The thought of taking three young children to stay in a hotel could quite easily fill a mum with dread.
Especially when they are just three and 17 month old twins, pretty noisy and like to escape whenever they can.
There’s always going to be someone looking at you wondering why you’re not keeping them in check, why you’re letting them drop food on the floor and not stopping them doing circuits of the hotel’s main corridors. Or at least that’s how it can feel.
So you choose the self-catering option where you can hide away, let them be kids and not have to adhere to any ‘rules’. But you also have to cook, clear up, and clean the bloody floor under their highchairs three times a day.
You can go to the Polurrian Bay Hotel in Cornwall and have the best of both worlds. Ladies and gentleman, I have a discovered a WINNER!
If you still want the ‘do as you please’ nature of a self-catering holiday but also quite fancy someone cooking you a slap-up full English every morning (with no washing up afterwards) stay in one of the Polurrian’s contemporary coastal villas overlooking the sea, but which is just a mere stroll from the family-friendly hotel, and you also have full access to everything inside.
The Polurrian Bay Hotel, perched on the cliffs of the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall (the UK’s most southern point), offers this amazing combination with their brand new uber-posh villas. You get the convenience of self-catering (perfect for young children) but at the same time you can access all the hotel’s facilities literally just a few metres’ walk away.
The hotel is part of the Luxury Family Hotels chain which focuses on children having a great time whilst parents have a break and they supply you with everything you need for your little ones. The villas are no exception – with cots, bedding, a stairgate, highchairs, plastic crockery and cutlery, and even a nappy bin. They could also provide a bedguard and potty if necessary for toddlers. The hotel liaises with you beforehand about what you need and they’ll even organise a babysitter if you fancy a meal away from the kids. Imagine that!
The villa itself is just beautiful – I did worry if it was too beautiful to take my three in, but once I’d moved a few breakable ornaments out-of-reach I started to relax.
It’s living space is arranged ‘upside down’ with the lounge, dining area and kitchen on the first floor to make the most of the stunning view out to the Atlantic complete with a balcony, and the bedrooms and bathrooms are downstairs
The open plan living area upstairs meant that once the stairgate was across you could relax knowing the kids couldn’t sneak off to other rooms. Although there is only a stairgate at the top of the stairs – this proved a bit tricky when we were downstairs as our twins love nothing more to climb steps, and these are wooden ones.
The living area is so spacious, there is plenty of room for the children to potter around and play, and the two giant sofas proved comfy spots when the TV was on. There’s a dining area and the fabulous kitchen is fitted with all the mod-cons you need – including a washer/dryer, a necessity when you’re on holiday with children. (Sad that I feel the need to point that out – but I know you’ll totally get it) Designer fixtures and furnishings, as well as Cornwall-inspired artwork on the walls really made this place feel special.
Downstairs there are three bedrooms and a family bathroom – a master with en-suite, a double which we put Thomas our three year old in (he was totally lost in the huge bed!) and a flexible twin/double room which fitted two travel cots for the babies
Outside there is a sheltered, coastal-style garden with table and chairs, and there are two parking spaces out the front – which is perfect for when you come with as much ‘stuff’ as we do. I’m surprised there was anything left at home to be honest. Thank God we had to get rid of our fancy fast car in favour of a box on wheels when we found out we were having twins. (You can read about that saga here)
Time to explore
Once you’ve settled into your villa, it’s time to explore what the hotel itself has to offer. And there’s no need to worry about your children being noisy or wandering off – they’re totally used to and welcome it. Just as well as my three had great fun exploring!
Polurrian’s Vista Lounge is one of the best places to head for. With floor to ceiling windows and comfy sofas and chairs, it’s the perfect place to take in the view from the clifftop. There’s a play corner to one side where the children can be entertained by the content of giant toy boxes whilst you have a coffee – if you’re lucky!
If you want to guarantee that coffee is a hot one though, you can make use of the hotel’s Kid’s Club – each child is offered two hours’ free childcare for each day of their stay. How amazing is that? Pretty much the best reason to come here if you ask me.
Ours all LOVED the creche, and with more toys than they’d ever seen, why wouldn’t they?! It’s open to children up to the age of eight, and is a large well-equipped space where they can not only devour all the toys but get creative in the play kitchen, enjoy stories in the tepee and get stuck into artwork with the lovely, friendly staff. I think my three spent their entire time playing with the car track, dinosaurs and animals. Basically what they do at home! It was so welcoming I had no problems leaving the twins there even though they’d never been in childcare before.
If you want to make the most of your child-free time then head to the hotel’s spa where you can relax in the pool or spoil yourself with a treatment. Bliss. Or do what I did and park your bum in the Vista Lounge, have a latte (that you don’t have to microwave three times), enjoy the view for a bit then doze off. Three kids are tiring, and I deserved a holiday nap.
Once the children are back and if they’ve still got some energy, they can splash about in either the indoor or outdoor swimming pools, chill out in the cinema room, have a run around in the outdoor play area, or even grab a bucket and spade from reception and head down to the hotel’s private beach. If your children are older they would love the games room – complete with Xbox, Wii and table football, or all the family could cosy up with some books, puzzles or games in the snug
When it comes to dining at Polurrian, you obviously have the option of cooking in your villa, but children can eat from 5pm to 6pm in the Vista Lounge during Children’s High Tea. Family dining is also an option from 6pm but we decided this was too late for ours to wait – hanger is definitely a thing in our household.
It was a shame we couldn’t all eat together but the children ate at 5pm, and then we had room service from the fine dining menu in our villa later – which was delicious. It also meant no cleaning of floors! This is what we do a home anyway so suited us (eat later I mean, not fine dining!) We could have had a babysitter arranged, and had we been staying in the hotel itself they offer baby listening so you can enjoy a candlelit meal for two in the restaurant once the kids are asleep.
Breakfast in the family dining area was a big hit with our three – mainly because there was so much choice of cereals, yoghurts, fresh fruit, pastries and cooked breakfast, they could have bits of everything. It also meant they were full up and only needed a light lunch back in the villa later or a sandwich in the Vista Lounge. The hotel can also pack up a tasty picnic for you, if you’re heading out for the day. So you’re basically sorted whatever you choose to do
The staff at the Polurrian are fabulous. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they all made a big fuss of the children. You can tell why families go there again and again. You’re made to feel welcome and can actually start to enjoy your holiday.
Out and about
If you fancy exploring Cornwall the Polurrian is a short drive from attractions such as the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall or Flambards Theme Park which the children will love.
But if you’re like us and just want to stay put, there is plenty to do to keep them entertained – and with the two hours’ free childcare, you might even get chance to relax yourself for once.
To find out more about the hotel and to stay in one of their contemporary villas, click here
If you liked this review and would like to read about more of our family-friendly UK travels, feel free to stick around. You may like this one about how Tredethick farm cottages in Cornwall kept the kids entertained for days, or how the Isle of Wight is jam packed with family-friendly fun.
Or if you fancy a giggle have a read of this – Five ways a holiday is never the same after kids.