Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall, UK

Offering a laid-back, contemporary stay and a whole host of watersports beside one of Cornwall’s much-loved surfing beaches, the Watergate Bay Hotel is the benchmark in coastal retreats for city dwellers.

Just south of Newquay's town centre, a two-mile stretch of sandy beach sets the stage for the Watergate Bay Hotel. Originally built in 1904, the grand building has been extended and modernised by the Ashworth family, who took to its helm in 1967. Today, there's an overwhelming sense of relaxation as you enter, thanks to carefully curated contemporary coastal interiors. This is the place to book when you need a time-out and dose of fresh sea air. Days here are best spent out and about, swimming, surfing and roaming across the romantically rugged Cornish cliffs. Come evening, return to Watergate Bay and snuggle up by the fire with a glass of gin from one of the many local distilleries - this is navy-strength stuff, after all.


Fall asleep to the sound of the ocean waves in modern beach-style accommodation which ranges from spacious double rooms to two-bedroomed apartments complete with a kitchen and decked veranda - think Airbnb meets hotel; an ideal option for groups. Once checked in, watch waves crash on the sand below from your balcony or sink into a deep roll-top bath overlooking the ocean - all rooms are stocked with British-made land&water bath and body products.

What's for breakfast?

Breakfast is served in sea-facing The Beach Hut. Set yourself up for an adventure-packed day with a "B.H. Breakfast" featuring traditional Cornish sausage or tuck into smoked salmon, meats, cheeses, Dutch-style pancakes or yoghurt - all dietary requirements are well catered to.

How about lunch and dinner?

With three dining spots, the Watergate Bay Hotel spoils guests with eating options. Zacry's is the culinary playground of chef Neil Haydock, crowned 2019's South West Chef of the Year. His seasonal menus create international dishes with local produce, and place an emphasis on cooking in a charcoal oven, which diners can spot in the open kitchen. Couple dishes such as parsnip soup and Devon blue fritters with crisped sprouts with a chestnut crumb. Serving traditional cream teas, sharing platters and cocktails, the all-day Living Space is the perfect choice if you are looking for an informal bite, while The Beach Hut is a far more buzzy affair - order seafood, burgers and veggie dishes infused with flavours from Mexico, Asia and Italy. Planning a picnic on the beach? The Venues Takeaway is the hotel's award-winning food and drink option on the sand.

Is there a bar?

Admire the sun setting below the horizon from the Watchful Mary, a continental-style bar on the bay. It's open for coffees and pastries throughout the day, but best enjoyed in the evening when serving cocktails and hosting live music events.


Stretch out with a yoga class or drop into the Swim Clinic where you will find a 25m indoor pool that overlooks surfers riding the sea waves below. There are activities to suit all interests, be it rambling across the cliffs or availing of the hotel's Extreme Academy, where you can try kitesurfing, surfing or stand-up paddleboarding - let's face it, you can't go to Cornwall and not make the most of the waves. Once you have had your adrenaline fix, relax in the outdoor hot tub, sauna or spa - a full-body scrub and massage is perfect after tackling the waves. Don't worry if you chip a nail; hand and foot massages can be accompanied by manicures too.

Things I should know

Tell the hotel in advance if you have any dietary requirements and they will ensure you are well looked after. Dogs are welcome. There are two Tesla charging points available, should be you be arriving by electric car - do call ahead, though.

Within a short walk I can find

Explore the cliff tops and the two-mile sandy beach or take the 10-minute drive into Newquay's town centre.

Polperro from the sea
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