Pride of Britain - Devon Sent
The award-winning Thurlestone is something very special. Tucked away in a little corner of South Devon on a narrow winding road, it is an adventure to get there. I travelled down by train to Salcombe and got a cab from the station, which is something I would recommend, as you really don’t need a car when you are there.
With its own excellent restaurant, lovely little 16th-century English pub, deservedly popular kids club and 19-acres of exquisite grounds, along with a beautiful stretch of beach, high quality golf course on its doorstep, the Thurlestone really does have it all. I got the feeling that if I did manage to find something to complain about, that it would be dealt with immediately and with real attention. It is no surprise then to find out that a staggering two thirds of guests at the Thurlestone have been here before.
When I was at the high quality, family run hotel, the guests were a wonderful, happy mix of grandparents, middle-aged couples and young children. With such a variety of things to do for all age groups, it is no surprise that this unique hotel manages to attract such a diverse group of people.
Youngsters are entertained in the excellent kids club and even provided with their own mini robes for the spa. There is a kid’s playground on site and of course the great expanse of the coastline is just minutes away. I was amazed – and not a little jealous – at the kid’s menu, which featured steak and my three year old’s three course supper was enough food to feed him and his greedy parents. My little boy was presented with crudités and dips to start with, served with real respect throughout his superb meal and we were even brought a pot of tea.
Admittedly, he didn’t wear a jacket as required for dinner but I don’t think anyone could quibble with his stylish astronaut’s outfit. This is fine dining for little ones, complete with warmed plates for mains and a dessert of strawberry ice cream and berries served in a stylish glass.
The next day we took a windswept walk to the beach, meeting lots of friendly dogs on the way, and returning for a welcome hot chocolate in our room. We took to the swimming pool in the spa, my toddler loving the fountain feature and his mum enjoying the state of the art steam room.
The hotel offers an outstanding collection of DVDs, many of them for children, and we all enjoyed watching some classics, before tucking my son up into his little bunk bed in an adjoining room. Our sea view room was spectacular, with sweeping views and huge windows that made us feel we were on a high-class ocean liner.
The Thurlestone really does offer the personal touch. A doorman wheeled my son’s Gruffalo suitcase into his room, the Dolphin kid’s club sends cards for birthdays and Christmas to all children who have visited, and we were given a champagne reception on arrival. By the end of our stay, my whole family felt as if Julie the manager was a good friend – a rare experience.
The Thurlestone is, not surprisingly, seeing an increasing number of multiple generational holidaymakers visiting. We met one very happy granny who was delighted with her incredibly reasonably priced £130 garden room that included dinner in the restaurant and use of the spa as well as breakfast and use of the golf course. She is just one of the many happy repeat guests and her three-year-old granddaughter also loves coming to what she calls ‘granny’s hotel’.
Near Kingsbridge & Salcombe South Devon TQ7 3NN. Tel: 01548 560382
Further Information A two-night stay costs from £320 pp (two sharing a sea-view room) including breakfast and four-course dinner in the AA-Rosette winning restaurant (valid until 25 July). To book, call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).