Meet the Owners

Meet the Owners: Coastal Cabins, Devon

14 February 2024

Meet Melissa (pictured below), who along with her parents Janet and John, runs Coastal Cabins – a selection of luxurious, award-winning hideaways for couples and families in North Devon, with indulgent on-site facilities and surrounded countryside beside the beautiful Hartland coastline.

What first inspired you to create Coastal Cabins as a retreat?
Hi, I’m Melissa and I run Coastal Cabins Glamping with my parents Janet and John. My parents moved to Hartland, Devon back in 1984 (when I was 1!) to set up a holiday cottage business. After nearly 30 years running this we came up with the idea of Coastal Cabins. We had a large field with a lake which had just the most stunning views towards the Atlantic. It was the perfect location! My dad took it upon himself to design the cabins and so Coastal Cabins was born.

Have you always been in hospitality? If not, what else did / do you do?
I grew up in Hartland in North Devon, which is where Coastal Cabins is located. After a few years at University in Bath I then embarked on a career as a Broadcast Journalist at the BBC in London. For nearly 10 years I worked on mainly radio shows such as The Today Programme on Radio 4, and Wake up to Money on Radio 5 Live. I specialised in business and economics journalism and covered the financial crisis of 2008 amongst other major stories. I also started and ran my own health spa and I’m a qualified eyelash technician!

What’s the best thing about being the owner of Coastal Cabins?
I’m really passionate about sharing my knowledge of our little corner of England with our guests. I love exploring the area where I live and grew up, and I really love to share this with everyone so that they can experience the best of our area and have amazing holidays. I absolutely love seeing families create holiday memories at Coastal Cabins!

What’s your favourite feature of the retreat?
I’m not sure I can pick just one! I think my favourite feature isn’t a ‘thing’, it’s a feeling. The feeling of complete relaxation and of completely switching off from everything. Over the past few years the cabins have been a welcome escape from the real world. There’s something about the rural location, by the lake, near the coast and just surrounded by nothing but fields that really feeds and nurtures the soul. The hot tub helps too though!

What do you love about the local area?
I’m very fortunate to have been able to see a lot of the world, but I’m always completely bowled away by the beauty of our coastline. From the dramatic cliffs of Hartland Quay to the wide expanses of sandy beaches in Bude, the variety is spectacular. There’s literally hundreds of miles of the South West Coast Path where every corner you turn is picture perfect. Oh and the cream teas….I mustn’t forget the cream teas.

What’s next for Coastal Cabins?
Coastal Cabins was recently awarded Bronze in the Glamping Business of the Year category in the coveted Visit Devon Tourism Awards, which is brilliant news. However we never stand still and have lots of plans in the pipeline! Due to popular demand we are hoping to extend some of our family cabins to accommodate larger families! Watch this space.

If you couldn’t stay at your place, where would your ideal holiday be?
Before having children I would have definitely said somewhere tropical! However what I’ve learnt over the past few years is that you really don’t have to travel far to really relax. Infact with young children in tow I’d say the closer the better! There are so many stunning properties on Host Unusual in Devon and Cornwall that are definitely on my must visit list.

Sum up Coastal Cabins in three words
Relaxing, Memorable, Fun!

If you were visiting, how would you spend a day at Coastal Cabins?
I would start by whipping up a bacon and egg sandwich in the kitchenette inside our cabin. Then we’d drive just 5 minutes up to the road to the stunning fishing village of Clovelly. We’d eat ice creams, meet the village donkeys and watch the fishing boats bring in their catch of the day. Then we’d head over to Pattard Restaurant for lunch. Just half a mile from Coastal Cabins it’s a brilliant family friendly fine dining restaurant hidden in a secluded Hartland valley. A five minute drive to the coast and we’d park up at Hartland Quay to walk off lunch on the South West Coastal Path. A quick local cider whilst the girls play on the beach hunting for treasures in the rockpools, then home to our cabin. I’d ask mum and dad to watch the girls (they’re staying in the cabin next door!) whilst me and my husband hire out the Wild Spa Hot Tub area (above). We’d watch the sun setting over the Atlantic and relax in the bubbly bliss. Then we’d have a bbq on our cabin deck by the lake, sipping large G&T’s whilst the girls play in the field with their new found friends! Bliss.

Find out more about Coastal Cabins via their Host Unusual listing below!

Coastal Cabins

Bideford, Devon, England
A selection of luxurious, award-winning hideaways for couples and families, with indulgent on-site facilities and surrounded by North Devon countryside.
Bedrooms: Open plan
Sleeps: Varies
£78 / night


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