Cornwall

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At the farthermost reaches of England's West Country, with its scintillating coastlines, astonishing beaches, huge skies, bucket-and-spade seaside villages, wild moorland, secret valleys and deep, high-sided lanes it is one of the most memorable English holiday destinations.

The best places to stay in Cornwall can be found in the more popular haunts like St Ives and Padstow, but a large number are popping up in less touristy destinations and off the beaten track country spots.

Cornwall's north coast is known for its big waves, beloved of surfers and offers 60 miles of dramatic Atlantic Heritage Coast from Bude to Bedruthan – cliffs, coves, market towns, farmsteads and atmospheric Bodmin Moor.

Our favourite properties among the best places to stay in Cornwall are hotels which are either dramatically sited on the coast or lost in countryside, many of them reflecting the region’s chic image while still providing endless summer fun for families; others are cosy old favourites.

Best places to stay in Cornwall - South Coast

The south coast boasts sparkling seas, hidden coves, tropical gardens, working ports, charming harbour towns plus some of the best places to stay in Cornwall. Many rooms are booked up early in the summer tourist season so early booking is definitely advisable, but its always worth trying for something more last minute.

Smart Sophistication on Cornwall's South Coast

  • The Driftwood Hotel near Portscatho feels as much Côte d'Azur as Cornwall with its light, airy, cleanly stylish but very comfortable interiors. There is a semi-private beach at the foot of the garden, decked terraces overlooking the dreamy view and a romantic cabin halfway down the cliff.
  • A similarly smart spot on the south coast overlooking St Mawes Bay is the Hotel Tresanton, all natural materials, well chosen colours and quiet sophistication. They have a screening room (some might call it a cinema) and a private yacht.

More South Cornish Coast Hotels with WOW factor

  • Outstanding views of the sea come as standard in all of our best places to stay in Cornwall's south coast and the Old Quay House in Fowey with its estuary views make it perfect for boat watching. The outside spaces are excellent and the rooms are simply decorated but very comfortable.
  • The homely Arts and Crafts style Trevalsa Court Hotel on a dramatic cliff top near Mevagissey has an oak-panelled dining room and a private cove below.

Hotel in South Cornwall with added Celebrity Gold Dust

Jean Shrimpton's hotel, The Abbey in old Penzance is painted sky blue and is as striking from the outside as it is comfortable inside. More like a country house than a hotel with its ravishing mix of paintings and antiques, it has no restaurant but there is a good one next door.

Laid-back (with a Lovely Fire)

Along the coast at Mousehole is The Old Coastguard with its pleasing mix of palm trees and open fires. The emphasis is on fun in the huge bar, the restaurant and in the big garden leading to the sea. Everything is pretty laid back - a vibe that is almost unanimous amongst our choice of the best places to stay in Cornwall.

Best Places to Stay in Cornwall - The West Coast

Moving round to the West Coast and the best places to stay in Cornwall just keep coming.

  • The Mount Haven has incredible views overlooking St Michael's Mount and a pleasing Cornish abundance of palm trees. For an affordable treat it is very good value with lovely local produce such as Newlyn crab on the menu.
  • The Blue Hayes in buzzy St Ives has five bedrooms and a white balustraded terrace overlooking the harbour. A quiet oasis near the popular Porthminster Beach Cafe.
  • The Gurnard's Head Hotel in Zennor is an informal coastal gastropub full of character.Rooms are simple and tasteful with comfortable beds and all en-suite although the bathrooms have mostly showers not baths.

Best Places to Stay in Cornwall - The North Coast

The north coast has become a bit of a cliché in recent years. Teenagers going wild in Newquay....West London moving en masse to Rock and Padstow for August...etc, etc. However if you look hard enough, some of the best places to stay in Cornwall manage to avoid all that and offer unpretentious, quality accommodation to suit tastes and budgets across the board.

Family Friendly Luxury

The wilder North coast of Cornwall is where the surf beaches are and the popular holiday spot of Rock, home to the St Enodoc Hotel. It pulls off being both stylish and child friendly which has endeared it to the well-heeled families who flock to this part of Cornwall for beach holidays every year. One Michelin-starred restaurant and a seafood and grill reastaurant overseen by the same chef. A buzzy family paradise.

North Cornwall Coast, No Kids

  • For those who would rather holiday without children, The Scarlet is purpose-built, eco-friendly and has lovely views of Mawgan Porth Beach through the many floor to ceiling windows.There is an infinity pool and a Ayuverdic spa and a no children policy.
  • For something altogether less chi-chi on the North coast, The Old Rectory at Boscastle, where Thomas Hardy met his wife, is a cosy, welcoming B & B. Much of the produce for the breakfasts comes from the garden.

Browse through our list of the best places to stay in Cornwall and start to plan your visit. Please feel free to call or email a friendly guru for advice. Contact

 
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The best hotels in Cornwall

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  • The Old Rectory

    Boscastle, Cornwall

    The house where Thomas Hardy met his wife, now a welcoming b&b - secluded, tranquil, romantic with seaview.

    4 rooms from $113
    Eco  -  Greenest' B&B in Britain 2012
    Garden  -  Attractive outside space.
    Surfing  -  Nearest surf beach Crackington Haven (10 mins)
    Great walks  -  Lots of great walks on the doorstep
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Good Hotel Guide
  • St Moritz

    Trebetherick, Cornwall

    An airy, stylish and family friendly seaside hotel near great surfing and walking. Offers a Cowshed spa, two pools and good deals off season.

    64 rooms from $121
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Families
    Surfing  -  Suitable beaches nearby.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pools
  • Botelet

    Liskeard, Cornwall

    Charming and off-the-beaten track farmhouse b+b, set in rural Cornish farmland, with self catering cottages and yurts.

    2 rooms from $129
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 11 for B&B
    Quirky  -  Shabby chic
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • The Cornwall Hotel Spa & Estate

    St Austell, Cornwall

    Traditional meets woodland contemporary at The Cornwall Hotel Spa & Estate. Large bedrooms are tastefully designed and the spa is top notch. If you prefer to self-cater they can offer 5 star Woodland Homes with all the hotel benefits.

    65 rooms from $137
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor Pool
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Spa
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
  • The Abbey

    Penzance, Cornwall

    Jean Shrimpton's charming, characterful hotel in the heart of old Penzance, with an eclectic mix of art and antiques.

    7 rooms from $161
    Garden  -  Perfect for tea or sundowners
    Full of character  -  Decorated with chandeliers, quilted bedspreads and French armoires
    Quirky  -  An experience!
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Gurnard's Head Hotel

    Zennor, Cornwall

    A magnet for walkers looking for tranquillity, an informal coastal gastropub with simple accommodation, full of character.

    7 rooms from $161
    Exclusive offer  -  Sunday lunch special
    Great walks  -  Excellent coastal walks to St Ives
    Restaurant  -  Excellent locally sourced food
    Views  -  Sweeping coastal views
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • No 1

    St. Ives (West Cornwall)

    First class 'shabby chic' B&B with superb hospitality, well placed in St Ives for the best of culture in Cornwall.

    4 rooms from $161
    Sights nearby  -  St Ives Tate
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Birdwatching  -  Good birding near the hotel.
  • Ennys

    St Hilary, Cornwall

    Historic Georgian estate providing a gateway to local activities and a fine B&B as a base.

    4 rooms from $169
    Surfing  -  Surf lessons available via Globalboarders
    Yoga  -  Group classes and yoga weekends
    Garden  -  Beautiful landscaped garden
    Kayaking  -  kayaking, creek canoeing, wild swimming, stand-up paddleboarding available
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
  • Seafood Restaurant

    Padstow, Cornwall

    Breezy seaside rooms spread around 6 buildings, not really a hotel, an offshoot of Rick Stein's famous restaurant.

    39 rooms from $177
    Restaurant  -  Rick Stein's famous seafood restaurant, bistro and cafe
    Great walks  -  Great walks nearby, or take the ferry to Rock
    Four poster beds  -  Nearly half the rooms have four posters
    Fishing  -  Sea fishing by boat
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • The Old Coastguard, Mousehole

    West Cornwall

    Fun, laid back hotel with good food and spectacular views out to sea. Rough edges, simple rooms, very hospitable.

    14 rooms from $177
    Exclusive offer  -  Winter Escape
    Views  -  To St Michael's Mount and the Lizard
    Garden  -  Tropical garden down to the sea
    Quirky  -  No TVs - and an eclectic mix of furniture
    Outstanding location
  • Trevalsa Court Hotel

    Mevagissey, Cornwall

    Romantic Arts and Crafts style coastal hotel, small and homely, on top of cliffs for a blowy Cornish escape.

    14 rooms from $185
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    On the beach  -  Private beach accessible via a winding cliff path
    Diving  -  Dive centre nearby
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Boskerris Hotel

    St. Ives (West Cornwall)

    Small, boutique hotel with spectacular sea views - casual sophistication with lovely seaside feel.

    15 rooms from $201
    Views  -  Wide coastal views from most rooms
    Sights nearby  -  Tate St Ives within walking distance
    Great walks  -  South West Coast Path nearby
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 7
  • The Beach at Bude

    Bude, Cornwall

    Revamped B&B, now a boutique bolthole by the sea, overlooking the beach. Spacious airy rooms, a business centre and sun terrace keep all ages happy.

    15 rooms from $201
    Surfing  -  Surfing on the beach with plenty of room to store surfboards
    Views  -  Overlooks a beach on the Heritage Coast.
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 12
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Mount Haven

    Nr Penzance, Cornwall

    Soothing contemporary haven overlooking St Michael’s Mount, in a stunning position, with great sunsets in an uncrowded area.

    18 rooms from $209
    Views  -  Great views of St Michaels Mount
    Outstanding location  -  Unspoilt spot near the tip of Cornwall
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Bedruthan Steps Hotel

    Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

    Excellent family-friendly beach hotel - modern but with great beach views, two pools, a kids club and a spa.

    101 rooms from $226
    Child friendly  -  Wide range of activities for all ages.
    Views  -  Sweeping coastal views
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor Pool
    Kids Club  -  Fully staffed.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • Blue Hayes

    St. Ives (West Cornwall)

    Glamourous and discreet 5 room boutique hotel in buzzy St Ives, tranquil with sweeping views.

    6 rooms from $274
    Exclusive offer
    Sights nearby  -  Tate St Ives Modern art museum 20 mins walk
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under the age of 10
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers
  • Fowey Hall

    Fowey, Cornwall

    Small country house hotel overlooking the south Cornish coast, kitted out for families, with pool and spa - so beware if you have none in tow.

    36 rooms from $282
    Families
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor Pool
    Spa
    Kids Club  -  Fully staffed.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
  • The Idle Rocks

    St Mawes, Cornwall

    Seaside boutique hotel, attracting the younger crowd, with a perfect position right on the harbour wall in St Mawes. Up to the moment design and wonderful restaurant with the freshest fishy ingredients.

    20 rooms from $290
    Child friendly  -  Family rooms, children's meals
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
  • The Scarlet

    Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

    Relaxing, purpose-designed eco-friendly hotel overlooking Mawgan Porth beach, for fabulous sunsets. No children.

    37 rooms from $306
    Spa  -  Ayurvedic treatments
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pool
    Restrictions on children  -  Not under 16
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Driftwood Hotel

    near Portscatho, Cornwall

    Delightful seaside chic hotel in a stunning position, with semi-private beach and good food.

    14 rooms from $306
    Exclusive offer
    Garden  -  Six acres of coastline leading to the beach
    Great walks  -  Great coastal walks from the door
    Restaurant  -  Michelin starred restaurant
    Views  -  Overlooks Gerrans Bay
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Sawdays
  • Old Quay House Hotel

    Fowey, Cornwall

    Contemporary style in charming Fowey, with fabulous estuary views from this perfectly positioned quayside hotel.

    11 rooms from $306
    Exclusive offer  -  3 for 2 Offer
    Views  -  Fabulous views over the estuary.
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 13
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
  • Hotel Tresanton

    St Mawes, Cornwall

    A smart, classic coastal hotel overlooking the bay of St Mawes and beyond. Ideal for weekend or longer retreats with good walks and sailing nearby but otherwise few facilities within the hotel. Good restaurant.

    31 rooms from $322
    Exclusive offer  -  Winter Offer
    Restaurant  -  Specialises in fish and other local produce.
    Kids Club  -  Summer months only
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
  • St Enodoc Hotel

    Rock, Cornwall

    Breezy, family-friendly hotel with golf, and beach on the doorstep, in buzzy Rock. Sailing club and classes, rib rides and waterskiing.

    16 rooms from $419
    Sailing  -  Rock sailing club a few yards away
    Child friendly  -  Childrens tea provided
    Restaurant  -  2 star Michelin
    Surfing  -  Polzeath is within walking distance, or a short drive
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