Last summer we decided we wanted to visit somewhere new as part of our family summer holiday. We had never visited Cornwall before, despite wanting to for a couple of years. We’d heard great things about Newquay so that was the first place we looked.
As a family of five we have the eternal struggle of trying to find hotels that can fit all five of us in one bedroom. Lodges and the like are great, but sometimes you want the luxury of staying in an actual hotel. We began our research and stumbled across The Esplanade on Tripadvisor. It had good reviews so we took the plunge and booked it.
After booking we were invited to access their online concierge system where we could book meals, find out about the kids activities amongst others things. It even told us of local places to eat within the local area should we not want to eat in the hotel. It also informed us of what activities and days out were available nearby.
The Esplanade Hotel is located right on Fistral beach. If you’re looking for beautiful views, this is the hotel for you! It’s incredibly picturesque and we were lucky to have great weather the majority of our stay. There is limited parking so we prebooked and paid for our car parking space to save the hassle of trying to find somewhere. We visited during the summer holidays so it was a busy time of year and I really think we’d have had trouble finding somewhere to park if we hadn’t.
We were greeted by friendly staff who gave us information about our room, the facilities and where we could eat should we wish to. They informed us of the kids activities happening at various points throughout the day and encouraged us to prebook the ones we were interested in.
We found the staff incredibly helpful and friendly. We were advised to ask if we needed anything, including board games and activities for the kids which we thought was a nice touch. On our departure the lovely receptionist told us how to take the scenic route to our next destination and obviously had a real knowledge of the area.
They are dog friendly and the hotel has a very relaxed low-key vibe which was perfect for us.
The room we had was huge with a big bay window giving us the most gorgeous view to wake up to in a morning. It had a table and two chairs so you could sit and enjoy your morning coffee as you enjoyed the view.
The boys had bunkbeds and Anna, who was still two at the time, slept in a cot but there was an option to have a single bed should we wish. Considering the amount of beds, it didn’t feel cramped due to the huge size of the room.
There were some lovely touches for those with kids, such as stories printed out for the children at bedtime arriving at our door in the evenings, and hot chocolate and biscuits given daily along with the tea and coffee.
The only slight problem was the room wasn’t air conditioned, and as we were there during the peak summer season it was really hot! However when we mentioned it to reception they sent a fan up to our room immediately.
There’s a good sized indoor pool, with a separate small section for younger children which was great for our 2 year old. It isn’t a huge pool but it wasn’t overly busy (probably because the weather was nice!) so it wasn’t overly cramped at all. There’s also a jacuzzi and sauna.
There was a games room of sorts, with a pool table and also a small soft play area for kids. There was a small tv in the kids area and an assortment of toys. We didn’t use it much – to be honest we felt they’d tried to cramp too much into a small space and it didn’t quite work, but it’s further evidence of how they try and cater for the kids.
Activities and food
In terms of kids activities, there was so much on within the hotel to keep them entertained. Most of them started late afternoon which was perfect if you spent the rest of the day exploring. They had cocktail making, their own version of build a bear, pizza making, face painting and live entertainment. For older children they had a games night with consoles later in the evening (our kids were in bed by that point though!)
We didn’t do all the activities but we did do the build a bear and cocktail making. The staff were very good with the kids, and it was fantastic considering it was all for free.
There’s a gorgeous seating area in the lobby with panoramic views of the beach. You can sit and relax with a drink and watch the surfers do their thing, or just simply sit quietly and read a book.
The hotel is home to Pebbles Bar where you can grab a drink or sandwiches or light bites in the afternoons. This was where the kids activities took place and it was a lovely space with big comfortable chairs.
If you wanted a more formal meal you could book to eat in the Ocean View Restaurant which more than lives up to it’s name! The view, again, was spectacular. We didn’t eat there in the evenings but we did have our breakfasts there. The breakfast was buffet style and served everything you could hope for, from a cooked breakfast to cereals, danishes and pastries. We couldn’t fault the food at all.
The hotel has a surfing school attached to it and offers a discount if you want to learn from the pros.
If you could tear yourself away from the beach, there’s quite a few local attractions including:
- Blue Reef Aquarium
- Newquay Zoo
- Dairyland Farm World
- Pirate’s Quest
We visited Lapa Valley Steam Railway which was fantastic for the kids. It was a short drive from the hotel and had so much to do. Not only did it have the steam train journey, it also had a canoeing lake, crazy golf, pedal cars, and play areas all included in the price.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Esplanade Hotel and would definitely visit again. There are a few areas that perhaps need a bit of an update but it wasn’t anything that negatively impacted our stay.
The huge selling point of this hotel, other than the stunning view, is how family friendly it is. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and it was one of the most child friendly hotels we have stayed in.