When you think of Cornwall, it’s often the picturesque town of St Ives that springs to mind first with its gorgeous beaches, cobbled streets and heritage-rich pubs. Home to a thriving arts scene, a holiday in this little corner of England offers a perfect blend of culture and adventure. Here’s Culture Trip’s guide to the best hotels in St Ives.
Bright colours and curious artworks sum up the St Ives Harbour Hotel, setting it apart from the usual seaside residence. From the whimsical ‘shhh’ cushions in the boutique bedrooms to the gold-embossed bar and panoramic view down in the lounge, everything about this hotel gets you in the mood for adventure. We’d recommend a hot stone massage in the spa followed by the hotel’s signature fizz & chips out on the terrace for a truly indulgent experience.
Beautiful blues are dotted throughout this nautical boutique hotel, which presides over the beach at St Ives. With six uniquely decorated guest rooms to choose from, you’ll feel right at home in this beautiful Georgian gem. The food scene is, unsurprisingly, second to none thanks to the abundance of local produce and fresh fish on offer. With wood burners, armchairs and spectacular views, Trevose Harbour House is as much a spot for winter as it is for summer too.
Featuring a beautiful collection of six suites that are as unique as they are equally stunning, the Blue Hayes Private Hotel adds a kind of regal presence to St Ives harbour. Now around a hundred years old, the house enjoys all the grandeur of Georgian design whilst still enjoying modern amenities. The gardens, filled with botanicals and palm trees, offer a perfect spot from which to appreciate the stunning view over the cliffs and down into the bay, whilst the rooms – three of which come with outdoor areas – offer an even better vantage point. With décor inspired by local artist John Miller’s tropical landscapes and Molten Brown treasures in the bathroom, this is an excellent spot to celebrate the best of nature whilst also indulging.
With the sea lapping the shore just 30 feet below, you couldn’t get closer to the beach than at The Pedn Olva – an independent hotel in the heart of St Ives. Surfers can take their boards straight from the hotel without having to load them in the car first, and it’s also a great base for exploring West Cornwall. Stop by the Tate gallery and have a wander along the South West Coast Path before settling down to a hearty fish dish and a pint of local ale in the downstairs restaurant.
Old travelling trunks, exposed brick walls, claw foot baths and squashy bedstead ottomans give The Gannet Inn a distinct boutique feel, with all the thoughtful decorative touches adding up to create a country pile that feels like a home from home. In the winter, you’ll love nothing more than cosying up beside its fireplaces and enjoying a glass of local beer. In the summer, it’s perfectly situated for you to get out on the water or a coastal walking trail. As it’s a pub with rooms, expect your evening meals down in the fray to be lively, atmospheric and hearty.
Rustic and pared back, the décor at the Primrose Valley Hotel is exactly what you’d want – and expect – from an upmarket seaside bolthole. Sitting proudly within the main cluster of St Ives streets, this Georgian townhouse features eight differently styled but perfectly proportioned rooms, each featuring cosy woollen blankets, scrubbed down writing desks and white shutters. Downstairs, the lounge and bar are equally appealing, with plenty of weather-beaten old leather armchairs, hanging plants and curious bookshelves for you to easily while away an afternoon reading. Don’t miss out on the breakfasts, which feature a veggie plate exciting enough to rival the Full English.
The Atlantic Bay Hotel features modern, quirky interiors including Victorian-style bathroom fittings, chequered tiling and crisp white bed linens. From its prime spot atop the vertiginous St Ives Road, it enjoys a sprawling view over the harbour and surrounding wilderness. There’s a wide range of room sizes, with tariffs ranging from Cosy to Suite, and the dining area downstairs creates exactly the kind of hearty fare you’ll look forward to after a bracing day out on the coast.