The best family hotels in Devon
Devon is a wonderful destination for a family holiday with beaches, moors and plenty of family-friendly attractions to explore. It has the best of everything an English staycation has to offer, including great family hotels. In Devon you can choose from hotels on the beach, luxury hotels with spas and hotels with kids clubs.
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If you’re flexible about where you stay in Devon you might also like to check out my post about family-friendly campsites and holiday parks.
Family hotels in Devon
I’d like to stress that we haven’t stayed at each of these hotels but I have researched them and included links to our reviews or to full reviews by people we know where they are available.
Please be aware that during COVID-19 the hotels listed here may not be able to open all of their facilities. Check before you book as more facilities may open as the 2020 season continues. I have included all the benefits of staying at these hotels so anyone looking to book in 2021 and beyond can see everything that is usually available.
What makes a hotel family-friendly?
I’ve included each of the hotels in this post based on what we think are family-friendly hotel criteria. We’re a family of four with a dog and have stayed at dozens of hotels with our kids in the past seven years. We know that some ‘family-friendly hotels’ are definitely better than others.
So, what makes a hotel family-friendly?
I have included those that:
- pay attention to their youngest guests
- are in a top location with lots to do close by
- have fun things to do on site like swimming, kids activities and play grounds
- offer a children’s menu
- Have great family rooms.
On that last point, I mean GREAT family rooms! We’ve all stayed at hotels where you have to roll out a spare mattress for the kids and skulk in the bathroom while they fall asleep or sit in the dark all evening. It doesn’t make for a relaxing holiday!
The majority of these family hotels in Devon do have great rooms for parents and kids. Where they don’t quite hit the mark they make up for it with location and activities.
However, there are a loads listed here that rank really well for makes a great family hotel.
The good news for families with dogs is that most of these family hotels in Devon are dog-friendly too.
Booking direct with each of these hotels opens up extra discounts and deals, but if you want to compare you can also find them on Booking.com*.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Devon with kids check availability at these hotels:
Soar Mill Cove Hotel – reopening 4 July 2020
This is an independent family-run hotel so it’s no surprise that they cater brilliantly for kids. Find Soar Mill Cove near Salcombe in South Devon. It’s an ideal location for exploring South Devon’s best beaches, the surrounding Area of Natural Beauty and the urban attractions of Plymouth.
Family-friendly rooms at Soar Mill Cove
Soar Mill Cove has family rooms and suites with patio doors on to a terrace were you can enjoy a drink after the kids have gone to sleep.
The family rooms can be arranged to have two double beds or a double and two singles. If you are staying with a baby or toddler you can request a complimentary cot and baby listener.
Or you can choose a suite that has a double bedroom with space for a cot and an adjoining twin room for the kids.
Guests at Soar Mill Cove have complimentary WiFi and Freeview TV in their rooms, and free library of DVDs to borrow.
Not only is this hotel family-friendly, there’s plenty of luxury too. The Hypos beds come with Devon lamb’s wool duvets and there’s Molton Brown luxury toiletries in your bathroom.
You can even bring up to two dogs.
Dining at Soar Mill Cove
The menu at this family-friendly Devon hotel includes plenty of West Country produce from land and sea. There’s a children’s menu with tummy pleasing options like Mac n’ Cheese, sausage and mash, fish strips and chips, and spaghetti bolognaise.
Things to do at this Devon hotel
Soar Mill Cove Hotel has a heated outdoor salt water swimming pool that is fed by a local spring. There’s also an indoor pool for cooler days.
Enjoy a game of tennis, table tennis or snooker at the hotel or take a walk along the coast. If your kids love crabbing the hotel will even supply the bait.
Want to hit the surf? Guests get 10% off lessons with Discovery Surf School at nearby Bantham Beach – one of Devon’s water sports hot spots and the ideal place to build sandcastles or explore rock pools.
Back at the hotel there’s the Discovery Spa if you can persuade the other half to look after the kids for a bit.
Find out more and book Soar Mill Cove.
Langstone Cliff Hotel – reopening 4 July 2020
Nestled in woodland near the popular South Devon resort of Dawlish Warren, Langstone Cliff Hotel is a traditional Devon family hotel with sea views and plenty of seaside attractions on its doorstep. Book direct and there are plenty of offers for families, including kids staying and eating for free.
Family rooms at Langstone Cliff Hotel
There’s a range of rooms to suit all families at this hotel in Dawlish Warren. You can book anything from a small family room with a double and single bed right through to a suite to comfortably accommodate larger families.
Langstone Cliff Hotel has five family suites that have a master bedroom and one for the kids. There’s a sixth family suite with three bedrooms for larger families.
If you book a family room there are pocket sprung Hypmos or Mattisons divan beds for small children (there’s no Z beds here) and cots for babies. There’s also a listening service in all hotel rooms.
There’s also free WiFi and Freeview and satellite TV channels in every room. Dogs are welcome too for an extra charge.
Dining at Langstone Cliff Hotel
Up to two children under the age of ten can dine for free when staying in a family room with two adults. This applies to pre-booked meals.
During the day you can eat in the bar or order a picnic to take to the beach. The children’s dinner menu is available at 5.30pm and comes with plenty of kiddie-pleasing options like burgers, chicken fillets, cottage pie and pizza.
The main Lincoln Restaurant opens at 6.45pm, there isn’t a children’s menu available in the evening but there are plenty of options they will enjoy. And, don’t forget, this dinner is on the hotel if you have pre-booked it for kids under the age of 10.
Things to do at this family hotel in Devon
Indoors there’s soft play, a swimming pool and lounges with plentiful books and board games to keep families amused. Outdoors there are is a large lawn with play equipment and a play ground. In the middle of this is the outdoor swimming pool, which is enclosed to keep wandering toddlers safe.
Children’s entertainment and evening entertainment is laid on during the school holidays. If you’re celebrating a special occasion you can also book into the hair and beauty salon at the hotel.
A short walk away is the beach at Dawlish Warren which has a dog-friendly section all year round.
Read a full review of our family stay at Langstone Cliff Hotel.
Find out more and book Langstone Cliff Hotel.
The Cary Arms & Spa – reopening 4 July 2020
This 5* Torquay hotel is chic, stylish and on the sea front. While there aren’t a huge number of family rooms, what there is are fabulous. When you see the quality of the accommodation you won’t be surprised to learn that the owners, the de Savary family, run luxurious hotels all over the world including the St James Clubs in Antigua, London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.
Family rooms at Cary Arms
Book a luxury suite or sea facing room to get the extra space of a balcony or terrace. Each room also has WiFi, Amazon Echo, Netflix and a Nespresso coffee machine.
The Captain’s Suite and Pebble Suite come with two bedrooms and sleep up to four people, so are the perfect accommodation for families.
Luxury suites and sea facing rooms also come with a complementary decanter of sloe gin and White Company toiletries – because parents deserve pampering too!
If you are staying with a baby the Beach Huts are a stylish option. These can accommodate two people and a cot bed.
The Cary Arms also has five self-catering seaside cottages five minutes walk away. They come with their own outdoor dining terraces, gardens and barbecues. These have up to five bedrooms so are ideal for larger families. Some are dog-friendly too.
Dining at Cary Arms & Spa
The menu is packed full of fish caught locally and West Country ingredients.
Things to do
Cary Arms has so many South Devon attractions on its door step. If you want to try paddle boarding Babbacombe Bay below the Inn is ideal for learning.
The owners of Cary Arms also run Bovey Castle on Dartmoor National Park. See below.
Find out more and book Cary Arms & Spa.
Bovey Castle – reopening 4 July 2020
Bovey Caslte is a historic manor house in Dartmoor. It is imposing, luxurious and elegant. If that sounds stuffy and not at all like somewhere you’d take the kids, think again. Bovey Castle is the ideal base for a family holiday in the National Park with plenty of unique experiences at the hotel and things to do in the surrounding area.
Family rooms at Bovey Castle
Within the manor house it is possible to book connecting rooms to sleep up to six people. The junior suite and state rooms accommodate families of four. You can also request interconnecting rooms to accommodate larger families.
Each room comes with free WiFi, a Nespresso coffee machines and Espa toiletries.
In the Bovey Castle estate there are 22 three bedroom self-catering lodges sleeping up to eight people. These are located near the lake and tennis courts. Lodge guests have full use of the hotel’s facilities. You can also take the hassle out of catering for ourselves by ordering food packs and breakfast packs to be delivered to your door.
Dogs are welcome in the hotel and lodges for an additional fee.
Dining at Bovey Castle
Fancy having your meals prepared by someone who has cooked for the Royal Family? Bovey Castle’s head chef has done just that as well as working at The Stafford, The Ritz and The Dorchester in London.
Bovey Castle’s menus include the best ingredients from Devon and the South West. And where there’s an adults menu there’s also one for the kids, including a children’s afternoon tea.
Heading out for the day? You can order a picnic to take with you to Dartmoor’s beauty spots and enjoy after a walk.
Things to do at Bovey Castle Hotel
Kids can take part in some unique experiences with the Bovey Rangers during their stay. There are daily falconry shows, egg collecting, den building and visits to the estate’s ferrets. You can go on a tour of the estate to spot deer, have a go at archery and clay pigeon shooting and have an off road driving experience.
There is also an outdoor play area for the kids including swings, a slide and trampoline, and an indoor play barn.
The Castle has an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam rooms and gym, as well as a spa where you can book treatments. Childcare is available for £10 per hour throughout the year.
What to find out more? Here’s a review of Bovey Castle.
Find out more and book Bovey Castle Hotel.
South Sands Hotel – reopening 4 July 2020
Many family hotels in Devon are in a beach-side location and South Sands Hotel could not get closer. It is on an idyllic sandy beach with the same name in a small cove off the Salcombe Estuary in South Devon. This small quiet hotel puts guests in a prime position to enjoy sea views and direct access to the beach.
Family rooms at South Sands
There are a range of room options for families with the self-catering beach suites offering two bedrooms and a sofa bed to sleep up to six people. There are also double rooms where extra beds can be added for children (there is an extra change). Some rooms have balconies where parents can sit and relax in the evenings listening to the sounds of the sea.
Something a lot of rooms at South Sands Hotel offer is a stand alone bath in the bedroom, so you can lay back in the tub and enjoy a view from your room.
All rooms come with free WiFi and L’Occitane toiletries. Dog-friendly rooms are available for an additional fee.
Things to do at South Sands Hotel
The beach really is the star of the show at this Devon hotel. The sand is ideal for making castles and the water is ideal for swimming and paddling with young children. If you enjoy hiking you can pick up the South West Coast Path at the hotel entrance
South Sands Hotel is also the ideal base for water sports with SUP, sailing and surfing all available in and around Salcombe.
Dogs are allowed on South Sands beach from October to May. Nearby North Sands beach is dog-friendly all year round.
Find out more and book South Sands Hotel.
Thurlestone Hotel – reopening on 4 July 2020
Holiday destinations don’t come much prettier than the South Hams in South Devon and this is where you’ll find the Thurlestone Hotel. Particular care is taken to welcome young guests who all receive a Big T’s surf club Welcome Bag and a bath robe.
Families could not be more well take care of here. Near the indoor playroom there are complimentary washing and drying facilities, and handy facilities for families with babies like a microwave, bottle warmer, fridge, muslins, and bottle sterilisers.
You can also borrow potties, toilet training seats, toddler steps, bath mats, bed guards, baby baths, high chairs, bibs and beakers, so there’s no need to bring these things with you on holiday.
Family rooms at Thurlestone Hotel
Premier rooms and suites at Thurlestone Hotel can take extra beds, bunk beds or cots to accommodate families. The suites are the best option if you want a separate area for kids to sleep. The deluxe sea view rooms have a balcony if you are just happy to have an outdoor space to escape to once the kids are in bed.
All rooms come with free WiFi, Nespresso Coffee Machine and Temple Spa toiletries.
Dining at Thurlestone Hotel
There are three options for dining at Thurslestone hotel from fine dining at the Trevilder Restaurant to less formal bites at The Rock Pool bistro, The Village Inn, and Terrance Bar, so families can find food to suit all tastes.
But kids are welcome to eat everywhere at the Thurlestone. The Trevilder has a kids menu including sausage, mash and beans spaghetti and pizza.
Things to do at Thurlstone Hotel
This family hotel in Devon has plenty to offer in terms of activities. There is a well-equipped indoor play room, DVDs to borrow, an indoor pool with kids pool, and a climbing frame outdoors. Children can even enjoy mini manicures and facials in the beauty room.
There are tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, a croquet lawn and stunning outdoor heated swimming pool. Indoors there is a spa, swimming pool and gym.
Here’s a more detailed review and what you can expect at Thurlestone Hotel in Devon.
Find out more and book Thurlestone Hotel.
Manor House and Ashbury Hotels – Opening from 9 July 2020
If you are looking for a fun-packed family holiday then Manor House Hotel and Ashbury Hotel in Okehampton have a wide range of activities on offer from sports to crafts of all kinds.
These two hotels are two miles apart and share a range of facilities to make your family holiday whatever you want it to be. There’s even a kids club.
Both hotels have rooms that can accommodate up to five people. Expect activity centre style, ensuite accommodation. You’re not there to lounge in your room – you’re there to have fun!
Each room has free WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryers and a lockable safe.
Dining with kids
Meals are buffet style so there’s usually something for all tastes. There’s also bars and lounges where you can pick up drinks and snacks during your stay.
Things to do
You’ll never be board at this mid-Devon resort. Whether your family is into football or pottery painting it is all on offer here. Added to a packed programme of craft and sports activities there’s soft play, exercise classes, swimming pools with flumes, an ice skating rink, go-karts, a spa and cycle hire. There are 70 activities in total.
Evening entertainment is also laid on at Manor House Hotel.
Find out more and book these hotels in Okehampton.
Woolacombe Bay Hotel – reopening 4 July 2020
This luxurious family hotel is right next to one of North Devon’s best beaches giving guests easy access the sand and surf. There’s lots of accommodation options and plenty to do in the local area besides the incredible beach.
Family rooms at Woolacombe Bay Hotel
Families can stay in the main hotel or, for more flexible accommodation, in one of its self-catering coastal apartments.
Some of the hotel’s family rooms have a separate room for children, while the suites have extra storage for all your beach holiday essentials. For an extra touch of luxury, if you stay in a suite, you get breakfast in bed.
Some rooms are dog-friendly. Extra beds and cots are available on request.
The self-catering beach flats, apartments and suites are just down the road from the hotel and can sleep up to eight guests. They come with a well-equipped kitchen, TV and DVD player, a private patio or balcony and easy access to the beach. Some of this accommodation is dog-friendly.
Dining at this family hotel in Devon
Woolacombe Bay Hotel has children’s menus and welcomes them to eat in the beachside Bay Brasserie from 6pm and Doyles restaurant from 7pm. Lunch is served in the brasserie until 3pm and snacks are available throughout the day.
Things to do in Woolacombe
The hotel is 200m from Woolacombe Beach which is brilliant for water sports and sandcastle building. You can also hang out by the heated outdoor pool which also has a children’s paddling pool. Guests staying in the coastal apartments also have their own private lido.
On wet days you can hit the hotel’s cinema (there’s an extra charge). There’s a full spa and gym available for parents.
A bit further afield there is plenty for families to do in North Devon including walks on the South West Coast Path and cycling the Tarka Trail.
Find out more and book Woolacombe Bay Hotel.
The Saunton Sands Hotel – reopening 4 July
Saunton Sands Hotel sits on the cliffs above this beautiful North Devon beach with its row of colourful beach huts. It boasts that it is Devon’s most family-friendly hotel. And with it’s location, facilities and free childcare, I think it has a pretty good claim to that title.
Family rooms at The Saunton Sands Hotel
This stylish Devon hotel has rooms to suit every family, from couples holidaying with their baby for the first time to larger families in need of an apartment for up to eight people.
Family suites can accommodate between three and five people with a master bedroom and connecting extra bedroom.
Every room has a baby listening service and free WiFi.
If you are travelling with young children the hotel can provide loads of equipment to lighten your load, such as travel cots, buggies, bounty chairs, baby carriers, a steriliser, changing mats, swim nappies and water aids, colouring books and baby toys. You can even request milk and biscuits at bed time.
Family dining at The Saunton Sands Hotel
There are plenty of options for formal and informal dining at the hotel including the Beachside Grill and Terrace Lounge with incredible views of the sea. A children’s menu is available from 12pm until 6.30pm including a good choice of sandwiches and main meals plus desserts. This is accompanied by children’s entertainment every Saturday afternoon.
Things to do at Saunton Sands
Saunton Sands Hotel has indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, gym, fitness classes and a tennis court. And if you are wondering how you as parents can take advantage of these luxuries, there’s two hours of free childcare per day for children under 11-years-old.
During the school holidays there’s entertainment at the hotel. And as a guest you can get discounts at many North Devon family attractions like The Big Sheep, RHS Garden Rosemoor, Tapeley Park and Exmoor Zoo.
Find out more and book Saunton Sands Hotel.
TLH Leisure Resort – reopening 4 July
This commercial holiday complex in the popular seaside town of Torquay includes four hotels, plus self catering apartments, and resort-style shared leisure facilities. If you are looking for somewhere to stay with plenty of activities and entertainment then this is a top option for your Devon family holiday.
Family rooms at TLH Leisure Torquay
The TLH Leisure hotels offer modern accommodation for families. What they lack in style is make up for with practicality. There are family rooms with single beds for up to two kids or large family-friendly rooms with bunk beds and a single bed up to three children.
Each room has a TV, free WiFi and complimentary toiletries.
The self-catering apartments are the best option for families who prefer more than one bedroom. These come with up to two bedrooms and can sleep between two and six people. They have a fully fitted kitchen and are serviced like hotel rooms.
Each of the hotels here has buffet-style restaurants with children’s menus. There are la carte evening meals at TLH Victoria Hotel from 6.30pm, at TLH Carlton Hotel from 6pm and at TLH Toorak Hotel from 6pm. Children can eat at Alberts Bar from 11am until 9pm for £1.50.
The Aztec Bistro at the centre of the hotel complex is also open all day serving breakfast, snacks, light lunches and cream teas.
Things to do at this resort in Torquay
While there’s plenty of things to do in South Devon you may find you don’t have to leave the resort for a fun-packed holiday. The TLH Leisure Hotels share kids clubs for three to nine-year-olds and 10 to 16-year-olds during the school holidays. This includes an hour of baby sitting for younger children each evening.
There’s full daily programme of family activities in the indoor pools and outdoors in good weather. In the summer holidays there are talent competitions, evening entertainment and pirate and princess parties.
For older kids there’s 10 pin bowling, archery and an arcade.
I can recommend the Aztec Spa for an indulgent day of treatments and pampering, having visited for a day.
The hotel complex is set back from the beaches here but these and the attractions of Torquay can be easily reached on foot.
Find out more and book THL Leisure Hotels.
Watersmeet Hotel – reopening 4 July 2020
This 4* Devon hotel is right on the beach in North Devon making it a top spot for an easy family beach holiday. Within minutes of leaving your room you can be on the sand.
Family rooms at Watersmeet Hotel
Ask for a family room with a terrace and you’ll have outdoor space to use during the day and evenings when the kids have gone to bed. Every room comes with a king sized bed and one or two single beds, free WiFi and Molton Brown toiletries.
Dining at Watersmeet Hotel
As well as trying dishes made with local produce in the hotel’s restaurant, there’s a children’s high tea with kid-friendly starters, mains and desserts for young diners.
Things to do at Watersmeet Hotel
This small family-owned hotel has direct access to Combesgate beach with many rooms overlooking this sea front gem. It’s the perfect spot for body boarding and rock pooling. Not far away are the beaches of Woolacombe and the ferry to Lundy Island.
At the hotel there’s an outdoor pool and indoor pool with steam room and hot tub, and a spa offering a range of massages, facials and nail treatments.
Find out more and book Watersmeet Hotel.
Which of these family hotels in Devon takes your fancy? There’s certainly something here for everyone whether you are looking for a boutique getaway, self-catering break with plenty of activities or a holiday on the beach.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of these and make a purchase I may earn some commission. This does not affect the price you pay.
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