complete privacy.

Devon Travel issue 51

Devon Travel issue 51Beach Suite

We stayed in Smuggler’s cottage and were blown away by the attention to detail and thoughtfulness of the owners – countless garden and indoor games for children and grown-ups alike, barbecue, an outdoor dining terrace as well as a beautifully manicured private garden and fully equipped kitchen with breakfast items provided on request – everything you could need for a perfect family stay.

With all this alongside the fabulous hotel dining three times a day, fantastic wild swimming and all the ice cream and beach time that kids could ever want, there is no need to even leave the bay. This makes for a perfect, digital detox weekend without needing to use a SatNav. One can just sit back and drink in the view – and the local gin.

by Nicola Kavanagh

Smugglers cottage sleeps 6 and starts from £495