Emily finds a hotel offering the perfect balance; providing for an 8 month old baby, whilst giving the adults some proper time off.
Adult focussed, child friendly. This is how Watergate Bay can best be described, and it’s the absolute dream. I’ve been wanting to visit for years – not least because the infinity pool which overlooks this stunning bay (complete with white sand and crashing waves) appears almost daily on my Instagram feed.
If you’re London based, Watergate Bay is a fair trek. Hardy travellers can jump in the car or hop on a train – we did the former and broke up the journey with an overnight stop in Somerset. Yet an ideal option for those wanting a quick escape is Newquay Airport – mere minutes away from the hotel and with flights to key airports including London Heathrow.
Once at the hotel, you really don’t need to leave. This is a cliche often thrown around by hotels wanting you to stay within their vicinity at all times, yet we found it refreshingly true of Watergate Bay. Besides one quick afternoon excursion to Bedruthan Steps (and the tearooms) nearby, we quite simply laid down our roots and found everything we needed.
If you’re able to go outside of peak holiday times, do it. The beach in November was wild and wonderful – think weathered surfers running into the waves, energetic kite surfers bouncing about and dogs and dog walkers galore. The hotel has an impressive year round occupancy but I loved experiencing it out of season and relished getting a window spot for my morning coffee.
Out of season you’ll also have more chance to chat to the team that work here. The people at Watergate Bay Hotel are exceptional. The service is faultless and despite interacting with numerous staff from the many different locations within the hotel (The Beach Hut, Zacry’s, Watchful Mary, Swim Club, Kids Zone, Ocean Lounge) we never once found one who wasn’t smiling, helpful and extremely well trained.
Want to know about all the places? You really need to visit to truly understand it but in short; Zacry’s is the fancier (yet still friendly and fun) restaurant serving a delicious contemporary menu.
The Beach Hut is literally on the beach and ‘big on burgers, steak, fish and shellfish’.
Watchful Mary is THE place to watch the sunset and has a touch of the ‘apres ski’ about it.
Swim Club is basically the pool and spa area (if you have a massage ask for Debby – she’ll change your life).
And Ocean Lounge is somewhere you’ll possibly want to sit forever….. there’s a lot to discover.
Not forgetting Kids Zone. This isn’t just a room with a soft play shoved in the depths of a hotel. Nope, Watergate Bay have an OFSTED registered, activity led space for kids which was pretty much the most exciting playroom our child had ever seen. With one of the best selections of educational and imaginative toys and games, Kids Zone is open from early until late to use as your child’s personal play space – with a special Toddler time from 10am-noon when the qualified staff will take the kids off your hands to enable some time off.
Room wise we went for a Family Suite which meant we had a large double room (the beds will make you wish you didn’t have to get up for an early bird baby’s wake up call), a small cabin room (where we put the travel cot) and a luxurious bathroom. There are a whole host of options to choose from though so browse through and decide whether you want a cosy Double or an entire Family Apartment.
One of the highlights for us (with a 9 month old baby) was the availability of the baby monitoring systems. On check in, we were given a camera and tablet system which we easily connected up over the travel cot in order to free us for a visit to any of the hotel’s restaurants. The system works on WiFi so it’ll even extend down to the Beach Hut and Watchful Mary if you fancy making the most of a lunchtime nap or heading for a sunset cocktail once the baby’s in bed.
Amazingly for a child friendly hotel, I would have no qualms recommending Watergate Bay Hotel to friends without children. There were numerous couples there when we stayed – happily sitting by the pool in fluffy white robes, getting in from long coastal walks or reading books in the lounges. Although school holidays might be a little bucket and spade filled, weekdays or quieter months are absolutely perfect for those simply wanting a relaxing break in a truly beautiful spot.
For more information and to book, visit Watergate Bay here.
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Images © Watergate Bay