Cornwall LivingIssue #135

Stays of splendour

Taking luxury retreats to new heights, we discover some of Cornwall’s finest havens that deliver indulgence on every level.

Did you know that you don’t have to spend the time and money to travel to far-flung retreats in order to experience holiday splendour? Here in Cornwall, there’s a wide selection of luxury stays, all with the incredible backdrop of the Duchy’s beautiful landscape. If you’re travelling from out of county, then Cornwall is a little over five hours from London by car. With the last remaining section of single carriageway on the A30 due to be upgraded later this year, driving to your holiday home is a great way to travel. If you prefer to fly, then there are regular domestic flights from the ideally situated Cornwall Airport Newquay, or choose from are regular train services from across the UK.

With travel sorted, where should you choose to rest your head? Whether it be for a much-needed weekend escape or a longer stay, Cornwall’s luxury hotels and resorts offer the warmest of welcomes and an opportunity to relax in tranquil surroundings. From coastal comfort to city chic, we have selected just a few of our favourites to tempt you.

If you are looking for a coastal-chic base then the Padstow Harbour Hotel will fit the bill. This gem of a hotel has the most incredible views over the Camel Estuary, super-comfy beds, friendly service and serves delicious Cornish food. The hotel is perched in an elevated position above the town, providing a unique wraparound outlook over the harbour.

The lavender-fringed lawn is a truly blissful spot to enjoy a cream tea or local ale while watching the fishing trawlers return from their daily boat trips. The décor is nothing short of impressive; from the entrance with its gigantic neon ‘What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor’ sign, to the inverted skiff moored to the ceiling in the lounge.

And what to do while you’re there? Well, no visit to Padstow would be complete without a walk or cycle on the famous Camel Trail. Padstow Harbour Hotel likes to make things easy for their guests, so no surprise that the trail starts a few minutes’ walk away, nor that  the hotel will lend you bikes, maps and even pack you a luxury picnic in a backpack to eat en-route. Many guests opt to hike the rugged clifftop paths of the nearby South West Coast Path, or join a sea safari with Padstow Sealife Safaris, to glimpse nesting puffins, seals, dolphins, and even basking sharks. Also, don’t miss the National Lobster Hatchery, which provides visitors a fascinating insight into the hard work required to keep up a sustainable lobster population in Cornwall.

Moving from the north to south coast, you’ll discover the Talland Bay Hotel. Set in the most peaceful pocket of Cornwall, it’s reached via winding country lanes and reveals the most spectacular views. This is a hotel that feels like a home-from-home, with friendly and welcoming staff. Walking into Talland Bay Hotel is like stepping into Alice in Wonderland. The design and décor throughout the hotel is striking. Each room is individually designed and all offer a calming retreat after a day’s exploration. We recommend a stroll down the lane to Talland Bay beach where you can while away many a happy hour soaking up the sun or watching the waves lap the shore.

Or, walk the South West Coast Path to Polperro, where you can meander through the streets of the traditional Cornish fishing port. Returning to the hotel, pre-dinner drinks on the terrace or lush green lawns is such a special experience as you soak up the uninterrupted view out across the sea. The food is exceptional here. Each dish is carefully considered and has a little extra flavour kick, whether that’s curry oil with the fish or a crunchy quinoa and sesame cracker with the salad. The hotel has recently launched a nine-course dining experience, too, taking you on a culinary journey through the best local seasonal produce.

Further south, St Michaels Resort is unique in that it offers both luxury hotel and self-catering accommodation. Choose from one of the delightful rooms or suites and you’ll experience a hotel stay that you’ll want to repeat year after year. The hotel is home to the largest hydrotherapy pool in Cornwall and new for 2023 are four Spa Garden Lodges. With private terraces, outdoor bath tubs and packages with unlimited Hydrothermal Experience access, this is the ultimate way to relax and unwind in coastal surroundings.

For the ultimate in versatility, the hotel’s Beach Residences offer the best of both worlds. With elegant coastal styling these are perfect for families or group stays providing deluxe spaces in which to enjoy the ultimate in beachside relaxation. While each has a well-appointed open kitchen, there is always the opportunity to stroll across the hotel’s garden and experience either the Brasserie on the Bay or the more informal Garden Kitchen. Whichever dining experience you choose, both menus offer fresh, seasonal dishes made with ingredients chosen from Cornwall’s abundant local larder.

A stay here is one of south coast elegance with an ocean backdrop. For exploration, Gylly beach is just a stone’s throw away while the South West Coast Path extends in both directions just a few steps from the bottom of the hotel’s garden. The maritime town of Falmouth makes for a wonderful way to while away a day or for seafarers, its world-class sailing waters await.

For an elegant coastal stay with a difference, the Park Mawgan Porth’s stunning yurt village takes five-star glamping to the next level. Nestled in a secret valley in 27 acres of tranquil gardens, where luxury lodges, cosy cottages and cabins are also available, the yurts make for an under-canvas retreat where you can connect with nature without having to sacrifice quality and comfort. Each yurt has underfloor heating, and vast sink-into beds draped with luxury linens invite deep slumber.

The village itself is magical. Birdsong greets early morning risers in utterly peaceful surroundings. The addition of an outdoor hot tub means guests can experience gentle restorative warmth while breathing deeply of fresh, coastal air. The coast is but a few minutes’ walk away and with a location between Newquay and Padstow, The Park Cornwall has endless opportunities for adventure; whether that be al fresco, ocean or culinary.

From the ultimate in coastal comfort we move to an uber-cool, urban bolthole. The Penventon Park Hotel is a place where guests can expect to escape the ordinary. This hotel, which can be found in Redruth at the heart of one of Cornwall’s historic mining towns, affords splendid Georgian architecture and glittering interiors. Lavish chandeliers hang from high atrium ceilings; gilded paintings, plush velvets, silks and satins invoke Italian grandeur.

Sophistication can be found at every turn. The dining experience is nothing short of theatrical while the Copper Bar offers an elegant start or end to the evening. The bedrooms, as one would expect in a Georgian mansion, are fit for lords and ladies. Each room is a luxury escape in itself – think opulent antique furniture, four poster beds and luxurious touches at every turn. This is the ideal base for exploring Cornwall’s industrial heritage, discovering ancient engine houses and mineral tramways that wind through countryside decorated with granite outcrops and swathes of gorse and heather.

Whichever luxury stay you choose, these inspiring boltholes are waiting to offer you a welcome like no other. Book your next escape to Cornwall and discover retreats that you will want to return to again and again.