Penzance, the farthest outpost in Cornwall, was once a touchstone for smugglers and pirates. For a taste of adventure, explore the surfing beaches and wild clifftop walks in this far-flung corner of England while staying at one of the best hotels in Penzance.
This bed and breakfast – just off the town promenade – is a snug retreat. The rooms aren’t stuffed with modern conveniences, but pine furniture in warm tones, big fluffy towels and amiable owners armed with plenty of local recommendations make it a homely base for exploring Cornwall. Single, double and family rooms are all available, and the affordable prices include a filling continental and cooked breakfast whipped up with local produce.
With a Queen Anne façade and 300-year history, this old Cornish manor house carries a lot of heritage. While the rooms have been renovated, they retain the grandeur of a large country pile, and on-site glamping tents cater to more adventurous parties. Period features such as ruffled curtains and roll-top baths add to the old-fashioned vibe, allowing you to live out your Jane Austen fantasies in style. After a full english breakfast in the dining room, take a stroll around the stately gardens before heading into Penzance, which is just a short drive down the road.
This pastel paradise is a Grade II-listed building that features eight boutique bedrooms. Light and feminine rooms come with button-back armchairs, french armoires and soft furnishings in subtle blush pinks. Breakfast is served in a beautiful sunroom, where you can enjoy pretty garden views while sipping your coffee in the morning. Thanks to its location in the town centre, it makes for a great base when exploring Cornwall.
Just south of Penzance, in the sleepy fishing village of Mousehole, the Ship Inn sits right on the seafront. Standard rooms have sunny window seats and town views, but it’s worth paying a little more for a select or deluxe room, which have sash windows overlooking the historic harbour. The views continue downstairs in the traditional pub, which serves classic ale-battered fish and chips and Sunday roasts – the perfect pick-me-up after a day exploring the Cornish coastal cliffs.
For a sea-view room within walking distance of Penzance Harbour, consider this townhouse hotel. Once a merchant’s home, it was transformed into a 25-room retreat with an award-winning restaurant and open-air pool. The decor is stylish and traditional, with original fireplaces and antique rugs. Rooms and suites have lots of natural light, and the best offers panoramic vistas of Mount’s Bay. Tuck into salt cod arancini and steamed mussels in the vibrant Garden Bar and Restaurant.
This family-friendly hotel has a prime position on the promenade, offering splendid sea views from the best rooms and the restaurant. Dating back to 1862, the hotel has a traditional feel, with large bay windows, chintz curtains and carpets throughout. Accommodation ranges from superior double rooms – complete with a four-poster bed – to single, twin and family rooms. Handily, there is onsite parking – particularly valuable in busy summer months.
Housed inside what was once a pilchard-processing factory, just yards from Mousehole Harbour, this seaside bolthole comprises two self-contained rooms. The carefully restored building features whitewashed walls and a clean, contemporary feel. There’s a nod to the nautical – think driftwood mirrors and seaside art. Breakfast is a box of locally sourced delights, from oven-warm croissants to homemade granola. It can be delivered to your room or the garden patio by host Tracey.
A former coaching inn in the heart of Marazion, this restaurant with rooms has unrivalled views of Mount’s Bay and the tidal island of St Michael’s Mount. Expect a soothing pastel colour scheme of sage-green walls and lemon-yellow headboards. There are 10 rooms, but the best is the sea-view suite, which has the best panoramas and a balcony. The two-storey restaurant is popular with locals, and staff in striped tops serve hearty, locally sourced dishes such as crab mac ‘n’ cheese.
Just a short saunter from the historic Admiral Benbow pub, this elegant Georgian townhouse has been lovingly transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel. Traditional touches fuse with modern style – antique grandfather clocks blend with contemporary artwork and painted white floorboards. Rooms feature freestanding baths and wood burners. The hotel is owned and run by Susan, who provides a friendly service and knockout breakfast of fresh juices and avocado and poached eggs on toast.
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