Review: The Headland Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall

    The Veranda at the Headland Hotel. credit: Tony Atkinson/Just Focus Photography
    The Veranda at the Headland Hotel. credit: Tony Atkinson/Just Focus Photography

    Standing proudly on a cliff edge overlooking Fistral Bay and offering fine dining and a luxurious spa, The Headland is the perfect place for a weekend escape.

    Headland Hotel, Cornwall
    Headland Hotel, Cornwall

    After arriving in the driving wind and rain (hey, it is England), the smouldering fireplace and cosy reception of The Headland made us feel instantly at home. After a guided tour of the hotel’s historic lounges, tea rooms and ballroom, we peeped into the elegant spa facilities, before being whisked up the fabulously grand staircase to our Fistral View room.

    With the sea on two sides, the spacious bathroom offers a particularly spectacular view and the room itself was bright and welcoming – the complimentary box of Cornish Fudge went down a real treat.

    Escaping the storm outside, we made the most of the great British weather and headed straight to the Elemis Spa for some guilt-free pampering. We opted for the Ultimate Relaxation massage, donned our pristine white robes and sank into the loungers in the calming relaxation area. Muscles and minds truly relaxed, we swam in the pool, detoxed our city lungs in the Cornish Salt Steam Room and ended our spa experience sipping Champagne in the Jacuzzi.

    The hotel has two dining options. Firstly, the main restaurant, resplendent with chandeliers and floor to ceiling windows, which gives light to some of the best views of the surrounding waves. Breakfast in here is a must, but go reasonably early to bag a window seat. Dishes include enticing starters, locally sourced market fish and delicious desserts.

    The Veranda at the Headland Hotel. credit: Tony Atkinson/Just Focus Photography
    The Veranda at the Headland Hotel. Credit: Tony Atkinson/Just Focus Photography

    After a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast watching the waves crash onto the shore, we dressed for the wild outdoors and followed one of many coastal trails around the headland to the next bay.

    So ideal is the hotel’s location, in the popular holiday area of Newquay, that the choice of bays and beaches could entertain you all week. For the more adventurous, the hotel runs a surf school down on Fistral Beach, but we opted for a lengthy stroll round the headland to Crantock, a beautiful wide bay maintained and preserved by The National Trust.

    Back to the hotel in time for a spot of tea, we lounged in the old ballroom, again overlooking the bay, and took in the hotel’s grandeur. Though thoroughly modernised, The Headland has survived and thrived throughout two World Wars; even being requisitioned as an RAF hospital during the Second World War, feeding the numerous sightings of ghostly nurses wandering the corridors.

    In its time The Headland has also played host to royalty and Hollywood, no less. The 1990 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic, The Witches, starring Angelica Houston, used the hotel and surrounding headland for much of its filming.

    Come rain or shine, weekend away or family holiday, The Headland’s versatility is its biggest charm. With staff continually aiming to please, a building bursting with character and history, and the best of Cornwall literally on your doorstep, time here is well spent.

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