Millionaire entrepreneur Peter de Savary on the ‘magic world’ that is Torbay

Ian Solkin with the view from the new cottagesIan Solkin with the view from the new cottages

Multi-millionaire Peter de Savary is ploughing millions of pounds of new investment into what he describes the ‘magic world’ that is Torbay.

Entrepreneur Mr de Savary has just taken the wraps off the latest £3million project at his Cary Arms hotel and spa complex in Babbacombe.

A former hotel has been transformed into seven ‘Seaview Cottages’ each worth around £850,000 – with three already snapped up before they go on the market.

Mr de Savary has invested more than £12 million since taking over the Cary Arms in 2009 with a complete refurbishment of the inn and hotel, the creation of luxury beach hut-style accommodation and the regeneration of six hillside properties.

He has praised the ‘Torbay Team’ for the latest project, saying: “They have worked very hard on a difficult site with lots of other difficult conditions to achieve what is there. It has been a great local Torbay team effort. We are very proud that everybody we have employed is local.”

He says Torbay has special qualities. He said: “It has a rich history. It is the birthplace of Agatha Christie. It has nostalgia. It has a slightly glamorous history and culture. People know that palm trees grow in Torbay. It has a Mediterranean feel, a bit of the French Riviera.

“Driving down the M4 and the M5 I see countryside I haven’t seen in the previous four hours driving from London. I have entered a magic world. When you turn off at Teignmouth golf course it is just beautiful.”

He often stops for an ice cream and to take in the view from Labrador Bay. “When I arrive at the Cary Arms I think ‘why do I get on an aeroplane to go anywhere?’” he says.

Ian Solkin, managing director of Mr de Savary’s Havana West company which includes the Cary Arms, says: “It is a really unique spot and a unique area with rolling cliffs down to the sea. It is famous. There is no spot quite like it.”

The next Cary Arms project is focused on the beach car park with £2 million plans to turn the current cafe into a new food and beverage outlet and build four holiday apartments.