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“A perfect weekend”
Review of Cary Arms & Spa

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Cary Arms & Spa
Ranked #20 of 149 Torquay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Having been to the Cary Arms a few times when it was a pub, I was fascinated to know what had become of it since its conversion to boutique B&B. The drive down is very steep but the hotel car park is just above the steepest bit, which means a bit of a climb to get to the car. The greeting on arrival was friendly and efficient. The room (Fleet Admiral) was stupendous - spacious, excellent bathroom with separate bath and shower, but the crowning glory was the huge balcony with dual aspect views over Babbacombe bay and Teignmouth to one side and open sea to the other.
We were lucky enough to have perfect weather and were able to have breakfast on the terrace with great views on both mornings of our stay.
However, the location and accommodation would mean nothing if the staff were not as friendly and helpful as they were. In particular, the manager, Felicia, went out of her way to make us feel welcome - even offering to fetch my car when we left.
I can whole-heartedly commend the Cary Arms and will certainly stay there again whenever I come to Torquay.

Room Tip: Fleet Admiral is the staff's favourite and mine.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tom_Traveller_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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471 - 477 of 846 reviews

Reviewed 20 May 2014

Having looked at this hotel for a number of years and never had a reason to go to it. I have now visited it for a 1st anniverary. We had dinner sitting at the 'Captains Table'. A big round table outside on a raised area. It was such a lovely meal and service. We even saw the seal 'Sammy'. As mentioned by another review, breakfast was a little hit and miss. But was ok in the end. It seemed to be more about the inability of the lady who seemed to be serving the breakfast. She seemed to be rushed with no extra help, if one person took the orders and another served coffee etc items would not be missed.Waybe some rinse aid might sort the cutlery problem, ours was smeared too. But it was clean, things do happen. Our room was amazing and so were all the staff. The weather was better than expected. It was expensive, but worth every penny, a place for a special reason.

Room Tip: Busy at weekends, so book a table. Lovely place to sit and absorb the friendly people and surroundin...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank witchy446305
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014 via mobile

Went here as wanted a quality lunch a party of 5 with two children I felt the staff gave me the attitude as if I was something on the bottom of there shoe when one of the children went to get a menu the member of staff snapped you have to queue instead of just handing one hence we decided to finish our drinks and go else where for a meal
I feel this is because we took two children in who were no trouble just sat at an outside table.
If I go back today in a suit them I suppose they will be different sort your attitude out and stop being up your selves our money is as good if not better than
most

Will not return poor attitude

  • Stayed: May 2014
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1  Thank Stuart C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaryArms, General Manager at Cary Arms & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 26 May 2014

Thank you for your review. I do apologise that you felt you were treated in an unfavourable way. I am shocked to read your comments as I have never had negative feedback of this kind before during my management here.
I must say if you read many other reviews, guests comment time and time again on how friendly and attentive the team are.
We most certainly do not adopt an attitude of judging people, regardless of what they are wearing. We are a 5 star Inn on the beach and we offer relaxed, informal dining. We do welcome business people and holiday leisure guests alike and we advertise that we are child friendly. We love to see families enjoying themselves. I must say, you really have got us completely wrong. We are not stuffy or pretentious in any way but we do have high standards.
I can only apologise again and put this down to a one off ocassion.
Fliss Crosby.

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Reviewed 18 May 2014

A very popular pub restaurant down a steep road in Babbacombe. It's got some great outside seating with great sea views. It's very popular and booking is needed at peak times. They are children friendly. It's got a nice feel and the menu and food is a good standard. There is also a good selection of draft beers. When I visited with friends/kids the staff were not rude but could have been more engaging and friendly and were clearly focused on the activities of serving rather being friendly/smiling - although this was the first visit for me and may not be representative. I would say one of the better pubs to visit in the area.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank LadyPSkipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaryArms, General Manager at Cary Arms & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 26 May 2014

Many thanks for your review, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to the Cary Arms. I have taken on board your comments about the staff, I really appreciate you mentioning this. We do have a couple of new members in the team and maybe they haven't yet gained their confidence, however we do pride ourselves on excellent food, service and friendly engaging staff so they should portray just that at all times! Please do come back and visit us again, I hope you will see a difference next time and your experience will include a welcome from our normal upbeat team.
Thanks again.
Fliss Crosby

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Reviewed 17 May 2014

At the bottom of the cliffs and the end of a very very steep road (be warned) is this hotel. It is practically on the beach, but still manages to overlook the beach, the sweep of Babbacombe Bay and the small pier. The views are beautiful and I think you get these views wherever you are, i.e. from all rooms, plus the dining room, and the lovely guest lounge. You can walk to the adjacent beach along the base of the cliffs, which makes a pleasant little stroll. I have stayed twice and can say that the décor differs between rooms but is cool, comfortable and well supplied with hanging and drawer space, and lots of mirrors. The bed was very comfortable. There was a lovely bathroom with large walk in shower. On my recent visit I had a corner room which had windows on two sides and gave me double the incredible views. It can be very peaceful. The dining area is in the pub part, but this area seems to be mostly used for eating only. There is also lots of outside seating as well. The dinner menu range is fairly small but the food was delicious and the service excellent. Breakfast was less good - there was fresh fruit and cereals, ham for those wanting a more continental breakfast, and full English, and vegetarian, etc but it was nowhere near as extensive as you might expect for a hotel with the high room rate that is charged. Over two mornings, I was variously given smeared cutlery, the wrong cutlery, uncooked toast, and also not a particularly well cooked hot breakfast. Breakfast service was also rather disjointed and the 2nd morning I had to push to get a breakfast order taken. For asthmatics and those with allergies to dogs, be aware that there are two rooms which are used by dog owners. I wasn't at all aware of this fact until I was in one of these rooms and finding my usually well controlled asthma becoming quite bad. I didn't see any mention of this fact when I booked, nor was it pointed out to me. When I asked and it was confirmed that this room will have had dogs in it, one of the hotel responses was that most people were aware they were dog friendly. Cary Arms - please note, if you're not a dog owner, why would you look to see if a hotel is dog friendly, or has rooms that accommodate dogs. I was told that the rooms are thoroughly cleaned after dogs have been in it and I don't doubt they are. however, I doubt whether all the soft furnishings are replaced. I found odd hairs on the cushions placed at the head of the bed on the pillows and also on the blanket at the base of the bed. The hotel were helpful in giving me replacement pillows, once I worked out was happening, but it would have been better to avoid the occurrence in the first place.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank AmyMaudRose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaryArms, General Manager at Cary Arms & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback. I'm glad there were many positives with your stay. I'd like to apologise for the couple of occurences that weren't perfect. I have noted your comments on breakfast and had a meeting with the whole team to ensure smeary cuttlery does not go onto tables. The breakfast selection is quite extensive and many guests comment on how wonderful this is. Our range is a selection of fruit juices, ham, chesses, fresh fruit including mixed berries, pineapple, peaches, grapefuit, cereals, home made granola, coissants, toast, honeycombe, homemade jam and marmalade, yoghurts, porridge, pancakes, full English breakfast and smoked salmon or kippers. I check breakfast service myself at least 3 times a week and it never falters to be anything other than the above. I don't know what the mishap was during your stay or whether you felt that this wasn't enough of a selection. I am also looking into what went wrong with breakfast service to ensure it is in line with our usual high standards.
With regards to our dog friendly rooms, we do advertise that we are dog friendly on our website, with references on our home page and throughout our site. I'm sorry that you were unaware and with your asthma that this may have caused you some difficulty. The rooms are indeed cleaned very thoroughly but it is possible that an odd stray hair could escape housekeeping. In an ideal situation you should not have been in a room that's previously had dogs stay. For future reference it may be an idea to metion that you are severely asthmatic. This unfortunate situation could have been avoided. I'm pleased we were able to change the pillows and blanket and I hope you weren't in too much discomfort.
I do hope you will visit us again and if you would like to personally contact me before hand I will ensure you have a non dog friendly room and impeccable service.
Thanks once again.
Fliss Crosby.

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Reviewed 6 May 2014

Views, service, food and accommodation all fantastic. We were even given a little goodie back with fruit and water for the children for our drive back home yesterday. We stayed in one of the cottages so had some independence whilst still being able to use the hotel facilities. We ate in the restaurant every evening - the local fish of the day was always delicious. Very relaxed place with friendly, helpful staff. Looking forward to going back next year.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Emma S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2014

We have just returned from a fabulous long weekend at the Cary Arms. The first thing to say is don't be put off by the drive through built up areas as you will very soon descend into a little piece of heaven down the very steep hill into the bay. We like to try out places recommended for good food and we were certainly not disappointed. We ate at the Inn all three nights as we had our young dog, Bobby, with us and he was made so welcome. The food was lovely and the menu varied; the Inn has an interesting wine list and Bobs loved his chef cooked pork doggie dinners and the treats in the room! The staff are all fantastic - welcoming, friendly and attentive without being obtrusive and they maintained the same high standard of service throughout a very busy bank holiday weekend. We were seated at tables where Bobby could lie down without bothering other diners (although to his delight many came over to fuss him) and we had lovely views over the sea as we ate our meals. The tables are well spaced and the easy going atmosphere encourages the dogs to be pretty well behaved. There are some lovely walks along the coastal path from the Inn and we went walking on Dartmoor which is not too far away - the booklet in the room has some great suggestions and brilliant instructions in it, so thank you. The Rear Admiral room worked very well for us; it has beautiful views over the bay, a comfy bed and good quality White Company toiletries. On Sunday afternoon two seals came right up to the pier and we were able to watch them play from the terrace in the sunshine. We will definitely be back.

Room Tip: Rear admiral is lovely whether you have a dog or not :)
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Roosterandchick13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cary Arms & Spa

Address: Beach Road, Torquay TQ1 3LX, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Devon > English Riviera > Torquay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 149 B&Bs / Inns in Torquay
Price Range: £133 - £291 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Cary Arms & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chic, boutique 5 star inn privately owned and managed by the de Savary family in the unrivalled location of Babbacombe Bay. There are 10 contemporary, New-England style bedrooms and suites with outstanding sea-view, 6 newly launched Beach Huts and 2 Beach Suites plus 3 restored fisherman's cottages for rental.All have excellent sea views with outdoor decks, balconies or gardens. The atmosphere is luxuriously relaxing and friendly. Head Chef, Ben Kingdon and his team serve the very best of creative, English heritage dishes focusing on local, seasonal ingredients in an informal and relaxed setting. Hearty breakfasts, long lunches and lazy suppers indoors or out on the sun-terraces. Sheltering in its own unsung part of the South Devon Coast, the English Riviera, the inn is accessible by water and has its own moorings. A new Spa with indoor pool and hydrotherapy, experience showers, sauna and treatment rooms will supplement the existing treatment room from October 2016. (check for opening dates). Dog and family friendly. The inn is perfect for those looking for a luxurious and private getaway. It will blow the cobwebs away! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Cary Arms Hotel Torquay
Cary Arms & Spa Torquay, Devon

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