Think of Newquay, and ‘peaceful’, ‘idyllic’ and ‘romantic’ probably aren’t the first words that come to mind. But head three miles along the coast and you’ll find Watergate Bay, a small slice of Cornish paradise that’s home to a glorious beach and the Watergate Bay Hotel. The latter’s home to several restaurants (one of them Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall), a spa and a surf academy – its owners call it “après-ski by the beach”.
The hotel has plenty of room options, but if you’re feeling adventurous, or with a larger group, Beach Retreats' properties are a winner. We stayed in Winnow, one of 20 self-catered houses located just above the hotel. Winnow has four large bedrooms and a great room connecting a large and well equipped kitchen, perfect for cooking group meals. Decor is simple with coastal vibes, so as to not distract from the gorgeous views of the headland and valley, seen from the glass front and long private balcony.
Need to know
Address: Watergate Bay, Cornwall, TR8 4AA
Price: Self-catering properties start from £750 per week
Distance: 3.5hr from London by train with a short taxi or a 60-minute flight with FlyBe
Nearest station: Newquay
Info: 01637 861 005; beachretreats.co.uk
The hotel’s Living Space lounge has panoramic views of the bay and is a great spot for a morning coffee or post-dinner drink. Zacry’s offers a two- or three-course set menu each night for dinner, with a menu focused on contemporary American cuisine with local seafood and grilled meat. Of course, Fifteen is just around the corner and serves traditional Italian with (even more) panoramic views of the bay.
Unless you’re looking to join a hen do in Newquay, you really have everything you need at Watergate Bay. Start your day with a hearty breakfast at the Beach Hut before suiting up for a lesson at the Extreme Surf Academy next door. The academy accommodates everyone from newbies to seasoned pros, and you can book a half- or full-day lesson depending on how energetic you’re feeling. Finish your stay with a treatment at the hotel’s Swim Club spa, with its selection of treatments and Cornwall’s longest indoor (and infinity) pool. Grab a glass of champagne and watch the sunset from one of the outdoor wooden hot tubs and for a brief moment, you’ll feel thousands of miles from England.