Architect's Beach House

nr Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom Book from Book from £281 per night

Sea, surf, style, seclusion: a stunning Modernist house (sleeps 4-11) tucked away at the quiet end of Praa Sands beach
At the far end of gorgeous Praa Sands - fab surf, sparkling seas, rock pools - sits this super-stylish white house. Huge square sea-facing windows, a cool circular stairwell, low-slung designer furniture: it's a study in modernist geometry, but with lots of fun thrown in. Under one covered wing sit a ping-pong table, barbecue and surfboards; in the other is a dream kids' room with table football, X-box and bunk beds. Between the two, a long, light, open-plan living space with windowfuls of Atlantic sea and sky, a vast bean bag for the whole family, and a wood burner for cloudy days. The sleek kitchen island has everything you need, and no clutter.

Upstairs are 3 double bedrooms, all in a line so all gaze at the sea, with blond floorboards, super-kingsize beds, ensuite bathrooms with free-standing tubs or funky shower 'turrets', and sliding windows to let in the tang of sea air. In the lawned gardens you'll find a trampoline, hammocks, hot tub and a shed stocked with wetsuits and boogie boards. They've thought of everything. Now, fingers crossed for sunshine!

Highs

  • Real wow factor, both inside and out: sleek light-filled interiors, uplifting art and artefacts, and a privileged position that is the envy of those who walk past
  • The beach is a mile long, and you're at the quiet end, so you'll always have space to yourself
  • A great place to learn (or improve) your surfing
  • Wonderful coastal hikes and cliff-backed coves nearby
  • If the weather doesn't play ball, you've still got ping pong, table football, DVDs, X-box, digital piano and a hot tub to retreat to!

Lows

  • It's a 10-min walk (or a bumpy 3-minute drive) to Praa Sand's beach cafés and small shop; for anything more, you'll need to drive into Helston (15 mins)
  • Praa Sands is not a pretty Cornish village; more a collection of beach bungalows
  • The sea is often too wavy for swimming (and there's no pool)
  • Minimum 3 nights' stay - but they are flexible on arrival and departure days, which is rare

Best time to go

The house is open all year. The summer holidays (mid July-end August) are the most popular time - you'll need to book months ahead; likewise for May and October half-terms. If you're not bound to UK school holidays, come in June, early July or September. For hiking and general sightseeing, April, May and October are perfect; the house has good heating, and Cornwall is relatively empty.

Our top tips

  • The last week of the summer holidays (after the August Bank Holiday) is often cheaper, and less popular
  • There are reduced rates for 1 couple taking the whole house, and sometimes for 2 couples or a family of 4 (using 2 bedrooms)
  • Great for...

    Beach
    Family
    Great Outdoors
    • Beach House
    • 4
    • Self-catering; 2 cafés nearby
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    • Outdoor hot tub
    • Trampoline
    Room:

    Rooms

    The house's main nave is its light-filled, open-plan living space, with a kitchen island at one end, a dining table in the middle, and a sitting area (generous sofas, vast bean bag, woodburner) at the other. Floor-to-ceiling glass opens to the lawned, sea-facing gardens; on the other side too, light pours in. It's a glorious space to live and laze, whatever the weather.

    At the far end is the 'kids suite' - a bunk room for 5 with its own shower room and loo, and an adjoining games room with table football, flatscreen TV-DVD-X-box, and surf boards on the wall. It's such a fun space they might be glad if the weather's foul!

    Up the futuristic circular stairwell are the 3 double bedrooms, all facing the sea through big square windows, all with super-kingsize beds, lime-washed floorboards, ensuite bathroom (free-standing tub or funky shower capsule) and not much else besides. These are calm, clean, chic cells where you'll sleep very deeply.

    Features include:

    • Barbecue
    • Bathrobes
    • Central heating
    • Coffee maker
    • Dishwasher
    • DVD player
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hairdryer
    • Hob or stove
    • Oven
    • Phone
    • Sonos music system
    • Toaster
    • Toiletries
    • Tumble dryer
    • TV
    • Washing machine
    • WiFi
    • Wood burning stove
    • X-Box

    Eating

    The sleek, white kitchen island and adjacent wall conceal all you need to whip up family suppers and breakfasts, without any of the clutter. Induction hob, Miele oven, dishwasher, fridge-freezer, Nespresso machine are all present and perfectly integrated (no microwave, though). Even the fruit stands - a hemishperical banana bowl and a white apple platter - are a joy to behold. We liked the addition of a Quooker boiling water tap and water filter.

    You'll need to drive 15 mins to Helston (2 superstores, delis, bakeries) for most of your shopping, as Praa Sands only has one small Londis. It also has a couple of beach cafés for fish-and-chip-style lunches. For finer dining, head to Porthleven: buzzy Asian cuisine at Michelin-bibbed Kota (chef Jude Kereama is half Maori, half Chinese Malay), or upscale Cornish fare at the latest outpost of Rick Stein's empire. If you're exploring the beaches of the Lizard, stop for lunch at the gloriously end-of-the-world Polpeor Café.

    Features include:

    • Barbecue
    • Chef on request
    • Coffee maker
    • Dishwasher
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob or stove
    • Oven
    • Toaster
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • Surf's up! Waves roll in reliably from the west, and beginners can learn to 'pop' with the ever-cheerful Dan Joel
    • The coast path runs past your door: follow it past the tin mines and rock stacks of Rinsey Head to pretty Porthleven harbour, or west past Prussia Cove to the island castle of St Michael's Mount
    • The Lizard peninsula has some of Cornwalls' finest beaches including child-friendly Poldhu and Polurrian, tidal Housel Bay and much-loved Kynance Cove
    • It's only a 20-minute drive to arty St. Ives, with its Tate Gallery, bustling boutiques and superb seafood cafés
    • Or 30 mins to Land's End and the jewels of the Minack Theatre (Porthcurno) and Mousehole's horseshoe harbour

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse riding
    • Sailing
    • Surfing

    Kids

    This is a great option for families with children who are old enough to sleep downstairs in the 5-bed bunk room (while parents sleep upstairs); or for those with a baby (a cot can be placed in any of the upstairs bedrooms). There are lawned gardens with games, a sandy surfable beach on your doorstep, and little or no traffic on the lane.

    Best for:

    Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    The briliant bunk room has 3 single bunk beds and 1 double bunk bed, with its own shower room and - best of all (from the kids point of view, at least) - an adjacent games room with X-box and table football.

    Baby equipment:

    • Baby cot
    • High chair

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Trampoline
    • Boogie boards to borrow
    • Art materials
    • Slide
    • Table tennis
    • Table football
    • Games

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • Praa Sands has rock pools, sand dunes and lifeguards (in summer)
    • Adventure playground and boating lake at Helston
    • Tour of Poldark Tin Mine (with evening "Ghost Tours")
    • National Seal Sanctuary at Gweek
    • Crabbing, rock-pooling and fishing

    Families Should Know:

    White surfaces, an unguarded woodburner and sloping lawns make it not ideal for toddlers

    Distances:

    • Shop: 10 mins' walk / 3 mins' drive (Praa Sands)
    • Hospital: 15 mins' drive (Helston)
    • Airport: 1 hour's drive (Newquay)
    Kid Friendly:

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    10/10
    Service
    10/10
    Value
    10/10
    Overall

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