Mum’s top family-friendly hotels in Cornwall

Lifestyle blogger and travelling mummy, Clare, has spent countless summer holidays in Cornwall. Here is her no-nonsense guide for a stress-free and enjoyable trip for the whole family!

It can be hard to find that perfect family-friendly staycation; how do you find a destination, and even trickier, a hotel, that will keep the kids entertained and parents sane all at once?

My family loves Cornwall, and with many family and friends living in the area, we visit all the time. With 300 miles of coastline, there is something new to explore every time- plus all that sea air is great for ensuring the kids sleep well!

Whether you prefer to stay closer to town or on the beach, there are some wonderful family-friendly activities, days out and numerous beaches to be explored: but the big question, where to stay? I’ve done the hard work for you: here are my favourite family-friendly hotels and things to do in Cornwall to make your trip as exciting and stress-free as mine!

Family-friendly hotel close to Fistral Beach


Tucked quietly away from the town centre, Hotel California is surprisingly only a 10-minute walk from all the action. This makes it perfect for families, as you are close enough to walk into town, but you’ll not have the noise which town centres bring with them. This is, of course, handy in the evenings when you are trying to get the kids to sleep early enough to enjoy some adult-only time!

The hotel overlooks the picturesque Gannel Estuary and Cantock beach and is only a five-minute walk from Fistral Beach, which is one of my favourite beaches of all. You may, however, have trouble drawing the kids out of the hotel, due to the two swimming pools, games room with snooker and pool tables, table tennis table and the four-lane bowling alley. We stayed here for a friend’s wedding and all the children (and adults) had great fun playing head to head trying to see who could get the most strikes!

The California

7.3(145 reviews)

Family hotel with indoor and outdoor activities in Cornwall


This hotel is really geared towards family holidays. Rather than just providing extra beds in the room for the little ones, they have put a lot of thought into the layout to make them as comfortable as possible for both parents and children.

With two-room family suites, putting the kids to bed is easy as pie, and you’ll not have to hide in the bathroom staying as quiet as possible waiting for the kids to fall asleep! Let’s face it, they find sharing a room with us parents a big adventure, meaning we get limited alone time in the evenings.

There’s a soft play area, games room, swimming pool and even a kid’s club for children aged 0-14 years. Outside you can play tennis, croquet, and crazy golf, and there’s another pool with a toddler splash area, two playgrounds and even bouncy castles.

The hotel is also fully stocked with items you may have forgotten to pack such as buckets and spades, wetsuits etc which you can borrow; disaster averted!

Sands Resort

Top rated
8.9 Excellent (139 reviews)

Roald Dahl hotel perfect for the whole family in Cornwall


This bolthole may look familiar to many, as it’s the hotel that Roald Dahl’s ‘The Witches’ was filmed; they even serve a themed High Tea on set occasions!

Upon check-in you’ll find pirate-themed goodie bags for the children on their beds, which makes unpacking after a long journey a little easier for us parents. Many of the family rooms are set up with bunk beds, and we also had fresh fruit, juice sachets, and tea/coffee making facilities for us adults in the room (the Nespresso machine was a very welcome touch).

Some of the rooms offer a coastal view which is lovely to see first thing in the morning; however, if you don’t manage to get one of these, Fistral beach is literally on the doorstep. You don’t have to go far at all to see the water!
On top of this there’s a pool with two kid-friendly swim sessions (morning and afternoon – and a few hours in the middle which are kid free for the enjoyment of other guests). You’ll also find a games room with a cinema screen showing cartoons or movies during the day, and kids craft sessions taking place during the school holidays.

And to top it off, the kids’ menu in the restaurant was much appreciated by my children; there was lots of choice and offered food they would actually eat!

The Headland Hotel And Spa

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (1585 reviews)

The perfect sporty family stay in Cornwall


This hotel is a surfer’s paradise, located just by Watergate Bay, which is locally-renowned for its water sports. The hotel offers something for all the family with a Kid’s Zone where they run supervised sessions, including crafts, games, and activities for children up to the age of seven years. There is also an XA Club which is for children aged 7-12; here they can use the games room to play table tennis, table football, Playstation and X-Box games. They host movie evenings, cookery and smoothie making classes, woodwork introductions, and beach activities (weather permitting).

One of the most exciting things about staying at this hotel is the free surf lessons offered during school holidays to children aged 8-15. And if the kids don’t fancy surfing there is also a 25-metre pool with family swim times from 9am – 6pm.

Watergate Bay Hotel

8.3 Very good (11 reviews)

Hotel in Cornwall with childcare services


Bedruthen hotel is one for parents who would like a little free time for themselves, a date night perhaps or even a hot meal. We all know how hard it can be to enjoy a meal with the little ones: after you’ve cut their food, fed them and entertained them, your own meal is cold!

That’s why I love that they offer childcare services. You can enjoy listening services, or opt for one of the babysitters available to book, so you can enjoy a romantic meal in peace: after all, holidays are as much for parents as they are the kids.

There is a toddler soft play area in the hotel and a baby swimming pool, plus an adult one too. And for the older children there’s a games room with pool table, table tennis, Pac-Man, table football and air hockey, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and an assault course, outdoor trampoline and football pitch. They even have all-terrain buggies you can hire or toddler carrying backpacks.

Bedruthan Hotel And Spa

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (666 reviews)

Making the most of your stay in Cornwall: my top tips to keep the whole family happy!

Top tip 1: Many attractions in Cornwall offer free returns within 7 days meaning you won’t have to rush and miss anything – just a few of these include The Seal Sanctuary, Cornish Birds of Prey Centre, Flambards and Newquay Zoo.

Top Tip 2: Keep the car packed with beach gear. With so many beaches in Cornwall you are never too far away from one. If you keep towels, buckets and spades, spare clothes or even swimming costumes in the car you can easily add in a detour from a day out.

Top Tip 3: Keep spare change with you – most of the beaches have pay and display meters in the car parks.

Top Tip 4: If you love hot chocolate then you really need to head to The Poldu Beach cafe located at Poldu Cove, open 363 days a year and serves the BEST hot chocolate creations including Oreo toppings, Mini Eggs and so many others you won’t know which to choose first.