*Full Disclosure – we were gifted a hosted stay in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are my own.
We love visiting Cornwall, it is a 6-hour trip for us but the views and beaches are worth the drive. We were invited to review the Sands Resort Hotel and Spa and it did not disappoint, another Cornwall trip added to the happy holiday memory bank.
It is a family hotel overlooking Porth Beach in Newquay, sea views all around and there is something about being by the sea that puts me at ease.
We arrived just after midday and headed straight to the bar, kicking off our mini break in style, I ordered a BlackBerry Gin and took in the surrounding rainy views. Yes, it was raining but we did not let the weather control our mood. The gin had barely touched my lips when we were informed that our room was ready, gin in hand I headed to our room while my husband went for our excess baggage. We are over packers and it only took three trips to make ourselves at home, I like to unpack everything and put things in their places, I’m such a mum!
The rain had subsided by the time we had settled in so we decided to go for a walk after being cooped up on the long drive. Straight across from the hotel is Trevelgue Head, also known as Porth Island and one of Cornwall’s finest ancient monuments.
The views were lush, not sure how we managed it with a pram but we manoeuvred it through the mud, wind, sea spray and steep hills. My son loved trying to avoid the sea spray, running through it as it splashed over the ground, the sea was rough so there was a lot of it.
We stayed in a sea view family suite with floor to ceiling windows and what a beautiful view we had. I loved that there were two rooms, one for the parents and one for the kids so you could still have a bit of separation like at home. There is nothing worse than trying to get a baby to sleep and your all in one room trying to be as quiet as a mouse so as not to disturb said child who will wake at the slightest sound.
We had a king-sized bed, which was super comfortable. I actually slept for 12 hours which is a rarity but then so did the little one which is odd as at home he has been waking up several times a night. It was nice to have a kettle, fridge and an iron, all basic essentials but in most hotels they don’t come as standard.
The boy’s room had twin beds and a cot, so no travel cot was needed on this occasion. We also had a seating area with a TV and Dvd player, DVD’s could be rented from reception if you didn’t want to bring any of your own. There are different room types to suit everyone, some of the ground floor rooms had an outdoor space which would be lovely in the summer.
The Sands Hotel also provides baby equipment such as sterilisers and prams. Meaning you can pack a little lighter and if you do forget something no need to worry as they really have thought of everything.
There are set times for food, an early sitting at 4.45-6pm so you have the choice to let the kids eat then dine as a couple and take advantage of the evening childcare. Family dining is also 6.30-9pm if you want to eat with or without the kids.
On our first evening, the kids had the spooky Halloween High Tea, everything was themed and there was a good variety of food. The kids tucked in and we ordered a burger, although I would have happily eaten the spooky food and might have tried some to ensure it passed the kids fussy taste test.
On our second evening, we all had a lovely 3-course meal. We all sat and had family time and enjoyed good food, except the little one who thinks it is funny to throw everything on the floor. I had Chinese Crispy Beef for starter, Steak for mains and Gin & Tonic Sorbet for afters. I also indulged in the complimentary breadbasket on the table, which is always my down fall but who can resist warm bread and butter.
Breakfast was buffet style, with the option to order additional items such as fresh pancakes for an additional £5. We opted for toast and a full English breakfast, the kids had a mixture of it all with some fruit thrown in. On our last day, my son wasn’t very well so my husband went down to breakfast and they allowed him to bring up a tray with a selection of food for us all at no extra cost.
As it was October half term there was lots to keep the kids entertained with an action packed schedule and kids clubs on throughout the day. On our first evening, we enjoyed a Halloween Feast as above, followed by a Halloween Party where many fun games were played.
My favourite offering is a complementary childcare session on each morning of your stay, we decided to coincide this with a couples Moroccan Spa Experience . I have never stayed in a hotel in the UK that offers these kind of facilities. There are different kids clubs to suit all ages and our boys happily went off without looking back, not that we gave them chance as we headed straight for the pool and steam room.
Being working parents its not often we get time together so it was nice for us to be away and actually get time to talk to each other, even if only for a few hours (8.45am-11.45am to be precise).
We headed to the spa at 9.45 and were shown into the Moroccan relaxation room, I absolutely loved this room it was giving me all the holiday vibes with the beautiful lights and stained glass windows. There was a room attached with a hot tub, sauna and showers. We spent an hour relaxing, drinking flavoured water and to be honest talking about the kids and wondering what they were getting up to.
At 11am, we were served cake, cava and tea, a lovely end to our couple’s time. It was the highlight of our trip and something which makes the hotel stand out from the rest.
When we picked up the kids, they both had a fab time. The little one had done a footprint painting, a lovely keepsake for us and Riley had done some Dinosaur Pottery. You can book additional sessions at £5 and they are worth it, if you want to go for a bite to eat or have some relaxation time. There is also a baby listening service, which we did not take advantage of but another additional extra for parents to use.
There are also outdoor facilities; we completed the maze, which had some spooky things going on. The boys played on the park and zip wire, there is also an outdoor pool with a slide that is used in the summer months.
You can hire items such as surfboards, wet suits etc. that saves time finding somewhere to get them from, before heading to the beach.
Things to do nearby
As mentioned above the Sands Hotel overlooks Trevelgue Head and Porth Beach, both are within walking distance. We took a drive into Newquay and headed to Fistral Beach, we enjoyed a Cornish pasty and bought some Cornish fudge. Watergate Bay is a 2-minute drive away, we drove past it on our way home, and I didn’t realise how close it was and wish we had time to stop, as the beach looked beautiful.
The Sands hotel puts family at the heart of everything. The staff were so friendly, from the reception to the dining room, they couldn’t do enough for you. We all loved our stay and didn’t want to check out, back to reality. The food was all delicious, I would say the evening menu could have a bit more choice but we all found something we liked. The indoor pool is a good size for kids, I only wish it was warmer so we could have enjoyed the outdoor pool.
Overall we had a fab time and the Sands Hotel was very accommodating, going above and beyond to ensure families were catered for. If you are planning a trip to Cornwall I would recommend staying at the Sands Resort Hotel and Spa. It’s not hard to see why this hotel was in the Top 25 UK hotels in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.
Thank you for reading our family blog, Gem – Life Of A Mumsy Lawyer