The Hotel, Watergate Bay, Cornwall

A chic, modern seaside hotel, just minutes from Newquay

A short drive from Newquay, this family-run hotel overlooks one of the most spectacular surfing beaches on the North Cornwall coast. That said, it’s not your average bucket-and-spade B&B: while the bay itself plays host to locals and families, this modern seaside retreat is reserved for those looking to lap up a bit of a luxury – as the hotel guide will tell you, ‘young affluent visitors, mostly on short breaks.’

Were it not for the ‘affluent’ bit, my boyfriend and I would fit the bill perfectly. Packing off to Cornwall for the weekend to attend my cousin’s wedding, we were looking for a rare plush one-night stay in a romantic location, and certainly got the full package with our contemporary beach-chic suite, all reclaimed solid oak floors and distressed white tongue-and-groove bedsteads. While the hotel doesn’t skimp on mod cons (think plasma screens, MP3 docking stations and four-jet showers made for two), the best feature in our room was the free-standing bath strategically placed by double doors opening out to a sea view (we got that sea breeze/billowing gauze curtain effect going in no time at all).

Elsewhere around the hotel we found a private outdoor pool with sun terrace and a small indoor pool. Perhaps a spa will figure in the next round of redevelopment plans (the owners are currently embarking on an £8 million project to create 27 holiday apartments, for occupation in Spring 2010). In 2004, a £3.5m refurb gave them the Brasserie and a new-look bar/lunching area, The Living Space, where we dined mid-afternoon on the decking with a spread of just-baked scones, strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream (aah, bliss).


Come evening, we headed for Jamie Oliver’s neighbouring Fifteen restaurant (see review), just a short walk across the car park (adding to our care-free, stress-free state of contentment). Upon our return we slept like logs, rising for a buffet breakfast in the Brasserie.

Would we recommend it? Fully, for a special occasion. Like I said, it was a rare treat. During the summer holidays you’ll part with anything from £230 per night for a room, and if you want a sea view, anything in the region of £269- £391. But… the beach is free.

The Hotel, On the Beach, Watergate Bay, Cornwall, TR8 4AA (01637 860543,

www.watergatebay.co.uk)

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