Polurrian on the Lizard

Mullion, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Book from GBP Book from £125 per night

Polurrian on the Lizard

Mullion, Cornwall, United Kingdom

A spectacularly sited Cornish coastal hotel, reinvented as a boutique haven, with great family facilities and a spa

A spectacularly sited Cornish coastal hotel, reinvented as a boutique haven, with great family facilities and a spa

Perched on top of a cliff facing the silvery seas and setting sun, this handsome Edwardian building has been around for over 100 years. And it has welcomed its fair share of notables, including Marconi who sent the world's first transatlantic radio signal from nearby Poldhu Cove. But it's since been reborn as a determinedly 21st-century boutique hotel with all the trimmings.

Its 40 bedrooms and 6 villas that scatter the grounds come in a range of sizes - some sleep 2, some sleep 6. The best ones come with sea views, and that is what it's all about here. In the light-filled Vista Lounge, walls of glass reveal a 180-degree vista of the swooshing waves below. Come for a drink here at sunset - it faces west, so you're in for a spectacular show. Elsewhere there's an excellent spa where I had an outstanding neck and back massage. And there are good children's facilities too – pool table & table hockey, huge gardens, play area, two pools: a fantastic complement to the Lizard's sandy beaches (one of them 5 minutes down a stepped path) and subtropical gardens. This is a place to delight all: kids, parents, couples and friends after a slice of Cornish coastal bliss.

Highs

  • The location: a prime, west-facing spot on the lovely Lizard peninsula, near the pretty harbours of Mullion and Porthleven
  • The facilities: Elemis spa, snug, indoor pool - plenty to keep all ages amused if the weather turns - plus an outdoor pool and tennis for dry days
  • The villas are perfect for parents plus children, and excellent value too (book them early!)
  • We loved the Vista lounge, with deep sofas, a wood stove and lazy chairs looking out over shimmering seas

Lows

  • During school holidays, the hotel is full of families, so don't go then if you want a quiet, romantic break
  • We found service rather slow in the restaurant, and the breakfast buffet was somewhat limited (though the cooked options were good)
  • With 40 rooms and red-carpeted corridors, it feels more 'hotelly' than some of our smaller Cornish properties

Best time to go

The year is clearly split into two: school holidays, when most of the rooms are booked by families, and the rest of year, which attracts a mix of older couples and parents with toddlers or babies. The sea and outdoor pool are normally swimmable from late June to early September. Spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) are great for coastal hikes without the crowds. You should be prepared for rain at any time of year, though the Lizard is one of the warmest spots in Britain.

Local festivals include children's dances on Flora Day in Helston (early May), Porthleven's raft race (last weekend of September), Mazey Day in Penzance (June) with crowds of pirates carrying ships on their shoulders, Falmouth Oyster Festival (mid October) complete with cookery demos, boat race and children's activities, and Obby Oss Day in Padstow (1 May), when a large black-caped "animal" is led on a jerky dance by a teaser who prods him with a padded stick.

Our top tips

You don't need to bring much - almost everything is provided (racquets for the tennis court, baby equipment, pool towels, board games etc) - but perhaps bring a short wetsuit for sea swims. Birders should bring binoculars, hikers the 1:25,000 Explorer map of the Lizard (and your National Trust card for parking at Kynance Cove).

You can do a lovely pushchair-friendly 2-3 hour walking or cycling route from Penrose to Porthleven. Park at Penrose Manor House (at a right bend midway from Helston to Porthleven), follow the path down and right (south), past the outhouses, and along the western edge of The Loe lake to the sandy strip of Loe Bar (lovely beach); and then northwest along the South West Coastal path into Porthleven (look out for nesting peregrine falcons along this stretch). There are buses back to Penrose, or you can follow a small lane (Cooper's Lane) from the first houses of Porthleven (1km).

Great for...

Beach
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 40 rooms and 6 villas
  • Restaurant & bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Tennis Court
  • Pool Table
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The rooms are divided into three categories: inland, seaview and superior (like seaview, but larger). They are arranged over three floors, including some on the ground floor (for the less mobile) and some under the roof (which have the best sea views). The six villas are on a little hill opposite the hotel. The sea views are what it is all about - sometimes turquoise, sometimes silver or glinting orange, always fringed with the foam of breaking waves - and it is amply worth paying the small supplement for them.

All accommodations are dressed in standard boutique clothes - a muted palette of greys, dusty pinks and olive greens. Beds have thick mattresses with chunky toppers and half a dozen pillows piled on top. And washing is a pleasure, with generous bottles of Elemis toiletries. There's plenty of wardrobe space, too.

There are some lovely family rooms with two bedrooms sharing a bathroom. We were very comfortable in our Inland Family Room, which had a queensize bed in the main room and a second bedroom with bunk beds for our son. The Sea View Family Rooms have two single beds in their second bedroom rather than bunks. And the Island View Suite has the addition of a third bedroom, plus a kitchenette and a balcony with hot tub and ocean views.

There are also six three-bedroom villas, which are another great option for families. These have a topsy-turvy layout, with the bedrooms on the ground floor and the living spaces above. Each has lovely sea views, calm and stylish interiors, under-floor heating, and a full kitchen for self-catering - plus a shared communal area with barbecue.

Features include:

  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Hairdryer
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi

Eating

The hotel offers a full restaurant service (breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus afternoon tea and drinks) in either the formal restaurant or the more casual Vista lounge. We chose the latter because of its stunning 180-degree view out over the sea. Despite all the glass, it didn't feel remotely cold thanks to warm fabrics and colour schemes: mustard and navy. Because of the hotel's west-facing position, the sunsets here are said to be spectacular.

The fare is largely British, much of it sourced from local suppliers. The local mussels really are a must-try, served in a smooth, creamy sauce. We also tucked into a fab chicken supreme with the creamiest dauphinoise potatoes, while the youngster enjoyed homemade pizza which you can watch being prepared at the pizza station. Needless to say, there is also a full kids' menu offering a familiar range of pasta, fish goujons and pizzas, plus local Roskilly's ice cream for dessert.

Breakfast is part buffet, part served. Hot options feature smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, and yummy Nutella waffles. If we're being picky, we found the buffet somewhat limited.

The self-catering villas have full kitchens, complete with hob, oven, fridge, coffee maker, microwave and dishwasher. There's also a shared barbecue outside. Don't feel like you have to cook though; you still get full access to the hotel's restaurant, facilities and room service.

If you want to head out, there are pubs and a restaurant in Mullion (2km), and more in Helston (10km) and Porthleven (15km). Just north of Mullion, the Poldhu Beach Cafe gets rave reviews for its beachfront pizzas and fish'n'chips - a great lunch stop if you're walking the coastal path - as is Polpeor Cafe on the tip of the Lizard.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Kids' meals
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • At the hotel, you've a choice of indoor or outdoor swimming pool, board games or tennis, plus a spa and a playground
  • Just below the hotel is the cliff-ringed cove of Polurrian, with rock pools, gleaming sands at low tide, and surf-friendly waves at any time; this is a great spot for splashing, swimming, horse riding, frisbee, running with the dog
  • The South West Coast path runs right past here. Follow it south towards the Lizard, passing glorious beaches (Kynance Cove is a favourite) and dark serpentine sea cliffs; or go north past Poldhu Cove (where Marconi sent his first transatlantic signal from) to the sandstrip of Loe Bar and the pretty harbour of Porthleven
  • Explore the disused tin mines of Poldark, made famous in a BBC series, which has exhibits, family-friendly activities including gold-panning and a ghost tour
  • A mile away is Mullion Golf Club, the most southerly golf club in Britain, with 18 often windswept holes and long sea views
  • Further afield near Land's End, Porthcurno boasts a glorious, sheltered cove and the open-air Minack Theatre
  • Staff can arrange crab and lobster chasing trips with local fishermen; kayaking or motor cruising up the Helford river; surfing tuition and board hire with a friendly instructor; or a day out on a skippered 33-foot yacht
  • And there's lots more too, from a chocolate factory (in Trenance) to a seal sanctuary (at Gweek), not to mention gorgeous gardens at Bonython (a short hop away) and Trevarno (near Helston)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Kitesurfing
  • Playground
  • Pool table
  • Private guided tours
  • Rock pooling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing

Kids

Children are welcomed with open arms at Polurrian on the Lizard, and there is lots to keep them entertained - pools, games, gardens, beach. There are various accommodation options, kid-friendly meals, and lots of kids facilities.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The villas are great for families after added privacy. They each have 3 bedrooms on the ground floor - one of which can be set up as a twin - and full kitchens upstairs for self-catering. Another 3-bed option is the Island View Suite, which comes with a kitchentte and private balcony. The family rooms have 2 bedrooms (1 double, 1 twin) and a shared bathroom (tub and shower); you can also put a cot in most. For older kids, there are pairs of communicating rooms connected via a small hallway - though these are more expensive. For a couple with 1 baby, most normal double rooms have space for a cot.

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms

Babysitting:

Babysitters can be booked at reception.

Baby equipment:

  • Changing mats
  • High chairs
  • Step ups

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

Children's meals:

There's a kids' menu with the usual suspects - pizza, pasta, fish goujons with chips. They can also heat bottles and bring you fresh milk.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Play area with slide, swings, ladders
  • Shallow section in the indoor pool
  • Outdoor pool
  • Pool table (older kids only)
  • Tennis court
  • Various board games in the Snug

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Surfing with local surf school, kayaking, paddle-boarding, coasteering
  • Beach survival skills, wild swimming, rock pooling for conservation
  • Adventure playground and boating lake at Helston
  • Tour of Poldark Tin Mine (with evening "Ghost Tours")
  • National Seal Sanctuary at Gweek
  • Crab chasing with local fishermen

Families Should Know:

The beds are quite high (but bed guards are available on request). Parts of the grounds are stepped - not ideal for toddlers

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour
  • Beach: 10 mins' walk
  • Shop: 5 mins' drive
Kid Friendly:

Location

Polurrian on the Lizard is in southern Cornwall, by the village of Mullion on the west coast of the Lizard peninsula, which is about 30km (20 miles) east of Penzance.

By Car
The easiest way to reach the hotel is by car, and of course this will also allow you to explore the area more easily. It's about 4 hours' drive from Bristol, and 6 hours from London. You'll need to bring your own leads and adaptors for charging your car on a cable via the reception window. If you do need to hire a car, see our car rental recommendations.

By Train
Regular daily trains leave London Paddington for Truro, Redruth and Penzance stations, all three of which are about 20 miles from the hotel. One of the most romantic ways to travel is on the sleeper train from London. On arrival, taxis should be available outside the station, or the hotel can book one in advance. Otherwise, from Truro, buses leave from just outside the station for Helston, where you can change and catch another bus to Mullion.

By Air
There are regular flights from London Gatwick and Stansted to Newquay Airport, which is 45km (30 miles) away. The easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport is by car, but the hotel can arrange a taxi for you if you want.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Newquay 45.0 km NQY
  • Bristol 300.0 km BRS

Other:

  • Beach 0.5 km
  • Shops 2.5 km
  • Restaurant 1.5 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
7/10
Food
6/10
Service
7/10
Value
7/10
Overall

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Rates for Polurrian on the Lizard

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