Family Escape: Polurrian Bay Hotel
Luxury for kids and parents too – Muddy tries out this family-friendly gem on Cornwall’s, Lizard Peninsula.
So often, going away with little kids is like picking up your life of wiping and cajoling and putting in down somewhere more scenic. However beautiful the destination, the tantrums and whining are coming along for the ride – plus you have the challenge of jamming half the house into the back of the car.
So a place that makes getting away with young children easy and dare I say it relaxing is a real discovery. From that point of view, I’ve never been anywhere like Polurrian Bay. Not just child-friendly, this remote Cornish hotel is designed for children but crucially, for their parents too. Here’s why I think you’ll love it…
Polurrian Bay Hotel is perched on the clifftops, just outside Mullion, on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula. A mecca for artists and writers, The Lizard is the most southwesterly point on the British mainland and is known for its rare geology, flora and fauna. Expect dramatic cliffs, white sand beaches, turquoise water and rugged little coves and fishing ports.
You can pick up the South West Coast path and set off on beautiful walks either direction, from right outside the hotel.
Laidback but luxurious, you can really make yourself at home here. The relaxed feel reminded us of a ski chalet after a day on the slopes, particularly in the sociable, ocean-view lounge area, with its deep squashy sofas and panoramic glass front.
Throughout the hotel an eclectic mix of colourful and stylish furnishings are complemented by loads of carefully chosen artwork that we loved.
We had a family suite for our stay that was clean, bright and really comfortable. The kids had twin beds, with little gifts waiting on them (painted pebble ‘friends’ in drawstring bags with their names on) and joy of joys, their own TV.
In our room, a good-sized bed was very welcome, as we inevitably all end up in one! And we had a great bathroom too, with a strong shower, bath and luxe Elemis goodies.
But the best part was the view – the cliffs, the sea and the endless horizon. What a sight to wake up to.
FINE & FAMILY DINING
One thing we really miss on family breaks is enjoying a slow and uninterrupted, dinner for two. Polurrian makes this possible by offering an early ‘kids high tea’ from 5-6pm, then a baby listening service in the room, so you can hear your children’s peaceful snores, while you dine like proper grown ups.
For the kids there was a very child-friendly offering of classics – fish and chips, sausage and mash, spaghetti bolognese… While later, we enjoyed a fishy feast of crab risotto, arancini, macadamia-crusted cod and whole sole with samphire.
A super indulgent breakfast was the highlight. My eldest outdid himself by eating three courses of coco pops, mini pain au chocolat and waffles and maple syrup (which he now asks for hopefully every morning). Slightly more conservatively, Mr Muddy and I had yoghurt, granola and berry compote, followed by eggs and avo on sour dough, washed down with pots of coffee.
FOR THE KIDS
From the magical gardens and private beach to a play den and cinema, our kids were in heaven from the second we arrived. I wondered how we could possibly cram in everything they wanted to do in the hotel, let alone out and about.
We started with a trip to the (Ofsted approved) crèche – The Den. I thought I was going to have to swindle and bribe them into staying without us but one look at the massive Hot Wheels track and they were off. Two hours child-free felt like forever – a total luxury. Time to jog along the coast path (one at a time, as you have to be in the hotel when kids are in the crèche) then slug cold beers in the lounge.
There is also an indoor pool, with lots of noodles and toys, outdoor pool, tennis courts, playground and a garden filled with little surprises, like fairy doors and faces in the trees.
No need to load up the car too heavily either, as you’ll find toys, DVDs, board games, colouring etc all over the hotel. As well as practical necessities like bottle warmers, high chairs, plastic crockery and buggies to borrow.
I love the Lizard but haven’t explored here much in the winter. Don’t let the sometimes-bleak weather put you off though. Britain’s most southwesterly peninsula definitely has it’s own wild magic at this time of year.
As well as the hotel’s private beach, Polurrian Bay, you are not far from Poldhu Cove (a decadent hot chocolate at the beach café is a must) and the breathtakingly beautiful Kynance Cove. On a sunny day, you could almost be at some tropical atoll at Kynance and it’s the perfect spot for a little sea swim when the water’s calm.
And don’t miss Lizard Point. Infamous for shipwrecks, you really do get that edge-of-the-world feeling here. Considering the remoteness, there’s a surprisingly gorgeous café, overlooking the water, where you can eat fresh lobster caught off the point, while looking out for seals and sea birds below.
You’re also spoilt for quaint Cornish fishing villages and craggy coves on the Lizard. Bump from Cadgwith to Coverack, Mullion to Polkerris. We love Sam’s in Polkerris, for laidback seafood with a view.
Finally, if you love a good meal out, make a beeline Porthleven. There is a great food festival in the town in April every year and lots of exciting eateries to try – from fresh fish at Rick Stein’s to award-winning Asian fusion at Kota. My personal favourite Cornish pasty joint, The Horse & Jockey can also be found on the harbourside.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Anyone looking for an easy and relaxing break with kids. Polurrian Bay Hotel is especially geared up for little children, with so many thoughtful touches that help give parents and kids the most enjoyable break possible. Walkers will also love the amazing local landscape and this would be the perfect base to explore from.
Not for: I am tempted to say, anyone looking for child-free romance but there were definitely couples having a lovely stay when we were there. It’s also a very remote spot, so not great for anyone who prefers the bustle of a town.
The damage: You can currently stay for two nights, dinner, bed and breakfast for £309, which is amazing value in my opinion. Rates rise in summer, as you might expect.
Polurrian Road, Mullion, Cornwall TR12 7EN. Tel: 01326 240421 polurrianhotel.com