A beautiful coastal county, Cornwall is a popular tourist destination in the UK. The high cliffs, fine sandy beaches, and pristine waters make this region attractive to visitors. With that said, hotels are everywhere, and many of them are near the beach, sea, and even on the cliffs. We’ll show you hotels suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families. Hotels with direct access to the beach, swimming pools, and luxury hotels with spas are also highlighted. Whether it’s a family getaway or a romantic retreat, here are the best Cornwall hotels by the sea.

1. Tolcarne Beach Colonial

From the name itself, Tolcarn Beach Colonial is a bed and breakfast located on Tolcarne Beach. It features a terrace where guests can enjoy picturesque views of the nearby beach and Newquay Bay. You can choose from 15 well-furnished Colonial Rooms with refreshing beach-themed interiors. Some rooms have large balconies and private hot tubs, but all stays include sumptuous breakfast. Couples on a romantic Cornwall retreat should get a Suite with Hot Tub. Besides the secluded hot tub spa, it’s also appointed with a super king bed and a walk-in shower and bath. Couples can soak in the tub while marveling at the spectacular views of the ocean. For dinner dates, visit the on-site restaurant that offers Caribbean and international dishes.

  • Guest Reviews: Loved our room on the beach. The restaurant was excellent with great views of the beach.
  • Star Rating: 3 stars
  • Best Rooms: Suite with hot tub
  • Address: Tolcarne Beach, Newquay, TR7 2QN, United Kingdom

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2. The Idle Rocks

Built in 1913 on an old local bakery site, The Idle Rocks is a luxury hotel located close to the sea. Cliffs, coves, beaches, and other surrounding natural beauty make this hotel an idyllic retreat. There are 19 cozy rooms with stylish decor and lovely views of the sea or village. Spacious and equipped with high-quality furnishings, all stays include a complimentary Cornish breakfast. In particular, the Deluxe Suite with sea view is the recommended choice for couples on a holiday. As the hotel’s largest room, it features world-class comforts including a large bed, sofa, and luxurious bathroom. Book a date at the on-site restaurant and enjoy delectable dishes from Far Eastern cuisine. During the day, have a quick stroll to the village of St. Mawes where a 16th-century castle still stands.

  • Guest Reviews: Our room was lovely and comfortable with beautiful bay views. The food and the service were excellent.
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Best Rooms: Deluxe suite with sea view
  • Address: Harbourside, Saint Mawes, TR2 5AN, United Kingdom

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3. The Lewinnick Lodge

Nestled above the Atlantic, The Lewinnick Lodge is a 4-star boutique hotel and restaurant.  It offers a coastal escape where guests enjoy picturesque views of the ocean while on the cliff’s edge. Complementing the property’s elegance are the luxury rooms configured with exquisite furnishings. Large windows are also installed in the rooms, giving you the pleasure of waking up to scenic ocean views. For an unforgettable stay with your partner, the Luxury Double Room is the best choice. Designed for romantic stays in Cornwall, this suite comes with an emperor bed and other comfort amenities. It also has a free-standing bathtub beside a double window, letting you unwind while admiring the ocean. At night, head to the hotel’s restaurant and try authentic Cornish cuisine.

  • Guest Reviews: The view from our oceanfront was phenomenal and the breakfast was superb.
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Best Rooms: Luxury double room
  • Address: Pentire Headland, Newquay, TR7 1QD, United Kingdom

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4. The Godolphin Hotel

The Godolphin Hotel is located a few minutes away from the magnificent St. Micheal Mount island. With the famous landmark in the background, this 4-star hotel is a perfect venue for any romantic event. Besides the charming location, it also features well-equipped rooms with homey interiors. Each room has an ensuite bathroom and windows with unspoiled sea views. The Deluxe Double Room with Balcony is best for families or friends on a weekend getaway to Cornwall. It’s the hotel’s largest room that features a separate living space and a balcony. Adding to its charms is the elegant bathroom with white marble walls, radiating that pristine atmosphere. For food and drinks, go to Shutters, the hotel’s relaxing restaurant and bar. If you want a quick day trip, the hotel is near Marazion Beach, Marazion Museum, and Chapel Rock.

  • Guest Reviews: Our room was clean and quiet with a fantastic view. The breakfast was amazing.
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Best Rooms: Deluxe double room with balcony
  • Address: West End, Marazion, TR17 0EN, United Kingdom

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5. Hotel Tresanton

Consisting of a group of houses, Hotel Tresanton is situated in the village of St. Mawes. It features a beach club, a yacht, and a wide terrace where guests enjoy clear views of the beach and sea. The hotel has 30 guest rooms and suites spread over 5 houses, and many come with a private terrace. Inside all the rooms, you’ll find local art pieces and homey furnishings to go with the views. The Family Suite with a terrace is the top room choice for groups on a getaway. It’s a spacious suite with modern amenities and an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower. There is also a separate living space and an extra room with two bunk beds fitted for the children. Book family dinner dates at the hotel’s restaurant, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

  • Guest Reviews: Our room was quiet and lovely with views over the bay. The food was excellent.
  • Star Rating: 3 stars
  • Best Rooms: Family suite
  • Address: 27 Lower Castle Road, Saint Mawes, TR2 5DR, United Kingdom

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6. Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa

Nestled on the cliffs, Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa is a haven with dramatic sea and nature views. One high-end feature is the clifftop spa, which offers an array of wellness treatments to guests. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool and a fitness center but these are only available to members. Stylish and well-appointed rooms with free breakfast are ready to welcome guests. For couples on a romantic escape, the Superior Double Room is a perfect choice. Large windows are all over the room, giving you premium sea views that greet you in the morning. It’s also installed with modern amenities and a gorgeous bathroom with a window overlooking the sea. To try authentic Cornwall cuisine, get on your formal clothes and head to the hotel’s restaurant. For casual dates, go to Glenbervie Bisto and enjoy cocktails and delicious bistro-style dishes.

  • Guest Reviews: The room was big and comfortable. Great pool and spa facilities plus the food was exceptional.
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Best Rooms: Superior double rooms with sea view
  • Address: Cliff Road, Mullion, TR12 7EP, United Kingdom

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7. Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa

Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa is an adults-only hotel standing directly across Fistral Bay. Some of its best features are the scenic views of the bay, an indoor pool, and a fitness center. It also takes pride in its sophisticated spa with a hot tub, sauna, beauty salon, and a range of treatments. From economy rooms to spacious suites, this 4-star hotel offers stays for every budget. But to have the most intimate moments with your partner, book one of their well-equipped Suites. Perfect for couples, it features a large balcony and a private hot tub that overlooks the beach. Guests also get complimentary memberships to use the spa and fitness suite. At night, dine at Dune Restaurant or have drinks at the Bay Bar while marveling at the beauty of the bay.

  • Guest Reviews: The location was amazing, the spa was 10/10, the room was cozy and the cocktails were to die for.
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Best Rooms: Suite with sea view
  • Address: Esplanade Road, Newquay, TR7 1PT, United Kingdom

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8. The Headland Hotel and Spa

If you want a 5-star luxury stay near the beach, look no further than The Headland Hotel and Spa. Set as a Victorian-style property, this hotel welcomes guests with picturesque coastal and ocean views. Inside, it features 6 elegantly designed pools, a luxurious spa, and an ultra-modern gym. The stays are also world-class, offering cozy guest rooms, suites, and cottages. Many have breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, and all are fitted with the finest furnishings. There are intimate rooms for couples, but the apartments are most suitable for families and friends. For meals, there are a number of onsite dining venues with different settings. There’s fine dining at The Samphire, open-air views at The Terrace, and bites by the pool at The Deck. Make sure you try their delicious afternoon tea.

  • Guest Reviews: Our room was lovely with stunning beach views. The food was delicious and the spa was amazing.
  • Star Rating: 5 stars
  • Best Rooms: Three-bedroom apartments
  • Address: Headland Road, Newquay, TR7 1EW, United Kingdom

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9. Pedn-Olva

A hotel with a modern pub-restaurant, Pedn-Olva stands on a cliff overlooking the Celtic and St. Ives Bay. It features an outdoor swimming pool and a large terrace where guests can admire the surrounding beauty. Like the hotel’s stylish architecture, the guest rooms and suites also exude contemporary and homey interiors. All rooms offer amazing views of the sea and have the amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. If you have kids, book the Family Room with sea views. Inside, you’ll have a comfy large double bed and a single bed or a bunk bed. Modern amenities and an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower are also some of its best features. For dining options, the hotel’s relaxing restaurant offers appetizing meals and homebrewed pub drinks.

  • Guest Reviews: This was a charming hotel located right on the ocean. We enjoyed the heated pool and the restaurant was good.
  • Star Rating: 3 stars
  • Best Rooms: Family rooms
  • Address: Porthminster Beach, St Ives, TR26 2EA, United Kingdom

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10. The Carlyon Bay Hotel and Spa

Boasting stunning sea views, the Carlyon Bay Hotel and Spa is a clifftop luxury haven in Cornwall. You’ll have access to its premium facilities, including 2 heated swimming pools, an 18-hole golf course, and 2 tennis courts. Adding to its opulence is a huge private ground and a luxurious spa with a gym, a sauna, and a steam bath. This 4-star hotel also offers 86 elegant rooms and suites appointed with exquisite furnishings and decors. There are some rooms for solo guests, but most are designed for couples. While small, the Deluxe double rooms offer the most luxurious comforts. For a fine dining experience, head to the award-winning Bay View Restaurant and Taste Brasserie. If you want a more relaxed dinner date, go to Taste of Cornwall, The Spa Bar, or The Terrace Lounge.

  • Guest Reviews: The room was nicely furnished with magnificent views. The spa was a true oasis with a pool, steam, and sauna.
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Best Rooms: Deluxe double rooms
  • Address: Sea Road, St Austell, PL25 3RD, United Kingdom

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11. The Royal Duchy Hotel

Located near Castle Beach, The Royal Duchy Hotel takes pride in being the only 4-star luxury hotel in Falmouth. With a seafront location, you’ll love the unparalleled views of the bay and Pendennis Castle. This classy haven features a sauna, a spa, an indoor heated pool, and a fitness center. It also has a cosy lounge and an outdoor terrace where guests can relax and enjoy casual dining. Dining options include the award-winning The Restaurant and the Terrace Bar. The hotel offers 45 rooms and suites fitted for single guests, couples, and families. For couples on a weekend retreat, the Deluxe Double Room is the best option. It has residential-style interiors with direct views of the sea. It’s equipped with comfort amenities, modern facilities, and an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in shower.

  • Guest Reviews: Our room was very comfortable. Dinner in the terrace bar was first-rate.
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Best Rooms: Deluxe double rooms with sea view
  • Address: Cliff Road, Falmouth, TR11 4NX, United Kingdom 

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12. Carbis Bay and Spa Hotel

If you’re looking for the perfect beach getaway, check out Carbis Bay and Spa Hotel. Besides its gorgeous location, it features an infinity edge pool, a hydro pool, and a beach hot tub. A spacious terrace and a relaxation lounge are also available to enjoy the scenic views. For a luxurious pampering experience, you can indulge in wellness treatments at the C Bay Spa. This 4-star hotel offers homey rooms and suites with high-quality furniture pieces and airy interiors. For families on a Cornwall vacation, have a look at their beachside houses and villas.  Suitable for small and large families, you’ll have separate bedrooms and plenty of living space for gatherings. Some even have hot tubs on the private terrace. For dining options, head to Walter’s on The Beach, The Beach Club Restaurant, Ugly Butterfly, or Orangery.

  • Guest Reviews: The location, the views, and the room were superb. The spa and pool facilities were 10/10.
  • Star Rating: 4 stars
  • Best Rooms: Villas with sea view
  • Address: Carbis Bay, St Ives, TR26 2NP, United Kingdom 

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Best Areas To Stay In Cornwall

  • Newquay – Newquay is along the upper northwest coast of Cornwall. It’s the center of beach and surf culture in the UK with a vibrant nightlife and additional nearby attractions. If you want to stay in this area, check out Tolcarne Beach Colonial Hotel. It has excellent views and rooms with large balconies and hot tubs.
  • St. Mawes – This is a picturesque town on the east coast of Roseland Peninsula. It’s an old fishing village with a number of historic sights. You can enjoy the picturesque harbor and idyllic sunbathing beaches for summer. Have a look at Idle Rocks Hotel which faces directly onto the bay. It’s one of the best choices for fine dining too.
  • St. Ives (photo above) St. Ives is a lovely historic town. Explore the quaint narrow streets, old cottages, art galleries, boutique shops, and café culture. It is on the southern tip of St. Ives Bay which has a number of swimming and surfing beaches. For the best stay, have a look at  Pedn-Olva. It is a cliffside hotel with some of the best views of St Ives Bay and the Celtic Sea.
  • St. Austell – St. Austell is the largest town of Cornwall just inland from Carlyon Bay. You can enjoy the nightlife, historic gardens, local breweries, and the nearby Eden Project. Just outside of town, It’s worth checking into the Carlyon Bay Hotel. This is a luxury clifftop spa hotel where heated pools, golf, tennis, and fine dining are the order of the day.

Best Things To Do By The Sea In Cornwall

  • Beach Hopping – With its rugged cliffs and hidden coves, beach hopping is a popular summer activity. St. Ives Bay is a favorite with the St. Ives Bay Line train running along the coastline. Fistral Beach is one of the top vibey surfing beaches of Newquay. There’s also Perranporth, a popular broad swimming beach about 15 km south of Newquay.
  • Boat Trips & Sea Excursions – With a number of strategic ports and small local harbors, boating and sailing are popular activities around Cornwall. Sea safari tours depart from locations such as Padstow, Newquay, and St. Ives on the west coast. On the east side, there’s Penzance and Falmouth. Sea trips to the Isles of Scilly are well-recommended especially for bird life. Other activities include private yacht charters, offshore fishing, and scenic coastal tours.
  • Surfing & Watersports – Newquay beaches such as Porthcrawl and Fistral have numerous surfing schools and surf rental shops. The larger centers of Newquay, St. Ives, and Falmouth are best for motorized watersports. But if you just want to surf, head to the beaches in Perranporth, Qwithian, Sennen Cove, Polzeath, White Sands Bay, and Gyllyngvase. You can also enjoy other activities like kiteboarding, kayaking, paddleboarding, and SUPs. Gwithian Bay and Watergate Bay are the best for windsurfing beaches.
  • Coastal Walks – The South West Coast Path is one of the longest and best hiking trails in the UK. The 10 km (6 miles) stretch between St. Ives and Zennor is highly recommended. The trail from Port Isaac to Tintagel visits places associated with the legendary King Arthur. Other popular trails are the  Lizard Point Circular Walk and the Perranporth to St Agnes Circular Walk.
  • Blue Reef Aquarium (Newquay) – Blue Reef Aquarium has 40 unique themed habitats and a tunneled section for overhead viewing. Key highlights are Cornish Waters, Tropical Rivers, Cold, and Warm Seas. Predated or prebooked (nonrefundable) tickets can guarantee quicker entry and the quietest times are after 3 pm.

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Best Time to Visit The Seaside In Cornwall

Cornwall’s coastal areas are known for charming beaches and breathtaking views. The best time to visit Cornwall’s coast depends on factors like weather, crowd levels, and personal preferences. You’ll want to keep these in mind when planning your trip, to ensure you have the best experience.

  • Summer (June to August) – The warm summer weather with long days is the ideal time to enjoy beaches and watersports. But be prepared for larger crowds and longer waits, especially in popular beach towns.
  • Shoulder Seasons (March to May & September to October) – The spring and autumn seasons have mild temperatures and fewer tourists than summer. It’s quieter, more relaxed, and still warm enough for outdoor activities.
  • Winter (November to February) – Short winter days and cold temperatures mean low tourist numbers. Nonetheless, it’s ideal for storm watching, coastal walks, and the scenery is breathtaking. Winter is the best time to enjoy the many coastal inns and pubs.
  • Specific Activities – The best time to visit Cornwall’s coast can depend on specific activities or interests. If you’re a surfer, winter and autumn bring the largest swells. Seal watching is best in the fall, while dolphins and sharks can be seen in the summer.

Best Ways To Get Around Cornwall

  • Rental Cars – Renting a car is probably the best way to get around Cornwall. You can explore the best scenic routes and also drive along country lanes. In the busy Summer or peak season, make sure to book your car well in advance.
  • Trains – There are a number of Cornwall County train lines. The Great Western Main Line runs from London Paddington to Penzance and stops at the large coastal town of St. Austell. The Atlantic Coast Line connects Newquay to St. Austell, and the St. Ives Bay Line is a popular local train to beach areas. The Maritime Line runs from Truro to the coastal town of Falmouth.
  • Buses – For local buses, it’s best to inquire about these from your chosen accommodation or local tourist office. Several bus companies such as First Kernow and Go Cornwall Bus run bus services between different towns, villages, and popular tourist sights.
  • Taxis – Taxis are a reasonable option for getting around larger towns or popular nearby locations. Outside of populous locations and hubs, hailing a cab on the street may not be so easy. It is therefore recommended to have a taxi company number on hand. Alternatively, download a private taxi company app before your journey.
  • Ferry & Boat – As a sightseeing bonanza, the St. Mawes Ferry runs between St. Mawes and the port of Falmouth. You can view the scenic coast, which includes castles, and maybe even dolphins if you’re lucky. The journey takes 20 minutes. Another option is the Scillonian Ferry which crosses between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly. This trip is about 2 hours 45 minutes.

Best Cornwall Hotels By The Sea With Beach Access

  • Tolcarne Beach Colonial (photo above) This hotel, uniquely situated below a cliff face, opens up directly onto Tolcarne Beach. This beach is just around the bay from Newquay Beach and a short distance from Great Western Beach. For an extra treat, you can book a room or suite with a large balcony and hot tub.
  • Headland Hotel & SpaHeadland Hotel & Spa is on the headland just around the western point of Newquay Bay. The hotel is only a few minutes walk to Fistral Beach and the South West Coast Path scenic hiking trail loops around. The Headland Hotel itself is a 5-star luxury hotel where you can enjoy fine dining and spa packages with luxury rooms and suites to choose from.
  • Carbis Bay & Spa HotelCarbis Bay is a quiet bay with a long stretch of lovely soft sand situated about 5 km (3 miles) from St. Ives town. The hotel has an infinity pool, a beachfront hot tub, and rooms with terraced hot tubs. The spa even has a sauna with views of the bay and there’s a heated pool.

Best Cornwall Hotels By The Sea For Families

  • Hotel Tresanton (photo above) Hotel Tresanton is a good value hotel in St. Mawes on the opposite bay side of Falmouth. They have family rooms, some terraced, but the family suites are by far the best deal. Nearby are St. Mawes Castle and Summer’s Beach St. Mawes. While not a sandy beach, it’s great for summer swimming and snorkeling. Ferries run almost every 45 minutes to Falmouth where there are better beaches and more sightseeing activities.
  • Headland Hotel & SpaHeadland Hotel & Spa is the ideal place for a luxury family vacation. Family rooms are limited to the Trevose Two Bedroom Suite and suites that have a pull-out sofa bed for two young children or a teenager. Apart from luxury spa packages and fine dining, there are plenty of activities along Fistral Beach.
  • Pedn-OlvaPedn-Olva is on the lower bay side of St. Ives and sits on a low cliff face. It’s not far from sandy Porthminister Beach where there is also a surf, kayak, and paddleboard school with rentals. The hotel has a heated terrace pool while family rooms have double and single beds.
  • Carbis Bay & Spa HotelCarbis Bay is ideal for its quiet and long soft sandy beach. An additional bonus for kids is the infinity terraced pool. Part of the South West Coast Path is nearby and there are more things to do near St. Ives, like sea safari tours. The hotel has a good selection of suites and cottages ranging from 2 to 4 bedrooms.

Best Cornwall Hotels By The Sea For Couples

  • Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa (photo above) Fistral Beach Hotel has some of the best scenic views of the bay, plus it’s also an adults-only hotel. Attached to the spa is an indoor lap pool and there are seasonal spa-break packages. The Luxury Suite comes with an in-room spa tub and other rooms have window-side view tubs.
  • The Lewinnick LodgeLewinnick Lodge is just south of Fistral Bay and on a somewhat secluded headland. It’s a boutique hotel with wide landscape views and scenic outdoor dining. The Luxury double room has a large window-side view tub.
  • The Idle RocksIdle Rocks is a luxury hotel in St. Mawes on the rocky foreshore with excellent outdoor terraced dining. The views of the harbor here are stunning. The Deluxe suite is a nice couple’s choice, but all rooms are pretty spacious. St. Mawes has many traditional pubs, elegant restaurants, and nature hikes. There are water taxies throughout the day to Falmouth on the opposite bay.

Most Luxurious Cornwall Hotels By The Sea

  • Headland Hotel & Spa (photo above) The Headland is an acclaimed 5-star establishment as well as a historic hotel. You can enjoy a full range of luxury spa treatments and seasonal stay packages. There’s an indoor lap pool, hydrotherapy pool, and outdoor pool locations too. Ocean-view suites are their best rooms. For food, there are two fine dining restaurants and their afternoon tea is a must.
  • Mullion Cove Hotel & SpaMullion Cove Hotel is in a secluded bay area north of Lizard on the peninsula. It’s a clifftop hotel with a luxury spa featuring wellness programs. The Seaview suite has the most picturesque views, and for families, there are luxury cottages. The South West Coast Path will take you along some of its best scenery. For more scenic views, try the boat trips to Mullion Island.
  • Carlyon Bay Hotel & Spa Carlyon Bay Hotel is in a stunning cliff-top location outside of St. Austell. Its suites are some of the most luxurious you can find in Cornwall. There are plenty of activities including an indoor and outdoor pool, golf, and also tennis. For dining, the two exquisite restaurants are world-class.

Cornwall Hotels Map

Find More Cornwall Hotels by the Sea

Best Cornwall Suites

Cornwall Seafront HotelsBest Rooms
Tolcarne Beach ColonialSuite with hot tub
The Idle RocksDeluxe suite with sea view
The Lewinnick LodgeLuxury double room
The Godolphin HotelDeluxe double room with balcony
Hotel TresantonFamily suite
Mullion Cove Hotel & SpaSuperior double rooms with sea view
Fistral Beach Hotel and SpaSuite with sea view
The Headland Hotel and SpaThree-bedroom apartments
Pedn-OlvaFamily rooms
The Carlyon Bay Hotel and SpaDeluxe double rooms
The Royal Duchy HotelDeluxe double rooms with sea view
Carbis Bay and Spa HotelVillas with sea view
For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!