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A contemporary seaside boutique hotel, spa and restaurant – in a gorgeous location.

Set in spacious, beautifully manicured grounds overlooking the Camel estuary, the St Enodoc is a real delight, with 20 rooms and suites that are bright, modern and cosy, many with far-reaching sea views. There's a spa and beach life right on the doorstep – not to mention one of Cornwall's best hotel restaurants.

It's a relaxed, chic sort of place, with slate floors and bright, contemporary fabrics; modern Cornish paintings adorn the walls and overall the hotel has a calm, almost Mediterranean vibe, with a lovely lounge area with a wood-burning stove. There are sixteen double rooms and four suites, all bright and light and stylishly decorated with wooden floors, seaside colours and more local art, plus up-to-date bathrooms with underfloor heating and local toiletry products from St Kitts Herbery. Quite a lot have sea and estuary views and they all boast big comfy beds, coffee- and tea-making facilities, complimentary bottled water and fresh milk if you want it. There's satellite TV and wifi, and if all that isn't quite enough to help you relax, the hotel spa offers a range of massages and treatments, plus there's an outdoor pool, gym, games room and even a tennis court.

In keeping with its culinary heritage (top chef Nathan Outlaw cooked here before opening his own place nearby in Port Isaac), the restaurant is now the domain of Felix Craft, who previously worked under Outlaw himself as well as for Mikey Robbins at Vancouver's AnnaLena. In keeping with Outlaw's style he makes most of the produce on his doorstep – Porthilly oysters, fish and lobster landed in Padstow, and venison and game in the winter months. It's a relaxed and welcoming place to eat, with a summer terrace overlooking the estuary – also, by the way, a perfect place to enjoy breakfast or a sundowner later in the day.

The beach is a stone's throw from the hotel, as is the passenger ferry to Padstow. The Camel estuary is also a safe and sheltered place to indulge in a diverse array of watersports  – from surfing and wakeboarding to stand-up paddle boarding, waterskiing and kite-surfing. The hotel is also right next door to the rather fabulous, championship level St Enodoc Golf Course – they offer packaged 'golf breaks' if that's your thing –  and there are coastal walks galore in either direction, many of them crossing extensive areas of protected land owned by the National Trust.

You can also explore the lovely Camel Trail on foot or by bike as it follows the old railway line all the way inland to Bodmin. Rock itself is one of the richest places in Cornwall but not without its charms –  the location is a peach, and famously the village is the last resting-place of former Poet Laureate John Betjeman. Padstow is well-known for a foodie scene instigated by Rick Stein, but developed by all sorts of other people since – for example Paul Ainsworth in Padstow itself, and Nathan Outlaw, who has two Michelin-starred restaurants in the picturesque coastal village of Port Isaac to the north.

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