The Most Budget-Friendly Hotels in Torquay, England

Torquay is a seaside town in Devon, England
Torquay is a seaside town in Devon, England | © Robert Harding / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Mischa Smith
12 January 2021

The beating heart of the English Riviera, Torquay leans heavily on its history as the go-to resort for posh Victorians and, later, 1920s jazz kids and flappers. It’s also the birthplace of Agatha Christie – a feature that’s hard to ignore given the area’s celebrations of the crime writer and the Art Deco glamour that characterises the local architecture. Still, with the wild moors of Dartmoor and the prehistoric Jurassic Coast nearby, there’s more than stucco façades and glitzy dining rooms to this bustling seaside town. If you fancy a cheap and cheerful stay, read on for our recommendations of the best budget-friendly hotels in Torquay.

Osborne Hotel

Boutique Hotel
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Osborne Hotel
Courtesy of Osborne Hotel / Expedia.com

Mixing Regency-era panache with breezy seaside touches – as befits a grand hotel overlooking Meadfoot Beach and sitting along the Grade II-listed Regency Crescent in Torquay – the Osborne Hotel is a prestige townhouse in a prime part of Devon, within easy reach of Paignton Zoo and rugged Dartmoor. A bean-shaped outdoor pool overlooks the English Riviera and sits on 6 acres (2.4ha) of perfectly manicured gardens. Quintessentially British, without leaning too heavily on hackneyed seaside tropes, the Osborne blends Georgian features with fresh modern decor that keeps the focus on the watery vista – best enjoyed from the Sea View rooms, which come with springy double beds and bright ensuites.

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Orestone Manor

Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel
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Orestone Manor
Courtesy of Orestone Manor / Expedia.com

This stately Georgian manor, seemingly plucked from Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, nods to old-world decadence and Art Deco-era exoticism. It boasts a fusion of influences from across the globe – oil paintings and antiquities jostle together in a warm, colonial-style grand room, while 14 bedrooms, which overlook Lyme Bay, are lavishly decorated and have names like Burlesque and Morris to boot. Expect heavily patterned feature walls, punctuated with prints of Josephine Baker in Burlesque, while William Morris wallpaper, jacquard chaise lounges and antique sleigh beds take centre stage in Morris. The D’Allen family, who run the hotel, are passionate about their home and are always on-hand to offer ideas for day trips – all while maintaining the uncanny knack of staying discreetly in the distance until needed.

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Imperial Hotel Torquay

Budget Hotel
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Imperial Hotel Torquay
Courtesy of Imperial Hotel Torquay

The Imperial Hotel has a storied history as a hangout for well-heeled Victorians, Hollywood stars and the Beatles, who stayed twice in the height of the Swinging Sixties. Today, the 19th-century clifftop hotel draws on its legacy with traditional period features and Victorian grandeur by way of chintzy furnishings and wrought iron chandeliers. A wraparound terrace offers views of the bay as well as the seaside towns of Torquay, Babbacombe, Paignton and Brixham, which are a short trip away. Elsewhere, a range of classic treatments, such as Decléor facials and aromatherapy massages, are available at the Health & Leisure Club, which draws scores of non-residents for those milestone occasions.

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  • The Torcroft

    Bed and Breakfast
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    The Torcroft
    Courtesy of The Torcroft / Expedia.com

    Like much of Torquay, the Torcroft came to prominence during the golden days of the Victorian era as a gentleman’s residence, which makes this an ideal stay for history buffs and those who enjoy life’s finer details. Riffing off its heritage as a luxury retreat for the leisure class, the Torcroft proudly displays its own vintage memorabilia alongside restored period features. Art Deco flourishes evoke the hotel’s history as a 1930s hotspot, while new owners Gary and Philip are keen to restore the stately manor to its former glory – grand dining room and all.

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    Haytor Hotel

    Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel
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    Haytor Hotel
    Courtesy of Haytor Hotel / Expedia.com

    The Haytor Hotel, sitting inside lush green gardens, is a plush Victorian villa, first built in the 1830s. A mere 4-minute walk from pebbly-but-pretty Meadfoot beach and buzzy bar-strewn marina, this bright and airy boutique hotel is replete with everything needed for a comfortable stay. However, with the harbour a few minutes away, guests are more likely to be found strolling along the seafront or reading a book in the pretty garden swing chairs.

    Briarfields

    Budget Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
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    Briarfields
    Courtesy of Briarfields / Expedia.com

    The Briarfields offers a comfortable stay with pleasant decor, cheery and attentive staff and all the typical facilities and amenities. The star in this B&Bs crown is surely its short roaming distance to Torquay’s seafront, harbour and marina, all of which offer a wealth of eateries to suit fussy foodies and hungry families. For an all-out dinner, Simon Hulstone’s Michelin-starred restaurant the Elephant offers stunning seasonal produce, such as holiday Brixham scallops and Devon beef fillets. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, breakfast is a smorgasbord of local produce designed to set you up for a day of romping around the English Riviera, Torre Abbey or the Royal Gardens.

    These recommendations were updated on January 12, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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