Perched above the cliffs and coves of Ilfracombe, Seaside Heights is a huge hunk of holiday happiness for hens, friends and the family. Just a couple of hundred metres away, the mad surf of the North Devon coast smashes the rocks but, back at base, all is serenity and serendipity.
Seaside Heights hovers high above its neighbours. So your views from the veranda and the multi-hued deckchairs out front take in the Bristol Channel, and Wales’ Gower peninsula on a good day. There’s a tropical feel in the air here, with palm trees at the ready and the sandy beaches of Woolacombe and Croyde just a short hop away.
Cook on the electric oven and five-burner hob, or al-fresco on the gas barbecue, with meats from the Harbour Deli and wines from Majestic. Burn off the calories in the on- site gym complete with boxing gloves and yoga mats. Magic up a movie on the big- screen TV. Sleep in elegant bedrooms with soaring town and coastal views.
You’ve a third of an acre in which to soak up the seaside air, with a gas barbecue out there among the palm trees high above the town. Stock up the chest freezer and fridge with steaks and sausages from the Harbour Deli and fizz from Majestic. Then eat al- fresco with salt speckling the air and gulls wheeling above.
Take the steps down to the terrace, sit out on the multi-coloured deckchairs and stare beyond the palms to the seafront, or make the most of the views from the veranda.
An occasional wellness retreat, Seaside Heights gives you a life of simple luxury. You’ve got Wi-Fi and a large-screen TV for film nights. But this is a place to reconnect with family and friends close to the crashing surf and the buzzing nightlife in an atmosphere as serene or stormy as the day decides.
Walk the coastal path, enjoy the beaches, ride the Tarka Trail, then come home to an inspiringly gothic house with space to party on the old wooden floors or spaces to simply be apart with a good book and a view of the sea. And if you overindulge? Head to the basement gym for boxing and yoga.
There’s a fine commercial kitchen here in this former hotel, ready and waiting for you to feed the electric oven and five-burner hob with delicious meats from the Harbour Deli. Pull a bottle or two of fizz from Majestic Wines out of the fridge and you’re good to go around the dining tables for 20.
Alternatively, eat al-fresco with meat from the gas barbecue out in the salty air with views over the town and coast. Or hang up your whites and phone out for pizza and seafood from Slice of Devon, Chinese from Emperor’s Court or The Ilfracombe Fryer for good old fish and chips.
Pop into town for pub meals at The George and Dragon that include chicken and sweet- potato curry and pan-fried prime fillet steak. Enjoy a proper Sunday roast, with dogs welcome, at The Thatched Inn. Or order a full English breakfast for the beer garden at The Hip and Pistol.
Do you know your chocos fritas from your croquetas de chorizo? You will after you’ve magicked up a Mediterranean vibe at The Terrace Tapas and Wine Bar. Push the boat out in this seaside town with modern British food and hand-paired wines at Michelin- starred Antidote. Or how about market-day fish or monkfish fritters from Seventy One?
Nothing knocks you out like the sweet smell of the briny. And there’s nothing better to wake up to than the call of the gulls and the distant chug of the dayboats in the harbour. Seaside Heights sleeps 20 in ten smart bedrooms with elevated ocean and town views.
Bedroom one (Blue) is a double en-suite with a tantalising terrace that suggests coffee in the clean sea air, while bedroom two (Yellow) is also a double with a bath en-suite and balcony overlooking the town. Bedroom three (Green) is a double with bath en- suite, while bedroom four (Turquoise) offers a double bed and shower en-suite.
Bedroom five (Red) provides another double bed with shower en-suite, while bedrooms six (Top-floor Yellow), seven (Top-floor Green) and eight (Top-floor Blue) are twins with shower en-suite. Bedroom nine (Lilac) is a small double with shower en-suite and bedroom ten (Top-floor Red) is also a small double with a shower room next door.