Let’s face it – summer doesn’t last very long in England. So it’s no surprise that millions flock to the South West every year during that short window of summer sun. Despite popular opinion however, Cornwall’s not just for summer – the very best hotels in Cornwall have incredible views over the water, whether you gaze out to sea from a sunny terrace, or watch waves crashing from a cosy room.
From tasting menus for foodies, to outdoor hot tubs and serene spas for relaxation lovers, Cornwall’s got all the ingredients for a perfect luxury break, whatever the weather. One thing to note, though, is that the area books up fast, especially the top-notch venues. So, here are the hottest hotels to book in the UK’s favourite holiday destination.
The Best Places To Stay In Cornwall
Watergate Bay Hotel
The Watergate Bay Hotel looks out to the Atlantic from one of the most dramatic spots on the British coast. And what’s spectacular from the outside is even more so from within, where the rugged surroundings of Watergate Bay transform into chilled out luxury rooms with decor inspired by the coastline.
Excellent food is served from a choice of three restaurants, and there’s also lots of activities to take part in, from HIIT and circuit classes on the beach, to stand-up paddleboarding. For something a little more leisurely, the West Coast Path is on your doorstep for a ramble.
Where: Watergate Bay hotel On The Beach, Trevarrian Hill, Newquay TR8 4AA
Carbis Bay Estate
With a privately owned beach, sumptuous suites, and showstopping views, Carbis Bay Estate is proof that you don’t need to go abroad to experience a little bit of paradise. The emphasis is on relaxing, recharging, and reviving, with an award-winning spa including a hydropool, yoga room and sauna cabin.
As for the accommodation? Choices range from chic rooms in the main house, to spacious cottages ideal for family retreats. Our favourite option is the Beach Lodges located right on the beach, with the added luxury of a private hot tub and rooftop garden.
Sumptuous suites, and showstopping views.
Where: Carbis Bay, Saint Ives TR26 2NP
St Michaels Resort
This luxury escape offers lashings of coastal charm, with views overlooking Falmouth Bay and an award-winning spa. Enjoy a peaceful wellness break with hydrothermal facilities, relaxation areas, and luxurious treatments.
From crystal facials to Moroccan rhassoul and custom massages, you’ll leave feeling completely rejuvenated.
The Headland Hotel
With a striking facade you might recognise from being the filming location of Roald Dahl’s The Witches (1990 version), The Headland Hotel offers incredible sea views, five-star luxury, and no less than six pools to enjoy – part of its multi-million pound Aqua Club swimming and wellbeing complex.
Soak up the ocean views on three sides thanks to the hotel’s peninsula position, indulge in Cornish coastal produce at its restaurants, embark on a coasteering adventure in summer, or watch spectacular storms from your cosy room in winter.
Where: Fistral Beach, Headland Rd, Newquay TR7 1EW
The Idle Rocks
A beautiful waterside location overlooking the harbour, The Idle Rocks is all about comfort and luxury, set to a backdrop of views across the water – which isn’t surprising when you find out it’s one of Relais & Châteaux’s esteemed hotels. The boutique hotel consists of 19 stylish bedrooms, each individually designed to reflect the beauty of the waterside – think coastal chic and period features.
Food-wise, The Idle Rocks Restaurant is its own reason to visit, serving up the freshest local catch in St Mawes. The specialty here is British dishes, with influences from the Far East and using classic French cookery techniques, and the menu has been crafted around carefully developed relationships with local suppliers, fishermen and farmers.
Where: Harbourside, Tredenham Rd, St Mawes, Truro TR2 5AN
Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa
Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa is a laidback coastal retreat offering jaw-dropping views across world-class surfing hotspot Fistral Beach.
Combining relaxation with the very best in local food, the adults-only hotel offers a stunning spa to spend a serene day in, and the delightful Dune Restaurant serves a signature tasting menu filled with coastal inspiration.
Where: Esplanade Rd, Newquay TR7 1PT
The Scarlet Hotel
Overlooking the golden sands and dramatic Cornish clifftops of Mawgan Porth, the eco-friendly Scarlet Hotel is the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The adult-only hotel’s unique atmosphere is as comfortable as it is tranquil, and the focus here is on holistic wellbeing.
From meadow gardens to cliff top log-fired hot tubs and wooden saunas, there are countless little nooks to unwind in, not to mention an Ayurvedic-inspired spa, relaxation lounges and both outdoor and indoor swimming pools. Rooms overlook the cliffs, gardens, sea and beach, while the restaurant offers panoramic views of the coast, and a sustainable menu which turns slow-grown ingredients into new, exciting dishes.
Cliff top hot tubs and wooden saunas.
St Mawes Hotel
Stunning harbour views are at the heart of this cosy British bolthole, perched on the Roseland Peninsula.
Whether gazing out to sea with a cocktail in hand, or enjoying their cosy cinema room on rainy days, it’s all about boutique luxury and seasonal Cornish food here. There are only seven rooms, each individually designed, with their own unique style and charm.
The Pig at Harlyn Bay
The Pig at Harlyn Bay is set in one of Cornwall’s most historic manor houses, with far-reaching sea views, characterful bedrooms, and a love of all things local. The stylish home-from-home is where comfort and luxury merge.
It’s all about the cosy and casual here – which makes every stay completely stress free. The service is up there with the best in the business too – expect incredible attention to detail and warm, friendly staff in the ideal countryside location to explore north Cornwall.
Padstow Harbour Hotel
This boutique gem, set in one of Cornwall’s prettiest little towns, offers views over the Camel estuary in the perfect spot for exploring foodie hotspot Padstow. Some rooms offer marvellous views across the harbour, while interiors feature bold coastal colours and nautical features – think upside down boats suspended from the ceiling, and an Instagrammable neon sign in the lobby asking “What shall we do with a drunken sailor?”.
Hungry? The hotel has its own restaurant and bar for all-day dining, or foodie gems like Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and Michelin-starred No 6. by Paul Ainsworth are a hop, skip and a jump away.