All photos: Matt Austin
Luxury, opulence, indulgence…these are not the words one would normally associate with a holiday park. Well, it’s time to think again because Coast View in Shaldon has ripped up the rulebook and created an environment worthy of all three words!
Josh Donald of South West Holiday Parks and his General Manager, Russell Knight, are proud and keen to show me just how this once rather faded and run down holiday park has been transformed beyond recognition.
Coast View has always had the views; far-reaching and stunning across to Teignmouth and along the Jurassic Coast. What it hasn’t had though was quality accommodation and food as mouth-watering as the view. This is where local chef and restaurateur, Tim Bouget, comes in. Well known in the village and beyond for Ode, his fine dining restaurant and Café Ode overlooking the Ness, he has now added to his portfolio with Ode & Co, which is the on-site restaurant at Coast View. It serves organic, sour dough pizza, cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven, featuring specially created toppings. There are also innovative breakfasts, lunch and dinner menus that feature fresh pasta, salads, grills and seafood.
Russell Knight, Tim Bouget, Josh Donald Photos: Matt Austin
Yes, I am still talking about a holiday park! Underneath the terrace of the restaurant you’ll find a heated indoor swimming pool and soon there will be a spa as well.
Josh tells me more of how Coast View and holiday parks in general have been evolving: “We bought this site in January 2012 and have always thought this was huge opportunity not being optimised.
“Holiday parks have changed hugely over the years; to be honest they needed to. We’ve got three parks in the South West and in all of them we are creating five star destinations.”
But with the new lodges ranging from £225,000 to £425,000, which is the cost of a normal house for most people, what do you get for your money?
Russell explains: “Most of our customers want to be part of a community when they are on holiday and with Coast View they get the best of both worlds. They get a property they can sublet if they desire when not using it and we fully manage that from booking through to departure along with changeover etc.
“They get the added security of us looking after their lodge which comes fully furnished with brand new contemporary furniture, beautiful fabrics, quality white goods and top of the range HD TVs. Not only that but they get to be part of a village, hence why we have partnered up with Tim Bouget and have tried very hard to encourage a relationship with Shaldon.”
Boutique may be an overused word these days when it comes to accommodation but these surroundings would rival any boutique hotel.
Tim Bouget knows from experience this is what people want from a staycation: “It’s not cheap to holiday at home and we have to offer the whole experience for people from the location, the accommodation and the food. Expectations are now extremely high and people want the best.”
Tim has built a great reputation and has won awards such as most Sustainable Restaurant beating the likes of River Cottage, so how does his ethos fit in with Josh and his team?
Josh tells me: “We quickly realised that we needed to offer the best standard in food and we were so excited when Tim was interested in getting on board. We worked hard on the design so that Tim and his team would be happy.”
As anyone who owns a business in the South West knows, the winter can be challenging but it’s one Josh is keen to overcome with the help of the village: “Everyone in Shaldon has been so welcoming and encouraging. We’re developing the spa and making this a venue for locals and holiday makers alike all year round. Everyone is welcome.”