The 10 Best Boutique Hotels in Cornwall

If you're planning a Cornish jaunt, chances are you're looking for a charming seaside spot rather than a big resort hotel. Cornwall is no place for big cookie-cutter hotels, this is owner-managed-country! You'll find an abundance of truly charming local features in our list of the 10 best boutique hotels in Cornwall, and plenty of Cornish craftsmanship. And Cornwall’s best boutique hotels do well both on the decor and on restaurant tables.


As with anywhere, not all the best boutique hotels in Cornwall are created equally, and you can still find fading old guesthouses with plastic flowers and chintz calling themselves ‘boutique’, but the boutique hotel concept was practically coined in Cornwall and the best boutique hotels in Cornwall are prime examples of this type of hotel.

And why Cornwall? Tourism has well and truly overtaken fishing as Cornwall's largest trade. People come for the seaside, the beautiful little coves and the dramatic cliffs of the north coast. But they come back again and again because there's loads to do here! There are old fishing villages and market towns to poke around in, thousands of years of maritime history to unravel, plenty of spectacular open coastal space to explore, the wonderfully futuristic greenhouses of the Eden Project and countless galleries of all shapes and sizes.

The Best Boutique Hotels in Cornwall

Classic Boutique Hotels in Cornwall

Cornwall's best boutique hotels include several prime examples of the classic boutique hotel.

Including Hotel Tresanton, which, when it was launched in 1997 by Olga Polizzi, felt like a breath of fresh seaside air - a whole new kind of hotel. Where was the pool? Nowhere to be seen. And how do you get into this collection of higgledly piggledy old houses turned yachting club, turned hotel? Who knows! What's important is that when you do you're surrounded by effortless elegance and stunning views. The wide terrace overlooks the pretty bay and St Mawes, and the bar and restaurant beckons. For added uniqueness there's also a private screening room - Hotel Tresanton attracts numerous A-list celebrities - and a private yacht and motorboats available to guests. Hotel Tresanton is yet to find an equal in many regions, but in Cornwall its launch was like laying down the gauntlet, and there were many hotels ready to follow, bringing their own unique takes on boutique hotel ideals.

Hotel Tresanton

A great competitor for the Hotel Tresanton, Driftwood Hotel is another very special place to stay, this time in a more remote spot up the coastline from St. Mawes. Quiet and romantic, Driftwood has superb views and a perfect crescent of private beach at the end of the garden. And a Michelin starred restaurant. It's also perfectly positioned for exploring the coastline on foot. And if you're looking for Cornwall's best boutique hotel for families consider Driftwood's private cabin, halfway down the cliff. Which is also perfect for honeymooners...

Driftwood Hotel

Blue Hayes also fits into the classic category. Malcolm Herring and his team have perfected the art of looking after their guests at the "private" five bedroom hotel. But as well as impeccable, friendly service you get light airy elegantly decorated rooms, beautiful gardens and breathtaking views over St Ives from the property's cliff top position.

Blue Hayes

The Best Boutique Hotels for Coastal Character!

It's not just about facilities and Michelin stars, a boutique hotel must also have a memorable character. And these properties have reams!

The Old Quay House Hotel has a restaurant which spills out onto a teak deck with spectacular views over the quay and the estuary. It's this view, and its beautiful old building, at the centre of charming Fowery, which help it qualify for out list of Cornwall's best boutique hotels. Inside the decor is more modern though, so this is a great choice if you prefer simple, unfussy chic.

Old Quay House Hotel

The The Old Coastguard in Mousehole also has a restaurant - an excellent one! Though the main charms of the Coastguard are in its laid-back, quirky feel and very reasonable prices. The sea views, via an almost tropical garden, are million dollar, but until recently this hotel was a bit of an old dog. Its makeover hasn't polished up the rough edges, but this is one of Cornwall's best boutique hotels for people who appreciate simplicity, comfort, excellent food and bags of character. In short The Old Coastguard is somewhere you'll want to be.

The Old CoastguardLuke Brown

The Trevalsa Court Hotel is probably technically a country house hotel, but its original Arts and Crafts, 1930s era charms abound with costal character, so it deserves a mention. This was a much loved family home and many of the wonderful original features remain - like colourful bursts of Designer's Guild wallpaper and charmingly detailed oak panelling - but its wonderful position means it's now a secluded base from which to explore the Roseland Peninsula. The coastal path runs just below the hotel, and below that again there's a perfectly proportioned private cove. As you might guess, the dining room serves up some impressive seafood.

Trevalsa Court Hotel

The Most Romantic Boutique Hotels in Cornwall

While many of Cornwall's best boutique hotels are romantic, not many are as perfect for romance as The Scarlet. From the views of Mawgan Porth beach, the restrictions on children, the natural outdoor infinity pool cut into the rocks, to the Ayurvedic spa, the food and the relaxed atmosphere, this is a place to be yourself in. It also has an excellent reputation for being eco-friendly.

The Scarlet

The Best Boutique Hotels in Cornwall for Unfussy Design

The Idle Rocks is an un-fussy boutique option right by the harbour wall in St. Mawes. Popular with a younger crowd, this 20 room hotel has simple, nautical inspired decor and a wonderful seafood restaurant.

The Idle Rocks

The Boskerris Hotel defines itself with its beautiful interiors in stylish pales, reminiscent of the Med.. It too has spectacular panoramic views, this time of Carbis Bay, St. Ives and the lighthouse which inspired Virginia Woolf. The Boskerris pretty much has the sandy bay below to itself, but it's also a short walk along the South West Coast Path into St. Ives where you can visit the Tate.

Boskerris Hotel

The Gannet Inn is just outside St. Ives, in a quiet, picturesque villa. It has 20 individually styled rooms and suites, named for their characters, from ‘Cosy’, to ‘Quirky’. This is a friendly spot with a hearty restaurant, and outdoor pool, in a great location for exploring Cornwall.

The Gannet Inn

Though technically a B&B, the wonderful Victorian conversion, The Beach at Bude, makes it onto the list of Cornwall's best boutique hotels because, while it doesn't have a restaurant, it does have a huge sun terrace, a library, a business centre, and a laundry. And Bude has plenty of excellent restaurants, so all the boutique standards are to hand. Each of The Beach at Bude's fifteen charming rooms has unique, yet always impressive decor, and five have private seaside terraces.

The Beach at Bude

If you haven’t found your idea of the best boutique hotels in Cornwall on our Guru’s list you could:

The Best Boutique Hotels in Cornwall

  • Hotel Tresanton St Mawes, Cornwall 30 rooms from £260

    Exclusive offer  -  Special offer
    Great walks  -  One of the most picturesque parts of the British Isles with miles of coastal trails and paths to explore.
    Sights nearby  -  Stunning three mile walk past St Mawes Castle - built by Henry VIII.
    Kids Club  -  Summer months only
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, I Escape

    Stylish, laid back coastal hotel resting over St Mawes with views of the great blue. Marine inspired rooms are cosy, comfortable and plush. Seafood and local produce make up the innovative menu. Ideal for a romantic weekend, a family getaway and adventure enthusiasts with sailing, walks and more. See More

    Hotel Website
  • Driftwood Hotel Near Portscatho, Cornwall 14 rooms from £220

    Great walks  -  Grab a hotel picnic and head out through the private estate right down to the coast and explore the beautiful beaches!
    Fishing  -  Right on the coast, there are plenty of fishing boats to rent for the day with equippment and guides if necessary.
    Hideaway  -  A hideaway location just off the beach and in extensive private gardens, why would you leave?
    Surfing  -  No trip to Cornwall is complete without a surf session in the bracingly cold Atlantic.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Sawdays

    Sitting in privates acres, this chic and intimate hotel overlooks stunning Gerrans Bay. Light, marine inspired rooms are the perfect example of comfort meets plush. A Michelin Star at the restaurant makes dining a spoiling yet casual affair, matched by a fine wine list. A dream Cornish location. See More

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  • Blue Hayes St Ives (West Cornwall) 6 rooms from £160

    Exclusive offer
    Hideaway  -  A real gem that is almost impossible to leave, with friendly and welcoming staff, cosy rooms, great views and spectacular food.
    Sights nearby  -  Tate St Ives Modern art museum is a brisk 20 minute walk away.
    Great walks  -  Walk from St Ives around the stunning rugged coast to Zennor.
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under the age of 10
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Sawdays

    Glamourous and discreet six room boutique hotel in buzzy St Ives. A tranquil spot with sweeping views. Large airy rooms and suites with neutral tones and splashes or pastel colours. Informal dining based on Cornish produce. Excellent and personal service. Perfectly achieved laid back luxury. See More

    Hotel Website
  • Old Quay House Hotel Fowey, Cornwall 11 rooms from £200

    Great walks  -  Wonderful walking all around this area, a particualr favourite is the picturesque Hall Walk, which ends in pretty Polruan.
    Sights nearby  -  The ruins of St Catherine’s Castle sit on the edge of the town and command spectacular views of the harbour.
    Sailing  -  Yacht rental is available nearby, head off with a professional skipper or simply charter your own course.
    Kayaking  -  Kayak rental is possible from the village of Golant, the perfect way to explore this stunning coast.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Sawdays, Tablet, I Escape

    Boutique luxury in the heart of Fowey with ample amounts of sea air, estuary views and contemporary charm. Crisp, minimalist rooms are breezy and comfortable. The restaurant serves an inventive menu of local seafood delights. An ideal spot for a romantic mini break away from city life. See More

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  • Trevalsa Court Hotel Mevagissey, Cornwall 15 rooms from £140

    Total relaxation  -  Chill out in your plush room overlooking the bay, take a morning stroll to the beach or sit and watch the fishermen at work.
    Local exploring  -  Ideal spot for exporing the Cornish coast by sea or land, full of hidden treasures and secluded spots.
    Sights nearby  -  Mevagissey Village is just ten minutes down the road and is an ancient fishing village with a Grade 2 listed double harbour.
    Sailing  -  Plenty of boat rentals available, head out with a skilled skipper or charter your own course.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays, Michelin Travel

    Elegance and understated style make up this romantic Arts and Crafts coastal boutique - a home away from home. Standing on the cliffs, the sea breeze makes for a blowy Cornish escape. Comfortable rooms decked with paintings and log fires. Enjoy locally sourced food at the wood paneled restaurant. See More

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  • The Old Coastguard, Mousehole West Cornwall 14 rooms from £155

    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

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

    Hotel Website
  • The Scarlet, Cornwall Mawgan Porth, Cornwall 37 rooms from £195

    Romantic Break  -  You, your loved one (and even the pooch) can enjoy an indulgent coastal stay
    Spa breaks  -  Excellent spa with a range of Ayurvedic treatments
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pool
    Great walks  -  South West Coast Path.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    Relaxing, purpose-designed eco-friendly hotel overlooking Mawgan Porth beach. Contemporary furniture and modern local art adorns bedroom walls. Great sea views from the cocktail lounge and stylish hotel restaurant. Fantastic spa facility for ultimate relaxation and great outdoor activities nearby. See More

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  • The Idle Rocks St Mawes, Cornwall 20 rooms from £180

    Child friendly  -  Family rooms, children's meals
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.

    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. See More

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  • Boskerris Hotel St Ives (West Cornwall) 15 rooms from £150

    Views  -  Wide coastal views from most rooms
    Sit-out Terrace  -  Coastal views are beautiful
    Sights nearby  -  Tate St Ives within walking distance
    Romantic  -  A tranquil retreat for couples
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays

    A sophisticated seaside hotel, the ideal place to relax and take in the sea air. Light, airy contemporary decor with a Mediterranean feel. Afternoon tea is served on the decked terrace, where you can enjoy spectacular views across St Ives Bay. See More

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  • The Gannet Inn St Ives (West Cornwall) 20 rooms from £160

    Local exploring  -  An ideal base to explore the chic town of St Ives, access the beach and discover Cornwall's countryside.
    Great walks  -  Discover Cornwall on foot taking long walks along the coastal path.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    A boutique Inn located in a picturesque village just outside St Ives. Individually styled rooms are named to reflect their character. From 'Cosy' to 'Quirky' each is stylishly designed and comfortable. The staff are exceptionally friendly and the food both hearty and skilfully crafted. See More

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  • The Beach at Bude Bude (North Cornwall) 16 rooms from £125

    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

    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. See More

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Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Saturday, 23rd November 2019