Devon's newest boutique hotel gets it just right: perfect interiors, great food and fabulous rooms (the view's not bad either).
Book now if: You adore seafaring interiors (we're remodelling our bathroom at home based exactly on the designs at South Sands) and like the idea of falling asleep listening to the waves – the beach is really that close.
Bedding down: There are just 22 rooms and if you were raised on boats, the different classifications will make perfect sense, for the rest of us, a little explanation might be in order. The smaller Optimist rooms don't have a view of the sea, although the interior design doesn't suffer for the lack of photo opportunities. Then there's Enterprise and Yawl, with a little more space, and one up the scale, the-perfect-sea-view guaranteed Dragon rooms. For honeymooners, the exquisite J-Class comes with two side-by-side bathtubs looking out over the beach and an 8ft-wide bed.
Feed me: So close you may as well be eating on the beach, the hotel's restaurant serves fabulous seafood (naturally) and great breakfasts. Our favouite touch? The stone wine coolers and hurricane lamps dotted everywhere, plus some seriously delicious desserts. Don't feel the need to get too dressed up. This is flip-flops and maxiskirts territory, not heels and diamonds.
Easily bored: Rent a boat or kayak on the beach, jump on the little ferry to head into nearby Salcombe, or put on your walking shoes and head round the coast to North Sands. If you don't at least get your feet in the water while you're here, you've totally missed the point.
What's the damage: You can pay anything from £120 a room in low season for an Optimist bedroom, up to £340 for the J-Class in high season. If you've got the family in tow, the larger beach suites cost between £275 and £395 depending on the time of year.
Point me in the right direction: South Sands Hotel, Bolt Head, Salcombe, Devon TQ8 8LL (01548 859 000, www.southsandshotel.co.uk)
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