Luxury Family Hotel = 50% adult luxury / 50% kid fun
It’s a perfect 50/50 equation in which both parts are crucial to the family luxury experience. So, after our latest excursion, I asked my 8 year old Kaya what she thought?
“I don’t know what it is about family hotels… but I just feel FREE”!
And there it is. The holy grail of parenting which kind of sums up how we all felt on our Easter trip to Polurrian Bay Hotel.
The hotel has occupied it’s stunning coastal spot in Mullion on Cornwall’s south coast for over 100 years and is one of 8 gorgeous hotels around the UK run by Luxury Family Hotels. In the winter we stayed at Woolley Grange near Bath and we seem to be slowly working our way around them all!
Standing in 12 acres of stunning gardens with spectacular views across Mounts Bay on Cornwall’s Lizard Penninsula, Polurrian’s recent makeover shows and it’s 41 bedrooms provide the perfect mix of quintessential family seaside hotel and hipster hangout.
We arrived at night, choosing to do the 5 hour drive while the kids napped rather than go with the “are we nearly there yet” option. ALWAYS preferable! Waking up the next morning in our adjoining rooms we opened the curtains to be met with stunning sea views, eliciting yelps from the kids, as did the pet rocks they were left as a welcome gift. Lovely touch.
Dining can happen in the main dining room or the new Vista Lounge with its breathtaking panoramic views over the atlantic ocean, reminding us of 50’s inspired Palm Springs from our days in California. It’s a perfect addition to the hotel and, crucially, enables you to enjoy the views and outdoors, whatever the weather. After a wonderful and very chilled breakfast – it was time for a bit of exploring.
The hotel boasts an outdoor tennis court and you’d be hard pushed to find a court with a better view! We headed to the outdoor play area and then went to check out the complimentary Ofsted registered Den which was beautifully light and well stocked with toys and games to keep the under 8’s entertained during your complimentary 2 hours of childcare a day. There was also a Movie Theatre and Blue Room to keep older kids entertained with it’s table football, pool, computer games and more traditional board games. Kaya and Akira were intent on enjoying the swimming pool and in true 8 and 5 year old style would gladly have stayed inside for the duration of the trip!
That afternoon, we borrowed some beach gear from the hotel lobby, where everything from wind breaks to buckets and spades were waiting to maximise enjoyment for all and minimise the need for excess packing. On the walk down the steps to the hotels beach, I couldn’t believe the azure blue of the sea and felt guilty for the times I’ve marvelled at the aqua blue waters overseas, without truly clocking the waters on our own shores. The yellow gorse bushes, smell of the sea air, sounds of the waves and birdsong transported me back to my own childhood holidays and in that moment I totally “got” the allure of the British Seaside holiday.
Kaya and Akira hit the sands and instantly turned into free spirits – running around all afternoon, climbing, chasing waves, exploring and enjoying the freedom to just be children. I lay in sun, listening to the waves, reading a book and loving life! In the days following my run-in with some green tea and visits to A & E, this turned out to be exactly the R & R I needed and memories of childhood classic reads came flooding back, where people would be sent to the beach to convalesce in the sea air!
The kids were literally giddy when we were joined by some horses – available nearby for riding fun), along with surfing, a nearby seal sanctuary, gorgeous beaches and a traditional tin mine in the shape of the Poldark Mine. Sad to say, however long I loitered (with questionable intent) I didn’t see any scythe action!
I then headed to the Purity Spa for a spot of pampering (all in the name of research!) while Trey and the kids played board games. Dinner was in the Vista Lounge before falling into our beds, slightly sun-kissed and exhausted by the sea air.
The next day we headed to Poldhu Cove for another wonderful beach day, enjoying the best of Cornwall and, as the sun started setting, chips on the beach from the lovely surf cafe rounded off another perfect day.
For me, one of the best bits about the hotel is how family friendly it is. There are all the practical things like pushchairs you can borrow, a bottle cleaning service, toys to play with, books, board games, magazines, beach equipment to borrow by the front door. But being family friendly is about more than the services on offer and Polurrian excelled with the attention they gave to the children. As a parent, the best feeling on earth is letting your kids be themselves and not having to “shush” them the whole time in a hotel is the stuff of dreams.
Appropriately, given that I’ve recently started working on Heart, the first famous hotel guest was Marconi Guglielmo in 1901 and there’s a statue of the great man in Poldhu. I was excited to discover Clarke Gable and Gene Tierney stayed while they were filming Never Let Me Go – oh and Winston Churchill also visited. Pretty cool.
On our final morning was a bit cloudy so we drove the 4 miles to Lizard, the most southerly point of the UK and the kids loved seeing the Lighthouse and the crashing waves below. As we left the hotel, they immediately asked when we could come back to visit, which says it all really!
Thanks to Polurrian Bay Hotel for a wonderful stay. You’ve created a family idyll in a very special corner of the earth and we’ll definitely be back.