The Best Hotels in Cornwall | A C&TH Guide to the Region's Top Lodgings
Talland Bay Hotel – Porthallow, Cornwall gardens room with view

The Best Hotels in Cornwall

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Beaches, ice-cream and first-class lodging...

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Colourfully nostalgic seaside towns, golden sands and rolling farmland; it’s no wonder that Cornwall has captured the hearts of authors, foodies and city families looking for a brief respite from the smog and traffic of London. With a growing tourism scene, there’s no shortage of hotels to choose from when visiting the land of beaches and cream but as with anything, not all are made equal so here’s our pick of the crème de la crème.

The Best Hotels in Cornwall

Hell Bay


Making true on the cliche that the destination’s in the journey, getting to Hell Bay is all part of its fun and charm. It’s a hop, skip and step (or rather short flight, transfer, boat, transfer) to the hotel, during which you can experience birds-eye view of the islands and experience first-hand the delightfully tight-knit community of people who live and work on the Scilly Isles. Literally facing the Atlantic Ocean, Hell Bay is nestled in a secluded cove on the rugged island of Bryher. Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, the hotel’s feel is distinctly seaside with palm trees dotted around and nautical-inspired interiors, but in the case of Hell Bay it’s what’s on the outside that counts; from any and all angles, you’ll enjoy stunning views of crashing waves and total isolation. For food, the menu changes daily depending on the day’s catch ensuring that everything you eat is fresh and varied. Take tea on the terrace but be on guard for brave sparrows eyeing up your biscuits. Small but mighty, Bryer’s seeming limitation is actually it’s greatest strength with a day’s itinerary all but planned for you already. Amble around the island, taking in the views and keeping an eye out for seals on the beaches, stop off for a coffee at Fraggles Cafe or fudge at Veronica’s Fudge, soak in culture at Bryer Gallery orlop aboard a short ferry to Tresco where a bike-ride to the magnificent Abbey Gardens is a must.

Carbis Bay Hotel Beach Lodges

Carbis Bay Hotel Ocean Lodges

When you have kids in tow, it can be hard to choose between home comforts and hotel service. Carbis Bay’s stunning (and ambitious) Beach Lodges offer both. Book in to one of their multi-room lodges for a truly memorable family holiday where you’ll wake up in your sea-room view to find a breakfast hamper of delicious Cornish treats on the doorstep, before stepping off your private terrace straight onto the beach. The lodges all boast rooftop or beach gardens, with open-plan lounges and floor-to-ceiling windows leading out to private sun decks, plus access to all the hotel’s spa facilities. Oh, and the sea-view hot tub will keep both you and the kids happy. 

Chapel House

The Chapel

Sea views and sea breeze are the standard at this gorgeous town house in the middle of Penzance, where simple and elegant interiors invite you to unwind with a book and blanket. The two suites (which will be available to rent self-catered later this year) offer comfort and style in the form of colossal walk-in showers with shower heads the size of Cornwall itself. Taking its cue from the rest of the hotel’s homely style and wonderfully friendly service, meals are informal and intimate where one feels like a house-guest rather than a tourist. Down to earth, unpretentious and beautiful, it’s a hotel to match the city itself.

4 Coastguard Cottages, Coverack near Helston

4 Coastguard Cottages, Coverack near Helston

Check out Sykes Cottages collection of family-friendly rentals if you’re planning a Cornish escape. (Check out our Newquay guide for a great child-friendly apartment No.5. overlooking Fistral Beach.) Traditional end-terrace cottage 4 Coastguard Cottages boasts a truly spectacular coastal location on the famous South West Coastal Path, making it great jumping off point for a host of family walks that end in beach picnics. The property is a short walk from the beach and picturesque fishing village of Coverack on the Lizard Peninsula, and has gorgeous sea views from all rooms.

Talland Bay Hotel

Talland Bay Hotel – Porthallow, Cornwall gardens bedroom

On the south Cornish coast between Polperro and Looe, Talland Bay Hotel is set in two lush acres of subtropical gardens, a pebble’s skim from the beach. From the outside it’s a quite conventional, long, low, white-painted building, but the interior packs a cool punch. You’ll find sofas covered in zany zebra stripes, extravagantly high-backed chairs and quirky contemporary paintings and objets d’art. The gorgeous, panelled dining room is more classic, an appropriate setting for Nick Hawke’s top-notch Cornish cooking. A large terrace provides plenty of space for summer dining, while the brasserie-style Conservatory offers a more laid-back alternative. The hotel prides itself on being dog-friendly, with pooches welcome in most bedrooms as well as in the garden suites in the grounds. Choose to stay in one of the beach-chic rooms, perhaps one with a sleigh bed or four-poster draped in white fabric. For more space and privacy, the garden suites are ideal.

St Enodoc, Rock

St Endoc Hotel, Cornwall

Well-heeled British families have flocked to Rock for their bucket-and-spade holidays for generations, but it wasn’t until the emergence, in the late 1990s, of classic seaside hotel St Enodoc, following a total makeover, that they had somewhere to stay that was both stylish and relaxed, as well as just right for all ages. Today, James Nathan is in charge of the food at the brasserie-style restaurant and its Mediterranean feel, clean lines, easy-going comfort and wide terrace for outdoor dining are in perfect harmony with its location. Modern European dishes are fresh, healthy and locally sourced. Upstairs, the bedrooms – many with views across the water – are brightly painted, with original art on the walls. St Enodoc Hotel and Spa makes the ideal seaside base, with surrounding sandy beaches, the ferry to Padstow and St Enodoc golf course on the doorstep. There’s fine walking too: don’t miss hidden St Enodoc Church, resting place of Sir John Betjeman, who loved this area. 

The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth

Greenbank Hotel, Cornwall

Just a stone’s throw from the winding streets of Falmouth’s town centre, The Greenbank Hotel is located atop a private pier, with an impressive seafront location overlooking Falmouth Harbour. Offering panoramic views and traditional charm, the nautical décor and spacious rooms are just the ticket for a seaside holiday with all the family. Cots are available on request, and friendly staff are happy to help with storing bottles, food and milk for little ones. The pub downstairs is bustling and lively enough for an enjoyable meal with even the most spirited of children…

Mount Haven Hotel, Marazion

Mount Haven Hotel

Perfectly situated opposite St. Michael’s Mount, enjoy the view of the small tidal island and silhouetted stately home from your room’s balcony. For the perfect adventure with kids in tow, catch the tide at the right time and take the throughway over the water to explore the Mount. Troop back to the hotel and be soothed by sea views and tastes at the Mount Haven Restaurant. Seaweed butter with bread to start and Brill, oyster fritter, mussels, cockles, celeriac, sea vegetables & smoked buttermilk taste as fresh as the air smells. When the kids are tucked up, why not slide open the door to the balcony from your bathroom and enjoy the sea views from the tub?

Artist Residence Penzance

Artist Residence, Pezance

The Artist Residence bills itself as eccentric seaside charm and we’d be hard pressed to disagree. The second of its locations, the Artist Residence Penzance brings a touch of city style to the dreamy lanes of this historic town. Comprised of 22 eclectically decorated bedrooms and a cosy three bedroom cottage (ideal for families), the simple and chic interiors are the perfect place to put your feet up or rest your head after a days foray to the beaches, Isles of Scilly, or St Michael’s Mount – all of which the Artist Residence is primely situated for. Drinks and snacks are on tap all day, but don’t miss the outstanding cooked breakfast or sharing dishes served in the evening at  The Cornish Barn smokehouse downstairs, where delectable feasts of locally sourced meat and fish are served up, after which the secret garden terrace await for a night-cap.

Driftwood, Rosevine

Driftwood – Rosevine, Cornwall views from balcony

There’s no more fabulous vista than from clifftop Driftwood. More Mediterranean than Cornish, it overlooks Gerrans Bay on the Roseland Peninsula and includes seven acres of gardens full of secluded, shady spots that lead to a perfect crescent of private beach. Halfway down is a restored cabin with two bedrooms and a sitting room, a magical place to stay in summer. A wildflower garden is home to bees that produce honey for the restaurant. The house itself, a 1930s building transformed with the aid of dusky blue clapboard, makes the most of the views. Whether relaxing in the bedrooms, drinking on the generous terrace or indulging in the Michelin-starred cooking of chef Chris Eden in the chic dining room, you’ll find yourself wanting to stay forever. When Paul and Fiona Robinson opened Driftwood 16 years ago neither had hotel experience, but Fiona’s skill as an interior designer, plus their hands-on approach and ease with guests, have created a delightful Cornish haven, stylish and seaside-fresh but devoid of pretension.


Cornwall for Kids: A C&TH Guide / A Foodie’s Guide to Cornwall / The Best Things to Do in Cornwall