It’s a little while since our stay at the Polurrian Bay Hotel in Cornwall, and spending an evening looking through my photos from our stay has made me think one thing:
When can we go back?
I’ll be honest and say that before we went, I wasn’t sure what to expect (I don’t think the website does the hotel justice) and I was worried that no hotel would be worth the mammoth journey down to the depths of Cornwall. But as soon as we had arrived and settled into our room, I knew. I knew it was worth the journey. In fact, I’d honestly say that even if you lived in the Highlands of Scotland, it would be worth the journey.
Built over 100 years ago, after the original hotel burnt to the ground, the Polurrian Bay Hotel is on a cliff, high above the beach on the Lizard Peninsula. The decor is fabulous – all mid-century shapes and bright pops of colour. The thing that really makes it is the fairly newly renovated Vista Lounge. Until a few years ago, the lounge area was fairly small (but stylish). But now! Now you walk down some stairs, where the original room stopped, and into a large airy lounge with floor to ceiling windows. It’s breathtaking! But as well as being super stylish and a relaxing place to sit with a cuppa by the log burner, it’s completely child friendly, with a dolls house and train set ready to be played with.
It was chilly while we were there, but in the summer, I’m told the doors are often open and guests spill out onto the patio. There’s no bar at the Polurrian, but you don’t have to be sitting in the lounge for long before a member of staff pops up to ask you what you’d like. Oh and the staff are so friendly! While we were there, they couldn’t do enough for us. One waiter even remembered that the four-year-old hadn’t eaten the tartare sauce that came with her (posh) fish fingers one night. The next evening, he left the tartare sauce off the plate and brought her tomato ketchup instead. She loved that he remembered!
the kids’ fish fingers, chips and peas – WITH tartare sauce on night one!
The kids’ meals all come with a complimentary starter of carrot sticks, cucumber, bread sticks and humous. To be honest, the four-year-old ate the cucumber and left the rest but hotels and restaurants that give a healthy starter to kids always get the thumbs up from me.
The rooms are simple and chic, with neutral tones and splashes of colour. We had a gorgeous corner room which had views out to the sea on both sides. It was amazing to wake up to, every morning, and even though the room was small, the view made it feel so much bigger.
The bathroom had VOYA products which were just lovely, smelling of a proper spa! Speaking of which, Polurrian Bay has a spa – I went along to have a manicure and the lovely therapist chatted away while she painted my nails a bright shade of pink. Next to the treatment rooms is a small indoor pool, which the four-year-old had a great old time, splashing around in. There’s also an outdoor pool, but it was (understandably) closed when we were there. Brrrr!
One of the things that makes Polurrian Bay Hotel special (and its sister hotels that we’ve visited – see reviews for The Ickworth and Woolley Grange) is the kids’ creche. The Den at Polurrian Bay is a huge airy room with everything a small child could wish to play with – a kitchen area, a teepee, dressing up clothes, trains and cars, the lot. The room has been decorated in children’s handprints – every child who goes there is asked to do a hand print on the wall, and their name and date is written next to it. Such a lovely idea.
The four-year-old went into The Den twice during our stay (she could have happily stayed there all day) and while there, had her face painted and made a cute elephant out of a milk carton and tissue paper. The staff were fantastic – you got the impression they genuinely loved their job. While the four-year-old was in The Den, it gave me and Mr P time to relax in the lounge (using the free wifi) and it gave me time to get my manicure. Win-win, right?
the four-year-old’s elephant and my manicured nails – two happy ladies!
Heading outside, down some steps from the hotel, there’s a great kids’ play area. We wrapped up warm and went down there one morning for a play. There were no other kids staying while we were there (apparently during term time, the hotel is used mostly by couples and hiking groups, and during school holidays, it’s used by families) but we still had a great time on the climbing frame, swings and slide.
When we weren’t exploring the grounds (there’s a tennis court for milder months) we were snuggled up in the cosy TV room, playing cards or in the cinema room watching How To Train Your Dragon. We also borrowed a DVD from reception to watch in our room, which was nice just before bath and bedtime one evening.
Food was the only area of Polurrian Bay that we felt was a bit hit-or-miss. We couldn’t fault the kids’ food, but for us grown ups, some meals were delicious but some were a bit disappointing and it left me opting for ‘safer’ choices when ordering. The meals are served in the restaurant – which has the same gorgeous sea views as the lounge. It’s nice but relaxed, and you can take kids in there or you can eat with them at the top of the lounge where there are piles of brightly coloured plastic plates, bowls and cutlery. Kids can also be booked in for High Tea at 5pm. At lunchtime you can order salads or ciabatta sandwiches – Mr P had a brilliant sandwich with thick-cut ham and cheese, but if I’m being picky, my mozzarella, pesto and tomato ciabatta was disappointing, with fridge-cold cheese rather than the gooey melty mozzarella you’d expect.
I love a hotel which cooks hot breakfasts to order, rather than offering a hot buffet, so breakfast at Polurrian Bay was ideal – I’m still dreaming about the poached eggs and sausages I had there. They have a buffet of cereals, fruit, pastries and yogurt too which the four-year-old loved. She enjoyed a ‘holiday breakfast’ of Coco Pops every morning – and she discovered Nutella on toast while we were there too!
i was well jealous of Mr P’s ciabatta sandwich
Something that can be make or break for a family on holiday is what happens in the evening – it’s no fun, as parents, to have to go to bed at 7pm with your child, or to creep around a dark hotel room while your child sleeps. Polurrian Bay has this sorted, with a listening service, where they give you a small phone which you connect to your room phone. You can let your child sleep while you head down to the restaurant or bar, knowing you can listen in on your room and hear if your child wakes up and needs you. Before using this kind of listening service, I was unsure if I’d be able to relax, but I’m now a firm fan and think it’s such a great way of being able to spend the evening as a couple, knowing your child is safe.
the decor was basically what my dream living room would look like
couple selfie shot!
All in all, our stay at Polurrian Bay was one of my favourite family breaks – the combination of the relaxed atmosphere, amazing friendly service, brilliant kids’ facilities and the beautiful views make this place pretty special. And definitely worth the journey.
• Double rooms at Polurrian Bay Hotel start at £120 a night and i-escape have got some good dinner, bed and breakfast deals which you can check out on their website. Big thanks to Polurrian Bay Hotel for inviting us to stay for two nights. As always, all views are my own and for details on how I work with brands, see my Work With Me Page.