Boskerris Hotel

St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom Book from

Petite family-run hotel with spectacular ocean views, set above a sand-and-surf beach just 3 minutes by train from St Ives
If you want a masterclass on how to run a boutique hotel, this is the place to go. Owners Jonathan and Marianne Bassett were novices when they planned their escape from London, but they stuck to familiar territory (Jonathan was born in the area) and struck lucky when they found a tired 1930s hotel perched on a hillside just above Carbis Bay’s white-sand beach. They clearly knew what they were doing when they redesigned and relaunched the place, and the result is a cossetting haven with a breezy, by-the-sea feel and a supremely warm welcome.

The ground-floor salon is a wonderful place to linger, with duck-egg blue walls, Designers Guild silks, deep damask chairs and stacks of books; come evening, candles flicker in hurricane jars and gentle music lulls you into a lazy holiday mood. Above and below, the 15 bedrooms blend soothing pastels with eye-catching prints, and beds are positioned to make the most of the view. Best of all, the wide, decked terrace is dotted with cushion-piled sofas where you can sit back and gaze across the bay - and the whole place is infused with the famous Cornish light that has inspired generations of artists.


  • Stunning vistas towards St Ives Harbour in one direction and Godrevy Lighthouse in the other
  • Watching the sun go down from the terrace with a glass of fizz
  • Tasty breakfasts and bar food made from local produce, plus plenty of restaurants nearby
  • A tranquil, relaxing atmosphere (no kids under 10 allowed) - and service with a genuine smile
  • Carbis Bay station (which links the London-Penzance line with St Ives) is just 5 minutes’ walk - you could leave the car at home


  • If you're expecting St Ives proper, the location may prove a little suburban
  • Ditto if you like low beams and creaking oak doors: this place might feel a little too 20th century
  • Not all the rooms have sea views, though in summer you’ll spend most of your time hanging out on the terrace
  • The hotel is justly popular - you'll need to book far in advance for high season

Best time to go

Cornwall is beautiful in the summer (give or take the odd wet month, and occasional wild Atlantic storms), though St Ives is rammed with people during the school holidays. Spring and autumn are quieter and often just as beautiful. The hotel normally closes over the winter months.

Our top tips

Drive round to Godrevy Point, a National Trust reserve a few miles away, for clifftop walks and spectacular views back across Carbis Bay. From September to May, you'll also be able to spot a colony of grey seals basking in the cove below.

Great for...

  • Boutique Hotel
  • 15
  • Breakfast + bar food (restaurants nearby)
  • Ages 10+ 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
Room: Celebration Room


The 15 rooms, some on the first floor, others on the lower ground floor beneath the terrace, share the same basic style - clean and uncluttered, with pale walls and carpets enlivened by eye-catching prints in shades of aquamarine, coral and apple-green. Ensuites come with smart stone tiles and Grohe fittings, and many have jazzy glass or hammered-metal basins. You also get White Company toiletries, waffle robes and slippers, tea- and coffee-making kit, homemade biscuits, digital radios and plenty of storage space.

Classic Rooms (with or without a sea view) are small but comfortable, with baths and overhead showers or showers only in their ensuites; trade up to a Superior (all with a sea view) for more space, a roll-top tub and a separate walk-in shower. Top of the pile is the romantic Celebration Room, which is well worth splashing out for if you’re marking something special. It comes complete with a sunken in-room corner bath gazing out over the ocean, as well as a huge bathroom hidden behind a curved wall.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dvd player
  • Hairdryer
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


Breakfast is a generous buffet of locally sourced goodies: homemade muesli, fruit juice, yoghurts, cereal, pastries and the like. You can also order cooked options, including the classic Full Cornish and more unusual dishes such as baked bananas with cinnamon and ricotta frittatas with berry compote. It’s all served up with a sea view in the airy, Provençale-style dining room - a lovely way to start the day.

There’s no restaurant, but afternoon tea, cakes and bar food are available, along with a vast selection of wines, beers and other tipples. During our 2015 revisit we spent a lazy evening lounging on the terrace with a bottle of bubbly, before tucking into a deliciously tender steak, fish stew made from the daily catch, and a spread of Cornish cheeses with cider chutney.

There’s plenty of choice nearby when it comes to eating out, and staff will happily book tables for you. There’s a restaurant just below the hotel in Carbis Bay, or you can hop on the train and head into St Ives. Our favourite spots are surfer hangout Porthmeor Beach Café on the town’s northern beach, smart restaurant and bar Alba (housed in the old lifeboat station) and the famous Porthminster Beach Café, which specialises in super-fresh seafood.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Bar food and snacks
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Follow the coastal path or take the train into St Ives, known for its arts scene. Wander the gallery-lined lanes, watch boats (and the occasional seal) bobbing about in the harbour, and visit the Tate St Ives, the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden and the Bernard Leach Pottery Studio
  • Hang out on the beach. The fine sands of Carbis Bay are just down the hill, and St Ives has 2 excellent beaches (Porthminster and Porthmeor). Hayle, 4 miles in the opposite direction, also has a fine sweep of sand
  • Take the coast road to Lands End, weaving through rugged moorland crags to Zennor and Pendeen lighthouse, past old tin mines and on to Sennen Cove. The energetic can do some of this 25-mile route on foot
  • The famous open-air Minack Theatre and the turquoise waters of neighbouring Porthcurno beach are 18 miles away and well worth the drive
  • Visit St Michael’s Mount. The National Trust’s fairytale island and medieval castle are linked to mainland Marazion (7 miles from the hotel) by a causeway footpath during low tides
  • Staff can organise surfing lessons, fishing trips, paddle-boarding and more - just ask

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife


Well-behaved children aged 10+ are welcome, and families can request adjacent double and twin rooms, but this is more of a quiet, grown-up retreat. Where possible, the Boskerris tries not to book in more than 2 families at a time.

Kid Friendly:

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