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Saunton Sands Hotel

Muddy says: Everything a tired mumma and papa might want from a family-friendly hotel: fab food, a contemporary spa, the natural playground of beach and dunes on your doorstep, and did I mention the FREE childcare?

So many ticks for this hotel: for the golden beach location, the contemporary three-storey spa, the Art Deco vibe and the double A star dining. A stay here comes with 40 minutes free slot in the spa each day and 2, yes 2, hours free childcare. If you’re looking for a relaxing staycation, without the hassle and expense of flights and going through security, I promise you this is your place, though it being North Devon I can’t promise the weather. But when the sun does shine, it’s just glorious.

Part of the Brend Hotels group, this 74-bedroom hotel is large and spacious with 2 living suites, 11 apartments, 2 pools – indoor and outdoor and a raft of built-in kids entertainment if you go during the kids’ holidays. Think 1930’s ocean liner – sea-facing views, spread out over various levels with lounges on the lowest deck along with a well-stocked bar and two restaurants – both formal and informal. There’s a games room for kids, a playroom and – the jewel in the crown – a new ocean-inspired spa.

The three-storey Source Spa & Wellness raises it above being just another really good coast hotel – brand-new and big, decorated in tasteful whites and seaside pastels, and spread over three levels. Each level is devoted to an activity – Source Active is the indoor pool and Thermasuite where you can soak in a mineral salt pool and saunas; Source Relax for beautifying treatments including top-of-the-range Fire & Ice facials; and Source Chill a relaxation room adjoining a rooftop sun deck where you can read, daydream or snooze to the sound of mesmeric music and the boom of the waves. Book now!

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Devon