Alex Fisher is wowed by the beauty of this remote hotel with amazing views at every turn
WHAT’S THE BUZZ?
We have been winding along narrow country lanes for some time now. High stone walls overflowing with wildflowers are either side of our little car. Every now and then, we reach a small summit and get a glimpse of the green fields that surround us. I’ve stopped twice to check the map and once to confirm directions from a helpful local. Despite the fact that there is simply nothing else around apart from a few sheep and plenty of cows, we are, apparently, on the right track. But then it is the remote location of this recently refurbished hotel that has drawn us here.
Sitting high on a hill directly on the South West Coast Path, it has sweeping views down to sandy beaches and out to sea. When we arrive a sign confirms that, yes, we’ve made it to the right place, and congratulates us on doing so. The glorious setting is worth the effort. What we also discover is that once you are at Gara Rock, you have no reason to leave. You can walk to stunning beaches, swim in the pools, eat fantastic local food and even visit its own little cinema with plush velvet seats. I could find nothing to fault at this hotel, every single thing was a joy to look at, experience or eat…
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE?
There are plenty of different options to choose from, with sea view suites with panoramic vistas, self-catering apartments and cottages, and the new ‘Out of the Ordinary’ collection added just this year, and all of them have stunning décor. Warm wood walls complement copper fittings, luscious green and moody blue textiles set next to shiny patterned tiles that have a Moroccan feel. Supremely relaxed, with a strong nod towards natural materials. Certainly one of my favourite hotel refurbishments ever.
ANY LUXURIOUS TOUCHES?
So many. As well as having both an indoor and outdoor pool, sauna and steam room, most of the rooms have either their own private patio or a balcony with sea views. The Out of the Ordinary collection – The Secret Suite, The Signal House and The Penthouse – are the most luxurious of the accommodation, with features including free-standing baths, super-king beds and a William Holland artisan tin hot tub on a private balcony.
BEST SEA VIEWS?
There are amazing views everywhere here – it’s impossible to say which are the best… The only place where you can’t see the sea is in the cinema…
HOW’S THE FOOD?
The restaurant is great. Warm, friendly and relaxed, it offers delicious local seafood and interesting dishes based on ingredients from local farms, fishermen and the kitchen garden. I loved its take on mussels, served with ’nduja and cream, and the burrata with courgette, basil and mint was divine. For main courses, try black pudding, squid and garden bitter leaf or the ricotta and chard ravioli with turnip tops. Starters are priced from around £7-£9 and mains from about £15. There’s also an earlier tea-time menu for children, offering mini fish and chips for £5.50.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
Double rooms start from £175 per night, on a bed and breakfast basis.
HOW DO I BOOK?
Call 03333 700555 for hotel bookings, 01548 845946 for restaurant bookings, or visit gararock.com.
Check out more coastal hotel reviews…