Room Service: Polurrian Bay Hotel, Cornwall

 

Of all the things I miss about Life Before Child (along with sleep, eating with two hands, and not listening to The Tiger Who Came to Tea on loop on every car journey), holidays are top of the list. Those who extol the virtues of family camping by the beach are either not averse to waking up at 6am in a sweaty tent to the sound of other people's children shrieking before spending 12 hours a day on sand-eye watch, or they are lying. The holidays I hanker after are those that involve lying in a cold dark room and being waited on for several days in a row. So, when I was first told about the Polurrian Bay Hotel, I only heard three words: "spa" followed by "free creche".

Polurrian Bay is a sprawling white Edwardian cliff-top hotel at the edge of the village of Mullion. The building has just undergone major re-sprucing, after it was taken over by Nigel Chapman as the first instalment of his new hotel group last year (he has gone on to bolster the portfolio with the acquisition of four of the Luxury Family Hotels that he'd sold to Von Essen in 2006, along with three further properties previously owned by Von Essen, making the new Luxury Family Hotel collection up to eight). A new glass extension – the "Vista wing" – forms a fabulous open living room with wood-burning stove and massive sofas and bean-bags. There is also a cinema, DVD library, games rooms, and each family is provided with a baby monitor which works anywhere in the hotel (including the spa). Oh, and did I mention the FREE CRECHE?

Location

Here is the rub. For anyone living outside Cornwall, the hotel is a schlep by road. But if you don't fancy being backed-up on narrow Cornish roads for hours on end, you can take the train to Truro or – closer still – to Redruth where, if you ask the hotel to book your cab in advance, it will take 45 minutes and set you back £35. Otherwise, it is three buses from Truro to Mullion.

Once there, the view across Land's End from our seafront room was glorious come sun (sporadic during our visit), rain, and cheek-crushing wind (pretty much constant for us). It looked across an endless lawn peppered with wild poppies, nigella and palms, a tennis court, wooden playground and an outdoor pool. Here, a coastal road leads to the bay where year-round lunatics in wetsuits break the waves.

It is also a 30-minute amble along the cliff-tops to Poldhu, where lies another beach, this one surrounded in reeds, with a café/shop. The journey is breathtaking – and extremely blowy, so not suited to buggies or sufferers from vertigo. If you're feeling more adventurous, there are various attractions within an hour's drive, including the Eden Project and Godolphin House, not to mention Trenance Chocolate Factory.  

Comfort

If you haven't packed your brain, don't panic: everything has been thought of for you, from Bumbos to swimming nappies, X-Box to Monopoly. The rooms are cosy. Ours had a supremely comfortable bed, Elemis skin products, Freeview and (what glamour) a nappy bin. We also had a sea view overlooking 12 acres of garden, with plenty of space for the hotel-provided cot and a swish ensuite with a baby bath. The decor is smart and modern, without potentially hazardous table corners or exposed plug sockets; and there are spacious family suites with two interconnecting rooms. Not all rooms have sea views – some overlook the rear grounds.

Every day we were free to play tennis, have a massage, or lie on a sofa in the Vista drinking wine. Each child, from three months to eight years, is entitled to two hours' free daily childcare in the Ofsted-approved creche. While we lazed about, our daughter baked cakes, painted, played outside, and had a great time without us. In the afternoon we could swim together in the indoor pool, go for walks, or be bossed about in the toy room. Older kids can play pool and table-football, watch films and run riot in the gardens.

The food is good and reasonably priced, from lobster Thermidor (£20)at one end of the scale to homemade beefburgers (£12.50) at the other, though the portions aren't huge. A varied kids and toddler menu with portions at £7 or £4 is served throughout the day in plastic crockery with matching knives and forks. If you fancy something smarter, deposit happily exhausted child in room, turn on the monitor and head to the dining room where the rioja, at £27 a bottle, was particularly good. This, surely, is what Life With Kids was meant to be?

Polurrian Bay Hotel, Polurrian Road, Mullion, Helston, Cornwall TR12 7EN (01326 240421; polurrianhotel.com)

Rooms ***
Value ****
Service ***

Doubles from £165 in summer, B&B. Under-16s stay free in parents' room, room only.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering