The finest places to stay in Cornwall for an unforgettable escape

best places to stay in cornwall   luxury hotels in cornwall
The best places to stay in CornwallDrew Gibson/The Idle Rocks

As one of England's sunniest destinations, it's no surprise that the 'best places to stay in Cornwall' is a hugely popular Google search theme. Add a burgeoning foodie scene, magical coastal walks, beautiful hidden coves, golden sandy beaches and boutique shops to the sunshine hours and it's not hard to see why. That's exactly why we've rounded up the best luxury hotels in Cornwall for 2024.


As well as its picturesque harbourside hotspots like Fowey and St Mawes, with quirky cafes and antique shops, there's also culture and art galleries galore in the likes of St Ives, and a foodie offering to rival London in Padstow (thank you, Rick Stein).

Celebrity chef Paul Ainsworth also runs a handful of top eateries in Padstow, and his boutique hotel, Padstow Townhouse, is one of the best luxury hotels in Cornwall for gastronomes.

There's family-friendly elegance at Fowey Hall (think a cinema and games room for the kids, and spa treatments for parents), while fans of adults-only hotels will adore the clifftop views, white-sand beach and outdoor hot tubs at eco-retreat The Scarlet Hotel.

Anyone looking for a taste of the Mediterranean should make a beeline for the refined charm of Hotel Tresanton, where sailing trips on the private yacht and drinks at the chic beach club are on the holiday menu.

With its dramatic landscapes, subtropical gardens, age-old castles and coastal allure, Cornwall has long been a playground for creatives, writers and artists. We've rounded up the best places to stay in Cornwall to get a taste of la dolce vita on British soil – no planes needed.

Check out these luxury hotels in Cornwall for 2024.

The Godolphin, Marazion

All the way west and overlooking St Michael’s Mount, the Godolphin in Marazion is an excellent hotel choice for anyone coming to Cornwall for the surf. Shutters restaurant has a spectacular view of the famous mount – and you’ll be able to enjoy the panorama over dishes such as St Austell Bay mussels, roasted Cornish hake and Exmouth caviar. It's an excellent spot for a scenic Sunday lunch and a great place to try some delicious local ingredients.

During the warmer months, guests can also head down to Craby’s, a beach bar and terrace that’s perfect for taking in some of that fresh sea air (with a crab sandwich or plate of lobster and chips, of course). The yellow-hued café is a cheerful place to call in at for some tasty refreshments after an uplifting walk along the Cornish coast.



best places to stay in cornwall luxury hotels in cornwall
Courtesy of the hotel

Trevose Harbour House, St Ives

If you like your hotels to have plenty of character, this breezy bolthole in St Ives is the coastal Cornwall retreat for you. With a fittingly nautical decor of white and blue, Trevose Harbour House celebrates its setting further by displaying works by some of St Ives’ many artists. Other design details at this coastal townhouse include paisley prints and mid-century furnishings.

You'll also be privy to some excellent service. The owners are well-versed in the art of hospitality, having learned their trade at Switzerland’s Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. You can be sure of a warm welcome at this homely hotel and your stay will only get better from there. After you’ve explored St Ives, settle in with a book beside the fireplace in the snug or head out to the sun-trap terrace in time for cocktail o’clock.


best places to stay in cornwall luxury hotels in cornwall
Courtesy of the hotel

Artist Residence, Penzance

Renowned for a laidback luxury and modern rustic vibe, the Artist Residence hotels are always a character-rich delight – and the Cornwall hotspot lives up to the expectation.

Colourful and unique with the odd eccentric touch thrown in for good measure (artwork by the likes Peter Blake and Tracey Emin hang on the walls alongside neon signage by Brighton artist, Andy Doig), this bohemian bolthole offers modern comforts mixed with vintage and industrial furnishings.

It's set in a Georgian coach house on buzzy Chapel Street in the heart of Penzance, so you're a stone's throw from art galleries and antique shops, while also being a short walk from the beach. When you've had your culture fix, you can look forward to tucking into innovative yet wholesome food – and you can even wash down your breakfast with a sunrise mimosa.



best places to stay in cornwall  luxury hotels in cornwall

Carbis Bay Hotel & Spa, St Ives

It’s certainly tough to choose the best thing about Carbis Bay Hotel: the sublime blend of sophisticated yet laidback interiors, the incredible food (we’re looking at you, Adam Handling’s Ugly Butterfly), the contemporary C Bay Spa and high-style lodges, or the views over the private white-sand beach.

The beach suites and lodges at Carbis Bay are indeed some of the most exclusive beachside offerings in the UK and a new level of luxury in Cornwall, with infinity views of St Ives Bay, and prime position and direct access onto the award-winning Carbis Bay beach.

The lodges sleep up to eight people, with a hot tub in the garden overlooking the waves. You’ll also have access to an around-the-clock personal guest host to take care of everything, including arranging private dinners on your own patch of golden sand – all via a tablet system in each lodge.

The beach suites all have balconies and your own concierge who delivers sundowners and canapes every evening. You’ll never want to leave… Who needs the Maldives with this dreamy coastal escape right on your doorstep?



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Three Mile Beach, Hayle

One of the most sought-after stays in Cornwall is this stylish series of beach houses, created by the founder of Audley travel. Naturally with such extensive expertise on hand to inform the design, you can be sure that the best parts of all of his amazing experiences around the world have made their way to Cornwall. This includes, but is not limited to, a street-food-dispensing truck transporting global flavours to Gwithian Towans Beach.

It also means that thoughtful details have been considered and each residence is the beach house of dreams as such. The self-catering suites at Three Mile Beach have a classic coastal charm, with nautical nods such as portholes and striped cushions, as well as white wooden walls, log-burning stoves and kitchens with breakfast bars and hanging lamps. The best bit is the exterior, though: each has a deck with a barrel sauna and sunken hot tub.


best places to stay in cornwall luxury hotels in cornwall
Courtesy of the hotel

St Mawes Hotel, St Mawes

There are countless pretty seaside towns and villages in Cornwall, but one of its most captivating is surely St Mawes, at the edge of Falmouth Harbour and at the end of the Roseland Peninsula. The St Mawes Hotel is the sister property to the luxurious Idle Rocks, which is just a short stroll across the marina away. The smaller-scale sibling also has a cinema room, but it’s a cosier, more casual affair, with just seven rooms. Some overlook the water and all have classically nautical interiors.

The harbourside hotel’s restaurant Upper Deck serves up small plates with sea views, along with house-made pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas, with plenty of local produce making its way onto the menu. The lively Lower Deck is where the party’s at, though, with regular live-music nights and a local crowd.



best places to stay in cornwall luxury hotels in cornwall
Courtesy of the hotel

The Sandy Duck, Falmouth

Calling all fans of boutique bed & breakfasts, we've found the cosy Cornish casa for you. This eight-bedroom B&B overlooking Falmouth Bay is set within an Edwardian townhouse, brought up to date with Scandi design details and artworks that were created by the owner’s relatives. The centre of Falmouth is within a 10-minute walk from the Sandy Duck, and the beach is in reach, too.

Cosy touches include daily home-made cakes, sheepskin throws and hearty breakfasts of mostly local produce. You’ll be able to enjoy the sea views from the window seats in some of the rooms – it's the perfect spot to relax in with a good book after a day out exploring the coast. Sights of note in the area include Pendennis Castle, a preserved 16th-century fortress built at the command of Henry VIII.



best places to stay in cornwall luxury hotels in cornwall

The Bodmin Jail Hotel, Bodmin

For something truly unique, put The Bodmin Jail Hotel on your travel map. Yes, as the name suggests, you'll be spending the night in a former prison – but don't worry, it's one that's had a major makeover.

Indulgence-meets-authenticity at this hotel, where rooms blend opulent free-standing bath tubs and plaques inform you of the previous prisoners' crimes.

The two restaurants offer different styles of fare, catering to your mood; the Chapel boasts a seasonal fine-dining à la carte menu, while the Jolly Hangman Tavern is a relaxed bistro for daytime bookings, which welcomes children as well as four-legged friends.

There's also a beautiful Art Deco-inspired champagne and gin bar, set in what was once the prison governor's office, with fine wines, plush seating and flowing cocktails to sips.



best places to stay cornwall bodmin jail hotel
Bodmin Jail Hotel

The Headland Hotel & Spa, Newquay

The Headland is a family-friendly, dog-friendly destination overlooking Fistral Beach in Newquay on the north Cornwall coast.

You'll find excellent accommodation, including luxury hotel rooms and suites overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and self-catering cottages with stunning sea views.

The Aqua Club has an array of indoor and outdoor pools, a sea-facing sun terrace, and a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, the Deck.

There are three other restaurants so you're completely spoilt for choice, including Renmor, which champions Cornish produce, the oceanfront Terrace and the Spa Lounge.

The Headland Spa has a hydrotherapy pool complete with bubble seats and swan-neck jet, Cornish salt steam room, Swedish sauna, aromatherapy showers, a hot tub, and a gym with Peloton and Life Fitness equipment. Of course, you can also get a relaxing massage after a day at the beach.

The Surf Sanctuary, which sits just below the Headland, runs lessons in surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling and coasteering from Fistral Beach and Newquay’s Gannel Estuary. It's a fun and relaxing escape for all types of traveller.



best places to stay cornwall the headland hotel
The Headland Hotel

The Idle Rocks, St Mawes

Situated in the charming seaside village of St Mawes, The Idle Rocks is one of the most luxurious hotels in Cornwall – it's a member of the esteemed Relais & Châteaux collection. The boutique hotspot has 19 bedrooms, including a handful of harbour-view rooms in an adjoining cottage, two of which are dog-friendly.

Perched on the harbourside, overlooking the Fal Estuary, the hotel is the perfect bolthole for couples, solo travellers and families alike.

If you're looking for rest and relaxation in a cool, coastal setting, it's the ideal getaway. Head for a pamper at the in-house treatment room, the Reef Knot Retreat, and enjoy the hotel’s restaurant, run by head chef Matt Haggath, where the finest seasonal dishes and the freshest seafood are the order of the day.



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The Idle Rocks

Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa, Mullion

Perfectly positioned above the dramatic landscape of the Lizard Peninsula, this coastal escape is ideal for couples or solo travellers looking for breathtaking scenery combined with exhilarating walks and an eco-spa for post-rambling pampering.

Helpfully for hikers, Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa is situated along the South West Coast Path, and it's also only a few minutes from the namesake cove's charming Victorian harbour. The Lizard, the southernmost point of the British mainland, is just a short drive away.

The hotel boasts a cosy, modern heritage style that gives a nod to its Edwardian roots, and oozes a refined elegance and calming atmosphere.

Have a traditional Cornish cream tea in the lounge, where you can also enjoy a delicious champagne breakfast in the morning.



best places to stay cornwall mullion cove
Mullion Cove Hotel

Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes

For a relaxed, Mediterranean-worthy getaway, head down to Hotel Tresanton – part of the high-end Polizzi Collection of refined retreats.

This luxury hotel in Cornwall was formerly a yacht club, and comprises alluring whitewashed buildings with commanding views over the water. Walls are bedecked with pretty pieces of local art from Truro, while the furniture is a tasteful mix of old and new, creating a nautical New England style, with stunning antiques from Penzance.

Take a trip out on the magnificent eight-metre classic yacht named Pinuccia, built in 1938, and let the skipper take you sailing around beautiful Falmouth Bay. This is a walker's paradise, with the coastal path stretching for miles, offering breathtaking views and the chance to stop at local hotspots, like the Hidden Hut, which serves up fresh seafood chowder overlooking the pristine Porthcurnick Beach on the Roseland Peninsula.

Back at the hotel, make your way to the beach club for drinks and ice cream, and soak up the sea views on your chic striped lounger.



best places to stay cornwall hotel tresanton
Hotel Tresanton

Boskerris Hotel, St Ives

For a clifftop setting, incredible views over St Ives Bay, and delicious Mediterranean-style food, you can't beat the family-run Boskerris Hotel, which has offered lodgings to visitors since 1931.

Enjoy a glass of fizz on the decked terrace, with the golden sands of Carbis Bay below, before relaxing in one of the luxuriously designed rooms with panoramic views of the scenic surroundings.

A beautiful Cornish bolthole set in one and a half acres, it's an idyllic escape for relaxing, with activities and culture right on the doorstep too.

Pick up the coastal path for a beautiful walk into artist enclave St Ives or take the three-minute trip into town on the train. Here, you can visit the Tate art gallery and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens. St Ives is also worth a visit simply to see the famous coastal light that has inspired so many painters for yourselves.



best places to stay cornwall boskeris hotel
Boskeris Hotel

St Michaels Resort, Falmouth

St Michaels is a luxurious resort overlooking Falmouth’s Gyllyngvase Beach, making it one of the best places to stay in Cornwall for lovers of refined retreats.

The resort features 92 stylish bedrooms, including contemporary apartments by the sea. Interiors boast a modern, fuss-free beach-chic vibe that perfectly reflects the natural surroundings in a contemporary manner.

St Michaels' spa offers an incredible hydrothermal experience, as well as being the place to go for some serious pamper time.

There are two restaurants, including the AA Rosette-awarded Brasserie on the Bay, which overlook's the estate's sub-tropical gardens leading down to the beach.

The hotel is in a great position for walks along the coastal path, while buzzing Falmouth is just minutes away. However, if you simply want to relax and unwind, this is the spot thanks to the beautiful spa, with its red cedar hot tub and Finnish barrel sauna.

Activity-seeking families, solo travellers and couples will also not be disappointed, with personal training, tennis, sunrise beach yoga and outdoor spinning classes all on offer.



best places to stay cornwall st michael's resort
Elliott White/St Michael's Resort

Driftwood, Truro

Looking for a slice of private beach paradise? Head directly to Driftwood, a relaxed yet stylish luxury hotel in Cornwall.

Boasting a stunning clifftop location with views stretching out over Gerrans Bay on the Roseland Peninsula, it's a beautiful haven for an upmarket escape. Its seven acres of gardens are bursting with palm trees and tropical plants, and there's a pretty winding path that takes you straight down to that alluring private beach.

It's located just off the South West Coast Path and just five miles from the pretty village of St Mawes, so you can mix scenic walks with boutique shopping in between all that relaxing.

Interiors boast a coastal-chic vibe with driftwood lamps giving a nod to the hotel name. There's a beautiful decked terrace where you can soak in the sea views, and the revamped rustic cabin in the garden is our favourite room.

The food here is a standout experience, with the 3 AA Rosette-awarded dining offering palate-pleasing combos such as wild Cornish monkfish, with ceps, hazelnut pesto and elderberry capers. It's a dreamy hidden gem.



best places to stay in cornwall  luxury hotels in cornwall

Trewornan Manor, Wadebridge

If you like a stay with lots of history, try this fabled manor in Wadebridge. Here at the stunning Trewornan Manor, guests can indulge in a super-stylish countryside escape in a Grade II-listed, 13-century manor house, now beautifully restored into a luxury boutique B&B by its husband-and-wife owners.

This adults-only beauty makes the ideal sophisticated base from which to explore the north Cornish coast. As well as plenty of country walks (and 25 acres of grounds) on its doorstep, the historic house is near Wadebridge. The riverside town, with its bustling cafes and shops, is just one mile away, while pretty Polzeath Beach is just a 15-minute drive and Padstow is also within easy reach. However, nobody would blame you if you simply wanted to stay put and wander the beautiful gardens on site.

Little details, like jars of naughty but nice home-baked goodies and cosy robes, make it all that little bit extra special.



best places to stay in cornwall  luxury hotels in cornwall

Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa, Newquay

For a grown-up getaway sans kids, look no further than the adults-only Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa – one of the best places to stay in Cornwall for a relaxing yet contemporary coastal retreat.

It's the ideal spot for couples, solos and groups looking for a little Cornish adventure or a romantic escape. The expansive sands of Fistral Beach are just outside, offering a soundtrack of breaking waves to your restorative trip.

The spa boasts treatment rooms, a vitality pool and sauna – rejuvenation and indulgence are a core part of the hotel’s ethos.

Local and seasonal produce is on the menu at the sea-facing restaurant Dune, where monkfish with samphire and classic bouillabaisse is the kind of tastebud-tingling delight you can expect.

All wrapped up in a cool beach-chic aesthetic (think Tom Raffield lampshades) – this is a stylish spot to add to your must-visit list.



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Fowey Hall, Fowey

Fowey Hall is a family-friendly sprawling 36-room Grade II-listed hotel perched above the pretty sailing town of Fowey on the south Cornwall coast.

Enjoying sweeping views over the estuary and picturesque Fowey Harbour, it features stylish interiors by Studio Jill and houses a fine-dining restaurant serving up seasonal, locally sourced produce, as well as a sumptuous spa and an indoor swimming pool.

It was renovated a couple of years ago, with new bedrooms, a new outdoor swimming pool and a total re-landscaping of the grounds and driveway part of the improvements.

This is a luxury retreat for couples, friends and families alike, but if you're travelling with little ones in tow you'll be especially spoilt for choice with a games room and cinema, possibly the largest children’s library of any UK hotel and 90 minutes of free childcare per night stayed. Music to any parent's ears.

The impressive property is thought to have been the inspiration for The Wind in the Willows’ Toad Hall and you can even enjoy a refreshing ‘Toad Hall Martini’ in the hotel bar.



best places to stay cornwall fowey hall
Fowey Hall

Padstow Townhouse, Padstow

Situated in the heart of Padstow’s old town, this 18th-century building is now boutique hotel is run by celebrity chef Paul Ainsworth and his wife Emma, and is one of the best places to stay in Cornwall for couples and solo travellers.

Cosy up in one of Padstow Townhouse's six individually styled suites, set across three floors, and take advantage of the kitchen pantry and honesty bar, well stocked with locally sourced treats and a flask of steaming hot chocolate delivered in the evening.

Duchess bicycles are available to borrow, while Dubarry wellies are provided for blustery beach walks, along with a luxury picnic hamper at your request.

Dine at one of Ainsworth’s four restaurants located nearby, including Michelin-starred No6, Caffè Rojano, Mahé Chef’s Table and the Mariners Public House, located across the estuary in Rock; you can even take advantage of complimentary transfers in the hotel’s electric BMW.



best places to stay cornwall padstow townhouse
Padstow Townhouse

The Scarlet Hotel, Newquay

The Scarlet Hotel is an ultra-luxe getaway located in the picturesque wilds of Mawgan Porth and nestled in the majestic cliffs that line the Atlantic Ocean shores.

This adults-only eco-sanctuary is the ultimate relaxing escape, with one of the most renowned Ayurvedic-inspired eco spas in the UK. It features a bromine-filtered indoor pool, outdoor natural reed pool, restorative steam room and wooden sauna, and – a true highlight – clifftop wood-fired hot tubs with expansive views of the golden sands below.

The Scarlet’s restaurant offers captivating views of the coastline, which can be easily explored straight from the hotel. After you've worked up an appetite on a seaside stroll, discover a palate-pleasing meal of seasonal, responsibly sourced food alongside sustainable, slow-aged wine, expertly paired by the in-house sommelier. And, if you want to head out for the night, Padstow, with its many superb seafood restaurants, is just a cab ride away.


More UK travel ideas:

- The most romantic hotels in Kent

- Where to stay in Cambridge

- Edinburgh's loveliest boutique hotels

- Top country house hotels in the UK

- The best hotels in Brighton

best places to stay cornwall the scarlet hotel
The Scarlet Hotel

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