With its sandy coastlines and wild moorlands, Cornwall is a stunning setting for a summer escape. You could forget you’re in England when visiting the beautiful British county, which is filled with historic manor houses and inviting seaside retreats. If you’re planning a staycation from the city, follow our guide to the best luxury hotels in Cornwall.
Nestled into the coastline above a private Blue Flag beach near St Ives, the historic hotel is one of the grandest addresses in Cornwall. Everything on the 125-acre estate is a cut above the rest, from the architecture by Sylvanus Trevail and the interiors by Josie Baker, to the fine dining on offer at AA Rosette restaurant Sands and opulent pampering at C-Bay Spa. There’s even a private Sunseeker yacht available exclusively for guest use.
Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate, Saint Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2NP
Nestled into a secluded cove overlooking Mawgan Port, The Scarlet is a luxurious eco-hotel and spa for travellers with a conscience. The adult-only property near Newquay offers respite from the city. Designed to promote a connection with nature, the property is built into the rock and tall glass walls framing large, airy spaces bring the outside inside. The hotel is home to myriad spaces to relax and unwind, including clifftop log-fired hot tubs, lush meadow gardens and the Ayurvedic-inspired Scarlet Spa – a highlight for many guests. Whichever room or suite you book, ocean views come guaranteed.
The Scarlet Hotel, Tredragon Rd, Mawgan Porth, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4DQ
Located in one of Cornwall’s most historic manor houses, The Pig at Harlyn Bay brings together the best of old and new-world luxury. The building itself, located near Padstow, dates back to the 15th century. Touches of history can be felt throughout the property in the carved four-poster beds, standalone bathtubs and cosy garden wagons, but it’s far from stuffy. Refreshed interiors bring the hotel into the 21st century which when combined with high-end facilities including a spa, a kitchen garden and various lounges and ‘snugs’ make The Pig an excellent option for all manner of guests.
The Pig at Harlyn Bay, Harlyn, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8SQ
Located on a two-mile-long surfing beach on the North Cornwall coast, the recently revamped Watergate Bay Hotel is ideal for surfers and watersports enthusiasts. A Newquay institution since the 1970s, the hotel is run by the next generation of the same family. Stay right on the water at the property’s brand-new beach lofts, located in the former home of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant. Adopting a ski chalet-inspired ‘surf-in surf-out’ ethos, the charming lofts open up directly onto the sandy shore. All seven lofts are individually designed by Cornwall-based firm Dynargh Design and have floor-to-ceiling sliding doors enabling guests to feel as though they’re staying right on the beach.
Watergate Bay Hotel, Trevarrian Hill, Newquay, Cornwall, TR8 4AA
Enjoy the simple pleasures in life at The Idle Rocks, a luxury hotel in St Mawes on the Rosewood Peninsula. The intimate 19-room chateaux-style property may not be the largest on our list but it’s arguably the homeliest. Each room is individually designed in a classic yet chic style and overlooks the harbour – fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping. Don’t miss the acclaimed The Idle Rocks Restaurant, headed by Executive Head Chef Dorian Janmaat, showcasing authentic and wholesome cuisine using sustainably produced local ingredients. The terrace is a beautiful spot for a lunch or dinner, particularly during the summer months.
The Idle Rocks, Harbourside, Tredenham Rd, St Mawes, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 5AN
Padstow Townhouse may not be the grandest hotel in Cornwall but it’s one of the most unique. Owned by chef Paul Ainsworth, who runs the must-visit No.6 restaurant down the road, the cosy 18th-century property is located a stone’s throw from the historic harbour of Padstow. The ivy-clad stone building is home to just six suites, decorated by Ainsworth’s wife Emma and interior designer Eve Cullen-Cornes. Each has its own theme and features restored furniture and limited-edition artworks by Magnus Gjoen. A real home from home, the townhouse invites guests to live Cornish life their own way. It’s even home to an honesty box-operated ‘Kitchen Pantry’ where visitors can enjoy unlimited drinks and gourmet snacks.
Padstow Townhouse, 16-18 High St, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8BB
Get away from it all in the Cornish countryside at Coombeshead Farm, a guesthouse set among 66 acres of meadows, woodland and farmland. Founded by chefs Tom Adams and April Bloomfield, this foodie destination, situated in a restored dairy farm, offers city dwellers the ultimate isolation escape. Guests can enjoy all the creature comforts you’d expect from a high-end stay in an authentic farmhouse setting, including communal farm-to-table dining revolving around locally and farm-grown produce. Discover comfortable newly converted rooms, fresh seasonal cuisine at the restaurant, an on-site bakery offering baking classes, and much more. Coombeshead is a working farm that’s home to pigs, sheep, chickens and bees, making it a unique stay for families and animal lovers.
Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 7QQ
Within minutes of arriving at Hotel Tresanton, you’ll forget that you’re in England. Part of The Polizzi Collection by Olga Polizzi, the hotel is located in a former yacht club on the edge of the pretty Cornish fishing village of St Mawes. Whitewashed buildings create a Mediterannean ambience, which continues at the property’s private Beach Club. Guests can select from 30 sea-view rooms, individually designed with local artworks and contemporary and antique furnishings, and enjoy an array of seasonal cuisine at the restaurant – on your way out to the Pelargonium-filled terrace, don’t forget to look down at the dining room’s impressive mosaic floor.
Hotel Tresanton, 27 Lower Castle Rd, St Mawes, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 5DR
A country house-style hotel by the sea, The Nare combines the best of the seaside and the countryside. Overlooking Carne beach and surrounded by landscaped gardens, the five-star property on the idyllic Rosewood Peninsula is inviting yet luxurious. A real home from home, The Nare provides itself on providing first-rate personable service with a human touch. Its two sea-facing restaurants are famed for their excellent, locally-sourced fine dining – foodies can feast on seafood plucked fresh from the Cornish waters and prime Cornish beef from local farms. Whether you wish to relax or keep active between meals, there’s something for everyone. Guests have access to two swimming pools, a hot tub and a spa and fitness centre with facilities for tennis, croquet, sailing, and more.
The Nare, Carne Beach, Veryan-in-Roseland, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 5PF
Overlooking the Fowey Estuary, Fowey Hall is a characterful Victorian manor designed by local resident Charles Hanson. Said to have inspired Toad Hall – Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows, was a regular visitor – the hotel has a grand air but an inviting ambience. Following a £3.5m refurbishment, Fowey Hall packs a real design punch that will appeal to families as well as couples. Feast on seasonal Cornish cuisine at the restaurant, hike the nearby coastal paths, go crabbing at the beach or relax at the spa, which has family-friendly treatments and facilities for guests of all ages. With a complimentary Ofsted-registered crèche and activities for the little ones including a zip-wire, games rooms, cinema and a library filled with over 700 childhood classics, Fowey Hall is an excellent destination for a multigenerational family holiday.
Fowey Hall, Hanson Dr, Fowey, Cornwall, PL23 1ET
A boutique hotel with a difference, Chapel House overlooks the harbour of the historic maritime market town of Penzance. It may be small – the townhouse is home to only six rooms and two suites – but what the hotel lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Georgian architecture is juxtaposed with contemporary furnishings and every luxurious detail has been carefully considered. This care extends to the kitchen, where chefs use sustainable ingredients sourced from local producers – foodies should plan their trip around the Kitchen Suppers on Friday and Saturday evenings. For something truly special, it’s also possible to rent the entire townhouse to host the ultimate Cornish house party.
Chapel House, Chapel St, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4AQ