The Best Boutique Hotels to Book in Cornwall

Explore the wonders of beautiful Cornwall before kicking back at one of the areas brilliant boutique stays
Explore the wonders of beautiful Cornwall before kicking back at one of the area's brilliant boutique stays | © ian woolcock / Alamy Stock Photo

Freelance Travel Journalist

As if Cornwall’s incredible scenery wasn’t enough, there’s a host of boutique hotels just waiting for you to unwind in at the end of a long day exploring. Sip cocktails with sea views in small villages, dine with world-famous chefs and fall into heavenly beds. Here’s our guide to the best boutique hotels in Cornwall, all bookable via Culture Trip.

1. Artist Residence, for a cosy night in Penzance


A modern-looking room at Artist Residence Penzance with white-painted walls and with lots of wall art, and a double bed
Courtesy of Artist Residence Penzance / Expedia
Opposite the Admiral Benbow pub, on Chapel Street, is a brightly coloured, rustic yet comfortable hideaway in an historic Penzance townhouse called The Artist Residence. Big armchairs and thick Persian rugs fill the homely bar and lounge, while each room is individually done out. Gather friends to stay in the Cottage, or treat yourself to a long weekend in the Lookout, where you can sip wine in a copper rolltop bath, or watch the horizon turn pink over Marazion from your private terrace. Downstairs, the Cornish Barn is a rustic smokehouse and kitchen with a beautifully leafy outdoor area, where you can chow down on gourmet burgers, local meats and sweet cocktails.

2. St Enodoc, Rock, for unique flavours near Wadebridge


The grounds of The St Enodoc Hotel, including its large lawn area, an outdoor swimming pool and the main hotel building
Courtesy of The St Enodoc Hotel / Expedia
A wonderfully simple hotel overlooking the Camel Estuary in Rock, St Enodoc has complete relaxation at its core. Stylish, laid-back, with bright colours and clean lines, this is the perfect getaway for a seaside break, for all the family. Indulge in a full-body massage, facial or manicure at the on-site spa, or head for the beach a stone’s throw away. Alternatively, take the passenger ferry across the river to Padstow. Everything that comes out of the kitchen is home-made, even the butter, meaning that all the flavours are unique to the chef and hotel.

3. Old Quay House, for a seaman's stay in Fowey


A white-painted room at The Old Quay House Hotel with a wooden dressing table and a double bed with blue and white bedding
Courtesy of The Old Quay House Hotel / Expedia
Set in the heart of Fowey’s narrow yet busy Fore Street, the Old Quay House is a soothing oasis in the midst of the hubbub. The rooms, spread over three floors, are all tastefully designed; the luxe Penthouse has perfect Fowey Estuary views from a private balcony. Most rooms do have a view of the water, which means you can sip your morning cuppa in bed, while watching the sailboats outside. The restaurant downstairs, which spills out onto a deck jutting out over the river, is nothing short of sublime. Charred Cornish mackerel, spiced duck breast and thyme gnocchi are just some of the fabulous dishes on offer. Grab yourself a glass of champers, put your feet up and enjoy that fantastic Cornish sunshine in Fowey’s most sought-after location.

4. The Idle Rocks, for spectacular food in Saint Mawes


A reception room at Idle Rocks Hotel with an eclectic mix of furniture surrounding a fireplace
Courtesy of The Idle Rocks
This cool waterfront inn is like something out of an interior design shoot, and you’d be forgiven for forgetting you are in the UK as you sip on some fizz, looking out at blue skies. Most rooms offer sweeping views of the ocean, while others look out over the harbour or village of Saint Mawes. The Idle Rocks is a wonderful hideaway for couples, where your every need is catered to. Although the food is spectacular, the restaurant itself is casual and comfortable. In addition to outstanding breakfast, light lunch and dinner menus, afternoon tea here is something to be admired. The chefs here forage and fish for produce right on the doorstep, while veggies are delivered from the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The hotel is part of the sustainable fish movement, which makes it not only magnificent, but ethical too.

5. Hell Bay, Bryher, for a picture-perfect stay in the Scilly Isles


The exterior of Hell Bay Hotel which has blue and white cladded walls, several small balconies and a lawn area.
© Steve Davey Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
If you’re going to go to hell, you may as well go down swinging. This picture-perfect hotel, on the Scillys’ smallest inhabited island, seems to sit at the end of the world, with views far out across the Atlantic. Bryher is a magical place, and at just 1.3sqkm (0.5sqmi) , it has little to no traffic, deserted beaches and sunsets to die for. Hell Bay Hotel is truly one of a kind, where you can sip bubbles on the terrace, relax in your bright and airy suite or pootle down to the beach to dip your toes in the warm Scilly sea. The food at Hell Bay is as local as it gets, so whether you choose Cornish rump of lamb or line-caught Cornish bass, you can be sure it hasn’t come far.

6. Trewornan Manor, Wadebridge, for the ultimate English retreat


The lounge at Trewornan Manor, with rustic decor, beige carpeted floors and several sofas in grey and beige
© Clare Hargreaves / Alamy Stock Photo
This 13th-century house, surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns and lavender beds with roses crawling up the walls, is the ultimate English retreat. The Manor has only seven bedrooms and is a stylish home from home in North Cornwall. Although the exterior may seem authentic British, the inside oozes contemporary chic and pops with colour in unexpected corners, jazzing up traditional flagstone windows, shutters and hallways. Breakfast in the bright, airy dining room, with healthy produce and fresh pastries on the buffet. A hearty Cornish breakfast, eggs benny, bacon sandwiches and more are all available on request from the kitchen.

7. Upton House, for a cosy retreat in Fowey


A room at The Skullery with a four-poster double bed, a large mirror-door wardrobe and elegant decor
Courtesy of Upton House
A unique little bolthole in the middle of Fowey, Upton House has three guest bedrooms, all with separate themes. Stay in the Snow Bubble to swing on chairs suspended from the ceiling and sleep under a disco ball; the Skullery for a more grown-up retreat in luxurious surroundings; or the Flamingo Room for chandeliers and fun. Enjoy a Parisian breakfast in the luxury dining room, snuggle by the fire in the lounge on winter’s nights and enjoy the sheer eccentricity of this boutique retreat.

8. Hotel Tresanton, for sea views in Saint Mawes


A room at Hotel Tresanton with neutral decor, a large bed with white bedding and a blue-and-white striped throw, and two armchairs
Courtesy of Hotel Tresanton / Expedia
This relaxed country house overlooking the sea, filled with the scent of tropical flowers, is an escape from the real world. There are 30 rooms, all with sea views, and the whole hotel has been designed around al fresco dining, stargazing and staring wistfully out to sea. Hotel Tresanton also has its own traditional wooden yacht, the Pinuccia, which can be skippered in the sheltered waters of the Fal Estuary from May to September. The hotel menu is kept simple, relying on flavours from the best produce available on the day; lunch menus are published at 11am, dinner at 5pm. There is also a tidal beach just below the hotel with great rock pools to explore and a floating platform to swim off.

9. Greenbank Hotel, for seafood lovers in Falmouth


A room at Greenbank Hotel with a bath in the window bay, and a double bed with a blue-velvet headboard
Courtesy of the Greenbank Hotel / Expedia

Falmouth is one of the most well known Cornish beach towns, and in a county full of rugged shores, that’s saying something. The town’s historic waterfront is your view from the Greenbank Hotel, which prides itself on its perfect location and distinctive heritage. Choose the turquoise-coloured Florence Suite and take advantage of the roll top bath and private balcony, or opt for a bright classic family room with harbour views. Don’t just look at the water, make the most of it; paddle-boarding and sailing are favourites amongst the locals, while fishing adventures are also available. The latest catches are waiting for you at the hotel restaurant, prepared by two Falmouth-born head chefs.

10. The Beach at Bude, for sandy shenanigans in Bude


A light and airy room at The Beach at Bude, with white-painted walls, a double bed with wooden headboard, and wicker furniture.
Courtesy of the Beach at Bude / Expedia

Carefully designed in a New England coastal style, the Beach at Bude offers 16 individually decorated rooms close to Summerleaze Beach in Bude. Even the classic double rooms have super king size beds and stylish walk-in showers, but opt for a suite to make use of a free-standing bath, classy interior and comfortable living space. Of course, no boutique stay in Cornwall is complete without the beach, and you couldn’t be much closer; a five-minute walk will allow you to spend the day basking in the sun, or take advantage of the quiet surfing opportunities away from the county’s more busier destinations. Grab a cocktail in the terrace bar after a busy day, but book early to avoid disappointment.

11. Karma St. Martin’s, for a foodie escape in the Scilly Isles


The exterior of Karma St. Martin’s, showing the main building and its surrounding lawn
Courtesy of Karma St. Martin’s / Expedia

Just a 15-minute flight from the mainland are the Isles of Scilly, a chain of five Caribbean-esque islands. Karma St. Martin’s is situated on the most north-east of the isles, St Martin, offering clear water and a rural idyll so, so far from city life. This luxury boutique hotel in Cornwall only offers the finest in its 30 rooms; take your pick from a deluxe double with garden views and an attractive interior, to the honeymoon suite and your own private balcony, spacious living room and stylish en-suite bathroom. Don’t forget to book into the on-site Cloudesley Shovell Restaurant – the freshly caught gourmet lobster rolls and chicken ballotine are just two reasons why it has two Rosette awards to its name.

Sam Moakes contributed additional reporting to this article.

If none of these take your fancy, discover our top pick of hotels in Cornwall and book now on Culture Trip.

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