Wrapped by a dramatic coastline of almost 300 miles, the ancient Celtic kingdom of Cornwall is a picturesque English county marked by jagged cliffs, sandy beaches, and rugged hinterland. Eternally loved by many a staycationer, visitors flock here for its beautiful beaches, jaw-dropping landscapes, chocolate-box pretty villages, fun surf scene, intriguing history and lungfuls of clean, fresh salty air.
It is also home to an ever-growing dynamic art scene, which has led to a huge range of gorgeously unique hotels. Many have sprinkled a dash of artistry on a centuries-old heritage property. From eclectic hilltop boutiques to grand Victorian masterpieces, here are my favourite cool and unusual hotels in Cornwall, England (in no particular order)…
1. Artist Residence Cornwall – a rustic-chic, unique and funky boutique hotel with cool Instagrammable features, perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs
Housed in a beautiful Georgian abode, this unpretentious hotel boasts a distinctive quirkiness that reflects the arty Cornish town of Penzance.
Travellers and passers-by of all ages are allured to the hotel’s bar-lounge, owing to its retro furniture, salvaged tables, and traditional wood-burner.
Artist Residence is also popular watering hole for walkers, offering them a friendly, upbeat, and informal atmosphere close to many of the county’s renowned trails.
The guestrooms were cleverly designed by artists – Mine evoked the appearance of a funky upscale rum shack! Further perpetuating the hotel’s soul and character are the restaurant/smokehouse, the banquet room, and the beer garden, while Tuesdays are dedicated to communal film nights.
- To book, check prices or availability for Artist Residence Cornwall
2. St Michaels Resort, Falmouth – a lavish, award-winning and gorgeous hotel providing guests with a variety of on-site luxury amenities
Here we have a beach-chic resort with epic views across sub-tropical gardens to the iridescent sea. Originally built as a private residence in the 1920s, St. Michaels Resort has been brought into the modern era with a raft of first-rate facilities, and is graced by a contemporary yet unpretentious charm.
Perfect for those searching for a mid-price oasis, this Cornish coastal retreat now has a blissful spa and hydrotherapy centre, relaxed social spaces, four private tennis courts, and a health-focused, minimalist brasserie.
Whether you opt for a nautically themed guestroom, a luxury suite, or a self-catering apartment, your private cocoon will be enhanced with plush linens, beautiful artwork, and state-of-the-art amenities.
- To book, check prices or availability for St Michaels Resort, Falmouth
3. St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa – an Insta-worthy, vibrant and quirky boutique hotel in a location perfect for partying Millennials and Gen Zs
Perched on a hillside, St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa is headlined by a top-of-the-range spa and jaw-dropping bay views. A unique vibrancy is lent by nostalgic décor, old train-travel advert posters, and brightly coloured furniture, and the golden sands are reached by a short palm tree-lined pathway.
The spa is lit with emerald lights, and comes with a hot tub, a cedarwood sauna, and state-of-the art gym facilities. I managed to bag a top-floor room which oozed traditional intimacy through original wooden beams, topped with modern, luxury touches.
The on-site restaurant ‘Harbour Kitchen, Bar and Terrace’ is bright and sophisticated, and serves innovative bistro fare.
- To book, check prices or availability for St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa
4. The Idle Rocks – a unique, relaxing and fancy hotel designed to feel like a home-away-from-home
This Edwardian waterfront inn exudes a semi-Mediterranean look, and is set on a beautiful harbour on the western tip of the lush Roseland Peninsula.
The inn’s aesthetic evokes a playful atmosphere, taking inspiration from countries around the world. French laundry baskets, Bulgarian enamelware, tropical corals, and African jewellery stand side-by-side among a collection of vintage design elements.
Throughout the property, a colour scheme of mainly blue and grey is splashed with bright red and orange, reflecting a coral-like coastal charm. I opted for one of the Grand Seaview Rooms, where I spent hours gazing over the ebb and flow of the water below.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Idle Rocks
5. The Headland Hotel and Spa – a 5-star, elegant and idyllic hotel featuring six swimming pools, a spa and wellness centre
Situated on an iridescent bluff in Newquay, this Victorian Hotel is backdropped by sweeping panoramas of the majestic Fistral Beach, which can be accessed by a short path from the property.
The subtle design of this Grade II listed building reminisces of a bygone era, with grand, timeless staircases evoking a timeless elegance.
As soon as I arrived, I was immediately captivated by the gorgeous décor, which combined with the discreet English ambiance and top-notch service, gave me a sense of traditional splendour. At the heart of the hotel lies the spa, equipped with a Swedish sauna, a Cornish salt steam room, and a hydro pool, installed with pampering and wellbeing in mind.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Headland Hotel and Spa
6. Bedruthan Hotel & Spa – a creative, hip and award-winning hotel ideal for those looking to have a relaxed and fun vacation
Conveniently located a five-minute drive from Newquay airport, Bedruthan Hotel & Spa is perfect for a weekend break, and places you right on a beautiful sand beach.
The hotel is embellished with retro touches, including candy-striped armchairs, shades of pink, and patchwork purple sofas. The spa boasts trailblazing equipment such as a eucalyptus steam room, a cedar sauna, and a lavender caldarium, and gave me an opportunity to fully decompress during my stay.
You can also take advantage of tennis courts, a craft workshop space, an art shop, and a handful of indoor and outdoor pools, providing endless fun for families and large groups of friends.
- To book, check prices or availability for Bedruthan Hotel & Spa
7. Host St Ives – an upscale, creative and trendy hotel surrounded by local popular activities and attractions
Designed by craftsmen, Host St Ives is a graceful boutique located just five minutes from the train station. I opted for the Terrace Suite, which featured a bespoke Catchpole & Rye bathtub, a super plush mattress, an intimate fired log burner, and an extra-large sofa, along many more trailblazing amenities.
You can however also choose the Library Suite, which is set before a scintillating view of the historic Tregenna Hill, and is draped head-to-toe in stunning, locally created artwork.
For dinner, the on-site restaurant is a hip-trendy space where local craftmanship is embodied in the vintage décor, the unique drinks, and the traditional Cornish menu.
- To book, check prices or availability for Host St Ives
8. Newquay Beach Hotel – a modern, family-friendly and fancy hotel where guests can enjoy being in a location close to both the town centre and the beach
This modern boutique puts you at arm’s reach of Newquay’s quaint town centre, and opposite a shimmering shoreline. Each space in the hotel radiates a unique atmosphere, from the ambient-lit reception to the plant-lined white-washed restaurant, to the shiny opulent bar area.
My room came with a delightful balcony overlooking the sea, and sprinkled the traditional aesthetic with a host of luxury amenities. These included a Chelsea 2000 Pocket Sprung memory foam mattress, a large TV with Netflix, and a modern bathroom with a powerful rain shower.
I thoroughly enjoyed the on-site Feather Restaurant, which serves an eclectic mix of Cornish classics and traditional British dishes.
- To book, check prices or availability for Newquay Beach Hotel
9. Padstow Harbour Hotel – a newly renovated, fun, chic and funky hotel where guests can experience delicious seafood at the famous fishing port
Blending timeless luxury with lashings of coastal-chic charm, this bright and bold Victorian boutique hotel overlooks the harbour and offers a cosy seaside escape for the whole family.
The cheery design elements share a nod to the coastal setting, with brightly coloured sailboat models set against a bright blue palette, topped with touches of vivid colour.
I thought the staff were exceptional, and they helped me plan cycle routes and fishing trips to untouched places in the local area. During your peaceful afternoons, you can savour a crafted beverage on the lavender-fringed lawn while the kids make the most of the selection of games in the lounge.
- To book, check prices or availability for Padstow Harbour Hotel
10. The Old Success Inn – a beautiful, retro chic and historic hotel located on one of the most gorgeous bays in Cornwall
Overlooking one of the finest stretches of coastline in Europe, the pet-friendly Old Success Inn is a landmark pub-hotel located in the heart of Sennen Cove.
The restaurant is accompanied by a delightful outdoor space, while inside, a roaring fireplace exudes intimacy and warmth. This charming spot showcases the very best of fresh local produce, with British favourite pub classics and enticing specials on offer.
The rooms feature décor which mirrors the coastal tones of the sea, and the contemporary furnishings exude refinement and sleek minimalism. A handful of walking trails are directly accessible from the hotel, and within a few minutes you can enjoy sunset strolls on the beach.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Old Success Inn
11. Polurrian on the Lizard – a rejuvenating, beautiful and spacious hotel well known for being a great stay with families
Fronted by a traditional façade, this graceful boutique beckons travellers to enjoy coastal walks, soul-stirring sunsets, and a vibrant beach lifestyle.
The surrounding area is characterized by high cliffs and never-ending azure sea views, which can be admired through floor-to-ceiling windows all around the hotel. On-site, there’s an outdoor pool and terrace, plus a nautical-esque spa with a further indoor pool and a hot tub.
During my stay, I was able to bag great deals for surfing and kayaking trips, with the helping hand of the charming reception staff. In the guestrooms, a mid-century aesthetic is sprinkled with quirky pops of colour and classic décor.
- To book, check prices or availability for Polurrian on the Lizard
12. Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa – Adults Only – a cool, lavish and stunning hotel perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway
Occupying a prime position overlooking one of the UK’s most famous surfing spots, this cool and contemporary adults-only spa hotel puts you close to many independent pubs and cafés.
The pared-back coastal design reflects the tranquil atmosphere of the seaside location, with soft blue and white hues setting a canvas for the beautiful, locally sourced timber furnishings.
An elegant chic aesthetic suffuses the modern beachfront restaurant, which offers an outdoor decked area and makes for an idyllic space to kick back and watch the surf. The 71 rooms brim with luxury décor, scintillating sea vistas, and trendsetting amenities.
- To book, check prices or availability for Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa – Adults Only
13. Chainlocker – a stylish, rustic and petite boutique hotel steps away from an array of restaurants and bars
A hearty renovation of a 17th-century sailors’ inn has seen this waterfront haven shine at the helm of Cornwall’s hospitality circuit, offering a landmark pub, an elegant restaurant, and charismatic boutique rooms.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the enthralling views from the property, which encompassed the delights of Custom House Quay, the River Fal, and Carrick Roads.
The feel of a historic pub mixed with a breezy harbour expanse, topped with vintage and modern elements. The 6 rooms are all named after Fal River oyster boats, and are decorated in soothing warm greys and mid-century-style retro furniture.
- To book, check prices or availability for Chainlocker
14. Bodmin Jail Hotel – an elegant, upscale and contemporary hotel located in the heart of Cornwall
This idiosyncratic hotel sits on the edge of Bodmin, and oozes sophistication through a contemporary design, Michelin-worthy food creations, and a bespoke service.
This is an astonishing contrast to the property’s former life as a Victorian prison! The wings are flooded with natural light, courtesy of a brand-new elegant glass roof.
For me, a truly memorable experience was being taken on a guided tour through the property’s heritage in the on-site prison museum, which included visiting the condemned cells and the original gallows.
The identically designed guestrooms are all three cells knocked into one, creating ample lounging and sleeping space. Here, the barred windows, stripped-back stone walls, and replica cell doors ooze a tremendous mystique!
- To book, check prices or availability for Bodmin Jail Hotel
15. East Thorne Glamping – a cosy, quiet and unique accommodation ideal for those who love spending time in the outdoors
Here we have a year-round exclusive oasis, catered to couples, families, and large groups of friends alike. This peaceful getaway shares a nod to yurt heritage while incorporating luxury elements to guarantee a memorable experience.
Each unit comes equipped with underfloor heating, a central sky gazer, and fully equipped kitchens with wood burning stoves. This is as well as exquisite handmade furniture and jetted hot tubs.
The essence of the outdoors suffuses the charm of the recently renovated Roundhouses, which contrast the tranquil bucolic setting with an atmosphere of industrial chic. In each unit, there is a plethora of cosy fabrics, designed to drape you in comfort from the moment you arrive.
- To book, check prices or availability for East Thorne Glamping
16. Primero Apartments – Hayle Villas – a bright, stylish and sleek accommodation overlooking picturesque views of the sea and landscape
Oozing splendour in every nook and cranny, Primero Apartments beckons travellers to a relaxed hospitality experience on the Cornish coast.
Sliding glass doors and stunning private balconies bring an open-air charm to your secluded sanctuary, allowing endless views of greenery to create an iridescent backdrop for your vacation.
Each unit is dressed in soothing tones and smooth woods, and is bedecked with ultra-high-velocity Wi-Fi, a comfy seating area, and a fully equipped kitchen.
Within the apartments, the bedrooms boast rattan chairs, luxury carpets, and plush box-spring beds, inviting you to sleep in an oasis of elegance and tranquillity.
- To book, check prices or availability for Primero Apartments – Hayle Villas
17. Landal Bude Coastal Resort – an idyllic, trendy and stunning accommodation situated amongst 45-acres of beautiful countryside
With a dramatic shoreline on your doorstep, Landal Bude Coastal Resort is surrounded by 45 acres of lush farmland, offering the perfect hinterland escape.
During my stay, my days were filled with surfing, hiking, and exploring the quaint seaside towns and villages. There is also a bountiful array of restaurants to choose from in the nearby vicinity.
The laid-back atmosphere and extensive range of amenities offer you the chance to craft your own holiday, whether you’re in pursuit of a tranquil refuge or an action-packed itinerary. Further on-site offerings include a children’s play area, a pool, a spa, and a putting green.
- To book, check prices or availability for Landal Bude Coastal Resort
18. Bredon Court, Poseidon Penthouse – a quirky, vibrant and hip accommodation within walking distance of great surfing at Fistral Beach
I thought this apartment was the perfect spot for a family vacation. The spacious, high-ceilinged living area is decorated with eccentric wall art, bright red furniture, and a lavish dining table.
The dazzling rugs and soft wooden hues fuel a beautiful harmony of elegance and comfort, and the large glass wall allows the gleaming greenery to set a beautiful backdrop.
The 3 bedrooms are also dressed in vivid colours, and exude warmth and intimacy through plush beds, cosy seating areas, and luxury en-suite bathrooms. Additionally, the apartment’s kitchen comes with all the amenities you need to cook up a delectable family feast.
- To book, check prices or availability for Bredon Court, Poseidon Penthouse
19. Storm in a tea cup – cute, modern, petite and bright accommodation moments away from several golden sand beaches
Set in the heart of the St Ives art scene, the style of Storm in a Tea Cup reflects experiences from the owners’ travels, with each piece of furniture depicting a unique story.
This includes feature walls made from antique planks from the Mousehole pilchard works, and traditional mirrors taken from an old Penzance steamship.
I loved that there were multiple golden sand beaches within a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and a few steps will land you right at the Barbara Hepworth sculpture gardens and the world-famous Tate St Ives art gallery.
Contrasting much of the travel-inspired hues, the guestrooms are adorned with beautiful locally inspired artwork, paying homage to Cornwall’s illustrious history.
- To book, check prices or availability for Storm in a tea cup
20. No. 38PZ – a funky, contemporary and artistically styled boutique accommodation with an eco-friendly ethos
This artful boutique townhouse was everything I expected and more. The entire property is blissfully decorated to the smallest detail, including the colour scheme, the choice of fabrics, and the positioning of the artwork.
The house is spotlessly clean, and a strong eco-conscious ethos means plastic is reduced to a bare minimum. Upon arrival, I was greeted with complimentary snacks and drinks.
The staff were incredibly friendly, and always on hand to answer any questions related to the local area. The house is set on a quiet Victorian road, close to the independent cafés, pubs, and restaurants of Penzance town.
- To book, check prices or availability for No. 38PZ
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My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my rescued Greek street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Laos, California and the surreally beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.