Gara Rock, a coastal haven for unforgettable stays

ByAndrea Thompson

March 21, 2024

Nestled on the rugged Devon coast, Gara Rock stands as a luxurious retreat where nature meets elegance. Let me take you on a journey through its captivating history, ownership, reasons to stay, and the delightful amenities that await you.

Gara Rock isn’t just a hotel, it’s a place for everyone to create lasting memories. Dogs are warmly welcomed here and being directly on the South West Coast Path, has stunning coastal views and offers a paradise for hikers. Whether you visit for a leisurely lunch, a day escape, or an extended stay, Gara Rock invites you to make yourself at home. When the sun graces the sky, the beach beckons just below the clifftop pool. And when raindrops fall, cosy up indoors with games or perhaps a spa treat. No dress code required here!

Gara Rock Hotel was originally a coastguard station established in 1847.  In 1909 it was transformed into a family hotel by Richard Jordan and around the 1930s was opened as a hotel attracting celebrities like Sir Laurence Olivier and Sir John Betjeman. Because of its position the RAF requisitioned the hotel back and used as their headquarters in World War II.

After the war it was returned to a hotel and having had numerous renovations, even being demolished in 2006, the current owners brought it in 2016 and reimaged it back as a luxury hotel destination preserving its rich history and infusing with modern luxury.

The interior is immaculately furnished with artisan products, hand woven rattan lampshades, seagrass baskets and sheepskin rugs.  Taking inspiration from the sea the hotel has a touch of the nautical from the wood panelling to the fish illustrations, but the best feature is the floor to ceiling windows and the view is just wow!

The cosy bedrooms are individually furnished in a rustic/industrial style.  Imagine rough timber walls, vintage dial phones, geometric tiles bathrooms, argan oil toiletries and premium bedding. With separate siting areas and all the usual amenities from free WiFi, safe, tv and cable channels there are also facilities in the suites for self-catering and little extra touches of fresh milk in the fridge for tea and coffee.  There are no mini bars in any of the rooms.  With either balconies, terrace or patios all are position to enjoy the ever-changing views.  Five of the bedrooms have lift access and two of the suites have ramp access for wheelchairs.

There are separate self-catering cottages, The Penthouse and Signal House for larger groups and the secret suite, overlooking the sea, a luxurious hideaway for those seeking a little romance. The loft suite offers an open plan living area with free standing bath, wood burning stove and a terrace that faces the sunset – who could ask for more.

There is a small spa offering the usual treatments and activities daily include yoga on the terrace.  There is an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.  The clifftop outdoor pool is lined with navy and white sun loungers.   Because our weather is so unpredictable the hotel offers a selection of board games and has a small cinema room seating 12.  Showing films daily, you can also book it privately and having selection of DVDs to watch or log into your own Netflix account.

It is advisable to book the restaurant in advance of your stay.  This is open to the public as well as guests and the curved-glass side looks over the exception costal views.  With fresh crab, fish and Cornish lamb on offer the hotel even provides herbs and salad leaves from its small kitchen garden and foraging on the local cliffs.  All produce is locally sourced and seasonal.  They also have a “Garavan”, a retro van serving drinks and snacks outside near the coastal path.

Renowned for its luxurious comforts, and picturesque setting, Gara Rock is the quintessential retreat for a year-round coastal escape.