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“Escapes for grown-ups.”
Review of Cary Arms & Spa

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Cary Arms & Spa
Ranked #19 of 149 Torquay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 July 2014

I love the Cary Arms, the quirkiness of it, the informal atmosphere, the beautiful rooms and the enthusiastic staff. The food is excellent and the service superb - I have never stayed anywhere, including 5* hotels around the world, where the welcome and service has been better or that I have enjoyed more. For me it's the seaside holidays of my childhood enjoyed as a grown up. I shall of course be returning.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank Louis2712
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 16 August 2014

Thank you very much for your lovely feedback.
We really look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Fliss Crosby

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444 - 450 of 846 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2014

This is an unusual venue and was, over-all, an enjoyable experience.
The food was outstanding and the staff were friendly and helpful. The accommodation is very comfortable.
The staff do try very hard to look after their residents whilst encouraging the visiting trade but it is a challenging balance at times.
It was an expensive stay. When I pay more I expect a degree of exclusivity. Unfortunately the new pontoon moored to the harbour steps was a great draw for local after-school children. Over fifty of them having a great time in the hot weather. It was very noisy and potentially dangerous.
Suggest the pontoon is towed in the middle of the bay and moored as a diving platform for the locals.

Room Tip: All the rooms are sea-facing. A room with a balcony is ideal.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Derek H
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 16 July 2014

Many thanks for your review and lovely comments. I'm pleased you enjoyed your stay with us.
You are right about the pontoon, we hadn't anticipated the extent that it would attract the local children. Mr.De Savary witnessed this himself last week and on reflection decided to have the pontoon taken away. This is a shame but one of those things!
I'm sorry that the noise levels may have disturbed your peace a little. Please do come and visit us again, I think you will find the tranquility you were hoping for next time. We'd be delighted to welcome you back to the Cary Arms.
Many thanks again.
Fliss Crosby

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2014

The Cary Arms, in Babbacombe, Devon, is a luxury hotel with spectacular sea views and a restaurant/bar. I had heard a lot about it so decided to pop in with the wife. Not long after commencing the trek from the top of Babbacombe Downs to the pub, I realised that it wasn't for the faint hearted - or elderly for that matter. It really is an extremely steep bank down to the pub which overlooks the beach. Once there found the pub to be extremely busy, charming, very picturesque, and offering fabulous views. However, with all things, it comes at a cost - in this case, a life threatening trek up and down the coast line and the price of everything there.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank David S
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 16 July 2014

Thank you for your comments.
We boast an enviable position on the South West coastal path. As you say, the views are spectacular! Many of our customers enjoy the beautiful walk to us, it's all part of the experience.
It's a very pleasant stroll from Babbacombe downs through the woods to reach the beach and our charming Inn.
For those who are less able there is the funicular cliff railway to travel up and down and then just a 15 minute stroll along the coast from Oddicombe Beach to Babbacombe Beach.
Many guests also use the local taxi firms or drive to the large car park at the bottom of the road.
We are priced appropriately for our award-winning gastro style cuisine. Our premium produce is sourced locally and we offer an array of local ales, ciders and organic soft drinks. Our customers enjoy the quality of our offerings combined with the service, ambience, charm and perfect setting.
We hope to see you again and please let us know if we may assist you with any information on how to travel to us with ease.
Thanks again.
Fliss Crosby.

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Reviewed 8 July 2014

We booked this hotel going on reviews from Trip advisor and I have to say we were disappointed.

We stayed at the Cary Arms for 3 nights at the end of June, paying £375 for a family room so that our toddler could have her own room. When booking the stay, I told the hotel that our daughter was only just 2 and still slept in a cot and that I was a rather uncomfortable 7 months pregnant.
We arrived at the hotel after a very long, very hot, 5 hour car journey. No one was there to greet us, we had to queue up at the bar where there was only 1 barmaid serving a thong of weekend drinkers. After waiting nearly 15 minutes to be served by the barmaid, when then had to wait another 10 - 15 minutes for someone from the reception team to come down and meet us - not fun with a screaming toddler.
When we finally got to our room it was like a furnace. Surprisingly none of the windows and doors had been opened all day, despite it being one of the hottest days of the year. There was no air conditioning or even a fan in the room. We did what we could to air the room, but even by 10pm our toddlers room was still 27 degrees. A fan was bought up to the room eventually, but it was so old and broken that it hand to be stood up in a cutlery holder and clanged all night.
There was also no cot provided for our daughter despite requesting one. Luckily we had our travel cot with us, but the hotel couldn't even provide a cot sheet until the following day.
The room, whilst large and with great views, was definitely not 5*. The shutters on the windows did nothing to keep the light out, so on top of the sweltering heat, it was light by 5am each morning.
The main thing that let the room down was the lack of housekeeping. The room was "cleaned" each day, but they didn't do basic things like take away dirty towels of glasses from the room - it seemed all they did was make the bed. The toiletries were also not replaced - so we had one 30ml shower gel to last 3 people for 3 days!
We had a lovely balcony to the left of the room - but had to ask for it to be cleaned before we could use it as it was thick with cobwebs and dirt - there was even remnants of someones lunch left under the table.
To be fair, when we advised the management of theses problems, they were dealt with quickly. But when you are paying £375 per night for a room in a 5* hotel, you don't expect to encounter such basic problems in the first place. It really its a downer on a holiday when you are complaining about something every 5 minutes.
The food was good but expensive - nearly £14 for fish and chips. My husband had a massage which he said was very good - the lady that did it also worked at the hotel and was definitely the best in terms of service.
All in all we felt a bit ripped off - we paid 5* rates for a stay which was barley 3*.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank cjy1
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 11 July 2014

Thank you very much for your feedback.
I am sorry that you felt we fell short of your expectations. We are a 5 star Inn and we do have very high standards. We also care about all of our guests and bend over backwards to ensure all guests have a comfortable stay. I have taken on board all of your comments and noted points that I feel should not have happened to ensure future guests don't encounter the same.
We do have so many happy guests returning to us time and time again as they love what we have to offer in terms of our food, service and stunning location. I haven't before ever received a comment from a guest about the lack of housekeeping. On the contrary many guests mention how impeccable the standards of cleanliness are in our rooms.
If you wished to try us again in the future, we'd be delighted to welcome you back to the Cary Arms.
Many thanks.
Fliss Crosby.

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Reviewed 5 July 2014

Pretty place, but the prices!!!!!
Ask at reception if they can arrange a mortgage.
Prices of everything drinks accomodation ect.
prices over the top plus!
Everything else about the place average, but for the location.
This is how they get away with it.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Paul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adrienne538, Manager at Cary Arms & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2014

Dear Sir

We are very sorry to read your review and to hear your disappointment. Please can you get in touch as we've not be able to establish your contact details as all our June check-outs have told our team how much they enjoyed their visits.

Our guests comments are taken very seriously and if there is a problem we can usually resolve at the time. As you'll have seen from other reviews, on the whole we get things right most of the time and that's our aim. It's a great pity for you and us that you didn't say anything at the time.

Kind regards
Adrienne Eastwood
For Lana de Savary

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Reviewed 30 June 2014

We have just returned from an all too short 2 night stay at the amazing 'Cary Arms' in beautiful Babbacombe.
From the minute we descended the step little road down to the Bay we were swept away by the beauty of the place. The lush treelined cliffs lead down to the most exquisite little bay where sail boats gently bob on the tide.
From the small pier a few fishermen try their luck for mackerel at high tide, while at low tide the children scuttle along the rock pools hopeful for crabs.
The Cary Arms nestle's into the scene - a vision of pristine white and naval blue enhanced by a rainbow of pansies, fuschia, daisies and palm trees!
The staff simply couldn't have been more helpful or delightful and the wonderful housekeeper Linda was an absolute mine of unbeatable local information and her warmth and beaming smile were a real tonic.
We cannot thank the lovely Michelle and the wonderful Chef enough for the delicious Brixham Crab, which as a special request he went out of his way to supply!
We were sad to leave, but we have taken away some wonderful memories.

Room Tip: The sea view rooms are spectacular.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank TheWares2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2014

We had lunch here. Spectacular views all around the bay and very secluded. A good menu served by interesting people. Good service and value.
The road down the hill is very steep and narrow with some sharp bends. Only brave drivers should attempt it. Be prepared for a steep walk up the hill after parking in the public car park.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank cremoinfo
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 #19 of 149 B&Bs / Inns in Torquay
Price Range: £133 - £290 (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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