Hotel Tresanton

St Mawes, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Book from GBP Book from £270 per night

Hotel Tresanton

St Mawes, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Polished perfection from famed hotelier Olga Polizzi - an elegant coastal hotel with uplifting views and a lovely restaurant

Polished perfection from famed hotelier Olga Polizzi - an elegant coastal hotel with uplifting views and a lovely restaurant

St Mawes invigorates you with its fresh sea air, warm micro-climate and a clarity of light cherished by visiting artists. This is probably the smartest hotel in Cornwall, not because of formality or grandeur (in fact, quite the opposite), but because of how it makes you feel - wonderful! Originally a sailing club in the 1940s, then glamorous hotel in the '60s, it has evolved into a collection of buildings with a common heart. There's The Nook on the seafront, the beautiful Rock Cottage up a lane (a great option for groups or families), plus the main buildings stretching up a steep hillside. At the bottom there's a cosy bar and games room (with their bespoke St Mawes version of Monopoly!), then step up to the dining room and parasol-decked terraces with joyful views across the bay.

Most of the 31 rooms have views, so your eyes are constantly drawn to the sea. Everywhere strokes your nautical senses: be it a mosaic of Poseidon underfoot, crisp blue and white fabrics or seascape paintings, all chosen by Olga Polizzi to blend you into the surroundings. There's even a yacht with skipper you can charter. Well managed and striking a perfect note between friendliness, charm and glamour, it's one of our all-time favourites.


  • Beautifully styled rooms with spectacular sea views - all extremely comfortable
  • The delightful restaurant and super fresh seafood make meals here a true pleasure
  • Great for couples and friends, but also very welcoming to children, with a cinema, playroom and a summer kids club
  • We felt very well looked after - nothing was too much trouble
  • Mediterranean styled Beach Club (with direct access to Tavern Beach) and lots within walking distance: St Mawes' charming harbour and boutiques, plus plenty of coastal pathways and boat trips nearby


  • It's pricey, but for what it is, we think it's good value
  • The buildings feel slightly disjointed and spread apart - there are lots of steps and no lift
  • The car park is a steep hike up behind the hotel, but on arrival you can park immediately outside and they will valet park for you
  • No pool or spa but excellent treatments are available in the massage room
  • Rooms 4, 30 and 31 do not have a sea view
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    Room 22 Family Suite (in Upper Tresanton) has three bedrooms, suitable for 2 adults and up to 4 children. It has spectacular views from its private terrace, 2 big bathrooms and a living room, plus one bedroom styled as a ship’s cabin with built-in bunks. Two 2-bedroom Family Suites (in Upper Tresanton or Rock Cottage) each sleep 2 adults and 1-3 children; the Rock Cottage suite has a kitchenette, too.

    The Nook and Rock Cottage are divided into individual rooms but each can also be rented as a whole to accommodate families of 6-9 (on request). Most rooms can take either an extra bed or baby cot.

    Parents should know...

    The restaurant has a smart ambiance so no kids under 6 are permitted in the evenings. The steep steps to the Upper Tresanton rooms are more difficult to manoeuvre with buggies, but there is a storage area in a locked garage on the street area and porters can fetch them whenever you want
  • Baby cots
  • Highchairs

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

Babysitting is available by arrangement. Our daughter thought the babysitter was fantastic and couldn\'t wait to get rid of us

A baby-listening service throughout

During the summer holidays, there\'s a children\'s club with CRB-checked child carers, at which kids do arts and crafts, and beach activities including crabbing

Kids\' high tea from 5.30-6.30pm (pasta, fresh fish, sausages and ice cream). Children over the age of 6 are welcome to eat dinner with their parents in the restaurant, though they are encouraged to book an early table. There is also room service. The Rock Cottage\'s Family Suite has a small kitchenette including hob (but no microwave). Kids will like the Juice Bar at the Beach Club and P.O.S.H. burgers on the Nook Terrace

  • A well-stocked children\'s games room (table football)
  • Art materials and games consoles
  • A small garden with immaculate Wendy house (perfect for under 6)
  • Children\'s DVDs and cinema room
  • Toys and books for 12 months+
  • Mediterranean-style terraced Beach Club to the front and below the hotel
  • Small beach opposite with rockpooling (nets to borrow)
  • St Mawes Castle (just down the road)
  • Falmouth Maritime Museum (a ferry-ride away)

Great for...

  • Boutique Hotel
  • 31 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Games room
  • Board games
  • Electric car charger
Room: 26


Most of the rooms are in Main Tresanton and Upper Tresanton (the body of the hotel and part that spans up the hillside), but there are some down by the seafront in Little Tresanton and The Nook, plus more in Rock Cottage (up a narrow lane behind the children's playroom). Despite being dotted around the property, whichever you take you're never more than a minute's walk from the heart of the hotel.

Different categories there may be - but duff rooms there simply are not. Olga Polizzi's elegant, understated interiors are regularly updated with well-chosen fabrics and furnishings; expect Farrow & Ball colours, seagrass and wood floors, big comfy beds with exceptional linen, calm lighting, and Cornish art from the likes of Barbara Hepworth. Nice extra touches include decent hardbacks (Olga's husband is writer William Shawcross), and beach bags with towels and picnic rugs.

Rates inevitably climb as you get more footage or a terrace but none are claustrophobic and most have sea views looking across to St Anthony's lighthouse. Wardrobe space isn't an issue. We especially liked our Room 29 in The Nook with its cushioned bay window. The rooms in Upper Tresanton have the best views, but there are quite a few steps to get to them. In Rock Cottage, Room 31 is unique in having a private garden. That said, it is one of only three rooms without a sea view (the others being Rooms 4 & 30). Family options include dedicated suites and the option to exclusively book one of the smaller wings.

Bathrooms have Ren toiletries, marble or fresh mosaic tiling, and traditional baths with overhead showers (or a separate walk-in rainfall).

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • In-room treatments available
  • WiFi


On a sunny day, Tresanton's dining room is one of the loveliest places to eat in England. Mosaic flooring underfoot, magnificent sea views, starched white tablecloths, fine seafood and great wine: we couldn't have been happier. In warmer months, the wood-decked terraces are spot on for dining alfresco.

At breakfast, a round table groans with fresh berries and fruits, delicious granola, creamy yoghurts and warm pastries; from the cooked menu we ordered fluffy pancakes and eggs Benedict on muffins. We particularly liked green smoothies and insanely aromatic fresh mint teas.

At lunchtime, enjoy delicious crab and cucumber sandwiches on the sunny terrace (there’s an all-day menu), and don't miss the afternoon teas - we loved the Tunisian orange cake and the homemade yoghurt sorbet. For day trips, rucksack picnics can be prepared. And the Mediterranean-style terraced Beach Club to the front of the hotel has a Juice Cafe; the garden leads into the Nook Terrace where you can feast on P.O.S.H burgers.

Dinner is more of an occasion (book ahead) but thankfully the menu never gets pretentious. It's well presented straightforward cooking with an emphasis on fresh local seafood and a hint of Italian. Whilst you could splash out on the freshest Dover sole or linguine with lobster (as we did), there's enough to keep veggies or meat eaters delighted, too: perhaps a tasty tagliatelle with ricotta, lemon and sage, or a decent sirloin with Béarnaise sauce. And for those staying more than a couple of nights, there are comfort dishes like bangers and mash.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Kids' meals
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service


  • Nip down to the tidal beach below or forage in the rock pools beneath the sea wall
  • Stroll the cafes, galleries and boutique shops of St Mawes harbour.
  • St Mawes is a sailing mecca and the hotel’s 26ft-yacht, Pinuccia (built in 1938), can be rented for the day or half day (for up to 6), with an experienced skipper. Or take their 6-seater RIB speedboat along the coast and creeks
  • For a lovely 2-mile stroll from the hotel, take the coastal path along the river Fal to the picturesque 14th-century church of St Just-in-Roseland. In summer, a regular ferry will take you across the harbour where longer walks pass the lighthouse, to Porthcurnick beach and beyond
  • Built by Henry VIII in 1542, the impressive St Mawes Castle is just a hop from the hotel and overlooks the Fal Estuary
  • There are dozens of beautiful gardens nearby, including the meticulously restored Lost Gardens of Heligan (30 mins' drive) and the world-famous Eden Project (45 min's drive)
  • Catch the ferry across to Falmouth (20 mins) - once the busiest port outside London – where there's a maritime museum and plenty of teashops
  • Book a massage at the hotel: visiting experts can administer therapies from Indian Head Massage to Reflexology in their treatment room
  • Reception can organise sailing lessons, cycling, horse riding, fishing trips and kayak hire, or golf (the St Enodoc links course is an hour away)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Well being

Best Time to go

Tresanton is open all year round and in each season there's plenty to do. Cornwall is especially lovely in spring and autumn when the crowds have eased, but the beaches cry out for summer holidays and buckets and spades. Enquire about occasional yoga and walking retreats, music and lecture events in low season.

Our Top Tips

Catch the ferry across to Place (4 mins) and walk around the headland to St Anthony's lighthouse. We eventually found ourselves at the lovely Hidden Hut overlooking Porthcurnick Beach, and The Tresanton kindly sent a car round to pick us up.

Also, be sure to book ahead to dine in the restaurant.
Kid Friendly:


Hotel Tresanton is on the seafront of St Mawes on Cornwall's south coast, southwest England. It's 10km from Truro and a short ferry ride across from Falmouth.

By Air
Newquay (47km) and Exeter (162km) are the nearest airports; Exeter has better links from other cities within the UK and Europe. If you're coming from further afield you'll probably arrive at Bristol (260km) or London Heathrow (440km). Taxis are available from the local airports, but they're likely to be expensive.

By Car
We'd recommend driving here - see our car rental recommendations. Hotel Tresanton is 3-4 hours south of Bristol and around 5 hours from London. Park your car outside and the hotel's valet service will move it to the private car park at the top of the hill.

By Train
The nearest rail station is Falmouth Docks from where you can get a ferry ride across the bay. You can also get a train to St Austell which has regular, direct services from Bristol, Exeter, London Paddington - see Seat 61. From Truro station it's a 20-minute taxi ride to Hotel Tresanton.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to the UK and getting around


  • Newquay 47.0 km NQY
  • Exeter 162.0 km EXT


  • Beach 0.2 km
  • Shops 0.4 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

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