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Muddy Reviews: Fistral Hotel and Spa

In need of a bit of time with a pal or your partner? This elegant, adults-only hotel that overlooks the UK's best surf beach is just the ticket - and I've tried it out for you!

Sometimes the break you need is surprisingly close at hand, and I can totally recommend this Newquay based cure when your to-do list threatens to overwhelm. After several crazy weeks at work, it was a pleasure to take an evening out of real life at Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa. There are lots of good reasons to visit but switching off for a few hours was just perfect. That and the ocean views that go on and on.

THE LOWDOWN

Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa overlooks Newquay’s most famous surf beach, on Cornwall’s wild Atlantic coast. There are a lot of family-friendly options in the town but this hotel is adults only and focuses on luxuriously relaxed breaks for couples and friends – there’s a time and place for kids in the pool, but when you’re on a relaxing day out, sometimes it is just nice to know you won’t get hit by a pool float.

Fistral Hotel is at the quieter (south) end of the beach, just out of the main hustle and bustle of the town itself. With the floor-to-ceiling windows, the bar and restaurant offer ring-side seats to the surf. There are of course a lot of sea views to be had in Cornwall, but this one is pretty special. The tide literally comes past the door, so it’s the volume of sea and sky that hits you here – there just seems to be so much blue. Which of course only aids the relaxation.

THE VIBE

Elegant and grown up without being formal or stuffy, being right on the surfing beach there is plenty of laid back surf vibe here – although come evening the bar is, as you’d expect, home to a more mature crowd than sister hotel The Esplanade, or one of the more hipster places in the town itself.

The crowd in the bar was pretty evenly split between younger couples enjoying time together and slightly older gal pals and old friends on holiday. I’ll leave it to you to imagine which group we fell into.

SCOFF AND QUAFF

We were booked in to try the five course tasting menu in the Dune restaurant, which looks right out onto the sea, over which the sun was starting to set as we ate, creating the most beautiful amber glow across the room. At £65pp, plus an additional £35 for the wine pairing, it isn’t the cheapest option but we thought that it was absolutely lovely (and pretty reasonable when compared with other tasting menus available).

There was enough of interest across all of the courses to please any foodies in the party, but simple enough with recognisable ingredients for those that might need a little persuading. Portions were generous for a tasting menu, without too many theatrics but with some lovely little touches, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wine wise, the sommelier had made some great choices – this is more of a commercially driven list than one particularly for wine lovers, but the pairings were very well done, and just the right amount on offer to match the five courses.

I particularly enjoyed the strawberry pudding, which looked almost too good to eat (kidding, I demolished it!) as well as the bird’s liver parfait with chicken skin brioche. In fact, all the courses were nicely judged and creatively presented.

We rounded off the evening with a couple of Cornish takes on classic cocktails in the Bay Bar as we watched the last light ebb away from the horizon before heading back to our room for a blissful childfree sleep!

STAY

Fistral Beach Hotel has 71 rooms and suites, all decorated in cool, contemporary coastal colours, with lots of natural and wooden textures. The hotel commissioned local craftsman and steam bending expert Tom Raffield to create various elements in the Bay Bar downstairs including lighting and wooden cladding, and this theme has been carried out throughout the bedrooms.

Our room was just lovely – sea view from both bed and bath, tea and coffee available, a little table to sit and even a balcony from which to have a last breath of sea air before sleeping. We were only there for one night so I didn’t need to use the drawers or hanging space, but if you were staying for a weekend or heading out into town at all, the drawers, wardrobe and hanging spaces would have come in very handy.

The hotel uses Gaia Skincare throughout, including in the spa, with each room equipped with full sized bottles that can be purchased to take home, or left to be re-filled. There can be few things so relaxing as lying back in a bath with a nice drink and a sea view!

SPA

Speaking of the spa, that was first on my agenda for the next day. Hotel guests have complimentary access to the spa and gym facilities and receive 10% off spa treatments during their stay.

After visiting the pool, steam room and sauna area, I was booked in for a Gaia Bespoke Massage which was just what was need in terms of switching off for a bit.

After a foot scrub and choice of oils, the treatment started with a back and shoulder massage (designed to ease muscle tension in the shoulders, neck and upper arms – either from surfing, who am I kidding, it is totally from excess typing, although I can see how great it would be post surf too) and then was followed by arms and legs, but totally tailored to whatever your personal needs might be.

The oils smelt amazing, and was so relaxing I fell asleep, which thankfully bothered no-one (if I snored, my therapist was too polite to mention it). After a little sit down in the relaxation room, I headed down to the lounge next to the Bay Bar for a last drink before leaving rejuvenated, which is just what we set out for, ready to take on the world. Well, the Muddy Awards Drinks actually, such is the life of a Muddy Editor.

OUT & ABOUT

The most obvious beach is just underneath the hotel – choose either a yoga break or a surf break, and both activities take place within steps of the front door. Yes, that is the UK’s premier surfing beach right on the doorstep. Board hire is right next door, where you can also get wetsuits and all the kit. You could do worse than head to the beach and then eat the hotel for your whole stay – but if you’re set on heading a little further afield, there’s plenty to do.

Looking at the beach, the area to the back of Fistral beach is taken up with golf course, and across the beach you’ll find the Fish House restaurant and Rick Stein’s Newquay restaurant, plus some surf shops. Beyond that you’ll find your way up to the town itself; alongside plenty of little cafes, a lovely harbour with food trucks and a handful of indie shops, you’ll find some larger named surf shops and restaurants plus more of the seven beaches within walking distance of the town. Check out our full guide to Newquay here.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

GOOD FOR: Couples and friends looking for a fun and laidback hotel stay, or active break, a quiet dinner / date, or just a spa day which doesn’t break the bank.

NOT FOR: If you’re looking to bring your kids or enjoy a spa treat with your teen then this isn’t the place for you, as Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa is strictly adults only. (Try sister hotel The Esplanade next door).

THE DAMAGE: A super reasonable price for the spa day included robe, slippers, use of all facilities, plus afternoon tea and Prosecco (Rejuvenate spa day from £105 per person). Hotel stays from £215 bed and breakfast this summer.

Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa, Esplanade Road, Fistral Beach, Newquay, TR7 1PT. 01637 852221. fistralbeachhotel.co.uk

1 comment on “Muddy Reviews: Fistral Hotel and Spa”

  • Rebecca Beesley August 10, 2022

    We’ve just had a wonderful stay at The esplanade, the sister hotel to this one. Can’t wait to try this hotel out once we can get away without the kids in tow!

    Reply

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