Rested & Recharged: The Cary Arms, Devon

Elysium Magazine is continually on the hunt for luxury weekend getaways for the discerning gent keen to swap the urban hustle or rural relaxation. The UK has some absolute gems – along the coast and inland too – that fit the bill for picturesque landscapes, exquisite food and simple fresh air that tempts wanderlust travellers from these shores and beyond.


One such place is The Cary Arms – located in South Devon alongside what is affectionately known as the English Riviera. The discerning gent arrives to experience the famed southern hospitality of the region and indulge in the plethora of delights available.


The Location

The Cary Arms is set specifically on the waterside of Babbacombe Bay, part of the stunning coastal resort on the edge of Torbay. It’s a location that is celebrated for its natural beauty, gorgeous views, top-notch fresh food and much more. The bay is carved into the red sandstone cliffs which standout from the emerald-esque waters of the bay. On a sunny day the discerning gent could easily mistake this view for that of Sardinia or Croatia.


Made up of a hotel, gastropub, spa and holiday cottages, The Cary Arms hotel was dubbed the ‘Inn on the Beach’ over the years and was built in the late 1800’s – first offering accommodation between 1930 – 1960. After this period the owners took residence until it closed in 2006 for renovation.



It was at this time when it came under the eye of de Savary developments (Elysium Magazine has previously reviewed another de Savery property: The Old Swan & Minster Mill, Cotwolds). The renovation was completed for Easter 2009 – restoring the original features but keeping the character of the building intact. Elysium Magazine reports that the charm is plentiful across the eight sea-facing boutique bedrooms. The nautical theme is strong throughout, with blue/white striped decor and trinkets to remind one of the sea-faring ways of old.


Alongside the eight bedrooms there are four holiday cottages able to accommodate between two and nine guests with all the self-contained features needed for private groups and suitable for dogs too. These cottages are separate from the main hotel building and ideal for those with families, or those larger groups wanting to come together for family holidays.


The Room

For the most authentic stay and to keep the strong nautical vibe going, a stay in the Captain’s Suite is the only way to go. Comprising of a two bedroom suite with plenty of space to easily accommodate four adults, or two parents and two children. The sea view is magnificent from the main bedroom but is fully enjoyed from the private rooftop balcony that allows for panoramic views of epic proportions. The balcony itself is kitted out with patio table and chairs and overlooks the hotel gardens and also Babbacombe Bay itself.



Inside, the main bedroom features a huge king bed that is the definition of comfort. The usual mod-cons are all available but it’s the little touches like rock candy on the pillow and luxury linens which add to the decadent boutique feel. The second bedroom is spacious with its proportions too incorporating instead two single beds. The bathroom is very roomy and finished with Elemis Spa toiletries whilst the sweet jar in the kitchen will catch the attention of sweet-toothed patrons.


The Food

The Cary Arms is renowned for its gastropub cuisine – there is a likable down-to-earthiness of the place that is very endearing to guests and the restaurant is at the centre of this. Emphasis is given to locally sourced fresh produce as you’d rightly expect from a coastal venue. The lunch and dinner menus cater to a range of tastes so there is something for every palate.



Catching the attention of the discerning gent were starters such as the pan-seared Brixham scallops with parma ham (£9.50) and the grilled goats cheese with herb salad and onion jam (£6.95). A nod to the presentation must be given – each dish looked divine but it’s all about the taste and these dishes did not disappoint.


Mains carried on the high standard set and favourites on this visit include the pea, asparagus and Sharpham Brie risotto with truffle oil (£13.50) or the West country fillet steak with dauphinoise potatoes in a wild mushroom and red wine jus (£26.00). Presentation was spot on again whilst service is attentive and friendly no matter how busy it gets. A good sign was to see non-residents arrive for dinner – always an assured sign of quality.



If the amazing evening views at dusk during the late summer months is desired, a secluded table overlooking the bay is the order of the night. Although the Captain’s Table outside on the garden terrace is recommended through the summer evenings, immersing one in the beauty of the views.


Breakfast the following morning is served in the same restaurant – the usual mix of continental and cooked breakfast is available. This is depends on how one prefers to setup the day up – but in Elysium Magazine’s view, a cooked breakfast of Eggs Benedict or the Full English never lets anyone down. Staff are the most accommodating, so if there’s a slight twist on any option that is preferred – simply ask.


The Spa

The Cary Arms currently has a spa treatment room administering the latest skincare products from Parisian spa brand Yon-Ko to the world-weary body. As part of any holiday downtime a massage for the discerning gent and a pamper-session for his partner is almost mandatory to help ingrain the holiday vibes further. Treatments are reasonably priced and well received. Those travelling to The Cary Arms in 2016 will also benefit from the new spa building currently under construction. Featuring more treatment rooms, a pool and a gym, the whole complex will add to the draw The Cary Arms provides.




The Cary Arms has all the ingredients the discerning gent would like for the perfect getaway – far enough away from the urban city to really feel like a holiday (approx 3.5 hours drive from London), the stunning sea views to unwind in, a tranquil setting to ease the mind and enough good food to easily come away with that healthier ‘holiday excess’ feeling. The Devon charm rubs off to a point where leaving is something you’ll dread. Recommended for all the above, but each factor is a strong reason on its own. Enjoy, more than once.


Room: 4.5/5

Location: 4.5/5

Dining: 5/5


The Details

The Cary Arms

Babbacombe Beach

Devon TQ1 3LX

Tel: 01803 327 110 / enquiries@caryarms.co.uk


Rooms at The Cary Arms start from £195 for a Deluxe room (sleeps two), £295 for a Luxury room (sleeps two) or £395 for the Captain’s Suite (sleeps four). All prices per night and inclusive of breakfast.

Cottages start from £375 daily / £1,750 weekly.

Amit Chakravarty

Amit Chakravarty

Amit has a refined taste for all things luxury lifestyle, with a particular penchant for men’s style. He’s keen on the latest watches – especially classic timepieces, new drinks, luxury travel, fine dining, executive technology, new gadgets and sports for the discerning gent.