A spectacularly sited Cornish coastal hotel, reinvented as a boutique haven, with great family facilities and a spa”
Its 40 or so bedrooms and 6 villas sport a pale olive-and-grey palette, with Flos pendant lights and chrome rainshower heads, while its airy common rooms gleam with newly revealed pitch pine floors and bright chartreuse cushions. The lunch and dinner menus feature Med influences (cassoulet, beef carpaccio) alongside classic Cornish mussels and local rump steak. The childrens facilities are excellent - an extensive programme of activities in school holidays, games room, cinema, huge gardens with playground, 2 pools: a fantastic complement to the Lizard's sandy beaches (one of them 5 minutes down a stepped path), fishing harbours and subtropical gardens. It's a place to delight kids of all ages, while giving parents a rare reminder of that stylish, indulgent lifestyle they feared they had left behind forever.
Information provided by Polurrian on the Lizard on 07/07/2020.
Cleaning and hygiene
A stringent new cleaning approach, and hand sanitiser at key points throughout the hotel.
Food and drink
Pre-booked reservations during meal times (including breakfast), with the option to dine al fresco (weather permitting) at specially created outdoor dining and picnic options. Breakfast will be served at table, or can be ordered as a takeaway, as can lunch. Non-residents may only drink or dine in the outside seating areas.
To meet government guidelines, our spa, swimming pool and gym are temporarily closed; once reopened, slots must be pre-booked at these, and the spa treatment list will be streamlined. New activities on offer include cliff-top yoga and sunset outdoor cinema.
Contactless express check-in and check-out, with a copy of your final bill sent by email prior to check-out.
- The location: a prime, west-facing spot on the lovely Lizard peninsula, near the pretty harbours of Mullion and Porthleven
- The kids' activities in school holidays: tennis, rounders, arts & crafts, cookery, movies
- The facilities: cinema, games room, Elemis spa, indoor pool - plenty to keep you amused if the weather turns
- 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
- It's a long way to go: 4 hours from Bristol, 6 from London
- During school holidays, the hotel is full of families; don't go if you want a quiet, romantic break. Outside term time, it's popular with (mostly older) couples
- Guest feedback during the (post) covid era has been mixed, citing slow service or confusion, and imperfect maintenance
- The food, though mostly good (superb fish, good breakfasts), had some lapses during our stay
- With more than 40 rooms and red-carpeted corridors, it feels more 'hotelly' than some of our smaller Cornish properties
Best time to go
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 (23 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 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).”
- Boutique Hotel
- 41 rooms and 6 villas
- Restaurant (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Tennis Court
- Pool Table
- Bicycles Available
- Surf lessons
- Table football
The 40 or so rooms are arranged over 3 floors, including some on the ground floor (for the less mobile) and some under the roof (which have the best sea views), and the 6 villas are in a separate wing. 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, creams and olive green, with colour from a red blanket or chartreuse cushion, and a splash of designer style from white-balloon Flos lights and low slung Wegner oak chairs. We slept well, on thick mattresses with a chunky topper and half a dozen pillows; and washing was a pleasure, with generous bottles of Voya toiletries and a choice of tub or overhead rainshower. There's plenty of wardrobe space too.
Rooms are divided into 3 categories - inland, seaview and superior (like seaview, but larger). Most are around 20 square metres - neither big nor small - though a couple have narrow beds as opposed to the more common queensize.
In addition there are some lovely family rooms with 2 bedrooms (1 double, 1 twin) sharing a bathroom. We stayed with our son in #105, a lovely first-floor room if you can get it, with corner views to the sea. A couple of the family rooms have bunks instead of twin beds; #207 is on the top floor, with lofty views straight out to the Atlantic and a cosy kids room lit by a skylight window.
There are also 6 new 3-bedroom villas which are another great option for families. They each have lovely sea views, calm and stylish interiors, under-floor heating and full kitchens for self-catering. Note that one of the bedrooms can be set up as a twin.
- Central heating
- DVD player (on request)
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Iron (on request)
The hotel offers a full restaurant service (breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus all day snacks and drinks, but no bar) in an airy, sea-facing dining room with parquet floors, white walls and high ceiling fans. The fare is what you might call Cornish meets Med, almost all of it sourced from local suppliers. Menus are a la carte (following mixed feedback about the fixed menus).
Certainly the salt-baked sea-bass I had on my first evening was one of the tastiest and softest fish dishes I've had all year, and my amaretto peach tart with Roskilly's ice cream was not far behind (though my wife's zabaione semifreddo was a bit mushy). Beef carpaccio and rump steak (from nearby Goonhilly Downs) also got a thumbs up, and it was nice to see squid and Cornish blue cheese salad making an appearance.
Needless to say, there is also a kids' menu, offering a familiar range of pasta, pizza, sausages or fish and chips (superior goujons and chunky chips). We actually preferred to order a starter from the main menu for our son - pea soup and smoked chicken salad both went down well, and felt somehow healthier.
Breakfast - part buffet, part served - is good too, especially the syrupy figs with rhubarb yoghurt, the smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, and the crispy pancakes with raspberries; though, if we're being picky, it would be nice to see a wider range of breads. But staff were always open to requests, and quick to bring high chairs and borrow pens from reception to keep littl'uns amused while waiting.
The self-catering villas have full kitchens, complete with hob, oven, fridge, coffee maker, microwave and dishwasher. Don't feel like you have to cook though; you still get full access to the hotel's restaurant and facilities.
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.
- Children's meals
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- At the hotel, you've a choice of indoor or outdoor swimming, table football or pool, Wii or board games, tennis or (occasionally) football, plus a spa and a playground, clifftop yoga & Pilates
- 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; a great spot for splashing, swimming, frisbee, running with the dog
- Book horse rides along this beach
- Wild swimming, rock pooling for conservation, surfing, kayaking and coasteering are all at hand
- This is on the South West Coastal path, so follow it south towards the Lizard, passing glorious beaches (Kynance Cove is a favourite) and dark serpentine sea cliffs lashed by waves
- Or 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
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Pool table
- Private guided tours
- Rock pooling
- Surf lessons
- Table football
- Well being
Children are welcomed with open arms at Polurrian Bay, and will find all manner of complimentary games and entertainments to amuse them, from rounders and craft sessions in school holidays to a weekly game of football (guests vs staff) in summer. We were particularly impressed with our pre-arrival email asking which of the many bits of child equipment (from potties to pushchairs) we would like awaiting us.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The villas are also great for families after added privacy. They each have 3 bedrooms - one of which can be set up as a twin - and full kitchens for self-catering. The family rooms are ideal if you can get one, with 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 with their own small hallway - though these are more expensive. For a couple with 1 baby, most normal double rooms have space for a cot.
Babysitters can be booked at reception.
You can use the hotel's baby listening service for free when dining in the restaurant.
A vast range, including:
- Baby baths
- Baby carriers
- Bottle/food warmers
- Bumbo seats
- Changing mats
- High chairs
- Night lights
- Potties and children’s toilet seats
- Step ups
- Swim nappies
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's a kids' menu with the usual suspects - pizza, pasta, sausage, fish goujons with chips - though we found that the adult starters worked well as children's mains, and were tastier
Kids Activities on site:
- Rounders, tennis, arts, crafts, cookery lessons and family-friendly film screenings in school holidays (aimed at ages 5+)
- Playground with slide, swings, ladders
- Shallow section in the indoor pool
- Table football and pool table (older kids only)
- Wii and Playstation consoles (older kids only)
- Various board games in the Snug
- A range of children's DVDs to borrow
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
- Go 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
- Airport: 1 hour
- Beach: 10 mins' walk
- Shop: 5 mins' drive
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.
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.
Regular daily trains leave London Paddington and Bristol for Truro, Redruth and Penzance stations, all 3 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 at competitive rates. Otherwise, from Truro, buses leave from just outside the station for Helston, where you can change and catch another bus to Mullion.
There are regular flights from London Gatwick and Stansted to Newquay Airport, which is 45km (30 miles) away. For a list of airlines serving this airport, click the links at the bottom of this page. The easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport is by car, but the hotel can arrange a taxi for you at competitive rates if you want.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Newquay 45.0 km NQY
- Bristol 300.0 km BRS
- Beach 0.5 km
- Shops 2.5 km
- Restaurant 1.5 km