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Review: Newquay Esplanade Hotel Cornwall: England's Dreamy Coast

Esplanade Hotel Newquay Review

Ever since we returned home from our RTW trip, we’ve been trying to see as much of the UK as possible, getting away for the weekend whenever there’s an opportunity. So when we were invited to stay a few nights at the Esplanade Hotel in Newquay over half-term, we leapt at the chance. Neither myself nor Rob had ever been to Cornwall before, and the Esplanade has a great reputation as a family-friendly accommodation, so we left the kitten with a sitter (sniff) and hit the road once again.

Brighton to Cornwall is a long old drive, so on the way there we broke it up with a couple of nights along the way in Chichester and at Paultons’ Park. We arrived in Newquay in the early evening, to see crowds of surfers in the sea and families playing on Fistral Beach – it looked sublime. The Esplanade had kindly reserved a parking space for us right outside the hotel, so we raced inside with the intention of unpacking as quickly as possible and getting out to explore a little before dinner.

Newquay Esplanade HotelNewquay Esplanade Family Holiday

That never happened though, because as soon as we walked into our room we were instantly captivated by the incredible sea view from our window. Our son, on the other hand, was more excited about the bunk bed, and the bag of goodies the hotel had kindly laid on for him, including stickers, a wristband, and the makings of a Build-Your- Own-Bear!
Newquay Esplanade Family Holiday

Newquay Esplanade HotelNewquay Esplanade Family Holiday

We ate in the hotel that evening, and enjoyed a table next to the window so we were able to catch a majestic sunset over the bay. There was time for a short wander along the clifftop, but we were so tired from the drive, and had so much planned for the days ahead, that we turned in early.

Newquay Esplanade Hotel

Tip: If you’re staying at the Esplanade with young children, don’t worry about bringing too many books.

Besides play areas, fun activities and movie sessions, the hotel also slips a lovely bedtime story under your door every morning.

A really nice touch, I thought.


The following morning, after a slap-up feast (I have to say the Esplanade really does a great breakfast) we decided to take the short walk down to the beach – the path runs down from just opposite the hotel, so it’s super-convenient. I mentioned the Esplanade is really focused on looking after families – well, besides a mini soft-play, great pool and a pirate ship in the back garden, they also provide fishing nets and buckets for any kids that want to explore the rockpools on the beach. Charlie was literally jumping with excitement about this! Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for them, we didn’t find any crabs. I think they all scuttled underneath rocks as soon as they heard us splashing towards them.

Newquay Esplanade HotelNewquay Esplanade Hotel

Newquay Esplanade HotelNewquay Esplanade Hotel

We had also been kindly invited to visit Newquay Zoo as part of our stay, so next we made the short journey into town. I’m normally not a great fan of zoos, but Newquay Zoo does contribute to several conservation projects in the wild, so your entrance fee and any donations can make a difference where it counts. We got to see lions, penguins and my favourites, the lemurs, and Charlie got to meet his first peacock, which was roaming around freely.Newquay Zoo

By now we were pretty hungry, so we grabbed some fish tacos from Rick Stein’s restaurant overlooking Fistral Bay, and just enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. The RNLI were on the beach that afternoon meeting holidaymakers and explaining their work – lifeguards are a constant visible presence on Cornish beaches, and they do a vital job. They were also kind enough to give Charlie a bucket and spade which put a big smile on his face.Newquay Fistral Beach with kids

Our second full day spent in Cornwall was simply idyllic. I cannot put it any other way. It began with a me getting a real treat and a few hours off being a mum, which I spent getting what I’m happy to admit was one of the best, most relaxing massages of my life. Thanks to Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa, and my super masseuse Tanya (seriously, ask for her!), I came out feeling refreshed and revitalised, something I needed more than I realised. Fistral Beach & Spa Hotel

I arrive back at the hotel just in time for a mega-tantrum from Charlie who wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting back in the car. After reaching a deal whereby he would be allowed to play on the tablet for a while in return for his acquiescence, we embarked on a little road trip.

First stop was gorgeous St. Agnes Bay, about 10 miles from Newquay. This small fishing community is a popular spot for those in the know. We started with a delicious Cornish ice-cream, as you do, then took a wander through some huge and spooky caves. The fishermen were loading their lobster pots and heading out to sea for the day, and we watched them from the rocks.St Agnes


St AgnesSt AgnesSt Agnes

By now, we were all feeling pretty hungry, and rather than succumb to the temptation of another ice-cream, we headed towards St. Ives.

Tip: During the season, this picturesque seaside town gets very, very busy and it can be difficult to find a parking space, so remember that some restaurants offer free parking for their diners, or you can park in Carbis Bay and take the train into St. Ives, a journey of just a few minutes.

We decided to take the train in, parking in Carbis Bay but before we boarded, we noticed a lovely Mediterranean-style restaurant overlooking the pretty beach with a free table overlooking the beach with our name on. Within a few minutes we were seated, and tucking into delicious plates of fresh Cornish mussels, and some king prawns. This impromptu snack was the best meal we had in Cornwall, in no small part due to the stunning views. So nice was the beach, in fact, that we decided to chill for a couple of hours on the sand.newquay_esplanade-35



newquay_esplanade-37As the afternoon wore on, we brushed the sand from our shorts and made the short journey to St. Ives. Charming little side-streets hide all manner of architectural treasures in this picture-postcard perfect town, so it’s well worth having an aimless wander around as we did.

The centre is quite small so it’s difficult to get lost. In the harbour area there are a number of interesting curio shops, and it’s quite common to encounter some cheeky seals on the hunt for discarded fish from the boats, though we didn’t see any unfortunately.


St Ivesnewquay_esplanade-56newquay_esplanade-53newquay_esplanade-52 With the sun beginning to set, we spent a blissful half-hour just driving around the Cornish countryside, drinking in the spectacular scenery. Sometimes the great joy of a road-trip is just looking through the window.

Checking out, the Esplanade had given Charlie a little questionnaire so he could record his own thoughts on our stay. His favourite meal? Fish ‘n’ chips. His favourite activity? Crabbing on the beach. His favourite part of the hotel? The soft play. Again, a really nice touch, well-played Esplanade. I really think this is one of the most family-friendly hotels we’ve stayed at in the UK, and in such a great location too.

Back on the road home, thoughts naturally turned to our kitten and whether she would have had as enjoyable holiday as us. Probably not though. This was our first holiday in Cornwall but I’m certain it will be far from the last.


Travelling to Newquay

  • By Car: If you’re driving, take the M5 southbound towards Bodin, and exit on A39 to Newquay. The hotel has a guests’ only carpark.
  • By Train: The train station is located five minutes’ from the hotel.
  • By Air: If you’re not in the mood for a road trip, you could fly straight into Newquay airport, only 30 minutes’ away from the hotel.

Esplanade Hotel Newquay

The Esplanade is one of the most family-friendly hotels we’ve had stayed in. I mentioned it above in the article, but I’d like to highlight the little details the hotel has put together to make the kids feel really special: daily story delivered to your room, three free activities every day which range from face-painting, build-a-bear workshops, and kids’ cocktail making! On top of this they have spacious family rooms that sleep up to six and sea-views to die for.

nb: We were kindly invited to stay at the Esplanade Hotel in Newquay, but we loved it so much we stayed an extra night which we paid for. All opinions are our own, as are the gigantic amounts of fun we had on this truly wonderful holiday.

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Newquay Esplanade HotelWe had the most surprisingly exotic holiday in Cornwall, the waters crystal clear resembling the caribbean and we found it incredibly hard to say goodbye and leave.

If you’d like to play a family holiday to Cornwall of your own, keep your eyes peeled as there are a few more posts coming soon!








Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Packing my Suitcase

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  • Donna Wishart

    This looks like such a great place to stay! We are looking to go back to Cornwall next year and this looks like the perfect place – I’ll be bookmarking this for when we start making plans! x

  • Natalie Ray

    Oh my word, your photos are just beautiful! I adore Newquay, I know it’s a bit marmite as it can get pretty busy in the height of the season, but I love it! I hope one day to learn to surf properly there. I’m so glad you had such a good time. I’ll be looking back at some of your RTW posts too, as we hope to do something similar in the future. Nat.x

    • Thank you Natalie!! It was just perfect for us, not even that busy considering it was half-term 🙂 Feel free to email me any questions about RTW 🙂

  • Love these photos Maria, I just love Cornwall and what a special hotel, it’s so great when they go the extra mile.

  • What stunning photos – the beach looks absolutely idyllic. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Newquay on my trips to Cornwall but it’s definitely going on the list now. Sounds like the Esplanade is a wonderful place to stay too 🙂 #countrykids

    • Thank you so much Louise! It was all just perfect 🙂 The Esplanade was so child-friendly, it was all about the little touches and they were all spot on!

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    Wow! That beach looks absolutely amazing, and your photos are stunning. I’ve actually never been to Cornwall and it’s on my wish-list (with of course a stop at Coombemill!). But, we are a little too far at the moment! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip x #countrykids

    • It was insanely gorgeous! All the beaches, all the food, everything! It was my first time too, but its definitely convinced us to go at least once a year!

  • David Mellor

    We love Cornwall. Newquay and Fistral beach in particular is such a vibrant place with great outdoor activities for all the family. I absolutely love the fact that the hotel put a bedtime story in your room for you.
    Potty Adventures

  • Looks like you had fantastic weather for the trip – always helps! We made the mistake of visiting St Ives on a Bank Holiday weekend once, parkng was a nightmare and the town was heaving. We visited it again on a much quieter day and it was lovely, I can see why so many people go. #countrykids

    • It really was spectacular! We had travelled from a cold and rainy New Forest, and opened our car’s doors to 26 at 6pm in beautiful Cornwall!! Fabulous! We were so lucky as my son had an inset day and we managed to visit late bank holiday Monday when the crowds had gone home. Just perfect!

  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    I know the hotel and the beaches really well and you have captured it perfectly. I go on girly breaks to the sister hotel next door for Spa and surf breaks. If you catch the weather right as you have then it is a wonderful holiday spot and beautiful family beaches. I’m so sorry you didn’t manage to pop in and see us on this venture. I do hope you will come back before too long.

    Thank you for sharing with me at #CountryKids

    • Ooh, that’s where I went for the Spa treatment, really lovely hotel. The whole trip really was perfect for us, and felt like we were in some exotic part of the world. It must be extraordinary to live in such a wonderful place – even in the rain 😉 xx

  • Samantha Free

    What beautiful photos! It looks like such a fantastic trip and definitely makes me want to visit that part of the country right now!

  • minitravellers

    These are stunning photos and you have totally persuaded me to stay at this hotel it is beautiful and soo family friendly, thanks for the introduction #countrykids

    • Thank you Karen! Absolutely fantastic hotel, the little touches and customer service made it perfect for us! x

  • Kara

    Simply stunning photo’s, I love this part of the world. The Esplanade looks like a fabulous hotel to stay in with the kids

  • Such a beautiful part of the UK, that hotel looks amazing. I keep seeing things about Newquay, it must be telling me to book a holiday there #countrykids

    • Thank you so much! Newquay really blew us away, we really weren’t expecting it to be so stunning, especially Fistral beach 😀 Amazing hotel too!

  • Heidi

    Such a gorgeous place. Now that my children are older I think we could manage the journey down there one day. Fabulous photos-I love the one of the man reading at his window. I used to have a poster like that a few years ago! #countrykids

  • Looks fab, not been to this part of Cornwall for years so will have to come back I think. (please feel free to delete this bit – but is there a way to minimise your ‘follow on pinterest popup? It makes it really distracting when looking at your lovely photos etc?) #CountryKids

    • Oh definitely must!! Thank you for the tip, I hadn’t noticed it as I thought I’d removed it – have done it now 😀

  • Ferreroroche123

    Lovely photos. Really does capture Cornwall in its most idyllic form. #countrykids

  • Merlinda Little

    Lovely photos and such a lovely hotel to enjoy a stunning place! #countrykids

  • What beautiful photos. We love Cornwall and always feel as though we have been abroad, when we go, its just lovely. This looks like a fantastic hotel too #countrykids

  • beautiful photos of the town!the hotel looks ok too:) #monday escapes

  • Wow! Your beach pictures are absolutely stunning! #MondayEscapes

  • Ahila Thillainathan

    St. Agnes Bay and St. Ives look beautiful! #MondayEscapes

  • Bookmarking for future travel out that way. I’ve wanted to hit up St. Ives and the rest of Cornwall for quite some time and now that we’re in Ireland for a year or two more, there’s never been a better time.

  • I never really pictured England as having the ideal location for a beach vacation, but this has changed my mind. It looks stunning. Cornwall here I come. #MondayEscapes

  • Nell@PigeonPairandMe

    What an incredible post – you have me holding myself back from hopping in the car and driving down to Cornwall right now! It sounds as though The Esplanade has thought of everything when it comes to entertaining kids. And those views alone would have sold it to me.

  • Clare Thomson

    The hotel sounds great. Love the idea of the goodie bag and bedtime story and that view is to die for! We love Cornwall too. My kids could spend all day playing around in rock pools and going crabbing. You’ve gotta love a beach holiday, right?

  • What a great place to stay Maria. It sounds like they have everything covered for families. The story under you door each night is a lovely touch. It looks like they arranged some fantastic weather for you too! 🙂 #MondayEscapes

  • I LOVE Cornwall having been there a lot since I was a child. Newquay was more of haunt in my teenage years – but I would love to head back with the family. The Esplanade looks right up our street too! Glad you had a lovely time. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes