We’ve just returned home after a fantastic trip to Watergate Bay in Cornwall. Watergate Bay is a laid back trendy family friendly hotel, this was our second visit and it didn’t disappoint on visit number two. We absolutely love staying here.
We travelled with my parents, my sister and her family this time so it was a big family get together. We were also travelling as a four for the first time so the dynamic of our group for this trip was very different.
We stayed on a ‘taste of the bay’ deal which is a three night stay from Sunday to Wednesday (it’s only on specific weeks in the year). The package includes your breakfast and three dinners (the children also have dinners included between 5 and 6pm). The great thing about Watergate Bay is that it isn’t just the same restaurant for three nights; you eat in Zacry’s (the hotel restaurant), The Beach Hut (just outside of the hotel and on the beach – think amazing sunsets) and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen so there is a variation every night which we love.
A childcare session in their new and improved children’s crèche is included so we booked the toddlers into the morning sessions (10-12) which they loved. The creche area is wonderful, they have two rooms with lots for children to do; painting, crafts, a cosy reading corner, a play kitchen, lots of wooden toys and an outdoor play area. Amelie and her cousin had so much fun, the staff made them feel at ease straight away and when Amelie cried on day two for me one of the staff scooped her up and when my Mum checked five minutes later Amelie was settled and happy – a sign of a good place. You definitely need to book this in advance, so if you go to Watergate Bay don’t leave it until you arrive. What we also loved was that when the creche wasn’t running a session you could go into the play area with your children and play which is great for rainy days!
The hotel also provides a baby listening service which for us meant two camera monitors and a tablet. It was great that we could see both Amelie and Evie on separate cameras but on the same tablet (as we stayed in a one bedroom suite room). It meant we could put them to bed and then go out for dinner as a group and still be able to run back if they woke up/check they were OK. For a nervous Mummy like me this made the evenings much more enjoyable.
The monitors are set up on the hotel wi-fi so even though both the Beach Hut and Fifteen Cornwall are just outside the hotel you can still monitor the children. BIG MAMA TICK!
We had a sea facing ‘better’ one bedroom suite which was a huge room with a massive bed and a room off it with bunk beds which we used for Amelie. Evie slept in our room in a travel cot provided by the hotel (which had a really good mattress as sometimes travel cots can be a bit hit and miss can’t they).
The room was perfectly equipped with a fridge (great for our toddlers milk), tea and coffee making facilities, lots of storage, a good hair drier (a must for a toddler who won’t stand still) and fantastic views of the sea – Amelie loved sitting on the window seat watching the waves.
The only thing I would love to see would be a nespresso machine for tired parents! I’ve seen lots more hotels provide these recently and it would have been AMAZING to have had.
Not specifically part of the room but on our floor was a pantry room with a washing machine, microwave, a sink with washing up liquid and drinking water which I would say with a bottle fed baby and a toddler is essential and really made life so much easier.
What we did
We packed a lot into our stay. We hardly left the hotel but there was plenty to keep us and the toddlers amused!
The toddlers (Amelie and her cousin Millie) went to the kids club for their morning session. The kids club has been revamped since our last stay and slightly redesigned but they still have the great kitchen play area, a book corner, painting and creating play and an outside area. Both girls had a wonderful time and really warmed to the staff there straight away which is always a huge relief when you’re away and want your children to have a good time and be happy. I have always been really worried about putting Amelie in kids club but I now think two hours out of the day is really good for her and we pack in beach trips, swims and other activities around it so she gets the best of both worlds.
The ladies in our group all had treatments at the hotel Spa. I had a hot rocks detox massage and a facial, both were absolutely fantastic and really relaxing, exactly what I needed after a busy few months adjusting to life with two.
There is a really nice chill out area over looking the sea next to the spa so when your treatments are over you can head there and have a coffee and just take in the views. The pedicures are also really special as you look out over the swimming pool towards the sea.
We did lots of swimming! Amelie really found her confidence in the water this holiday. The pool is one of my favourites, it has a great shallow area for the little ones and for the adults a good sized pool for lengths and the views are out of this world! There is also a decked outside area and a hot tub which we braved…
The beach is amazing with lots of sand, perfect for sand castle building toddlers and if you are a surfer the waves are huge! We spent hours running around the beach, building sand castles and looking in the rock pools. The girls had so much fun!
The toddlers had particular fun running around a ‘race track’ drawn out with a spade – hours of fun!
There are also some beautiful coastal walks. Nick took Evie on a long walk up the cliff near the hotel in the Baby Bjorn carrier and there were some amazing views of the hotel and the bay – well worth a walk and taking a baby carrier for little ones.
The food and drink
This really is a foodie break, I think I’ve come back a dress size bigger ops!
The breakfast is brilliant, fresh fruit, smoothies, cereal, croissants, cooked breakfasts, salmon and make your own waffles! The girls were in heaven (as were the grown ups) and there was something for everyone. Everything was good quality and the staff were fab giving us everything we needed like plastic plates, straws for cups and good coffee’s for tired (hungover) parents.
We tended to have lunch in the Living Space of the hotel and actually spent most of the day camped there as its a lovely area over looking the sea with big sofas and comfy chairs.
The food was a mix of salads, burgers, sandwiches and yummy specials like moules frites. The Living Space was also open for dinners if you weren’t on the taste of the bay package. The cocktails there were also gooood!
We had dinner in the Beach Hut on the first night. This again had been refurbished since our stay last year and was much more like a ‘nice restaurant’ whereas last year it was definitely more laid back. We had a really nice meal after a bit of a stressful start when neither of our children would go to sleep! I had a stater of squid with aioli and a chicken burger with avocado and bacon for main, both were delicious.
The second night we went to Fifteen Cornwall. As part of the package you can either choose a three course a la carte or a 5 course tasting menu. We all had the 3 course a la carte menu and it was delicious. We sat right by the kitchen so were watching all the food come out which was fun.
The staff there were very passionate and knowledgable about the produce and the menu. When we went last year I was pregnant and struggled with finding things I could eat, so this year I went for everything I couldn’t have last year! For starter I had the most amazing scallops and for main duck! The desserts were also delicious, we had to tag team running back to the room as Evie was on and off crying but luckily we had managed two courses before she woke up!
I’d also recommend going there in the day for brunch as the views are brilliant.
We had our last meal in the hotel restaurant Zacry’s. As with Fifteen this was a 3 course a la carte menu and again was amazing! The menu changes daily but when we were there we had dishes such as; bavette steak salad, seared tuna on an asian salad, veal with a leek and potato gratin and delicious desserts.
And another thing I loved…
I loved that they had a Watergate Bay Instagram pin board. If you tagged your photos with the #WatergatebayMoments tag they would print it out and you could take them home with you. Such a great idea!
This is a fantastic hotel both for couples or families. This is our second visit and I wouldn’t hesitate going on the taste of the bay package again.
It is the perfect blend of good food and drink, activities/childcare for the children, a good spa / pool for times when you have a few couple of hours and want to relax and a stunning location. We always leave feeling really refreshed, full (!) and sad to be leaving such a magical place.
You can also see more on my YouTube channel
Thanks Watergate Bay, we’ll see you again next year.
Sarah and family xx
* This is a review of a holiday we paid for, Watergate Bay did not ask us to review the hotel *