It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the beach, but you don’t see Soar Mill Cove Hotel from the coast path. The low building lies gently in the folds of the hill that sits above the little cove. It’s unobtrusive, respecting the very special landscape within which it sits.

This boutique hotel is only a short drive from the busy and justifiably popular town of Salcombe, but it’s so quiet here, it feels remote, like a hidden secret.

This is not a big hotel and that means everything is close to hand; the lounge, restaurant and bar are all steps away, as are the swimming pool, gym and spa. There is a good variety of rooms and suites, which include several options for families.

READ MORE: Why you should visit Salcombe on the coast of Devon

The views from this hotel are superb. The views from this hotel are superb. (Image: Soar Mill Cove Hotel)

The hotel is unusual in that it’s individually owned and run and has been in the hands of the Makepeace family for many years. Pop into the bar and enjoy a G&T made with their own specially distilled gin. The bar is cosy, and everyone is made to feel at home by the friendly bartender who brings round tasty olives. There’s a new wine list on the evening I visit and the staff’s excitement at what’s available is infectious.

A visit to the bar is a must before dinner, it sets the scene, ready for a relaxed and leisurely dining experience.

It’s worth mentioning too that not only is Soar Mill a great place for families, it’s also excellent for canine companions. They can join you for dinner and are welcome in nearly all areas of the hotel, the notable exception being the lounge area. The staff are well used to doggie guests, it’s all very easy with them; they greet all members of the family and dogs may even get rewarded with a sausage at breakfast time.

A garden view room at the hotel. A garden view room at the hotel. (Image: Soar Mill Cove Hotel) The restaurant is spacious and floor to ceiling windows make the most of the outstanding view down through the valley to the ocean and the rocky headlands that characterise this corner of South Devon.

The menu is enticing, cleverly appealing to all tastes and ages and with individual touches that give it a unique twist. Local fish and meat is a given, with a grill selection of steak and burgers. There’s also a smaller appetites menu which is a thoughtful option. The fish choice was excellent with treacle cured salmon on roasted sourdough making a beautiful looking, and tasting, starter, followed by a main of wild seabass with shellfish bouillabaisse, saffron potatoes and asparagus. Adding some Asian flavours were a spiced beef short rib spring rolls with spiced piccalilli starter and a grilled halibut with a sweet prawn and red pepper curry main – both exciting and delicious.

Fish and seafood is a feature on the menu.Fish and seafood is a feature on the menu. (Image: Soar Mill Cove Hotel)

The location of Soar Mill Cove takes some beating. Dining in the restaurant, or perhaps taking an afternoon cream tea next door in the lounge, offers an ever-changing view. Sitting over dinner on a warm evening, a mist rolls in from the sea; it cloaks everything, the view disappears momentarily before the setting sun breaks through and all is revealed once again.

A stay at Soar Mill Cove has all year round appeal. Whether it’s the heat of high summer or a boisterous winter’s day, I’d love to be here, taking it all in. The walk down to that pretty cove, with the tantalising coast path leading off in each direction... it simply invites adventure. It it’s wet and wild outside, you could still head off for a bracing hike, knowing you can come back for hotel pampering and contentment; or you can simply stay indoors, surrounded in warmth and comfort, and just take it all in.