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The perfect family hotel by the sea.

Owned by the same folk as have the excellent Old Quay House in Fowey, this family-friendly Cornish country house by the sea combines the comforts of a luxury hotel with the freedom of having your own studio or apartment – which all come with a little kitchen-diner. Set in luxuriant gardens above the idyllic sandy cove of Porthcurnick, the hotel is in a brilliant location for walks along the South West Coastal path, as well as for bucket-and-spade beach days. There are lovely gardens too – lower lawns for the kids, with a miniature football pitch, playhouse and climbing frame – while the upper lawn is scattered with wicker furniture, ideal for sea-gazing or cloud-spotting over a glass of prosecco. Indeed on a warm day, with the sea a cobalt blue, you can kid yourself you are in the Med. And when the weather is bad, there is an indoor heated pool, a grown-ups-only lounge, a very well equipped playroom with Xbox and an abundance of board games, construction toys, books and DVDs. 

The hotel's décor is subtle and understated, with soft heritage greys, huge comfy sofas, a wood-burning fire (in the lounge) and a mix of Lloyd Loom, antique and chalk-painted upcycled furniture, while the beautiful shutters in the dining room, looking out over the gardens to the sea, give a French chateau feel. Rooms are comfy, most have sea views and balconies or terraces, and there is enough space for family time without everyone tripping over each other – the little dining tables are perfect for snacks, board games, drawing – and they range from studios, to mini apartments and an entire cottage. The kitchens have full-sized fridges, combi-microwave ovens, toaster and kettle, so it is well worth bringing simple supplies along – either for eating in room, or for taking on picnics. The hotel can also supply hot meals from the in-house deli menu if you want to eat in your room. Food in the restaurant is simple, but good, featuring local seasonal produce – think gazpacho with Cornish crab & basil oil, hake with crispy squid, stir fried vegetables – with plenty of classics (burgers, steaks, beer-battered cod and chips) to appeal to less adventurous eaters. There is a daily kids’ tea, a kids' club every Tuesday and Thursday throughout August, and families can eat in the restaurant until 8pm. What this hotel does really well, is to address the practicalities of family holidays (there is even a laundry room, supplies of buckets, spades and windbreaks, and an outdoor tap for sandy feet) without compromising on luxury and style.

Finally there is loads to see and do in the area. The South West coast path runs just below the gardens, and there are some magnificent beaches in easy walking and driving-distance. Fashionable St Mawes is six miles away, and there are watersports at Portscatho, a ten-minute walk away, while the Eden Project, Lost Gardens of Heligan and Falmouth (with the National Maritime Museum) and Padstow are about 45 minutes’ drive.

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