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The Idle Rocks hotel has been part of the St Mawes community for 100 years, which might conjure images of antiquity, dusty corridors and rattling windows. But you’d be wrong. Earlier this year the grand old dame of Cornwall underwent a radical face-lift bringing a charming boutique feel to the property that's all about re-engaging with the simple pleasures in life. There are no check-in desks, guests can eat breakfast whenever they like and will be encouraged to throw another log on the fire. The food is local and fresh, with daily deliveries from nearby fishermen. The vibe is very much home from home. 

Continuing this theme, the 20 bedrooms have each been designed individually, mixing contemporary and comfortable features with the ubiquitous coastal touches. There are bunkbeds and interconnecting rooms for families, and babysitting and listening services available. 

Make the most of the seafront location by sailing (the hotel can arrange motor and sail boat hire), playing on the beach and taking long blustery walks, followed by tea and crumpets by the fire. The hotel also organizes highly-competitive crab racing on the terrace.

Food: High tea is served from 5.30pm, and if the troops aren’t ready for bed yet they can play in the supervised Children’s Room, while you have a peaceful dinner for two.

Getting there

By car: If arriving via the King Harry ferry, ensure you check timings. On arrival in the village, turn right and follow signs for the castle, which will bring you down to the Idle Rocks sitting on the harbour side. Its concierge will be happy to make arrangements to park your car.

By train: There are regular services from London and the Midlands to St Austell Station from where the hotel will arrange for guests to be collected, it is approximately a 35-minute drive.

By air: There are regular flights throughout the UK to Newquay airport, which is a 40-minute drive to the hotel and private transfers can be arranged. To book: Call 01326 270 270 or email [email protected] The Idle Rocks, Harbourside, St. Mawes, Cornwall, TR2 5AN

Prices: Double rooms start from £180 a night, for two people.