Welcome to The View. Yes, Devon’s Sunways is lovely – packed with luxury, a fully equipped kitchen, sumptuous hotel-style bedrooms with TVs, and plenty of space for up to 15 family and friends (plus dog) to mix and mingle. But when you’re back home, we suspect it’s the view from Mount Boone over Dartmouth that’ll stay with you.
Maybe it’s the palm trees. Perhaps it’s the sheer height. Maybe it’s the super-blue estuary with its ever-changing flotilla of small boats. Or could it be the pretty pastel houses that dot the riverbanks? Perhaps it’s all of this, plus the heated outdoor pool from which you get to enjoy it. Squint only slightly and this could be Monaco.
But the al-fresco fun doesn’t end there: eat your morning croissants in the covered bar and breakfast area on the conservatory terrace or sit under the shade of a tree and watch river life roll by. Stay out there for a coal barbecue with a view, with meat from the Bear and Blacksmith.
Inside, you’ve space to escape and space to enjoy being a family once more. Get together for movies in the living room, leading out to the large conservatory terrace complete with bar and breakfast area, or snug. Don’t forget to pack your passwords for streaming on the 1000mbps broadband.
The garden weighs in at 120 feet long by 60 wide, but some things can’t be measured. Like the view here at Sunways, from the conservatory terrace high above the boats that bob in Dartmouth Estuary. Even better, you get to see it all from the 22-foot heated pool through the palms that dot the terrace.
Overlooking the pool, you’ve an open, yet covered, al-fresco dining area. Sear your sausages on the coal barbecue, pop open a cold one, and keep an eye on the kids as they splash away an afternoon.
Mix and mingle or make a break for freedom. From the spacious hallway, slide into the family sitting room, drop into a squishy sofa and dig out your passwords for the smart TV. Keep the logs burning in the hearth. Escape to the snug for alternative viewing or to bury yourself in a book.
Out front, the conservatory comes with those same magnificent views of the rolling river. Linger here over your croissants and coffee in the bar and breakfast area. Wherever you hang out, you’ll find Sunways a homely experience full of warm colours, soft sofas, rugs and cushions. It’s a home from home, with added view.
If you like kitchens, you’ll love this one. Luxurious, modern and open plan with a central island and stone worksurface, it’s homely and sophisticated with a NEFF double oven and every utensil known to man. But if you’d rather throw in the tea towel, Dartmouth Fine Foods are available for a one-off celebration or a fully catered break.
Eat around the big dining table that’ll take ten guests with room for four more in the adjoining conservatory. For that Med-style vibe, head out to the pool and the palms to sear your steaks on the coal barbecue and eat under the covered dining area that stares out over the estuary. Uncork a cold one and realise you didn’t even need to fly.
Lazy night in? Why not? Order out delicious fusion foods from Jenny Koo’s Kitchen or sustainable seafood from The Rockfish. Top it all off with bespoke celebration cakes from Saveur’s Bakery. Pub? How about breakfast, lunch or dinner at Bayard’s Cove, pizzas and burgers at The Sail Loft, or The Royal Castle for West Country 8oz steak?
Enjoy modern European cuisine such as Brixham crab and beef tartare at Andria, exquisite seafood such as oysters, scallops or clams at The Seahorse, or Angus fillet or corn-fed chicken prepared by Italian immigrant Luca at Chez Rosa: choose prix fixe or à la carte and wash it down with affordable wine.
The best hotels are the ones where you choose your own guests – 11 of them plus another four adults and one child in the penthouse above. You can do that here and still get hotel-standard rooms with flatscreen TVs and Hypnos mattresses, some with built-in toppers. Wake to views of the Dart or the magnificent naval college.
Bedroom one is a superking or twin with private bathroom that will take a cot, while bedroom two offers a kingsize double and single bed and adjoins bedroom three, which gives you a superking or twin and takes a cot. Bedroom four is a kingsize double with en-suite and bedroom five and six are superkings or twins, with six offering an en-suite.