The 12 Best Hotels in Cornwall

Overlooking the harbour at the fishing village of Port Isaac on the North Cornwall coast
Overlooking the harbour at the fishing village of Port Isaac on the North Cornwall coast | © ian woolcock / Alamy Stock Photo
With harbour towns dotted along the coastline, Cornwall has some of the best surfing and sailing spots in the world. Art and food feature heavily too, with a huge focus put on celebrating local talent and making the most of local produce. Here’s Culture Trip’s guide to the best hotels in Cornwall.

St Mawes Hotel

Hotel
st mawes hotel
The St Mawes hotel enjoys a gorgeous harbourside location | © St Mawes Hotel
The Roseland Peninsula is about as tucked-away as England gets – and tucked away in its furthest reaches is the exquisite harbourside St Mawes Hotel. That’s not to say the journey here is difficult – absolutely not, though you will need your own wheels – but the local geography lends itself to an atmosphere of edge-of-the-world bliss, particularly out of season: Falmouth is only across the water, but it might as well be Manhattan. If you can bag a harbour-facing room, the bay feels like it practically laps into your bed, and local exploration possibilities are endless. A favourite is the local ferry out to St Anthony in Roseland, which feels more lost-in-time again. Real Swallows and Amazons territory. For rainy days, there is – improbably – a Tardis of an on-site cinema. Food is hearty, fishy and fabulous, with a fine range of local ales on tap. The offering at sister hotel, The Idle Rocks, a gentle pootle around the harbour, is more on the fine dining side, but both properties share the same just-so approach.
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Boskerris Hotel

Hotel
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The view of the bay from the Boskerris Hotel | © Boskerris Hotel
The slickness of a 4-star hotel with the down-to-earth friendliness (and perfectly cooked-to-order breakfasts) of a B&B. Boskerris Hotel is tucked away in a snoozy residential corner overlooking lovely Carbis Bay beach, two miles to the east of St. Ives, which can be reached along a gorgeous coastal path. Accommodation is bright and pristine, all plump pillows and bounce-a-coin beds, and the homemade granola is a frankly outrageous cornucopia of goodies. Carbis Bay train station lies a 5-minute walk away.
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Artist Residence, Penzance

Hotel
Medium Double Bedroom
Medium Double Bedroom | © Artist Residence Penzance
The Artist Residence hotels have made a name for themselves by enlisting local artists to design their spaces. As Cornwall is well known for its thriving art scene, the outpost in Penzance is a particular favourite. Rustic reclaimed furniture and artful clutter manage to give it an energy that is both homely and on-trend. The rooms convey the kind of quirky cosiness that makes them difficult to leave – think wood burners, mini SMEG fridges, reclaimed doors and oversized armchairs. Book a spot at the hotel’s restaurant, The Cornish Barn, for a warming bowl of smoked haddock kedgeree and a rum-infused crème brûlée, followed by a mean espresso martini in the garden terrace.
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About this place:

Arty, Modern, Boutique

The Old Quay House, Fowey

Hotel
Dining room for The Old Quay House, Fowey
Dining room for The Old Quay House, Fowey | © The Old Quay House
If you want an oasis from the hustle and bustle of Fowey’s busy Fore Street, then step into The Old Quay House. Spread over three floors, the rooms are decorated with muted tones that really highlight the space. If you can, opt for the Penthouse, which has perfect views over the Fowey Estuary from a private balcony. Even the smaller rooms have excellent sea views, so you can watch the sailboats from your bed whilst sipping your morning coffee. Local mussels, goat’s cheese mousse and wild garlic risotto are just some of the gorgeous dishes on the menu in the restaurant, which has a terrace jutting out over the estuary.
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About this place:

Beach, Relaxed, Boutique

Antonia’s Pearls, Charlestown

Boutique Hotel
Antonia's Pearls
Antonia's Pearls | © Antonia’s Pearls

Much like a collection of precious jewels, Antonia’s Pearls is a boutique collection of six cottages and villas in UNESCO-protected Charlestown. Each bolthole has been thoughtfully decorated with naval artwork alongside beautifully crafted woodwork, long draped curtains and plenty of natural light. There are cavernous bathtubs, rustic kitchens with scrubbed work tables and Belfast sinks, working fireplaces and piles of books giving this hotel a true home-from-home feel. Family owned and run, Antonia’s Pearls aims to use eco-friendly and organic products and produce wherever possible. If you can drag yourself outside, a bracing coastal walk or visit to the local Eden Project is well worth it.

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Trevose Harbour House, St Ives

Hotel
Trevose Harbour House
Trevose Harbour House | © Hotels.com

What could be better than a nautical boutique hotel in the heart of Cornwall? Beautiful blues feature throughout Trevose Harbour House, which presides over the beach at St Ives. With only six guest rooms, the staff are wonderfully attentive at this beautiful Georgian gem, and your visit will feel tailor-made. Famous for its world-class surf and local art, St Ives is also a foodie haven, thanks to the abundance of local produce and fresh fish on offer. With wood burners, armchairs and spectacular views, Trevose Harbour House is a cosy corner of St Ives that’s perfect for putting your feet up after a day of riding the waves or cruising the local galleries.

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About this place:

Boutique, Beach

The Sandy Duck, Falmouth

Boutique Hotel
Sandyduck5-1
The Sandy Duck | © The Sandy Duck

Simplicity is the name of the game here, with well-chosen antique pieces, bright whites and gold finishes lending a Scandinavian feel. Each of the seven bedrooms is a haven of Egyptian cotton sheets and Hypnos beds, homemade treats and Meraki toiletries. Carefully curated art and book collections feature in the living room, where plenty of soft furnishings and sunlit corners allow you to enjoy them in peace. Breakfast showcases the best of local produce in the form of a full English, homemade granola and sourdough.

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Merchants Manor, Falmouth

Boutique Hotel
Merchants Manor, Falmouth
Merchants Manor, Falmouth | © Hotels.com

A simple white house on top of a hill in Falmouth, Merchants Manor is fairly unassuming from the outside; however, as you step through the door, you’ll be greeted by a world of roaring fires, cosy corners and Cornish feasts. Whether you choose to stay in one of their modern double rooms or newly opened timber-framed luxury residences, this modern hotel offers a relaxing weekend away. Head for a massage and a spot of surfing before sinking into the fireside armchairs. Merchants Manor truly is a home away from home – the kind of place that perfect Sundays are made of. Work up an appetite before retiring to the in-house restaurant, Rastella, because you’ll want everything on the menu. Designed by chef Patron Hylton, the recipes are a celebration of local ingredients that will leave you truly satiated.

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About this place:

Arty, Stylish, Modern

Chapel House, Penzance

Hotel
Chapel House
Chapel House Chapel House | © Chapel House

Pops of bright colour interrupt the primarily white colour palette in each of the six bedrooms at Chapel House, designed to celebrate and enhance this Georgian gem’s original features – whether that be a vaulted ceiling with wooden beams or a gorgeous marble fireplace. Right in the middle of Penzance – Cornwall’s most far-flung town – you can enjoy views of Mount’s Bay whilst sampling the restaurant’s gloriously fresh menu, which is a delectable display of the best produce in the county.

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Fowey Hall Hotel

Hotel
Fowey Hall Hotel
Fowey Hall Hotel | © Expedia

This hotel is perfectly set up for families, with complimentary childcare services, kids’ clubs and activities such as zip wiring and swimming all available onsite. It’s not all for the little ones, though. The onsite spa offering facials and massages is strictly for adults, and the hot tub with a sea view is an ideally peaceful sanctuary after a day out on the water. The rooms are sophisticated too, with plush red carpets, gilt mirrors and velvet antique sofas, offering a bit of luxury to return to at the end of the day.

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About this place:

Beach, Family Friendly

Watergate Bay Hotel, Newquay

Hotel
Watergate Bay Hotel
Watergate Bay Hotel | © Watergate Bay Hotel

If it’s a rest that you need, look no further than the Watergate Bay Hotel. Each room has been artfully designed to feel like a serene haven with cool colours, in-room roll-top baths and collections of books to get lost in; however, the view is the real star. Run by the same family for generations, it’s not just an escape for couples – there’s an Extreme Academy for water sports, which will help you make the most of the Bay’s excellent surf, too.

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The Headland Hotel and Spa, Newquay

Spa Hotel
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The Headland Hotel and Spa | © Hotels.com

Jutting out on a clifftop over Fistral Beach, the majestic Headland Hotel looks like something out of a Jane Austen novel. Not surprising then, it was once used as the location for Roald Dahl’s The Witches film. These days, though, this dog-friendly Victorian house blends old with new. The property’s 95 rooms and 39 self-catering cottages feature bespoke furniture, a Nespresso machine and Elemis products and express a kind of Old-English charm, honouring the hotel’s grand beginnings, but with enough modern comforts to offer a luxurious experience.

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About this place:

Beach, Historic, Traditional

Neil McQuillian contributed additional reporting to this article.

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These recommendations were updated on October 8, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.